Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hang It on the Wall for All to See

“Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
- Abraham J. Heschel
Jewish theologian and philosopher
1907-1972

“Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader
1929-1968

“In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.”
- Harry A. Blackmun
American Supreme Court Justice
1908-1999


A friend of mine recently tried to support his position that the right is not racist; not Tea Partiers, not Conservatives, not Republicans. He posited that not one of them was a racist, and that they could not be. On other occasions he has tried to argue that Liberals and others on the left are racists, and rampant anti-semites as well.

I don't know anyone, from the spectrum of the right to the left, who characterizes themselves as a racist. How others characterize someone may be distinctly different.

In the past week, we have had conservative South Carolina state senator Jake Knotts, on his internet radio talk show "Pub Politics", call the far right Palin-backed GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, and President Obama, both 'rag heads'. Far from being apologetic, he blamed the reactions on failed humor, indicating he had used the term before this, and presumably unless daunted by the response, he intends to continue using it. (No, repetition does not improve it). Just in case his listening audience failed fully to appreciate his wit, he invoked the 'f'' word for emphasis as a raghead modifier in describing Mrs. Haley. (No, that doesn't improve it any more than repetition). As if that were not enough, despite acknowledging Mrs. Haley's conversion to Christianity, as a Methodist, he expounded that she was not Christian enough to govern the state of South Carolina. Perhaps she needs another dose of conversion to bring her up to full strength.

He then indicated Haley is controlled and directed by a cabal of Sikhs. Is that now the term for a group, a 'cabal of Sikhs', like a 'murder of crows' or a 'gaggle of geese'? Because nothing persuades your audience you are not a bloody-minded, racist bigot quite like a belief in a rousing conspiracy. Yes, those evil 'ragheads' ARE out to get you! They must be, or there is less reason to hold a bad opinion of them as a group instead of viewing them as individuals. You need a pretext to justify hatred and contempt, or whatever your particular expression of racism might be.

Apparently my friend and conservative pundit, blogger, and radio talk show host, Mitch Berg of Shot in the Dark is unaware that his fellow right-wingers had previously used the term well before SC state senator Knotts. For example, prominent right-wing figure Ann Coulter used it this way when she spoke at CPAC, the CONSERVATIVE POLITIAL ACTION CONFERENCE, “I think our motto should be post-9-11, ‘raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.’”

Perhaps I simply missed the right's outrage at Ms. Coulter's racist slurs, unlike the outrage expressed from both the political right and left to state Senator Knotts? I cite it here to demonstrate the term is not unique to Knotts on the right, and to demonstrate it has been used before - in Coulter's case, prominently. The use is not isolated.

Naturally, neither Coulter nor Knotts see themselves as racist. They see that use of language to make a point, or to be funny, not as an expression of (gasp) racism. Not them, not ever, it is not possible they could be racist. Racist is what other people are who don't agree with you - never you, yourself. Those people who are offended should stop playing the race card, and quit maligning good funny, articulate people so very unfairly. Shame on them!

Then we have Rush Limbaugh, a Jake Knotts look-alike, another noted figure of right-wing politics. Rush has made entire collections of people's favorite 'tops' lists of racist comments, with statements like this one from his radio program, January 19, 2007:
"Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

Apparently Rush in this quote is equating black Americans not just with criminal activity but with gang violence. The "there, I said it" part of his statement suggests he had been holding back what he really wanted to say, what he had really thought, for some time before giving in to the temptation to speak his mind.

That was from the most recent decade, then we have the earlier racist comment:
"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

and his even earlier comment from the 1970's, under his radio name, Jeff Christie:
"Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."

Martin Luther King, Jr., eloquently defined racism as making assumptions, particularly negative or derogatory assumptions, on the basis of external appearance, or ethnic or racial background, with his famous words, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Perhaps King should have added, "or traditional, ethnic head wear" after 'color of their skins'.

By that definition, Rush is a flaming racist, as illustrated by his scores of racially insensitive and demeaning comments, not just one, as are those who take pleasure in his pronouncements instead of being offended by them.

The racism of "Raghead" was not the only recent instance of racism from the right - where else would you expect it from, besides from former-heart-of-the-civil-war South Carolina, but from an old conservative in Arizona.

Prescott, Arizona city councilman and (what else?) conservative politics local talk show host, Steve Blair was fired from a Fox radio affiliate, over a recent K-5 school mural controversy. Blair made disparaging comments in objecting to a mural portraying students on the outside of Miller School. There is an attempt by members of the community, including parents of students attending the school, some of whom are portrayed in the mural, to recall Blair in the upcoming November elections.

In recent statements, Lou Silverstein, owner of radio station KYCA where Blair had hosted his talk show said, "Maybe it could be a learning experience, Steve Blair is not a racist; he's a good guy. But, sometimes, he just puts his foot in his mouth." Silverstein went on to say that he fired Blair because his comments "could be interpreted as racist." Silverstein himself wasn't apparently bothered by the racist content; he was just worried what other people might think. There is not a lot of quality of character in that action.

You know, like the comments made by another broadcaster on his KYCA station, Rush Limbaugh. I'm sure that Mr. Silverstein doesn't believe that Limbaugh or Jake Knotts or Ann Coulter could be racist either, because they are good conservative men - and woman. I wouldn't use the word lady to describe a woman as crude and offensive as Ann Coulter has chosen to be.

I shudder to contemplate what kind of comments, and from whom, would be recognized and acknowledged by any of these individuals as racism. I'm guessing that wouldn't be something they would see in a fellow-conservative/tea party supporter/Republican.

Let me be clear, I do not believe all conservatives are racist, nor do I believe that anyone of any political position is inherently free from racism just because of their politics. To claim that no conservative involved in politics is racist, either in elective office or political commentary, be it at the local or state level, or on the national stage, is pure bull. It is a statement that deserves to be challenged, and to be challenged hard.

These were not one-time statements; in each case they were part of a pattern of statements. Blair lost his broadcasting job for having drawn too much of the wrong kind of attention, not because he offended his boss. Knotts has lost his access to the little local internet radio show, "Pub Politics" for similar reasons, although his views also are less congruent with the pub's owner in his case. Coulter and Limbaugh continue to have wide public access, through radio and cable programming, and have achieved the kind of supportive following for their racist and other offensive comments that make them proof against being fired. There appears to be no statement so hateful they cannot only survive, but thrive from it.

We must support freedom of speech, even hateful and offensive speech. But we do not in the course of permitting that speech need to reward it, or accept the message, nor should we. It is important to identify it, and to challenge it. Hang it on the wall, for everyone to see, not unlike the inspirational public art on the side of the school in Arizona. Scrutiny, public attention, is what is most effective in ending the underlying sentiments of racism, not just the outward expression of them.

90 comments:

  1. I don't mind the "call it what it is" mentality as long as it goes both ways. Mitch seems very comfortable jumping to conclusions when it comes to accusing the Democrats of Socialism or the Strib of spreading liberal propaganda. But any mention of bigotry in the ranks of conservative politics and suddenly you're going too far.

    Racism has gone underground. And that's a good thing. But to pretend it has simply vanished is beyond delusional.

    To say that all the bigots of the nation have up and joined the ACLU? To say its a stretch would be diplomatic.

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  2. Thanks AB for your comment.

    I'm not sure these instances even qualify 'calling it what it is', as much as it has represented stupidity and ignorance.

    These are instances where there are not simiilarities in geography. Knotts asserted 'we're at war over there'. Apparently he isn't too clear on where 'over there' is, and cannot distinguish between India, and Pakistan, and Kenya OR Hawaii.

    And the statement about not being Christian enough to govern? We are a secular nation, not a Christian nation. A candidate is not required to be any kind of Christian, or even a member of one of the abramic religions, to hold office. Who does Knotts think he is to judge anyone else's faith?

    In the case of the Arizona mural, the city councilman railed against diversity, and mistook a portrait of an hispanic boy for a black child, claiming the school shouldn't have so many people of color on the side of their building because it was not representative of the population demographics of Prescott, and he saw it as causing trouble.

    The things that were said to the people painting that mural, including the children from that school, give the lie to the claim that there is not racism involved in at least some - some - aspects of Arizona politics.

    Arizona CONSERVATIVE politics.

    I hope we are as aware of any racism, even if it is more subtle, in any other political point of view, and do not give the bigotry and racism the respect that political personalities on the right have shown.

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  3. Your comment about racism going underground AB, was what I had in mind in the quotation from Martin Luther King about lukewarm acceptance.

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  4. ApathyGuy,

    You are I are in complete agreement. Outside of writing some of the best historical pieces, Mitch, while my friend, engages in nothing other than pure hypocrisy and presentation of what he knows are either lies or gross distortions. He has no interest in whether what he claims is true, he wants to be a. popular and b. "on the inside" of a movement that he sess will bring him prosperity "some day." Moral rectitude in the sweeping mistreatment of many, many people has never been something he cared much about.

    Now and here, he and the conservative movement do again what they have done so often, they defend themselves by accusing liberals and Democrats of being that which they know full well they are, and in spades (pardon the pun).

    I think rather than showing conservativism's uglier side, which is so often, so easily seen, so glarinly obvious, we should be attacking and exposing their attempts to "project" their flaws onto others and through it attempt to mitigate and excuse their conduct as similar their political opposition, and therefore just another side of the rhetorically venemous environment.

    It goes deeper though, when someone like Limbaugh, the chief spokesman for the Republican elite, says something racist, they do so because they understand they have a crowd to appeal to, but worse, they themselves seem to have contempt for an entire class and an entire race of people. They may not hold OVERTLY racist bliefs (like that blacks are criminals), but they hold DEEPLY held fears, deeply held resentments about taxes - for which they BLAME blacks or Hispanics, for being either lazy or criminal or opportunistic - and because of that resentment about taxes, they don't have much objection to making comments with racial indictment infused/included. So, while our mutual friend Mitch may believe he isn't racist, and may not hold any overt beliefs which are, he supports racist acts through his silence and sophistry. I say he in fact also supports it by relying upon deeply held racist images of his readers when he complains about crime in Chicago or 'welfare mammas' anywhere. The GOP uses racism virtually any time it addresses an issue to remind its members that the REAL problem is taxes paying to keep the "lazy" people on the dole (and has no problem if its members equate lazy with blacks). Or maybe they mean "ragheads" or "makakas" or any of a host of other comments which permeate, annually, the rhetoric from the far right.

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  5. Pen, I have never in my experience heard Mitch make what I consider a racist comment.

    I do htink he is guilty of the same things that everyone is prone to, which is to not see clearly the actions and positions of those he supports. In the case of not recognizing conservative bigots, a big mistake. I find it unfathomable that someone who can be a wonderful feminist can dismiss Limbaugh's mysogyny as 'entertainment', for example - there is nothing entertaining about it, nor his racism.

    Does Mitch play to a certain crowd? Sure. I suppose so do we, in our way - although a smaller crowd. I cheer his success; he's earned it.

    Hypocrisy? I beleive Mitch is sincere, that he believes what he says. Does he project? It seems so at times, but I wouldn't dismiss him on that basis. He can also make some legitimate criticisms as well.

    I will attack an individual argument that Mitch makes from time to time, like this one, especially when it ties into current events as this does.

    I will not attack Mitch as a person. Despite the criticism of an idea, a notion, a conclusion, this is still someone I like and respect as the foundation underlying it.

    When I wrote "Apparently my friend and....Mitch Berg" I wrote it that way because friend is the priority in that sentence. Any personal criticism, will ever be made privately, and very very gently, and only if absolutely necessary or if helpful --- as I would prefer it in turn to me, from either of you.

    If I were to be indulged in using a dog analogy, each of us, we three, you, Mitch and I, have very keen prey drive. We enjoy the 'chase' of an argument, the feeling of sinking our teeth into it when making a point. Back to the prey, the argument and discussion at hand, and not each other, my very dear Pen.

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  6. DG,

    Whether someone makes a comment is less the question than whether they tacitly allow the action by both repeating the innuendos (as folks like Limbaugh create and Mitch and many others repeat) AND by turning a blind-eye to candidates who utter things similar to the "Makaka" quip.

    The truth of the right being patently and overwhelmingly racist can be seen nearly every day in every part of the country. From a Tennessee GOP county chair creating a cartoon of all of the Presidents busts with the last (of Obama) being simply a black background with white eyes (thereby pointing out that Obama is black - pretty funny stuff), to (iirc) one in Kentucky (or Georgia) creating a cartoon of the White House garden Michelle Obama wanted to plant instead being the entire lawn sewn with watermelons, to the raghead quip, to the numerous racially stained comments by Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, and a HOST of local conservative commenters, there is no doubt about the nature of the appeal used by the leading voices on the right and their media pals.

