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November 03, 2005

Comments

Can't see repeating the image as productive, regardless of the merits of the argument (I disapprove of the original article, don't think it's all that though.)

Mmhm. I said the same thing at Gilliard's -- whatever the point being made, I'm reading this at work and that picture is about as much of a problem to have on my monitor as a nude would be.

He or she is ex-communicated from the Church of Liberal Left Wing Thought and rightfully subject to any form of withering hate.

you can't be stereotyping... that would be too ironic.

These two were staffers of Charles Schumer, the very Senator who is championing for expanded privacy rights and against identity theft

right, were. then they were shown the door, and the FBI is investigating.

Because implicit in all these attacks is the notion that, because a person is black, he or she must hold to certain political beliefs.

this is completely at-odds with the "nuke all the arabs" talk i hear every day from conservatives. that's not to say you're insincere, just that i don't think everyone who shares your voting habits shares your race-blind approach.

and, yeah, what LB said about the NSFW image.

and, where did that image come from ?

Two things: first, I too deplore the image and think that such things are beyond the pale (though I too can't see why you'd bother repeating it).

Second, this is completely backwards and therefore completely wrong:

From these attacks, the unspoken illogic by the Left is this: Because we liberals disagree with conservative and Republican policies toward descendants of American slaves, these platforms are "anti-black".

No. Because we regard conservative and Republican policies as "anti-black", we disagree with them. The valuation comes first, not the ideological labelling. It doesn't help, too, that most of the white nationalist/KKK/Confederate Pride/whatever groups identify with (and are often embraced by) the Republicans. That's the ongoing legacy of the Southern Strategy, Charles, and it's got nothing to do with African Americans being shallowminded or Democrats slapping down the race card, it has to do with the bedfellows (or, to use Tacitus' most favored phrase, "fellow travellers") of the GOP. Meaningfully repudiate that element and I don't doubt that GOP numbers will rise among African Americans...

...but that would probably drop the GOP's total numbers, I doubt that's going to happen.

[And it's hardly unspoken or illogic, since this gets explained approximately twice a month of liberal blogs alone.]

Also, this is just laughable:

Consider also the power and influence that black Republicans (few as they are) do have, which is substantial.

No, seriously. You actually believe this? That's priceless. Next, you'll be telling me that the GOP totally isn't a party of white Christians!

And finally, since I should probably stop right about now:

* Calling Chuck Schumer "Chuckaquiddick" is supposed to accomplish what, exactly?

* Chuck Schumer did not, as far as one can tell, give Steele "special attention", as you'd know if you'd bother to read your own cite:

Schumer, chairman of the campaign committee, reported their actions to the U.S. attorney in Washington within hours of the alleged violation, say officials familiar with the case.

It's incredibly hard to take a post like this seriously -- and that's unfortunate, because there's stuff in here that deserves to be taken seriously -- when it contains throwaway effluvia like that.

Oh, one last thing:

Ask any other former Democrat who rejected his or her party and went to the other side.

Really? Want to talk about any former Republican who repudiated their party and went to the other side? Hell, want to talk about the treatment given to Republicans who repudiated only their president, or maybe his favored war?

Because we liberals disagree with conservative and Republican policies toward descendants of American slaves, these platforms are "anti-black".....

What complete bollocks. The reasoning is as follows:
1. The great moral question of the last 50 to 100 years was the question of civil rights for African-Americans.
2. A significant portion of Southern Democrats failed that test.
3. Those Southern Democrats, in effort at solemnizing their enormous moral mistake, joined the Republican Party.
4. The Republican Party, to its enormous discredit, turned the machinery of the party over to these Southern Republicans, so that most of the leadership (Gingrich, Bush, Lott, Frist, Helm's recent comments on the civil rights movement, etc.) is Southern.
5. Mehlmenic claims to the contrary, there is plenty of evidence that Southern Republicans have not changed their minds much on racial politics (see McCain and SC, SC generally, Lott's long historical association with questionable groups, etc.)

6. Therefore, any positive claim made to African-Americans by Republicans is rightly viewed with suspicion.
7. An African-American running as a Republican is, by itself, understood as such a positive claim. See various commentary on Rice and/or Steele by conservatives.

8. There is a long tradition of people claiming membership in a group for electoral benefit, then acting against that group. There is a longer tradition of people belonging to a group and acting to deny that group benefits for personal gain. (See, e.g., Mehleman, Drier, etc.)

9. Some African-Americans apparently want to make clear that simple membership in a group is not necessarily a sufficient guarantee that a person won't act against that group's interests, particularly where that person is working under the aegis of people who are traditionally hostile to the group. (I think you've made similar arguments about Scott Ritter, American).

Riddle me this, Joker: where's the illogic? Being unhappy that your party has been called on it's traditions and policies is not an argument.

(I'm not comfortable with the image, but I'm not African-American; I'm not supposed to be comfortable with the image.)

"Are Racially Tinged Attacks on Michael Steele Fair Game?

The attacks are not fair, and it's not a game."

Whoops, asked and answered: thread's over.

Are Posts Written As Questions That Are Only Asked Rhetorically Asked, Actually Asking Questions?

Apparently not.

Whoops, there's a whole 'nother potential thread come and gone.

I had the same feelings as Anarch did:

It's incredibly hard to take a post like this seriously -- and that's unfortunate, because there's stuff in here that deserves to be taken seriously -- when it contains thrwaway effluvia like that.

If your story wasn't peppered with "Known Facts" like the one about the credit report and the standard Democratss don't have any plans talking point it would be worthy of a serious discussion.

I like Charles' strategy here: Don't win the war by doing anything positive to improve black people's lives or win their votes; win it by blaming black Democrats for everything! Wheeeeeeeee!

"If Michael Steele gets the nod from Maryland voters, he will automatically gain national prominence, and he will have the ability to influence legislation that Barack Obama could only hope to have."

I'm sure you can get J. C. Watts to vouch for that. And Colin Powell.

I assume your explanation for the fact that President Bush and national Republicans can't crack out of single-digit support from many dark-skinned people is that those voters are all willfully blind to their own interests? Oh, and mislead by their "leaders," and too dumb to realize it?

If I have that wrong, please do supply your own explanation.

Oh: I disapprove of using blackface imagery, whoever does it. I Denounce It! Sternly!

Charles, I've just read Brad Plumer's post. You need to reread it, with attention to the conditional. It doesn't say what you appear to think it says. Attention to what "a good starting place for discussion" is might also be useful. (I've not read Oliver Willis's, but I often have a different perspective from him, which is why I've never blogrolled him.)

Plumer: "When it comes down to it, I don't think throwing Oreos at a politician—as Morgan State students did to Steele in 2002—is ever that productive. That's just me. But conservatives are calling it "racist". The trouble is that everyone seems to mean something different by the word. So..."

Yep, that's sure agreeing and applauding, all right.

Conservatives and Republicans must also be racist by association, therefore, any black who joins this party is racially treasonous and no longer a black person.

This has been argued before, and the answer is always "I don't see most black people calling Colin Powell a traitor to his race."

I note that what prompted Gilliard's admittedly line-crossing image manipulation is completely ignored in Charles' post: Robert Ehrlich held a fundraiser at an all-white country club, Steele was invited to comment, and said he didn't see anything wrong with Ehrlich campaigning at an all-white country club.

And it's somehow surprising that other black people would find this contemptuous? "Racially treasonous", even? Steele is apologizing for his boss pandering to racism. If I were black I'd be utterly disgusted with him.

I should add as a caveat that nothing I've read from Steve Gilliard convinces me that he is a man of much insight or reason. Or much else, really.

well, if it's war, then all's fair, n'est-ce pas?

more seriously, if republicans want to win the black vote, then they should, you know, take actions necessary to win the black vote. (as Napolean said about war, if you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.)

Or, more to the point, if you want race to play less of a role in politics, so black americans do not then form an effective political bloc simply by the color of their skin (and act accordingly toward people who betray the interests of that bloc), go ahead. But you've got a hell of a lot more work to do within your party. Witness the impacts of Hurricane Katrina.

if not, have some cheese with that whine.

