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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Psst. Conservatives? Eric Holder was right about Black Panther nonsense

By Adam Serwer

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who has done a great deal to frame the conservative narrative on the New Black Panther story, is irate that Attorney General Eric Holder recently dismissed the right's charges about the Panther voter intimidation case as "simply not supported by the facts." Rubin writes:

Does he actually believe this to be the case, having been sheltered from testimony, news reports, and a report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights? Or, does he imagine that he can simply bluster his way through the next two years without addressing the mound of evidence against his department? After all, his own Justice Department is conducting two internal investigations -- one by the Office of Professional Responsibility and one by the Inspector General. If there is nothing here, then certainly Holder's own employees would have long ago closed the books on their inquiries.

Well, it is time, finally, for Holder and [assistant attorney general for civil rights Thomas] Perez to be examined under oath. Similarly, the political appointee Julie Fernandes, who instructed Department attorneys not to pursue cases against African American defendants, should be summoned to give her account of events. The new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), has been trying to get to the bottom of the controversy for over 18 months. Now he has the power to convene hearings and subpoena witnesses and evidence. At some point soon, Holder will be asked why he is unaware or unwilling to address the appearance of serious wrongdoing in the Justice Department, which he promised to rid of corruption and politicization when he took office.

First, some brief background. On Election Day 2008, two NBPP members, one of whom was carrying a baton, were videotaped outside a polling station in a mostly black neighborhood in Philadelphia. No voters complained, but video of the two taken by Republican poll watchers went viral in the conservative media. Two months later, Bush administration officials in the Justice Department filed a voter intimidation lawsuit under a section of the Voting Rights Act that was last used to stop a 1992 statewide voter suppression effort against blacks by then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).

Many Republicans seem to have seized on this case in large part to foment and exploit white racial resentment against the Obama administration. But Holder's right that the evidence is thin -- and Rubin's post on the subject is reflective of exactly how the right-wing smear machine works: Ludicrous claims are "confirmed" by sympathetic sources -- conservative former DoJ employees, conservative media sources and the conservative dominated USCCR -- and made "fact" through incessant repetition.

Republican congressmen Lamar Smith and Darrell Issa are literally accusing the Obama administration of favoring "a political ally -- the New Black Panther Party." Think about that for a second: Republicans are casually suggesting, with a straight face, that the Obama administration is "allied" with members of an anti-white hate group. Never mind that one of the men charged in the 2008 incident, King Samir Shabazz, once described Obama as "the next slavemaster" and a "puppet on a string." The thinking seems to be that because the attorney general and the president are black, and black people -- or black Democrats -- all are filled with seething hatred for whites and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance over past wrongs, they must be in alliance. It's idiotic on its face.

Furthermore, the Justice Department did not "dismiss" the case. Rather, it decided -- in the absence of any evidence of a nationwide plot by the NBPP to intimidate white voters -- to narrow the civil charges and obtain an injunction against the one NBPP member that actually had a weapon.

Rubin mentions the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report -- without noting that then-President George W. Bush gamed the system to stack the panel with Republican partisans. The one actual voting rights expert on the panel, Republican Abigail Thernstrom, has called the entire issue a right-wing effort to "topple" the Obama administration.

Rubin also asserts as fact that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes "instructed Department attorneys not to pursue cases against African American defendants," but the two conservative former Justice Department attorneys who leveled those charges give completely different accounts of the incident, with one saying that Fernandes said the Civil Rights Division was in the business of doing "traditional civil rights work," which he interpreted as "helping minorities." Rubin also neglects to note that the voting section has already intervened on behalf of white voters against a black defendant.

She calls the case a "blatant case of voter intimidation," but no actual voters have come forward to complain, even after the deluge of coverage. Let's face it: If the OPR/IG investigations of the case come back without evidence of politicization, conservatives won't drop the subject -- they'll simply argue that this proves the Obama DoJ is politicized and they'll demand further investigations.

The irony of the "scandal" is that it's the direct result of the Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department. The dismantling of safeguards against politicized hiring, the decline in civil rights cases filed on behalf of minorities, the political appointees in the Justice Department violating civil service laws and formenting the kind of racially hostile atmosphere in which the political leadership was comfortable exchanging racist jokes over e-mail are all copiously documented. The NBPP case boils down to the outrageous claims of a few conservative former Voting Section employees who were hired or who were promoted during an era in which Republicans were actively trying to purge the section of "liberals" making broad, unfounded charges of racism.  

