The New Carpetbagger and Scalawag

Earlier today I posed a casual, unplanned question which sparked discussion in more ways than imagined. “When did each state become a part of Nevada, and are all 435 voting members of the House elected at large?”

Now I’m not going to recite an extended essay on Southern History. While the terms Carpetbagger and Scalawag were both derogatory, looking back quite a few positives existed within those Reconstruction governments of the South. I also highlight the idea of occupation governments under the direction of the Federal government concept more than the political party because too many students want to turn everything into a modern political debate.

Yes, I realize my above statement is making a modern political debate.

First, the professor hat in that if you are interested in learning about Carpetbaggers and Scalawags, my recommendations for reading remain the classics with the newer works to supplement aspects. With Southern History it is hard to go wrong with anything written by C. Vann Woodward. I’d begin with Origins of the New South. Another fine beginning would be Eric Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877.

Here’s the reasoning for my off the cuff question.

How much is the actual state the focus in the upcoming elections to the United States Senate and not merely party majority in the chamber? With only a few exceptions, the GOP strategy whether it is from so-called RINOs or Tea Party advocates appears to be that each Senate race should be a protest vote against President Obama and to remove Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

It’s the same in the Congressional races. How much money is being spent spewing forth the message of voting for or against the President of the United States?

Back home in Louisiana, I see and hear more of my friends and even professional peers talking more about Obama and Reid than Landrieu, Cassidy, and Maness combined. Mary’s vote on Obamacare tells you everything you need to know. Well as a professor covered under the OGB, Office of Group Benefits, I’m surprised that you aren’t upset with what Governor Bobby Jindal did to your health coverage? Bobby’s accounting juggling to “balance” the state budget has nothing to do with ACA, and you will in reality be losing more choice options, receiving fewer benefits, and paying more out of pocket than you would be with Obamacare.

Does representing the state even matter to voters?

Isn’t it contradictory to urge for a repeal of the 17th Amendment like many modern “conservatives” desire, but then make each Senate election about the President?

It seems to me that these PACs, Super PACs, and 501(c)(4) organizations from outside the actual states’ borders are pouring the majority of money into these elections. How is that any different than a Carpetbagger?

The residents in the state who support this idea of making each election about party control of either Chamber, how are they any different than Scalawags? By that I mean are the motives about what is best for the state or constituents within a given Congressional district or is it about what helps the particular individual retain or gain power?

Have we really reached the stage where an outsider can enter with only a suitcase to stuff full of local’s belongings and be welcomed because they say what we want to hear?

Have we really reached the stage where we support some worthless person just because they say what we want to hear?

Louisiana isn’t Nevada and neither is Maryland where I’m at right now or Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, or Alaska. Hearing from friends, family, and former colleagues back home in LA or in the other states listed in particular, one would think that they have all become a part of Nevada.

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