Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fisking Katherine Kersten, STrib Village Idiot, Again, part 1
A labor and pay topic for Labor Day weekend

a graphic from Bloomberg news on the economic disparity between men and women
On August 26th, Katherine Kersten wrote another one of her factually vague and disconnected op ed pieces that represent the worst of the talking points chanting on the right.  The woman writes drivel, or maybe dribble would be a better word; she must be drooling at the keyboard.  Surely there must be better conservatives who could author right wing op ed pieces. This feeble attempts to garner support for the right wing was entitle "Weaponizing the well-being of women". I suppose, given the topic, we should be grateful it wasn't an even more anti-woman article by arch anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafley.

Her first paragraph is a shot at the media for being Obama 'enablers', as she blithely and dishonestly performs her apparent sole function at the paper of being a rightwingnut 'media enabler'. Another example of that projection my co-blogger Pen recently described.

This feeble attempts to garner support for the right wing was entitle Weaponizing the well-being of women. In her second para, we have this:
A first reconnaissance might suggest that men, not women, are under assault and in full-scale retreat. For example, women now earn almost 60 percent of college degrees, and a majority of master's and doctoral degrees. Education is the best predictor of future earnings in our information economy.
And yet,  we have women still earning 70 cents on the dollar for the same work as men, including working college students, jeopardizing achieving those degrees. We have cuts to education spending, and specifically to education grants and loan assistance which allows women to earn those college degrees. We have right wing efforts to make it more costly and more difficult for women to obtain contraception, which is part of how women are able to control their reproductive choices while going to school and working. (Some righties, like Santorum, just don't want women to have sex at all. Because he feels it is appropriate for the government to police and dictate other people's moral choices about relationships and physical intimacy... in other words, to be the most intrusive kind of big government.) And we have Republican cutting programs like WIC which supplied nutritional supplemental support to pregnant women, and women with small children, including female students who are attempting to get out of a life of poverty by getting degrees.  That funding allowed those women to continue to be students, not have to choose between food or tuition and books.

Yes, the right is waging funding wars on women AND children.  You know - that party that is so pro-life, they are cut aid to pregnant women below the poverty line, who will effectively be malnourished during pregnancy.  The GOP and Tea Party are the party not of values, they are the party that wishes to see American women and children looking like the starving orphans featured on late nite television commercials for charities.  But according to Katherine Kersten, that is NOT war on women! It sure sounds like culture war on women to me.

She goes on in para 3
Women now hold 51 percent of white-collar management and professional jobs. Traditional male sectors like manufacturing are in decline, while women dominate 13 of the 15 job categories projected to grow most in the next decade. In 2010, the Atlantic magazine documented the shift in an article titled "The End of Men."
But what she leaves OUT is more important. For example, the trend in female heads of households in poverty, compared to male heads of households in poverty, went up from 17% in 1990, to 21.6% in 2010.  And this, from Consumer Action in  2008:
"The 26 percent  of all households headed only by a woman earn, save, and have accumulated far less wealth than have other American households, according to a Consumer Federation of America (CFA) analysis of the most recent data collected by the Federal Reserve Board's authoritative Survey of Consumer Finances. "
And according to an article at Feministing, 60% of women are the primary breadwinners, but still do most of the housework, based on a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   According to the site Free by50,  as of January 2011, the number of families which were single income, with the husband working (the kind I grew up in ) was 22%, the number with the wife only working was 7%, the number with neither working was 17%, and the number where both work was 54%, based on 2010 census data. (You know - the kind of census data Michele Bachmann doesn't want collected, because Republicans don't like or need facts.)  That sure doesn't look to me like 'the end of men'. It does look to me like women are working harder, and facing more of an economic squeeze than previously.

What else Kersten leaves out is that according to this website on U.S. women in management, while women have made progress, despite being more than 50% of the population, women still only account for 16% of Fortune 500 board seats.  This is paralleled in other statistics reflecting women in the 'C' class of management - CEOs CFOs etc. - the top or Chief executives. 

