Third Party & Independents Archives

Playing Cards

There is a tool in the arsenal of the small minded politician that has a sharp edge and can be wielded with abandon when backed up against the wall.  When they can’t win in the arena of ideas or debate, it can be reached for easily, like a warm blanket armor that is stronger than steel.  And it has been brought out now in defense of the President of the United States by his supporters who, with their tiny little minds, think they are fighting the good fight.  I speak, of course, of the all mighty trump in our political card deck, the Race Card.

The card was added to the arsenal of the Democratic Party when they fought against their own after decades of being the party of race.  The party of Jim Crow, filibustering Civil Rights legislation, Separate but Equal, etc.  The country as a whole made strides against the ignorance of idea of racism and the last ones to come along was the Democratic Party.

But this wasn’t a wholly altruistic action.  The reality is that finally, the majority of people in the US started to have a real problem with people who were racist.  It was clear that after the Civil War, the majority of the people were no longer racist themselves, but they tolerated the racism in others, not necessarily overtly but in a way that said that there were more important things and we can’t tear ourselves up worrying about whether someone, in their heart, is a racist still or not.

However, finally the US got it’s collective head out of it’s collective behind and realize that the ignorance that they were allowing to exist was still tearing us apart as a nation and was unconscionable.  How could we say we were a truly free society when we allowed laws that treated individuals differently than others based on nothing but the color of their skin to remain on the books?  The answer, thankfully, was that we couldn’t.  And the people of the day fought the good fight and triumphed over evil.

But something untoward came out of that debate.  That second civil war.  The Race Card was a new tool to be wielded by the small minded man.  You see, for the card to have any power, the majority of people not only have to not be racist, but have to be aghast at the thought of any individual still holding these ignorant ideals.  If racism was no big deal then the card held no power.  It held no sway.  Calling another individual a racist (true or not) would not give you any power if they AND those around them didn’t care about it.

However, there was a catch.  Because it had power meant that few people would tolerate a racist and even fewer people would hold on to that ideology.  So calling someone a racist was a hand that couldn’t be un-played with ease.  It bypasses most people’s BS detectors because they really really don’t want to be seen as supporting such evil ideals.  In much the same way as dropping an A-bomb on a defenseless country might be seen as ‘overkill’, using the Race Card on anyone and everyone who disagreed with someone was a dangerous thing to do.

Over the years, though, it has been used in ever increasing fashion.  Not because racism is on the rise.  No, that wouldn’t work.  If that were the case, the card would hold less power, not more.  Today, with there being so few real racists in the country and willingness to support such ideals being at an all time low, it gained power.  Seductive power.  Power over your enemies allowing you to smite them without barely breaking a sweat.

And this is where we are now.  We now have a president that has some black heritage.  And while he was popular there was no issue.  But recently, the positions he has taken and decisions he has made have started to make people wary.  I wrote about how this was going to transpire during the week of his election, there was going to be entrenched opposition that he was going to have to fight not only against his political opponents, but many of the people in his own party, for a variety of reasons.  None of them were because of the color of his skin. 

His supporters are worried.  They are seeing the opposition and they can’t understand it.  It is obvious (to them) that this is how things should be, but how on earth can someone be opposed to it?  When this happened before, it was not really possible to use the Race Card en masse, it could only be brought out in sparing use on specific issues.  The Drug War was racist, the judicial system was racist, welfare reform was racist, etc.  The support or opposition for individual programs could be seen as racist.  Some on the left even tried to label the entire Republican party as racist.  Other cards had to be played.  The ‘AntiAmerican’ card, the ‘Socialist’ Card, the ‘Communist’ Card, etc.  But it wasn’t until the election of President Obama that the very act of opposing ANYTHING that a president wanted to do could be seen by the small minded politician as racist.

But that is just where are now.  It seems to start innocently enough.  I was listening to Pete Dominick and was hearing people starting to call in saying ‘The Republican Base is racist’, ‘Anyone who opposes the president is a racist’, ‘The racist morons who protested on Sunday should be shut down’, etc.  To Pete’s credit (though I feel reluctantly) he pushed back on the more upset and over the top talk of entire groups of people being racist.  It’s simply idiotic and small minded to assert that an entire group of people are all racist just because they disagree with you.  But that seemed to be what these people were doing.

That was part of talk radio though.  I have heard similar things on other left-leaning talk radio programs.  Support for Van Jones and the truther movement in whole, labeling anyone who disagrees with you as racist, celebrating the deaths of political opponents, these are things that are heard on these talk shows on the left and, in their own ridiculous ways, on the right (birthers, communists, anti-american, etc).  So when I started hearing these things I did what I normally do and just shook my head and felt sorry for those individuals, so filled with bile and hatred where their brains should be that they genuinely seem to miss the crux of the ideas that are being talked about.

But then I started hearing it from the supposed ‘pundits’ and ‘leaders’ of the Democratic Party.  That is when it started really hitting home that there was not going to be a way to put the genie back in the bottle anymore and the left had just done the political equivalent of dropping an a-bomb on Cuba (not a real threat but making lots of noise…).  And to be honest, some on the list surprised me.

Ray Hanania on the Huffington Post was one of the more major accounts, but ok, he’s just a comedian spouting on a liberal-leaning website, and badly at that.  The leaps he has to take in this article to try to equate opposition to the president’s ideals to racism are astounding, IMO.  Bad, but not enough to get too upset about.

Then there’s Keith Olbermann.  Ok, so he’s one of the smallest minded of the small minded people, but he seems to hold some sway on progressives for some reason, probably the same reason why Rush Limbaugh is popular on the right.  They both take a ‘no holds barred’ approach against their political rivals and attempt to inject humor into the mix from time to time.  His use of the card was annoying but somewhat expected, having such a tiny little mind and all.

But then we get into current representatives for congress.  This is the part that starts to frighten me.

“As far as African-Americans are concerned, we think most of it is,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), when asked in an interview in between sessions how much of the more extreme anger at Obama is based upon his race. “And we think it’s very unfortunate. We as African-American people of course are very sensitive to it.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, agreed with his colleague that elements of the opposition can’t accept the reality of a black president.

You would think that these people would have more intelligence than this, to make such judgments or give them any credence will just make it harder for the president, not easier.  But worse is that they actually believe them to be true.  If you disagree, you must be a racist.

But now we see it even more troubling.  Nancy Pelosi is calling out the opposition and suggesting that they are leading the country to violence.  Knowing of course that all of the violence of the tense town hall protests have come at the hand of the left, including the ransacking of their own buildings to try to pin it on Republicans.  The incident she refers to in regards to Harvey Milk was at the hand of a fellow Democrat.  And Rep. Pelosi would have us blaming the opposition for these violent acts. 

People who make political speeches “have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause,” the California Democrat told a news conference yesterday in Washington.

I’ll leave aside the obvious issue with this fitting into the views of the left concerning personal responsibility.  The fact is that she is trying to demonize the opposition and, while I haven’t heard of the Race Card being played by her or her office yet, it seems that she is heading in that direction.  I just hope she has a bigger mind than some of us are giving her credit for.  Make note, however, that she has now gone from calling people who are in opposition of the Democrat’s version of health care reform “un American” and is now going even further to link such opposition to political assassinations.  So my hope is on the thin side.

However, by far the most troubling are the comments by former president Jimmy Carter.  Now, most of my respect for Jimmy Carter was lost in 2004 when he stumped for John Kerry and all Democrats.  Not that he supported him or his party, but the way he attacked the opposition.  It made me sad for a fellow former Naval Nuclear Engineer who I liked and respected as a person, but seldom saw eye to eye with on political matters.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," Carter told "NBC Nightly News."

Yet, it wasn’t racist when those in his own party held intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Bush.  Everything was A-OK then.  And thus the small mind is exposed.

Thankfully, the current president is not being tempted to use the card so freely.  In fact, I honestly feel that he doesn’t believe that the opposition he gets is based in racism, but instead believes it is based in a difference of opinion that is more prone to be more intense because of his attempt to move the status quo off of its base.  To implement real change, as it were.

Today, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama didn’t think opposition political rhetoric posed a danger of violence. “Passions have always been high, particularly around important issue debates,” Gibbs said. During President George W. Bush’s time in office, “passions ran high.”

Still, Gibbs said “we all have to check our emotions despite the depth of our beliefs.” On Sept. 16, Gibbs said Obama, the nation’s first black president, doesn’t believe that criticism of his policies is grounded in racial prejudice.

So, are there racists in the United States?  Of course.  Of all different colors and political persuasions.  Should we care?  Not really.  They are in the minority and they are obviously so filled with their own self-loathing and internal bile to really make much of themselves anymore.  When the society accepted racist views, it was one thing to go with the flow and be a racist because that is what society said was ok.  But now that it has been decades since it has been accepted, a real racist has to really run hard against the mindset of the country.  And the most common reason for that is an intense dislike for yourself.  Take a look at any racist and they do not just hate one race or another.  They hate anything different than themselves.  Because their own self-worth is so fragile, so on the edge of caving in upon itself and the facade that has been created inside their own minds to keep from crumbling into a heap of self-pity, that they have to project that out onto anyone who is different than they are.  To reinforce the notion that they are not as worthless as they know themselves to be.

They are to be pitied, not feared.  Despised, not hated.

But the people who use the Race Card to get their political way?  The small minded man who doesn’t want to do the hard work of winning (or losing) on real ideals?  They are the ones to be feared, to be hated.

I oppose the president in many of his initiatives, not because I am a racist, but because I have a different viewpoint.  And when I am called a racist by inclusion by these small tiny minds I will not stand for it.  I will not allow it to permeate our consciousness and I definitely will not respect the ignorant and tiny minded who think so ill of me that they don’t even care to find out what my actual opinion is before labeling me as one of a group of racists…

I choose not to play that game of cards.

Posted by Rhinehold at September 18, 2009 4:16 PM
Comments
Comment #288312

Hoo, boy! Rhinehold,

I had a lot of trouble getting past your premise.

It was clear that after the Civil War, the majority of the people were no longer racist themselves,…

Based on what? Flights of fancy? This has got to be the delusion of the last two centuries, at least.

I think I get why the idea that racism still exists in scads seems to bother you so much. I’m deeply interested where and how you and Christine have found this haven of fantasy.

I simply think you folks really need to get out among the masses a little more. Come to the South.
You’ve got some serious eye opening awaiting you.

I was hoping you were going to somehow link in the Iraqi deck of death, so we could see how evil all of us who see racism for what it is, are.

What was that strange fruit that Billie sang about? A little Byrd told me it was racism.

Posted by: gergle at September 18, 2009 10:04 PM
Comment #288313

Dammit! Byrd

Posted by: gergle at September 18, 2009 10:05 PM
Comment #288314

Rhinehold,

On a more serious note I doubt you or Christine hold racist views. You may well simply lack some bit of empathy toward a situation you think hasn’t existed in your lifetime.

Situations like James Byrd’s didn’t occur in isolation. I know people from that region of Texas. Racism is rampant there.

Is it stupid? Sure is. Do I pity them? Nope. Do I fear them? Sure do. Do I hate when politicians slyly say things to stir this up. I despise them.

The fact that you don’t understand what Carter said or believe in his life experience, has to do with the delusion that I believe you are under.

