Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Morning Plum

* Obama to say government intervention worked: He enjoyed a much-needed victory lap last week when he gave a speech at a Detroit auto plant about how his widely-criticized decision to bail out the auto industry paid off. Today Obama will do the same at a plant in Chicago.

The president will "continue to tell the story of how the tough choices he made to save the American auto industry were necessary to save a million American jobs, stave off economic devastation in our auto communities and revitalize an entire American industry," a White House official emails.

There are multiple examples on record of Republicans predicting that the only right course was for government to get out of the way. The question is whether the emerging White House argument -- that Obama took tough decisions early on that are now bearing fruit -- is enough to offset generalized anxiety and pessimism about government's ability to right the economy.

* Dems getting tough? It's looking more like Dem leaders and the White House will in fact stage a big fight this fall over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich, despite some skittish Dems who inexplicably think it's bad politics.

* But: Some Senate Dems are still privately pushing for the top-end tax cuts to be extended, and they're still privately debating how to wage this fight.

* Attack of the day: Republican Senators say it's out of bounds for the White House to spend taxpayer money informing seniors who were misled by the right's massive health care misinformation campaign how they can benefit from the new law.

* Dems turn up heat under Tea Party Republicans: The DNC is set to renew its push to define the GOP as indistinguishable from the Tea Party, by pressuring local reporters in some 80 House districts to ask GOPers whether they support the Tea Party agenda.

Tea Party or no Tea Party, the success of this all hinges on whether Dems can successfully get Republicans to detail precisely what they're for.

* Devastating: Marc Ambinder breaks down the ruling overturning Proposition 8 and finds that it's "devastating," which could be key if it goes to the Supreme Court.

* And: Dahlia Lithwick concludes the ruling is brilliant and powerful, and says the Supreme Court is its intended audience.

* Reigniting the culture war? Advocates on both sides think the ruling will increase the pressure on Obama to come out and endorse gay marriage already.

* And the gang at Americablog keep up the pressure.

* The filibuster works politically -- for Republicans: Jed Lewison explains why filibustering will continue to be a political win-win for the GOP all around. Are any Dems listening?

* This is odd: Did Crown Publishing delay pubiication of George W. Bush's memoir because Bush concluded it would hurt the GOP in the midterms?

Bush friends tell the Financial Times that the former president wanted the date moved to help the GOP. But Crown says it decided the media environment would be better for book sales after the elections. Hmm...

*Headline of the day: From Gawker, on the silence of Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner on the Ground Zero Islamic center:

New York's Two Loudest Democrats Dead Silent on Ground Zero Mosque

* But Dem Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan steps up, sending over a new statement blasting the center's opponents:

"As an elected official who believes strongly in the separation of church and state, I contend that the government has no business deciding whether there should or should not be a Muslim house of worship near Ground Zero. And, as a representative of New Yorkers of all faiths and cultures, I find the singling out of Muslim-Americans -- because of their faith -- for animus and hate to be shameful and divisive. We should instead work toward building tolerance and understanding.

The key there is Nadler's nod to the fact that he represents Muslim constituents, too. What a controversial notion!

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Obama admin skewers GOP attack on stimulus cocaine monkeys

Comments

"Republican Senators say it's out of bounds for the White House to spend taxpayer money informing seniors who were misled by the right's massive health care misinformation campaign how they can benefit from the new law."

But the GOP is paying for the "You Cut" website with taxpayer money.

Hypocrits.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Nadler for mayor.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | August 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Don't expect Obama to change his view on gay marriage.

It didn't hurt him in 2008 thus he won't change his position.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 5, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"The question is whether the emerging White House argument -- that Obama took tough decisions early on that are now bearing fruit -- is enough to offset generalized anxiety and pessimism about government's ability to right the economy."

No. Now, a 3 point drop in the unemployment rate, or a 100% increase in home sales--now, that might offset generalized anxiety and pessimism about the current administrations ability to right the economy.

@suekzoo1: "But the GOP is paying for the 'You Cut' website with taxpayer money."

They Bush admin spent millions of dollars notifying people that they were going to get a refund check on the first, retroactive Bush tax cut--couched as being purely informative, it was in fact nothing but an early campaign effort: "Look how awesome I am! I'm gonna be sending you $600! And remember, when you get that $600, who gave it you! Me, George W. Bush!"

And many Democrats complained about that, but I don't think they were quite as loud as the GOP on this add. What they really object to is that it's Andy Griffith, sheriff of Mayberry, telling folks that it's all gonna be all right.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Do any of the GOP commenters have a comment for this:

Indeed, the conversations driving the GOP discourse focus around a series of stories -- Cordoba House, Prop 8, New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod -- that have one thing in common: they're intended to make white voters afraid of "the other," whether that be on the basis of religion, race, or sexual orientation.

Kevin Willis ... are these the people you are looking forward to voting for?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Bush friends tell the Financial Times that the former president wanted the date moved to help the GOP. But Crown says it decided the media environment would be better for book sales after the elections"

Uh-huh. I think it's more likely that W. said: "Look, I don't want these yahoos blaming my book because they couldn't pull it off. If somebody crashes and burns, I don't want them saying it was because something I said or didn't say about amnesty or pretzels or whatchamsumtins."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@ccmccayley60: Actually, I'm looking forward to *voting* against the party, and the ideology, that believes that my family, friends and neighbors are all racists, bigots, and xenophobes because they disagree with them politically.

That's all.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@kw: Either way, political not technical issues are dictating when the book comes out. It would be great to get some leaked execrpts though.

"Now, a 3 point drop in the unemployment rate"
No danger of repubs or conservadems allowing any measures that will lower the unemployment rate significantly to pass. The up or down vote chant seems strangely absent from repubs these days. The package that passed the cloture vote is too small to be anything but symbolic. It helps, but it is not nearly big enough to lower unemployment. Again, it will just keep some people from losing their jobs.

I am waiting for the adds showing the repub leadership repeating up or down vote while showing all of the legislation that has been filibustered, but I don't know if dems are that smart...

Posted by: srw3 | August 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Reality be damned, huh KW?

What about the Sherrod story is not racist?

What about the attack on the 14th Amendment is not xenophobic?

What about the Cordoba House, Murfreesboro and California mosque stories is not bigoted?

Your claim that pointing out these clear facts is equivalent to painting all republicans as guilty seems a bit paranoid dontcha think?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 5, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Greg- I usually agree with your blog posts, but myself and my entire family are from Michigan. ALL of us were laid off last year. I had to move my family to the south to try and get some sort of employment, but all three of my brothers, my father,my uncle, and my sister's husband are all still there and all still unemployed. My respect for Obama is falling by the day, I am aware that he has to attempt to give SOME positive news, but for those of us who were actually employed and were laid off , no amount of positive framing will change the realtime outlook from on those of us on the ground in Michigan. As for unemployment benefits- $1200 a month barely covers the rent,let alone INSANELY high electric bills because Granholm simply refuses to back off her green approach. Do I believe in green jobs-YES- but where in the hell are they? How does raising electric bills when entire towns are dying make any damn sense? Obama has precisely 89 days left to EARN mine and my entire family's votes. We are ALL UNION and we are all democrats. ALL of us have made a pact that if we do not ALL have jobs by Nov 2, we will vote republican as a protest vote. Yes, I know all the smack about "going backwards" and the repubs destroying everything the dems have achieved so far. Hint... those who are unemployed don't give a rat's a$$ about wall street reform, we don't care about republican "obstruction"- with 60 votes in the senate and huge extra votes in the house THIS is the best the dems can come up with? THIS sorry state? I worked my butt off for Obama-he had better understand that we want JOBS. J-O-B-S for our votes. He has 89 days and the spin does not work on us because we are right there and know different. JOBS Mr. President or we vote R this time around, how could they possibly make things any worse than they already are?

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So Kevin_Willis "politically agrees" with today's Dixiecrats & John Birchers?

Good for him.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin says, "I'm looking forward to *voting* against the party, and the ideology, that believes that my family, friends and neighbors are all racists, bigots, and xenophobes because they disagree with them politically."

