The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Monday, October 13, 2008

Making History?


Will someone with more of a sense of political history than I possess please falsify the following statement, if possible: "the GOP has given us the first-ever Presidential/Vice Presidential slate with one member adjudicated guilty of a severe ethics violation and the other formally accused of a severe ethics/law violation. "

#

With the crowds at McCain's ralley's yelling for blood, when he (thankfully) finally admonished them to be sane, saying that they had nothing to fear from Obama, he was BOOED by his own people. Shows the ugliness that he and Palin had been stoking...but I have to give him credit for backing away from the edge of THAT abyss. There is something uglier here than Clinton's stoking of her followers, and how she seemed to realize in the final days that she may have pushed things to the point that it would be difficult for the Democrats to pull together to beat the Republicans.

In the same way, I think that cooler heads are whispering to McCain that he is raising the possibility of actual violence, and, if he loses, that the Republican base might be so angry and frightened that the country would be difficult to govern. A Pyrrhic victory is bad enough. But a Pyrrhic DEFEAT would be flat insane. And McCain isn't nuts. Brittle and angry, yeah. I think he's experiencing a bit of what the Clinton's felt: "how in the hell is this happening?" If ANYONE here had grasped how smart Obama is, they might have laid better plans. I really, seriously, think they underestimated him, thinking that somehow Affirmative Action had raised this naive, inexperienced but charismatic guy to the national level. They were playing checkers, he's playing chess.

I repeat my original impression: not that this would make him a great President, but Obama is the smartest person I've seen on the national stage running for national office. Watched his latest move? A British paper says that he's offered McCain a job in his new administration.

What? I see this as multi-pronged, and I don't think there is a direct riposte:

1) It is supremely confident, at a time Americans need desperately to believe in their leaders as BOTH capable and confident.

2) It suggests he's ready to reach "across the aisle". Supposedly, the post would be a bi-partisan post on Veterans Affairs.

3) IF McCain DOESN'T reciprocate in some way, independant voters may think that he is ingracious. If he DOES, then it undercuts his argument that Obama can't be trusted.

Note the way he dared McCain to call him a terrorist sympathizer to his face? In all likelihood, McCain hasn't been looking him in the eye as an attempt to keep his temper under control. (Ah...if this is true, is there anyone out there who thinks this is a valid strategy for a chief executive or a diplomat..?) So he is tempting McCain into a trap. First, Obama has far more emotional control. Second, he has an answer up his sleeve that will be HARSH, designed to both rebut and trigger an outburst. Watching McCain wandering around the stage...I regretfully conclude that he is on the borderline of losing some control factors. I would say that his best days are not in front of him, and it is sad to watch.

Palin? I cannot begin to imagine her on "Meet The Press" or any kind of remotely antagonistic forum. McCain, Obama, and Biden would survive such grilling without a sweat. Does anyone out there think she would have been chosen if she weren't pretty? I think McCain thought she'd give America a chubby.

What a fascinating, fascinating election this has been. And it ain't over yet.

Best case? McCain tones down the rhetoric, sharpens his message, and runs a campaign more in alignment with his stated values. He either wins, or loses, with honor.

Worst case? I don't even want to go there. But I have never heard more violent rhetoric in a Presidential campaign. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention?

#

For those of you who heard Fox News referring to "Obama's Baby Mama" and speculating about assassination, and heard the crowds spouting venom while Palin and McCain stoked the fires...if you weren't repelled, if you didn't automatically demand more from your candidate or network of choice...what would you say to yourself if an actual violent incident occurred. "Oh well?" "I didn't realize..?" "Thank goodness!"

I would bet that the proportion of the population that considers this acceptable political discourse overlaps remarkably with that percentage that has negative views of black people to begin with.

#

I have a theory that I'm calling the "Obama Effect" that suggests that there is a threshold beyond which his race could actually work in his favor. It goes like this: IF it is pretty clear he's going to win anyway, I suspect that there are many, many Americans who are waffling on the borderline, and that in the voting booth, if they think Obama's going to win anyway...they may decide to vote FOR him simply for the sake of being on the right side of history. They will want to be able to say they voted for him. This might actually give him a boost over polling at the last minute, a sort of "reverse Bradley effect" created by 300 years of pressure. I can see how it might happen...once.

But it's like that guy with the refrigerator on his back in the roller skating contest: IF you can get to the top of the hill, the trip down is a little faster. But making it up the hill is a bitch, and it's quite amusing to see those unemcumbered ones complaining that "refrigerator guy has an unfair advantage..."