It would be wonderful if what you say had any truth to it, but alas, it doesn’t. It’s has no more ring of truth than telling a claustrophobic he’s perfectly safe in a submarine. While it may certainly feel safe to you, most Black men don’t percieve the world the way you do. Obama wisely chooses, as among most things he chooses, to stay above this fray. Ask him if racism no longer exists in a meaningful way and you’ll get a much different response.

Posted by: gergle at September 18, 2009 10:24 PM
Comment #288316

Gergle

How did I get into this already? I read a kind of response to me before I wrote anything here. I guess it is better to be talked about than not talked about.

Anyway, racists exist. There are black and white ones, think Van Jones for a recent example. But the U.S. is certainly no longer a racist country and it is way too common for some people to blame racism where other explanations are more likely.

President Obama is talking about big changes in the economy & health care. He is advocating a quantum leap in government spending that will push the deficit higher as a % of GDP than it has been any time except during WWII. People can disagree about whether or not these are necessary or good, but they WILL engender lots of emotion. When someone is doing all those things, race is one of the least relevant reasons to oppose.

But I am switching strategies. While it might still be fun to argue the points and will still do it on this blog, in other instances I am going to turn to ridicule. When someone brings up the race issue, I will figure out some cool put-downs. I sense that the time is right for this. It is a “there you go again” moment. We no longer have to fear the race card. Its power over us is gone.

It will soon be the fodder for jokes. It will be like the paranoid Woody Allen character in Annie Hall, who sees anti-antisemitism everywhere. We can imagine a black character who does the same sort of thing.

When the failure excuse is gone and we abandon the soft bigotry of low expectations, we will all be better off.

Posted by: Christine at September 18, 2009 11:00 PM
Comment #288317

Gergle, I don’t know how you could read Rhinehold’s post as saying that racism doesn’t exist, or that it’s not a problem where it does. Drawing that conclusion seems to be a pretty good illustration of what the post is about, actually.

The post is about playing the “race card” as a way of unfairly attacking people or of dismissing substantive criticisms of policies by labeling them as “racist.” Your antecdotal observations about the existence of racists in Texas (which I don’t doubt, by the way) say nothing at all about why Obama is failing to gain public support for his policies.

I’m not aware of any country with a majority white population that has ever elected a black man as their leader. Does the fact that we’ve done so mean that racism doesn’t “exist” here? No, and no one says otherwise, but it definitely means that racism isn’t a major factor in our political discource except to those who find it convenient to dismiss legitimate criticism of policies by alleging “racism.”

Posted by: Paul at September 18, 2009 11:10 PM
Comment #288318

Sorry, Rhinehold, but, when the righties hold a demonstration of 70,000 and in the photos and live video, you can’t find a non-white face in the crowd to represent American diversity of population, and when those same folks hold up signs of Obama in white face, Hitler face, and others refer to him as a monkey in a tree, it is IMPORTANT that someone take note and raise the issue of racism as it is being demonstrated by some on the far right in the public eye.

To make the observation, to raise the specter of the violence that accompanied racism in our past, to warn of hate talk having no foundation in reality or objective fact, is a duty and responsibility of American leaders regardless of their political stripe.

I know you are fond of longing for the past of a pure and pristine Constitution with only 10 Amendments, but, that same Constitution held that Blacks were not entitled to vote nor even rights of whole citizenship. And now you decry Obama’s party and independents protesting the objectively and empirically observable racism coming from some conservatives longing for America’s past. These concurrences raise questions as to motive, Rhinehold.

When you write: “The reality is that finally, the majority of people in the US started to have a real problem with people who were racist. It was clear that after the Civil War, the majority of the people were no longer racist themselves,”

I have to question even your education on the topic, because racism was very much alive and predominant in Detroit where I grew up, and Kentucky, where my family visited, and in the South where little black girls were murdered for nothing more than their skin color.

I implore you to cite an legitimate reference as to the majority not being racist after the Civil War. Nothing I read in history books, and I have read quite a number, indicates that Reconstruction saw the end of racism amongst the majority of Americans. It became less overt in the North, and far West, and more subversive in the South, but, racial epithets were still on the tips of tongues well into the 1950’s, as were racial stereotypes on TV, in the movies, and in advertising. Racism was everywhere in the 1950’s, it just took a less overtly violent form generally, though racism itself is a form of violence even if its practice does not come in the physical form.

Hell, even LBJ was full of racial slurs and jokes and prone to use the word nigger as he promoted the Civil Rights legislation that the majority of the country opposed when initially proposed. These are historical facts.

And here’s one more. Nowhere in sociological annals is there any empirical evidence of a society shedding inequality of races in the short span of 50 or 60 years. Racism takes many subtle forms when transmitted from parents to children, and parents are understandably reluctant to teach their children to trust and like those whom they don’t know as family.

In S. Carolina and Alabama to this day, public schools teach their children that the Civil War was a war of aggression by the North. Think about that for a second. Secession by the South was the factual cause of the war, and over the issue of slavery as an economic base. But, that is not what is being taught to children of those who still today fly the Confederate Flag with more pride than the American Flag.

S. Carolina and Alabama I might add, also hold among the highest conglomerate record for teen pregnancies, absence of sex education, and lowest usage of the anti-cancer vaccines for female ovarian and uterine cancers. They share these records with Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who match on one or more of the S. Carolina and Alabama measures.

Abraham Lincoln led a party of Republicans against slavery. But, don’t kid yourself for a second into believing that abolitionists monolithically held that blacks were equal human beings, and should be entitled to all the same rights and privileges as whites. What distinguished them was holding the proposition that blacks should be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law. A big difference from being accepted as equals as human beings. The vast majority would have acted violently if their white daughter were to have had sexual relations with
a black male.

But, that’s history. Today, it is the Democrats who have won the confidence and trust of the black majority, as well as hispanic origin majorities. And the conservative Republicans who have proven time and again to be the perceived obstacle to people of color enjoying the same opportunities and equal treatment as their fellow white citizens.

And in politics, perception is very often substituted for reality. It was Democrats and Republicans who voted to withhold federal funding for ACORN. But, it was conservatives who filmed the Sting, instigating the ACORN backlash. So, regardless of the fact that Democrats voted to withhold funding, it is the Conservatives who are blamed for labeling all of ACORN’s efforts as bad and evil. Not the Democrats. Perception often becomes the reality in the world of politics.

Republicans know this. That is why they tried to condemn the health care reform efforts with lies, misinformation, and distortions, in the hopes that perception would replace reality. But, according to the latest PEW poll, it backfired big time. Obama’s, Democrats, and the Health Care Reform efforts are all back in positive majority numbers again. Conservative Republicans have really damaged their image fairly permanently in the eyes of the majority of Americans over this health care reform propaganda.

It is going to pass. There will be no death panels, there will be no federal funding of abortion, there will be no tax dollar underwritten health insurance for illegal aliens, and there will be government bureaucrats telling doctors what they can and can’t do for a patient’s legitimate and necessary medical care. And an even larger majority of Americans than now exists, will come to perceive the Republicans as lying and distorting the truth all along on the health care reform.

Americans are essentially a hopeful people. The Republican Party is essentially a negative political party. All Democrats have to do is continue to proffer a more hopeful fulfillment for middle class life, and they will continue to be history’s dominant party in American politics. Some Republicans finally understood this dynamic during the Reagan years, and along came Newt and the Contract with America. And for a fleeting 12 years, Republicans enjoyed increasing power in federal and state governments. But, a political party can no more hide its true character having achieved power, than a seducer can having achieved a live in relationship. It is doomed to be a short lived affair.

And all this is a damned shame for America’s future. Because, in order to secure a better future for this country than the one we now face with record deficits and debt and unmet future investment needs, credible and viable multiple political parties will be needed - that or a revolutionary anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping across elections and changing the core platform and philosophy of the duopoly party.

And its clear, credible and viable multiple parties are not in the duopoly parties cards. Leaving only a revolution at the polls, or disastrous economic and civil conditions over the next couple decades.

I work for the revolution at the polls, but, prepare my daughter with alternatives for disastrous economic and civil conditions. The Republican may pick up seats in 2010, but, I truly cannot envision their ever becoming the majority party again in my lifetime. And that means Democrats will have little check and balance upon their excesses, save for the occasional good fortune in discovering in their midst the likes of Barack Obama, with the best of intentions, a sound footing in empiricism, pragmatism, and dedication to keeping focus upon fulfilling those best of intentions. That’s a rare find for any political party. Reagan met that description, but, his Party Congressionals couldn’t live up to his standard. I think we may be witnessing the same between Obama and the Democratic Congress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2009 1:08 AM
Comment #288319

P.S.

I equate the denial of racism with largely this same group of people who deny the empirical evidence of global climate change. Denial doesn’t change reality. It only changes one’s perception of it, to the point that one’s perception becomes one shared by an inevitably diminishing minority over time. There is less racist attitude in America today, but, to deny it is not still a widely dispersed social phenomena at work in our society, is to deny the all white faces of the demonstration in D.C. last week, and the White Face Obama signs, and the hate signs against Obama and Pelosi.

Sure, both sides have their crazies and prejudices, and undereducated and overly opinionated without substance, but, they are characteristically different in how they manifest themselves in times of stress. The majority of Democrats ignore the crazies amongst them and even disavow them. The majority Republicans passively defend and give a green light to the crazies on their side in the hopes they will do damage leaving the leadership with the appearance of clean hands.

That is a substantial and perceptible difference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2009 1:20 AM
Comment #288322

Rhinehold states “If racism was no big deal then the card held no power. It held no sway. Calling another individual a racist (true or not) would not give you any power if they AND those around them didn’t care about it.”

Rhinehold it seems however that this card still plays in politics, more so now then in the past decade. Rightfully so according to President Cater.

You seem to be suggesting that because the majority of people are seemingly less racist today than in the past this “overtly racist” card is being used wrongly against those on the right that are playing the “covert racist” card along with the “big government” card, “the socialist” card, the “nazi” card and other cards in their “fool house” of cards.
As it still holds power why is it the “racist card” should not be played along with all the other cards,(“czars,clunker cars and hollywood stars”(as Huckabee says), “intellectual” and the “government can do no right”) being played to obfuscate the real issues facing us today? It certainly has more merit than the cards in the far right deck.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 19, 2009 8:41 AM
Comment #288324

David,

Your comments go a long way to making my point for me, thanks. But there are a couple of things I need to address.

First

I know you are fond of longing for the past of a pure and pristine Constitution with only 10 Amendments, but, that same Constitution held that Blacks were not entitled to vote nor even rights of whole citizenship.

I am highly offended at this mischaracterization of my views on the topic of the constitution and I take it as a personal attack. The lies that you wrote about me personally here are not only demonstrably false but are written to attempt to paint me as a racist. I have not only never stated such an opinion, but have repeatedly over the years in discussions with you on these boards written that the amendment process is the proper way to alter the constitution. It is insulting at the very least and I expect that this will be taken care of in your next reply in these comments.

when the righties hold a demonstration of 70,000 and in the photos and live video, you can’t find a non-white face in the crowd to represent American diversity of population, and when those same folks hold up signs of Obama in white face, Hitler face, and others refer to him as a monkey in a tree, it is IMPORTANT that someone take note and raise the issue of racism as it is being demonstrated by some on the far right in the public eye.