It's not as though the NBPP case is the first instance in which political appointees in the Justice Department overruled in the recommendations of career attorneys in a voting rights case. It's just that when it was a Republican administration ignoring recommendations to file case on behalf of minorities, Republicans didn't care. Now they've seized on a single voter intimidation case involving no actual intimidated voters in order to make the extraordinary charge that the entire Civil Rights Division is racist against whites. 

While conservatives constantly complain of being unfairly accused of racism, they've spent the better half of the past two years leveling such frivolous accusations against Obama, in the context of almost every policy decision he's ever made, from health-care reform to financial regulation. When you think about it, suggesting that the Justice Department is racist after having argued that Obama is actively ruining the economy to get back at white people for slavery actually kind of seems like small potatoes.

With the NBPP case, they've managed to turn one of the Obama administration's most low-key triumphs, the restoration of the Civil Rights Division to its original role as a protector of all Americans' civil rights, into an overblown scandal, short on evidence but long on the kind of race-baiting Republicans have freely indulged in since the first black president of the United States took office two years ago. Holder was right, the "the facts and the law," are on his side, and, as many reasons liberals have to be disappointed with this administration, Holder's stewardship of the Civil Rights Division isn't one of them.

By Adam Serwer  | January 3, 2011; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

Can't wait for Jennifer to eviscerate Mr. Serwer.

Posted by: cajunkate | January 3, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Pssst, Adam. Do you think conservatives actually care about what is true and what isn't?

Posted by: steveh46 | January 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Well I hope you keep your job after Ms. Rubin goes whining to Fred.

Posted by: kstack | January 3, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Serwer neglected to mention that one of the two men was assigned to be a polling station observor on behalf of the local Philadelphia Democratic Party. So, yeah, that does make him a political ally as he was there working on behalf of local Democracts.

Posted by: outcast | January 3, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Facts matter to the Right? Who knew?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 3, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"With the NBPP case, they've managed to turn one of the Obama administration's most low-key triumphs, the restoration of the Civil Rights Division to its original role as a protector of all Americans' civil rights, into an overblown scandal, short on evidence but long on the kind of race-baiting Republicans have freely indulged in since the first black president of the United States took office two years ago."

About freaking time someone stated the obvious. It's all about de-legitimizing Obama and nothing else. Frankly I was surprised Izza was going to pursue this. It was overblown from the beginning.

Posted by: Alex3 | January 3, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Boy, I couldn't even read the entire article here. This Serwer is so against conservatives and Republicans it is totally rediculous. This was about as objective as if the Black Panther party wrote this column. I saw the video - they were intimidating and threatening. Holder is a liberal in the Dem's pocket and won't prosecute and Justice Dept people themselves are quoted they won't prosecute against Blacks. There is no justice at Justice...they refuse to see reverse discrimination as illegal. I think Holder is awful at Justice just as he was awful in past jobs.

Posted by: steven7753 | January 3, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

let's change some items for sake of argument: two white guys in white robes standing at a voting place. they are holding short wooden sticks and some rope.

Just standing there, saying nothing, doing nothiing, just standing smiling at all voters. and doing nothing.

do you prosecute?

Posted by: perryrants | January 3, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I am no fan of repubs but I saw what happened. Those panthers are animals who have no place in a civilized society. Sergant, you are a fascist PC libtard. I cannot believe anything as stupid as you has human status.

Posted by: jm125 | January 3, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly right, Adam... nice to have someone come out and say it.

"Many Republicans seem to have seized on this case in large part to foment and exploit white racial resentment against the Obama administration. But Holder's right that the evidence is thin -- and Rubin's post on the subject is reflective of exactly how the right-wing smear machine works: Ludicrous claims are "confirmed" by sympathetic sources -- conservative former DoJ employees, conservative media sources and the conservative dominated USCCR -- and made "fact" through incessant repetition."

And why the Post would hire Rubin -- one of the biggest rightwing hacks and liars out there is -- is yet more evidence of the WaPo's decline in credibility over the last few years.

"Serwer neglected to mention that one of the two men was assigned to be a polling station observor on behalf of the local Philadelphia Democratic Party."

Unless you can provide a link to this, we will all assume it is a lie.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 3, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, gosh. Does this come as a surprise? Ever since about 6 minutes after the 2008 election, white men over the age of 40 have gone into complete nervous breakdown mode.