Can't see repeating the image as productive, regardless of the merits of the argument

Agreed.

First of all, Even though Gary doesn't like it, I appreciate the question mark in the title. However, I think you should rethink the "Chuckaquiddick" remark, as it is not only tasteless, but worse than that, isn't even original.

Of course, the Cella redstate post has this
The civility that makes public life tolerable does not, it seems, extend to them[i.e. black conservatives].
which has me wonder if his definition of civility is rooted in using Latinate vocabulary.

I would suggest that this is a question within the black political community, and if you aren't black, weighing in is a bit perilous, though I know that won't stop Paul Cella or you.

As for the credit report thing, the two staffers resigned and the FBI is investigating. Perhaps Rove could learn something from that example? And I hope we can grant those as yet unindicted staffers the same kind of presumption of innocence that many on the right want to grant the indicted Libby.

And Anarch pointed this out, but
Consider also the power and influence that black Republicans (few as they are) do have, which is substantial.

has me remember JC Watts, which is probably more than the Republicans do. (doh! Gary beat me to that one)

One last thing
4. The Republican Party, to its enormous discredit, turned the machinery of the party over to these Southern Republicans, so that most of the leadership (Gingrich, Bush, Lott, Frist, Helm's recent comments on the civil rights movement, etc.) is Southern.

The black exodus from the Republican party occurred after Hoover (who was Sec of Commerce), authorized and then suppressed a report by Robert Russa Moten on the 1927 Mississippi flood link

and i doubt that Mr. Cella is going to have much credibility among the lib/moderate readers here. He's about as thoughtful in his analysis of his political opponents as you are, CB.

"Oh: I disapprove of using blackface imagery, whoever does it. I Denounce It! Sternly!"

As a Democrat (ya know, it still hurts to say that, voted libertarian for twenty years) I was not about to tell David Frum or Bainbridge or the Red Staters how politely or not they should have handled the Miers controversy. As a white man, I am not in a position to tell blacks what they can say to each other. I definitely accept Gilliard and Willis as more authoritative on racial politics than Charles.

And the voting and poll patterns of 90+ percent are astonishing and critical. The Republican Party of the early 1900s was not flaming socialist, yet got a majority of black vote. No culture can concievably become that uniform...we have plenty of black millionaires...without compelling cause.

Charles,
I was following you through most of your post, when you were decrying the partisan tactics and trying to rise above the kind of identity politics being used against Steele (I agree that the blackface imagery was wrong, though I don't agree with some of your other claims, especially after seeing the comments). Then I got to your last paragraph, where it appears that your whole argument falls apart as you fall right back down into a direct argument with Gilliard. One of your main points was that different black people have different political views, so why should blacks care if this black politician is elected? The substantive point that Gilliard was trying to make, in his own "colorful" way, was that electing Steele would not help black people's voices to be heard. Steele does not represent them. You deny this, apparently based on nothing more than the color of Steele's skin. Despite your heartfelt opposition to the offensive symbols that Gilliard is using, you are debating him on his terms: would the election of a Republican black like Steele be a "victory" for any significant portion of black America? You say yes, he says no.

What's more, your last paragraph is practically conceding that the Republican party, in its current form, does not represent the perspective of (most) black people. You assume that if the Republicans got a few more black people to vote for them and a few more blacks elected to office in their party, then this would change. What kinds of changes are you expecting? Anything of substance? I would think that the political party should make the first move, reaching out to the voters in a way that speaks to their ideology and their concerns, and then increasing portions of the population would vote their way.

The image is wrong, and race-baiting sucks no matter who does it. But I love this nonsense:

The real problem the Democrats have is that without near-unanimous support from African Americans, the party is that much more of a shell.

I always love this racist argument, as if black votes somehow don't count as much. Those perfidious Dems relying on black votes.

There are very profound reasons why blacks vote 90% Democratic -- for decades, they perceive Republican policies as against their interests and tinged with racism. Reagan set the standard in 1980 by kicking off his campaign in Oxford, Mississippi. Don't think blacks got the hint, too?

You can wring your hands and say it isn't true, but your own post carries this weird Republican bias about black votes somehow not being as real. So don't expect to get them.

And your logic applies to the religious right just as it applies to blacks -- the Repubclian party, toadies to the wealthy, would go nowhere if not for the support of the religious right. I guess that makes Repubs illegitimate, since the party keeps side-stepping the religious right agenda while taking the support. If anything, Dems have done a lot more for this part of their base than Repubs.

This is a deeply dishonest (or perhaps just a very poorly researched) post.

"This bigotry is exemplified by the op-editors at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who basically wrote that Clarence Thomas wasn't really black "because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America".

The op-editors said nothing about Thomas "really being Black". Their point was about diversity on the court, and no matter what you think of Thomas as a person or a jurist, I can't imagine anyone who thinks he represents 'the views of mainstream black america'.

This bigotry is exemplified by Kweisi Mfume when he excused these detestable attacks by saying that Steele's opponents were just "pointing out the obvious". Mfume should be asked to spell out what that "obvious" is, because to me it looks like he agrees with other demagogues that Steele is an Uncle Tom, an oreo and a traitor to his race.

What Mfume said, from the washtimes article you cite:

"But Kweisi Mfume, who is running for senator, yesterday outright condemned the comments by his fellow black Democrats.
"Racially tinged attacks have no place in this campaign for U.S. Senate," said Mr. Mfume, who has chided his party's lack of support for his campaign. "If they did, I could very well be the object of public racial humiliation, based on my skin color, by people who don't like my politics."
"Black bigotry can be just as cruel and evil as white bigotry. There are too many bigots in too many places," Mr. Mfume said, repeating a common refrain from his speeches."

There are similar sentiments expressed by the vast majority of people mentioned in the washtimes article... for some reason, however, they are not included in this post.
What Willis said about the Sambo photo:

"The only thing I hate as much as right-wing cons is dumb Democrats, and when folks on the left do dumb things like Steve Gilliard did here - it pisses me off."

Willis' other point (the one you link to) about it not being racist to point out that Steele supports policies that are harmful to many of the black people in that state, or that he gives cover to things like the Gov speaking at a "white's only" club is valid, in my opinion.

And one can go on and on. Gilliard is a flame thrower who winds up offending women, gays, liberals, conservatives, etc... that's his schtick. The Sambo photo was pretty widely condemned by those on the left, although some felt it was entirely appropriate, as Gilliard is black (I don't agree).

Anyway, this post is just silly, dishonest and largely inaccurate.

A few weeks ago, there was a general pile-on on CB for something or other, and a discussion about whether ObiWi was any place for a self-respecting conservative anymore. Things got kind of ugly - ugly enough to alarm some of us.

A few people, myself included, apologized for anything personally nasty (as opposed to politically nasty) we had said or might have said to this community's conservatives. "Please stay," I said.

But this post is the straw that broke the camel's back for me. It's so thoroughly dishonest, smarmy, and devoid of anything resembling actual mentation that reading it is like overdosing on toxic cotton candy.

Enough! There are conservatives in the blogworld who are perfectly well capable of stating their views without recourse to juvenalia ("Chuckaquiddick"?!), distortions of the record, and rhetorical grotesqueries.

I implore ObiWi to go find them and invite them to be posters here; and let Charles concentrate on posting at Tacitus and Red State.

When Gov. Ehrlich held a fundraiser at an all-white Maryland golf club, Steele blew off the incident, saying he had no opinion on if the location was appropriate. "I don't know that much about the club, the membership, nor do I care, quite frankly, because I don't play golf. It's not an issue with me." According to the Baltimore Sun, "Elkridge, Baltimore's oldest country club, has forfeited a state tax exemption for nearly 30 years rather than disclose its membership roster to demonstrate that it's not restrictive. But members and former officers have confirmed to The Sun that the club has never had a black member in its 127-year history." [AP, 7/5/05; Baltimore Sun Editorial, 7/7/05]

Maybe if Ehrlich had a lawn jockey ornament, Steele could describe it as "an excellent antique and investment." All in all, a crystal-clear portent of the enormous influence he's likely to have should he be elected as U.S. Senator.

btw, the WaPo asked that Gilliard take down the image because it used a WaPo copyrighted image, which he did. You should do the same, unless you feel the mileage you get from the image is worth breaking the law.