By ‘whiteface’ I take it to mean the portrayal of Obama as the Joker? I’m sorry, but what is racist about political commentary such as this again? How many times did we see Bush as Hitler or, more recently, Bush as the Joker? Were those people racist? If the only difference between the people who portrayed Bush as the Joker and who portray Obama as the Joker is the color of the skin of the president, then perhaps it is those who SUGGEST the racism that are the ones who have a problem with race. Treating someone just as you would treat anyone else is the exact opposite of racism, David.

As for the ‘non-white crowd’, it is always a good idea to take the media’s representation of a protest like this as gospel. But if we take the notion that there was not a single non-white person at the protest (highly unlikely) are you saying that because of that the protest, no matter what they were protesting or why, is racist?

Or is it because it fits your narrative that it must be that way?

And if you want to talk about ‘hate’ signs, let’s take a look at http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621. While I may disagree with the premise of the article, there is no doubting the picture evidence of the number of people who were protesting for the DEATH of Bush. But he was white, so it’s ok?

As for the other aspects of the nature of the protest, you might want to check out someone who wrote about it who was there…

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/136041.html

But, a political party can no more hide its true character having achieved power, than a seducer can having achieved a live in relationship. It is doomed to be a short lived affair.

And we are seeing that now with the Democratic Party.

I truly cannot envision their ever becoming the majority party again in my lifetime.

I remember people on the right saying the same thing about the Democrats not too long ago. It really doesn’t take much. You and I both know that there are about 35% firmly on the left and 35% firmly on the right who will vote with their party no matter what happens. It is the remaining 30% of the people in the country that are going to be the ones deciding the future and all it takes are those people to become very uneasy and/or upset with the party in power to sway things.

And it was many of those people who were there last Sunday. Don’t expect people do be beholden to the Democrat’s talk when they are facing even higher debts and increased government intrusion into their every day lives.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #288325
And it was many of those people who were there last Sunday. Don’t expect people do be beholden to the Democrat’s talk when they are facing even higher debts and increased government intrusion into their every day lives.

Or worse yet, being called racist because they have the temerity to disagree with the President, or continually see attempts to have their views shut out as being ‘unamerican and not fit for the needs of the country’.

Of ever worse, being told that they are the ones responsible for any violence that someone else may decide to commit.

It was wrong with the right did it to the war protesters 7 years ago and it is wrong to do it now. But amazingly those very people who were screaming about it then are the ones doing it now, even to the people who defended them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2009 11:24 AM
Comment #288326
The majority of Democrats ignore the crazies amongst them and even disavow them. The majority Republicans passively defend and give a green light to the crazies on their side in the hopes they will do damage leaving the leadership with the appearance of clean hands.

I’ve read some doozies on this blog, but this one really takes the cake. You do not see Republicans “defending” or “giving the green light” to racists (which I assume you’re referring to since racism is the topic of this thread). In fact, you see racism emphatically disavowed and condemned. But Democrats disavow their own crazies? Right.

Is this an example of what you mean?

Or how about this?

Or this, for that matter?

Posted by: Paul at September 19, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #288327

Rhinehold asked: “As for the ‘non-white crowd’, it is always a good idea to take the media’s representation of a protest like this as gospel. But if we take the notion that there was not a single non-white person at the protest (highly unlikely) are you saying that because of that the protest, no matter what they were protesting or why, is racist?”

First you discount what everyone who watched the news witnessed with that old favorite conservative canard, The Biased Media misrepresented the races in that crowd. Bullpucky. Live video feeds from many angles and places, — all white faces.

Now, as for whether the assembly of 70,000 white people to protest Obama’s presidency and policies is racist or not, the answer is intrinsically, YES! Why? Because our nation is now a majority of minorities, and if the majority of the general public were upset with Obama’s presidency, such a protest would reflect the racial diversity of the nation. It didn’t and doesn’t. Ergo, there is a racial component to the protests. It is so obvious and overt, that I guess you just can’t see it, apparently, according to your comments, due to your belief in media bias purposely excluding any faces of color in the crowds at the DC protest or Town Hall meetings.

Also, let’s look at the cast of characters as targets of the Right this last year, Rev. Wright, Rev. Sharpton, AG Eric Holder, Pres. Obama. And let’s look at the contradictory labels the Right throws at these targets, Nazi, Communist, Fascist, Dictator, Socialist, Traitor, Illegal Alien. It is so illogical as to spell clearly the motive and intents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2009 11:41 AM
Comment #288328

Paul, the ignorance contained in your comment of political culture is chasmic. Of course no person wanting power in this country is going to use the “N” word toward Obama, or any Blacks, in front of cameras or microphones. But, they will use EVERY OTHER WORD at their disposal. Ever heard of Politically Correct behavior. It is behavior designed to hide one’s true nature which may be rebuked by members of the voting public.

Thanks for contributing, though.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2009 11:44 AM
Comment #288329

David, thank you so much for shining a light on my ignorance. I wasn’t aware that Obama’s Republican opponents were biting back so hard on saying the “N” word in front of cameras and microphones when they talk about Obama. Not using such language must be especially difficult for the GOP chairman, Michael Steele.

So they use “EVERY OTHER WORD,” do they? Since you put that in all caps for emphasis, would you care to point out some of these other words they use to thinly cloak their racist hatred of African-Americans? I’m sure you have something specific in mind, or else you’d just be making stuff up. Do share.

Posted by: Paul at September 19, 2009 11:56 AM
Comment #288330

Rhinehold,

To claim white people protesting policies of a white president is racist is a bit weird. It’s a non sequiter. A black man calling Obama uncle Tom would be a racist attack. The argument makes no sense.

Not knowing you personally, I cannot judge your level of racism. Am I a racist? Yes, to some degree, but not in the usual sense of the word. I grew up in white suburban culture, and have precepts surrounding that culture. I do not feel at home in a black cultural environment. Do I act on those fears by rejecting that, or those people as inferior to my upbringing? No.

I remember once going to blackploitation movie called Mandingo with a white friend. We were the only white people in the theater. The movie was about a heroic black slave striking back at the evil white masters, with every silly racist card played throughout. I felt very uncomfortable, but no one said or did anything to justify my fears.

I reject people who pretend they don’t have biases. I think they are simply fools or phonies.

When you aver that racism was essentially over and done with after the civil war, or the civil rights movement; when you speak of racism as only residing in a small minority; make odd stretches of logic comparing whites hating a white president to the bizarre behaviors of all white crowds fearing for their children being exposed to a speech by a black president, or using coy dual message signs at a rally, you reveal a disconnect in your thinking that is disturbing.

I believe some people are completely unaware of their own biases.

I know you often take arcane positions in these posts, just to be contrarian, so I am not saying anything about you personally. I don’t know you personally. But these arguments you make about race baiting, and the end of racism just don’t stand with reality. Carter’s and my experiences may well be different than yours. That doesn’t justify your denying the experiences we have, or the realities of everyday racism in America.

Christine,

Sorry, if you feel I’m dragging you into something. We’ve had these arguments in other threads, which is why I mentioned you. Many of us long time posters have standing disagreements. I just think you and Rhinehold have made these arguments in the past, and they just don’t hold to my personal experience.

Paul,

My annecdotal evidence is not to make a sweeping argument, but flies in the face of deniers.

…..but it definitely means that racism isn’t a major factor in our political discource except to those who find it convenient to dismiss legitimate criticism of policies by alleging “racism.”

You were doing great until the above line. That is utter nonsense. You simply wish to dismiss an obvious major factor in our political discourse by dismissing the legitimate factor of racism. Facts are facts, reality is reality. Racism is still alive and well in both white and black culture, but neither cancels out the other. Ignoring it won’t make it go away either.

The election of Obama surprised me. I thought Hilary had it locked up. It turned out Obama was a far superior candidate. He IS an amazing orator.
I think his presidency does go a long way in breaking that “glass ceiling”. I think his presidency provides and opportunity to discuss race in a whole new light. It is a true inspiration for Americans, and does speak to a changing tide, but let’s not pretend we aren’t still knee deep in water.

David,

Thanks, as always, you find a better way to say things.

Posted by: gergle at September 19, 2009 12:20 PM
Comment #288333

Gergle, some of the ways you are talking about racism (including elements of racism you think you may be guilty of yourself) are simply descriptions of normal human behavior.

There is no reason you should be required to feel comfortable in a “black cultural environment,” and not feeling at home in such an environment is perfectly normal and nothing to apologize for. In fact, I find nothing so ridiculous as white suburban teenagers who start affecting black speech and dress. There’s nothing inherently “wrong” with such speech and dress, and it’s wonderful that our society is such a “salad bowl” of cultural difference, but that doesn’t mean that each of us isn’t who we are. A lot of people have more than one cultural identity, which is fine too.

Where we draw the line is at equality under the law. There are things about “black culture” that I have no taste for, just as I have no taste for things about the culture of white racist Texans you keep talking about. There’s nothing wrong with having preferences for our own “cultures,” whatever they are, or even with disliking things about other cultures as long as it doesn’t lead to legal inequality. It’s usually the case that a thoughtful person will reject certain things about their OWN cultural upbringing and the expectations that go along with it, but being usually being most comfortable around your “own people” is so ingrained in human nature that it’s never going to change, and it’s not something that needs to be a “political” problem.

Posted by: Paul at September 19, 2009 12:50 PM
Comment #288335

It is always an exercise in futility to pretend to know the mind or heart of another. I fully understand that when bloggers or politicians bring up race in a discussion it is to further their view by ascribing to their opponent something of which most people despise.

Frankly, I don’t believe there are any racists writing on this blog, black or white. And, I doubt there are any practicing racists in congress either. What I do believe is that there are folks who will pin the race card, or any other card, on an opponent to diminish ideas which they don’t agree with.

Health care, man-made global warming, deficits, welfare, war and more are not, at their core, racial issues.

Can any thinking person still believe in superiority of one race over another? Centuries of evidence prove otherwise. Most of the blather about race is merely a tool to gain advantage over another who holds a differing view.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2009 1:13 PM
Comment #288338

RF

Sen. Byrd of WV was once a member, in good standing, of the KKK, and has used the “N” word in the Senate. But I am sure he has seen the error of his way. That is back when liberals protected him, now he questons the constitutionality of “Czars” and liberals ignore him, go figure?

Posted by: propitiation at September 19, 2009 3:07 PM
Comment #288339

Byrd may be the exception. I think even the outhouse behind the courthouse is named after him…the white one, that is.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2009 3:19 PM
Comment #288342

Paul,

That is why I noted it as not being about racism in the usual sense. I just included that so as to be transparent. Unjustified fear of black people in a movie theater IS racism, however. It only exists because of stereotypes prevalent in our culture. This is apart from the racism I see daily with regards to Obama from the masses.

Don’t fool yourself, this isn’t just limited to Texas, I grew up in Ohio and my family was from Kentucky. Racism has deep roots there, as well.

Being white and wearing Cowboy hats and boots seems to draw racists out. I’ve grown my hair out long in the last couple of years since I am no longer seeking advancement in business, and haven’t drawn out as many idiots.

I was amazed a few years ago when looking for some plate glass at a Home Depot, when the clerk, a complete stranger, began ranting about “those people” to me. I simply walked away and purchased glass elsewhere. Over the years it’s happened to me a lot, even with educated people in business, and friends of friends sharing their racist views with me, expecting my agreement, and they are always big George Bush and Ronald Reagan supporters.