There is still a glass ceiling for women in the workplace, and still unfair pay practices for all those women who are working as either a contributing breadwinner or the primary breadwinner, cited in those statistics above.  Even with women going into professional level jobs, they make considerably less money than their male counterparts, contrary to the assertion by Kersten about women's progress.

From the website On Careers, just last month, (emphasis added is mine - DG)

Are Women Still Paid Less Than Men?

CEOs and entrepreneurs, is that still the case?
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that female doctors in the United States make on average $12,000 a year less than their male counterparts. We're talking six figures here, but still, it's a trend we see in just about every industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women would need a 65 percent pay increase, on average, to catch up to men.
Who is at Fault?
Is it a woman's fault that she doesn't get paid more? In the study of doctors' salaries, researchers found that men tend to be more aggressive in asking for more pay. Others point to the fact that women tend to take time off from their careers to raise their families, which may deter them from climbing the corporate ladder as quickly. Or that women often take lower-paying, more flexible jobs so that they can spend more time with their families. Neither are strong arguments, with more men now doing the same in their households.
Where the Government Stands
President Obama has shown his stance on the issue. He's been working to get the Paycheck Fairness Act approved by Congress to help those discriminated against fight back. Congress has not yet passed it.
Obama also declared April 20, 2010 the first National Equal Pay Day as a way to draw attention to the issue. Each year, Equal Pay Day falls symbolically on the date through which women must work to match what men earned the previous year.

What has the right done? Opposed equal pay legislation for equal work. It also allowed for law suits due to discrimination on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation and disability.  Of course, Conservatives hate those groups.  In Wisconsin we had one of their right wing free-dumbers, Glenn Grothman inaccurately claim women weren't discriminated against that not-an-expert extremist right wing media harpy Ann Coulter had persuaded him that women didn't want equal pay for equal work, that money wasn't as important to women as to men, to justify repealing legislation so they could sue for wage discrimination.  (Logically, if women weren't going to want more money, why would it be necessary to repeal the right for them to sue then?) A similar Republican effort attempted to do the same in Minnesota.  At the federal level the right has opposed legislation like the Lily Ledbetter act.

Here is what Kersten glosses over when she talks about education as a "predicter of future earnings".  From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The gender pay gap, around 40¢ to the dollar in the early 1960s, shrank rapidly in the 1980s and early ’90s. It has narrowed by only 4¢ since 1994 and less than 1¢ since 2005, even though younger women have caught up to and surpassed men in education. What’s more, pay difference actually grows as a woman’s career progresses, adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on average over a lifetime. Catherine Hill, head of research at the American Association of University Women, found that among college graduates, the pay gap grew from 20¢ on the dollar one year after graduation to 31¢ by the 10th reunion.
 and from the same article:
In a 2007 article for the Academy of Management’s journal Perspectives, Cornell University labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn wrote that even after adjusting for education, experience, race, industry, and occupation, women brought home just 91 percent of what men did. And they said that figure may understate the pay gap due to sex discrimination if women have been excluded from higher-paying opportunities. “There is evidence that although discrimination against women in the labor market has declined, some discrimination does still continue to exist,” they wrote.
The disparity of women at the 'C' class level, or top executive level clearly shows that fewer women proportionate to population achieve that level, indicating clearly there is a very real glass ceiling.  At all levels, despite education, women make less money than men, and have less advancement.

It has been consistently the Republicans and Tea Partiers, extolling the stay at home Ann Romney world that never really existed even in the 'good ol' days', that have fought not only to prevent further progress towards equality, but to UNDO those gains toward making women more fully equal made in the past 50 years. 

The right claims they do these things to be 'business friendly'.  Do we really want to befriend businesses by encouraging and allowing them to treat women unfairly????????? Are their female constituents LESS important to them,as  real people, than corporations-as-people? Any business that would seek that kind of accommodation, not being sued for paying women less, is NOT a good corporate citizen, not a good public citizen. They would hurt the state's economy, not help it.