It's a particular and, to me, palely amusing form of blindness.

##

Notice how quickly the Republicans screamed that scrutiny of Palin was sexism? That tactic, screaming sexism, racism, ageism, whatever, is one of the first things any group does to oppress criticism. Blacks have done it plenty. Hell, Republicans claim "Liberal Bias" in the media even when their candidates are stomping butt. So the game is played across the board, but it doesn't remove the fact that there is very real sexism, racism, etc. out there. How we negotiate this ground in the 21st century will be one of our greatest tasks. How do we sort out the real complaints from the purely political posturing?

#

A few days ago I mentioned racism in public discourse. An anonymous poster asked if it was racism to point out that blacks are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. I said no, that would just be pointing out a statistical fact. Racism would be maintaining that this difference is due to innate qualities within blacks, or that whites, given the same historical, social and economic conditions, would behave better. I just wanted to repeat my answer so that the poster could, if he wished, expand his comments.

44 comments:

Ed Greaves said...

Interesting that you should posit a "reverse bradley effect" when I just read an article which showed that during the primaries, Obama already appeared to exhibit that phenomenon.

http://pandanroom.com/index.html

Steve Perry said...

Me, I am tickled to see the Republican chickens coming home to roost.

Those old saws get to be that way because they are often true.

What goes around comes around.

Or as Hosea has it, they have sown the wind and they are reaping the whirlwind, and nobody deserves it more.

Observer said...

"during the primaries, Obama already appeared to exhibit that phenomenon."

It may not apply. The dynamics were different in the primaries, with Obama against Hilary rather than black male versus white male.

To clarify: the Bradley effect denoted HIDDEN racism. That is, people say one thing and do another. They did not express their inner racism because doing so might be disadvantageous in the community and the workplace.

Remember, this was a quarter of a century ago. The voters behind the Bradley effect back then are mostly retirees today. Most of them are on fixed income and no longer feel the need to hide their racism. This is why we have seen some very outspoken, openly racist senior citizens recently.

This also means they would not bother lying to the pollsters. So, the Bradley effect is already "baked" into the current numbers. That being the case, it is no longer a true Bradley effect - the ugliness is out in the open for everyone to see.

This is why the race to the Whitehouse is not more one-sided. Face reality: if so many older white voters were not ignorant, racist, and afflicted with basic stupidity, there would now be nothing more than insignificant support for the Republicans.

suzanne said...

I think McCAin
wold be a terrible choice
at for example
running Veterans Affairs
he's already shown himself
as having
a bad officier's attitude
not pro troops
as individuals
or as maimed/wounded/distraught soldiers

phooey on that!

I guess you can tell
he has lost all credibility with me
I do agree
he isn't firing on all cylinders
any more

he looks old and sick
and Obama's right his behavior is erratic
and if now he comes up
with apologies and even if he were
to fire the assholes
who have led his campaign
I don't think any indpenednts will be comnvinced

and he sealed his fate
with intelligent
thoughtful women
when he selected the
Palin person
as his running mate:
what an insult to women!

Josh Jasper said...

Sarah and Todd Palin got up, spoke to the news media, and told the entire country that they didn't pressure anyone to fire Wooten.

They're recorded, Frozen in history, like Bill Clinton telling us he didn't have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky, and then getting found out. No one can turn back the clock on this, or spin it. The lie is 100% ironclad proven. So much for Sarah "fully vetted" Palin.

For all of Palin's complaining about how the people don't "know" Barack Obama, it turns out that when she's put on the spot, she gets caught lying. We know who Sarah Palin is - she's a liar, who abused her office to fire Walt Monegan because he wouldn't knuckle under about firing someone else for Palin.

Perhaps McCain should have selected Monegan as his VP choice instead.

As for McCain, I think he didn't realize what he was doing. There's video of him having to tell one of his more rabid supporters that, no, Obama is not an Arab Terrorist. You can see the body language and look on his face when he realizes (a) he's created a monster, and (b) his own supporters are booing him for defending Obama against that claim.

If he'd told the shriveled old bigot that Obama was a boogeyman of an Arab Terrorist, the crowd would have cheered. He could quite certainly whip them into a frenzy of racism. They're certainly racists. And stupid, gullible ones too.

But I don't think McCain really knew that. Deep inside, I don;t think he really cares much about Ayers. Because it *is* a distraction from the economy. Ayers is a minor point, if anything. The Ayers card failed when Clinton tried to use it. It's McCain's campaign, full of former Karl Rove schooled strategists, who're feeding McCain lies.