    People (like Mitch) who refuse to see it, refuse to acknowledge it, are whistling past the moon. They know the truth, they just absolutely don't want to admit it. For someone to claim there simply is NO racially-based motive on the right and further that there are no bigots, is to engage in both self-denial and pure sophistry. Claiming it's not really racism because you aren't a racist because you don't have anything against any race, you just put property rights ahead of civil rights, human rights, and justice, is pure and utter self-rationalization. "I will get whatever I want, and I don't care who the hell you are, black white or brown, I'm going to run over you. My property comes first." seems to be the sentiment. That attitude wilfully excuses ethical lapses, injustice, and the real-life impacts of a world where the 'haves' get more and the 'have-nots' by and large simply remain unwashed, unfed, and unheard. Truly moral conduct requires us to recognize that slavery is immoral - exploiting opportunities for effectively free labor is immoral, AND using racial hatred to obtain votes, whether you actually hate the race yourself IS IMMORAL. Mitch, and those like him, may not believe in race-based discrimination, but they happily use it. Krupp and IG Farbin may not have hated jews, but they gladly used the slave labor and watch the people die, does it much matter what they felt? The practical effect is the same and I think what their feelings are or aren't is a difference of no distinction. By allowing Mitch to hide behind his sophistry, you allow him to continue to perpetrate it - confront his complicity, for that matter, the right which does NOT believe this racist clap-trap, should do likewise.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Oh, good lord:

    Mitch seems very comfortable jumping to conclusions when it comes to accusing the Democrats of Socialism or the Strib of spreading liberal propaganda

    AB, I don't "jump to conclusions" - I state a case and support it. And I rarely call the Democrats "socialists", because it's more accurate to call them a strain of fabian statists; they share enough goals and means with socialism to make it almost, but not quite, "tomayto/tomahto".

    And if you care to attempt to dispute that the Strib's editorial page and columnist's row are DFL propagandists, feel free. There's not a DFLer in this state that packs the gear to stay with me in that debate, but feel perfectly free.

    But any mention of bigotry in the ranks of conservative politics and suddenly you're going too far.

    No, not "going to far"; you're merely leaving yourself open to a well-deserved rhetorical drubbing.

    For example: I wrote a piece in which I noted the existence of three different strains of conservatism, including "southern" - which stereotypically has a racial interest, although it's vastly overblown - with Western conservatism, which is not only color blind but also largely disinterested in social issues of any kind. DG's response was...a bunch of anecdotes about southerners whom she assumed were conservative.

    So yes - if I see people reading to stereotypes and templates and I can show how wrong they are, then that's what I"m gonna do.

    By your leave.

    To say that all the bigots of the nation have up and joined the ACLU...

    ...is a strawman that deserves no reply.


    . But any mention of bigotry in the ranks of conservative politics and suddenly you're going too far.

    Racism has gone underground. And that's a good thing. But to pretend it has simply vanished is beyond delusional.

    To say that all the bigots of the nation have up and joined the ACLU? To say its a stretch would be diplomatic.

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  9. when someone like Limbaugh, the chief spokesman for the Republican elite, says something racist...

    ...it is invariably, without exception, always, taken out of context.

    For instance, the bit that DG quoted above? Yep - context was mangled beyond recognition. He does those statements all the time - assuming the voice of a institutionally-racist apologist for the nanny state.

    Not just my anecdotal interpretation, by the way. It's from Zev Chafetz's bio of Limbaugh, from Limbaugh's producer. A black man, by the way.

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  10. Limbaugh, the chief spokesman for the Republican elite,

    Absolutely, 180 degrees untrue.

    The "elite" has always had a love/hate reltionship with Limbaugh; remember his go-'rounds with Michael Steele, Trent Lott, John McCain?

    He's the voice of the flyover-land hoi-polloi, and damn proud of it.

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  11. The truth of the right being patently and overwhelmingly racist can be seen nearly every day in every part of the country.

    No, Pen. The truth that race is a hitching point for many people around the world can be seen every day, every where. That some of them happen to be American Republicans is both a fact of human nature and percentages, as well as a rhetorical crutch the left waves about like a bloody shirt when it suits them.

    Since I wrote about "Western" conservatism, I'll follow up; there was an excellent piece in the Strib in about 1993 interviewing middle-class blacks who'd been transferred from large eastern/midwestern cities - Philly, Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago - to the rural, conservative west (Idaho, Montana, Colorado and the Dakotas) by their employers (the federal government in most cases).

    To a person, they reported no "racism" in the sense they'd grown up around in the East, South and Chicago where they mostly came from originally - the corrosive hatred you still see in places like Tennessee, Bensonhurst Queens and Chicago. Dumb comments born of ignorance, sure; racism, no.

    I'm not aware of surveys of racial attitudes crosstabbed by geography AND politics, but I"m going to suggest that the typical *western* conservative is much less interested in race, either in a person or as an issue, than most Americans (and yes, I consider myself an authority).

    Trying to tar that entire wing of conservatism - which is the one currently in the decided ascendant - with that brush may give liberals that warm feeling they get when they condemn people, but it's not accurate.

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  12. Oh, good lord again:

    People (like Mitch) who refuse to see it, refuse to acknowledge it, are whistling past the moon. They know the truth, they just absolutely don't want to admit it.

    Ah. Or, put another way, In your heart you know I'm right, right?

    No, Pen. Just...no. Conservatives are no more prone to racism than any other human, to say nothing of Americans.

    The left needs to keep that illusion going of course, since if they ever drop below 60% of the Black vote they will never win another election again. Which is why the Democrats continue with memes like the "southern strategy" (which has been tortured so far out of context over the past 45 years that it's verging on blood libel).

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  13. AB,

    Racism has gone underground. And that's a good thing. But to pretend it has simply vanished is beyond delusional.

    Right.

    And to pretend that conservatives as a group are more prone to it than anyone else is - I'll be charitable - lazy.

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  14. Wow, talk about a flood of comments -

    "AB, I don't "jump to conclusions" - I state a case and support it."

    Is this just because you say so? Just because you say so doesn't make it so.

    But more, Mitch, you take facts and twist them beyond reason - such as claiming, falsely, that there are ZERO racists in the Republican party. Your sophistry extends to suggesting that simply because SOME conservatives support individual liberties, they therefore per force cannot support anything but individualism, and therefore don't judge on race.

    If this is proof, it's the cheapest, most useless form of proof imaginable. It is like claiming your are the greatest feminist because you have a daughter. You are compelled by such tragically short-sighted logic to produce NO PROOF, just claim. For example, you take no action to support feminism, make zero statement to support it in the face of opposition from your party. You ally yourself with Phyllis Schlaffley and those who've followed her in your party of choice, yet we are to believe you are as big a supporter of feminism as Molly Yard or Susan B. Anthony, what nonsense.


    "And I rarely call the Democrats "socialists", because it's more accurate to call them a strain of fabian statists; they share enough goals and means with socialism to make it almost, but not quite, "tomayto/tomahto"."

    Rarely doesn't mean never - and you are happy to make blanket statements, so while it might be rarely, there's no disputing you feel it or at least HAVE said it.

    And claiming you don't beleive Democrats are socialist but instead Fabian statists? Talk about howlers....wow, the Fabian movment believed in progressively stronger socialism, your claim of differnce is a slieght of hand at best, seemingly made to confuse readers while you make the exact same claim. They are the EXACT same - they just believe it should be done gradually.

    As for your claim of no racists on the right, your claim you've never met a rightie who was a racist, you must live in a closet I've never been in (from my experience). Certainly the spokespeople on the right avidly engage in it, and offering up ONE lefty as proof runs absolutely counter to my experience in the Democratic Party, an environment I know far better than you I think you'd agree. I can assure you without reservation or caveat, that if you made a racist comment or even proposed a mildly racist policy, it would be not just the comment, but the speaker, who would be laughed out of the room.

    Your "proof" was no such thing. Frankly, I'm quite sure you know better, moreover you contradict yourself when your OTHER commentary about how the poor are pandered to by the left for votes, and for which they provide social programs. Are you seriously trying to claim that blacks and other minorities aren't seen by your party as more likely to be poor than whites? Are you seriously trying to suggest that your verbiage about "self-reliance" isn't just euphamism for telling the poor to "get a job" in what can be readily associated to fears and claims that blacks are lazy and prefer the "nanny state." No, you are careful to use the couched words, as William F. Buckley told your movement it needed to start doing in the 1950's after he was ridiculed in the late 40's for his RABIDLY RACIST stances expressed at Harvard. As we understand pretty clearly, when you talk about "welfare mammas", you're not talking ONLY about white bread, when you talk about immigration, you're not talking about the Breckenridges, nor the Rockefellers, nor the Smiths, Carpenters, nor the Johannsons.

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  15. George Wallace was a conservative, he along with the rest of the white south, moved from Democratic party because the Republican party was the party of Lincoln while the Democratic party was of Breckenridge. The whites of the south moved en mass'e to the Republican Party starting in the late 40's - including Strom Thurmond. Ronald Reagan opposed renewing the Civil Rights Act and opposed the original bill vehemently. George Wallace was a clear racist. He recanted his stance late in life, but he was clearly utterly racist while being a conservative.

    DG has shown beyond hope of counter that your party and more importanly your movement, applies racism as a tool to manipulate public opinion especially in the south. The south did not switch to being predominately conservative Republican in white areas in the 1960's, nor even the 1970's, it switch in the 1980's and 90's. In fact, in regions of the country where Republicans held power in the north east, tehy have lost power while at the same time gaining power in the south. The sea-change has been a shift toward the south and west, while losing support in the monied north-east. This isn't carpet-bagging as commenter Margaret fatuously claimed on your blog, it is the affection of an entire group, namely southern whites, switching parties because the party they prefer, namely one which opposes social programs, and even social justice for blacks, became the GOP of Goldwater, Wallace, Lindsay Graham, George "Makaka" Allen, and a list of people so long, I literally could go on for hours with any level of research. Apparently, you never met George Allen, nor have you met the dozens of GOPers I've met who use the word nigger without restraint in private company. I have not met but a scant few Democrats who do, and they, almost universally come from the "OLD" south, not the new.

    Your proof is vapor. From Buckley to Barbour, from Reagan to Goldwater, the "movement" has used race and racism as a tool for votes, the party itself moved to a racially charged south and your primary issues of welfare/statism, gunds (fear of minorities/crime), and immigration, have race as one of the chief components.

    I'm going sailing, I reply to the rest of your comments later.

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  16. LOL, I take off a few days for dog shows, both prepping for and participating in, and the blog traffic gets busy. I feel like I'm playing catch-up here.

    First - Mitch, my dear, as always -- welcome! Some of Mitch's regular commenters, the Mitch-k'teers like KR, were feeling he was being picked on. even if he were being 'picked on', Mitch is a pretty capable person of handling it, but that is not the case. Let me make it clear that it is my intent and interest to engage Mitch and those who share his politics, not to bash them. I notified Mitch privately before posting this that I was writing on this subject, and that I was using his name, out of respect and courtesy. I envision these exchanges as if we were all together in someone's back yard on a summer's evening, with ice tea or a beer or cup of joe, waxing perhaps a bit loud and raucous, but always amiable and good natured (maybe a bit of teasing) in these discussions despite any differences - even heated ones. That is a quality that can be lost in the limitations of the printed word.

    Secondly, I would like to thank Mitch for providing me with the link to what he had written that inspired me to write this post. Let me share it here, for anyone who would like to go read it - I have not the slightest hesitation to provide that different opinion in this venue, and encourage commenters to read it as part of this discussion: http://www.shotinthedark.info/wp/?p=11167


    (to be continued, amidst more dog grooming, etc.)

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  17. Lets avoid revisionist history - history which is re-written to be the way we would prefer it, at the expense of how it actually was.

    It is true that there were some Republicans, more moderate northern conservatives, who joined in supporting the 60's civil rights and voting efforts in congress. Those civil rights efforts were led by, initiated by, the Demorats and liberals. It was not a strictly partisan effort, it was a hugely bi-partisan conflict. There were plenty of southern 'dixie-crat' Democrats who opposed that legislation; so by no means were the liberals and the Democrats all on the right side of that issue. But there were plenty of Republicans in opposition as well, and the greater opposition historically to opposing racism, including but not only legally, has been from the left, not the right.