Concluding from the Bloomberg article on just how Republican obstruction and opposition has worked to undo and impair equality for women in the workplace:

Lilly Ledbetter didn’t need dueling statistical analyses to tell her she was underpaid once she saw how much male managers at the tire plant were getting. Winning a judgment was the problem. A jury found it was “more likely than not” that she suffered pay discrimination, but the Supreme Court turned her down on appeal because she didn’t complain within 180 days of when she was first underpaid. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, the first law President Obama signed upon taking office in 2009, fixed that for future plaintiffs by treating each undersized paycheck as a fresh, punishable offense.
The bigger problem remains: If there’s no tipster stuffing notes in their mailboxes, women don’t know they’re underpaid. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed in the House in 2009, would fix that deficiency by preventing companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay gaps. It would also allow for punitive damages; close some loopholes that employers have used to justify pay gaps; and require employers to submit salary data that would make it easier to detect violations. The Senate GOP’s June 5 filibuster of the bill played into the hands of Democrats seeking women’s votes, as did defensive quotes from Republican senators. Marco Rubio of Florida said he didn’t think the bill would accomplish its purpose, and “reads more to me like some sort of welfare plan for trial lawyers.” (Wisconsin passed a similar law in 2009 and saw no boom in litigation, according to its Department of Workforce Development.)
A lack of good data impedes progress on fair pay. Nationwide statistics can’t prove that any particular woman has been treated unfairly, while individual cases are too idiosyncratic—an employer can usually cite some justification for why she got less than the guy in the next cubicle. For potential plaintiffs, the ideal would be to have reams of detailed data about every company’s pay by gender, job title, and so on. But that would be a paperwork nightmare, and few companies would willingly expose themselves that way.
By grouping employees in different ways, expert witnesses in lawsuits brought against Boeing (BA), Wal-Mart, and Novartis (NVS) have drawn opposite conclusions about whether discrimination exists. In 2006 the Bush administration discontinued a program started by the Clinton administration to collect data from federal contractors (who account for 25 percent of the civilian workforce) on the grounds that the data weren’t useful. The Obama administration is looking into restarting data collection for contractors to detect patterns of discrimination but still faces opposition from employer groups. “Will the usefulness justify the burden?” asks Rebecca Springer, an attorney at Crowell & Moring, a law firm that represents defendants in Equal Pay Act lawsuits.
Fair question. And yet solutions exist. Labor economist Marc Bendick Jr. argues that fears about excessive paperwork are overblown: Just a small amount of easy-to-supply data would be enough, he says, to flag companies that bear further investigation. Employers’ attorney William Doyle Jr. of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius would encourage employers to investigate their own practices by promising that their findings could not be used against them in court. Both ideas have merit. Doing nothing amounts to preserving a code of silence that continues to hurt women. Just ask Ledbetter, now 74, who never got a settlement from Goodyear and recently had to scrape money together to replace a busted air conditioner. “Trust me,” she says, “I have learned how behind women and their families are, and it’s getting this nation dragged down.”
Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. Dwoskin is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington.


  1. Pen- This is the nice thing about Unions. Women make as much as men.

  2. Oops, Sorry Dog. Used the wrong name.

  3. "Surely there must be better conservatives who could author right wing op ed pieces."

    I haven't been reading here long so maybe you've covered this and I'm not aware of the answer. If not Kersten, what Conservative writers would you prefer?

  4. I would point out here Joe that I've been answering your questions, while we're still waiting on answers from you to a few now.

    Just going through women who are conservative, as alternatives, I have a deep respect for Elizabeth Dole, Sandra Day O'Connor, Marilyn Quayle, and Meghan McCain. Now obviously those women are more important or more well known than Katherine Kersten, but Kersten's ability to pick otu trivia that is not applicable and then hang conservative talking points off of them, however wobbly, is truly appallingly poorly done.

    If I were looking for conservative women who were less well known, I can think of several professors, but I don't think their names would be recognized by anyone particularly, so there is no point in mentioning those who are lesser known.