It's really sad to see what Karl Rove's legacy has come to. McCain's first choice for VP was Joe Lieberman. It was only after the GOP machine shot down that choice (and allegedly another one) for being not palatable to evangelicals that he did his usual last minute insane Hail Mary pass and grabbed Palin.

If you look at McCain's behavior, there's a patern - if he's stymied once or twice, he goes for something wildly surprising that usually turns out to be a bad idea. Palin,suspending his campaign, the whole Ayers mess...

It's gotten to the point where I don't think it's him anymore. I think it's his campaign. I don't think McCain woke up to find himself down in the polls and decided on a smear like he suffered in 2000 by Karl Rove. I think it's because his campaign was trained by Rove, and this is what they do. The wild flailing is certainly pure McCain. The choices he ends up making are not.

Steve, it's not just that Obama is smarter than McCain, which he is. It's not that he's calmer, and better able to make decisions in a crisis, which he is. It's that from the ground up to the top, Obama's whole campaign has outclassed McCain's. Everywhere McCain has stumbled, Obama has looked serene and graceful. Every one of McCain's strengths have been countered. And most of McCain's mistakes have come from his campaign.

Christian M. Howell said...

This country has very little choice but to elect Obama. I agree with you that he is the smartest, most charismatic politician I've EVER seen on the national stage.

He seems to understand that we have to think our way out of our problems and WORK hard to make sure we don't slide back.

We need more qualified teachers who care. We need a NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DRESS CODE. Screw States' rights. They've dropped the ball.

They've turned our children into under-achieving complainers who believe everything is SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT.

We need children who believe that there is no such thing as a nerd, only smart people who make a good living. The way to do that is to tune down all the sports, music, everything and make CALCULUS cool.

How you say? It's real easy. Instead of "Scared Straight" it's "Ridiculed Straight." If that doesn't work I'd have to go for mass-deportation. I mean, hey, you either work or take a frickin hike. PERIOD. You either promote an environment of cooperation or step the hell off. END OF STATEMENT.

I'd actually like the opportunity to express myself to these "thug" and "grunge" kids. They'd be real embarrassed.

If you don't want to govern yourself, it will be done for you.

Nowadays I'm ashamed to say I'm an American. I go to work in NYC, the financial capitol of the world and see nothing but ratty jeans and smiles of confusion.

And underneath that is that "holier than thou" nonsense. It wouldn't be so bad but it seems like NYC is the home of the truly SPINELESS BLACK MAN.

That's why I react to some of your statements the way I do. All I see is black "guys" (men my ass) with their heads down ready to mess up the women with their laziness and lack of desire to progress.

Though that'snot to say some of our women are as much of the problem. Just this morning I was on my bus from the train station and this older black woman gets on. She makes it a point to nod graciously to the white guy but looks right by me as if I wasn't wearing a tie and jacket.

Maybe Obama (read:honest politician) will help me. It's 70% certain that he will win.

Down with illiterate sports and entertainment figures. Down with mediocrity. Down with hate. Down with sex in cinema ( I had to throw that one in as I feel it's relevant).


As far as your original statement Repubs have been setting new standards for corruption and abuse and no I don't think there's ever been such a pair.

mjholt said...

Steve, that statement you ask for falsification of is completely correct. There have been corrupt presidents and vice-presidents (Agnew spectacularly in our life time), but none like this.
YES, "the GOP has given us the first-ever Presidential/Vice Presidential slate with one member adjudicated guilty of a severe ethics violation and the other formally accused of a severe ethics/law violation."

Anyone who is influential in any way should endorse Obama. Listen up Steve and Steve.

McCain's own "terrorist" links to Liddy and other White House Plumbers is being overlooked for the most part. G. Gordon Liddy, close McCain supporter, mouthpiece, and financial contributor did try to overthrow the government according to modern definition.

I was talking with a business friend last night, an old-fashioned Republican who cannot stand the Bushes. However, she was completely taken in by this Ayers misinformation. Since we both have served on boards, I asked her about how close she was to other people on boards, and she did have to grant that it was very tenuous. Usually, you do not see people on boards socially very often, and rarely work with them.

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

"With the crowds at McCain's ralley's yelling for blood, when he (thankfully) finally admonished them to be sane, saying that they had nothing to fear from Obama, he was BOOED by his own people."