    A prime example of that opposition, spanning both parties in one person, would be the late Senator James Strom Thurmond. Thurmond was governor of that conservative souther bastion state that is providing so much of the news now, South Carolina. He was governor from 1948 to 1951, and during that time ran for president as the segregationist States Rights Democratic candidate. He served in the Senate for South Carolina from 1954 to 2003, when he died. In 1964, during the Civil Rights act controversy, he along with many of his political associates, switched parties, becoming a Republican as part of the opposition to that Civil Rights and later Voting Rights legislation. His racist efforts included the longest single person filibuster in our history, over 24 hours, and during it he read everything from the Declaration of Independence to the phone book. While he moderated his racism somewhat, he never completely reputdiated it. As many of those who object to the comments of Rand Paul are aware - and as Rand Paul himself should be - there is a close history between the tenthers, or states rights advocates, and racism and segregation proponents, a history that continues to this day although less openly expressed.

    Strom Thurmond was prominently instrumentel in the Nixon 'southern strategy' that Mitch clsims to be falacious.
    I would refer Mitch specifically to Thurmond and Nixon's position on the SCOTUS case, Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education ordering immediate desegregation of southern schools, and Nixon's avowal to 'stand with the south' in delaying segregation, and in the influence of Thurmond in the selection of Nixon's later disgraced souther Vice Presidential running mate, Maryland governor Spiro Agnew.

    Thurmond remained a major partner in Nixon strategies during his time in the White House, and a major power broker among conservative southern democrats-turned-republicans after Nixon's disgrace and resignation.

    And of course, after his death, it became public knowledge that Strom Thurmond had an unacknowledged bi-racial daughter. Thurmond felt it would be political suicide to have that information become public during his lifetime.

    Which makes having a bi-racial president now that much more of a 'change' for the better in Washington DC now.

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  18. That Nixon southern strategy that Mitch would like to rewrite out of history - here is a bit more of it.

    In 1964, the Civil Rights Act could have been held up by southern Democrat James Eastland of Mississippi, a vocal opponent. Eastland, like Strom Thurmond and others, was a minority party member of the Conservative Coalition, a group dominated by Republicans. Among other efforts, they produced the 1937 Conservative Manifesto... talk about the old being trotted out all over again. It was the precursor to the mid-1990s so-called Republican Revolution. While Eastland continued to run for office successfully as a Democrat, as part of the 'southern strategy' he had support from Richard Nixon for his senate race, and Nixon deliberately helped him behind the scenes to defeat the Republican candidate - they were old friends, despite the nominal party differences. Eastland was a notoroious white supremacist, which did not seem to bother his Republican conservative coalition colleagues.

    These Nixon tactics seeking the support of southern democrats who were divided from other democrats over racial issues among southern conservatives was later referred to as 'southernization'. It is far from a myth.

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  19. mitch, if I have presented a comment of Limbaugh out of context in a way which you feel misrepresents his position - please provide that corrected context to refute it.

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  20. Let me also point out that in 1964 Barry Goldwater was one of the Republican conservatives - considered a pioneer in the modern conservatie movement on which Reagan built his success - and who opposed the Civil Rights act. Goldwater carried his own state, and the southern states (if I recall correctly) of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina - in the case of the southern states, the first time they had gone Republican since the civil war and reconstruction. That same base forms the foundation of the GOP in that region of the country to this day.

    Arizona of course - and McCain among others from that state - has a pretty spotty record as to race and things like martin luther king day celebration. Governor Evan Mecham who cancelled Martin Luther King Day observance back in the latter 1980s referred to black children as 'pickaninnies'.

    Bet he never thought of himself as a racist though; I'm sure he, like the conservatives using the term rag head, just think they are being clever and witty and not politically correct, telling it 'like it is'.

    And that would be the problem.

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  21. Pen, I will respectfully differ with you over Mitch and the issue of feminism.

    As a woman, I can tell you that I have particularly appreciated Mitch's feminist perspective, and that predated the birth of his daughter. I was particularly reminded of something very chivalrous that Mitch did in acting on his feminist sensibilities 'back in the day', not just giving it lip service, on my behalf. La belle 'Bun' may have expanded on that over the years of her growing up, but it was there before she was a glint in her doting father's eye.

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  22. I think this article from 2002 pretty much nails it:

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,399921,00.html

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  23. Mitch, while you have contested my assertion about Rush Limbaugh, you have failed to challenge any of the other examples of conservative or republican racism - lets just call them 'right wing' for convenience sake here.

    I don't recall any outrage - EVER -on your part over Ann Coulter, or over any similarly racist or bigoted statement made at CPAC for that matter. While I try to read you regularly, because I am a fan of your writing even when I disagree with you, I may have missed it. Like I may have missed any similar objection to Knotts or Blair. But if you DO have objections prior to my writing this on SitD, please, by all means, list those posts HERE.

    Otherwise, I'm still waiting for the context of Limbaugh to be provided so I can make any necessary correction; and I believe my larger point still stands as made about conservative politics, the GOP, the tea party, and the tolerance for racism and bigotry.

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  24. Guys 'n Gals,

    I really don't have the time or energy to wade through endless long, long comments trying dissect logic that is both deeply, recursively wrong and is yet rooted in such simple...errors? That's the charitable way to put it.

    For instance:

    ming, falsely, that there are ZERO racists in the Republican party

    Never claimed any such thing. Ever. Indeed, I've routinely stated my position - that every culture, and to some extent every person, on earth is a "we-ist" to some degree or another.

    And it'd be wrong to say I 'claim
    that the GOP and the conservative movement are every bit as color-blind and egalitarian as any other large group in America, and moreso than quite a few; it i simply a fact.

    You people trot out carefully selected anecdotes showing a few individual Republicans who say racist, misguided or (often) out-of-context things; unless you have such statements (and trouble to make sure they're in context!) millions of Republicans, you are really just repeating chanting points (if I'm feeling charitable) or venting bigotry designed to make you feel superior to people you regard as enemies to be destroyed by any means necessary (if I'm not).

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  25. I have presented a comment of Limbaugh out of context in a way which you feel misrepresents his position - please provide that corrected context to refute it.

    In other words, play a game of "when did Rush Limbaugh stop beating his wife?"

    Nonsense. Limbaugh has defended himself against this lunacy for twenty years - successfully for all who have ears to hear and brains to reason.

    Read Chafetz' book. Become informed. Break the chains of lefty institutional bigotry.

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  26. Mitch, if you are so certain I have taken Limbaugh's comment out of context in a distorting or misrepresentative way, please provide the context.

    I have indicated that if I am unfair or inaccurate in any way, I shall make a correction AND if applicable, I'll apologize. That is ONE, singular context in question; not 'often' - you do not dispute the others, or the larger 'southern strategy' documentation I cited.

    I do not regard conservatives, or Republicans, or Tea Party supporters as my enemy, nor am I trying to destroy anyone, or feel superior to anyone either. You are imputing to me inappropriate motives. I think you know me better than this.

    I was very careful to note I do NOT regard all the right as racists or bigoted either, nor do I give liberals or Democrats a free pass either.

    I believe where we differ is that I made the argument for the right to be cultivating a segment of their movement from racists, to be tolerating it - turning deliberately a blind eye to it - in order to add to their diminished numbers, instead of repudiating it. This has been part of a larger historical pattern, not just a new, recent one.

    I will stipulate to the credit of the right, that there is a segment which is distinctly NOT racist or similarly bigotted, which is for example, running an unprecedented number of more diverse, younger candidates this next election cycle - something I had pointed out to Pen, btw. I'm surprised you didn't point it out.

    But not everyone on the right goes along with it - the rag head / Haley comment underlines that internal division on the right.

    The right has - and has had for a long time - a significant component of racists and bigots. They tend to be white, and of a certain age, and are more often southern or western than from the northeastern US, and they tend to be more conservative and less moderate. They have a long-standing pattern of rallying around these racist and bigoted issues. You are trying to finesse this notion that these are isolated instances, but you have not made that case.

    You are losing this argument Mitch, and resorting to insults unsupported by any facts.

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  27. Just to clarify then.... are you saying Mitch that Ann Coulter is a bigot or a racist, but that she is the exception to the rule?

    I would be more accepting of your assurance that I somehow took Rush out of context if this were a singular occurrence, but I have heard too many of his comments that had no justification of context that I found racist or enormously bigoted.

    Clearly, on a Sunday afternoon, I am not going to suddenly have access to a book, which you insist has this information -- and apparently you don't have it either.

    Please note, I'm not saying you are wrong -- or correct either, for that matter --- I'm just interested in seeing some further evidence. And in any case, I doubt you can provide that kind of context for ALL of the racially offensive things Rush has said over the years.

    So please accept that I find this a bit weak as a defense for your position.

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  28. Rush Limbaugh:

    "Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.” -Jan. 19, 2007

    Now, unless you can show me where Rusn is NOT referring to black football players, and correlating them to a criminal element, much like the earlier quote I provided, I believe my point stands about Rush -- and his listeners and fans, who cheer this kind of statement from him. And there are more; so many, many, many more.

    Do you have a book which refutes all of them as out of context, or otherwise misrepresentative or inaccurate, Mitch?

    Someone, off blog, mentioned having heard Rush make that earlier quote, in a clip. Rather than just take the word of an author, black or not, I'm going to try to find the original, and link it here.

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  29. While I'm looking for the original Limbaugh clip, perhaps one of you Rush Limbaugh fans would like to explain how this quote doesn't equate race and crime:

    "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"

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  30. Mitch, I didn't have access to the book you mentioned, but I did keep digging.

    Snopes claims that Rush Limbaugh denies making the statement I quoted, and that it cannot be independently documented that he ever said it.

    So, true to my word, I will retract that statement, AND apologize for having used it without better verification. My bad.

    However in the course of verifying that Rush did NOT say that, I did verify that he made the other two statements; one was early in his career, and he admitted it; the other was verified by Snopes and I can produce a clip for it.

    Does this meet with your satisfaction?

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  31. Bluntly, this is a stupid debate -

    http://newsone.com/obama/casey-gane-mccalla/top-10-racist-limbaugh-quotes/

    Mitch, DG has shown you, time and again, examples of not just Limbaugh, but Limbaugh to be sure, of GOPers making wontonly racist comments. From decrying the media for promoting an apologist attitude about Donovan McNabb, to calling Barack Obama a halfrican in an attempt to deflate the idea that the Democrats backed a black candidate where the Republicans would not, Limbaugh has made numerous on air comments about race. Perhaps you think it's funny when he tells a woman to take a "bone out of her nose and call me (him) back" though I'm sure you don't really.

    You admire Rush, want to be the local variety, understand this, it means you have to engage in sophistry to do it, including denying what is as plain as the sun coming up in the east - proclaiming there are NO right wing racists is akin to proclaiming there are no left wing pro-government solution proponents.

    No, the REAL irony here is that you would make a claim like Democrats are Fabian (btw, I think it's a proper name, so it needs to be capitalized) statists. The hell we are, certainly not universally - in fact most Dems I know oppose MOST governmentally operated entities, instead prefering private operation AND public oversight. The difference is, you not only oppose efficiencies of scale a large program can provide, you oppose virtually all government oversight too. You complain about public ownership, but you REALLY are complaining about public review, and to do so, you make the outrageous claim that most Dems are socialists (using other words). In short, you make unfounded, unprovable, and laughably innacurate claims about the left, and then seem to want to deny what IS true about a considerable portion of the right (and some on the left, but hardly in equal numbers).

    I have no issue if you want to live in a fantasy land, that's your thing, but don't ask us to swallow it. We've lived in the country too, we watched Reagan oppose the Civil Rights Act, not once but twice, we've watched Arizona (your 'constitutional western state') oppose making MLK day a public holiday, we've watched as Limbaugh time and again alluded to blacsk, or GOP party operatives make one derogutory remark after another about various ethnic groups, including the profoundly profane commentary FROM THE RIGHT that Muslims embrace terrorism - we've watched it all too, and we know well enough. If your sychophantic crowd choses to fool itself along with you, that's your thing too, but it's not mine, it's not ours.

    DG has laid bare your foolishness, you know, the "she's from the left and wrong about most everything" element where in fact she's right nearly entirely and you engage in dissembling??? The fact that blacks vote 90% for the OTHER party in nearly all elections should tell you something, that is, unless you paternalistically want to suggest (yet again) their too stupid to know better? I mean, we wouldn't want to make a racist suggestion (or elitist) now would we? I mean, we wouldn't want to suggest "some people" are too stupid to vote, right?

