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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Conservative bloggers agree: Haley Barbour is toast

By Greg Sargent

I noted here yesterday that the real problem with Haley Barbour's comments about the Citizens Councils is that they show an unwillingness to avoid urinating on the third rail of race. Today several conservative bloggers came out and denounced Barbour in strong terms, declaring his presidential hopes all but over.

Jim Geraghty says that Barbour is guilty of a "pattern of remarks" and asks whether Barbour has "a habit of using stereotypical caricatures" that render him unelectable.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin declares Barbour all but finished:

Haley Barbour has gotten himself in a heap of trouble. By praising White Citizens' Councils, appearing clueless about the history of racial injustice in the South, giving the Democrats a free swing at him and reviving recollections of another shockingly inappropriate racial statement, Barbour has gone a long way toward blowing up his presidential candidacy before it began.

Barbour's comments about Citizens Councils were obviously indefensible, but I would like to defend Barbour on one point. Both Geraghty and Rubin hammer Barbour for that widely-discussed 1982 episode in the New York Times, in which Barbour allegedly warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks. Geraghty says this episode will "come to define him."

Really? The quote in the Times piece is a paraphrase. There's no direct quote along those lines. Should Barbour be defined entirely by a parahprased quote that allegedly happened 28 years ago?

That said, Barbour's overall record of statements on race is appalling, as both Geraghty and Rubin note. And for all the talk about Barbour letting such comments slip as part of some kind of "southern strategy," a lot has changed since Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign in the area where civil rights workers had been murdered.

If the narrative takes hold -- as appears to be happening -- that Barbour is unwilling to tiptoe around racial sensititives, his credibility as a a 2012 presidential hopeful will be shattered among GOP and conservative insiders. These insiders want to win in 2012. Barbour has never disentangled himself from the legacy of his region, and worse, he doesn't even seem to think this matters. He doesn't even bother trying to be subtle in advertising his disdain for racial sensitivies. Recall that he scoffed at the controversy over Virginia's plans for a Confederate History Month, saying it didn't "amount to diddly."

Whatever the history of the GOP's use of the "southern strategy," these days, if you blithely piss on the third rail of race, your presidential ambitions will quickly become toast.

UPDATE, 12:17 p.m.: Barbour issues a statement cleaning things up and denouncing the Citizens Councils and segregation as "indefensible":

"When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time."

.

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  2012, race  
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Comments

Haley Barbour never was a candidate for POTUS, that was all manufactured by people like Cillizza, embedded within the Republican Rising! narrative.

He is a power/money broker, so he runs in the same circles with candidates. He is like Gillespie, Kaine or Dean. So it isn't that he couldn't be a candidate, he just isn't. Anyone who thought he was, missed the election of 2008, or perhaps they thought last month's election result meant 2008 never happened.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

A case of self immolation.

Call him Haley Barbourcued!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

He was not a manufactured candidate. He has been the governor of southern state. Yes he has run in power broker circles, but he has also ran and been elected to statewide office, and he made noises fairly recently about possibly seeking the nomination in 2012.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry...even when they agree with me, the credibility of conservative bloggers like Jennifer Rubin isn't worth a roll of used toilet paper.

The sheer volume of lies and misinformation those people peddle has to be measured on astrological scales. How manny times did Rubin, in particular, repeat Politifact's Lie of the Year? About a s**t-ton, I'd say.

It takes way freakin' more than one rational stance from them every several months (on a losing issue, btw) to make it worth believing they are anything more than sitting members on the RNC communications team.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | December 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Finally something we can all agree on!

(Or will Haley make all other conservative candidates look like minority civil rights champions in comparison?)

Posted by: sbj3 | December 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Breaking on TPM

"That Didn't Take Long

Barbour does u-turn, calls Citizens Council "indefensible." More soon ...

--Josh Marshall"


Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

For anyone not familiar with the Citizens Councils, this was a rather useful contemporaneous account from 1956 that I ran across in the various online links to this matter.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-white-citizens-councils-br-respectable-means-for-unrespectable-ends-2460

It shows how they tried to differentiate themselves from the KKK, but from a 2010 perspective, they're all pretty much seem the same.

Haley Barbour has been a pretty good governor of Mississippi, but among other things his remarks that "I just don't remember it as being that bad" show an inability to see outside of his own perspective. For Haley, things may not have been that bad, but the best quote on that era always came from JFK:

"The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?"

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03CivilRights06111963.htm

Posted by: jnc4p | December 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Update from TPM

"Barbour (R-MS), the potential presidential candidate who has come under fire for comments praising the segregationist Citizen Councils that operated during his youth in the South, has now released a statement fully condemning the organizations:

"When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.""

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I have already posted that statement above.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

That update statement has the ring of "PR peep crafted" and not of authenticity.