This particular story is intriguing, but I'm still keeping the "Obama is going to take our guns" meme at the top of my list.

Funny, too. President Obama made that less than artful comment about people being "bitter" and clinging to their guns and religion. Wow, and so many people were unhappy to be called bitter!

Can anyone tell me that the Tea Party and other conservative activities over the past two years are NOT the actions of folks who are bitter?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | January 3, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Can't wait for Jennifer to eviscerate Mr. Serwer."

Can't wait for Don Quixote to skewer a windmill.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 3, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"Sergant, you are a fascist PC libtard. I cannot believe anything as stupid as you has human status.'

This would be funny if it were not so pathetic. These poor loonies.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 3, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

here is a perfect example of what passes for thoughtful analysis from Mr Serwer:
====================
Many Republicans seem to have seized on this case in large part to foment and exploit white racial resentment against the Obama administration.
===============================

What is diagnostic here is the use of the phrase "seem to". In otherwords Mr Serwer views the situation from his leftist vantage point and develops a thesis to explain his "explanation".

So it seems that the behavior of the American right just magically comports with the slanted view held by Mr Serwer. And of course those that agree with Mr Serwer's general views on life, the universe and everything, don't much care about how they are being used. Serwer said it, they believe it, that settles it.

How nice to have dogma to fall back on when the inexplicable rears its ugly head.

Let me provide a more basic translation of Mr Serwer's "seem to" phrase: Those who oppose Obama are just unprincipled racists.

yeah, right. Keep telling yourselves that Lefties. It will do wonders for your electoral prospects in two years. Continue to hold your opponents in sneering, cynical contempt. Maybe it will take two complete shelackings for the message to reach you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

What the right wing doesn't get in the middle of their absolute fury over the "Obamanation" is the delegitimzing Obama in this fashion also delegitimizes the office. I don't expect the right wing to take a step back from the ledge, but I keep hoping, in vain I guess, that someone responsible in the Republican party will see the big picture and take a step back. They are only hurting the country and the respect the world holds it in.

"let's change some items for sake of argument: two white guys in white robes standing at a voting place. they are holding short wooden sticks and some rope."

In an all white neighborhood? What do you do? Laugh at them or just simply walk around them?

The fact is that there are no actionable voter complaints only hogwash coming from right wingers hoping to drum up the racial resentment of their base.

"Sergant, you are a fascist PC libtard. I cannot believe anything as stupid as you has human status."

"This would be funny if it were not so pathetic."

Especially since Serwer wrote the article and not Greg. It's pathetic and sad because once you boil down their arguments, "you're stupid!" is the core of it. Lameness exemplified.

Posted by: Alex3 | January 3, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Just another instance of the obama administration corruption and double standard.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | January 3, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"Can't wait for Jennifer to eviscerate Mr. Serwer." Done!

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-turn/2011/01/the_new_black_panther_case_--.html#more

Posted by: cajunkate | January 3, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

let's change some items for sake of argument: two white guys in white robes standing at a voting place. they are holding short wooden sticks and some rope.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the sake of argument, let's discuss just how many white people were dragged out of their homes and lynched by Black Panthers, or possibly, how many churches Black Panther members blew up with young white girls inside of them. Although, the Black Panthers were not saints, they were a group formed as a reaction to the treatment of black people by whites. The KKK was not formed because black people mistreated whites.

To me, your comparison ignores the truth....

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Can't wait for Jennifer to eviscerate Mr. Serwer." Check out her blog-evisceration has been completed.

Posted by: cajunkate | January 3, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
=================
Can anyone tell me that the Tea Party and other conservative activities over the past two years are NOT the actions of folks who are bitter?

=========================

Of course the problem for liberals is that those who admire the tea party may or may not be bitter, but they are certainly angry. And that anger was vented all over the Democrat party just this past November. Unless you guys get over yourself and your need for a sneering sense of superiority those "bitter clingers" are going to kick your butts yet again come 2012.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Which was Eric Holder right about...

...the initial convictions

...or the reversal of those convictions?

DOJ did both

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 3, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

OK Plum Line sargent, article sewer. Sargents Plum Line is always behind some despicable PC nonsense. Also I am no fan of repubs at all. I don't know who I have more contempt for; PC libtards or rebubs/teabaggers. Finally the core of it, the panthers behaviour was not the behaviour of developed human beings in a civilized society..