Reagan set the standard in 1980 by kicking off his campaign in Oxford, Mississippi. Don't think blacks got the hint, too?

Right state, wrong atrocity. It was at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadephia, Miss., site of the recent Killen trial for the murder of those 3 northern kids whose names I can never remember (see what an unconscious racist I am).

The fair has long before the murders, and down to the present, been the place for Miss. politicos to meet and greet and harangue the masses. So if you're campaigning for anything, that's the place to do it. I seem to recall Dukakis or somesuch speaking there too.

As to Sending a Message, maybe, but then you have to assume that no one outside Mississippi would come here except to be a racist. Which impresses me about as much as Steve Gilliard's nasty little Photoshop exercise.

As I recall, Reagan also used the code phrase "state's rights" at that fair.

I have to agree with Charles. Even if you honestly believe the platform of the GOP is anti-African American or whatever, it doesn't give you the right to assert a motivation behind someone within that group who embraces that platform overall. God knows I don't support each and every aspect of the Democratic platform either. I make a choice, based on the least of two evils, imo.

I've been guilty of similar responses to gays who voted for Bush...wanting nothing more than to believe that they're self-loathing and treacherous, but that actually cuts across my dreams for the future, where one's color or religion or orientation is not as important as ones progressive or conservative stance...where such a stance is independent of demographics and indicative merely of personal philosphy.*

Besides, considering how different the world was when I was growing up (racial tensions so high that it's difficult to imagine the universal respect just paid to Rosa Parks 30 years ago), I'm actually tickled pink to see an African American or Gay American join the GOP. Perhaps, if their platform truly is oppressive toward those groups, they'll be able to affect change from the inside.

Either way, in America you're free to join whichever party you wish. Anyone who has a problem with that is free to emigrate.

*Which doesn't mean I don't think the GOP is wicked, mind you, just that Americans are fee to choose the wicked GOP, if they like. ;-P

As I recall, Reagan also used the code phrase "state's rights" at that fair.

The trouble is that "states' rights" is both a code word AND a genuinely held, even arguable position. That's what makes it a code word, I guess.

The overlap of "states'-rights advocates" and "racists" doubtless exists, but I would guess there are some racially enlightened states-rights folks, and even racists who would like a strong federal government (the better to oppress those nonwhites, no doubt).

Edward: I agree with Charles that attacking black Republicans just for being black Republicans is wrong. I might agree with Charles about some specifics, and then again I might not, if I had any idea what specific quotes he was objecting to, what context they were made in, or even where I could find them. But he doesn't do us the courtesy of letting us know this so that we could decide for ourselves whether, for instance, what Kweisi Mfume actually said, so that we could decide whether Charles' characterization of him is accurate. (And using names like 'Chuckaquiddick' doesn't help instill confidence: is there some connection between Schumer and Chappaquiddick that makes this make sense? Or is it just random abuse hurled for its own sake?)

If I want to take this post seriously and even consider trying to respond to it, I have to do a whole bunch of research, trying to figure out what on earth Charles is talking about. I don't think that writing posts in that way is particularly productive.

Francis, I disagree about putting CB in the same sentence as Paul Cella, who has opinions that frighten me. I think CB is trying to be on the side of the angels who didn't take the train to tarnation. Maybe his rhetorical methods irk me on occasion, but there are some good comments above and, modulo having that picture up, that's a sufficient raison d'être for a post.

Everyone seems to have hit the high and the low points.

That leaves me with the middling points.

If Steele in fact defended Ehrlich's campaign stop at the all-white country club, what conclusion am I permitted to reach regarding Steele in this new bizarro world of inside-out political correctness? May I inquire about Steele's public policy views on segregation in all private (including business) settings? One needn't be Al Jolson to ask, why ONLY country clubs, for example?
Or does Steele believe that even patrons of segregated venues deserve tax breaks?

And, what about Ronald Reagan's kick-off whistle stop in Oxford, Mississippi (thank you, dmbeaster)? What did that signify? Whom was to receive the signals? Or, did Reagan and his handlers throw darts at a map? When was the map drawn? 1953? 1931? 1859? I've tried to keep an open mind on this matter for nigh 26 years -- and I voted for the mo fo (sorry, but see, I bet no one can tell whether I'm black or white, now, right?) in 1980. That's O.K., I cut that hand off in, oh, June of 1981. Someone, please, preferably the author of this post, tell me what to think about this visit to Oxford! What, the military cemetary on Guam was booked?

As to Paul Cella --very eloquent guy -- but one does quiver in anticipation of his reaction to the turban-coiffed caricature of Barack Obama (and it rhymes!)over at Redstate in 2016 when Obama visits a religiously segregated mosque during his presidential campaign. I'll brush up on my Latin. Well, that would be buying hypocrisy forward, so stow it, John.

I will say this though. Charles and Jackmormon are in cahoots trying to revitalize the "Hating on Charles Bird" site. :) (that's a generic smiley face not a minstrel smiley face, or as Archie Bunker might call it, a menstrual smiley face).

And just for the record, I thought Billy Crystal was pretty funny when he did Sammy Davis Jr. breakdancing on SNL, even though it is unfortunate that Mr. Davis realigned his political persuasion just for the lower taxes. Did he? I don't know.

Edward, I think that last post of yours cuts both ways. If blacks shouldn't be condemned for voting Republican, why should Charles condemn them for voting Democrat, which he seems to do?
I forget where I read it, but someone pointed out earlier this year that "voting against their own self-interest" is the standard critique of any group that seems solidly aligned with one party or the other. The working class, if they had any sense, would vote Democrat. Blacks would be smarter to vote Republican. Jews should vote Republican. Religious conservatives should stop voting Republican (on the grounds the Republicans will give them lip service, but little hard-core service).
Whether it's because they're duped or because they like the sentiments enough to ignore the actions, presumably everyone has their reasons.

Anderson, Reagan would have been on firmer ground if he'd made his state's rights case in some other part of the country, rather than in the town that had seen civil rights workers murdered in the name of state's rights. There's a teensy little bit of history behind the phrase in the South. I was living in Memphis in 1980 and I can safely say that a very large fraction of the white people I knew there who were Reagan voters were also white racists.

Anderson, Reagan would have been on firmer ground if he'd made his state's rights case in some other part of the country, rather than in the town that had seen civil rights workers murdered in the name of state's rights. There's a teensy little bit of history behind the phrase in the South.

As I acknowledged. "Federalism" is probably the more respectable name, though for that reason also a "code word." In 1980, I don't think that "federalism" meant much to folks.

I was living in Memphis in 1980 and I can safely say that a very large fraction of the white people I knew there who were Reagan voters were also white racists.

Oh, certainly. But that doesn't help with the stereotyping. What inferences would I want to draw from the proportion of poor blacks to poor whites? You see the problem.

My point, if there is one any more, is probably that if there are substantive reasons to question Reagan's views on race and his relations with racist voters, then those reasons suffice without citing the Neshoba speech; and if there aren't, then the Neshoba speech is not worth citing.

"3 northern kids whose names I can never remember (see what an unconscious racist I am)."

I can always reel off "Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney," at the least. I can sometimes remember "Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Earl Chaney," but often I'll miss one or two of the first/middle names. Ditto not forgetting Philadelphia, Ms., but there's always a first time.

I recall seeing a long and impassioned defense from a Reagan supporter explaining that Reagan never had racial history on his mind in the slightest in choosing that place for his 1980 campaign kick-off because it's the Big State Fair that was why Reagan went there, and the only reason.

Assuming arguendo that were so, I would think one would also have to assume that either a) Reagan's people also had good reason to believe the rest of the country would take it that way, the Fair being So Very Very Very Famous; or b) um, I dunno. Certainly that it didn't matter what people elsewhere associated that otherwise unknown (more than 100 miles away, anyway) town with.

Oh, wait, I'm replying to the same argument; I hadn't even gotten that far....