Laws can only go so far in reforming a society. Stupidity has to be repeatedly pointed out and ridiculed to make real change. Those that think that affirmative action is racist or prolongs racism, and those who refuse to see the racism in rallies of all white groups with rants about communism, and death panels, and secret “destroy America” plans are simply avoiding a reality of the positions they take.

Fine. Make salient arguments against something you oppose. When outright lies, stereotypes, and completely illogical rants are used, an intelligent person has little choice but to presume other obvious motives.

I have no evidence, for example, that Tom Delay is a racist. But if you ever went to a campaign rally of his and spoke to his followers, you would be hard pressed to conclude otherwise. Was he aware of who his constituents were? Of course. He played them like a fiddle.

He may not be a racist himself, but when he allows and even encourages the ideas of the rabble he musters, then one must conclude he benefits from racist ideals.

That is radically different from how a private citizen reacts to racism. No one is asking private citizens to tilt like Don Quixote at windmills. One doesn’t have to march on Selma to be against something. Being polite to idiots and fools is not a crime in my book, but if you have a public following, or participate in advocacy of a groups goals, one has to accept a higher standard of behavior.

Royal Flush,

Can any thinking person still believe in superiority of one race over another? Centuries of evidence prove otherwise. Most of the blather about race is merely a tool to gain advantage over another who holds a differing view.

Yes. Many still do. Of course, that depends on your definition of thinking. Centuries of evidence demonstrate evolution as true, yet there are those that insist on a 6000 year old earth. Much of the blather about race cards, is an attempt to ignore racism, that’s real, if not spectacular. (I must be getting tired to use a Jerry Seinfeld reference) I am an anti-dentite, at times.


Posted by: gergle at September 19, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #288343

gergle,

“Stupidity has to be repeatedly pointed out and ridiculed to make real change.”

The real problem is, as Ron White pointed out, “You can’t fix stupid”. It doesn’t matter that you ridicule them, they don’t get it.
Racism, on the other hand, is taught, and until those that still cling to their beliefs die off their racism will remain.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 19, 2009 6:28 PM
Comment #288344

Sorry you have such people in your life Gergle…perhaps you need to hang with a different crowd.

When the President called the police stupid recently and then allowed that he didn’t know the facts, what was that? Some may call it racist. Some may call it shooting from the hip. And, some may simply call it stupid. If it was racist, was simply sharing a beer enough to make it all better? If he was shooting from the hip, he should be more careful and if it was simply stupid, God save us all.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #288346

Republicans invoke welfare queens in Cadillacs. But no, it’s the Democrats who play the race card.

Conservatives send out e-mails showing welfare bucks, Watermelon Patches in front of the White House, Fried Chicken. But no, It’s Democrats playing the race card. Senator Roy Blunt tells a joke with knowing wink about having to play the ball where the “Monkey” in Washington has put it, but oh, no it’s the Democrats playing the race card. And of Course, former Senator George Allen asks his friends at a rally to say hello to “Macaca.” Say hello to your Macaca moment.

Rush Limbaugh, a broadcaster who the Republican Party seems to go out of its way to satisfy and mollify, recently racebaited about that case of the white kid getting beat up on a bus full of black kids, even going so far as to suggest re-segregation as a means to face this dire crisis. He suggested that this was going to be how the rest of America was going to be like, and that Obama’s different ancestral halves were responsible for supposedly racist attitudes and behaviors.

There is some shame, some reluctance to support those who overuse, overextend the race card among Democrats. But outrages like the above are perfectly acceptable among the Republican’s political and cultural leadership, and unfortunately, their racism may filter down to the attitudes and policy opinions of those who really have no intention of being racist. The prejudice and ethnic contempt spreads merely by it’s intense and constant repetion, accepted as fact, rather than examined for the slander it often is.

I will not say Democrats are perfect, nor that Blue states are free from racism. I will say, though, that the Democrats have made a policy and a political decision to distance themselves from the prejudices of the past, to triumph over the party’s bitter legacy, rather than poison it’s own future with the sour hatreds of the past, appealed to for the sake of cynical, expedient politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2009 8:23 PM
Comment #288347

Royal Flush,

You’re right, hanging around Home Depot is a real cesspool. I need to buy a generator…maybe I’ll try a pawn shop.

I don’t really know about the cop and Harvard professor. Do you have details the rest of us don’t? Are you saying racial profiling doesn’t exist? Studies seem to contradict that, but that’s just science for ya. Arresting someone in their own home, when you’ve established that, and then wonder why they might be pissed at you, yes, well, that is kind of stupid or at least more than a bit overzealous. I wonder why charges were dropped, if they were well founded? Racist? I don’t know. I’ve wondered why we never found out if the cop lied on his report, when the neighbor stated she never mentioned race. Regardless the incident sounded a bit like two jackasses to me. Sort of like Kanye. I kind of like a plain spoken president. Everyone seemed to lose interest after a couple of beers.

Rocky,

We’re talking Humans here. Stupidity will never die off. I have somewhat better hope for racism in America.

Posted by: gergle at September 19, 2009 8:30 PM
Comment #288348

People should look at electoral college maps for all of US history. The civil war was fought on battlefields for 4 years, but in elections for over 100 yrs. The two people whose elections were most divergent from that history were James Earl Carter and William Jefferson Clinton.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 19, 2009 9:05 PM
Comment #288350

Gergle wrote:

When outright lies, stereotypes, and completely illogical rants are used, an intelligent person has little choice but to presume other obvious motives.

And the most obvious motive is that somebody is trying to defeat a policy with which they disagree. There are many times when these “lies” and “rants” are simply interpretations that differ with your own but which are the truth according to a persepective that doesn’t agree with yours. There are other times when lying, exaggerating, skewing the facts, etc is really happening, but to assume that racism is behind it, in the absence of clear evidence to that effect, is not at all jusified. The idea that people always stick strictly to the metaphysical truth in political discourse, and do so in a way that the opposition will always consider “fair,” is completely delusional. It’s like the guy who walked into the casino and was shocked, shocked, to see there was gambling going on there!

Stephen wrote:

Democrats have made a policy and a political decision to distance themselves from the prejudices of the past, to triumph over the party’s bitter legacy, rather than poison it’s own future with the sour hatreds of the past, appealed to for the sake of cynical, expedient politics.

Any time the “race card” is played where it doesn’t belong, it stirs up the bitter legacy of the past, and it does so precisely for the sake of cynical, expedient politics. Do we even need to go into the history of people like Al Sharpton (Tawana Brawley) and Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson?

A party like the Democratic party, which constantly divides Americans by race when it comes to large matters and small, and which seeks to pitch one group against another for political gain can hardly be said to be distancing themselves from the past. In fact, stirring up the resentments of the past and preserving the idea of a racist America is necessary to the Democrats’s survival. In the absence of such an idea, huge parts of their voting coalition would simply melt away.

Posted by: Paul at September 19, 2009 9:28 PM
Comment #288352
Republicans invoke welfare queens in Cadillacs. But no, it’s the Democrats who play the race card.

So, Stephen, you’re now suggesting that welfare recipients are all black? Otherwise your assertion that saying something about a ‘welfare queen’ (who is in that position by their own choices in life) is racist seems a little strange to me.

Perhaps I just don’t get all of the games being played here.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2009 10:31 PM
Comment #288353

So, David, it appears that you responded but didn’t clear up the issue regarding your personal attack on me through your lies and attempted mis-characterization of my views. I’m hoping that it was just a mixup, I don’t really see any reason to have any other conversation until that is resolved.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2009 10:33 PM
Comment #288361

RH
If it not a nice day to be called a racist then one should’nt act like one.
You may not like to hear it but avoiding the issue is dishonest. To say that a good deal of the opposition to the BHO administration is not motivated by racism is ,frankly, a lie.Often the racism is not maifested in the overt ways it has been in the past but more subtley. The initial racial fears are being exploited to infect and confuse people into adopting positions contrary to their best interest IMO and turn what should be rational policy debates into shouting matches.This should come as no surprise.Its as American as apple pie and the reason racism has been nutured by the ruling classes forever. Its a highly valuable tool to keep the peons devided.

Christine
Unfortunately your optimism regarding racisim in the US is unfounded. It is true that things are getting better but we still a long way to go. The starkest example is the huge percentage of Blacks in the prison system, far above their percentage of the population. All of the possible explanations for this clearly demonstrate institutional racism of one varity or another.

Posted by: bills at September 20, 2009 7:39 AM
Comment #288362

Paul,

I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate issues. But to pretend that there is no racism being whipped up against Obama is to stick your head in the sand. What exactly is your justification for people carrying signs of Obama dressed as an African witch doctor? What is your justification for Barack the Magic Negro?

One of the reasons for this post was Rhinehold’s reaction to my link to a sign from Little Rock, Arkansas racists opposing busing and integration carrying signs quite similar to the tea party signs.

I never stated that there weren’t legitimate protesters or legitimate issues amongst the all white crowd. But to pretend that racism wasn’t rampant there, as well, is just ignoring reality.

Posted by: gergle at September 20, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #288364

So Bills, you are saying that Obama is lying then? He has stated that Carter was wrong and the majority of opposition to his agenda is not based in racism. I am quite honestly surprised to hear you call the president a liar.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #288365

Rhinehold-
I would not have thought somebody would do me the favor of making an argument of the kind you just made.

I would tell people right off the bat that it was an untrue stereotype, that most Welfare Recipients are white, many live in Appallachian and southern states. I would tell them that the Republicans used the “Lazy Negro” stereotype already in place, combined it with the “sexual animal” stereotype of Blacks as heedless breeders, and combined the two to beat up on welfare recipients as undeserving of the help, and deserving of their poverty.

Of course, they wouldn’t tell you that. Some might not even be aware of the slanderous nature of what they’re saying, assuming that it’s incidental fact, rather than a pervasive misperception.

Poverty among blacks has actually been cut in half, along with everybody else’s poverty, under Liberal entitlement programs. Seems like the response to the programs is counterintuitive to that which the stereotype produces.

I’m not playing games here.

You are. Your favorite argument is that the people in question did wrong in times before. That, in my opinion is a despicable argument, once you really look at it’s structure. I invite you to do that.

Ultimately, in cases like with deregulation, everybody screwed up. The Democratic Party can also not claim original purity in regards to racial issues. Hell, our party was on the losing end of the Civil War, and long reinforced and tolerated Jim Crow.

A Democratic President signed many of the laws that deregulated financial institutions. A Democratic President helped start the Deregulation craze.

I am not unaware of these things. Trust me, most Democrats aren’t.

You would, with your particular habits of argument, gleefully point out past support of these policies, as if that meant we had no place to criticize the continued Republican insistence on these policies now.

The issue, and this is where you get it wrong, disastrously wrong, is that we are willing to change, to go to different policies. In fact, we want to. We want to learn from our mistakes, not wallow in the moral squalor of simply denying the problem so we can hide our guilt and culpability.

Your argument would have us do exactly that, stop all criticism so we wouldn’t be attacking the Republicans for anything we have done ourselves. Except, we already blame and chastise ourselves and our own people for what we went along with. We chastise ourselves for our weakness. We chastise ourselves for our corruption, we chastise ourselves for being every bit as irrational and greedy as everybody else was.