Posted by: jm125 | January 3, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin's response shreds every word of Mr. Serwer's article, including the proverbial "'and' and 'the'." Intellectually, she's on another planet than Mr. Serwer. He should be glad to have her as an opponent- he'll have to think harder the next time he starts writing.

Posted by: raskolnik | January 3, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"yeah, right. Keep telling yourselves that Lefties. It will do wonders for your electoral prospects in two years. Continue to hold your opponents in sneering, cynical contempt. Maybe it will take two complete shelackings for the message to reach you."

I'm not even worried...the GOP will most assuredly shoot themselves in the foot several times before 2012. They are too overzealous to return us to the failed policies of the Bush Administration and return more money to their rich and wealthy constituents. Let's see just how many jobs they create....

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's discuss pointlessness, shall we?
====================
For the sake of argument, let's discuss just how many white people were dragged out of their homes and lynched by Black Panthers, or possibly, how many churches Black Panther members blew up with young white girls inside of them. Although, the Black Panthers were not saints, they were a group formed as a reaction to the treatment of black people by whites. The KKK was not formed because black people mistreated whites.

To me, your comparison ignores the truth....

=====================

Ok, leave us see did I get this right. Does this mean that because white people behaved badly decades ago, black people get a free pass now?

If so, when will race cease being an issue in America? When the blacks say that they've delivered the same amount of pain on whites as whites visited on blacks? If so, who is keeping score? You? Al Sharpton?

You response ignores logic. But hey, emotion may be all that matters, right?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

All, check out the Dem response to the GOP health reform repeal push:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/senate_dems_to_boehner_well_bl.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 3, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The internal conflicts of skipsailing:

Does this mean that because white people behaved badly decades ago, black people get a free pass now?
skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 1:42 PM

It is your tools, your techniques, being brought to bear on your guy.
skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 11:42 AM

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

blah,blah,blah. what is new about the black panther thugs? same as kkk lunatics without the robes,burning crosses and hanging people. black power BS justifies violence. SOS

Posted by: pofinpa | January 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What would have happened had it been a couple of Alabama red necks doing the same thing as the New Black Panthers?

We all know the answer to that.

Only Whitey is capable of racism, after all.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 3, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

if a couple of big white dudes has done the same, there would have been riots...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 3, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It's odd, that part of Philadelphia is typically all sunny, and filled with Boy Scouts in full dress....

Posted by: JkR- | January 3, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: getjiggly2 (1)

What would have happened had it been a couple of Alabama red necks doing the same thing as the New Black Panthers?

++++++++++

Yes! Let's speculate! Making up things that didn't happen is an excellent way to tell the future! You go first!

Posted by: JkR- | January 3, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The most alarming thing about this post is the news that Lamar Smith is going to be chairman of the house judiciary committee. That man is dumber than a box of rocks.

Posted by: lcrider1 | January 3, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

If the Washington Post wishes to attract quality intelligent readers, they are going to have to do better than the likes of Serwer, Sargent and Klein. Come on people, get writers who can at least make an argument. This is getting all too embarrassing.

Posted by: lavistabb | January 3, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Continue to hold your opponents in sneering, cynical contempt."

Um, skip...haven't you and your right-wing buddies been doing that for that last 50 years? Talk about glass houses, dude.

I don't know why folks like Rubin don't just drop all the pretenses and cut to the chase and scream, "Scary N***er! Scary N***er!" Enough with the dog whistles...just lay out there exactly what you are trying to say to the tea party base.

Btw, the ward/division in which these scary black dudes (and seriously, how many members does the NBP have nationally...like 100?) were "intimidating" voters was won by Obama with like 98% of the vote. If they were trying to intimidate people against voting for McCain - and that is clearly what Rubin and her buddies are trying to imply - then these Huey Newton wannabees certainly adopted a very, very stupid strategy. 5.5% of the registered voters in that ward/division are Republicans. I mean, come on! Not only were there no actual reports of intimidation - there was no one to intimidate! (And I'm sure the righty who filmed these dudes was NOT from that ward/division - I doubt he'd plant his white arse among the scary black horde in North Philly.)

Posted by: shamey73 | January 3, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Why should I even comment. We all know that Adam Serwer is a liberal hack. He loves killing babies, spending other peoples money, deathly afraid of guns, hates Israel and Jews, loves all the tin horn dictators, loathes founding the fathers and the American constitution, thinks people and their religion are freaks and is part of the culture of corruption.