What? Really? Look, the GOP has been using the Southern Strategy for 40 years. They have admitted to it many times. They have apologized for it. But they ARE STILL DOING IT!

Yet when we point out what they are doing is the same thing they've been doing for 40 years you say we are calling you, your friends and your family racist. We aren't. We are saying the GOP is using racism to appeal to racist.

I doubt any of us know your friends, family etc. If we do, we don't know we do. Nothing about your family, friends or neighbors and their likes and dislikes has any effect on the GOP's use of the Southern Strategy. Nothing.

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@KevinW

Wow perhaps you've unveiled a new ideology this morning.

"and the ideology, that believes that my family, friends and neighbors are all racists, bigots, and xenophobes because they disagree with them politically."

Which ideology would that be? Could you also present some links to reports or explanations of just how that ideology believes that everybody who disagrees with them politically is racist. Otherwise we're liable to suspect that it's just an unfounded opinion.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Fox started early attacking Obama's victory lap for the auto industry and was very specific to the Ford employee's by saying, "remember, you took no bailout".

Posted by: soapm | August 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, the RNC website touted the passage of the 14th amendment as one of their accomplishments. This morning, any reference to the 14th amendment is missing.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Republican Senators say it's out of bounds for the White House to spend taxpayer money informing seniors who were misled by the right's massive health care misinformation campaign how they can benefit from the new law"


Yet the Republicans had no problem whatsoever spending, what, 80 million?, investigating Bill Clinton's private parts.

And Republican House members are on the record saying that if they win the house they will spend a great deal of time (and money) inventing/investigating Obama. I'm guessing, however, they will avoid looking into Obama's privates because it will make theirs look, well, inadequate. snark/

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

We have a Bush (GOP) Deficit, which was caused by:
1)Bush (GOP) tax cuts, which benefited mainly the richest 1% of U.S. families, and
2)reckless Bush (GOP)spending, based on the Bush (GOP) belief that tax cuts lead to economic growth and more revenue for U.S. government. That worked well!!! Not- gave us record financial crisis with Bush (GOP) bubble economy.

To restore sensible tax amounts on richest 1% of U.S. taxpayers, who must not have been hurt by this poor economy to still have that much income, to start making an improvement on the record Bush (GOP) deficits and pay back a little for the 2 war efforts, is a smart, patriotic issue for the Democrats.

The GOP policy appears to be: leave taxes low and deficits high.

Posted by: Bak1 | August 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

sayoung809132001: As a life-long Michigander, I understand what you are saying and completely sympathize, but totally disagree that a protest vote in November for the GOP is as misguided as it gets. The GOP is not going to bring green jobs to Michigan, or anywhere else for that matter. It's GOP policies over the past 30 years, aided by the Reagan Democrats, that helped decimate the Michigan economy. You may think that voting for the GOP will register as a protest against the Democrats. I think it will register as "confidence" in the failures of the past.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"but totally disagree that a protest vote in November for the GOP is as misguided as it gets."

make that..."but totally SEE a protest vote in November for the GOP as misguided as it gets."

(Did someone move the coffee urn?)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Kevin_Willis:

"I vote anti-Democrat, no matter what."

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 5, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Must read story on the Republican turned Dem lite Jeff Greene down here in florida. An excerpt

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/jeff-greenes-path-to-senate-campaign-shows-he-is-uncompromising-sometimes/1112417

"I don't think I ever once had an actual conversation with him. It was always, 'I should just get rid of you, what f------ good are you? You're just a f------ boat driver. You're the third-highest paid employee in my corporation and I should just get rid of you,' '' Lambert, 43, recalled by phone from a yacht in Croatia. "It didn't bother me. I just felt sorry for the man. He doesn't seem very happy."

Harlan Hoffman, 37, was in a Fort Lauderdale yachting apparel store in 2007 when he saw a help wanted ad for Summerwind.

"There were two people from Australia there who said, 'Oh, good luck with that one. . . . We're still waiting to get paid by Summerwind.' I should have listened," Hoffman said.

The deckhand was shocked while buffing Greene's yacht and wound up hospitalized.

A boat's owner is supposed to take care of on-the-job medical costs, but Hoffman said Greene — whom he never met — told the insurance company he had never heard of Hoffman and that he didn't work on Summerwind. It took eight months and legal action that included affidavits from other crew members vouching for Hoffman and trashing Greene to get his bills paid.

"This guy Jeff Greene threw tons of money into new diving gear, but the crew's basic equipment — food and supplies — he didn't want to spend any money on. Summerwind has a terrible reputation,'' Hoffman said. "Mr. Greene's yacht is known to be a party yacht. When it went to Cuba, everybody talked about the vomit caked all over the sides from all the partying going on."

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | August 5, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey Greg. Notice how the right is silent that the judge that overruled Prop 8 was initially nominated by Reagan but got tied up because of major opposition to his, get this, reservations about using the term "Gay Olympics" by non other than Nanci Pelosi and others. He was then nominated again by George HW Bush and confirmed.

This is via wiki:

"nomination by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the federal district court...Walker's original nomination to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987 stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because of controversy over his representation of the United States Olympic Committee in a lawsuit that prohibited the use of the title "Gay Olympics".[4] Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed his nomination because of his alleged "insensitivity" to gays and the poor. Years later, the San Francisco Chronicle noted the irony of this opposition due to Walker's sexual orientation."

Maybe Reagan and George HW Bush had a secret gay agenda?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 5, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"This morning, any reference to the 14th amendment is missing."

Get outta here.

Shameless panderers.

I guess the whole GOP has Sharron Angle disease. Policies? History? What's that?

They would stomp on their grandmother if it afforded them the opportunity to win votes or redistribute Middle Class wealth to the rich.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The GOP scrubbed the site of any references to the 14th amendment?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 5, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"The GOP scrubbed the site of any references to the 14th amendment?"

If they did, that means they are serious about this repeal then I'd say. I see no other reason for scrubbing it apart from trying to not look hypocritical while they take their sharp right turn into one of the biggest anti-immigrant stances of the decade.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"The GOP is not going to bring green jobs to Michigan, or anywhere else for that matter"

Sue is absolutely right.

Look at Colorado. A similarly rural/outdoorsy kind of place in some ways.

And you have the Republican Tea Party favorite candidate for Gov declaring that Hickenlooper's bike sharing program in Denver (which is a great idea) is part of a U.N. conspiracy to take over the town.

It stems from their participation with an international sustainability group called ICLEI that does INCREDIBLE work helping local municipalities (over 600 of them and growing rapidly) encourage sustainability programs for their constituents and businesses and a reduction in the town/city's carbon footprint.

Check out www.ICLEIUSA.org. I've done some work with them and they are just plain awesome.

But it shows the level of depravity of their conspiracies when such awesome programming can be cast as an evil. The Tea Party idiot actually said this out loud:

"ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty"

Nuts. So yeah, anyone who favors green jobs but votes Republican is literally being hoodwinked.

sayoung809132001, I encourage you to check out these links for more about green job initiatives in MI:

http://www.michigan.gov/nwlb/0,1607,7-242-49026---,00.html

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/nwlb/GreenReport_Onepage_Final_278868_7.pdf

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Greg, it was there yesterday, but gone today. There are lots of posts around the internet about the GOP listing the 14th amendment on their "accomplishments" page, but if you go there now, it's not there. POOF!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Suekzoo1-you are entitled to your opinion I suppose, but your opinion does not put food on my families' table, nor does it keep the roof over their head or provide electricity,water, or even gas to drive. If the jobs lost were to provide green jobs, then those jobs should have been provided BEFORE the others were cut. And as for your opinion that my vote would be regarded as "confidence in the past" it is our and A LOT of other's opinion that the democratic party needs to be smacked with a two by four upside the head to see some damn sense. They were happy to have our support in the lead up to 2008 and then threw us under the bus soon after. Take me,my children, and the rest of my family for granted and I will see to it that you learn the hard way not to do it again. as for Ethan's links to the Mic.gov's green reports- do you live here? These are all inflated,bogus garbage. Come on over and walk through the deserted neighborhoods,streets, look at the boarded up shop windows, the empty parking lots of stores, the despair on people's faces at the unemployment, and food stamp offices. We are mostly union,democratic voters. One thing we don't talk about anymore is vacation,savings,a hopeful future,etc but I guaran - damn -tee you we DO talk about voting in November and that is one time where being unemployed can sure be beneficial as we have hours to stand in line. I received my email from Trumka asking me not to give up on the democrats. He wanted me to forward it to ten friends, I sure dumped that thing right into the trash . Too little and way way too late, but hey there's hope- we have 89 days until Nov 2nd- they had better make it count

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Still busy so again missed all of yesterday's news and comments here. I see the Prop 8 finding went as expected....cheering, cheering, cheering! One of the most pernicious aspects of modern American conservativism has been its demonization/marginalization of categories of people - gay, Muslim or non-Christian or non-believer, the French, professors, coastal city-dwellers, etc. It is bigotry, it is xenophobia and it is a moral and intellectual vulgarity. And it is fundamentally un-American, as this judge's ruling details. Again, cheers!