And I find that a chilling sign of how over the top some people are getting at the thought of him winning - that just having McCain say that Obama's worth of respect and that he's not a scary guy gets booing. At the same time, I went and listened to that clip, and, alongside the people booing McCain were others cheering - a reminder to me that there are people on the other side of the fence from me who still retain their ability to see what's going wrong on their side, and needs to be pulled back from.

"For all of Palin's complaining about how the people don't "know" Barack Obama"

A complaint I find really bizarre, since, if anything, it seems to me that I "know" Obama better than most politicians (and certainly a lot better than I "know" Palin), since his autobiography, which I've read, was more frank and self-revelatory than most.

Anonymous said...

Steve

Your statement is false.

Both have been accused, but niether have been adjudicated guilty of anything.

John M.

recent college grad said...

Excuse me?


"Both have been accused, but niether have been adjudicated guilty of anything."

I do believe a bi-partisan, fully empowered committee of legislators have found her guilty of abusing her power to put unlawful pressure on people to carry out her own agenda. Turn off the Fox News for two minutes, and actually read something please...

Pagan Topologist said...

I am reposting this here. Somehow, I had accidentally posted it to the previous entry.) You know, Christian, I often disagree with you, but this is interesting. How about a high school dress code which applies to everyone except students who have at least a 3.7 average. This would go a long way towards making nerds cool.

Christian M. Howell said...

@ Pagan,
That is not what we want. We don't want jealousy. We want everyone to dress for success no matter your GPA.

Anonymous said...

Recent College Grad

I juz be a po ignant redneck, but i be read'in the dictionary, an
it say that adjudicating be sumpin the judicial branch does and not the legislative. Corse i juz be sit'in here watch'in fox news and not them highfalutting web sights like Huffington post on that ther interweby thing.

John M

Anonymous said...

Steve, this sounds like some of what you've said:
Why white America perhaps fears Michelle more than Barack
. Excerpts from a 'Jack & Jill politics' newsletter:

...as hard as it is to accept a black president, it's even harder to accept a black first lady. First Lady has always held a beloved sentimental mother/wife of the nation symbolism. Conservatives are not ready to have to look at this very BLACK woman with her degrees and her fierceness and see her as the epitome of the American mother/wife.
This will be a first for white people. They do not want this black woman in the Whitehouse as their first lady. That New Yorker cartoon was [actually] about Michelle - she was its focal point…..look closely... she is the leader, the one starting the "revolution" they
want you to imagine…………

MSNBC's Chris Matthews said, in the course of covering the Obama candidacy, 'He (Barack Obama) brings none of the20' bad stuff, you know?" By 'Bad Stuff', he meant the legacy of [whites] enslaving Africans in this country, keeping them as second-class citizens until 1965, a mere 11 years before this country celebrated its 200th anniversary. You know, 'the original sin', or ' the birth d efect', as Condi Rice called it. Barack escapes this 'bad stuff' only because his mother was white and may have had ancestors involved in the slave trade; and also because Barack's father was not African American. He was full blooded African and therefore Barack had no ancestors enslaved by
America - and so the white guilt factor is missing when they think of
him. HOWEVER, NO SUCH LUCK WITH MICHELLE!

Michelle Obama is a direct threat and lightening bolt against White Superiority. Because, she's Black… VISIBLY BLACK… But it's important to note, she does not, in any way,
shape, or form, contour to the acceptable Black Pathologies that enable White Supremacy to sigh with relief. [welfare mother, fatherless child, druggie, etc.] Michelle was raised in a neighborhood. In a home. With TWO parents. No child revolving in and out of jail. Raised by a Black man who not only provided for his family, but did so, WITH A DISABILITY. Her mother had a working class job - secretary- but it was taken ONLY
after she had seen her youngest child settle into HIGH SCHOOL.

Michelle Obama's poise, her confidence, her aura - that was created by that humble Black man, who by all accounts, adored her. He told her that she is worthy, and so, when you have that told to you by the first man who loves and protects you, you seek that validation of that in your choice of mate, you'll settle for nothing less, and Michelle hasn't.

Michelle Obama, doesn't fit any of the acceptable Black pathologies. And when you don't fit the acceptable Black pathologies, then you must be destroyed. Michelle Obama has become the face of the Black America whose existence is routinely denied by this country. Think about it.

In ONE generation, the face of this 'Invisible America' has gone from living on the top floor of a bungalow, to the possibility of living in The White House. And yet, Michelle Obama, refuses to say " I' m special", in order to give white America its usual security blanket [that she is one of the exceptions rather than the rule], So what should be done?

