The rise of the Southern Democrat? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The rise of the Southern Democrat?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 8:59 AM

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Brent Budowski, an opinion writer on The Hill's blogs and once an aide (a couple of decades ago) to then-U.S. Rep. Bill Alexander of Arkansas, outlines a hopeful scenario in the South for Senate and other races and includes Sen. Mark Pryor in the number with hope of beating back the far-right Republican surge.

He's more hopeful than I am, but there are undoubtedly some new breed Democrats with reasonable chances in what Budowski describes as a battle between big-tent "Johnny Cash Democrats" and the mean and narrow agenda of "Ted Nugent Republicans."

Budowski's thesis:

The tectonic plate of electoral politics in the South is shifting. Faced with adversity, Southern Democrats have elevated a new generation of savvy leaders with a political touch in Bill Clinton’s style, a moderate progressivism that appeals to small and new tech business, a soft populism that appeals to working-class voters, and a can-do attitude that contrasts nicely against gridlock in Washington and the hostile fanaticism of an unpopular GOP brand.

New-generation Southern Democrats attract, and hard-right Southern Republicans repel many Hispanics, moderates and moderate conservative women, as well as black voters energized by dynamic new leaders such as the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP.

Cat-scratch fever?

Stipulated: Tectonic shifts are always felt last in Arkansas — unless you are talking about fracking-caused earthquakes.

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