Lithwick writes a sentence I find particularly compelling and interesting:

"It's hard to read Judge Walker's opinion without sensing that what really won out today was science, methodology, and hard work."

Those of us who have spent some decades debating conservatives have found an extraordinary number of them who reject science and methodology wherever or whenever it leads to conclusions unpalatable to ideology and prejudice. For these conservatives, a return to pre-enlightenment epistemologies (eg., if the good book says it, it must be so) is the proper course our intellectual and political life.

And as with Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman or so many others, the 'hard work' of learning and the rigor of proper research, of questioning assumptions etc is foregone in favor of the easy answer and the cliche.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

sue, I'm still seeing it under "accomplishments." am I missing something?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@sayyoung

What then would be your policy prescriptions for this (or any) administration at the present point? What would you suggest ought to be done to create more jobs? What would you do to mitigate the consequences of an opposition party which takes every opportunity to thwart such hoped-for recovery on the assumption that their electoral chances will be furthered if the economy remains stagnant or worse?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@mike - thanks for the background on this judge

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Ethan's links to the Mic.gov's green reports- do you live here? These are all inflated, bogus garbage. Come on over and walk through the deserted neighborhoods, streets, look at the boarded up shop windows, the empty parking lots of stores"

I'm sorry about what is happening to your state, I truly am. And I totally understand your frustration. But you have a NEW, GROWING INDUSTRY in Michigan in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles. These ARE green jobs.

"""There are 17 new plants in production, under construction or approaching groundbreaking in Michigan’s nascent vehicle battery sector, according to the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Two of them, representing an investment of $523 million, are in Holland, a city of 34,000.

[...]

The two new plants, Mr. Thelen said, could stimulate a regional auto battery manufacturing and supply industry capable of eventually employing 10,000 people. That would rival the office furniture industry, he said, which employed 12,000 people in the Holland area.

“We have 8,000 people ready to go to work right now,” Mr. Thelen said. “This city could be the center of the American battery industry.”"""

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/04/realestate/commercial/04battery.html

Again, that is NOT to say that things are all hunkey-dorey. Everyone knows and understands that. But this is the future industry of Michigan.

In many respects I share your frustration about the lack of jobs and the lack of green jobs. I have been a green advocate for over 10 years. If we started giving strong tax breaks for companies creating electric vehicles and hybrids back in the year 2000, we wouldn't be having this conversation because the industry would have had a decade to grow.

Republicans preferred oil industry giveaways and allowing the auto industry to push gas-guzzling SUVs -- two of THE main reasons the auto industry completely failed at the end of the decade.

So, again, I feel your pain. I wish it were a different story. And, truth be told, when Bush was elected in 2000 I was angry because I just KNEW he would focus on renewable energy and steal the thunder of the Dems who have championed it all along. But he didn't. And currently the oil industry receives literally TEN TIMES the amount of federal subsidies that green industries receive.

This is precisely why America is in such agony. And it is entirely due to pee-poor Republican leadership and their cozy dealings with massive special interests. Nothing has changed. Just look at BP and look at Maes from Colorado that I mentioned before and look at Pete Hoekestra who voted against the stimulus but attended the Obama event opening one of these new plants. It is unfortunate all the way around, but to reward the GOP for their clear malfeasance won't bring you ANY jobs anytime soon, if ever. The opposite is true about the Dems who have already begun to invest in green growth industries right there in MI and around the country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Appropriate snark from David Kurtz at TPM

"BUT OF COURSE

Karl Rove to guest host for Rush Limbaugh next week."

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Pete Hoekstra will not be missed.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The covert UN strategy to promote bicycles...

"The Denver Post reports that Maes, a Tea Party friendly candidate facing former Rep. Scott McInnis in the August 10 Republican primary, has come out against a public bicycle program run by the city of Denver. Denver's mayor, John Hickenlooper, is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and a cycling supporter.

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes said at a small campaign rally last week, according to the Post. "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.""
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/co-gov-goper-maes-hickenloopers-bike-love-is-a-un-plot.php?ref=fpc

One dearly wishes to reverse-engineer the sequence of prior events which led to someone becoming this incredibly stupid.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Journalism's Age of Shame

The black political art of "working the refs" with constant and vociferous complaints of "liberal bias" in the media has a long and distinguished history. Few of its practitioners, however, have succeeded so frequently—and nakedly—as the ex-Drudge drudge and Arianna acolyte Andrew Breitbart. The estimable E.J. Dionne terms Breitbart to be the MSM's virtual "assignment editor" and, indeed, it's hard not to be impressed. Breitbart has already been exposed as a provocateur who cares not a whit for honesty or accuracy in his self-declared war on all things liberal. Yet reporters, editors and producers remain so frightened by his accusations that they continue to trumpet them as they search their souls to purge themselves of the bias that prevented them from seeing the world from a Tea Party point of view."
more here... http://www.thenation.com/article/38026/journalisms-age-shame

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

have a good day, all

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

All, check this out: Obama admin pushes back hard on the GOP attack on stimulus cocaine monkeys:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/obama_admin_skewers_gop_attack.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@cmccauley60: I just think this is where we have to part company. I believe--perhaps I'm mistaken, but experience has led me to believe I'm probably not--that no matter how I try to explain, there's always going to be a reason I'm wrong, some way I'm being fooled, some manner in which I'm wearing blinders or I've "drunk the Kool-Aid". Or, of course, some way in which I'm racist. A xenophobe. A bigot.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. You're never going to see it my way, and I'm never going to see it yours.

"Your claim that pointing out these clear facts is equivalent to painting all republicans as guilty seems a bit paranoid dontcha think"

I suppose it could be seen that way. Perhaps you could ask yourself if there is any circumstance under which these clear facts could possibly be something other than a racist, bigoted, Xenophobic strategy of appealing to similarly backwards racists, xenophobic, bigotted backwoods rural types? If you can imagine any explanations--any at all--where the motivations and appeals in the facts you mentioned are something other than racism, then perhaps there is room for discussion.