Barbour is toast, but more because he looks and sounds like Boss Hogg than anything else.

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 21, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise me that Barbour would say something like that because he's doing from his perspective and it also demonstrate that he does not venture out beyond his circle to understand what's going on.

Posted by: beeker25 | December 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Liam, sure he has run and won, like the examples I gave and lots of others. I never heard any noise from him about running for President.

As head of the RGA, he was where the money had to go (in addition to through Rove & Gillespie) in order to undercut Steele. I heard lots of noise from noise makers about him running for President, but Haley never took the prospect seriously, unless you have something to show he did. I'd be glad to learn.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I actually don't think that Barbour is toast. Every candidate makes an unfortunate statement including Obama who has said him infamous "clinging to guns and religion" comment.

We are far enough from the election where his unfortunate comment can be cleaned up.

Posted by: maritza1 | December 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

We're all missing the BIG issue here.

And that is the fact that someone like Haley Barbour can be considered PRESIDENTIAL at all by the GOP.

It's not that there is one racist in the GOP. It's not that there is one racist fundraiser in the GOP. This SCUMBAG was considered PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL.

Greg? Any thoughts on that?

Again, it says more about the Republican Party than it does Haley Barbour.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

referring to race as the "third rail" -- I always thought that Social Security was the third rail.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

I heard several reports that Barbour was considering a run for President in 2012.

Here is a link to one such report.

http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Haley-Barbour-to-Begin-Contemplating-the-Presidency-Tomorrow

"· Nov. 2 at 11:27am

Until the end of the day, Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi will continue to focus his attentions on getting Republican governors elected across the country.

But tomorrow? Tomorrow, Ricochet's own Haley Barbour begins contemplating a 2012 presidential bid. POLITICO reports:

Barbour made clear...that a potential presidential run is on his mind, laying out how he’ll ultimately make the decision on running.

“I’m gonna sit down after [Tuesday] and see if there’s anything to think about,” he said. “But I don't feel any time pressure over the next few weeks or months. We’ll see if Marsha [his wife] thinks it’s a good idea and whether others think it’s a good idea.”

When a guy has run for governor, and starts dropping hints like that, you can be sure that he sees himself as Presidential material.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Barbour is toast anyway. Mississippi is the poorest, most backward state of them all. Why would anyone vote for the guy in charge to be president?

Posted by: jverner | December 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Again, it says more about the Republican Party than it does Haley Barbour."

That was my point, I don't think he took himself as a POTUS candidate seriously, the fact that others did is a denial of 2008, as if that result was annulled last month and now there is only the center right and the far right that has to be considered.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"When a guy has run for governor, and starts dropping hints like that, you can be sure that he sees himself as Presidential material."

They all see themselves as Presidential. delusions of grandeur

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, shrink2.

This is not a Haley Barbour problem.

This is a REPUBLICAN PARTY problem.

I wish Greg or someone/anyone else in the MSM would appreciate and understand that this is the predominant issue at play here.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"That was my point, I don't think he took himself as a POTUS candidate seriously, "

I do. He has never walked back a racist statement in his life [and there have been plenty ]-- so the fact that he did this 180 degree turnaround on this latest gaffe is telling. But it's too late, he can't change history.

He represents the ugly racist face of the republliican party, yesterday and today. he was just more upfront about it than most of them. But demographics in this country are changing quickly and we can hope that that dinosaur of a party dies off soon.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

They all see themselves as Presidential. delusions of grandeur

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 21, 2010 12:52 PM
...........

Agreed. Look at Palin for example. She could not see herself finishing out a single term as gov. of Alaska, but she now sees herself as someone who could defeat Obama.

Then you have , Kucinich, despite the fact, that he never won a single state primary, in his previous attempts, he still kept running again, again.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Tom Coburn Lies in order to kill Zadroga 9/11 Bill

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027189.php

F the Republican Party and their bigots and liars.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

maritza: "I actually don't think that Barbour is toast. Every candidate makes an unfortunate statement including Obama who has said him infamous "clinging to guns and religion" comment.

We are far enough from the election where his unfortunate comment can be cleaned up."

Well, Barbour's "unfortunate statement" has a history and a pattern. This is not the first time, and I doubt it will be the last that he's been unfortunately on the wrong side of the race issue.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 "F the Republican Party and their bigots and liars."

You may wish to get some antidepressants and some blood pressure medication. You are in for a long two years.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 21, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Senator Bob Corker(R) has just declared that he will vote to ratify START.

White House now confident that it has the votes to get the Treaty ratified.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ignore this blather. Just another hit job by Slate and the homosexual-supporting, anti-white, hate America crowd.

Surprised there was nothing in the article about Sotomayor and her hatred for white America!