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  32. BTW, Mitch, in something I know you are perceptive enough to understand, the use of the term "Halfrican" was meant to demean the accomplishment, both of Obama, and of electing a black President. It was an overt act of pandering to those who think we're "too sensitive" about race, make too much ado, make too many apologies (say like the McNabb quip) for blacks - he was playing to an audience he knows well. If you genuinely think that these kinds of sentiments don't go hand in hand with thinking blacks are lazy, lacking ethics, lacking responsibility - then you are wilfully denying what is right in front of you. Whether the comment is "vote with your feet" or "take responsibility", the assumption that all people have the capacity to become wealthy, when their options are limited by circumstance - is to deny that they suffer more restrictions, which in the end is effectively saying this is mostly about their lack of drive, their lack of self-motivation, and at least as important, lack of effort; than it is generations of neglect, poor eduction, abuse, and disenfranchisement. The latter is important, but by ignoring it you get to deny you should help - and thus in the end you can satisfy yourself that they don't need it, that in the end, they are just being lazy. If that doesn't equate to racism, let alone elitism, I don't know what does.

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  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  35. my dear co-admins - I ASKED KR to share his rose pictures with me (I had missed them first time around). He was not violating the ban.

    KR - not ALL members of the crips or bloods are black, however, descriptions of the gangs and accounts of their origins indicate they were both initially african american, so as a general description, someone not black would be the exception, rather than typical.

    From the opening line on the subject from wikipedia (it was handy) "The Crips are a primarily, but not exclusively, African American gang. They were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 mainly by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams."

    From the wikipedia entry on the Bloods, "Most Bloods members are African American males,".

    If you are using an example, unless indicating otherwise, the intent is understood to refer to the more typical, not the exception.

    In anticipation that this weak argument that not every member of the Crips and Bloods is black, just most of them are, I decided to include the Jesse Jackson quote as well, which along with the bone-in-the-nose comment demonstrates an example of a pattern of use over a period of time, not an isolated incident.

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  36. "Nonsense. Limbaugh has defended himself against this lunacy for twenty years - successfully for all who have ears to hear and brains to reason."

    Mitch, I'm really disappointed to see that you've reduced yourself to the "anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot" posting that you yourself have complained about on numerous occasions. You are either too enveloped in your own beliefs to recognize your own hypocrisies, or you are too divorced from your original values to care.

    Enjoy your new career as a sophist.

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  37. Mitch may have found some way to excuse the comments by Limbaugh, to rationalize his kind of statements to make them acceptable to him. Certainly to claim that because Limbaugh was controversial back in the 1990s, he is given an automatic free pass for any statements he makes later is not reasonable, and no one else would be accorded it. Lets avoid double standards of that kind.

    Limbaugh is a very small part of what I have written.

    Mitch has failed utterly to address Knotts, Blair, and Coulter, and has not given a good refutation to the history I quoted, which is far more substantial than mere 'anectdotal'.

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  38. I believe Pen, this would be an example of the kind of comment to which you have objected on the part of Limbaugh:


    "The government's been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives."

    A statement made February 1, 2007.

    The context was a Reuters report of a University of Chicago study stating "a majority of young blacks feel alienated from today's government".

    Limbaugh: "Why would that be? The government's been taking care of them their whole lives."

    Not a parody, not sarcasm, not humor. The assumption which appears to be inherent in the comment is that all blacks are somehow on welfare or other assistance. This ignores those blacks who are independent, who are successful in favor of a an objectionable stereotype.

    And it was made AFTER 1996.

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  39. Out of curiosity, I tried to find the study in the Reuters article that prompted Limbaugh to make his statement.

    It appears to have been the Black Youth Study project headed by political science professor Cathy Cohen.

    It was not specific to blacks who had received any form of government assistance or welfare, and it was specific to blacks between the ages of 15 and 25, tracking attitudes and political activity.

    http://www.blackyouthproject.com/wp-content/pdfs/methodology_report.pdf

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  40. Whoops!

    That was me, DG!

    Not some new person "systems test"

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  41. Should those on the right have a question about the general perception of the country of conservativism on race...

    http://www.wiretapmag.org/

    This is a magazine site for the X and Y gen crowd, in it it speaks to the assumption about who is a welfare recipient (you'll have to dig a little).
    The point is, it is not just DG, or I, or a few crackpot liberals (of which neither DG nor I are a member of that club) who see this incipid racism, it is a BROAD spectrum of society, and of that MANY MANY of our youth. They see such for good reason.

    People can CLAIM it is simply a "handful of exceptions", but that is delusional at best. Further, coming from someone who claims there are ZERO - the comment is on it's face defeated, clearly there are many more than zero - but more importantly, what appears to be true most often is (Occam's Razor if you will) - the appearance of SOOO many conservative commentators making racist comments, using race based hatred to gin up hatred of welfare support appears to reflect a broader set of racist views quite simply because THERE ARE A BROADER SET OF RACIST VIEWS AMONG CONSERVATIVES. No, clearly, absolutely not all - but quite a number. The evidence is repleat and, imho, incontrovertable. Rather than folks like Coulter being the exception to the rule, instead I say that folks like my friend Mitch are the exception, and unfortunately in my personal experience, the rare exception among conservatives.

    I consider Mr. Berg, along with those like him, to be engaging in defense by going on the offense. He is created these sophistries to deflect future criticisms, to give his readers ammunition to attempt to refute the irrefutable by spinning the noise. He fails (apparently) to recall that it was the father of modern conservatives, Ronald Reagan, who opposed the Civil Rights Act in 1965, and opposed renewing while President. He seems to forget that it was the godfather of modern conservativism, William F. Buckley, who engaged in screed and highly bigotted invective in the late 1940s, later admitting conservatives had to tone-down their rhetoric, while not changing their purpose, if they weren't to be seen as intollerant extremists. But most of all, Mr. Berg seems to forget that we, his fellow Americans, have lived here too, have seen buzz-words like "self-reliance", "personal accountability", and "welfare queen" become the politically correct term/euphamism for "blacks are lazy and unwilling to work", "blacks blame the society for their crimes" and "lazy black mother with 6 kids" (respectively). Certainly they ALSO mean to be speaking about personal accountability, but it is the height of arrogance to suggest that "hard working" Americans aren't also irresponsible at times, aren't breaking laws, and most importantly, that the average welfare recipient is a white, unmarried mother of 2 kids, who is WORKING!, not sitting on her butt taking checks. Instead we (they) create images of someone to be seen with derision - to be scorned and mocked, and they do it wilfully in a racially charged way.

    Mr. Berg may not mean to do so - but he is complicit, he abides it, sometimes he abets it, and for that, he is no less the problem than the likes of Coulter.

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  42. I'd like to know why it is that the only part of the entire post to get a response is the part about Rush Limbaugh.

    I found the Coulter / CPAC, the Knotts/Haley, and the Blair/mural sections far more significant.

    Apparently Mitch has no answers for them.

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  43. Mitch,

    Whatever your rationalizations about Limbaugh, you've failed entirely to address Coulter, Blair or Knotts. When will you do that?

    It certainly appears that, as you cannot control the agenda here, and are faced with numerous questioning voices and a mountain of evidence, you are going to retreat back to your blog as has been your wont and where YOU get to spin things as you like without the quite so obvious parity of commenter peer status? I thought you were answering with facts, and supporting your claims with facts - instead it seems when confronted with facts, you've turned tail.

    Perhaps the lesson is, don't make observably ludicrous statements, and you won't have to be held accountable.

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  44. KR, you are still banned from commenting on Penigma. I had hoped you understood that, but it appears I have sent mixed messages.

    Your banned status has not changed.

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  45. Have I mentioned how much I hate Google's comment engine?

    Continued from above:



    I thought you were answering with facts, and supporting your claims with facts - instead it seems when confronted with facts, you've turned tail.

    Um, no.

    But since you're on the subject, you have been challenged on about 300 threads on Shot In The Dark to substantiate dozens of your own claims where you commented and never returned at all, including earlier today. Stop on by and pick up your loose ends!

    (Or drop the absurdity that "failing to respond" means "you're right"...)

    Simple fact, Pen; I rarely do other blogs' comment sections at all. And if I do, it doesn't constitute a contract to see your little argument through to the bitter end.

    You've "confronted" me with no "facts" at all; merely individual quotations conflated into a convenient and unsupportable theory. Conservatism is NOT fundamentally racist; it is not even argued by intelligent people who are not driven by pure partisan animus.

    End of story! No extended discussion needed!

    Perhaps the lesson is, don't make observably ludicrous statements, and you won't have to be held accountable.

    Heh.

    Heh heh heh heh heh.

    Oh, goodness.

    Heh.

    Hehehehehehehehe.

    Nah, Pen - the simple fact is that all I need to do to not merely refute, but crush your thesis, is to merely not be a racist, inasmuch as is humanly possible, and dissuade or dissociate from those around me who might be (on the off chance I ever meet one; I have personally not!)

    I win.

    If I respond further, be thankful for the traffic. If I don't, all it means is I'm busy. No more.

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  46. Pen,

    So much illogic. So little time.

    Whatever your rationalizations about Limbaugh,

    They're not "rationalizations", Pen. They're along the lines of the responses I give to Flat Earthers. Media Matters has been pestering the world with an endless stream of these out-of-context slurs on Limbaugh ever since it was formed; trying to discredit Limbaugh is one of its major missions.

    Naturally, leftyblogs carry the slurs uncritically (because the charges NEVER stand up to critical challenge), creating a googlebomb that seems pretty convincing, if all you do is google "limbaugh racist".

    Which - tell the truth, now - is all any of you did. Wasn't it? Reprint second-and-third-hand passing-on of Media Matters press releases.

    Right?

    you've failed entirely to address Coulter, Blair or Knotts. When will you do that?

    Huh? Oh - Bad Ann! Bad Blair! Bad Knotts!

    Now, going from three (or five, or twenty!) racist, or at least racially insensitive, statements to "racism runs through conservatism" as you've done is, I'll be charitable, logically vacant. To be less charitable, it's a sign of bigotry on your own part. To make a statement like "the right is driven by race", you'd need an ethnographic survey of conservatives that showed significant racism as a motivating factor.

    And there's a reason George Soros hasn't paid for that survey - because that sentiment DOES NOT EXIST.

    Except in little dens of smug self-satisfaction like, sorry to say, comment sections like this.

    It certainly appears that, as you cannot control the agenda here, and are faced with numerous questioning voices and a mountain of evidence, you are going to retreat back to your blog as has been your wont and where YOU get to spin things as you like without the quite so obvious parity of commenter peer status?

    Well, you could flatter yourself that way. It might even feel good!

    But no, Pen. Life got in the way, and yes, writing my own blog comes in several levels of priority above responding to the "numerous questioning voices and a mountain of evidence" (actually "endless, impermeable repetition of Media Matters chanting points and mounds of ugly little anecdotes strung together by barrel-loads of suppositions that fit your personal templates about "the enemy").

    (continued)

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  47. Sorry about the brief delay in posting your comments, Mitch; we resumed comment moderation after an otherwise successful experiment with having comments show directly.

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  48. Apparently Mitch has no answers for them.

    Well, no, DG - as I told you off line, I find the entire discussion offensive.

    Shall we say that complicity in mass murder runs throughout American liberalism because Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter cozied up to the KGB against Reagan? That'd be pretty absurd, wouldn't it? Even though both of those figures are vastly more important in the history of American liberalism than anyone you've noted (other than Limbaugh) is to conservatism (and your Limbaugh quotes are, again, out-of-context quotes that have been pretty shown to be without merit for years, as opposed to, y'know, Kennedy and Carter?)

    So do I have an answer to "racism is an undercurrent in consrvatism?" Nothing polite. Not any more. Sorry.

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  49. we resumed comment moderation after an otherwise successful experiment

    I hate to ask, but - if it was successful, why resume?

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  50. Mitch,

    You see things, underline SEE, your way, that's clear.

    I made the comment about turning tail because you indicated to DG you were going to address this under your own blog.

    With respect to my comments on your site, Mitch, after 4 years - and I've explained this numerous times - after 4 years of seeing Lilliputians like Yoss, AK, KR, Brad C, Badda and a few other wing-nuts do nothing to add to the discussion, AND getting chastised by YOU for the number of comments, I decided to make my observations and go. First, you GOT your say in your post, then I got mine, one for one, seemed fair. I assume you replied, but I didn't care to wade through crap which seems to permeate all too many of your commenters ideas and thus your comment streams.