Otherwise, I suspect it is here our paths diverge, and we can talk of other things.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Bernie- a drop in the bucket. I'll be sure to inform my neices and nephews who can't even afford school clothes that they should take heart because they can someday make green batteries. Please, it is apparent that to some , the democratic party can do no wrong. Obama is above reproach in your eyes. I suggest you get out of academia or the beltway and get down to the real suburbs and cities of America. Michigan voted on Tuesday and we refused to show up for dems, we don't care about some lame primary where we get to hear the same tired speech again and again from various democratic politicians. They can put up whomever they wish- we don't care, but we will damn sure be there on Nov. 2nd and as shown in Stupak's seat,ONE vote can make a difference. As for my prescription for ending unemployment, I will quote a phrase "that's above my paygrade",I'm a simple auto worker who installs car seats- however- COMMON SENSE should tell you that if something isn't working after nearly two years, it may be time to do the exact opposite,I don't know, but the most frustrating thing is the democratic party's head in the sand attitude to those of us who are actually living their poor choices. And as for being informed once again about the republican party standing in the way- we were told by Obama" just get us a majority" and we sure enough did, in both the house and the senate- and even then, they STILL failed. All the way from the time Franken was sworn in until Scott Brown was elected in January, they could have passed ANY BILL WHATSOEVER without any republican support whatsoever. They didn't seem to give a damn about us, instead they spent an ENTIRE YEAR with a health care bill. Only now is it too late to pass bills without at least one republican. It is not my problem that REID is so damn weak that he couldn't even hold his own party in line- IMHO it shows even MORE why I have no confidence in the democratic party anymore. Even with a 60 vote filibuster proof majority they showed where their true priorites were and they weren't for us, but more payoffs to the insurance industry. Pathetic

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Bernie- a drop in the bucket. I'll be sure to inform my nieces and nephews who can't even afford school clothes, that they should take heart because they can someday make green batteries. Please, it is apparent that to some , the democratic party can do no wrong. Obama is above reproach in your eyes. I suggest you get out of academia or the beltway and get down to the real suburbs and cities of America. Michigan voted on Tuesday and we refused to show up for dems, we don't care about some lame primary where we get to hear the same tired speech again and again from various democratic politicians. They can put up whomever they wish- we don't care, but we will damn sure be there on Nov. 2nd and as shown in Stupak's seat,ONE vote can make a difference. As for my prescription for ending unemployment, I will quote a phrase "that's above my paygrade",I'm a simple auto worker who installs car seats- however- COMMON SENSE should tell you that if something isn't working after nearly two years, it may be time to do the exact opposite,I don't know, but the most frustrating thing is the democratic party's head in the sand attitude to those of us who are actually living their poor choices. And as for being informed once again about the republican party standing in the way- we were told by Obama" just get us a majority" and we sure enough did, in both the house and the senate- and even then, they STILL failed. All the way from the time Franken was sworn in until Scott Brown was elected in January, they could have passed ANY BILL WHATSOEVER without any republican support whatsoever. They didn't seem to give a damn about us, instead they spent an ENTIRE YEAR with a health care bill. Only now is it too late to pass bills without at least one republican. It is not my problem that REID is so damn weak that he couldn't even hold his own party in line- IMHO it shows even MORE why I have no confidence in the democratic party anymore. Even with a 60 vote filibuster proof majority they showed where their true priorites were and they weren't for us, but more payoffs to the insurance industry. Pathetic

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Kevin_Willis yesterday:

"There is a GOP strategy to appeal to xenophobes and racists and it's working and I'm totally on board"

A bunch of us:

"What?! You're admitting you're a xenophobe?"

Kevin_Willis:

"Why'd you call me a xenophobe?"

I wonder sometimes (actually, frequently) if Republicans simply don't understand the words they say or the positions they take.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@Akaoddjob: "So Kevin_Willis 'politically agrees' with today's Dixiecrats & John Birchers?"

Actually, I don't agree with either of them, but that one line kinda perfectly illustrates my point. So, thanks for that.

@BBQChickenMadness: "Shorter Kevin_Willis: 'I vote anti-Democrat, no matter what.'"

You're so close. Actually, I vote less-liberal, almost no matter what. If the Democrat is actually less liberal on issues, I will often vote for that Democrat. Or if I really respect a given Democrat, I'll vote for that Democrat, but usually Democrats I respect will be considered, in some form or fashion, Conservadems.

@nsleib: "What? Really? Look, the GOP has been using the Southern Strategy for 40 years. They have admitted to it many times. They have apologized for it. But they ARE STILL DOING IT!"

Okay. You are absolutely sure that's what they are doing, that's how they work and, I'm maybe assuming a little, but you're pretty sure that's how they win elections. Which implies the people that vote for them are racists, which would be the people who are my friends and family (many of them) and . . . I don't think it's that convoluted, but perhaps it is. Sufficed to say, I disagree, I understand you think that is willfully ignorant or clinically insane or something in between. However, that doesn't change either my experience, or the conclusions I've drawn from it.

@rukidding: "Which ideology would that be? Could you also present some links to reports or explanations of just how that ideology believes that everybody who disagrees with them politically is racist. Otherwise we're liable to suspect that it's just an unfounded opinion."

Could be. Thus, easy to dismiss, and it really shouldn't bother you. And I didn't mean to imply there were reports, or my conclusions were drawn from polls or surveys. Rather, it's been long personal experience, which is inherently anecdotal in nature, and cannot be used to draw scientific conclusions. But tends to inform our (well, some people's) most steadfastly held beliefs, and opinions, nevertheless.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

sayoung, Obama hasn't changed EVERYTHING in 18 months!!??

Unbelievable.

You think the GOP is an alternative?

Work to make the Dems better, since they're the only game in town unless you win the lottery. Stark choice, and an unhappy one, but that's all there is right now.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Shorter Kevin_Willis yesterday: 'There is a GOP strategy to appeal to xenophobes and racists and it's working and I'm totally on board':"

Okay. Next time I'm being ironic, or sarcastic, I'll make sure to specify that in a footnote.

Next time I quote somebody I disagree with, but it would make me look bad if I had actually said the thing I was quoting, why don't you just act like I said the thing I quoted, because . . . you know, it'd be, um, you know. Awesome.

To be clear, I'm not saying I was quoting something (I don't want to be misunderstood on this), as I was not quoting anybody. What I was being was sarcastic, because I find those kinds of blanket indictments of people and parties shallow and self-congratulatory, as well as inherently insular and not a little ironic, given the dismissal and fear of the scary backwoods, hayseed Other.

I mean, seriously.

Good grief.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"I'm a simple auto worker who installs car seats ... the most frustrating thing is the democratic party's head in the sand attitude to those of us who are actually living their poor choices"

What party wanted to increase CAFE standards, ushering in new green vehicles?

DEMS.

What party had control of the Presidency and both Houses of Congress from 2000 to 2007?

GOP.

What party oversaw the largest decrease in manufacturing jobs in recent history?

GOP.

Again, sayoung, why do you blame the Dems for the GOP's choices?

It is mind-boggling!!!

"Even with a 60 vote filibuster proof majority they showed where their true priorites were and they weren't for us, but more payoffs to the insurance industry"

Um... AGAIN.

The insurance industry bailout (AIG) was by BUSH in 2008.

You are either being misinformed or you are not serious in your comments. If it is the former, I suggest you do some non-partisan research. If it is the latter, then I'm sorry I wasted my time responding to you as if you actually cared.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "I wonder sometimes (actually, frequently) if Republicans simply don't understand the words they say or the positions they take."

Oh, we don't. Because we're invariably much more ignorant and parochial than obviously smarter and better educated, more worldly people, such as yourself. We occasionally try to use big words to make ourselves sound smart, but given that the inherent mental and emotional disorders that cause us to fail to agree with Democrats and liberal politically, we are incapable of pulling off the ruse. :)

The above was sarcasm. Just to be clear. Because apparently I need to provide a disclaimer.

To make sure that I am understood in regards to what I mean by "sarcasm", I provide this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

I hope that helps. :)

The smiley above is included to let Ethan2010 know that, despite my sharp tone, I do mean it all in fun, and I hope it is taken that way. Yet I would begrudgingly make this comment anyway, if it is taken the wrong way, because I feel like it should be taken in the spirit of fun in which it is meant, even if it isn't. In any case, I will enjoy making it, and I have.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, what I think Ethan's really getting at is: "why do working class people consistently vote against their own self-interests?"

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

to ethan2010-your post says it all,blame the other party and yet refuse to take responsibility when you are in power to fix the other party's mistakes-especially when you have a filibuster proof majority. By the insurance industry, I was talking about HEALTH CARE INSURANCE, which is precisely who benefited from a bill with no public option. Failure upon failure upon failure and your excuse making falls on deaf ears

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, I'm beginning to understand that nothing you say is serious.

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

~ Ken Mehlman, RNC Chair, July 15th, 2005

and

“For the last 40-plus years we had a ‘Southern Strategy’ that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South. Well, guess what happened in 1992, folks, ‘Bubba’ went back home to the Democratic Party and voted for Bill Clinton.”

