The Irish, in Celtic style, have pulled a good one on the EU with their rejection of the Lisbon treaty. After many years of generous subsidies, the Euromasters expected the Irish to return the favour. But for those of us who follow unruly Celts on this side of the Atlantic, the results were predictable.
The South, that Celtic redoubt, operates in a similar manner. It was lavished for years with Federal largesse, including the extensive military bases (convenient for armed forces disproportionally filled with Southerners,) Corps of Engineers projects, and of course the Great Colossus of Socialism, the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Democrat party, which ruled the region for a century, could have made this country a one-party state as surely as Japan. But…the Southerners didn’t like Washington’s meddling, including the civil rights movement and the Democrat Party’s penchant for Northern and Western liberal politics and people. So they turned to the Republicans, and things haven’t been the same since.
LBJ (a Texan himself) predicted that the 1964 Civil Rights Act would lose the South for a generation to the Democrats; it’s been more than twice that much time. It reminds one of Geraldo Rivera’s remark about the Afghans: their loyalty cannot be bought, but it can be rented. And rent, of course, doesn’t build equity.
Many years ago I told a tableful of people at a foreign trade conference that the Irish, the Celts being the finest politicians the world has ever known, would wheedle the EU out of a lot of money, just as the Old Confederacy does. One of my tablemates rolled his eyes in disbelief. But now Bruxelles–and the rest of Europe–knows the truth. And the truth is giving them heartburn.