Beat her down into submission.

Michelle Obama represents everything we black women want our daughters to be. When we stand up for her we stand up for ourselves. No other women in the world are more neglected and abused as African women period. Michelle looks like [our] daughters, her daughters look like us. We love the way Barack looks at her we adore the way he looks at his daughters. The Obamas represent the hope that we can be loved by our men and they will support us in whatever we do. Little African American girls need a vision and
dream of what it is like to be loved by a man who looks just like them.

Is America ready for a First Lady who looks like her? A regular black woman? Not a passable biracial curly haired girl that they call black, but a regular black woman from the south side of Chicago ? With dark skin?

Is she going to be the face of The Woman on the largest pedestal in the country? A self-confessed "loud-mouth" black woman? If the Obamas succeed, it turns white supremacy upside down. And not because a black man is in the White House; but, because a black
woman will be there who didn't have to come in the back door to lie in bed with the president.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Christian, do you have any evidence your ideal program would work? Does controlling how people dress actually control their minds and behavior?

How did you accomplish what you have? Was it mostly pressure from the outside or drive from the inside?

Brother OMi said...

I have to agree on the point about history. people will vote for Obama because they don't want to say they didn't after he wins. so the atmosphere is to vote Obama.

I get vilified when i admit that i am voting third party (yet again).

Nancy Lebovitz said...


Though that'snot to say some of our women are as much of the problem. Just this morning I was on my bus from the train station and this older black woman gets on. She makes it a point to nod graciously to the white guy but looks right by me as if I wasn't wearing a tie and jacket.


That's really sad, and I bet she has no idea what her social reflexes add up to.

It wouldn't help for more black men to wear suits-- she just isn't responding to it.

A big video study of how people of various races treat each other in casual circumstances might help a lot, but be very stressful in the short run.

Frank said...

For the record, not that anyone is actually interested

The 268-page report to the state legislature found “Governor Palin’s firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statuatory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.” So note that the firing of Monegan was not the abuse of power; the series of contacts about Wooten was.

The following facts about Sarah Palin’s brother in-law, Mike Wooten, were confirmed by a 2005 State Police investigation:

He used a Taser on his stepson.

He shot a moose without a license, violating a law he has responsibility for enforcing.

He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

He told others his father-in-law would “eat a [expletive]ing lead bullet” if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

After this, Palin and her husband Todd clearly made efforts to get the State Police to investigate and reinvestigate his misbehavior, and there is little doubt they wanted Wooten fired.

Reading the state special counsel’s report, one concludes that the actions of the Palins were legal and completely understandable, and yet crossed a line in their persistence.

Their reaction is entirely understandable; even if every unverified allegation is untrue, the various violations of law, police policy, and good judgment confirmed by Wooten’s superiors obviously warrants a lot more than two weeks off. Nonetheless, the actions of the Palins led to a series of high-ranking state officials contacting the state police to reopen their investigation of the guy, and the governor had to know how that would look. It is difficult to be objective about a complaint when it comes from the person who can fire you at will.

The perspective of each side is understandable — Palin and her family want a man they perceived to be dangerous to be relieved of his authority and public trust; the State Police have to honor the statute and confidentiality and the due process rights of Wooten. (One of the recommendations of the report is to study whether those regulations need to be relaxed,” in order to “allow some feedback to a person who files a complaint against a law enforcement officer.”)

Commissioner Monegan defended a process that concluded that making death threats, Tasering a child, drinking in a police vehicle and breaking a hunting law he was responsible for enforcing only warranted two weeks away from the job, and never seemed to address the very real concern at the heart of the Palins’ complaints: Why was this man still a cop? Just what would he have to do to face dismissal? Wasn’t the state gambling that Wooten’s pattern of bad judgment would not result injury or death to a citizen?

I will further point out that this was a report to the legislature. The Alaska Legislature has taken no action against Palin.

So in this instance, the word "adjudicated" is more than a stretch.

And one more thing

Branchflower concluded:

Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides: The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

The Alaska Ethics Act provides that there is no substantial impropriety if a public officer such as the Governor takes an action that affects a personal interest "of a type that is possessed generally by the public or a large class of persons to which [she] belongs." AS § 39.52.l10(b)(l).

So even if you concede Branchflower's speculation that Monegan's refusal to fire Wooten was "likely" one reason among many why Palin fired her political appointee, it's hard to see how firing this trooper would not "generally" benefit the public.