~ Michael Steele, RNC Chairman, April 20th, 2010

You're clearly deluded.

And btw, I grew up in a rural backwoods about 20 minutes away from nothing. I spent my time in the woods, fishing at our local pond and running around my friend's dad's farm.

I certainly do not appreciate your blanket indictment of Democrats as not caring about people in more rural settings.

You, sir, are a flagrant hypocrite and your comments are not to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - I live in the south. My step father is a racist; there is just no way around it. He thinks saying #igger makes him a man. It makes me sick, and is one of the things that led me to my lefty politics. This kind of thing is meant to appeal to him and people like him.

I don't know your family and friends. I'm certainly not ascribing to them beliefs they don't hold. If you took it that way I'm sorry, but if you reread my comments you'll see I'm not saying all Republicans are racist. What I'm saying is that the GOP uses the Southern Strategy to appeal to the racist elements of its base.

Seeing as how the Republican Party has admitted as much on more than one occasion (and apologized for it) there really is no denying that.

Both parties have gay people in them. I can say that and NOT mean "All Republicans/Democrats are gay." There is a big difference.

Seeing as how you've admitted that this 14th amendment issue is political posturing, and that the GOP is doing this for political reasons, not policy reasons, who do you think this is supposed to appeal to?

Who was the Shirley Sherrod mess supposed to appeal to?

Who is the New Black Panther non-story supposed to appeal to?

Who is the Cordoba Mosque nonsense supposed to appeal to?

These are non-troversies blown up by the right wing. There is NO way any legislative action will happen on any of these issues. Why is the rightwing making these issues an issue? Is it just a coincidence that this kind of nonsense is going on so close to an election?

You seem like a reasonable guy, for God's sake open your eyes.

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@kw:racist, bigoted, Xenophobic strategy of appealing to similarly backwards racists, xenophobic, bigotted backwoods rural types?

Kevin, I can't see any other reason for the birther craze, the sherrod video, the totally deceptive, massively edited ACORN videos, the shameless, endless replays of the new black panther party non-issue, etc.

And it is not always working at the conscious, rational, level. Showing angry black men at a polling place (the same video over and over and over) is an appeal to the lizard brain, the fear of the other, not like us folks.

Somehow the real harrassment of black voters in S. Carolina I think, gets no play I assume because it shows white people yelling at black people going to register and vote. That doesn't fit the narrative.

http://www.southernstudies.org/2008/10/voting-rights-watch-voter-intimidation.html

BTW, kevin, do you believe that white privilege is a fairly large and ingrained part of "American" culture?

Posted by: srw3 | August 5, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"your post says it all, blame the other party and yet refuse to take responsibility when you are in power to fix the other party's mistakes"

I'm not blaming them because I WANT to.

I'm blaming them because THAT'S WHAT THEY'VE DONE.

Should we all just ignore reality now? Haha, I just don't get it.

As I said, I was ANGRY when Bush won because I thought they would take the green thing by the horns. It profoundly benefits both rural development and manufacturing. Two of the most desperate -- and necessary -- industries in the American economy.

What is this "refusal to take responsibility" you are talking about?

What are you talking about specifically, manufacturing jobs?

In the past year alone the auto industry has created over 55,000 manufacturing jobs.

What do you want them to do? Have all the jobs return overnight? You demand the impossible, then get outraged when it doesn't happen? You may be well-intentioned, but your it appears as though your demands are realistic.

It depends on what you mean by "refusal to take responsibility". That comment is perplexing and I hope you will elaborate.

"By the insurance industry, I was talking about HEALTH CARE INSURANCE, which is precisely who benefited from a bill with no public option"

Ah, so health care reform was a health insurance industry bailout even though their profits will be curtailed by regulations in the bill!

I agree with your comment about the public option. But to call the HCR bill an insurance industry bailout is simply flat-out untrue.

It is particularly troubling given the fact that you come from the auto industry, an industry greatly impacted by the cost of health benefits. It is clear to me that you have put all your eggs in the basket of the Republican talking points and not in investigating the benefits of the HCR package for someone in your situation. And that is, as I said, very troubling given the reality of what HCR actually does for working families.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi: "Kevin, what I think Ethan's really getting at is: 'why do working class people consistently vote against their own self-interests?'"

Only a portion of them vote against what you (or, what others) think represents their best interest, and they don't vote all as a block. How large a percentage depends on how you're defining "working class".

In regards to why they would vote against their own self-interests, the logical answer must be that, rightly or wrongly, they don't see it as voting against their self-interest. Those that better represent their interests, in turn, do not convey their benefit, overall, in a way that convinces those that vote against them that they do, in fact, represent their best interests.

There are also indications that, across party lines, people vote in patterns that resemble their family, friends, and community (not all, but many). Many vote out of a sense of tradition or affiliation or collegiality, more than specific policies they expect certain politicians to undertake.

Others may believe that even seemingly pointless partisan debate results in better overall results than an idealized utopian benevolent dictator, so always seeks to vote for the opposition, or the underdog. Others may simply may despise all politicians, but dislike one group less for arbitrary reasons, and typically vote for them.

Others may feel that you may know a man by his enemies, and vote thusly.

I don't think it's a small question with easy answers, nor do I think that the premise is entirely valid. But, that's my stab at answering it, nonetheless.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

edit: "it appears as though your demands are unrealistic."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, the Dems are far from perfect, but they spend far less time and energy lying to their constituents and to independents. The GOP, on the other hand, has made a science of it. They've admitted as much over and over (Atwater and Rove, most recently).

It IS a complex question, but one answer, and a major one, has to do with ideology. The GOP are masters at selling people something that is not good for them.

While I'd agree the Dems do it too, they do it by an order of magnitude less.

This is politics 101.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 5, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Kevin_Willis, I'm beginning to understand that nothing you say is serious."

Perhaps nothing I say to you is serious. That is a small, but important, distinction. If you want to have a serious discussion, I'm entirely open to it. I don't think you really are.

"You're clearly deluded."

Says the guy who complains other people aren't serious. Again, you're not interested in a serious conversation. While I do not disagree, on the whole, with either quote you provide, and in neither case do they say that Republicans have long been a party of nothing but xenophobic, bigoted racists, and that was awesome, so lets do it some more. Which is a short way of saying what you've been implying. If you don't think that's fair, please feel free to moderate your tone.

"I certainly do not appreciate your blanket indictment of Democrats as not caring about people in more rural settings."

Oh, my, was that offensive? My apologies.

"You, sir, are a flagrant hypocrite and your comments are not to be taken seriously."

And that's how you talk to people when trying to engage in a serious dialog? And then you act like I'm crazy for the occasional flippancy?

Okay, then.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Both parties have gay people in them. I can say that and NOT mean 'All Republicans/Democrats are gay.' There is a big difference."

Fair enough, but I don't think I've seen many qualifiers--i.e., 2% of Democrats are probably racists, while 10% of Republicans are probably racists--in statements that essentially say this class of people with this label are racist, xenophobic, bigots. If there is truly a granular indictment of specific people doing specific things, and not an attempt to be divisive by associating and entire class of people with fringers and outliers, I have missed it. But it just doesn't seem to be the case, from where I've standing.

"You seem like a reasonable guy, for God's sake open your eyes."

Dude, my eyes or open. We're just not going to agree on this. My "History of Science" teacher (at art school, where the academics weren't exactly that strenuous, admittedly) once made a big deal about how stupid people were, back in the past, when they thought the sun revolved around the earth, instead of the other way. "Of course," he said after getting general agreement from the class. "What would it have looked like if the sun had been revolving around the earth?"

The answer being, of course, it would have looked exactly the same. In fact, if you have nothing but your observation of the sun rising and setting, that is the most logical conclusion. It also happens to be wrong, but . . .

I'm sorry your stepfather is a racist, but you're simply not going to change my mind on this, any more than I'm going to change yours, or talk you into believing the world is flat.

Ironically, there is probably a lot of stuff we can agree on. But human beings prefer to argue, don't we?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps nothing I say to you is serious. That is a small, but important, distinction. If you want to have a serious discussion, I'm entirely open to it."