Posted by: rchaa27aa | January 3, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Adam, you typed a lot of words amounting to verbal sneers there, but one arrives at the end still looking for any substantiation that Holder was right and the case not supported by facts.

Tell us, was anyone at DOJ disciplined for filing and obtaining judgment on a claim that was not supported by facts?

You also tumble out straw men and distortions one after another, like this:

"Now they've seized on a single voter intimidation case involving no actual intimidated voters in order to make the extraordinary charge that the entire Civil Rights Division is racist against whites."

The complaint is about Holder and political appointees. At least try to stick somewhere in the vicinity of factual reality.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 3, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"For the sake of argument, let's discuss just how many white people were dragged out of their homes and lynched by Black Panthers, or possibly, how many churches Black Panther members blew up with young white girls inside of them. Although, the Black Panthers were not saints, they were a group formed as a reaction to the treatment of black people by whites. The KKK was not formed because black people mistreated whites."

So because the Panthers started as a reactionary movement in the 60s that excuses their negative actions in 2008? Your logic appears to be the pervasive logic of this case. Your willing to excuse the Panthers based on the sins of the past, the Panthers justify their intimidating actions as the same as those of white men from the past, and the DOJ does not persue the case under the exact same logic.

The question I have is: When are we going to stop living in the past?

Posted by: Bright_Side | January 3, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Firstly, were these the acts of two people, or of the NBPP as a whole? I used to live in Chicago, and I was "blessed" with the presence of Curt Sliwa's "Guardian Angels". They, frankly, often made me more uncomfortable than any other "menacing" individual that might have been riding the CTA. The fellows in front of the PA voting area were less threatening. I saw the Fox News clip, and frankly, I think it's just a big nothing. If anything, one zealous guy out to make sure his little part of the world goes his way. I mean, what's one skinny guy gonna do - he can't possibly prevent enough votes for presumably, the Republicans, to make any difference. There were no other incidents noted to indicate a larger effort. One of the guys standing outside actually lived in the building, so he couldn't be prevented from being on the premises.

It has been inferenced that the Justice Department under the GWB administration mishandled the case prior to the new Justice Department officials taking office. So, with a tainted case, how can "Justice" be served?

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | January 3, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Why should I even comment. We all know that Adam Serwer is a liberal hack. He loves killing babies, spending other peoples money, deathly afraid of guns, hates Israel and Jews, loves all the tin horn dictators, loathes founding the fathers and the American constitution, thinks people and their religion are freaks and is part of the culture of corruption."

What craven, drooling, pathetic and plai stupid creatures abide in the mental ward called 'conservatism.'

Posted by: fiona5 | January 3, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Skipping past Ms. Rubins's obvious inability to construct real agruments it appears Mr. Serwer needs some help in this area as well.

1. Lack of voter comliants should rarely be the linch pin of voter intimidation investigations. By definition if voters have been intimidated they won't file open complaints. Therefore in these instances lack of complaints is not evidence of lack of intimidation.

The only real facts pertinent to this argument are AG Holders claim that the case is not supported by the facts. The rest of the artcle is irrelevant. Arguments should stick to that point. Neither Ms. Rubin or Mr. Serwer seem capable of doing that.

Posted by: kchses1 | January 3, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Liberal default setting: It's Bush's fault, and conservatives are racist.

What would the author's opinion be if a couple of uniformed Klansmen had been standing in front of a polling station? Very different, I expect.

Posted by: DavidL3 | January 3, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes! More speculation!

Posted by: JkR- | January 3, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

So because the Panthers started as a reactionary movement in the 60s that excuses their negative actions in 2008? Your logic appears to be the pervasive logic of this case. Your willing to excuse the Panthers based on the sins of the past, the Panthers justify their intimidating actions as the same as those of white men from the past, and the DOJ does not persue the case under the exact same logic.

The question I have is: When are we going to stop living in the past?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The answer is: Never. Why don't you go tell a few Jews to forget the Holocaust or ask a few senior Japanese to forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ask soldiers stationed at Pearl Harbor to stop living in the past...see what kind of answers you get. You may forgive the horrors visited upon your people, but you never forget lest it happen again.

Secondly, I never excused the Panthers for anything. However, when you call two men standing outside of a building, "intimidation", I ask you what was so intimidating? The guy in the video approached them with a camera phone and asked them what they were doing as a concerned citizen. The man with the baton clearly stated that he was also a concerned citizen that was providing security. He never identified himself as a Black Panther, nor did he approach the guy with the phone, nor did he raise his voice or threaten any of the individuals present. The key point is he never once stated that they could not enter the building, never said they couldn't vote or threaten these people in any manner. Any one would ask someone who approached them with a camera phone, "why are you filming me?". When asked why he had a "weapon", the man stated clearly that he was providing security. He never threatened the man in any way, shape or form, yet these two men are supposed to be charged with voter intimidation??