    So --- are YOU going to answer OUR questions Joe?

    Let's start with your cherrypicking about Strom Thurmond and work backwards, shall we?

  5. Conservative professors? That would be cool. Are they local? I'd like to learn more. Do they publish? Where can I read their stuff?

    How about a post "Hey Star Trib, Why Don't You Try Some Some Good Conservative Writers For a Change?" Inviting serious competition in the arena of ideas would not only be a classy gesture, you might even get support from across the aisle, the people presently whining about the Strib being too left-wing.

  6. As for questions, I confess I've forgotten what you wanted me to respond to.

    Strom Thurmond? Not sure what the question was. As I recall, Dog Gone claimed that not ALL conservatives are racist, only a significant, surprisingly large segment of that base, so most but not all. She backed up that claim with photos of the Civil Rights era and ended by saying " Apparently the old white male GOP is waxing nostalgic, and not in a good way."

    Now maybe I drew the wrong conclusion, but I formed the impression she thinks an objective of the Republican Party is to return to pre-Civil Rights days. "Return" is important.

    I think it's historically inaccurate to blame Republicans for that era. I pointed out the major racist actors involved were all Democrats. Democrats controlled the Southern state legislatures that passed racist laws. Democrats were the cops with the dogs. Fewer Democrats voted for civil rights than Republicans. The most famous filibuster in US Senate history was waged against civil rights, by a Democrat.

    In response, the commenter admitted I was correct, the racist politicians were Democrats, and then called ME a racist for pointing it out.

    So, what was the question for me to answer? Because I'm afraid it missed it amid the vitriol.

    That's a problem with this site, you know, and also an opportunity. Non-conforming comments result in personal attack by Penigma authors, not to mention commenters, more often than one would hope to see on a website devoted to the rational discussion of politics. Yes, other sites are as bad or worse. Is that your aspiration - to be as bad as them? Perhaps the goal should be set higher. Opportunity!

  7. Joe Doakes wrote:Strom Thurmond? Not sure what the question was.
    Now maybe I drew the wrong conclusion, but I formed the impression she thinks an objective of the Republican Party is to return to pre-Civil Rights days. "Return" is important.

    Return is exactly what I meant, or as close as they can get to preventing people of color from voting.

    I think it's historically inaccurate to blame Republicans for that era. I pointed out the major racist actors involved were all Democrats.
    Not even remotely true. While there were more conservative Democrats in the South who were racist, they frequently collaborated with the conservative northern Republicans politically, making the distinction effectively moot. BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties were divided into factions that were racist and conservative, or pro-segregation and civil rights and more moderate to liberal in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

    You had souther DEMOCRATS like LBJ who worked with northern Republicans like Everett Dirksen to pass civil rights. But you had the Republican racists like then-activist Pat Buchanan, and Barry Godlwater, both presidential candidates, who opposed any advancement of civil rights.

    Since the reality is that those were Dinos, Democrats in name only, in that those Democrats/Dixiecrats then changed parties to the more racist Republicans post LBJ, and have continued as Republicans, who enacted racist policies and used racist strategies, I pointed out that you were cherrypicking, that you were not honestly representing the history or the party affiliations.

    Since Strom Thurmond spent 39 years as a racist Republican and only 10 years as a racist Democrat, he was far more active and racist as a Republican member of Congress than as a Democratic one. I asked if you were willing to admit that you picked the much lesser and earlier period of his career to use to identify him, while ignoring the greater, longer, and more characteristic party to which he belonged.

    If you're going to claim that someone who spent 39 years and some months as a Republican is less significant than some 10 years early in their career as a Democrat makes them more the latter than the former, you are a dishonest man.

    The southern strategy was entirely aimed at recruiting southern democrats to the Republican party over the issue of obstructing civil rights and integration, a stategy to which the GOP has admitted. The northern stategy of the GOP was entirely aimed at organizing opposition to racial equality among existing Republicans.