And then we start talking about changing things for the better, going for a different policy. We’re not arguing about who is pure enough to be the new party of change. We’re not arguing that the Democrats are without sin. We’re arguing that whoever did what, things need to change, and that is what Democrats support: Repentence.

Now Repentence is not merely apology. It is the change of your mind from what was previously thought.

People on the right all too often say that we don’t need to repent of our ways, change what we’re doing, we just need to do things purely in their way, that the only problem has been the meddling of the liberals.

But Republicans got a lot of what they wanted, and they set the tone, and more to the point, they probably still aren’t looking for purity, they’re looking for their old jobs back, and they want everybody to see what happened as they see it, as an anomaly, or worse, as the product of liberal policies.

I don’t believe that after all we’ve gone through, that the status quo in policy can be validly or soundly submitted as a solution.

With all due respect, I don’t think libertarian policies are the answer.

And I really can’t stand the way that you insist on arguing back the sins of the Democratic Party as a reason why the Democrats should not abandon those sins. I don’t argue for change on the basis of my party’s authority. My fellow netroots Democrats are fighting a bitter battle against our party’s own entrenched status quo. What did you think those epic battles were about last year?

We’re arguing for change because we recognize, for various reasons and on various grounds that the way things are going now cannot continue. People like me will not stand idly by and let things continue as they are, simply because folks like you argue that folks like me once thought differently, and acted differently. If ever there was a case where the phrase “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”, this is it. We should have courage enough to change, when it’s the right thing, the smart thing to do, not stick around and wallow in our mistakes just so we’re not seen as flip-floppers.

Paul-

Do we even need to go into the history of people like Al Sharpton (Tawana Brawley) and Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson?

Do I need to go into Barack Obama’s willingness to disown his pastor in order to separate himself from his pastor’s remarks? That, after having given one of the most remarkable speeches on racial tolerance in modern times?

Who were the people who thought it a decent thing to do to treat Obama’s “typical white woman” remark as if he were throwing his beloved grandmother under the bus? Who is it that calls Obama a racist, trying to twist the idea of discrimination back on a person who in his college courses taught a skeptical approach to affirmative action?

This crap is ultimately twisted. read this article.

The uncomfortable fact is that Obama has never transformed into the Black Panther/Malcolm X radical that Republican wanted him to. So, having been denied real radicalism, the Republicans are alleging it based on any number of specious arguments.

When you have Rush Limbaugh playing a virulent race card, by alleging that one white kid getting beat up on a bus full of black kids is a bellweather of the future, and prescribing segregation, of all things, as a solution, though, it’s tough to ask folks not to see the elephant of old-fashioned racism in the room. But of course, if you even mention that to a Republican, they point a finger at you and scream “You’re playing the race card!”

Well sorry fellow. Your party is playing the race deck. It’s playing on a Yu-Gi-Oh assortment of monstrous old racist stereotypes.

“Segregation! I choose you!” Rush Limbaugh says.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #288368
You would, with your particular habits of argument, gleefully point out past support of these policies, as if that meant we had no place to criticize the continued Republican insistence on these policies now.

Except that is NOT the arguments I make. And you have never actually understood them even though I have pointed it out many times.

My complaint is the display of a ‘better than thou’ attitude when making those arguments, that your opponent is wrong for having used a specific tactic in a way that no one should ever be allowed to make, when your own side makes them. Or saying that your opponent is inheritly evil for making an argument that your own side had made while in the same position.

With all due respect, I don’t think libertarian policies are the answer.

Of course not, the thought of individuals being able to live their lives as they choose is an anathema to the Progressive movement of the Democratic Party. I would not expect you to think that people should actually enjoy personal liberty in most cases.

And I really can’t stand the way that you insist on arguing back the sins of the Democratic Party as a reason why the Democrats should not abandon those sins.

Great, because that is not what I am doing. When the left gets off of their high horse and starts arguing that we all need to choose a new course and we aren’t going to label the right as evil because they haven’t seen the light yet, then I’ll support it. But that hasn’t happened save perhaps Obama who does it right on occasion, as he is doing with the topic of this article. He has it right, the rest of your party has it wrong. And that’s the real story here that no one wants to talk about.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2009 1:49 PM
Comment #288370

Rhinehold, please quote my words which you interpret to be a direct personal attack upon you, as opposed to a critique of what you said. Otherwise, dispense with the false accusations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 20, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #288371

Rocky said: ““You can’t fix stupid”. It doesn’t matter that you ridicule them, they don’t get it.
Racism, on the other hand, is taught, and until those that still cling to their beliefs die off their racism will remain.”

Wrong. I was raised by an adamant racist father who was sorry Hitler lost the war, and advocated sending all blacks back to Africa. At 12, I used the N word toward a fellow classmate. At age 15, I regretted ever doing so. What changed? My peer group. My peer group was a collection of gays, lesbians, jews, blacks, Armenians, Russians, etc in a Performing Arts department in high school. By 17, just in time for the 1967 riots in Detroit, I had rejected every racist thought my father ever uttered.

Those harboring racist thinking don’t have to die to end their racist thinking. Their racist thinking can end with exposure to and dependence upon the very good people they had racist ideas about. My peer group displayed talents beyond my own, intelligence beyond my own, worldliness beyond my own, and humanitarian values beyond my own. I emulated them and aspired to be as talented, as intelligent, as worldly, and humanitarian as they were, and discarded most of the racism I was taught as a child.

Needless to say, living out my teen years with my father was tumultuous, and in some way or another, I have been battling his thinking in others nearly all my life in the work place, amongst peers, and in public venues like this one.

So, one does not have to wait for racists to die as the only way of changing racist attitudes and behaviors. Changing laws has had a profound effect by diminishing overt and violent racist behaviors. Changing laws does not change racist attitudes, however. That takes social interaction and experience between races which has positive reinforcements attending such interaction.

Most Americans today who hold racist attitudes will not admit to being racist. They have been conditioned to understand that being overtly racist causes one to be shunned and rebuked by society at large. So, when confronted with a racist choice, they will understandably attribute other reasons besides race as the motive for their choice.

They can individually ascribe all manner of other motives for their irrational choices, and often successfully disguise their racist choice. But, as the KKK learned, when racists assemble in public view in our racially diverse society, regardless of their self-description, their collective stands out, and highlights the racial glue that brings them together in an unmistakable manner to onlookers with the their objective eyes open. Such was the case with the Tea Party demonstration in D.C.

Apologist’s objections notwithstanding. This is not to say they didn’t ALSO have other fears and objections like an apparent absence of fiscal responsibility, distrust of their government in general, and legitimate desires to resolve the illegal immigration problem in America. But, their are many people of color who share these fears and obections, but, weren’t represented as in the society at the 70,000 protest in D.C. And that is telling of the underlying organization of that assembly in D.C.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 20, 2009 5:06 PM
Comment #288372

“This is not to say they didn’t ALSO have other fears and objections like an apparent absence of fiscal responsibility, distrust of their government in general, and legitimate desires to resolve the illegal immigration problem in America. But, their are many people of color who share these fears and obections, but, weren’t represented as in the society at the 70,000 protest in D.C. And that is telling of the underlying organization of that assembly in D.C.”

I find Mr. Remer’s statement that both white and black may have common cause in some areas but “only” (according to some) the white folks showed up to voice these concerns somewhat confusing. Tell me again why that might be some sign of racism.

I also wonder where the figure of 70,000 comes from. I saw photos of the tea party and the overflow crowd was way back on PA avenue. I read somewhere the Park Service estimated about 1.5 million. I saw many black folks in the crowd. Since I don’t presume to think that the assembly was racist I could care less about the distribution of white/black/hispanic/asian folks who showed up to voice their opinion.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 20, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #288376

David,

“At age 15, I regretted ever doing so. What changed? My peer group. My peer group was a collection of gays, lesbians, jews, blacks, Armenians, Russians, etc in a Performing Arts department in high school. By 17, just in time for the 1967 riots in Detroit, I had rejected every racist thought my father ever uttered.”

Do you truly believe that if you hadn’t taken “Theater” at age 15 you would have changed anyway?
There are areas in this country that a Theater class for a 15 year old boy wasn’t that acceptable in the ’60s.
Shall we all assume that had you made it to age 18, or 20, or 25, exposed to the same environment at home, without changing peer groups, that you would have been as “enlightened” as you are today?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 20, 2009 10:16 PM
Comment #288377
I know you are fond of longing for the past of a pure and pristine Constitution with only 10 Amendments, but, that same Constitution held that Blacks were not entitled to vote nor even rights of whole citizenship.

I am highly offended at this mischaracterization of my views on the topic of the constitution and I take it as a personal attack. The lies that you wrote about me personally here are not only demonstrably false but are written to attempt to paint me as a racist. I have not only never stated such an opinion, but have repeatedly over the years in discussions with you on these boards written that the amendment process is the proper way to alter the constitution. It is insulting at the very least and I expect that this will be taken care of in your next reply in these comments.

This is what I wrote previously, I have never stated any such view and have argued, repeatedly, against any such view.

Again, I view this as a personal attack on me, lying about my view to paint me as something I am not. You can correct it, ignore it or defend it. So far you seem to have been ignoring it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2009 10:39 PM
Comment #288384

Rhinehold:

With all due respect, I don’t think libertarian policies are the answer.


Of course not, the thought of individuals being able to live their lives as they choose is an anathema to the Progressive movement of the Democratic Party. I would not expect you to think that people should actually enjoy personal liberty in most cases.

I find it odd that you accuse David of misrepresenting your Libertarian ideals and in the same thread you misrepresent Stephen’s.

It’s absurd to state that someone who doesn’t believe in the underpinnings of the Libertarian party doesn’t believe in individual liberty.

My problems with the Libertarian party is it’s archaic and fanatical belief that individual liberty is the ONLY significant issue. Frankly, if Libertarians had ruled in the 20th century, I doubt there would be an America to even discuss.

I have no idea if you hold to the original 10 amendments notion, but I do see your longing for Libertarian ideals as a throwback to times since past, as do many. That you do not see it, is not a surprise.

You have not responded to my posts, which I guess I can interpret as your anger or dismissiveness of my posts, or perhaps you simply lack a cogent response.

As always, I respect your views, but frankly don’t get why you choose to pretend racism doesn’t have power and meaning in some of the current political back and forth. It seems to be a blind spot for you.

Rocky,

Education is the biggest factor in ending racism, along with the ever widening influence of peers. Things are changing in the South and across, if sometimes only at a snails pace. I’m sure there are a few American’s who sincerely believe in a flat earth.

Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 6:51 AM
Comment #288385

gergle,

“Education is the biggest factor in ending racism, along with the ever widening influence of peers.”

Yes but…….

What is the percentage of “home schooled” children?

Back when I was a child in the ’50s & ’60s I got to choose my own friends, and though I went to a Parochial school I was exposed to “other” children through sports leagues and such.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 21, 2009 7:04 AM
Comment #288387
I find it odd that you accuse David of misrepresenting your Libertarian ideals and in the same thread you misrepresent Stephen’s.

How did I misrepresent Stephen’s views on anything? I didn’t make any kind of statement on what views he held. Are you now saying that pointing out how the Progressive movement’s views are in direct opposition to those of the Libertarian movment is the same as lying about what someone believes to insinuate that they are racist?

Interesting…

It’s absurd to state that someone who doesn’t believe in the underpinnings of the Libertarian party doesn’t believe in individual liberty.