Great. You can start by admitting that the Republican Party is attempting to appeal to whites on the basis of fear of blacks and minorities.

If you are unwilling to admit that, then you are simply not serious in your approach. There have been too many instances to list where this racial insensitivity has reared its ugly head in the GOP. The White House in front of a field of watermelons. Obama as a witch doctor. Obama is a racist. Tom Tancredo's comments. Again, if you don't want to admit that race is a part of the GOP strategy then you are just not being serious about politics.

"I don't think you really are."

Why do you say that? What have I said that indicates that I am not serious? Be specific.

"in neither case do they say that Republicans have long been a party of nothing but xenophobic, bigoted racists, and that was awesome, so lets do it some more"

Haha, okay. So they admitted they've been doing it for 40 YEARS. And now we've seen a litany of racially-tinged "controversies" too many to list. But somehow it's all a coincidence?

Do you honestly believe that an image of watermelons in front of the White House is NOT a racial comment? What about Obama as an African Witch Doctor with a bone through his nose? Not racial?

Those are serious questions I am asking you. If you do not respond to them, we'll all know why.

"And that's how you talk to people when trying to engage in a serious dialog?"

That's how I talk to someone who exhibits hypocritical positions, yes. I stand bye all of my comments.

You said:

"I find those kinds of blanket indictments of people and parties shallow and self-congratulatory, as well as inherently insular and not a little ironic, given the dismissal and fear of the scary backwoods, hayseed Other."

You oppose such "blanket indictments" and yet you proceed to make such a blanket indictment implying that Dems dismiss and fear rural people and communities. That comment was presented as a "given" when in fact it is exactly what you oppose, a blanket indictment.

That IS hypocrisy. Stunning in that you condemned one thing and then proceeded to exhibit exactly what you condemned IN THE SAME SENTENCE. Definitive, glaring hypocrisy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - Do you deny the GOP has used the Southern Strategy? Because they don't.

And answer the question: Since the issues I've listed above have no chance of any kind of legislative action and are being done for political purposes, who are they supposed to appeal to?

We both live in the south, right? Surely you don't deny many people in the south (more so than in other parts of the country) are racist, do you?

I know a lot of Republicans, not all of them are racist. Not by a long shot. That said, all the racists I know vote Republican and they are the people the Southern Strategy appeals to.

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib: "I know a lot of Republicans, not all of them are racist. Not by a long shot. That said, all the racists I know vote Republican and they are the people the Southern Strategy appeals to."

Then, that's been your experience, and I don't think I'm going to talk out of it.

I'm just going to have to disagree with your conclusions.

"Surely you don't deny many people in the south (more so than in other parts of the country) are racist, do you?"

Hasn't really been my experience. But, if you look for racists, you will surely find them. There are certainly people in the south that are racists, classically defined, but I think most are not, and even those that are, it's usually an oversimplification to say "they just don't like brown people". Many of the clashes are cultural, having little to do with skin pigmentation, and some of them are almost certain more generational than any sort of cliched racism. But, again, I don't think we're going to see eye to eye here.

So, back to work!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - So why are the Republicans pushing the issues they are? You still haven't answered the question.

You've admitted they are doing it for political purposes. I hate to sound patronizing, but if you are doing something for political purposes you are doing it because it will help you politically.

Maybe the hang up is the word "racist." Mabye "nativist" or "xenophobic" are better words to describe the target demographic of the Republican's Southern Strategy.

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@kw: Have a quick look at this article

http://www.princeton.edu/~pager/annualreview_discrimination.pdf

White privilege is not having the bank charge you higher interest rates, spending less time with you, etc. White privilege is getting a call back on a resume when a equivalent resume with a name like Kwame on it doesn't get the call back.

Republicans are using a strategy that is exploiting the fear that Obama, in particular and dems in general are going to reverse this and allow minorities to discriminate in the same fashion. That is what makes the deceptively edited sherrod video so scary to many white republican (and some democratic) voters: it shows a black person in a position of power denying help to a white person. This is extrapolated to Obama (because at a visceral (not conscious or rational) level they are both "not like us" and will "promote their own over us." That is what makes the endlessly hyped NBPP video and story so scary to many white republican (and some democratic) voters: The Obama justice department, headed by a black man, is going easier on these black lawbreakers.

Not all republicans are racists. I never claimed that and don't believe it. But, these kind of hyped stories do appeal to a substantial segment of the repubican base (especially but not exclusively in the south).

Posted by: srw3 | August 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Great. You can start by admitting that the Republican Party is attempting to appeal to whites on the basis of fear of blacks and minorities."

Um, no.

Beyond that, I really don't think I've made my point clearly--at all--and no doubt, the miscommunication here is entirely my fault. However, I've exhausted my toolbox in regards to creating a productive or communicative dialog, and have probably been more sarcastic or flippant than I should have been, so perhaps we can start from scratch, on something else, at some later date.

"Those are serious questions I am asking you. If you do not respond to them, we'll all know why."

I'm sure I'm wrong, but I consider that kind of bullying. Maybe I don't have time. Maybe I'm worried I'll be misconstrued. Maybe I eat too many fatty foods and have a heart attack. Lots of reason I don't answer your question, not least of which is I just don't like your tone. And it would be entirely fair for you to take the same tact with me. I'm just sayin'.

"Do you honestly believe that an image of watermelons in front of the White House is NOT a racial comment? What about Obama as an African Witch Doctor with a bone through his nose? Not racial?"

Of course they are racist. Or racial. They are also fringe outliers. I understand you disagree with that. I don't think we're going to agree.

I apologize for what you perceive to be a glaring hypocrisy. Apologies all around.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: "Not all republicans are racists. I never claimed that and don't believe it. But, these kind of hyped stories do appeal to a substantial segment of the repubican base (especially but not exclusively in the south)."

Understood, and I am familiar with the concept of white privilege. And I appreciate the even-handedness of your comments. Even if, in the end, we're still going to disagree (especially about the south).

Also, regarding Sherry Sherod: " it shows a black person in a position of power denying help to a white person."

Actually, and this is to buttress your point, what it shows in an audience of African-Americans hearing a story of Sherod favoring other African-Americans over caucasians, and applauding that favoritism, before Sherod goes on to give her exculpatory explanation that it was the wrong attitude, and she understood that she had to help everybody, regardless of race. It's meant to illustrate not the (faked) failings of Sherod, but to suggest that African-Americans generally applaud reverse discrimination.

I just disagree both with the nature that such things are purely about a blind racism (often, they are in opposition to racism and support of a color blind society, which may seem unjust to some, but isn't the same as wanting to oppress the scary brown people) and that real, pernicious racism is particularly widespread, or a particularly good vote-getting strategy. Especially in the south.

I understand that you disagree, and I understand why you disagree. I also understand that some might find it difficult to see how any thinking person could reach any conclusion but "these people are racists appealing to racists, in whatever fractions or percentages, but still more than enough to be worthy of condemnation". And I see that. I really do. I'm just not going to agree 100% with your assessment. And the more judgement in heaps on people with certain labels (southerner, Republican, conservative) rather than individuals (fringe kook, outlier, nutburger), the less likely I am to agree.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure I'm wrong, but I consider that kind of bullying."

Watermelons on the White House lawn is bullying but not racial?!?!

How do you even begin to explain that?

Oh, I see, you admit later in your comment that it IS in fact racial.

How do you explain the inconsistency of your comments? Or more accurately, how do you explain how consistently inconsistent your comments have been?

"I just don't like your tone"

I just don't like your refusal to acknowledge reality, then continuing to pretend that you want to have a serious discussion.

"I apologize for what you perceive to be a glaring hypocrisy. Apologies all around."

Why all the apologies?

Can't you just say what you mean without contradicting yourself?

Watermelons on the WH lawn. You either think it's racial or you do not.

You either approve of "blanket indictments" or you don't.