    Second, you don't get to eat your cake and have it too. You bitched about my volume of comments, so I cut down, now you want me to keep engaging you? That's pretty inconsistent imho. Also, my conduct IS pretty consistent with what I've seen you do elsewhere (such as on Centrisity), where you often comment (1 comment) and then beg off. You did the same here as, if memory serves. So, once again, we're in the boat of you did one thing, but seem to want another. As well, if you want me to discuss things with you, don't cherry-pick, as you are wont to do, address the entirety of the idea, not just those minutae you chose to address.

    With respect to this thread, I will not do what you so often do, which is to parcel out and pointilistically carve out, often out of context, my comments. I find it the height of irony that you complain about similar treatment for Limbaugh, when you engage in it so routinely.

    This thread is, and oh by the way, I and DG do a GREAT deal more research than simply one site (like Media Matters) but while we're at it, I think you may have some answering to do with respect to your OWN fact checking, say like on James O'Keefe, for it sure seems like your information comes too often from some right wing source - but anyway, we do a LOT of fact checking, and as site go, Media Matters is a far cry better than say, FreeRepublic, in checking itself. Regardless, and by the way, thanks for the rather none-too-subtle sleight - we (not I anyway) didn't go to Media Matters - I most often go to sources like Washing Post, NYT, etc.. and usually, we (DG and I) double verify.

    As far as this post goes, though, we made the point, irrefutably imho, that both Limbaugh AND many other right wing commenters, engage in innuendo based or more troublingly, directly racist comments. You've reacted with questioning ONE comment, and then objected to the fact that we drew conclusions BASED on the conduct of LOTS of folks, including comments by Tea Party folks, including candidates for that matter - you reacted by using ratherr juvenile responses like "Oh BAD Knotts" - is that a serious reply, really?

    Facts are facts, Mitch, Limbaugh is an unquestionable source ono the right. He is FAR more impactful to modern conservatism than Kennedy had been ever since his failed campaign in 1980. Even YOU won't condemn is outright racist conduct.

    With respect to the balance of your comments -- I think I've given you my view.

    One more thing, though, if you don't like 'tangential' associations resulting in broad-stroke accusations, I suggest you look in a mirror. You made the rather offensive, and consdering the history of support by the left for Jews, laughable comment that Anti-Semitism is a key tenent of the American Left. You did it thru extraordinarily bootstrapped logic. If you want a serious reply to your complaints, don't do EXACTLY what you complained about and don't start off nearly every post on your site with a broad-stroke insult of the left - just as you included numerous times in your replies. Just sayin, if you don't like it, don't do it.

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  51. We had used moderation to limit the number of repetitive and offensive, even obscene comments from KR - (like calling me a bitch). After KR accepted that he was not to post here any longer, we dispensed with moderation. The only admin needed was the occasional asian porn spam that would get through filters designed to prevent it.

    With KRs return, in anticipation of more hostility and .....worse, we have for the time being resumed moderation. Which has worked out well, because it has also coincided with a brief spam resurgence that we get from time to time.

    I hope that we will be able to suspend that practice again in the future.

    (Nothing to do with your posts, dear Mitch, LOL, any more than my ending up on moderation every so often on SitD for no apparent reason!)

    I will try to respond to your comments later this evening. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue here the very interesting exchange we have had privately.

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  52. AB,

    Mitch, I'm really disappointed to see that you've reduced yourself to the "anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot" posting that you yourself have complained about on numerous occasions.

    It has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. The "Limbaugh is teh racest" meme is a cottage industry, it's been exposed and debunked; it's right down there with flat earth.

    It's not a rhetorical dry hole because I disagree; it's a rhetorical dry hole becuase it's just plain wrong.

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  53. I decided to make my observations and go.

    Then saying "not participating in your comment section for undetermined reasons" is "running away with tail between legs" is really very very disingenuous, now, isn't it?

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  54. KR, no, your recent comments, which I and my co-admins have deleted have been within the rules, I will admit.

    However, you are still banned until such time as you ask to be reinstated and agee to abide in the future by those rules, and even then it is conditional on an agreement by my fellow admins - one I doubt they are willing to entertain. Sorry KR (although I would enjoy seeing more photos of your roses THROUGH THE PENIGMA2@HOTMAIL.COM email account - they're lovely.)

    As to the wrangles between Mitch and Pen, here or on SitD, I would prefer less heat and more light on both sides, but this is an old and unique relationship, and I am not so unwise as to intrude.

    I'm just going to quietly count my blessings that I don't have to worry about those sky high testosterone levels, LOL! (argument prey drive, I still say)

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  55. Mitch -

    This is what you appear to have said:

    "Limbaugh isn't a racist because it's been debunked. I pointed out one inconsistency, therefore, as you can see, it's been debunked. It's not because it's a rhetorical dry-hole, it's because it's been debunked."

    I'm sorry, but people who make the comments Limbaugh made OUTSIDE the one which you successfully challenged are racist. His ACTUAL comments, such as the NAACP teaching members to riot or rob banks, are racits. Claiming they've been debunked, has therefore been, debunked.

    However, even if we take Limbaugh aside (and we darned well shouldn't - he is the most influential voice on the right) - but even if we do, there are simply far too many other examples. I've given you several, so has DG. You seek to claim they are isolated, I and many others disagree.

    However, that said, IF we are to agree they are too infrequent to count, they you must live by the sword you expect should be wielded, namely, you cannot make allegations like that liberalism is patternalistic, socialistic, Fabian Statist, etc... based upon loosely-hinged and inconsistent/infrequent examples. Your own other arguments refute your own allegations far too often for that to be acceptable. I can go into examples if you like.

    I will make my comments about your comments per my discussion with DG, but then I'd ask you likewise keep the "so much illogic, so little time" comments to a minimum - as a gesture of good faith.

    KR, DG has offered you reinstatement. She and I have not talked, but for the moment, I don't agree. Your conduct away from this blog (in private e-mails) was so ugly, so disgusting, so crude, and so childish, that as long as I operate this blog, you will never again darken its doorway unless you first ask for forgiveness from those (other than me) whom you've deeply and routinely offended, and we have your gaurantee it will not happen again. Until then, your presence is an anathema, you are a pariah, and you will not lower or degrade the discussion here.

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  56. "Then saying "not participating in your comment section for undetermined reasons" is "running away with tail between legs" is really very very disingenuous, now, isn't it?"

    I don't understand what you were trying to say here.. regardless, considering I've explained why I don't engage in drawn out debates on your site to you on several prior occassions AND considering you appeared to be returning to your blog to argue the point AND considering that you yourself routinely post once or twice, I found complaints of leaving 'loose ends not tied up' to be a little disengeniuous, n'est pa?

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  57. I'm not going to take the time to find a bunch of citations. I'm just going to relate an experience I had in San Diego a year ago. I walked into a store that specializes in Amateur Radio equipment. There were two clerks and one customer (me) in the store at the time. One clerk was working the store's on-line site. The other was listening to the radio, which was loud enough to be clearly heard throughout the store. I didn't know what program he was listening to, but it was a "speech" of sorts by a man who was spewing forth over 10 minutes of bigoted statements, racial slures, put-downs, and hate speech. This was some of tghe worst hate speech that I had ever heard. At the end, the speaker identifyied himself as Rush Limbaugh. Until that day, I had never listened to Rush and I am certainly not motivated to ever again.

    His racism is not under ground and I believe that to the extent that he has a following on the right, neither is theirs.

    That's personal experience. That's my "personal" citation. No quotes to support my thoughts. Just my "take away" from that experience.

    Ohh...and at no time while I was in the store, did either of the clerks approach me. In the recent past I had spent several thousand dollars in that store (I travel to San Diego yearly to visit my daughter.) but I won't be back any time soon.

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  58. Leslie, you clearly have working ears and a brain which reasons. So do I, so does Pen, so do others.

    I have listened to Rush on occasion, and not simply taken comments out of context. I find him as offensive as you found him, every time I have attempted to listen to him. I find his speech hateful, what he presents as facts usually significantly distorted, and his conclusions badly biased and twisted.

    One of the most recent examples would be the statements he made that Alaska was "pristine" and good as new after the Exxon Valdes oil spill, at the beginning of the current oil spill in the Gulf, when in fact it continues to be a badly blighted area. He utterly diminished and misrepresented the tragedy of the people in Alaska, as well as the continuing oil contamination. He routinely ridicules those people who were upset over the problems of oil spill damage to his audience and misrepresents the problems of oil drilling.

    His comments on racial matters are routinely far worse.

    I cannot begin to understand how anyone who values women generally as human beings, certainly someone who has a daughter, could tolerate or condone Rush - much less praise him - on the subject of women or feminism.

    It is this gap, this utter failure to understand what is offensive or bigoted or racist AND WHY it is so, that is the problem.

    Knotts is convinced he did nothing wrong in using the slur 'rag head'; Coulter selects this kind of language routinely on the basis that the very offensiveness of it is a virtue. Blair insists there was nothing wrong with what he said or thinks, it is not new. Limbaugh has made himself wealthy on the appeal of his ugly comments to people who hold resentments against other groups of people, creating deeper divisions.

    When I wrote "I don't know anyone, from the spectrum of the right to the left, who characterizes themselves as a racist. How others characterize someone may be distinctly different."

    My friend Mitch insists he has never met a conservative who was racist.

    Mitch you have ignored the indicators that there are western conservatives who are racist - like Blair, like the multiple individuals yelling racist things at the kids working on the mural, like the experience of Leslie in the radio equipment shop. (The clerks didn't make a comment, but they listened so avidly they ignored a customer.)

    I didn't make up the fact that the southerners I mentioned - past and present - were conservatives. I checked out their poltiical affiliations before citing them.

    As to your self-styled expertise on the western conservatives, Mitch? Really? I was privileged as a child to accompany my parents on a lot of trips around this country, including out west - California, Colorado, Montana, Texas and Arizona were regular destinations for vacations - and we always drove (my parents felt it was educational to see the country up close).

    I'd like to know your basis for the claimed expertise on western conservatives.

    Claiming there is simple ignorance in the west about race, rather than full-blown racial hatred of blacks is NOT even remotely the same thing as regional conservaatives being relatively free of racism.

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  59. Mitch indicates I shouldn't tar the entire conservative movement with the brush of racism.

    I don't:
    "Let me be clear, I do not believe all conservatives are racist, nor do I believe that anyone of any political position is inherently free from racism just because of their politics."

    Which is a much more specific and fair statement than many of Mitch's very broad comments about both moderates and liberals, and their respective political positions.

    I would argue that the position espoused by Rand Paul, of property rights and discrimination, is another instance where conservatives overlook the guarantees of equal treatment (among other provisions in the Constitution) while giving too disproportionately great a weight to property rights at the expense of civil rights. Inherent in that position is a relative disregard for the very real harm and damage that position caused as the basis for decades of Jim Crow laws. No one who gives more than lip service to liberty can really believe that people in this country were genuinely free or equal under segregation or interpretations of the Constitution which allowed such discrimination.

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  60. What struck me in the two examples of the bigoted rag head' was that there did not appear to be any objection to the use of that term by Ann Coulter CPAC event, and there did not appear to be any objection to the use of that word with Obama.

    There was some limited conservative and republican objections to the term used towards Nikki Haley.

    This would seem to suggest that it is an acceptable term among conservatives.........except towards another conservative.

    While in contrast, I simply find it an offensive, demeaning and derogatory term for anyone as it is used to refer to people of Asian or African ethnicities or race.

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  61. DG,

    As you know, my issue with this whole thing, including, but hardly limited to Mr. Berg, is that there is little reservation by the right in leaping to outrageous conclusions based on nearly zero evidence. One case in point is the assertion by Mitch that liberals are socialists, stating that we'd prefer to see most things run by the government. His 'evidence' is that liberals often call for increased oversight of programs or in the case of health care, direct government take-over. He didn't ACTUALLY site the last case because his normal course of action is to use euphamism rather than arguable example. I've never, not one time, seen any liberal leader argue for socialism as the new economic model, to be achieved through progressive movement. They've not said so publicly, they've not said so privately. That allegation, of Fabian Statism, is quite simply, totally bogus. It rivals birtherism in its absurdity. By contrast birtherism is believed by somewhere between 25 and 40% of Republicans - hardly an isolated case, and hardly a dead issue.