Not believing in it and it not trumping progressive ideals are two different things. Believing in individual liberty means that individual liberty should be the trump, not whatever the majority thinks is best for the individual.

My problems with the Libertarian party is it’s archaic and fanatical belief that individual liberty is the ONLY significant issue. Frankly, if Libertarians had ruled in the 20th century, I doubt there would be an America to even discuss.

And there is the backup to my previous statement.

Again, I am not saying that Stephen or you hold any specific views NOR have I stated that because you hold views that you have stated to be in opposition two many times in the past that you or Stephen are racist…

So I guess I am missing the connection.

but I do see your longing for Libertarian ideals as a throwback to times since past, as do many. That you do not see it, is not a surprise.

Being ignorant of a view is acceptable, no one expects others to have any kind of real understanding of what a person believes when they won’t listen.

But going further to lie about a person’s beliefs in order to label them as a racist is an insulting personal attack.

However, it is starting to be apparent to me that this is the way the left is going to start defending their President, whether he wants them to or not.

You have not responded to my posts, which I guess I can interpret as your anger or dismissiveness of my posts, or perhaps you simply lack a cogent response.

As they were mostly a defense of calling people racist bigots if they disagreed with a certain political viewpoint, I chose to ignore them because that is what they deserved.

As for it being a ‘blind spot’ for me, I will have to apologize for not putting up with being labeled a racist. I am thin skinned about that apparently. It must be a failing in my personality.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 11:11 AM
Comment #288388

Some on this blog have said that the majority of white faces at the recent Tea Party in Washington indicates some kind of racism.

Consider this; Nearly 85% of black folks voted for Mr. Obama and the liberal congress now sitting. Why would these same black folks show up 9 months later to denounce the very same folks they had just helped to elect?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2009 11:37 AM
Comment #288389

Royal,

They are not saying that the majority was white, that would be normal as it is the makeup of the country.

What they are saying is that there were no black people there at all. Hence, it must be racist.

Ignoring of course that it is highly unlikely that there were no black people there at all, it is the same issue that came up when someone wrote about how bringing guns to the Town Hall debates would scare black people, when they didn’t realize that the person they were talking about who brought the gun was black…

Oh, and this further ignores the fact that we are all black. But we won’t let facts and science get in the way of a good game of cards.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 12:29 PM
Comment #288390

Rhinehold-
It’s patronizing to be treated as if I don’t have a consistent opinion. I do. I just don’t pour back through the volumes of my party’s history to make sure nobody has an inconsistent position with my own. I express my opinion. MINE. So it is highly insulting to me to have this kind of hypocrisy alleged on my count.

I am not opposing these things because it’s too my party’s advantage, or because it’s holy and without reproach. I do it because on intellectual and experiential grounds, it’s what I’ve come to think is necessary.

I think the Republican Party has genuinely gone off the deep end. I do not thing, based on the volume of such incidents, that it’s fair to say the Democrats are just as bad. How can we criticize people for seeing racism in the opposition to Obama when Rush Limbaugh, one of the leaders of that opposition, a man who many Republicans defer to, fear to cross, is race-baiting on a national stage about a white boy being beat up on a bus full of black kids, saying that this is what we can expect under the Obama Administration? The man’s even floated the suggestion of re-segregation for crying out loud. Even as a joke, that is an awful thing to say, especially given the fact that the pain of segregation remains within the living memory of many blacks in America.

The virulence of this rhetoric cannot be exaggerated. I oppose this, and other things because their very presence in the national conversation, after so long of having this stuff being marginalized to the fringes, is truly shocking and dismaying to me.

Even I didn’t expect things would get this nuts, around this time last year. I thought things would settle down after the election. Right now, I just have to wonder what the exit strategy is on this. Where are they going?

Mr. Glenn Beck has sold millions of conservatives on buying a work by a fellow known as Cleon Skousen. Like one liberal blogger put it:

Next time someone tells you the Tea Party movement is composed of average Americans who are simply worried at the terrible things Barack Obama’s trying to do to their country, keep in mind they are being influenced by the works of someone who thought America was being plunged into socialist tyranny by the Eisenhower administration.

The man Beck would have lead Republicans into the future was rejected by Goldwater Republicans in his time. His teachings were rejected by his church. The person whose historical work he claimed to base one work on told folks that Skousen’s interpretation of his work was not only wrong, but scarily close to the kind of tyrannical thinking that the author was arguing against.

In short, we’re talking extremism even by the standards of those who would have once said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. When you’re scaring the folks who scared folks in the sixties, the wingnuttery has to be highly concentrated.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #288391

The Park Service is not allowed to issue official estimates, and hasn’t done so since the million man march. The estimate of 60-70,000 comes out of the DC fire Department. These folks know how to estimate a crowd size.

I guess the main motivation was so that those numbers could be quoted in counterpoint to the approximately 1.8 million people who showed up for Obama’s inauguration.

This is about Obama envy, the Republicans and their establishment trying to prove that they are every bit as able to win Obama’s game as he was. Only, they’re not, so they have to lie and exaggerated to make up the difference.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2009 12:54 PM
Comment #288393

Stephen said: “Only, they’re not, so they have to lie and exaggerated to make up the difference.”

They lie, because they have no adherence to principles or values, which rest upon veracity as a foundation. They think they are adhering to principles, but, lying to make them selves more than they are proves otherwise. The same can be said for nearly all politicians and the Supreme Court which ruled that there is nothing illegal about a politician lying to their constituents or public at large. Hence, those entering the political arena in any form, follow the mold of the political leaders, using lies to bolster their political position. Since, it is not illegal, they think it is Right and appropriate.

The very word accountability is meaningless in America as long as our laws sanction and safe harbor elected officials lying to the people. In a real sense, it is a bit absurd to even expect the Right or the Left to adhere to truthfulness, especially when they are on the minority side of the line and they feel their cause desperate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2009 1:38 PM
Comment #288397

Rhinehold-
In one sense, we are all Africans. But this discovery is fairly recent, and as yet has had a superficial effect on what really drives race: culture.

Now you think, oh, if people stop thinking about it, it would go away!

What you fail to consider is that race and the culture it often attaches to is a more complex thing than just a simple thought of “I’m White” or “I’m Black”. And I don’t think you can simply tell people “stop thinking in terms of race!” and it will just happen. It’s not simply something people think of in just a superficial way. It’s something they absorb over a lifetime, and other cultural elements in a society can aggravate or soothe these tensions.

You’ll find young men and women today considerably more comfortable with folks of other races. They’re used to seeing them as part of their culture. They’ve absorbed and been taught values that make these people identifiable to them as part of a common group which includes them both.

That may be one of the chief means of assimilation. And one of the easiest, as a matter of fact. Geographically, throughout the world, the pattern remains the same: your race has less to do with your genetic commonality with somebody than your distance from them on the globe. Ancestry is forgotten, blended together. In a century, how will the average American look? We can’t know for sure.

But that only happens if the policies of the past are truly killed, not resurrected by those who seek to use race to revive flagging political fortunes. The policies were a big part of what kept the natural integrative processes of society from working. When it was illegal to even marry a black person, when they were kept apart by social restrictions, that made it far less likely that people would relax their attitudes on their own.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2009 4:43 PM
Comment #288398

Perhaps if there was a caucasion caucus white people would not have to protest in the street. Or would that be racist?

Posted by: Jaytea at September 21, 2009 5:21 PM
Comment #288399

Rhinehold:

“How did I misrepresent Stephen’s views on anything? I didn’t make any kind of statement on what views he held. Are you now saying that pointing out how the Progressive movement’s views are in direct opposition to those of the Libertarian movment is the same as lying about what someone believes to insinuate that they are racist?”

To quote Ron Reagan: There you go again.

No one has insinuated you are a racist, especially not me, but you are twisting my words. I never stated any such thing.

You said:

Are you now saying that pointing out how the Progressive movement’s views are in direct opposition to those of the Libertarian movment…

I said exactly the opposite, that they aren’t diametrically opposed.

Perhaps this is just genuine confusion, or reading too much between the lines.

I would not expect you to think that people should actually enjoy personal liberty in most cases.

If that isn’t a comment on Stephen’s views, and an obviously absurd one, then what is?

It is exactly this kind of extremist statement that drives people away from libertarianism. It equates personal freedom with anarchy. It’s utter nonsense.

The quote you claim as “”back up” misses the point of the statement entirely. We’d be under the rule of some despot with zero personal freedom, with libertarian “uninvolvement” to the point of national self destruction. It’s a juvenile position to take, with a breathtaking misread of history.

Again, no one labeled you a racist. In fact, I have quite clearly stated the opposite. What I do point out, is that your continued argument that I am, or others are calling you a racist, seems a bit of a paranoid delusion, or absurd position.

All I have said, is quite simple. Racism exists quite strongly in America, it’s evident in the arguments of many of the irrational positions that some have taken, it was evident in the signs carried by some at the Tea parties, and is evident in Rush Limbaugh’s parodies.

Your post here minimizes it, and is thus wrong headed.

I may be ignorant, but I am fairly familiar with your positions. The reason I call your positions a throwback and archaic, has to do with the way you often argue points by going back to the origins of the Constitution, ignoring the progress that has occurred in the last 200 years, both in legislation and judicially as well as simple history. America of today WOULD be unrecognizable to Jefferson. I’m certain some things would disturb him, and others may please him.


Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #288400

I would like some blogger to tell me when we will know that we are not a racist nation any longer. What will the signs be?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #288401

Rhinehold,

He (Obama) has stated that Carter was wrong.

He has? Do you have that quote handy?

Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #288402

Royal Flush,

A nation with race problems and issues is not necessarily a racist nation. I do not think America is a racist nation. That doesn’t mean we don’t have serious issues with race. There’s your sign. Take it to a Tea Party, if you like.

Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 6:42 PM
Comment #288403
But that only happens if the policies of the past are truly killed

What ‘policies of the past’ are you talking about Stephen? Who is trying to ressurect these ‘policies’?

I never said ‘stop thinking about it’, what I said was stop focusing on it. There is a huge difference. Stop treating people differently and really truly treat them the same. This is what MLK wanted, this is what Obama appears to want. It’s the small minded politician (or person) who knows he can get political traction out of the issue (and yes, on both sides) that are the problem and are standing in the way.

We can no more legislate away racism as we can poverty. The more you make laws to try to force people to not be poor, the more you enable them to continue. The more you legislate away racism, the more those who are racist will find reason to keep their prejuduces.

It is now unconstitutional (thankfuly) to legally treat people different based on their skin color and gender. Shouldn’t that be enough that we do with the law? If someone violates another’s rights, they get carted off to jail. But do we want to go down the path we have been of legislating what they think and feel? That won’t stop anyone from thinking or feeling anything, just give them a reason to continue.

Everyone has their crosses to bear and things to deal with, no matter their race. Those, who in this day and age and culture, are still bigoted are loathsome individuals who despise their own existence. Feel pity for them, not hatred. They will either learn to like themselves and will see how stupidly they acted or they will go to their grave bitterly choking on their own existence. As long as we ensure that we stop treating people as a race in the eyes of the law, the rest will most definately follow…

Don’t allow the racist to implement any (what would be) unconstitutional laws but otherwise let them make themselves be the fools they are. And, more imporatantly, quit lumping everyone into a group and labeling it as racist in order to win political points on the cheap.