Iphigenie said...

I am not from the US but it looks more and more like the last season of the West Wing.

Mike Ralls said...

I found this rather interesting. It's a clip where a reporter pretended that McCain's positions were Obama's and asked his supporters in Harlem things like, "Do you support Obama because he's pro-life, or because he wants our troops to stay in Iraq?" and they didn't have a problem with his (completely opposite from his actual) positions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyvqhdllXgU

(No doubt someone could do the same to McCain supporters, but I haven't seen it yet).

Question Steve; If Obama were to be pro-life, and wanted to keep our troops in Iraq, and anti-stem cell research, and somehow still managed to get the Democratic nomination, do you think Blacks would be supporting him much less than they are now?

Josh Jasper said...

She lied when asked if she fired Monegan because of Wooten. Her husband lied too. If she'd just said that she fired Monegan because he wouldn't ditch procedure and fire Wooten, none of us would be having this conversation.

It's not that Wooten wasn't a bad man, or even that Palin didn't have the authority to fire him because of a personal crusade against Wooten. It's that she lied, covered it up, and is now pretending that nothing happened.

This a good time to bring up the recent White House scandal that led to the resignation of AG Alberto Gonzalez because of his direct role in firing of various Justice Department lawyers, not because of work issues, but because they were not "loyal bushies".

It was certainly legal for the DOJ to hire and fire people at the president's will. But the problem was in the cover up.

So Palin really is more of the same, and not a maverick at all.

Frank said...

Mike,

If Obama were to be pro-life, and wanted to keep our troops in Iraq, and anti-stem cell research, and somehow still managed to get the Democratic nomination, do you think Blacks would be supporting him much less than they are now?

I think yes: So long as it was the Democratic nomination that he won.

If he won the Republican nomination with those positions, or any position whatsoever, they would throw Oreo cookies at him.

Frank said...

Josh

She lied when asked if she fired Monegan because of Wooten. Her husband lied too. If she'd just said that she fired Monegan because he wouldn't ditch procedure and fire Wooten, none of us would be having this conversation.

So you say. But we don't know because such an accusation was not in the report. There was however speculation of such made by the man who wrote they report and is an ardent Obama supporter. One who publicly said he would produce his report in such a way as to affect the election for Senator Obama.

Steven Barnes said...

If Obama were to be pro-life, and wanted to keep our troops in Iraq, and anti-stem cell research, and somehow still managed to get the Democratic nomination, do you think Blacks would be supporting him much less than they are now?"
##
Yes, all other things being equal.
##
Frank said: "If he won the Republican nomination with those positions, or any position whatsoever, they would throw Oreo cookies at him."
#
Some would--but if he managed to win the Republican nomination while having values dear to black America, there wouldn't be much of it. It isn't the label--it's the thing itself. So your "any position whatsoever" is incorrect. "Any position likely to be embraced by Republicans"--maybe.

Frank said...

Steve

So your "any position whatsoever" is incorrect. "Any position likely to be embraced by Republicans"--maybe.

Such as?

As a data point: Michael Steele when he ran for Senator supported

Affirmative Action
Support affirmative action and its improvements: Strongly Favors
Affirmative action programs still necessary to close divides: Strongly Favors
Expand minority-owned business opportunities: Strongly Favors
We're still discovering affirmative action in corporations: Strongly Favors
Led commitment to $70M in grants to minority-owned business: Strongly Favors

Was for Gay Marriage
Was for more federal funding for healthcare
Opposed the Death Penalty

And yet, his (white) Democratic opponent got 90% of the Black vote. Interestingly, Nationwide, about 10% of Blacks are Republicans.

And that's just the way things are.

Anonymous said...

Frank,

Thanks for having the energy to post on this thread. I didn't; but I'm glad somebody did.


--Erich Schwarz

Josh Jasper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Jasper said...


So you say. But we don't know because such an accusation was not in the report.


That's because the report was not about her later statements to the media.

She and her husband are on record as saying to the media that Monegan was not fired because of Wooten. The report, and more importantly, the evidence in the report contradicts that. Todd Palin made phone calls from the governors office, obtained medical records, and used state employees to try to bypass the official procedures. He pressured Monegan directly. There's plenty of irrefutable evidence.

It's not a crime, but that's not the point. the point is that he and Sarah Palin are on the record as saying that Monegan was not fired because he refused to fire Wooten.