I certainly don't expect that Philadelphia, MS. should have been torn down after 1964 (although it might have been a good start), nor the whosis Fair moved or stopped, but if folks around there think the rest of the country will associate the name with something else, well, I'm sure that will happen sooner than it will with, say, Gettysburg, PA., but not hugely sooner. Atrocities have a way of causing that effect.

Check the picture of this McDonalds ad at a train station for a place with a similar, if larger-scale, image problem.

"...been the place for Miss. politicos to meet and greet and harangue the masses. So if you're campaigning for anything, that's the place to do it."

Perfectly reasonable. When you want to kick of a campaign speaking, however, to the nation, and the other 49 States, if you don't think you're saying something else, you're deluding yourself, at the very least. Wishes ain't horses.

If you picked the corner of Randolph and Desplaines Streets , in Chicago, you'd probably also have an image problem and some questions about what your choice suggested, I suspect.

Anderson:

Philadelphia not Oxford. Got it.

States rights a code phrase and a legitimate, genuine position? Got it.

Dukakis went, too? What, the Fabian Society was booked?

Sorry, Charles' knee jerked, then Dmbeaster's knee jerked, then my knee jerked before I saw your knee jerking and hitting me right in the chin.

Chain reaction.

why should Charles condemn them for voting Democrat, which he seems to do?

I didn't read it that way. Do you mean this bit:

The real problem the Democrats have is that without near-unanimous support from African Americans, the party is that much more of a shell. The real travesty is that blacks are monolithically aligned with a party that is out of majority power, and Democratic party leaders have no workable strategy to get that power back.

Other than Charles' remarkably unprescient implied predictions about 2006, I don't disagree with this actually and I don't see it as a condemnation, but rather an observation that bears consideration.

I wrote a post before the last election more or less agreeing with Charles' next line:

If blacks were more evenly represented in both parties, there would be a greater chance for their voices to be heard.

It's too easy to take a group for granted if they have no where else to turn, and that does leave them then with no one at all listening to them. The best thing for blacks would be to have strong representation in both parties, IMO. So that neither party could afford to take them for granted.

There are minorities that the GOP comes right out and expresses animosity toward in their platform (gays, for example) and so it makes less sense for them to support that platform, but the GOP is actively inviting blacks to join. Yes the GOP also actively invites the sorts of people who belong to racist country clubs, but, again, if you wait for the party with the perfect platform, you'll never vote. When Condoleeza Rice is running for President and that country club is bypassed for a campaign stop, they'll get their rewards.

But all of this still comes back to whether its appropriate to label a black American an "Uncle Tom" just because he believes the GOP is the party for him. I say it's not.

"My point, if there is one any more, is probably that if there are substantive reasons to question Reagan's views on race and his relations with racist voters, then those reasons suffice without citing the Neshoba speech; and if there aren't, then the Neshoba speech is not worth citing."

That's entirely sensible if one accepts your assumption that Reagan was only coming to the fair because it's a big local fair. I think you are utterly sincere in believing that, and I in no way in the slightest least bit imply the faintest degree of racism in your believing that, but I do expect that your local view blurs your understanding of how the rest of the country that has heard of Philadelphia, MS solely for one reason has heard of it, and why Reagan's campaign would choose to kick off a national campaign there, rather than merely make a run-of-the-mill campaign stop there. Maybe it was all innocent of Reagan's campaign, as you seem to be saying, but I'm afraid that I don't believe it for an instant. Mike Deaver and James Baker aren't that dumb, nor do they have only the local perspective.

you can't be stereotyping... that would be too ironic.

No, just to those who hold to that type of thinking, cleek.

this is completely at-odds with the "nuke all the arabs" talk i hear every day from conservatives.

Not this conservative, nor the Redstate editors.

and, where did that image come from ?

Originally from Gilliard. He photoshopped it, then later took it down after he took some flak.

That's the ongoing legacy of the Southern Strategy, Charles, and it's got nothing to do with African Americans being shallowminded or Democrats slapping down the race card, it has to do with the bedfellows

I understand that, Anarch, but then the logic is, because a southern strategy was employed thirty years ago (or because alleged racists like Trent Lott are Republicans), the party is racist etc... therefore Steele is not really black. In either case, it's still no excuse for those kinds of dirty attacks.

I'll grant you that the Chuckaquiddick quip was a little harsh. I'll cross it out.

No, seriously. You actually believe this? That's priceless.

Powell and Rice are not powerful and influential? J.C. Watts rose through the leadership ranks pretty quickly before he quit.

Robert Ehrlich held a fundraiser at an all-white country club, Steele was invited to comment, and said he didn't see anything wrong with Ehrlich campaigning at an all-white country club.

That's not the whole story. The link to the Baltimore Sun died, but there's an excerpt here.

You need to reread it, with attention to the conditional. It doesn't say what you appear to think it says.

If I misread Plumer, Gary, then I apologize, but I took his general dismissiveness (and assumptions #3 to #5) to be similar to the non-responsiveness of the Maryland Democrats in the link.

The best thing for blacks would be to have strong representation in both parties

I think I do understand what you're trying to say, but no, the "best thing for blacks" isn't necessarily to have strong representation in both parties (though the best thing for America would be to the kind of country where that were imaginable); being of a rather pale complexion myself, I hesitate to suggest what is "the best thing for blacks," but it probably lies in voting for those who have their interests at heart as individuals and as a community. Republicans are as free to make their pitch as any other party. Likewise, African-Americans are free to reject them.

This post really is Charles Bird at his most hysterical. Bigotry is ugly in anyone, but these complaints really do sound like the guys who ask "How come they can call each other "n****r" and we can't?"

"... because a southern strategy was employed thirty years ago...."

Indeed, I recall when Strom Thurmond was drummed out the party, and Jesse Helms, and then, the last of the racist Republican Senators, Trent Lott (yes, following Robert Byrd, getting that over with), and came out for discouraging use of the Confederate battle flag.

It happened back when racism was largely eliminated, wasn't it? What year-abouts was that latter, again?

"J.C. Watts rose through the leadership ranks pretty quickly before he quit."

Indeed. And what does that say? That the Republican Party was being color-blind, and rewarding him on merit? I'm sure you can find some quotes from him to that effect, right? That are credible?

I would not claim that "the Republican Party is racist," by the way, if that isn't clear. And I give some credit to the current party chair for making some efforts. Unfortunately, the party chair's job is to try to get votes, not to make policy, so his views and efforts aren't the most relevant, either.

"If I misread Plumer, Gary, then I apologize, but I took his general dismissiveness (and assumptions #3 to #5) to be similar to the non-responsiveness of the Maryland Democrats in the link."

I can requote what he said, but it's not all that long. I don't know the details of what he thinks, but what he said was "Just hash out the background assumptions. Many liberals, give or take, believe some variation of the following [...]Anyway, so much for semantics, I guess. Any of those five points would be a good starting place for discussion."

See for yourself, since you didn't do so before citing him. If you think he was endorsing "the background assumptions," reread it again, please.

Thanks muchly for the response, though. If I'm overly harsh with you, and I am a bit, it's because frustration builds up over a long period when I feel conversation with you is one-sided, that you'll post, and I'll respond with a calm point, and never hear back from you. Now, I do understand your side of the picture, and the impossibility of responding to all objections and responses when you're leapt on from eight sides, but it's also frustrating, at times, from this end as well. Which is by way of apologizing to you for sometimes waxing snotty back at you.

Their point was about diversity on the court, and no matter what you think of Thomas as a person or a jurist, I can't imagine anyone who thinks he represents 'the views of mainstream black america'.

That doesn't rehabilitate op-editors at the MJS since it displays a dismal understanding of the role of the Supreme Court, Nanette. No justice is appointed for the purpose of representing the views of "mainstream blacks" or any other group. Their calling is supposed to be a little higher than that.

What Mfume said, from the washtimes article you cite:

Actually, those quotes are not from the washtimes article I cited. Perhaps you meant another paper.

Before anyone gets into it, I should add that I, for one, have no idea what's in the heart or mind of Julius Caeser Watts, or anyone else, and that I don't see any use in anyone trying to argue what is.