    Now, I COULD defend liberals and deny that any such thing is true, because of course it is ludicrously untrue. I could site commentary by liberals confirming it's not, , that secretly liberals really do believe this (apparently Mitch knows our mind better than we do) - and but he'd just claim they were the exception (sound familiar)?

    But that's not how this should be responded to. There is no need to defend rational people from irrational claims. Instead it is more than fair to ask him to site polls suggesting that the majority of liberals believe in having the government take over the economy and/or most industries. He can't provide such polls because they don't exist. By contrast, polls affirming birtherism is wide-spread, exist over and over again.

    Instead, what he (and those like him) engage in is indictment by innuendo and correlation (as opposed to causation). Claim there are "welfare queens" and talk about laziness, and the inference/innuendo of blacks being lazy is an easy reach for the listeners. Talk about weakness and standing up to enemies, and the inference that liberals are cowards is also, an easy reach. The latter is political broad-stroking of the type he engages in, but objects to when used in reverse. Yet, no one, certainly not here, said all conservatives are mendacious, cheap, greedy, or anything of the like. We've provided observational and experiential evidence of our position, and drawn a conclusion not based on cherry-picked examples of things which run counter to what we know to be the whole (for example suggesting that liberals are anti-semites when we otherwise readily acknowledge and even condemn liberals for their tolerance). Quite simply, because ONE or TWO liberals say something, it is Mitch's pattern to claim that therefore it is true that the inference HE takes is the correct inference, and really the ONLY inference. He also normally indicts the entire political movement without reservation. Rare are the times he says "some liberals" or "a few on the left" - in nearly all cases it is "the American left" and should anyone object, he'll only grudgingly acknowledge not all on the left are that way, but "they are the exception", a claim he makes without evidence, without a poll to support it.
    .

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  62. (continued)..

    SO, when we see example after example, including in our own lives, of conservatives of MANY bents making openly racist comments, and further, when we see them using buzz-words intended to evoke images of irresponsibility running rampant in OTHERS - rather than themselves - we are wrong, according to him. He offers no proof of our error. We site polls, we site historical example after historical example, but we're taking "isolated cases" and exagerating the whole. The hypocrisy of the position is unbelievable.

    The differences are important. One is an irrational conclusion based on scant evidence that runs entirely counter to behavior and not supported by substantiable evidence. The OTHER is a conclusion based on numerous cases, substantial evidence, and importantly, entirely in line with apparent other political objectives and behavior (anti-tax, anti-welfare state, us vs. them mentaility). One is a wild leap based on scant evidence of a position only a conspiracy theory nut would suggest is true - the other is based on numerous and repeated comments by numerous and a wide-ranging set of prominent figures - in short, they aren't the same.


    However, the insidious nature of all of it is, Mr. Berg becomes a supporter of ugly conduct by never being willing to call out folks like Limbaugh. He refuses to question the conduct on his side. The difference between he (and those like him) and a peer on the left, is that should someone make a racist comment on the left, they are piloried, should someone suggest taking over say, the oil industry in whole, they'd be laughed out of the room. HE, and those like him in the right-wing media, nearly never reject or castigate the outrageous comments of their own partisans. Consequently, while not meaning to certainly, he and his peers become purveyors of racism through acquiesence. I'm sure he doesn't WANT to be doing so, but by not objecting, he does. The difference between his conduct and yours or mine is that we are willign to substantiate arguments and look critically at both sides, rahter than pretending the poor behavior of our side of the political aisle doesn't exist, and thus appear to be nothing more, and nothing less, than a hyper-partisan ideologue, as uninterested in progress as they appear to be uninterested in the truth.

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  63. Mitch Berg recently wrote (bold face is my emphasis added):

    "Of course freedom-loving people can be Democrats…

    …even though so many of their leaders S have sided with the world’s totalitarians, mass-murderers and tyrants that it seems Emmer may have been too kind in his treatment of the left:

    Senator Edward M. Kennedy offered to work in close concert with high level Soviet officials to sabotage President Ronald Reagan’s re-election efforts and to arrange for congenial American press coverage of General Secretary Yuri Andropov, according to a 1983 KGB document.

    That’s Ted Kennedy.

    The patron saint of the mainstream Left in America.

    Actively working with the KGB against then-President Ronald Reagan.

    That’s the KGB; they of the Lubyanka and the Black Marias and the Gulag and show trials and sixty million dead Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Germans. The KGB of the Holodomor, the government-imposed starvation of Ukraine."

    Now, I realize that Reagan, aka St. Ronnie, is an icon for the right. I would suggest that this is a clear case of Mitch tarring the left with a too-broad brush.

    First of all, there is no indication that this was a treacherous act against Reagan, or that it was behind his back.

    Rather it was the action of some 15
    senators, with Sen. John Tunney being the person traveling to the then Soviet Union. It was about arranging a tv interview with Andropov to speak about Soviet - US relations which were at a point of great beligerance ---- with much of that beligerance coming from Reagan.

    It takes two sides.

    Not that I believe for a moment that Mitch can contemplate Reagan as a man with flaws who made mistakes. He appears to regard Reagan as omiscient, infallible, when he was far from it.

    He seems to believe that a difference of opinion on how to proceed with US - Soviet relations constitutes approval of all bad acts by the Soviets. It is not, any more than Nixon opening up relations with China was an approval of that country's terrible violent excesses.

    As to being on the side of tyrants, totalitarians, and mass murderers..... you mean like Nixon with Pinochet.....or Reagan's support for Saddam Hussein?

    My what convenient lapses your memory enjoys about history and the right Mitch, while you malign the left.

    Remember that when you get all indignant and offended.

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  64. Mitch, while my friend, engages in nothing other than pure hypocrisy and presentation of what he knows are either lies or gross distortions

    Wow, Pen. You're onto me! Even though I know everything I say is wrong, I post it on my blog because I don't know any better.

    You have summed up my entire blogging career; a weird pathological psychiatric condition where I'm compelled to knowingly deceive people.

    You missed your calling, Pen. Either as a psychiatrist or a clairvoyant.

    ----------

    (Because I'd have only said something silly like "everything I write, unless it's fairly bald-faced satire, is something I reasonably believe, and can usually show, to be true", or some other such delusion).

    (Where ARE my meds, dammit?)

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  65. As to being on the side of tyrants, totalitarians, and mass murderers..... you mean like Nixon with Pinochet.....or Reagan's support for Saddam Hussein?

    Well, yeah - the US government has supported some bad people because they were our bad people, for much of the past eighty years. We even supported Stalin and Ho Chi Minh for a while!

    I'm not sure that we get far with this "Oh, NO? Well, YOUR guy is worse!" routine, though.

    But, as you say, I could know that to be a lie.

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  66. indignant and offended.

    Amused and occasionally bemused, actually.

    You're wrong about conservatives being racist, but when you're a conservative in Minnesota you get used to casual defamation.

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  67. Mitch can contemplate Reagan as a man with flaws who made mistakes. He appears to regard Reagan as omiscient, infallible, when he was far from it.

    Wow. Strike that "Clairvoyant" thing.

    Nope. Reagan had a terrible last two years, and he made a few choices that were the best he could manage but in retrospect (and ONLY in retrospect) might have been better; South Africa was a big one.

    But he was generally right, which is why most sensible people regard him as the best president of the second half of the 20th Century.

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  68. Sorry Mitch, but neither I, nor history (imho) agree with you.

    Reagan's worst years were his first years - where he applied his inexperienced and untested brand of conservatism to shoot up the debt and destroy both environmental regulation and labor laws. His later years were marked by pragmatists within his administration recognizing that "supply-side" failed.

    Regardless, Mitch, if you chose to assail Kennedy for his acts in the 1980's, I hope you'll understand it seems rather disengenuous that you brush over Reagan's enormous mistakes, and forgive entirely Limbaugh his statements made in the same period.

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  69. Mitch said,

    "I post it on my blog because I don't know any better."

    No Mitch, this isn't black and white, but it is pretty typical of your writing style to create the false impression that the ONLY alternative to a well-informed and argued position is to post something simply because you don't know any better.

    In truth Mitch, I have seen, AB has seen, Flash has seen, DG has seen, Doug saw, and unnamed others saw AND you've admitted to, the fact that you pretty well completely ignore the important facts from the OTHER side of an argument, much as you've done in this thread. You disputed ONE comment by Limbaugh, brushed over his other failings, brushed over Coulter, Knotts and Blair, made comments like there are ZERO racists on the right by cherry-picking and hand selecting both comments AND who YOU get to define as conservatives. Sorry, but your definition is hardly the one anyone looks up in Websters, Wiki, or World Book.

    So, if you desire to know what I think about WHY you do it, ask, rather than TELL me what I think - and yes, I get that I've said I believe you know these things to be untrue - but I say it quite frankly because you've ADMITTED to some things being untrue. Further, you've admitted you weren't speaking about ALL liberals in your voluminous number of posts assailing ALL liberals, ALL of the left - and then turned around and attacked DG for not clarifying she wasn't speaking about ALL conservatives.

    What I believe is that you are seeking an audience of supporters, supporters who desire NOT to be confronted with an image of opponents who are reasonable, but with whom they don't agree. So you post one-sided, and frequently extremely biased presentations of issues. You're smart enough to know there are both two sides to a story AND that it is VERY likely, just like your rant against Kennedy and tying him to the KGB (OH NO!!!!!) - that the truth was far more benign, that the truth was far more understandable, but instead you ginned it up into something it wasn't. Kennedy wasn't working to undermine or otherwise HARM the country, but you created an image as if he was - and YES, I think you KNOW better. Yet you did it anyway - the why is simple, because you aren't seeking the truth, you're seeking political victory. You don't have to be ignorant to post something false, you simply have to put victory ahead of reason.

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  70. Mitch, as I understand it, your arguments boil down to these three:

    1. You haven't met any conservative racists / bigots personally, so our differing experiences must be wrong, because you are a self-styled 'expert'. You conveniently dismiss or just ignore that racism and pro-segregation positions were a core belief of conservatives both before the 60s, and later; and, you equally and conveniently ignore that desegregation and integration were spearheaded by liberals and supported by moderates on both sides of the political aisle.

    2. You don't accept that Rush Limbaugh is a bigot and a racist, and anyone who perceives him so is wrong, and any offered examples must be flawed in some way - except that you cannot produce a context to support that accusation, nor do you successfully refute any of the current statements as being inaccurate or misrepresentative; you just claim it.

    Providing a context is not the same as 'proving a negative' as you claim. Nor is it a case of proving "someone has stopped beating their wife." If you are going to insist I am wrong - produce the text or the recording of what was said before and after the quote. Don't rely on a book by someone else about Rush, which you remember reading but apparently cannot produce to support your claim. (Here's a thought for you to consider btw - maybe Rush Limbaugh's producer is biased, or has something to gain from supporting Rush's position, and is neither neutral nor unbiased.)

    You minimize and dismiss the significance of any other examples than Limbaugh out of hand, as being anecdotal, without demonstrating any indication that those examples are not representative. I would suggest to you that they ARE reperesentative, that the response - or, more precisely the lack of a response - among conservatives IS the proof.

    3. You assert that there is no greater number of racists or bigots among conservatives than any other segment of the populationon by political affiliation, yet you deny having met any. You clearly meet a great many conservatives in your activities, so either you are denying that racism exists in the general population to any degree, without supporting that statement, or you should admit that perhaps you are not so much blind to race as you refuse or are unable to see racism.

    All of your arguments, taken individually or together, suggest to me that you simply refuse to see racism, that you are so insistent that it not be present that you are unwilling to recognize it or acknowledge it fairly when it is in front of you.

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  71. BTW Mitch,

    I note you didn't really answer any of the points made regarding your claims and the facts presented refuting your claims.

    Do you anticipate actually answering for why soooooo many on the right make racist comments? Or is that we're supposed to accept there are only about 10 ACTUAL conservatives in the country since your definition of conservatives would leave us damned few left?

    Also, would you care to reconcile how it is you get to use sweeping statements like "Anti-semitism is a key tenet of the American Left" but get indignant when DG remarks that it seems racism is widely preached among conservatives?

    Snark may seem funny, but it's hardly valid argument.

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  72. So, if you desire to know what I think about WHY you do it,

    I don't!

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  73. it is pretty typical of your writing style to create the false impression that the ONLY alternative to a well-informed and argued position is to post something simply because you don't know any better.

    Dunno, Pen. It's all hypothetical. I haven't seen you do a whole lot of well-informed, well-argued positions.

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  74. 1. You haven't met any conservative racists / bigots personally, so our differing experiences must be wrong, because you are a self-styled 'expert'.