You're trying to claim that Monegan should have been fired for not firing Wooten. That's fine. Wooten might well be a horrible guy, and the public might have been served best by his firing, and Monegan might well have deserved to be fired for not firing Wooten. But none of that excuses lying about it.

"All I know what the facts are and what the truth is. And the truth is never was there any pressure put on Commissioner Monegan to hire or fire anybody." - Sarah Palin

Frank, she lied. If you're going to claim the report is lying, then prove how all of those phone calls from Todd Palin to Monegan, the improperly obtained medical records (also by Todd Palin), and the use of state resources to conduct a personal vendetta was not pressure.

Frank said...

Josh

Frank, she lied. If you're going to claim the report is lying, then prove how all of those phone calls from Todd Palin to Monegan, the improperly obtained medical records (also by Todd Palin), and the use of state resources to conduct a personal vendetta was not pressure.

Again, that's how you characterize it.

But a) She may or may not have lied. The report only says that he was transferred (not fired) legally and for reason that were valid. That she may have had other reasons we'll never know.

You may think you know. And maybe you have supernatural powers and do in fact know. But I don't think you know anymore than I know and

b) she still has not been adjudicated guilty of a severe ethics violation.

oh and c) neither has McCain.

So that pretty much invalidates the point of this post.

Eh?

recent college grad said...

I too checked my handy dictionary, and nowhere in the definition of adjudicate did it mention it had to be the judicial branch, it mentions the need for a judge or arbiter, not necessarily a governmentally affiliated one. It's hair splitting I'll admit. But refusal to accept that a legitimate body found her guilty...which she obviously was, or there would have been no reason to try to stonewall the investigation by trying avoid testifying. I don't think for a second that everyone that watches Fox is illiterate, but that if they can take most of it seriously need exposure to more than that narrow stilted view of the world.

Shady_Grady said...

"And yet, his (white) Democratic opponent got 90% of the Black vote. Interestingly, Nationwide, about 10% of Blacks are Republicans.

And that's just the way things are"

Actually, Michael Steele got 25% of the Black vote.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/MD/S/01/epolls.0.html

That's a pretty competitive proportion, especially considering that the debacle of Katrina was foremost in a lot of people's minds at that time.

His opponent was also supportive of affirmative action.

A relatively high proportion of self-identified conservatives (17%) and independents (52%) voted for Cardin as well.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank, starting from the core of the matter she stated that at no time did she put pressure on Monegan to fire anyone. Her husband stated it to.

It's obvious to anyone paying attention that she did, in fact pressure Monegan. It's also absolute, 100% incontrovertible truth that Todd Palin used his wife's office to access private medical files in order to use them to pressure people.

Those facts were in the report.

Her media discussions were not, however, I provided a link. You can go look up more online. I'm sure she's on youtube denying she pressured Monegan.

It a verifiable truth the Palins denied doing pressuring Monegan. And that's where they lied, because the Branchflower report shows were they did.

You can't pass this off as difference of opinion. I'm claiming that they sky, on a sunny cloudless day is blue. You're telling me that it's only my *opinion* an that because Palin says so, it might be pink and purple polkadotted.

Anonymous said...

Recent College Grad

My dictoinary refers to "Judicially" relating to, administration of justice, courts of law and the judiciary. Maybe I'll buy a bigger one later.

In the context of what we are talking about though, we have separation of powers for a good reason. When we talk about the legislature adjudicating things, that is incorrect in it's concept. The legislature is not a legitimate place to find people guilty of anything. That is for the judicial branch of goverment.

As far as having a stilted view of the world, you could be right. I'll try to branch out from right wing blogs like Dar Kush, and go to some blogs more to the left. maybe get some exposure to other points of view.

John M.

Josh Jasper said...

John M "The legislature is not a legitimate place to find people guilty of anything. That is for the judicial branch of goverment.

Congress has the power to hold hearings, and can actually judge someone as in contempt of congress. They have the right to make judgments that a member of congress has violated ethics rules, and censure that member. They can also censure the executive for violating ethics rules.

Censure was suggested as an alternative to impeachment during the Clinton impeachment because it was clear the impeachment was not actually going to pass.

The main problem here is that ethics rules that allegedly need to be followed by the executive branch can only be judged by the legislative branch, because violating them is not a crime or breach of contract in a civil suit.