Posted by: numbersch13 | December 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Ignore this blather. Just another hit job by the homosexual-supporting, anti-white, hate America crowd.

Surprised there was nothing in the article about their darling, Sotomayor, and her hatred for white America!

Posted by: numbersch13 | December 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Fromhttp://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/barbours_brother_as_yazoo_city_mayor_blacks_not_li.php?ref=fpa TPM

"Barbour's Brother, While Yazoo City Mayor: Blacks 'Not Listenin To White People Like They Used To'

"While mayor, Jeppie Barbour became a central figure in reporter Willie Morris' 1971 book about the integration of Yazoo City. The book largely portrayed Barbour as a relative moderate on race.

But during one interview for the book, Barbour told Morris that he was having trouble working with the town's biracial commission, complaining that whites could no longer appoint black commissioners of their choosing. From the book, as quoted at length by HuffPo's Amanda Terkel:

"Maybe five years ago," he said, "you could've appointed a colored man yourself. Now you simply can't get away with it. They're goin' to have to pick their own leaders. You could've gotten on radio five years ago using these very words, 'George Collins is this ni**er we've appointed,' and could've gotten away with it. I guess they're just goin' through a state of being rebellious and hard-nosed and not listenin' to white people like they used to."

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Haley would say that as a continuing denial of ANYTHING ever happening in Mississippi that has ANYTHING to do with race... He will always say there is nothing that's racial in Mississippi as long as he is alive.

Haley is the Grand Wizard of the State's KKK so he's PAID to do this publicly... You have to either live there now OR have lived thru it's past to laugh at Haley's on-going public lies... I lived thru it's past and watched as it got to where it is (publicly and in reality) today. They are VERY DIFFERENT places.

I challenge you to take a long weekend and fly to Jackson Mississippi International Airport; rent your self a car; get a map of the state and head kinda north-east out of Jackson on US 49 and go to Yazoo City... Get a good flavor of what Haley and his Klan buddies have brought to the area. But THEN, after getting some gas, or even staying the night, mozy on up NW toward Silver City and Indianola - US Hwy 49 W should take you fine.. OR, you can opt to go up toward Greenwood on US Hwy 49 E.. You pick based on how much abject poverty you can stomach in one day.

After that little saunter, either way you choose, get back on the road and head yourself to Cleveland (MS. that is).... When you get to Cleveland, you're in the middle of the Mississippi delta... Home of every vestige of slavery STILL in the US and base of Haley's lie... It should only take you a day, unless you've been overcome by the sadness of this experience so far and need to stay hold up somewhere an extra day to re-group, hit US Hwy. 61 North... head North toward Memphis. What you'll see in the next few hours of that sojourn will change your view PERMANENTLY on everything, any living and serving WHITE politician from that area ever says - publicly or privately - on ANY subject - FOREVER.

EVERYTHING that Haley Barbour says is a hoax. It's a lie and a Fairy Tale of EPIC proportion... and folks keep thinking he's telling them the truth. Haley is the worse kind of racist. He is one that doesn't believe racism actually exists!

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | December 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed. My wish is for the largest possible field of Republican Presidential aspirants, to ensure the maximum degree of chaos, confusion and cra-zeeee. Plua, all the hotels and diners in New Hampshire and Iowa could probably use the business.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

OT, 2 links:

~Chris Christie takes a beating in 2 new polls~

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/12/bump-on-the-chr.php

~TX Hispanics set to challenge status quo in census reapportionment~

Hispanics composed about 70 percent of the 3.9 million people added to the Texas population in the past decade

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/21/AR2010122102530.html

All this spin about the census benefiting "red states"... I think the census only helps Democrats. It's not enough to see WHERE seats are added. You have to take into consideration the demographics that LED to those seats being added. The South and West are growing the most because of a growing Democratic constituency.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Democrat For Palin, in the 2012 Republican Primaries.

Rush Limbaugh urged his listeners to vote in Democratic primaries, in 2008, so it would be very rude off us, not to return the favor.

Democrats For Palin in 2012. You Betcha!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

No one saw this coming...as the NYT reports the US wants to go into Pakistan...

"The decision to expand American military activity in Pakistan, which would almost certainly have to be approved by President Obama himself, would amount to the opening of a new front in the nine-year-old war, which has grown increasingly unpopular among Americans. It would run the risk of angering a Pakistani government that has been an uneasy ally in the war in Afghanistan, particularly if it leads to civilian casualties or highly public confrontations. Still, one senior American officer said, “We’ve never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across.” NYT

But just now, NATO denied it...

"NATO's deputy chief of communications, U.S. Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, said there was no truth to a report published in The New York Times.

Citing unnamed American officials in Washington, the Times reported on its website late Monday that U.S. military commanders believe special operations forces could capture militants for interrogation, bringing in an intelligence windfall.

