Re: Ralph Northam appears to be a throw back Dixiecrat lib
Your memory is a bit clouded
Date: July 10, 2019 07:31PM
Dixiecrats were not liberals. The closest modern analogy to a Dixiecrat is a Libertarian.
The faces of the Democratic party in the 1970s were progressive Henry Howell and centrist Chuck Robb. Dixiecrats also known as Byrd Democrats in Virginia were dying out by the 1970s. In 1966 moderately liberal Democrat Spong beat Byrd Democrat Robertson for the U.S. Senate. In 1970 Harry Byrd Jr. left the Democratic party to serve as an independent in the U.S. Senate. In 1976 Byrd was challenged by a Democrat but not a Republican. Mills Godwin was elected governor as a Byrd Democrat in 1965. In 1973 he was re-elected governor as a Republican. The last Byrd Democrat to hold statewide office was Reynolds who was elected Lt Gov in 1969 and died in office in 1971. When Reynolds ran for Lt Gov his former Virginia Senate seat was won by Douglas Wilder. That is a good indication of how much the Virginia Democratic party had changed by 1970.
Don't assume that gun control was a fair test of liberal v. conservative. Gun control was in vogue on both sides of the aisle in the 1960s and early to mid 1970s. The U.S. 1968 Gun Control Act passed by a vote of 70-17 in the Senate, with both Virginia Senators voting yes. In the House a majority of Republicans and Democrats voted yes, including all Democratic Representatives from Virginia and two of the four Republican Representatives. (Strangely most southern senators voted yes, while outside Virginia most southern representatives of both parties voted no.)