The left is going to need the middle of the road people who are genuinely upset about what is going on. Trying to mush them together with those on the right who you will never reach only pushes the people you need away. Which explains the polls more than anything else, whether you want to admit it or not.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 6:44 PM
Comment #288404
He (Obama) has stated that Carter was wrong.
He has? Do you have that quote handy?

White House: Obama Disagrees With Carter on Race

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated at his press briefing this afternoon that President Obama disagrees with former President Carter’s assertion that Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst and other animosity directed at the president is grounded in racism.

“The president does not believe that — that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin,” Gibbs said. “We understand that people have disagreements with some of the decisions that we’ve made and some of the extraordinary actions that had to be undertaken by this administration and previous administrations to stabilize our financial system, to ensure viability of our domestic auto industry.”

“I don’t — I don’t think that, you know, the president does not believe that it’s based on the color of his skin,” he continued.

Gibbs later added that the president “does not believe that the majority of this” is grounded in racism.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 6:48 PM
Comment #288405

Thanks to gergle for his statement; “I do not think America is a racist nation.” Then he said; “There’s your sign.”

Did I miss something you wrote? What sign?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2009 6:58 PM
Comment #288407

I just heard a quote from Mr. Obama on the news that surprised me. He said; “I was black before the election”.

Hmmm…why does he discount his white parentage? Does anyone suppose some folks would be upset if he had said…I was white before the election? What’s the deal here?

How does one choose which race to pander to when they are biracial?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #288408
No one has insinuated you are a racist, especially not me, but you are twisting my words. I never stated any such thing.

David has. I never said you did. You need to catch up.

I said exactly the opposite, that they aren’t diametrically opposed.

And you are wrong. It’s nothing to be ashamed about.

If that isn’t a comment on Stephen’s views, and an obviously absurd one, then what is?

Read the full quote using English as the language…

Because the Progressive movement is opposed to the views of individual liberty (by definition) then I would not expect Stephen to see a view based on liberty as viable. I did not say one way or the other if that was his view or not, just that it does not surprise me for him to say what he did because of what I know of Progressive views.

If that doesn’t clear it up, I’m not sure what will. I at no time said ‘I know you think xxxx, Stephen, and because of that view you must also think that slavery is a-ok!’.

You see the difference now?

It is exactly this kind of extremist statement that drives people away from libertarianism. It equates personal freedom with anarchy. It’s utter nonsense.

Oh dear god will you PLEASE quit doing that. It has nothing to do with ‘anarchy’. In no way is allowing someone the freedom to do what they want with their lives as long as they don’t encroach upon the same rights of others anything like anarchy. I’ve explained it about a dozen freaking times on hear and the purposeful ignorance that people want to display is astounding.

When two people interact in some way, government must be there to ensure that neither one violates the rights of the other. BUT when there is no interaction, the government has no right to tell people how to live their lives.

How freaking hard is that to understand? Seriously, quit being so obtuse.

Again, no one labeled you a racist.

Yes, they have.

In fact, I have quite clearly stated the opposite.

I never suggested that you did.

Your post here minimizes it, and is thus wrong headed.

It ‘minimizes’ nothing, the post points out that using that dwindling view of racism in this country, that is a lingering issue with self-respect in the fact of overwhelming opposition to it, to make political points as the people I pointed out in the post are doing is the worse situation here. Because they don’t want to debate the facts, they want to label the entire opposition as racist and move on. This is seen in the people who, if you tell you are against the Obama healthcare plan (which actually still doesn’t exist, but that’s another story) will ask you why you are being racist about it.

Don’t think it happens? Call into a liberal talk show and take the side of your opposition and see what reaction you get… I listen to both left and right talk radio, I know what is going on out there and I know what is being attempted by the likes of Jimmy Carter who now has no respect from me for going down this road. It is despicable and something I thought we had moved beyond.

The reason I call your positions a throwback and archaic, has to do with the way you often argue points by going back to the origins of the Constitution, ignoring the progress that has occurred in the last 200 years, both in legislation and judicially as well as simple history.

Yes, we have moved away from a country founded on the ideals of individual liberty and moved towards more of a police state with the ‘Seal of Good Intentions’ emblazoned upon the uniform.

This country was unique in that it stated that we did not get our rights from the government, we gave the government the limited ability to rule against us in cases of interactions when necessary. Hard limits because of the understanding of where rights came from. No other country on the planet has then or since worked like that.

Including the United States.

America of today WOULD be unrecognizable to Jefferson. I’m certain some things would disturb him, and others may please him.

Name one thing that would please him because I understand what Jefferson thought and it was that he most likely would have been calling for a revolution after watching 30 minutes of CSPAN.

The reason the past is important is because those ideals were worth fighting for, worth dying for, and we are just throwing them away for the very things they warned us against. And you refuse to see it, what it means and why we now have the mess we have.

But it’s ok, because you warm and comfy while the police barge into homes, kill innocent people and seize their property. Do you REALLY think that the founding fathers would have stood for any of that?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 7:07 PM
Comment #288409

BTW, gergle, the overwhelming majority of the signs at the Tea Parties are not racist in any way. The attempt to label the entire group based on some wacko fringes is akin to what the right did to many war protesters. Have you seen these: http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621 ? Do you think they represent the base of the people who protested Bush over the years?

Why are you wanting to do the same to your opponents if you didn’t want it done to you? And for defending those people at the time, what do I get? Treated just the same.

It would be just sad if it didn’t hurt so much.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 7:11 PM
Comment #288410

BTW, you say that you didn’t call me racist.

But think upon this…

If someone says that the tea party protests are racist.

And if you are a member of those protests (like I am and have been for several years).

Tell me, what am I supposed to take away from that comment?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2009 7:12 PM
Comment #288412

Royal Flush-
I don’t think we merit your implicit call for complacency just yet. We’ve segregated our society for the last four hundred years. It will take time for the lines to blur.

Rhinehold-
What policies of the past could I be speaking of, in terms of racism? Well, what springs to mind?

We have to keep in mind that many of our advances are statutory, and based on a certain reading of the 14th Amendment, an amendment that’s been twisted in the past to justify the courts standing aside in cases of racist policy, and may very well be twisted again.

The key here is the shape of our laws, the power it grants, and who it grants it to. When somebody rewrites a law, or interprets a regulation to knowingly disfavor black voters, or minorities, a shadow of Jim Crow lingers in the background.

Philosophies evolved, and if we start down a certain road in policy, in ideology, the way Republicans like Rush are going, flirting, even crossing the line into open racism, what do you think becomes possible then?

Rush gets away with things, because they are seen as normal for him, and normal for a Republican ideologue to say.

On my way home I heard on an NPR program about this one black principal telling his students that the death and tragedy, the traumas and failures they experienced were not normal, but abnormal, that it wasn’t anything they should settle for.

The Republicans have been cooking for so long in their own cultural stew, that they don’t remember what it was like to be part of the mainstream, or how far they’ve separated from it.

As for your comment on my views?

I do not believe the absence of government necessarily equates to the presence of freedom.

I believe people should have certain rights, rights not necessarily spelled out in the constitution. I believe those rights often need government enforcement, so shrinking government doesn’t necessarily have a positive effect on people’s rights or freedoms.

I believe a person should have a basic right not to be cheated. Not to be poisoned or infected by what they eat or what they drink, or the drugs they take. They should have a right to expect that the drugs they take will make them better, in all but the rarest of cases.

I believe affordable, effective healthcare should be a basic right. I believe people should not be discriminated against for the color of their skin, the language of their voices, the contents of their chromosomes, the direction of their sexual orientation, who they pray to in the heavens, or who they wish to see in political power on Earth.

I believe implicitly in the freedoms of the first amendment, and do not mind people exercising their second amendment rights in a way that allows the rest of us to enjoy our rights, law and order, and peace. I believe the government must be allowed to further the general welfare of the country, that the constitution has some interpretational space in it for the kind of government we now have, but that for all that, the government must be kept in check, and held accountable for what statutes and regulations it creates.

I believe that big government is not necessarily good government, but not necessarily bad goverment. Size matters in vague terms, but policies have a much stronger effect on whether a government promotes the liberty and happiness of its people, or whether it allows those to be ranked subservient to special interests and the furtherance of the agendas of the already powerful, already rich.

I believe that people can self-organize, but I do not have faith that what results has to be a virtuous product. I think, like anything else, there is good and evil in how order emerges from society, that chaos and order have both good and evil sides.

I believe that things like 2008 can be the product of giving people the wrong kind of liberties. The ones that allow them to essentially make up numbers on balance sheets, the ones that allow the financial institutions to vastly overleverage themselves, to hide the very facts people in the market need in order to make rational decisions about the market.

And no, I don’t believe people are entirely rational, and our laws must deal with that, or they will not produce the desired results.

Freedom, in old times, was not this vague concept of being untethered by obligations. It was the liberty you were permitted because you met certain obligations to society.

I believe in a kind of gentle-yoke approach to one’s obligations to society. I don’t believe we can regulate something within an inch of its life and achieve our desired results. The structure of regulation, of rights and obligations must deal with the real world, a world where not everyting simply runs to the marching orders of a central office.

But in dealing with the real world, it must recognize that not every liberty you allow people comes to a constructive result, and not all tendencies that emerge of systems of people left alone come to good ends.

The problem, as I see it, is that people get wrapped up in the defense of political positions, and quit looking at problems from a standpoint of actual, workable solutions. Max Baucus is getting a lot of grief for this from our party, because his approach to bipartisanship has, overall, created a pretty lousy bill. Parts are good, but his main focus seemed to be just to get concessions.

We have to stop looking at politics as just this land of make-believe and argument. Elections and laws have consequences, and if what comes of either aren’t good ones, people will reject those bearing them.

My folks understand this, and so do I. It’s what I told the Republicans before their defeats. The plain and simple truth, in my belief, is that good governance is ultimately better for everybody concerned, party, country, planet, people, than spin and apologetics, partisan scapegoating, and butt-covering.

If you look at the Liberal sites, you will see an intense interest in the successful passage of good legislation and the commitment to good results. People like me saw Bush, Clinton and others only make things worse trying to satisfy political and ideological concerns first and foremost, rather than deal with practical things properly. Bush especially did this, the Conservative media enabling Bush to get away with behavior it should have been calling him on.

I would tell you now, the Republicans would be far better off if they had kept their people accountable, rather than support them unquestioningly to avoid Democratic Party wins. Only responsible government endures best.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2009 8:55 PM
Comment #288415

Rhinehold:

Ok, I’ll play, but I’m tired of blockquote tags, deal with it.

>David has. I never said you did. You need to catch up.

Nope. Sorry, but he didn’t, anymore than I did. Guilty conscience?

>I said exactly the opposite, that they aren’t diametrically opposed.

>And you are wrong. It’s nothing to be ashamed about.

So I see, you lied about my position to make your argument? Interesting admission. That may be something to have shame about.

I think the English was quite plain in the sentence I quoted. It may not have been you intent, but it was there in black and white, not to get racial about it:)

>Because the Progressive movement is opposed to the views of individual liberty (by definition)

ummm, by YOUR definition, not any standard definition. If we can all apply our individual definitions, it makes this quite a slippery game doesn’t it?

>Oh dear god will you PLEASE quit doing that.

