Monday, February 04, 2008

Huckles: More redneck than you

A little note on the expression of regional identity in current American politics:

I just heard on NPR that the right reverend Mike Huckabee is touring southern states for the upcoming Super(duper) Tuesday. He's got "Sweet Home Alabama" as his background music and he's saying about Willard "Mittens" Romney that "a Southern man don't need him around anyhow" or some variant of that Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric.

He already endorsed the South Carolina flag (which includes the stars and bars) and then he was all I-cooked-a-squirrel-in-a-popcorn-popper. Isn't that the non plus ultra of rednecker than thou?* What's next? "Hell yeah, she's my first cousin, and we got married when she was 12"? Handing out copperheads and rattlers as a test of faith at campaign rallies? I assume he's already driving the General Lee to campaign stops.

We've gotten used to politicians exploiting regional and social identity crudely: Bush — scion of one of the richest families and the most powerful family in American politics — successfully sold himself as good old boy to non-elite Republicans. Is Huckles unraveling that ploy by being a real redneck, not a carefully crafted pseudo-redneck?

*Yup, that's an ill-turned phrase. Sorry.

Image from WisconsinHunter. People do it up here too.

4 comments:

Joe said...

It's worse than that: The website "Huck's Army" had posts this fall (presumably still up) expressing worry that the Huckster would be stereotyped negatively as a Southerner, i.e. slow-talking, etc. He's doing far more to cement that image of himself than the press could ever do!

The Ridger, FCD said...

"Redder of neck than thou"?

...tom... said...

...
Lets not forget similar efforts to play to the audience by Ms. Hillary...

Ah don't feel no ways tired...


They all do it, human nature I suppose.

Mr. Verb said...

Yeah, but that's a pretty different game politically, isn't it?