I just don't see two men standing outside of a polling place, one of them holding a baton, as a negative action. This was in broad daylight in a very public place with tons of witnesses. If it was two Klansmen, I would have walked right in, even with the Klan's proven HISTORY of attacking black people (and the white people who also fought for civil rights) without provocation. I'm an American Citizen and so are they....hell, maybe they didn't have time to change out of their Klan robes and wanted to vote before going home to a nice, hot meal.

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Your willing to excuse the Panthers based on the sins of the past, the Panthers justify their intimidating actions as the same as those of white men from the past, and the DOJ does not persue the case under the exact same logic.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And you're flat out wrong with this statement. The real Panther's justified their actions in protection of the black community. In other words, they were defending themselves from the intimidation, harassment and lynching done by the predominantly white police force. So, no....their motives were not the same as white men of the past who formed the KKK. The BPP were labeled as "Militant", simply because they stated that they would PROTECT themselves by any means necessary, including, violence.

Self defense is not the same as attacking a person who has done nothing to you simply because of the color of their skin.

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Well the approach that the Republicans are taking is working just fine. The point here is to make the Admin defend everything. We need to make the government defend every nickle it spends.

the Democrats seek to evade the issue of the mishandling of the NBPP case by diminishing its importance. Hence we get nonsense like this:
"However, when you call two men standing outside of a building, "intimidation", I ask you what was so intimidating? The guy in the video approached them with a camera phone and asked them what they were doing as a concerned citizen."

yeah, right. the truncheon just came along with the costume he bought at Dollar General right? Just sad, just sad.

then there is this:
====================
I don't know why folks like Rubin don't just drop all the pretenses and cut to the chase and scream, "Scary N***er! Scary N***er!"
=========================
Permit a simple translation: all conservatives in America are racists!!! just ask any liberal!!

If this is what passes for valid argument the liberals are in for another walloping in 2012.

I, for one, can't wait.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 3, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't WaPo go all in and hire Michelle Malkin instead of Jennifer Rubin? Same thing.

Posted by: danw1 | January 3, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What would have happened had it been a couple of Alabama red necks doing the same thing as the New Black Panthers?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nothing. Alabama red necks are only threatening when they're in the majority. Maybe you should've said, "What would have happened had it been a couple of Alabama red necks doing the same thing to black voters in a hillbilly, hick town in Alabama"

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"yeah, right. the truncheon just came along with the costume he bought at Dollar General right? Just sad, just sad."

Sure. They sell truncheon's (or baton also called a cosh, Paddy wacker, billystick, b'tawn, billy club, nightstick, sap, blackjack, stick) at the Dollar General. Lame attempt, but good try. Actually, you could by a broom and cut off the whisk and get the same results.

That gentleman was removed from the premises (not arrested) as he was clearly breaking the law by brandishing a "weapon" in public. If he'd actually threatened someone, he would have gone to jail or at the very least, been arrested. The other guy, who actually was serving as a worker in the polling place and lived in the building was allowed to remain.

My point was simply: What's so threatening about two men STANDING around outside a polling place in an attempt to provide SECURITY? I don't understand how someone who's clearly stating that they are there to protect voters can be labeled as intimidating voters.

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

So, are you liberals saying that if there had been 2 KKK members at a "mostly white" polling station, one of them holding a noose, there wouldn't be a problem with that?

Nah, didn't think so.

Posted by: russellburgett | January 3, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The thinking seems to be that because the attorney general and the president are black, and black people -- or black Democrats -- all are filled with seething hatred for whites and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance over past wrongs, they must be in alliance. It's idiotic on its face.
_____

Well, to most conservatives all blacks look the same so if some mean looking Negros were "intimidating white voters" I guess this must be Obama's fault. Blacks are part of the same club, right?

Posted by: Ve1ostrummer | January 3, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"Ok, leave us see did I get this right. Does this mean that because white people behaved badly decades ago, black people get a free pass now?"

Come on now. You are the only person providing an emotional response. Although, your answer provides great insight on "white guilt" or the lack thereof.