However, the legislative branch certainly does have the power to judge someone of being guilty of violating those rules. It's just not criminal judgment, nor is there any actual penalty.

albatross said...

shady_grady:

It's worth pointing out that this was in a year that was absolutely brutal for Republicans. (But probably not as brutal as this year is going to be.)

mike ralls:

If you check out survey data (the Pew Center has some great survey data available on their website), you'll see that blacks are quite socially conservative; much more so than you'd expect from their level of Democratic voting. So the socially conservative positions might not be dealbreakers at all for a lot of black voters. On the other hand, opposition to affirmative action, favoring the death penalty, or wanting to cut welfare and taxes on the top tax brackets might have more of an impact. I'm not sure.

Has anyone looked at races where black Republicans have run against white Democrats, to see what fraction of black voters were willing to change their votes to follow identity over party? This seems like the sort of thing that ought to have a rich literature discussing it.

albatross said...

I suspect McCain's campaign is down to people who will simply never vote for Obama--dedicated Republicans, folks who can't bear the thought of a black president, folks who've bought the goofy rumors about Obama being a secret Muslim, people who will never vote for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate, etc. That set of voters is quite different from the set McCain is used to in other elections.

It may be that the inflamatory rhetoric would have gotten the crowd charged up without being too scary with the original set of Republican supporters. But with the diehards he has left supporting him, it might have very different effects, in the same way that the same speech might get a room full of middle-aged academics excited and enthusiastic about some issue, and get a room full of 20 year old politically radical college students stirred up enough to have a riot.

Frank said...

albatross

I suspect McCain's campaign is down to people who will simply never vote for Obama--dedicated Republicans, folks who can't bear the thought of a black president, folks who've bought the goofy rumors about Obama being a secret Muslim, people who will never vote for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate, etc.

That's absurd.

There are plenty of us could care less that Obama is Black; who are not "pro-life"; and know Obama is not a Muslim and still won't vote for him.

There are plenty of us who know that the Democratic ticket is the most anti-gun ticket in generations. And we disagree with that.

We know that he ascribes to very Leftist positions: You can not be associated with Ayers, Wright and ACORN, disavow your connections, and expect us to believe that you are not a bird of the same flock. And we are opposed to his Leftist associations and what it indicates about his real political philosophy. And most disturbingly, how this is discordant with his professed positions since winning the nomination.

We know that his tax proposals will take us further towards a Welfare State and we are opposed to that.

We oppose his Health Care proposals and are extremely concerned about his (and Biden's) Foreign Policy positions.

I'm sorry, but just because someone doesn't support Obama doesn't mean they are a racist.

Or an idiot.

Some of us simply disagree with where he wants to take this country.

Steven Barnes said...

Frank--

Blacks as a group aren't thrilled about gay marriage. Nationally, blacks are only about 10% Republican because they believe that the Republican party doesn't care about them. You don't believe this to be true, of course. But then there's that pesky fact that 40% of white Americans, and 33% of Dems have negative feelings toward blacks...which implies that it must be 47% of Republicans. Until you can look at that and own it, you can't fix it. Guys like Michael Steele are considered traitors by some for that reason. It will change in time, but denial doesn't help.

Steven Barnes said...

Did "Anonymous" really call Dar Kush a "right-wing blog"? I love it!
#
And Frank is 100% right: one can oppose Obama without the slightest stain of racism, purely on the basis of politics. And I've never heard any responsible spokesman for Obama or the Dems suggest otherwise. People DO suggest that his race costs him 5-6% in the polls. I agree with that.

Josh Jasper said...

Honestly, I think Bob Barr is way closer than McCain is to Frank's philosophy. Barr is, well, claims to be pro choice, anti-drug war, pro second amendment, etc...

Frank said...

Josh

Honestly, I think Bob Barr is way closer than McCain is to Frank's philosophy. Barr is, well, claims to be pro choice, anti-drug war, pro second amendment, etc...

Well you're right in some ways.

But there are two things about Barr

1) he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning and
2) his Foreign Policy agenda is Isolationist.

If 1 were not true, I'd still have trouble with 2. There is no chance that America can be Isolationist. Not without leaving the seas to Russia and China.

Not to mention I believe we are at war, with Afghanistan and Iraq being mere fronts in that war. Barr does not believe this is so. And if he does, he does not believe we should be expeditionary with regards to fighting that war.

blkdolfin said...

Hello, Stephen. This looks very interesting. I will be getting your books and look forward to reading them. It's been a very long time! Karla Henderson blkdolfin2@juno.com

Anonymous said...

While there is life there is hope.


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Columbia University

Anonymous said...

He that makes a good war makes a good peace.

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