    No, I'm a conservative who happens, for whatever reason, to have met any actual conservative who gave off any sign of being a racist in a quarter-century of being a conservative. "Expertise" has nothing to do with it; it's an observation, and as it happens a perfectly honest one.

    You conveniently dismiss or just ignore that racism and pro-segregation positions were a core belief of conservatives both before the 60s, and later;

    I don't "conveniently dismiss" it, I reject it. Racism was a belief among many in the south, and it was only incidentally involved with political conservatism.

    and, you equally and conveniently ignore that desegregation and integration were spearheaded by liberals and supported by moderates on both sides of the political aisle.

    And conservatives. Charleton Heston, the firebreathing conservative actor, was marching with Martin Luther King long before it was cool. William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan all supported civil rights, even as they opposed the violations of free assocation we discussed elsewhere.

    You "conveniently ignored" the historical fact that there are three major strains of conservatism in America, lumping all conservatism in with "the South" while repeatedly failing to acknowledge that the very roots of abolitionism and civil rights agitation among middle class whites was northeastern conservatism, and the absolute fact that the Western strain of conservatism is completely color blind.

    But you do seem to want to stand behind Penigma's statement that "The truth of the right being patently and overwhelmingly racist can be seen nearly every day in every part of the country".

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  75. 2. You don't accept that Rush Limbaugh is a bigot and a racist

    It's not that I don't accept it; I actively and utterly reject it. To believe it requires a willful selectivity in fact that is intellectually dishonest.

    , and anyone who perceives him so is wrong, and any offered examples must be flawed in some way - except that you cannot produce a context to support that accusation,

    Would I feel bound to leap to my feet and waste precious time digging up cites to "support" the thesis that black people are as intelligent as white people if someone were to claim that they were genetically inferior? Absolutely not. It's absurd.

    And the smears against Limbaugh are at that level. Over and over, Media Matters coughs up more absurd, context-mangled parsings of Limbaugh, and the good guys, Brent Bozell and Mark Steyn and, in his bio of Limbaugh, liberal writer Zev Chafetz (whom you "conveniently ignore"), trash those claims to the point where nobody who isn't blinded by partisanship (probably a less inflammatory term than "bigotry") believes them any more (but they're still out on Google, there for the less-curious to gobble up and continue to use as material forevermore!)...

    ...so no. I feel no need to leap to my feet to defend Limbaugh against the absurd. So sue me.

    You minimize and dismiss the significance of any other examples than Limbaugh out of hand, as being anecdotal, without demonstrating any indication that those examples are not representative.

    So the burden is on me to prove that my entire movement is not racist, because you strung together four dubiously-politically-correct quotes?

    I would suggest to you that they ARE reperesentative, that the response - or, more precisely the lack of a response - among conservatives IS the proof.

    No, DG. If you and Pen so strongly feel the need to believe that 50-odd percent of your fellow citizens are that depraved, I'm not sure that "research" is the issue here.

    3. You assert that there is no greater number of racists or bigots among conservatives than any other segment of the populationon by political affiliation, yet you deny having met any. You clearly meet a great many conservatives in your activities, so either you are denying that racism exists in the general population to any degree, without supporting that statement,

    It is a personal observation. I don't need to "support" it.

    or you should admit that perhaps you are not so much blind to race as you refuse or are unable to see racism.

    Nope. I know it when I see it. There's all kinds of it; as I noted earlier, "we-ism" is a part of the human condition.

    The fact is, I don't need to "prove" anything about the movement to which I belong. I merely need to be satisifed it meets my moral standards - and as a person who is utterly committed to equality before the law for all Americans, I am.

    As far as this - pardon my bluntness, and I don't intend to be overly personal here - fever-swamp delusion? I can leave this to lie and fester in the fever swamp.

    As I do with the racists.

    I am done with this thread.

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  76. Mitch, Pen, if I may wander off topic here for a moment, and wish you both a very enjoyable Father's Day this coming weekend.

    Back on topic, I found this item that ToE shared with me earlier in today to be exceptional, very much on the topic here, especially as it seems to address the differences. (Thank you, ToE!!!)

    I hope you will read it, it is from the Findlaw site,

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/buchanan/20100617.html

    Drawing Lines for Business Behavior: Lessons from the Rand Paul Controversy and
    President Obama's Response to the Gulf Disaster

    and has some very interesting observations on racism, racial sensitivity and insensitivity, and is also, imho, a brilliant essay on economics as a bonus.

    Enjoy, my dear friends!

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  77. Mitch, you claim that I have taken something out of context, and cite Media Matters.

    I never used Media Matters as a resource when looking for examples.

    You, Mitch, accused me of taking specific quotes out of context. I ask you to provide the context and show where I did that. You have not, and you admit that you didn't even look into the context before making the accusation, that you do not know the actual context.

    I can appreciate that you aren't going to expend the time - and I'm not either. You quote a biography in support, written by a colleague of Limbaugh's, who arguably makes his living from his work with Limbaugh - a vested interest.

    I hope you can appreciate that there are more than a few books about Limbaugh that assert and document that opposite position, and which no doubt have their own bias.

    Leslie summed it up in his own post about it, much of what I have heard - my own experience, not Media Matters or anyone else telling me what to think - I find offensive, and at the very least racially insensitive. That is MY own experience.

    From the bottom of my heart, I do not understand what you appreciate in Rush Limbaugh. But I also have the sense that this disagreement is hurtful to you because of how strongly you feel pro-Rush, and I would rather give up the disagreement, respecting the differences in opinion, than pursue it further. Your friendship and your feelings matter to me more than the discussion does - YOU matter more than the subject does, or being right, or winning.

    I would NOT say that 50% of conservatives are racist. I don't have a guess-timate of numbers or percentages, but I wouldn't put it that high. On the other hand, I have a different definition than you do.

    I'm not completely sure I correctly understand what you mean by 'we-ism'. I thought the description of racism, AND the separate definition of racial insensitivity, in the link I provided were more eloquent than I could come up with myself. I am including that concept of racial insensitivity in with racism, as that link outlined. Perhaps that is more what you mean by 'we-ism', that racial insensitivty?

    I do NOT define this as about the law, or more precisely not ONLY about the law, but also about fundamental assumptions and prejudices. That may be another way in which we are defining this differently - an apples and oranges problem.

    I do accept that you have had a different experience of people. I'm not going to argue with you that your own experience was wrong. I'm not that foolish.

    But perhaps you can accept that I grew up in a family that was - mostly still is - as conservative as you are now, maybe slightly more so.

    I grew up around quite a few Republican politicians and politically active people, local, state and federal. My own family included some fairly strongly racist individuals, and I saw racism expressed by them -- and by many of these politicians and political donors and volunteers.

    I saw it travelling - including travelling to political conventions, and yes, including out west.

    So....how do we manage this, to accept our differences of experience on this subject? Do you expect ME to deny MY experiences, either past or recent?

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  78. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0619.html#article

    I would draw your attention Mitch to the part where Senator Dirksen disapproves of Senator Goldwater for his opposition to civil rights.

    NO, Mitch, NO. That is rewriting history to believe that Goldwater supported civil rights - he did not, emphatically NOT. There is a reason for his carrying only a few southern states and Arizona in his presidential run.

    Buckley recanted the most extreme, blatantly offensive oppositional statements to civil rights, eventually, but he was never ever ever in your wildest dreams a propoenent for civil rghts or against discrimination and segregation.

    Reagan wasn't a whole lot better.

    I suggest you revisit some real history - beginning with this from the New York Times of the day.

    I think you need to have a better understanding of what really happened 'back in the day'. Go to original documents and news from the date.

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  79. from the June 19th 1964

    Civil Rights Bill Passed, 73-27; Johnson Urges All To Comply; Dirksen Berates Goldwater


    Except for Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, all the Democratic votes against the bill came from Southerners.

    and

    Powers of the Bill

    The bill passed by the Senate outlaws discrimination in places of public accommodation, publicly owned facilities, employment and union membership and Federally aided programs. It gives the Attorney General new powers to speed school desegregation and enforce the Negro's right to vote.

    The Senate bill differs from the House measure chiefly in giving states and local communities more scope and time to deal with complaints of discrimination in hiring and public accommodations. It allows the Attorney General to initiate suits in these areas where he finds a "pattern of discrimination, but does not permit him, as did the House bill, to file suits on behalf of individuals.

    and
    The Illinois Republican proceeded to answer Mr. Goldwater's implied rebuke of yesterday when the Arizonan called the rights measure an "unconstitutional" bill.

    Mr. Dirksen recalled that on June 5 last year the Republican Conference of the Senate urged the Administration to produce a program to guarantee the rights and privileges of all citizens.

    He then addressed himself to Mr. Goldwater's argument that the sections of the bill dealing with public accommodations and employment were an unwarranted extension of the commerce clause of the Constitution.


    "Today they are accepted," he


    Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona voted against the bill, as he said yesterday he would. The five other Republicans opposing it all support Mr. Goldwater's candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination.

    They were Bourke B. Hickenlooper of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee; Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, Edwin L. Mechem of New Mexico, Milward L. Simpson of Wyoming and a John G. Tower of Texas.

    and

    Social Legislation Cited

    Mr. Dirksen tolled a long list of social and economic legislation that had been similarly called unconstitutional when first proposed.

    "Today they are accepted," he said, "because they were a forward thrust in the whole effort of mankind."

    "There is latitude enough in the Constitution to embrace within its four corners these advances," he said.

    All day long today the galleries were crowded. But the drama lay in the historic achievement and not in the expectation of another breath-holding vote like that on June 10, when the Senate for the first time in history shut off a Southern filibuster against a civil rights bill, 71 to 29. Eleven times before, civil rights forces tried and failed to get the two-thirds vote needed for closure of debate.

    Passage of the bill was a foregone conclusion, but it was not an anticlimax. The spectators waited to see who among the Republican supporters of Senator Goldwater would follow the Arizonan's example and vote against the bill, and who would vote for it."

    Goldwater was the LEADING republican opposed to civil rights.

    Reagan wasn't much better, back in the day- and lukewarm later.

    Don't even get me started on Buckley. Or the Birchers, who Mitch embraces today.

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  80. from the web site Political Research Associates, "researching the right for progressive changemakers" (whatever that means)
    http://www.publiceye.org/tooclose/jbs.html


    on the subject of the John Birch Society, and referencing the actual documents OF the ultra conservative John Birch Society - so extreme that even Buckley eventually opposed them. Eventually. But not particularly over civil rights issues.

    "Birch Society influence on US politics hit its high point in the years around the failed 1964 presidential campaign of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater who lost to incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. Welch had supported Goldwater over Nixon for the 1960 Republican nomination, but the membership split with two-thirds supporting Goldwater and one-third supporting Nixon. A number of Birch members and their allies were Goldwater supporters in 1964 and some were delegates at the 1964 Republican convention."

    The John Birch Society White Book was a spiral-bound collection of all JBS Weekly Bulletins issued in the previous year and handed to every new member. The Bulletins in the 1964 White Book contain chatty and anecdotal information about the campaigns important to the JBS. A major effort was conducted under the slogan "Impeach Earl Warren," which was reported to be generating 500 letters per day to members of Congress. The JBS also sought to restore prayer in school, repeal the graduated personal income tax, stop "Communist influences within our communications media," and stop the "trend of legislation by judicial fiat."

    The phrase "legislation by judicial fiat," was widely interpreted within the JBS as opposition to federal assistance to the goals of the civil rights movement over the objections of persons insisting that state's rights should supersede federal laws. During its heyday in the mid-1960s the Birch response to the civil rights movement and urban unrest was to launch two "campaigns under the banners of Support Your Local Police, and Expose The 'Civil Rights' Fraud.

    The "Support Your Local Police" campaign opposed the use of federal officers to enforce civil rights laws. "[T]he Communist press of America has been screaming for years to have local police forces discredited, shunted aside, or disbanded and replaced by Federal Marshals or similar agents and personnel of a national federalized police force," one article complained. Another reason articulated for opposing the civil rights movement was that it was a creation of Communists, and Birch members were urged to "Show the communist hands behind it." According to a 1967 personal letter from Welch to retired General James A. Van Fleet inviting him to serve on the Birch National Council:

    ==="Five years ago, few people who were thoroughly familiar with the main divisions of Communist strategy saw any chance of keeping the Negro Revolutionary Movement from reaching decisive proportions. It was to supply the flaming front to the whole 'proletarian revolution,' as planned by Walter Reuther and his stooge, Bobby Kennedy"

    Despite its opposition to civil rights, throughout this period the JBS had a handful of black conservative members who supported this position on philosophical grounds involving states rights, economic libertarianism, and opposition to alleged communist subversion of the civil rights movement.

