Update: Andrew Sullivan attempts to explain his statement, but only manages to dig a deeper hole for himself.
According to Andrew Sullivan, the Confederacy lives or at least the racism that pervaded those specific states during the Civil War era and it may decide the 2012 election. More specifically Sullivan argued this morning on ABC’s This Week, “If Virginia and Florida go back to the Republicans, it’s the Confederacy entirely. You put the map of the Civil War over this electoral map, you’ve got the Civil War.” Whether George Will is correct in the details, he at least provides a reasonable counter-explanation re: a possible shift from blue to red state for Virginia and Florida. More to the point, it reveals Sullivan’s stupidity. I certainly believe that race is a factor in this election, but by linking the modern South with the Confederacy he perpetuates the myth that racism is somehow concentrated in that region alone.
There is absolutely no reason, apart from trying to introduce a seductive soundbite, to mention the Confederacy or the Civil War. It feeds what I call the “Continued War” narrative that is so popular with the mainstream media. It’s a reductionist explanation that pits Northerners vs. Southerners and blacks vs. whites. One can only imagine what Sullivan will say if Ohio goes for Romney.