Obama’s Southern Problem—And Ours

By Daisy Hernandez Jun 11, 2009

In the latest ColorLine.com story, Alec Dubro takes a look at how the South voted in the last election and what it might mean for Obama’s administration. Here’s the opener:

"The New South,” wrote journalist Robert Scheer in the 1970s, “is the Old South with air conditioning.”

Unfortunately, even 30 years of central home air hasn’t cooled the white heat of the South.

In the midst of the great Obama victory last November, an overwhelming percentage of white voters in the states of the former Confederacy rejected the first Black president, even as many of them voted down the ballot for Democrats.

The South—Old or New—remains the heartland of opposition to all things progressive, posing a formidable threat to the new administration’s agenda.

For instance, every southern Republican senator voted against Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The dependable opposition to health care reform lies centered in the South and will remain so.