In other words, I wasn't trying to present a challenge to Charles or anyone to find quotes from Watts. Frankly, so far as I'm concerned, if he said the Republican Party was race-blind, I wouldn't know if that were sincere, or just politic, so there would be no point to looking for such a quote. (I'm sure he's said lots of nice things about the Party and race, along with a few critical things, that also include things more critical of Democrats.)

Debating issues based on some other individual's views is a mug's game, in general.

I think I do understand what you're trying to say, but no, the "best thing for blacks" isn't necessarily to have strong representation in both parties (though the best thing for America would be to the kind of country where that were imaginable);

Fair distinction. I meant the later by the former.

The thing is I think we get to the kind of country where that is imaginable through a rather messy path. One in which the Powell's and Rice's blaze a trail, despite the cat-calls of Uncle Tomism. Some black American must join the GOP first for us to ever get there. Comparing the GOP of today with what it was 50 years ago, it's impossible for me to believe folks still think it has to change a lot more before that's acceptable. It has changed dramatically. Yes, I'd be happier if it changed even more, but I'm not Mr. Steele, and I can't read his mind or know what motivates him. For all any of us know, he's working to change the party from the inside. Even if his intentions don't represent what's best for other black Americans, so long as they represent what's best for him and his family, who is anyone else to criticize him for joining? I won't stand for anyone else dictating to to me what party I have to join. Neither should he.

FYI, work is slamming me at the moment. I be back late tonite or early tomorrow to respond more fully.

and, where did that image come from ?

Originally from Gilliard. He photoshopped it, then later took it down after he took some flak.

As I emailed and someone above commented, Charles, the flak he responded to was from the WaPo over unauthorized use of a copyrighted image. I'm guessing your use is, similarly, unauthorized.

Is it just me or is the point really that - though one can sift through either of the two major parties and hold up individuals as examples of racist or anti-racist character, the real point is whether the two major political parties as institutions impede or further better race relations. And I wouldn't want to defend the 20th Century GOP on that count.

As for Steve Gilliard, he is an angry man.

"That doesn't rehabilitate op-editors at the MJS since it displays a dismal understanding of the role of the Supreme Court, Nanette. No justice is appointed for the purpose of representing the views of 'mainstream blacks' or any other group. Their calling is supposed to be a little higher than that."

President George W. Bush:


President Bush hinted on Monday that his next nominee for the Supreme Court would be a woman or a minority, saying that "diversity is one of the strengths of the country."
I assume you're saying that it was coincidence that Harriet Miers is a woman, and that President Bush picked her solely for her outstanding professional achievements, then? You're saying that Bush hadn't decided, at that time, to nominate a woman, and then went to find a woman?

I wasn't going to say a word about the Milwaukee paper, because I couldn't care less if they said something foolish or not. But since you bring it up, I read your cite and I see nothing whatever to justify your description of it as "who basically wrote that Clarence Thomas wasn't really black."

And I don't mean in small way. I mean their only mention of Thomas was to say he was "ultra-conservative."

Now, if you want to assert that to be "ultra-conservative" is to be "not really black," than you can -- though I doubt that's your position -- but it's certainly a complete, well, "distortion" seems to be a bit of a minimal way of describing it. More generally, I don't see your overall summary of the editorial as remotely accurate. And now you seem to be taking your own version as something they said. Which they didn't.

"No justice is appointed for the purpose of representing the views of..." refutes something not present in the editorial. I'm prepared to believe you didn't understand what they wrote just as you didn't understand what Brad Plumer wrote, and that you weren't consciously misrepresenting what they said, of course, since you'd be foolish to present the link, and expect us not to notice that your description is, ah, one we might not all agree was accurate.

What they wrote was, in fact, the precise point President Bush made. But I guess they're wrong, somehow. Perhaps you'd like to quote their offending words.

"One in which the Powell's and Rice's...."

That's "one in which the Powells and Rices...."

They're plural. They're not possessive. You're not referring to possessions of their's.

I don't Gilliard is angry so much as he is a combination of incredibly blunt. That, coupled with a habit of choosing vivid and occasionally highly offensive imagery, results in something like a blog-land Howard Stern.

I think, however, that he's probably got a better feel for black America than Charles Bird, and is probably better at spotting racism too.

Did I find the photo offensive? Hell yes. But, not to put too fine a point on it, I ain't black.

Like most people, I'm really only comfortable being blunt, offensive, and a general ass about the groups I belong to.

Anderson:

Thanks for the correction on the location. I knew I should have double-checked.

But what's your point -- that the site selection by Reagan was just a coincidence? Or that he was tone deaf to the symbolic implications of it?

That is naive.

If he waned to avoid such an inference or appeal to blacks, he could have used the occassion to say something about the sumbolsm of the place, and express his supprt for the civil rights struggle.

The same thing can be said for appearances at Bob Jones Univ. in South Carolina by other Republicans. It sends a powerful nasty message to blacks, even if its not expressly intended.

Republicans have been consorting with southern racists for a few decades now, and it has worked well politically. Blacks have gotten the message, and therefore vote as they vote.

Paul,

being of a rather pale complexion myself, I hesitate to suggest what is "the best thing for blacks,"

Fair enough. How about what is "the best thing for whites"? Can you suggest?

1. I won't stand for anyone else dictating to to me what party I have to join. Neither should he.

No one is dictating Steele's party affiliation to him; since either the 1860's or the 1960's, that's been illegal. People are making clear their belief that his affiliation says nothing positive about the Republican party, and may say something negative about him. If you find a picture of me in KKK outfit, you're allowed to draw inferences. I might say that I don't support the ideology of the group, but I really like the outfits. It might even be true. But I won't blame you if you don't believe me, and won't blame you if you continue to assume and assert that I support the ideology, even in the face of my protests.

2. Per bob, I don't much like Gillard's iconography, but we're looking at a family fight that's happening in public. It was, I think, a stupid use of the picture, if only because Gillard should know his audience is not primarily "family." It makes his argument less credible to me, but I assume that he is not primarily directing his argument towards me.

But the pretense that we apply the same rules of conduct about someone criticizing their own family ("my mom's a bitch") and someone criticizing someone else's family ("you're mom's a bitch") is laughable.

"Comparing the GOP of today with what it was 50 years ago"

Edward, the GOP today is much more conservative than it was fifty years ago. Edmund Brooke, IIRC, the only ever black Senator, was in office fifty years ago. Or maybe forty. And Republican, IIRC.
...
I not only don't like to call the GOP racist, I even hesitate to call Dixie or the old Dixiecrats racist. I prefer to look a little deeper than skin color.

I spent some time yesterday, inspired by a Crooked Timber thread, googling Russell Kirk and the "Six Tenets of Conservatism(1953)." Now it appears Kirk kept adjusting his foundational principles until some became invisible, but originally he said that conservatism was heirarchical, with a fixed social structure, and institutionalized ranks and classes. I think most times this will resolve into ethnic discrimination.

The problem is not racism, but conservatism. Not in terms of theoretical neo-libertarian fusionism, but in terms of wanting your half-wit wastrel grandson to own the farm. Trent Lott:"My sons will never have a boss."

So it could be blacks, who are conveniently separable, but it can be Irish or Chinese or Hispanics or whatever. Neo-feudalism needs serfs. And the very confusing gap between Afro-American beliefs and ideologies and the unanimous rejection of the GOP might derive from an intuitive understanding of the neo-feudalism at the heart of the GOP.

Gilliard's reaction to Kaine's cancellation of his ads because of the above image was not blunt so much as angry. Really lash-out-in-rage angry. Even Armando of Kos, a lash-out kind of guy himself, says so. I do agree that intra-group argument occurs under different rules of discourse than inter-group argument. Though in response to CB above, I would be outraged if Rice or Powell received this treatment, even intra.

I should re-read my posts: Gilliard doesn't come off as angry so much as blunt. The thing is he's liberal, and blunt about things liberals generally aren't terribly blunt about.

Do I think he's right all the time? No. Do I think he's right about Steele not getting much (if any) black support, and less GOP support than a white candidate? Yeah, actually I do. The fact that SOME GOP voters are racist isn't a question --- the real question is "how many". I think more than the GOP wants to admit, but less than Gilliard thinks -- but it's still enough to swing the election.