    So while you had the Democrats left in the party who were pro-civil rights (or became pro-civil rights like former racist George Wallace), the racists all shifted to the right and to the GOP where they have been carefully cultivated for votes ever since. The Nixon administration has admitted to doing so as a calculated political decision, and so did the Reagan administration figures.

    So when you keep insisting that it was Democrats who were responsible for racism that is incorrect; they were active in the south prior to the early 60s, but there was also a significant segment of the GOP that felt the same and cooperated with them. AFTER 1965, it was increasing the GOP that welcomed and cultivated racism, and still does so.

    Now, are you going to try to continue with that inaccuate baloney that is demonstrably inaccurate revisionist history, or are you going to be honest about which party has the preponderance of racists, from the 60's to present?

    You just don't see a lot of birthers for example on the left, and you won't either.

    So - will you be honest about history, or are you going to double down on the dishonesty and cherrypicking?

    I'd be happy to provide you the research on the accurate history if you're too conservative to be educated on this topic yourself. I think when you have Republicans, including just recently former RNC chair Michael Steel speaking on the topic at length, it's pretty hard to deny that particular reality.

  8. Joe noted: Democrats controlled the Southern state legislatures that passed racist laws.

    Psst. Joe - did you ever hear of the "Old Right"?
    I suggest you look them up. Are you seriously unaware of violence against blacks in the north, including lynchings, right here in MN?

    Sheesh Joe - are you REALLY going to try to pretend that the only racist laws were in the south? That there were not for example real estate covenants in the north that prevented blacks from moving into certain neighborhoods? Or that there weren't a large number of schools and organizations that did not admit blacks? We had just as much segregation then in the north as in the south; the difference was that in the north it relied on more economic policies with fewer state level legislated sanctions, but just as many local ordinances, and where there wasn't formal rules, there was still plenty of informal discrimination. There were plenty of country clubs in the north, and private schools, churches, civic organizations etc. that did not allow blacks; some also didn't allow Jews.

  9. Seriously, are you completely unaware of the origins of the John Birch Society? They haven't changed much since the Koch Brothers daddy helped them get started.

    Sadly, it appears I know your side of the aisle better than you do.

    Joe wrote:
    Democrats were the cops with the dogs.
    Not even close. You clearly don't know the history of racism right here in MN. Or don't you consider lynchings of blacks racist?

    Fewer Democrats voted for civil rights than Republicans. The most famous filibuster in US Senate history was waged against civil rights, by a Democrat. Again - go educate yourself on the "Old Right" and the "New Right" as relates to racism. You are wrong, historically, factually WRONG.

    Joe went on: As I recall, Dog Gone claimed that not ALL conservatives are racist, only a significant, surprisingly large segment of that base, so most but not all. She backed up that claim with photos of the Civil Rights era and ended by saying " Apparently the old white male GOP is waxing nostalgic, and not in a good way."

    Yes Joe, that is exactly what I wrote. Care to see me back it up? Do you seriously doubt I have facts at my fingertips before making that assertion? Or have you started to understand that I try to be very well read, both in breadth and depth, before venturing comments like that.

    You need some serious remedial history and political science reading Joe. Your ignorance is staggering. I'd be happy to give you an authoratative reading list, including works by conservatives, that make my points.

    As the Nixon White House strategist for the southern strategy, you might like to start with Pat Buchanan, who came up with his ideas in the mid-60s during the civil rights era while writing for the right wing Young Americans for Freedom. Back in the start up of Young Americans for Freedom days, Buckley - at whose home the organization came into existence - was adamantly anti-civil rights.

    Or were you going to try to tell me that Buckley wasn't a prominent conservative and a Republican during the civil rights era????????????

    from wikipedia:
    "MacLean states that, "The National Review made Kilpatrick its voice on the civil rights movement and the Constitution, as Buckley and Kilpatrick united North and South in a shared vision for the nation that included upholding white supremacy."[47] James Jackson Kilpatrick (1920–2010) was a well-known newspaper editor in Richmond, Virginia, who was a leader in supporting segregation and the control of the South by whites only. In the August 24, 1957 issue, Buckley's editorial "Why the South Must Prevail" spoke out explicitly in favor of white supremacy in the South.[48] It argued that "the central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."[49] His answer was that white supremacy in the South was a good idea now (in 1957) and the black population lacked the education, economic, or cultural development for racial equality to be possible, claiming the white South had "the right to impose superior mores for whatever period it takes to effect a genuine cultural equality between the races."[50][51][52][53]"

    Buckley was a northern conservative Republican. Is that statement racist enough for you?