"There is absolutely no truth to reporting in The New York Times that U.S. forces are planning to conduct ground operations into Pakistan," Smith said. AP

hmmm...

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The White House better find out who that loose cannon Sr. American officer is, and show him the McChrystal door.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Bwahahahahahahahaha...bet the GOP is sorry they peed in her Wheaties...


A SENATOR SCORNED

...only one Republican senator has sided with Democrats on DADT repeal, the tax deal, New START cloture, and the DREAM Act in the lame-duck session.

LISA MURKOWSKI

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027192.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I realize the official line is that there is nothing whatsoever comparable between the Afghan war situation and that of the later Vietnam regional war, nothing similar, nothing to be learned, completely and totally different.

But this just gives me the willies:

"Pakistan has made progress against safe havens..."

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

From Politicalwire.com

"More Americans Believe in Strict Creationism
A new Gallup poll finds that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago, while 38% believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms.

Just 16% believe that humans developed over millions of years, without God's involvement. "
..............................

My own inclination is to believe that our species created mythical Gods, and mythical immortal human souls, right after they came to realize that they were all going to die.

That was when they decided that it would be nice to engage in a lovely bit of self deception, by creating Gods, and Souls that would live on for ever, even though we now appear to be able to use feeding tubes to trap those same souls, and keep them from leaving their human bodies.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

In Oregon, we've done ok with the Death with Dignity Act.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 21, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

In Oregon, we've done ok with the Death with Dignity Act.

Posted by: shrink2
++++++++++

And our Oregon congresscritters have done a fine job of protecting the Death With Dignity Act against meddling by the those "States Rights" Republicans in the House and Senate.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Barbour truly was a favorite potential Presidential nominee of many in the Washington Republican Establishment. He would have been the favorite of corporate lobbyists on K Street. Romney is the favorite of corporate interests more broadly, but Barbour was even more favored among the Republican establishment---the lobbyists and political consultants and strategists in the Capital. I always doubted the electability of a Republican from the Deep South. Now it's clear Barbour is not going to get much traction if he runs. This is good news for Romney as it injures a candidate who likely would have drawn from the same pool of voters.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | December 21, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

A SENATOR SCORNED

...only one Republican senator has sided with Democrats on DADT repeal, the tax deal, New START cloture, and the DREAM Act in the lame-duck session.

LISA MURKOWSKI

==

Not only did they scorn her, they did so for a guy less evolved than what you clean out of the trapped of a clogged sink.

As for Barbour, did anyone other than Cillizza really think that a fat drawling racist mushmouth had a shot at the presidency? Really? Get out much?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 21, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

While we rightly shun Barbour, race baiters like John Lewis are heralded as 'civil rights leaders'. what a bunch of garbage;

Racist Radio Commercial from Congressman John Lewis, Andy Young, and Mayor Shirley Franklin bit.ly/4s7ygi

Posted by: ChipsShot | December 21, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

rbaldwin2,

You are wrong. If you are going through the Delta, then you are going through Democratic territory. And, it has been Democratic territory since before the Civil War. If you have a problem with the Delta, like I do, blame the Democrats.

You don't know the history of Mississippi. If you did, you would be a Republican.

Posted by: AcceptTheTruth | December 21, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Well lets see....Haley Barbour cannot be elected president without the black republican vote? How many votes is that???
Duh!@ Doesn't Prez Obama have those boys' votes already ? The ones who are NOT convicted felons. As a child growing up in the South, I assure you we were very resentful of LBJ's great fricking society. It destroyed a way of life that was working for both races. Most southern schools were producing outstanding results prior to the forced intergration. Since then, our government run schools are a joke. The proverty that was brought into the towns and cities of the South and housed on the "government plantations"(housing projects)has destroyed the quality of life down here. Drugs and violence eminate from these warehouses of hopelessness. Illigitimate babies are the main byproduct of this social engineering. I know all northern and west coast liberals are very proud of the social justice heaped on we Southern Rebels. Now our lives are no better than theirs and they find great solace in this as misery loves company. Perhaps our next president can be elected without the left coast and the northeast? Lets hope so for our Country's sake.

Posted by: hotdaddy55 | December 22, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Barbour/Palin 2012: A bigot and a nitwit. In other words, typical GOP.

Posted by: freedomgirl1 | December 22, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but to those above who say Barbour's comments don't mean he's toast in 2012 I say you need to remember one word: "Macaca." George Allen virtually destroyed his POTUS campaign with that one word. In my opinion, Barbour's statements trump Allen's gaffe tenfold. If he survives his next gubernatorial election, I'll be surprised, let alone a run for U.S. President. We, as a country, will not take 3 steps back in race relations by electing a conservative, racist, backwoods Republican in 2012. It just won't happen.

Posted by: PDXGuy | December 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

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