Gilliard's incredibly blunt about a lot of things -- race is just one of them. And yes, it offends people. He's certainly offended me once or twice. But then again -- we're talking about what he wants us to talk about. There's something to be said for effectiveness.

That doesn't rehabilitate op-editors at the MJS since it displays a dismal understanding of the role of the Supreme Court, Nanette.

A non sequitir -- so typical.

Nanette's knock was that you had misrepresented the MJS when you wrote: who basically wrote that Clarence Thomas wasn't really black....

Except they didn't, as ably pointed out by Nanette.

So your response does not rehabilitate your original slur, and just sidesteps what Nanette wrote.

Too bad your response could not have been your origianl post -- i.e., criticizing the WSJ for misunderstanding the role of Justices when the MSJ calls for a representative of the mainstream black point of view.

We can debate whether such a thing makes sense or not (Justices as representatives of points of view) -- instead, we get a garbage post that wrongly states that the WSJ "basically wrote that Thomas wasn't really black." And that distortion all in the service of a comment about how lefties supposedly distort conservative positions about blacks.

How ironic.

I just realized that I (think I) violated a posting rule re: the references to various mothers. Sorry about that.

SCMT, never forget that the Kitten is listening. References to dogs are always questionable.

"Edward, the GOP today is much more conservative than it was fifty years ago."

Really? The 83rd Congress, you say? Have you informed Robert Taft? Pat McCarran? Joseph McCarthy? Charles Bricker? Richard Nixon? Karl Mundt? And on and on we can go, and then we can discuss the Bricker Amendment, the popularity of the John Birch Society, the hatred the right-wing had for the communist Eisenhower, and so on.

"Edmund Brooke, IIRC, the only ever black Senator, was in office fifty years ago. Or maybe forty. And Republican, IIRC."

Fascinating. On my planet Senator Edward Brooke was in office from 1967-79. But, 1955, 1967, pretty much the same thing. Um, are you actually familiar with the Republican Party of the Fifties, if you don't mind my asking?

"Edmund Brooke, IIRC, the only ever black Senator...."

Oh, and aside from getting his name wrong and the decade he was in office, you're only off by four there. Carol Mosely-Braun, Barack Obama, Blanche K Bruce, Hiram Revels.

But other than that, you're right on the money. (And, of course, no one has given genetic tests to other Senators, and come up with one for being "black," and applied to to any, let alone all, of the other Senators; I'd be very surprised to find none with ancestors who don't fill some definition of "black," whatever that would be, but I'm trying to keep it simple.)

Incidentally, Bob, when I waxed sarcastic there, I hadn't looked down to see who I was responding to (I often try to avoid that, so as to avoid a prejudiced response); I had no idea it was you I was beating, or, applying a prejudicial response, I probably would have gone a bit easier, knowing you generally have a very casual style.

Edward_,
Even if his intentions don't represent what's best for other black Americans, so long as they represent what's best for him and his family, who is anyone else to criticize him for joining? I won't stand for anyone else dictating to to me what party I have to join. Neither should he.

Just to tease out your position here, I'm wondering how you feel about straights complaining when gays who feel some closeted lawmaker is being hypocritical with regards to some issue of homosexuality out them? I know you've posted about it, but it's been a while and this seems to be a close parallel.

This whole controversy is new to me, so I've read through the thread learning as I go. I've even followed through a couple of the links, e.g.,

>Robert Ehrlich held a fundraiser at an all-white country club, Steele was invited to comment, and said he didn't see anything wrong with Ehrlich campaigning at an all-white country club.

That's not the whole story. The link to the Baltimore Sun died, but there's an excerpt here.

(Sorry, I don't know how to link to the link, but you'll find it above on 3 November at 4:15 pm)

The "whole story" appears to be that the club in question is not officially "all-white." Hell, no, they've been looking for a (suitable) member of color for more than ten years.

My questions: Are they for real? Are you for real?

I also linked to the original Paul Cella diatribe. It begins:

Few things are as detestable as the treatment given to black Conservatives and Republicans.

Uh. Really? Few things in the world? Few things in American politics? Would you like some suggestions as to *other* things that might be regarded as equally, or even more "detestable"? If so, I'm sure there are those here who would be happy to oblige.

Along with "Chuckaquiddick" (a feeble and irrelevant jibe which others have mentioned), such "points" as this are what make it impossible to take this post seriously. Too bad.

"The fact that SOME GOP voters are racist isn't a question --- the real question is "how many". I think more than the GOP wants to admit,"

It's pretty useless to talk about "racist" (or other sims) as if it were a binary state. And I prefer to apply it to actions, rather than people, until an irrefutable case might be built up that someone consistently acts in a racist manner. And even there it will break down into all sorts of subheadings (well, does the person respond racistly just to certain people?; or just to certain acts?; or just in certain contexts?; etc.).

Everyone has bits of prejudices inside them, mostly unconscious. Some people are overflowing with them. But nobody is some sort of Objective Machine Without Sin.

In the interest of injecting some levity, even though I had already seen the Gilliard dustup, I did a double-take when I saw Charles's headline in my RSS, since "Michael Steele" is, in my mind, more likely to bring to mind the unusually-spelled name of the bass player from The Bangles.

"But nobody is some sort of Objective Machine Without Sin."

Gary never met a certain friend of mine. His initials are J and C.

"Sorry, I don't know how to link to the link,"

Here you go.

<a href="">link</a >

Put the URL between the quotation marks, and the word(s) to be linked between where it says "link."

HTH. Now you know.

"Gary never met a certain friend of mine. His initials are J and C."

And he was mechanical, you say? Or was it electronic?

I got it! John Cale!

rilkefan Can't see repeating the image as productive, regardless of the merits of the argument

Jesurgislac: Agreed.

Yes, no point in posting these pictures they make Democrats look bad If we could get more pictures from Abu Ghraib that would be really great.


"I probably would have gone a bit easier, knowing you generally have a very casual style."

Lazy, I could have gone to Wikipedia but I would rather have people who care about the fine details correct me. My apologies to the black Senators I had forgotten.

Just read a biography of Everett Dirksen, who held about every variety of principled conservatism possible during his career. Started out sympathetic to Lindy in the late 30's for instance, and ended as one of Johnson's most useful allies on Vietnam. Small gov't most of his life, but helped Eisenhower push thru the Interstate Highway Bill. He did consider it a sacrifice, a compromise. Dirksen took some credit for the Kennedy tax cuts.

It would take extensive study, but my gut tells me, that even in the minority, Republicans in the 50s and 60s were more pro-spending pro-govt than the current crowd. Not that the current crowd doesn't spend, but they pretend to be embarrassed about it.
What other measures of "conservatism" would you like?

Anti-communism isn't necessarily conservative in theorey, but obviously I would consider many of the particular tactics and measures of the early fifties conservative. I guess Jonah Goldberg would call them liberal. But it is a diseased brain that would consider Stalin's repression of expression a "liberal" policy.

Oh, and on topic, having just read Cella as quoted by Dr Ngo, I would agree with Paul and Charles that at least I myself would prefer that black Republicans or conservatives be not treated worse or insulted more viciously than any other sub-group of Republicans or conservatives.

Fair is fair.

Gary: That's entirely sensible if one accepts your assumption that Reagan was only coming to the fair because it's a big local fair. I think you are utterly sincere in believing that,

But I never said I believed that! I said it's an arguable point and difficult to disprove.

If I had to guess, i would say that Reagan's people thought it was a good way to signal the South that, in Reagan's eyes, the iniquities of segregation were past and forgotten. Not an entirely laudable message, in my book.

dmbeaster: But what's your point -- that the site selection by Reagan was just a coincidence? Or that he was tone deaf to the symbolic implications of it?

Think I've answered that in the response to Gary, above.

And I'm sorry if my Mississippi defensiveness has shown; I usually am the first to mock the Magnolia State. But the Reagan-at-Philadelphia meme has always seemed trite to me. The Republican record on race post-Reconstruction has plenty to criticize without engaging in untestable hypotheses about What Secret Message Reagan Was Sending.

