South Carolina’s New Strom Thurmond and Your New Republican Party

Senator Jim DeMint has an unusual view of civil rights for someone not born in 1902. He thinks that federal protections against discrimination are really best left to local school boards and states. What kind of decisions would those states make?

In addition to reiterating anti-choice talking points on abortion and backing “traditional marriage,” according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the senator went further and “said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend — she shouldn’t be in the classroom.”

Your new Republican Party: the Confederacy.

It occurs to me that Senator DeMint is on to something, though. I suspect that the Founding Fathers never imagined that someone as ignorant as he is could be elected to the Senate, so I wonder if someone could make a constitutional case for excluding morons and bigots from the Senate?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • I suspect the founders would have been very close to Jim DeMint's position. Thomas Jefferson thought that queer folks should have holes bored into their noses, so DeMint is actually liberal compared to him.

  • The public's view of homosexuality (as well as bisexuality) has changed back and forth throughout time. The views expressed in Confederate times were fairly common. Today's world is a completely different animal. The majority of people in the US (yes, that includes Republicans) seem to accept the GBLT community far more than 100 years ago. While left leaning sites are happy (almost gay if you will) to point out the Republican leaning individuals that are promoting unacceptance for the GBLT community, these individuals do NOT represent the majority. You can be conservative and still be accepting. It is time to stop generalizing an entire group of people for the actions of the few – it certainly doesn't help encourage those you have incorrectly characterized to help you.

  • My concern is the party, which does have these views. It's not Jim DeMint is some fringe figure in the GOP. He's a highly influential Senator. The Montana GOP platform was written by its party leaders. While it might certainly be true that more Republican citizens are accepting of the GLBT community today, their party leadership is content to demonize these people–and one has to ask why they get away with it.

    • A number of Republican Party leaders have asked quite publicaly to remove that plank from the platform. There has also be a lot of call to "demonize" those individuals in Montana that continue to lead that battle cry. I find it interesting that most on the left are more than willing to point out the nutcases but rarely give credit to those on the right trying to present a new view of the world.

  • Moorcat, that's because those on the right who are reasonable continue to vote into power those who demonize homosexuals. You can see just how effective the moderate Republicans have been by seeing how little has changed in the last ten years. And the Republican party is certainly not becoming more moderate on this or any issue with this election cycle.

  • Can I simply say what a aid to find someone who truly knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know the way to convey a problem to light and make it important. More folks must learn this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre not more widespread since you definitely have the gift.

  • *Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

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