I will when you stop equating progressives with collectivism and anti liberty. You don’t get it both ways. Apparently, Ignorance is a widely distributed commodity.

>How freaking hard is that to understand? Seriously, quit being so obtuse.

Not hard, it’s just the way you define rights and infringement. It’s, overly literal, and kind of obtuse. Seriously.

Hmmm, I always thought that “minimize” and “dwindling” kind of expressed similar ideas. My bad. But thanks for juxtaposing those words. I think you just made my point.

I have never thought of truth telling as despicable, inspite of your insight into what is going on. Isn’t that the same argument I just made about what the Republicans and Fox are ginning up? I guess YOUR insight is valid, while mine and Jimmie’s is despicable. Interesting.

>Yes, we have moved away from a country founded on the ideals of individual liberty and moved towards more of a police state with the ‘Seal of Good Intentions’ emblazoned upon the uniform.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Zeig Heil! I know, Obama is a Nazi communist. Nothing extreme in that statement.

You know what Jefferson would think? Really?

Name one thing that would please Jefferson?

Acceptance of interracial sex? :)
My guess would be horticulture and science.

Do I think the founders would accept Police barging into homes? Yes, to stop serious crime.
No, when they screw up and end up getting fired, jailed, or dealt with in the Justice system in some meaningful way. Wait.,but isn’t that part of what the founder’s set up? Not a perfect world, but a judicial system to deal with torts.

Are we having Nazi visions of black helicopters?

Now that we’ve had dueling rants, please explain why you cannot admit that some of the people protesting, are stirred up by racist rhetoric. It’s a long way to go for such a simple thing.


Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 10:26 PM
Comment #288416

Rhinehold,

I never protested against Bush, so I’m not sure the opponent thing works with me, but I agree that most of the signs at the Tea Party weren’t racist.

If I were organizing a protest and had racists show up, I’d at least ask them to tone it down for the cause, whatever exactly that was. I was never quite sure if it was to promote Fox news or
lower taxes or Voodoo. It mostly reminded me of the Seattle WTO nonsense.

I did and do think Bush was a crappy president.

Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #288417

Rhinehold:

>If someone says that the tea party protests are racist.

Except I didn’t say that. I said a lot of the all white crowd was likely stirred up by racist rhetoric.

That’s the problem with crowds, you get a lot of idiots.

I was against most of the protests in the 60’s and seventies. I thought most of the people there had no idea what they were talking about.

The March on Washington in 1963 was notably different.

Posted by: gergle at September 21, 2009 10:39 PM
Comment #288419

Rhinehold said: “BTW, you say that you didn’t call me racist. “

No one here, in my read of the comments verbatim, has called you a racist, Rhinehold. I personally questioned the motives of some of your comments. If you read racist attacks into others comments where they have not called you a racist, it opens the door to the possibility of ‘protesting too much’, to paraphrase Shakespeare.

This is a difference I often see between many conservatives and myself. I will question the assumptions of their arguments, they will interpret those questions as declarations about them. But, since no declarations were made about them, it becomes clear the declarations are of their own invention and interpretation, which may say more about them, and nothing about the person they falsely and wrongly attribute such declarations towards.

To interpret oneself into a defensive posture in a debate is neither persuasive nor a winning tactic or strategy. I recommend learning a bit of the Socratic dialectic as a means of improving debate skills and protecting oneself from self-baited debate traps. To interpret what others say and then declare they said what you interpreted is a guaranteed loser where debate is concerned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #288421

Rhinehold said: “Name one thing that would please him because I understand what Jefferson thought and it was that he most likely would have been calling for a revolution after watching 30 minutes of CSPAN.”

My, my. What an indefensible statement. You say you understand what Jefferson thought? Explain his being a slave owner and against slavery, then, please. To understand implies being able to figuratively stand in another person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. Your comments can’t seem to even grasp an understanding of the Constitution which Jefferson wrote, positing unenumerable rights as inviolable by design of the framers of the Constitution, DESPITE the framer’s provisions for amendment and even a provision for getting rid of the Constitution entirely through Article V. A thing cannot be inviolable if it is also dispensable by the will of the majority, Rhinehold.

As for what might please Jefferson, how about:

Civil Rights

Our having become a nation no other nation can rationally contemplate invading and taking over.

The vast array of consumer choice and freedom of consumer choice in the market place, not to mention the many wonderful inventions which our history has directed us toward.

Mass communication technology as enhancing of the democratic dialogue and informative and educational nature for the public.

Medical technology and knowledge, and the contemplation of universal health care coverage.

This list could go on for pages, but, what is remarkable is your comment’s apparent inability to provide even one example. A prejudiced comment in the extreme, it would seem. To prejudge a conclusion without appropriate examination of the question set forth, is commonplace, but, rarely fruitful as an approach to debate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2009 3:13 PM
Comment #288477

Contary to the apparent position of some here, I’n not an idiot and I know when someone is trying to assert that I am a racist. The fact that you can’t man up and own what you said speaks to you, not me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2009 4:01 PM
Comment #288499

Consistent with the opinion of many here I AM an idiot, but I’m not wrong on this count.:)

Posted by: gergle at September 25, 2009 11:39 PM
Comment #288561

Is there a moderator or someone to declare a winning side at the end of a string of these arguments?

If not… then I don’t understand David’s reference to learning how to win a debate? David never typed the words “Rhinehold, I think you are a racist” and so therefore, he has never called you one.

Apparently, there is no such thing as implication on this website. If I read these threads often, and hear of Watchblog banning people from this site for attacking the messenger instead of the message - then shouldn’t David be at least counseled for saying in no uncertain terms:

“I know ‘you’ long for the time when racism was rampant” - that seems to me to be directly pointed at Rhinehold, and not his comments. But perhaps I am unfamiliar with the pronoun “you.”

This wouldn’t be such an issue if David wasn’t known for banning conservative bloggers for far less obvious personal attacks than this.

Soon, there will be a self-fulfilling prophecy on this blog - David will have banned every conservative blogger who will take the time to write, and then he and Stephen can ring the victory bells “See! The conservative movement is dead, no one even posts any more, we’re right, we’re right!”

This is what happens when too much authority is given to someone with an agenda.

Posted by: frank herra at September 28, 2009 3:58 AM
Comment #288570

Frank Herra, your privileges are suspended. This kind of flame baiting in quotations is not allowed by our rules.

I said, and I quote: “I know you are fond of longing for the past of a pure and pristine Constitution with only 10 Amendments, but, that same Constitution held that Blacks were not entitled to vote nor even rights of whole citizenship.”

Which you perverted into a flame baiting comment, and I quote: ““I know ‘you’ long for the time when racism was rampant””

What you say was said, WAS NEVER SAID, and your using quotes to misappropriate what was said is both a lie, and flame baiting, earning you the distinction of having your participation cancelled here.

Posted by: WatchBlog Manager at September 28, 2009 10:34 AM
Comment #288572

Rhinehold, no one can be held responsible for how another person INTERPRETS what was actually said.

No ONE called you a racist. Take the following comment of mine to you: “I know you are fond of longing for the past of a pure and pristine Constitution with only 10 Amendments, but, that same Constitution held that Blacks were not entitled to vote nor even rights of whole citizenship.”

Do You Know What The Word BUT means? Look it up, it means however, indicating an exception. You have made references in the past to desiring a return to the original intents of the founding fathers regarding the Constitution. I will pull your quotes, if you like.

My use of the word ‘but’ above, points out that slavery was also original intent in our Constitution, and my comment has only one logical interpretation which is: Preferring a return to the original Constitutional intents carries with it inescapably, the consequence of also returning to its original weaknesses and what we consider today to be morally and ethically inferior proscriptions.

The point being, you cannot have it both ways, a return to the original intents and to argue one accepts all the law and amendments which changed those original intents over the last couple hundred years. It is a logical inconsistency, and that was what my comment was referring to. NOWHERE in my comment do I call you a racist or attempt to label you such.

If that shoe fits, however; wear it. I have no clue what your shoe size is and don’t pretend to. Only you can make that determination.

I understand being defensive about misappropriations. It is less understandable when folks get defensive over machinations of their own creation, due to such activities as jumping to conclusions, misreading or misunderstanding what was said, or a general case of illiteracy, amongst other potential causes.

I never thought, and still don’t think, you are a racist, but that is irrelevant to this discussion, since no one called you a racist. Your commentaries however, sometimes parallel arguments which some racist groups make. The Neo Nazi’s for example, also argue for a return to the original intents of the White Colonialists to grant citizenship in America only to White persons, which our original Constitution also proscribed. Hence, when you make comments about original Constitutional intent, you must be very careful to specify which original intents, because slavery and discrimination based on race was also an original Constitutional intent. A pure and simple fact of history, Rhinehold.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 28, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #288641

Do You Know What The Word BUT means? Look it up, it means however, indicating an exception.

You have made references in the past to desiring a return to the original intents of the founding fathers regarding the Constitution. I will pull your quotes, if you like.

Please do because not only have I never stated such a thing, I have made many many references to the amendment process as being the only means to modify the constitution. Why would I make that statement if I didn’t want to honor the amendments?

Which is why I do not understand your assertion that I want to go back to the ‘original constitution’. It has never been my position. So either you purposely misrepresented my view on the subject to make a specific point OR you really just never read what I write or understand any view other than the ones you ascribe to others.

I guess I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you know what you were talking about. You are making the case that you really just don’t have a real clue…

The point being, you cannot have it both ways, a return to the original intents and to argue one accepts all the law and amendments which changed those original intents over the last couple hundred years. It is a logical inconsistency, and that was what my comment was referring to. NOWHERE in my comment do I call you a racist or attempt to label you such.

By asserting that if someone is wanting to go back to the ‘original constitution’ then they are accepting their racist views in the process. The attempt is either to label them as racist for those views OR to scare someone out of their views by saying that they are racist if they continue to view them. In other words, exactly what I was talking about in my article, using the Race card.

As you say, if the she fits, wear it.

Your commentaries however, sometimes parallel arguments which some racist groups make. The Neo Nazi’s for example, also argue for a return to the original intents of the White Colonialists to grant citizenship in America only to White persons, which our original Constitution also proscribed. Hence, when you make comments about original Constitutional intent, you must be very careful to specify which original intents, because slavery and discrimination based on race was also an original Constitutional intent. A pure and simple fact of history, Rhinehold.

LOL, “I’m not calling you a racist, but you sure sound like one…” I love it.

David, accepting for a second that you weren’t making an inferrence that my views were racist (which I see as being the same as calling someone racist, the try to suggest there is a difference is just taking the piss IMO), you are now saying that I should be concerned about ‘arguments that parallel arguments made by racist groups’. You do realize that this is like saying that since neo-nazis shave their heads (skinheads) that anyone who goes through the process to shave their heads are paralleling those skinheads and should not be surprised when someone mistakes them for one! Instead of simply aruging the view or arguments on their merit, you accept it as being ok to lump those who have a specific view in with others who share that view even though those views themselves are not racist.

It’s a very good example of the point of my article.

So we either have a situation where you are trying to lump my views in with racists to either get me to accept my views as invalid to avoid being labelled a racist myself or accept that I must have some racist views since I keep making these arguments. Neither are correct, neither are acceptable and are either misguided and unfair (trying to ‘scare me’ off of my views) or worse (calling me a racist).

So, again, if the shoe fits…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 29, 2009 1:58 PM
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