I mean, damn, I wish wink-winks at Southern fairs were all we had to worry about, y'know?

(Oh, & it's not the State Fair, which is in Jackson in October.)

To flog the horse into the ground, here's Lou Cannon:

In 1980 [Reagan's] pollster Richard Wirthlin had told him that he would be sending an undesirable signal by attending the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been murdered with police complicity in 1964. Reagan said something about how experience had taught him the importance of keeping a booking once it was made and reminded Wirthlin that he had promised Mississippi Republicans he would attend the fair. When Wirthlin persisted, Reagan's neck became red [indeed! too funny--A.] and he threw his briefing papers at the pollster. "Well, I guess, Governor, you're pretty set on going," Wirthlin said, realizing that the discussion was over.
Cannon recounts this in the context of Reagan's decision to visit the Bitburg cemetery, after which it was disclosed that 49 SS troops were among the 2000 soldiers buried there. Reagan said he'd promised Kohl & that was that.

Both instances suggest a stubborn will to keep a commitment even if it's pointed out that it may make one look bad. This is not, quite honestly, the worst character trait in the world. And I would be very surprised to see the Bitburg visit seriously taken as a "code" that Reagan approved of Nazism.

(Btw, the notion that the SS guys tainted the cemetery is rich, given the atrocities committed by regular Wehrmacht troops.)

If I had to guess, i would say that Reagan's people thought it was a good way to signal the South that, in Reagan's eyes, the iniquities of segregation were past and forgotten. Not an entirely laudable message, in my book.

How is this different than saying that the Philadelphia visit was a wink to Southern racists?

Both instances suggest a stubborn will to keep a commitment even if it's pointed out that it may make one look bad. This is not, quite honestly, the worst character trait in the world.

Stubborn insistence on persisting in what you're doing, regardless of whether it's a good idea or not, is a very, VERY bad trait in a leader.

Iron Lungfish: How is this different than saying that the Philadelphia visit was a wink to Southern racists?

Well, let's imagine for a moment that there are whites in the South who (1) are not racists and (2) believe, rightly or wrongly, that the region has moved on from its racist past.

We could then suppose that Reagan was asking for the support of those people. As indeed he was. The archetypal "Reagan Democrat" was one who, while not racist per se, was insufficiently sensitive to racial problems not to believe that integration and civil-rights laws hadn't basically fixed the problem, and could we all just shut up & move on, so to speak.

Now, I don't think the white South has actually come to terms with how evil segregation was and with how much racism still exists, so I don't agree that Reagan should have been sending such a message.

But I accept that my viewpoint is debatable and that Reagan could have disagreed with me without his being a crypto-racist.

Speaking of blackface and ignoring question of forcing half of the nation's African Americans to join the Republicans (joking, just joking), I was trying to find a picture of Chris Rock in 'white face' (which also set off a round of soul searching in the black community, which I am sure that all of the white folks searching their souls for a reasonable comment about this are familiar with, eh?) and this came up

Beyoncé Knowles, who appears on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair, is the first African-American woman to front the glossy since Tina Turner flashed her gams in 1993. But is she too black for Graydon Carter? Publishing insiders have been whispering about the cover girl’s strangely pale visage ever since the November issue hit newsstands. Now, a high-level source at Vanity Fair is alleging that the mag digitally altered Beyoncé’s image to appear several shades lighter.

Also, Anderson, I've read Lou Cannon's story, but I have to wonder who slipped 'state's rights' into his speech. I'm personally of the 'Reagan was clueless' school (and the Bitburg visit underlines that), so I don't think he actually understood why all the white fairgoers were cheering him on like they were. Ironically, Cannon's book on Reagan both acknowledges this trait (especially given that it, if it is the same one, is subtitled "The role of a lifetime") but also puts him at the heart of Iran-Contra. At any rate, the fact that someone put 'I believe in state's rights' into his speech tells us volumes.

And I guess Lungfish's assumption in his (?) comment gets to what bothers me: the assumption that "Mississippi" = "racism" so that there is nothing to say about Mississippi, nothing to do with it, no reason to go there, unless you're racist or talking about racism.

Color me that much of a Reagan Democrat, I guess. Last time I checked, America had a race problem. Treating it as something peculiar to the South is not only mistaken but pernicious to anyone interested in eliminating racism.

And Anderson, as I recall, Reagan's response to the Bitburg incident wasn't to merely insist that Kohl had asked him to go, but to claim that the cemetary had American troops buried as well, and that their lying side by side was a testiment to the power of peace and/or universal brotherhood. It had to be pointed out that there weren't, in fact, American troops buried there, and that he would pretty much be visiting dead Nazis.

I don't think anyone honestly thinks Reagan was endorsing Naziism when he made the cemetary trip; it was just an obscene PR blunder. If Reagan had launched his campaign for president there, however, while delivering a speech on the purity of the fatherland and the creeping perniciousness of international bankers, there might have been cause for some real alarm.

LJ: At any rate, the fact that someone put 'I believe in state's rights' into his speech tells us volumes.

Oh, no question. Plenty of racists and panderers hanging onto Reagan, as with Bush II today.

Lungfish: And Anderson, as I recall, Reagan's response to the Bitburg incident wasn't to merely insist that Kohl had asked him to go, but to claim that the cemetary had American troops buried as well, and that their lying side by side was a testiment to the power of peace and/or universal brotherhood.

Ah yes, the Reagan power of invention. He probably believed that, too. What's Bush's excuse for the crap he apparently believes, is my question.

"States' rights" continues, believe it or not, to be a popular notion with people who aren't racist--they think the federal gov't has encroached on the states' prerogatives. Look at the pro-lifers, big on states' rights.

The term has an ugly history, but I have learned that not everyone is a philosophy/English/law major like me who really gets into what a phrase connotes as well as denotes.

--Somehow, I had expected Farber to drop a bomb on one of my comments, but I'm about to go on baby duty, so let me punch the clock like the wolf in the WB cartoons.

the left has freepers, and they make pictures like that and call condi a "house n----." the left needs to make it clear that people who say such things embarrass us.

of course, we've got nothing on the right, who can't talk about female politicians without squeezing the b-word in there.

Last time I checked, America had a race problem. Treating it as something peculiar to the South is not only mistaken but pernicious to anyone interested in eliminating racism.

Racism isn't peculiar to the South, but institutionalized racism has inarguably been one of the defining characteristics of the South since the time of chattel slavery. To pretend that an equivalence exists between the experience of a racist in rural Mississippi, where segregation became a long tradition enshrined in law and culture and Confederate apologism is often seen as some noble rebellion against the status quo, and New York City, where there are fewer opportunities to isolate oneself from other ethnic groups and fewer social venues ready to accept open racial discrimination, is just silly.

I've asked the Kitten about the Karl told Scooter thread, which I can't read in Firefox 1.07.

You should do the same, unless you feel the mileage you get from the image is worth breaking the law.

Images and words are copied all over the Internet, LJ. If they have a problem with it, they can rattle the kitty and the troika will handle it as they see fit.

I can't even begin to understand why a grown man would think it witty to call someone "Chuckaquiddick."

"It would take extensive study, but my gut tells me, that even in the minority, Republicans in the 50s and 60s were more pro-spending pro-govt than the current crowd."

I think the key difference between now and then is that in the Fifties, the Republican party had a severe split between the segment that was what we'd consider "liberal Republicans," and the general Republican Party conservative extremists, who aren't particularly different between then and now. And possibly the middle of the Republican Party was larger than than now, or possibly now than that; I'm not sure I have an opinion this minute. But the more reasonable leaders on the two sides at one point were exemplified by Tom Dewey (picking up the torch from Wilkie, who was pretty much a RHINO) for the liberal Republicans, and Taft (taking the hand-off from Alf Landon) for the old-style isolationists. Anti-communism played the role it had since the Revolution, but also taking up slack from the lessening of anti-immigration/know-nothingism inherited from or gone back to the Democrats; particularly inspirational in the Fifties were Tail Gunner Joe, and Tricky Dick.