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  81. from the same source above:

    The JBS simultaneously discouraged overt displays of racism, while it promoted policies that had the effect of racist oppression by its opposition to the Civil Rights movement. The degree of political racism expressed by the JBS was not "extremist" but similar to that of many mainstream Republican and Democratic elected officials at the time. This level of mainstream racism should not be dismissed lightly, as it was often crude and sometimes violent, treating Black people in particular as second-class citizens, most of whom had limited intelligence and little ambition. In Alan Stang's book published by the JBS, It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is portrayed as an agent of a massive communist conspiracy to agitate among otherwise happy Negroes to foment revolution, or at least promote demands for more collectivist federal government intrusion.

    The same is true with JBS levels of personal and political antisemitism. When crude antisemitism was detected in JBS members, their membership was revoked. The most celebrated incident involved Birch leader Revilo P. Oliver who moved over to work with Willis Carto and the Liberty Lobby after being forced to resign from the Birch Society for making antisemitic and White supremacist comments at a 1966 Birch rally.

    The Birch Society promoted the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen who included a dubious discussion of the Rothschilds and other Jewish banking interests as part of a sketch of a much larger conspiracy involving financial and political elites and the Council on Foreign Relations. Allen explicitly rejected the idea that by focusing on the early roll of the Rothschilds in investment banking he was promoting a theory of a Jewish conspiracy:

    ==="Anti-Semites have played into the hands of the conspiracy by trying to portray the entire conspiracy as Jewish. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The traditionally Anglo-Saxon J. P. Morgan and Rockefeller international banking institutions have played a key role in the conspiracy. But there is no denying the importance of the Rothschilds and their satellites. However it is just as unreasonable and immoral to blame all Jews for the crimes of the Rothschilds as it is to hold all Baptists accountable for the crimes of the Rockefellers.

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  82. and (this is just a small part of what I researched)

    Nicely put, yet Allen used insensitive loaded language concerning the "cosmopolitan" nature of the "international bankers," and he slipped when comparing Jews to Anglo-Saxons, mixing issues of race, ethnicity, and religion. He seemed sincere in rejecting overt and conscious antisemitism and did not seem to be cloaking a hidden hatred or distrust of Jews, but he included a hyperbolic and inaccurate assessment of the role of the Rothschilds, Warburgs, and other Jews compared to the non-Jewish banking interests that grew along with industrial capitalism. The problem was unintentional, but still real, and the stereotype of a Jewish establishment was clearer in Allen's other work, as Mintz explained, "A conspiracist unimpressed by anti-Semitism could construe the material differently from a confirmed sociological anti-Semite, who could find a codification of his fears and anxieties."

    In a similar fashion the Society promoted conspiracist theories that involved mild antisemitism, and Welch once buttressed his claims of the Illuminati conspiracy by citnotorious British antisemite Nesta Webster. At its core, however, the Birch view of the conspiracy does not reveal it to be controlled or significantly influenced by Jews in general, or a secret group of conniving Jews, nor is their evidence of a hidden agenda within the Society to promote suspicion of Jews. The Society always struggled against what it saw as objectionable forms of prejudice against Jews, but it can still be criticized for having continuously promoted mild antisemitic stereotyping. Nevertheless, the JBS was closer to mainstream stereotyping and bigotry than the naked race hate and genocidal antisemitism of neonazi or KKK groups. When the Society promoted a historic tract about the conspiracy, it was usually their reprint of Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy.

    In a sense, the Birch society pioneered the encoding of implicit cultural forms of ethnocentric White racism and Christian nationalist antisemitism rather than relying on the White supremacist biological determinism and open loathing of Jews that had typified the old right prior to WWII. Throughout its existence, however, the Society has promoted open homophobia and sexism.

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  83. sorry - this is theend it wouldn't all fit

    "The Society's anti-communism and states rights libertarianism was based on sincere principles, but it clearly served as a cover for organizing by segregationists and White supremacists. How much of this was conscious, and how much unconscious, is difficult to determine. That the Birch Society clearly attracted members with a more hate-filled (even fascistic) agenda is undeniable, and these more zealous elements used the JBS as a recruitment pool from which to draw persons toward a more neonazi stance on issues of race and culture. As Birch members assisted in building grassroots support for Goldwater's Republican presidential bid in 1964, critics of the JBS highlighted the group's more unsavory elements as a way to discredit Goldwater, who was labeled an extremist. For the JBS, however, Goldwater was a compromise candidate. JBS records from 1964 reveal Birch misgivings about the political reliability of Goldwater. Newspaper articles from the Birch archives show Goldwater quotes that conflict with Birch dogma heavily underlined and sporting rows of question marks; yet a racist and antisemitic attack on Goldwater by the White supremacist Thunderbolt, is labeled "Poison," with a bold pen stroke.

    After Goldwater was soundly drubbed in the general election, Welch tried earnestly to recruit another politician to accept the Birch torch-former Alabama Governor George Wallace. "It is the ambition and the intention of Richard Nixon, during the next eight years, to make himself the dictator of the world," warned Welch in a November 11, 1968 post-election letter to Wallace. "The people of this country are ready for an anti-Communist crusade behind some political leader who really means it," wrote Welch urging Wallace to adopt the Birch platform.


    The more pragmatic conservatives and reactionaries who had been fundraising and organizing specialists during the Goldwater campaign would form the core of what became known as the New Right. Although many New Right and new Christian Right activists were groomed through the Birch Society, the group's core conspiracism, passionate and aggressive politics, and its labeling by critics as a radical right extremist group tainted by antisemitism and racism, were seen as impediments to successful electoral organizing. The Birch Society became a pariah. In the late 1970's the New Right coalition of secular and Christian conservatives and reactionaries emerged as a powerful force on the American political landscape, and was influential in helping elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980. The eclipsed Birch Society saw its influence dwindle even further after Reagan took office, and further still after they attacked Reagan's policies."

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  84. You don't even want to get me started on Phylis Schlaffley and her husband.

    Which puts the whole 'just a couple' of racists and extremists into a whole 'nuther category as a component of the right.

    A despicable component which is being actively re-embraced by the tea party and the GOP.

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  85. Mitch,

    Candidly, I have no interest in engaging in some sort of personal exchange. First and foremost, it's highly improper for the intent of the site, which is MY intent in the end.

    Second, it allows for distraction from the topic.

    Consequently, please don't look for me to reply to snark or ad hominem - I won't other than to point out how it is off topic, doesn't prove anything (or disprove anything either).

    What I note is that your argumentation style seems to be of three varieties.

    1. Carve up the post and reply pointilisticially - imho often out of context AND ignoring the overarching point.

    2. Snark - funny, but useless

    3. Condescending dismissal with what seems to be a tangential topic

    Please understand, what I see is most frequently therefore NOT a discussion of the topic, or facts behind it which, seemingly, are relevant.

    In this case, DG has given you numerous, dozens even, of examples of various racially motivated behavior - it seems your reply is:

    1. I've never seen it
    2. THIS example doesn't matter
    3. You're taking his comments out of context

    My complaint is, it appears the comments are treated entirely in context, but more, you seem to be willing to take the comments and conduct of others out of context. It surely seems that you are willing to accept your argumentation style as valid when YOU use it, but rail against it (rightly) if the wrong thing is done TO you (which I'd contend DG hasn't done to you).

    This seems to be in line with your treatment of various subjects. You have at times said to me that you don't AND SHOULDN'T consider the position/facts which oppose your stance, because that's for OTHERS to do, everyone is biased after all.

    But the problem is this ACCEPTS incorrect argument. It says "we can be no better, so accept it." What I see from the left is, "we know it is flawed, try to improve." In short, it is the difference between accepting literary bias and acknowledging it. We can acknowledge it, but seek to stop, or we can see it, and say, "I really can't stop, so I don't believe anyone else can, so why try."

    I see that as a pretty fundamental part of the difference between teh left and the right. The left believes we can improve, that the flaws of others are merely the reflection of the flaws in ourselves, sometimes manifestedly differently, but still the same flaws. Consequently, we look to UNDERSTAND the nature of the flaws, to see them for what they are, and to fight them in ourselves while we understand AND HELP our opponents to see our side so they can also fight them in themsleves RATHER than merely delcaring them OTHER.

    I see this as the root of the racial divide. Both blacks and whites have assumptions about the other, but if we accept that there is always this difference, we give in to ignorance, and ignorance, as they say, is the origin of hate.

    It is as a consequence, easy to see the origin of racism - in both conservatives and liberals, but it is also easy to see the origin of its demise - which is not denial, but rather acknowledgement. I believe (based on DG's comments of your personal conduct) you do not accept racism as tolerable, but(to me) your comments seem to say you deny it in the (conservative) world around you that you experience when in our experience, it is both overt, logical in where we find, and undeniable. If you chose to argue that, then you should do so (imho) from a position of fact.

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  86. Mitch,

    I do have one comment regarding your whinge about Media Matters.

    First and foremeots, DG and I do a great deal of research.

    But, if we so happen sometime to use something from Media Matters, considering how many times, many many many many many times, I've seen right wing sites quoted or linked to by you, and those with MUCH less of a reputation for research, I find your complaint wanting. It seems again you have a standard you demand from others, but you overuse right-wing research which results in much of what you write being merely an echo-chamber of what can be found elsewhere; and at that what is found is ill-researched itself. So, if you desire to complain about bias or one-sided research, I suggest you look to your own house - for first you have rats, and second, this one at least, this house, has a cat.

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  87. Ah, Pen -- my adventures on Penigma in animal metaphor.

    First Jas calls me the Penigma 'attack dog' - given my canine-referenced nom de plume.

    And now I'm the Penigma 'mouser', LOL.

    If so, let me be like some versions of the proverbial Cheshire cat, mischievious,philosophical and wise, and with the last aspect to fade being a large smile.

    I agree with you, Mitch was wrong to assume I resorted to media matters for my information on Rush; not for this post, not for other posts. No matter how often I explain that I did not, he keeps stating it over and over. That does not make it so.

    Rather than what you wrote, about either Mitch's writing and research or our own as you did, if I may gently differ, I wish you had instead emphasized it is my policy - and I assume yours, and ToEs, and our other writers, to multi-source our research rather
    than to rely on any single source, neutral or biased in any direction politically.

    Nor, as he so often asserts on SitD, do I routinely read other blogs or liberal sources to learn what to think, to 'steal' their talking points, or chanting points, or dance moves or apple pie recipes for that matter.

    Mitch has accused me of taking something out of context, without providing the context he insists i got wrong. I object to that, because it demonstrates he has no practical idea whatsoever of the actual context. He made an unfounded accusation, to which I object.

    In advocating for the Chafets book as a source to vindicate Limbaugh, he is himself arguing for a heavily biased source, rather than a neutral one, demonstrating if I may point out respectfully, the very kind of biased and single source research to which I object, and to which I assume you are alluding.

    I did a brief peruse of Mr. Chavetz credentials, including the page that Amazon.com has for him.

    I would be more persuaded by neutral sources in such an argument. Nor do I intend on using any of the anti-Rush books as sources for arguments against him.

    What I do intend to do is to illustrate my observations using an actual clip - nothing abbreviated or edited - with a transcript I shall myself transcribe, of one of Rush's monologues I find offensive and racist.

    I will then take it apart, here, section by section, demonstrating what is wrong with it, and where applicable, what is not wrong.

    If Mitch wishes to take issue with that bit of writing, I welcome him to do so, but not with sources so heavily biased which are not fairly and objectively critical. I'm not interested in a sermon preached primarily to the choir. Mitch appreciates good oratory; I know that he can recognize the difference between something that holds up to critical examination and something that is only going to be well received by those that agree in advance.

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  88. I hope both of you gentlemen - Pen, Mitch - take some time time to stop fighting political / ideological battles with each other, and instead go celebrate your families.

    One thing you both have in common is that you are dedicated, loving fathers.

    I intend to celebrate that about both of you today.

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  89. DG, well said. I go further than just Chavets, though, as I think you understand.

    Any method of argument which accepts that bias is to be embraced, not only is by it's very nature likely to be irretreivably flawed, it also permits and applauds a failure, and effectively it says that since we can't stop sinning, sinning should be accepted, even further, that perhaps sinning is good.

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  90. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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