Thursday, April 11, 2024

Beyond Carpetbagging for Modern Times ...

First, I need to explain what carpetbagging is as it relates to modern day versus its history.

The term "carpetbagger" was originally used by Southerners to describe already-wealthy or "greedy" Northerners who moved South during reconstruction after the Civil War whom the Southerners perceived to be exploiting them for profit or political gain, called as such because of the carpet-bag luggage they often carried at the time.  

(Not to be confused with a scalawag, which was either a union supporter already living in the South or someone who moved from the North to assume the land after war, but from the middle or poorer classes.)

As time went on and the nation grew, the term evolved into at least 4 different meanings, starting with the worst-connotation 20th-century definition to the more benign or even positive: 

1) A business - usually a scam - that swoops into an area offering services or asking for donations after a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or flood - i.e., home repair companies that take your money and leave without repairing anything, or fake relief charities either calling and asking for donations or setting up a donation table on site.
2)  Someone that moves to another district or another state for political purposes, either to benefit that district or themselves, or both.  
3) Someone that moves to another area due to an economic boom/jobs in that area.  
4) Someone that moves to a better climate for better health and well-being. 

I think #1 needs no further explanation, and it happens all the time after natural disasters; they're more than carpetbaggers, they're disaster-exploiters.

For climate carpetbaggers, think of mostly retirees moving to Arizona and Florida, also during the 20th century, for their health or better climates.

As for economic-boom carpetbaggers, think of the opposite of the original term with "The Great  Migration," when Southerners of all races to the north to Chicago and particularly Detroit for assembly-line jobs in the 20th century.

Now, for political carpetbaggers, think of ... well, anyone who has moved to another district or state in order to increase their chances of being elected or to change the political landscape from one party to another.

Political carpetbagging actually happens frequently on both political sides and is entirely legal - you have every right to move to a location that either positively benefits you or that you want to positively benefit, or both, in America, and there's nothing wrong with that.

In fact, carpetbagging is so common nowadays that nobody blinks an eye or calls them that anymore, except people that don't want them there 😂  

Think of inhabitants of Montana denouncing people moving there from other states, particularly during the pandemic, or Lauren Boebert trying to now run in another district in Colorado that doesn't want her either.

HOWEVER - these days, we're not talking about moving in to a district or state you want to represent - we're talking about moving out of the district or state you were elected to represent  (or are campaigning to represent) as a member of the US Senate or US Representative - and lying about it.

Beyond carpetbagging, there is no word for this yet - except unconstitutional or illegal.

Because the constitution is very clear on this subject. 

Here is the inhabitancy clause for the Senate ... 

(I chose this excerpt from the site because it also provides a bit of history on the 1777 debate regarding use of the term "resident" versus "inhabitant," anticipating cheaters, finally deciding on the word "inhabitant" to avoid abuse)

And here it is for the US House of Representatives, who agreed with and followed the same "inhabitant" language used by the Senate (from ...

And yet Republican Senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley, registered to vote using his sister's address in Ozark, but actually lives in Virginia and owns no property in Missouri.

Republican Senator from Alabama, Tommy Tuberville, sold his last home in Alabama several years ago and now resides full-time in Florida, but is still an Alabama Senator.

Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, lives full-time in Fort Myers, Florida - admittedly his family home - and was even accused of using public tax dollars to fly there regularly. 

 Current Republican Senatorial candidate for Michigan, Mike Rogers, who although was born in, grew up in, and lived in Michigan for many years, no longer lives in Michigan and is registered as an "active" voter in Cape Coral, Florida. 

Are we seeing a pattern here?

Yep - all Republicans.  

In fact, the only Democrat that I could find accused of this, on a quick search was then US Rep candidate - now Senator - Jon Ossoff from Georgia, who temporarily and openly lived just outside the Atlanta Georgia 6th district during his campaign due to his fiance's commute to Emory University.  He has since moved back in the district, but as a US Senator, the only requirement is that you live in the state. 

Now - I'm not saying that only modern Republicans cheat or ignore the Constitution, of course not - we are talking about federal-level politicians, none of whom likely got their positions by being straight-arrow saints.

What I am saying is that they're the biggest hypocrites of not only what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander politically, but literally not following the Constitution themselves that they claim to uphold.

And if they're not careful, all of this turning a blind eye to unlawfulness and even criminal activity in your party in favor of winning elections, history will have nothing good to say about your party but that at this time, it has become synonymous with con men and criminals, ignoring law and justice for political gain (their poster boy being Trump)

And here's something else modern Republicans likely haven't thought about or are intentionally being short-sighted about:  If you're either in denial or are willfully turn a blind eye to unlawful, even criminal behavior by those in your party, you do realize you're setting a horrible precedent, leaving the door wide open for the opposing party to do the same and worse in the future? 

So to Republicans reading who are not politicians?

We're not talking about your mama or daddy's Republican party anymore.

Your party currently doesn't even feign adhering to their own platforms of small government or to Constitutional law and order anymore. 

Today's Republican politicians are a different breed than in prior generations.

Thus, how long are you going to let con-men and criminal politicians manipulate and distract you with fear-mongering and faith (as well as immigration and reproduction issues), while simultaneously robbing you blind when it comes to tax dollars paid versus theirs and to what, your right to healthcare, and your safety and fair wages, as well as consumer protection?


PS - the best comment about this elsewhere that I've seen?  Something like:

"Do you think they actually want to live in the shitholes they create?  Of course not.  They fuck them up for their own gain, abandon them, then do the same elsewhere.  I mean, look at what's happening to Florida."

Thus, perhaps a term for politicians who eff up their own state to be damned both economically and socially, then abandon it in favor of effing up another state (while still illegally representing the first one) would simply be "shithole creators?"

I like it  😂

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