I mean, the mere fact that you said "white people behaved badly" speaks volumes, my friend. If I raped your mother and your daughter and hung you and your son from a tree, then burned down your house, simply because your skin color was different, I seriously doubt you'd describe my behavior as, "behaving badly".

I, for one, never suggested anything of the sort. As I understand it, most black people just want to level the playing field and have an equal opportunity to succeed in this country. No more, no less. Racism is still alive and well in this country, yet, most racists want to now label their accusers as racist for pointing out their racist behavior.

I also never stated that ALL white people mistreated blacks, therefore, why should all white people have to suffer for the deeds of a misguided few? I just want peace and harmony, but I'm not going to idly stand by and stay silent in the face of blatant ignorance.

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The thinking seems to be that because the attorney general and the president are black, and black people -- or black Democrats -- all are filled with seething hatred for whites and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance over past wrongs, they must be in alliance. It's idiotic on its face.
______

Well in the eyes of most conservatives, blacks all look the same. So I guess if a few mean looking Negros scared some white voters, then this must be Obama's fault. Because all blacks are all members of the same club, right?

Posted by: Ve1ostrummer | January 3, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

So, are you liberals saying that if there had been 2 KKK members at a "mostly white" polling station, one of them holding a noose, there wouldn't be a problem with that?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You didn't really think that thought out did you? Let's complete the scenario....because if a couple of black men claiming to work for a "liberal" watch group walked up on said Klansmen with a camera phone asking said Klansmen what they were doing....there just might be trouble. LOL

Posted by: massmedia77 | January 3, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like this non-scandal to bring out the racist and anti-semitic trolls. the idea that Issa is a credible source about scandals (including his own) is laughable.

Posted by: thebuckguy | January 3, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Rubin is a worthless hack. Her initial article was a joke, and her response to Sargent's evisceration is even worse.

And I notice all you Reich Winger trolls are conspicuously ignoring the numerous links Sargent included in his post. You know, those links that prove his points. No surprise, since you lot are such useless hacks yourselves.

Posted by: jiji1 | January 3, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"When are we going to stop living in the past?"

Well, with southern celebrations of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War - excuse me, War of Northern Aggression - glossing over the true cause of the war (defense of slavery by the South), the answer is probably, "Not very soon." So let's not be glib about the racist past of this country or try to pretend that racism doesn't still have living adherents. Some of whom seem to write comments to the Washington Post.

Posted by: vweb_8714 | January 3, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I am no fan of repubs but I saw what happened. Those panthers are animals who have no place in a civilized society. Sergant, you are a fascist PC libtard. I cannot believe anything as stupid as you has human status.

Posted by: jm125

Are you sure your not a fan of Republicans.

Posted by: langs13 | January 3, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Which was Eric Holder right about...

...the initial convictions

...or the reversal of those convictions?

DOJ did both

Posted by: georgedixon1

Republicans just make stuff up.

What convictions. They were never tried.

Posted by: langs13 | January 3, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Republicans show up to political events with guns.


What's the problem.

Posted by: langs13 | January 3, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"So, are you liberals saying that if there had been 2 KKK members at a "mostly white" polling station, one of them holding a noose, there wouldn't be a problem with that?"

If, in your analogy, these KKK members were there with the explicit purpose of trying to convince white voters that John McCain was racist against whites, and even then, there was no testimony from any voters that they had felt intimidated, then, no, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

No one in the precinct filed a complaint. Ever.

No voter claimed they were intimidated at the time. No voter has claimed they were intimidated in the two years since this happened, even though Fox News and the Republicans have been beating the bushes looking for someone to file a suit.

You can't have voter intimidation without an intimidated voter. If that's too complicated for you to understand, maybe ask a five-year-old to walk you through an episode of "Matlock."

Posted by: ottoman88 | January 3, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, two black guys in front of a polling place in a predominantly black neighborhood - where are the intimidation complaints? It appears that no one was "intimidated" except perhaps the white guy shooting the video. I see scarier people at my bus stop every day. The right is really grasping here - but hey, the rubes are obviously falling for it.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | January 3, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The right is really grasping here - but hey, the rubes are obviously falling for it.

==

Just doing what they're told.

And thinking what they're told.

And belileving what they're told.

Guppies have more brains than right-wingers.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 3, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Rubin should be fired. We need real news, not more death panel , birth certificate, nonsense. Come on Post. George Will is enough BS for everybody.

Posted by: jimbobkalina1 | January 4, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

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