  10. You might want to start here Joe:

    Next time you're in Duluth, you might want to stop by the memorial to those three black men who were lynched. Although not all lynchings were ever formally reported, we know that Minnesota lynched at least 4, Iowa 2 and North Dakota 3.

  11. You might also want to do a little reading here:

  12. So, Joe, in case you forgot my question...will you acknowledge that institutional racism in the civil rights era came from the 'Old Right', which were conservatives, and that those who were Dinos subsequently re-identified themselves for most of their political careers as REPUBLICANS, not Democrats?

    Any way you slice it, racism against blacks is conservative/right wing.

    Seriously, Jow - where DID you learn American history??????????

  13. Since Joe appears to be ignorant about the role of Democrats in advancing civil rights, let me provide him with this paragraph from the wikipedia bio on our own HH Humphrey, who incidentally made advances in his early political career in undoing segregation and discrimination, including legal discrimination here in MN, notably in MPLS.

    So seriously Joe - yes, there were racist dixiecrats in the southeastern US who became Republicans during the civil rights era; in the rest of the country the racists were Republicans, most notably in the southwest, but there were plenty of racist Republicans in the Northeast, the northern central states including MN, and in the Northwestern U.S. -- that is far more of the U.S. than those southeastern states Joe. How do you explain that?

    Will you own U.S. CONSERVATIVE racist history, or not?

  14. wikipedia, Hubert Humphrey entry, on Republican / Conservative racists/ Democratic civil rights advocates:

    ...Humphrey gained national fame during these years by becoming one of the founders of the liberal anticommunist Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and for reforming the Minneapolis police force. The city had been named the "anti-Semitism capital" of the country, and the small African-American population of the city also faced discrimination. Humphrey's tenure as mayor is noted for his efforts to fight all forms of bigotry.

    The national Democratic Party of 1948 was split between those who thought the federal government should actively protect civil rights for racial minorities, and those, who believed that states should be able to enforce racial segregation and infringe on the rights of non-white citizens.

    ...A diverse coalition opposed this tepid platform, including anti-communist liberals like Humphrey, Paul Douglas and John Shelley, all of whom would later become known as leading progressives in the Democratic Party. These liberals proposed adding a "minority plank" to the party platform that would commit the Democratic Party to a more aggressive opposition to racial segregation. The minority plank called for federal legislation against lynching, an end to legalized school segregation in the South, and ending job discrimination based on skin color. Also strongly backing the liberal civil rights plank were Democratic urban bosses like Ed Flynn of the Bronx, who promised the votes of northeastern delegates to Humphrey's platform, Jacob Arvey of Chicago, and David Lawrence of Pittsburgh. Although viewed as being conservatives, these urban bosses believed that Northern Democrats could gain many black votes by supporting civil rights, and that losses among anti-civil rights Southern Democrats would be relatively small. Though many scholars[who?] have suggested that labor unions were leading figures in this coalition, no significant labor leaders attended the convention, with the exception of the heads of the Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee (CIOPAC), Jack Kroll and A.F. Whitney.

    Despite aggressive pressure by Truman's aides to avoid forcing the issue on the Convention floor, Humphrey chose to speak on behalf of the minority plank. In a renowned speech,[3] Humphrey passionately told the Convention, "To those who say, my friends, to those who say, that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years (too) late! To those who say, this civil rights program is an infringement on states' rights, I say this: the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights!" Humphrey and his allies succeeded; the pro-civil-rights plank was narrowly adopted.