It is literally impossible to have a serious discussion with you if you are going to contradict yourself with such regularity.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, by taking responsibility I mean that when an entire party works their butts off to get you control of congress(2006) and then again works their butts off to get you a super majority and the presidency- it is then YOUR responsibility to FIX THE PROBLEMS you were voted in on. Pointing the finger backwards is for schoolyards. It has been TWO DAMN YEARS- where are the JOBS? I challenge you to head over to anytown Michigan, walk into any restaurant or any bar and tell the people there that their expectations are simply too unrealistic. Be sure to quote your "statistics" too and see how they are met with scoffs,outrage and disgust.My brother cannot even afford to buy his kids a CANDY BAR at the store, school clothes,school supplies are out of the question. When I look at pinched faces,the kids nervous glances back and forth at their parents at the dinner table, I want to weep with rage. The kids future is GONE. Their city is DYING and the government that comes calling for donations,bodies for rallies, and volunteers DOESN'T GET IT- they just don't get it. I could give a rat's ass who is at fault- I'll determine that later, my party- the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is in power now- the buck stops here,with us. I do not want to hear excuses, and "it's the party of no" ----FIX IT! If you do decide to go to Michigan, walk the streets, feel the RAGE, these are all unemployed DEMOCRATIC voters, we are livid and it is a powder keg and the slightest thing will set it off. We feel our voice is not being heard, heeded or even sought out by our OWN PARTY. We have one way to speak with a deafening voice and we will make sure to be heard on Nov. 2nd. I cannot begin to even recite all of the crazy conspiracy theories that are going around, people are saying the GOVERNMENT caused the oil leaks in Michigan,and Louisiana, people are saying the government is PURPOSELY causing the ghost towns in Michigan to start their new green cities,people are saying that the government is considering using an emergency to delay the elections in Nov. These are not whack job crazies. These are supervisors,city managers,councilmen- these are people I worked with. I can only hope this president is not foolish enough to put out any sort of executive order delaying the election because of an emergency. To do so will cause an uprising like this country has never before seen. I am a democrat, a union member and I am saying this- there is a reckoning coming to D.C.- people have had it and will not be silenced anymore.

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"I challenge you to head over to anytown Michigan, walk into any restaurant or any bar and tell the people there that their expectations are simply too unrealistic."

I'd be happy to.

It's the sad but it's the honest truth.

We lost 8 MILLION jobs. And that's just since 2007! 2007!

If you think there's an easy way to fix that you're fooling yourself.

The question I have for you is, do you want Democrats to tell you what you want to hear? Or do you want the truth? Because anyone sitting around telling you what you want to hear is BULLSH*TTING YOU. That's a fact. Me, I prefer the hard truth. And I prefer to dish it out too, not spin it like everything is great if you just elect Dems. That's not my point. My point is regardless of how you feel electing Republicans because the Dems have been in office and haven't provided the country with 8 million jobs in two years is ludicrous given the Republican Party's positions on government. And I'm not just talking about who is at fault. I'm talking about going forward.

"I could give a rat's ass who is at fault- I'll determine that later, my party- the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is in power now- the buck stops here,with us. I do not want to hear excuses, and "it's the party of no" ----FIX IT!"

You ask the impossible. It is literally not feasible. I am sorry. So sorry. But that is the truth. There is NO way to bring back these jobs in the short term. Absolutely no way possible short of borrowing trillions of dollars for public works projects. And then what? We've saddled those children with debt FAR BEYOND the current levels. I don't know, I don't think it's such a bad idea actually, but it is politically a non-starter.

"We feel our voice is not being heard, heeded or even sought out by our OWN PARTY."

What are you asking that is not being heard?

Create 8 million jobs tomorrow?

I don't get it. Yes you are in pain. I cannot tell you how much I empathize with your situation. I've been to Michigan. I know people from Michigan. I love the state and love the people. This is not some kind of "us versus them" discussion.

But what is it precisely that you are asking that you feel is not being heard?

"I cannot begin to even recite all of the crazy conspiracy theories that are going around"

Well that is scary what you've listed.

Those people have literally stopped thinking rationally because of their despair. It is tremendously sad to me, but it is NOT the answer. You have to channel that anger into something productive. Find someone, in a financial position to do so, who is willing to put down some money for a bus trip to Washington DC. Set up in front of the White House. You'll get attention. Ask for manufacturing jobs. Ask for unemployment insurance extensions. Ask for anything you darn well want. But to sit around concocting absurdly false stories only FURTHER damages your cause.

And keep posting here. I want to know how things are going. I'm very serious about manufacturing job growth.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I am basically seeing the point that you DON'T see the point. When you are the head of the household and look at kids who have barely anything to eat,parents who fight and worry over money, and no hope(your words) of a job in the future- you will do most anything in desperation. Trumka wants us to sit quiet while he and the D.C. boys drive around with politicians in their limos,eat their fancy dinners, and stay in their luxury hotels,they pat us on the head like good little subjects,just be quiet now, we are looking out for you-don't worry now- but we need you out at a political rally today to hold signs, the president is coming down to give a speech, make every effort to be there, we need as many bodies as possible.Pat,pat-see he REALLY DOES care about us. Sorry, the time for explanations as to their failure is over. I am willing to vote republican for the first time in my life. I will do it without a flinch as will my family members. What harm could possibly come from their plan to lower taxes on business owners? Will it make MORE jobs go over seas? Will it cause the economy to erode even further? I have my doubts, but I am willing to roll the dice on the other party. Obama told us "they want to go back to the failed Bush years" let me tell you,I would LOVE to go back to the Bush years. I had a decent job then,savings then,a start at college savings for my kids then, and a secure roof over my head. It all started going downhill around 2007 and no matter how many times I am told that is the republican's fault, I can see very clearly that our party took over congress in 2006/2007. I believe this extreme hardship on my family and state, has ripped the blindfold off of my eyes. I was specifically lied to by my representative,my governor is the most idiotic example of incompetence I have witnessed in a life time and I no longer believe that the media reports the entire truth either. I check as many different websites as possible to get ALL of the story and no longer heed or do the bidding for my party bosses. Those days are LONG gone and the democratic party had better understand that very quickly. I am a PERSON and not simply a vote or body to fill the stands at a rally. My children are not insignificant, their future is not up for negotiation and my vote is my final verdict on my party.

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@sayyoung - First, you didn't even attempt to answer the question put to you re what policy prescriptions you'd advise. Why didn't you?

Second, you said:
"Please, it is apparent that to some , the democratic party can do no wrong. Obama is above reproach in your eyes. I suggest you get out of academia or the beltway and get down to the real suburbs and cities of America."

The generalization here is not merely lazy-minded, it's demonstrably false. There is criticism of this administration and the party by liberals on nearly every thread in this site's history. Links are provided daily to other liberal writers who criticize what they see as failings of this administration. So if you want to think clearly and make a compelling argument, you really ought to drop the absolutes.

I'm not in academia nor the beltway. I'm a small business owner in Oregon and have been self-employed most of my life (I'm 62). I lived in the suburbs until one week ago when we moved into the city.

So, leaving go of your presumptions and cliches, what policy prescriptions ought this or any administration to follow, in your opinion, to create job growth?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

ps...I'd like you to explain with some care why it is you'd support a Republican administration in a near-future vote given that the situation we are in is a consequence of their policies during their term of rule? Perhaps you contest the thesis of that question? Perhaps you wish to spite your face by removing your nose? Your emotive responses are noted but your reasoning appears rather counter-intuitive.