Of course this all goes back to the way Teddy Roosevelt revolutionized the Republicans, but then split to form his Bull Moose Pary; the remnants were the grandfathers of the Rockefeller/Lindsay Republicans of the Sixties, so to speak. But the mainstream of the Party loved Coolidge. (What a whacky partier he was!)

The other huge thing is that Eisenhower covers the Republican Party of the Fifties like a big wet tarp, concealing a vast multitude of sins, such as the now forgotten, once-as-famous-as-McCain (for entirely different reasons and in entirely different ways), Bricker. I think a lot of your impression otherwise comes from the fact that Congressional Republicans voted for zillions of things for Eisenhower they've have rather dug their livers out with a blunt spoon than give to Adlai Stevenson (and Truman was no improvement in those days before Republicans decided he wasn't 2nd only to Roosevelt as Satan incarnate; Republicans really love dead Democrats).

But I never said I believed that! I said it's an arguable point and difficult to disprove.
My apologies for distorting or misunderstanding.
If I had to guess, i would say that Reagan's people thought it was a good way to signal the South that, in Reagan's eyes, the iniquities of segregation were past and forgotten. Not an entirely laudable message, in my book.
Fair enough, although I'd stress that seen from the flip side, that's what we're talking about, and some would characterize it somewhat more harshly, having, rightly or wrongly, taken it that way. Mind, I don't think many people would suggest that Reagan was deliberately trying to offend or alienate "black"/liberal/whatever voters; we'd just suggest that Reagan and his strategists were more interested in stirring what we'd now call the "Republican base," but which we then called "Reagan Democrats," if we called them anything at all beyond "former Wallace voters," than worrying about losing "black" votes he wasn't going to get in any case.

"And I would be very surprised to see the Bitburg visit seriously taken as a 'code' that Reagan approved of Nazism."

No, I took it as indicating that he was indifferent, and morally obtuse when he went on to say, at the cemetary, that the dead members of the S.S. were "also victims of Hitler."

I don't think Reagan was any more a personal racist than he was a personal Nazi, though. But I don't think he worried much about which of his friends or acquaintances, or their friends or acquaintances, were.

Don't say I'm not consistent, except that, actually, I am in places. So there!

Oh, boy, this is like Greatest Hits of Things Reagan Did To Enrage Me. What fun. Can we work in denying Iran-Contra somehow?

"(Btw, the notion that the SS guys tainted the cemetery is rich, given the atrocities committed by regular Wehrmacht troops.)"

I should have mentioned that the historical differences, overall, and moral differences, are, in fact, grave. It was flatly impossible to get through the SS without being absolutely morally compromised; this isn't so of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Wehrmacht draftees.

"Images and words are copied all over the Internet, LJ. If they have a problem with it, they can rattle the kitty and the troika will handle it as they see fit."

Whoa. Quel respect for property rights there, Charles. What are you, a communist?

I'm not kidding. You'd steal someone's property right by violating copyright in the clear face of the clear refusal of permission from the owner? Until, that is, the owner personally communicates with you? And you have no responsibility?

I can't even begin to understand why a grown man would think it witty to call someone "Chuckaquiddick."

And when we take that to its logical end . . .

What's funniest, Gary, is when you look at the image address, not only is Charles violating the Washington Post's copyright, he's stealing Michelle Malkin's bandwidth, too.

Iron Lungfish,
Also being from Mississippi, I should point out that iirc Reagan was the first to kick off a presidential campaign there, so while it might be a problem that Mississippi was chosen, there were any number of other locations where the phrase 'states rights' would have triggered a similar response. In fact, one of the reasons I hold Reagan in such low esteem (I don't want to say I hate Reagan, but by making the Neshoba County fair the site, he reinforced precisely the sentiment that you and many other Americans have of Mississippi) is because of this.

And Chas, your respect for the rule of law continues to astound and your respect for your co-bloggers (as I believe Von deals/dealt with IP?), well, what can one say?


Edmund Brooke, IIRC, the only ever black Senator, was in office fifty years ago.

Ouch. Calling Carol Mosely-Braun's career in the Senate "mediocre" would constitute outrageous flattery, but even I wouldn't consign her to nonexistence.

"...but even I wouldn't consign her to nonexistence"

Darn. I apologized once. I had guessed there might some Reconstruction Senators who I wouldn't count, not considering the reconstruction elections entirely kosher. But then you had a hundred years of rigged elections in the South and I count Russell and Thurmond etc.

Mosely-Braun I just forgot. Anyway the point about Brooke was the moderate-to-liberal Black Republican from Massachusetts might indicate that the GOP of the past wasn't so consistently...whatever.

Gary:The 64 Convention was a revolt against something, and more than just the NE politicians like Javits (need I Wiki?) and Rockefeller, I think a large minority of the party had been too tolerant of the New Deal.

Charles Bird: I understand that, Anarch, but then the logic is, because a southern strategy was employed thirty years ago (or because alleged racists like Trent Lott are Republicans), the party is racist etc...

No, the argument is that the Southern Strategy is still being employed albeit in more covert and less virulent ways. And while it's not at all the case that all racists are Republicans, the vast majority of white-on-black racists* are in the Republican party (when they align with major political parties at all) and the GOP doesn't seem to be doing much of anything about it -- and worse, frequently seems to court them (see, e.g., Haley Barbour and the CCC).

Now you might not agree with the factuality of the various premises, but calling it "illogic" is, bluntly, wrong.

* The fact that I feel a need for a binary predicate to describe the nature of the racism in question (one variable for the race of the hater, one for the race of the hatee**) says worse things about the nature of race relations in this country than anything else I could say.

** I also feel a need for a word for "the object of the hatred", since "enhatened" is just not right.

therefore Steele is not really black. In either case, it's still no excuse for those kinds of dirty attacks.

I completely concur that calling a black Republican "not really black" is unacceptable, the same way I feel that calling a gay Republican "not really gay" is unacceptable. I have no qualms whatsoever about calling such people "really, really (politically) dumb", though.

[Sorry, Sebastian.]

Powell and Rice are not powerful and influential?

Realistically? No. And we're finding out just how not-powerful and not-influential they were/are with every fresh revelation from the run-up to the Iraqi war.

Furthermore, for race-related reasons I'm happy that Bush appointed minority people to key Cabinet roles.*** That he's chosen some key figureheads, however, hasn't in any way alter the underlying political structure of the Republican party that I've seen. I'd be delighted if that were to change, of course, but I'm not holding my breath.

*** I'm deeply unhappy that he appointed flagrant incompetents (Rice) or competent-but-ignored people (Powell) so this isn't even remotely an endorsement, but that's another conversation.

Powell and Rice are not powerful and influential?
Realistically? No.
Personally I find their situations quite different. Rice became Bush's personal foreign policy tutor years before the campaign. Powell was a guy who worked for his dad.

Rice tutored Bush throughout the campaign, and was his foreign policy advisor. Powell had nothing to do with him.

Rice became close friends with Bush. Powell had nothing to do with him.

When Bush got to the White House, Condi came with him, and went to be NS Advisor. Powell was kinda forced on Bush to give him the foreign policy cred-by-association that he lacked on his lomesome. Powell was always an outsider to G. W., and the fact that Powell's power base was entirely independent of Bush, and that Powell was, more often than not, indeed, generally more popular than Bush with the country, couldn't have increased Bush's liking for him him.

Bush knew that Powell almost couldn't be fired, save with a good excuse, like gross insubordination. Powell never gave it to him. But he was clearly a damn thorn in Bush's side, a resented convenience. It's hardly a wonder Powell had little policy influence if he was in conflict with Rumsfeld or Cheney or Rice, but on the other hand, he learned from masters how to play the bureaucracy, so he managed to keep a great deal of say over both his Department in general, and policy that wasn't under the personal eye of the President, as well.

Meanwhile, Condi remained down the hall from the President.

To lump them together as holding similar degrees of power is simply, well, not a very clear view. So far as I can see.

And Rice has only gained power since moving to control State, while Hadley seems to still remain loyal to her, insofar as anyone outside reports and can tell, which, of course, probably really isn't all that much. But for what it's worth. (Wait five to ten years for all the memoirs, and we'll know much more.)

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