    As a result of the Convention's vote, the Mississippi and one half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the hall. Many Southern Democrats were so enraged at this affront to their "way of life" that they formed the Dixiecrat party and nominated their own presidential candidate, Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. The goal of the Dixiecrats was to take Southern states away from Truman and thus cause his defeat. The Southern Democrats reasoned that after such a defeat the national Democratic Party would never again aggressively pursue a pro-civil rights agenda. However, the move backfired. Although the strong civil rights plank adopted at the Convention cost Truman the support of the Dixiecrats, it gained him many votes from blacks, especially in large northern cities. As a result Truman won a stunning upset victory over his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey. Truman's victory demonstrated that the Democratic Party could win presidential elections without the "Solid South", and thus weakened Southern Democrats instead of strengthening their position.

  15. dog gone writes:

    "Since Strom Thurmond spent 39 years as a racist Republican and only 10 years as a racist Democrat, he was far more active and racist as a Republican member of Congress than as a Democratic one."

    You could add that Thurmond's arc of power didn't really start going up until after his second election to the U.S. Senate. Thurmond had tremendous influence as a REPUBLICAN chairman of several important senate subcommittees.

  16. One of the more aggravating things leading conservatives do is to use party label as their only barometer WHEN it suits them.

    Southern RACISTS were long Democrats because that was the party which opposed the North, the party which opposed abolition of slavery, the party which supported the antebellum south, the party which supported the land-owning, elitist aristocratic plantation owners. They voted as "the solid south" as a block against the more liberal and progressive north as a way to stake out their own power and to identify themselves as distinctly different. They were "populists" of a sort, touting "individual liberty" before and during the civil war (and afterward in the likes of Nathan Bedford Forrest and the KKK). They were anti-fact, anti-science, bible thumping zealots, and for 80 years AFTER the end of the civil war they were the block of votes which voted for that which opposed giving blacks more freedoms.

    When FDR and others (especially Lyndon Johnson - a southern, conservative Democrat) moved to give blacks voting rights, appointed people like Earl Warren to the high court, supported Thurgood Marshall, the southern block of rabid racits LEFT the Democratic Party and TA DA! joined the now anti-black vote Republicans. In the Republican Party of Barry Goldwater AND Ronald Reagan, they found equally virulent opposition to black voting and civil rights for the Republicans were increasingly controlled by business, and business leaders didn't want the poor to stop their attempts at controlling the economic trajectory of the country, a trajectory which would put the rich in power and limit the power of labor. They were successful, in no small part due to the RABID RACIST south which switched parties specifically because their racist views got a hearing and power in the Republican Party's platforms. From opposing the 1965 civil rights act to espousing not renewing (as Reagan did in 1985), to Willie Horton, to "welfare mama" code speech, the Republican Party has become the party of hating minorities - blacks first, but then Muslims, hispanics, communists (not a minority but certainly a boogy-man), and the willfully ignorant, bible-thumping psuedo-christian, anti-science, anti-public education south voted along with them. Small wonder that the solid once again, now solidly Republican. From air-head Bobby Jindal to air-head popsie Jan Brewer to slimey huckster Lindsay (once I was a Democrat but then I was bought) Graham, the south has resurfaced as a place welcoming of closet racists, and some not so closet, and almost to a man, woman or child, Republican. Make no mistake, Strom Thurmond changed parties entirely with purpose. He was a DINO in 1947 - at least with respect to the ideals of equality, common good, and respect for liberty.

  17. You know, I've never visited a blog site where the authors thread-jack their own posts as frequently as you do yours. Fascinating.

    So who are the Conservative writers you admire?


  18. I've already given you a list of conservative intellectual women, as distinct from the pretty faced brain-light popsies who get the most attention on the right.

    You answer me Joe, first, about being incorrect in your previous statements attributing party affiliation and racism.

    And yes, I suppose we do sometimes thread jack here; lots of people do it in lots of places, it is not unique to us. I've seen plenty of instances of it being done by the Mitchketeers, and by Mitch himself. The faux feigned outrage over it is pretty funny.