Of course, the other alternative is that you are lying through your teeth here but I thought I ought to give you room to argue in some careful manner which might indicate you are actually being truthful.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Bernie-as I said above, that is above my pay grade this is why we elect a president who has the smarts to hire actual people with business experience, which he did not but I did notice that today the senate voted-MY PARTY VOTED to let the tax cuts expire. That is ALL of the tax cuts for every single person. That mean my taxes will go up at the MINIMUM of $600, that means YOUR taxes are going up at minimum of 2,100. Where the hell am i supposed to come up with that? Is THIS YOUR prescription? Since the current tax plan is clearly not working what is the reasoning for NOT EVEN CONSIDERING the opposite side? BTW, thanks for calling me lazy minded- now you are no better than a politician. I am weary of talking with the people here, I guess we are supposed to just sit idly by while all of our manufacturing jobs are sent overseas for a lower tax bracket,our rigs are sent out of the gulf and those workers also- are left hanging,our economy is crashing all around us,the housing bubble is about to explode yet again, our deficits number in the TRILLIONS of dollars- I remember being at a campaign rally a few years ago, and I held up a campaign sign that was given to me about how huge our billion dollar deficit was- WOW how I long for those days!- but GOOD NEWS- the democrat controlled congress that is supposed to be for the little guy just voted to raise my taxes-GOOD TIMES! I'll just sit tight and wait for the next order from Trumka and Obama and cross my fingers. I refuse to do that, this time, I will be PROACTIVE and refuse to be REACTIVE. Also can anyone give me a reason ,just one, why Michelle Obama found the need to go on vacation for the third time this summer alone, but this time at some lush resort in Spain with all of her friends? How much money is this costing all of us? Millions? Wouldn't it be nice if instead they sent all of the money they are wasting to the unemployed. Is there ANYONE in this White House WITH AN OUNCE OF SENSITIVITY? This smacks of a superior elitist attitude,We used to zing the republicans for that,remember? Whoever the publicity people are at the white house need to be sent out of town on a rail and Michelle Obama herself needs to wise up along with the rest of the elitists in DC.

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

sayoung,

As I said, I feel your pain. Especially since you seem like a great guy and a good father.

That said:

1) Whomever at your union is telling you to sit down and shut up and be a good Dem voter is full of sh*t and that pisses me off. You should want to vote for a party for their values and their policies not just to fall in line. I don't like the Democratic Party because I love partisan politics. I like the Democratic Party because the party values the individual but also the good of the country as a whole. That is why we are -- and in the modern era always have been -- champions of social policy like Soc Sec, Medicare, Medicaid, and yes HCR with the public option (did the GOP offer a public option? did the GOP offer medicare for all? no. the dems did but it failed).

2) Government is NOT like a car. In a car, you step on the gas, you go. Hit the brakes, you stop. Government does NOT work like that.

There is a policy set in motion when it becomes a law. Funding gets appropriated. It goes from the treasury to the recipient. The recipient spends money on equipment, computers, whatever. Then and only then can something actually be DONE with that money that is visible. A product. A job. Etc. It takes a long time. But that's the way it goes. It also takes a while for policies to set the conditions for job losses.

That is why jobs are considered a "LAGGING INDICATOR" of the economy. A policy is laid down. Jobs are effected positively or negatively, but not right away, it takes time either way. And while this is playing out behind the scenes, everything in daily life appears normal.

What we are experiencing right now in the job market is a direct result of policies enacted in the earlier part of the decade. The Bush Admin with the help of Alan Greenspan at the Fed pushed the "ownership society" in 2004 and the idea that you can use your home (or a second home) like a bank, taking mortgages every time you want to invest even more money. These ideas led to the housing bust. THAT led to massive job losses in construction (building homes) and manufacturing (making components of homes). The popping of the housing bubble led to the destruction of the whole economy because WALL STREET made huge bets on the housing market that, when the bust came, they couldn't pay off. That led to the CREDIT CRISIS, the bailouts, and even MORE job losses.

Point being, the Republican idea of "ownership society" and Greenspan's idea of using your home mortgage like a loan from a bank killed the housing market. Wall Street had free reign to make these crazy bets because these bets were allowed. They were initially allowed by the Clinton admin, but they took off under Bush and he never did anything to stop it until the bailouts.

Totally asleep at the wheel, to return to the car analogy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"""What harm could possibly come from their plan to lower taxes on business owners? Will it make MORE jobs go over seas? Will it cause the economy to erode even further?"""

Yes. Both.

The Bush Tax Cuts disproportionately benefited the wealthy. That was in 2001. Where are the jobs? Where is the OUTPUT of those tax cuts? If there was any benefit, it is long since gone and so was so negligible as to be ineffective. On the flip side, all that money that stayed in the bank accounts of the rich did NOT go where it would have gone without the tax cuts for the rich: the government. And when you have trillions of dollars in spending (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) and you have less money coming IN than you need, you have deficits.

In this case, the tax cuts plus the irresponsible GOP borrowing and spending led to an ANNUAL DEFICIT of more than $1 TRILLION.

Obama has been forced to spend money just to keep our economy intact!

The two are NOT the same.

Obama's spending adds only a tiny slice of the deficit that Bush created. The reason being, a slightly larger deficit is worth having in order to prevent a TOTAL collapse of the economy. The Obama spending worked to prevent that total collapse and we are STILL dealing with the NEAR-total collapse of Fall of 2008.

To extend the tax cuts for the rich now will only mean much much larger deficits with the same negligible positive effect that we saw. Letting the rich keep $1 only to get an output for the general population of 25 cents is a BAD DEAL any way you slice it. Letting the rich keep 50 cents and getting an output of 50 cents is a much much much better deal for the entire population. And if the rich have a problem with that, you need to ask them why they refuse to help this country when we are in dire need.

I could go on and on speaking with you about this, sayoung.

And it is so important that people understand these things.

"""MY PARTY VOTED to let the tax cuts expire"""

What are you talking about?

Michigan state taxes?

There has not been a vote in Congress over the Bush tax cuts. The tax cuts are due to expire at the end of the year.

Do you have a link to an article showing that Democrats voted to let the tax cuts expire?

No, you don't. It's not possible because it didn't happen.

The myth that Dems are voting to raise taxes $3.8 trillion is a totally blatant lie from the Right (Sarah Palin most recently). That number is what would happen if Congress let ALL the tax cuts expire, including those in the middle class, but that is NOT going to happen. If Congress lets it happen, Obama would veto it.

PolitiFact called Palin's use of the mythical $3.8T tax hike a ***PANTS-ON-FIRE LIE***:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/04/sarah-palin/sarah-palin-said-democrats-planning-largest-tax/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, so now you question whether or not I am telling the truth-that's real nice. You are a product of your own superiority and a big part of the problem. Somebody in your own party disagrees with you and explains why and you belittle,mock, and talk down to that person. How pathetic

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | August 5, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@sayoung - As you hit pretty much every current GOP cliche and talking point on the economy and on who ought to be blamed, and (again in the mode of the current GOP) offer up no prescriptions for solving the problems that have arisen (most accutely) through Republican ideology, yeah, I do think you're lying through your teeth.

Your argument, unless I have it wrong, is that you had so much hope and trust in Obama's magical powers that you believed he would be able to heal all, including the worst economic turndown since the great depression, in his first year or two in office AND to express your profound disappointment you are now going to vote in the same folks who created most of the problems that Obama hasn't fixed yet.

Pardon me if I find this not credible.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 5, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I get Republicans/Conservatives are blaming Obama/Democrats/Progressives for everything from jobs to the economic meltdown to their impotence and constipation. Please, just ONE Republican stand up and tell the American PEOPLE what their plan is to bring jobs back to the USA. I couldn’t help but notice how many jobs were LOST while Republicans controlled our government. Maybe they can us what they’d do different.

consciousmc.blogspot.com

Posted by: SPO1 | August 6, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It seems like Kevin_Willis has taken a lot of criticism concerning this statement he made to ccmccayley60:

@ccmccayley60: Actually, I'm looking forward to *voting* against the party, and the ideology, that believes that my family, friends and neighbors are all racists, bigots, and xenophobes because they disagree with them politically.
That's all.
Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 9:15 AM

However, what I find most troubling is Kevin's post 2 hours after he made this totalizing and blanket indictment of presumably the Democratic Party and liberal ideology. He actually becomes guilty of the very thing he accuses Democrats and liberals of doing. Here's what he says to Ethan 2010:

@Ethan2010: ... I find those kinds of blanket indictments of people and parties shallow and self-congratulatory, as well as inherently insular and not a little ironic, given the dismissal and fear of the scary backwoods, hayseed Other...
Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 5, 2010 11:31 AM

Posted by: freethegop | August 10, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company