Alabama

Lazy Afternoon Reruns: “The Spirit of Booker T.”

With current scuffles over who gets to be in charge next, writing about Newt Gingrich’s second-place finishes in two Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi after he won the primaries in South Carolina and Georgia would be kind of pointless— Santorum prayed louder so he won, and the news media moved right along to some place else. Roy Moore, the “Ten Commandments Judge,” might have made a somewhat compelling subject since he won Alabama’s recent Republican primary for state Supreme Court Chief Justice and now moves one step closer to getting back the job that a federal judge took away from him for refusing to move his intrepidly placed monument back in 2003. But that’s like shooting fish in a barrel, too. The South’s “one-party system,” as V.O. Key, Jr. called it in his 1949 book Southern Politics: In State and Nation, has done little more than shift in recent decades from a Democratic “Solid South” to a Republican same-darn-thing.  Boring. There’s almost nothing more boring than conservative political domination— I guess, unless you’re one of the conservative people doing the dominating. Beyond that, neither Newt nor “Sanctorum” will be the GOP’s national nominee, and Roy Moore’s brand of in-your-face Southern evangelism has been overly documented in infinitesimal sources ranging from texts of hell-fire-and-brimstone sermons to John Kennedy Toole’s The Neon Bible— now, that zealotry just wanders around in the cultural limbo between stereotype and punchline. So let’s talk about something else instead . . .

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