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Old 12-20-2010, 01:48 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by adam4bono View Post
If your being objective, you'll find a lot of continuity between the Republican party over the past decade with those from the 90s and 80s as well as a lot of similar views with many Democrats. The vote for the Iraq war was probably one of the strongest bipartisan votes in history. Even a majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for it.

Compare that with the vote for the 1st Gulf War in 1991 when the vast majority of the Democrats opposed the war, and some Democratic congressman even tried to take legal action against George Bush Sr.
You can go tit-for-tat with Republicans vs. Democrats on a lot of issues, but the simple fact of the matter is that, if you're being objective, the Republicans' inaction on the Zadroga bill (aid for 9/11 first responders) is morally indefensible and truly un-American - and I don't throw that term around lightly. Truly one of the most despicable acts of putting party before country I can recall.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:23 PM   #212
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How NOT to position yourself for 2012--

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour is on the cover of the current Weekly Standard:
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...In interviews Barbour doesn’t have much to say about growing up in the midst of the civil rights revolution. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he said. “I remember Martin Luther King came to town, in ’62. He spoke out at the old fairground and it was full of people, black and white.”

Did you go? I asked.

“Sure, I was there with some of my friends.”

I asked him why he went out.

“We wanted to hear him speak.”

I asked what King had said that day.

“I don’t really remember. The truth is, we couldn’t hear very well. We were sort of out there on the periphery. We just sat on our cars, watching the girls, talking, doing what boys do. We paid more attention to the girls than to King.”
At this rate Romney's going to wipe up the floor with the rest of these people.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:33 PM   #213
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Barbour doesn’t have much to say about growing up in the midst of the civil rights revolution. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he said.
Well, to be fair, it probably wasn't that bad. For him.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:17 AM   #214
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Well yeah, but when you're seriously considering a Presidential run and you're doing a cover interview for a major national political magazine, those implications ought to occur to you.

It probably won't register with most readers outside the South, but he also told them this...
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...Both Mr. Mott and Mr. Kelly had told me that Yazoo City was perhaps the only municipality in Mississippi that managed to integrate the schools without violence. I asked Haley Barbour why he thought that was so.

“Because the business community wouldn’t stand for it,” he said. “You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”
...which is just bizarre. I have no idea how they're defining "municipality" here, but Yazoo's was among the last MS school districts to desegregrate, in 1970 when SCOTUS forced the remaining fifth or so of MS districts that hadn't yet desegregated to do so (and even then they tried at first to get away with desegregating only the buildings, not the classrooms). As for the Citizens' Councils, literally the whole point of those organizations was to apply political and economic pressure to preserve segregation as long as possible. They used to call them the 'Uptown Klan,' which was exactly what they were; 'genteel' segregationists who preferred to avoid the stigma (and unfavorable economic consequences) which might accompany perceived ties to the Klan and the unseemly rednecks who did their dirty work. Locals who supported civil rights were attacked by the Citizens' Councils using all the same tactics he's framing as anti-Klan here. Anyways, most school-desegregation-related violence that occurred in Mississippi was committed by ordinary citizens, not the Klan.

Barbour's older brother was Yazoo's mayor at the time, so there's no way he doesn't know all this.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:36 AM   #215
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god i hate haley barbour. it's amazing how he could grow up in freaking mississippi yet not remember a pretty important time in the early 60s. it'd be like not remembering the oil crisis of the 70s or the recession in the 80s (and living in a town where the factory got shut down).

how is it my mom, who's six years younger than him, (and also grew up in baltimore, hardly a city unaffected by the civil rights movement) can remember protests and sit-ins and riots and such? i guess it's easier to forget than remember these things when you're white.

hell, even a quick glance on google and wikipedia showed me this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson,_Mississippi (jackson's part of yazoo city's micropolitan, lol):
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In Jackson, shortly after midnight on June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers, civil rights activist and leader of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, was murdered by Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist. Thousands marched in his funeral procession to protest the killing. In 1994, prosecutors Ed Peters and Bobby DeLaughter finally obtained a murder conviction of De La Beckwith. A portion of U.S. Highway 49, all of Delta Drive and Jackson-Evers International Airport was named in honor of Medgar Evers. During 1963 and 1964, organizers did voter education and voter registration. In a pilot project, they rapidly registered 80,000 voters across the state, demonstrating the desire of African Americans to vote. In 1964 they created the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party as an alternative to the all-white state party, and sent an alternate slate of candidates to the national party convention.

Mississippi continued segregation and the disfranchisement of most African Americans until after the Civil Rights Movement gained passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. In June 1966, Jackson was also the terminus of the James Meredith March, organized by James Meredith, the first African-American to enroll at the University of Mississippi. The march, which began in Memphis, Tennessee, was an attempt to garner support for implementation of civil rights legislation. It was accompanied by a new drive to register African-Americans to vote in Mississippi. In this latter aim, it succeeded in registering between 2,500 and 3,000 black Mississippians to vote. The march ended on June 26 after Meredith, who had been wounded by a sniper's bullet earlier on the march, addressed a large rally of some 15,000 people in Jackson.

As a result of riots which followed the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi, and residents taking down street signs to hinder the arrival of US Army forces whilst US Marshals held back rioters during the night at the University, the city of Jackson was placed under martial law by the Army for a 1 year period by order of Congress and President John F. Kennedy. It was the only US city to have this dubious honor bestowed upon it during the 20th century.

In September 1967 the Ku Klux Klan bombed the synagogue building of the Beth Israel Congregation in Jackson, and in November bombed the house of its rabbi, Dr. Perry Nussbaum.
hmm yeah, nothing memorable there at all. oh and look no kkk either!
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #216
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“I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he said.
Erm...wow. I wasn't even ALIVE during that era and I know that's total BS. Footage of people getting tear gas shot at them, and being beaten down with billy clubs, bombings (the 4 little girls killed in Birmingham, anyone?)-yeah, call me crazy, but I'd say that's quite a bit beyond "bad".

To further yolland's post, I saw an article about the Citizens' Council in an...NPR thing earlier, think it was? It talked about how, yes, the Citizens' Council did drive the Klan away...because the Klan was their competition. Not because of anything even remotely resembling upstanding, honorable attitudes.

Nice to see we have another idiot in our midst. Hooray .

Angela
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:41 AM   #217
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Barbour officially walks back his comments:
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When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.
Of course, if he'd given an honest answer to the question actually asked from the beginning, there'd be no need for walkback.

Jim Geraghty over at the National Review has an alternatingly condemning and sympathetic take on Barbour's racial image problems, which may be worth examining as a representative mainstream-conservative reaction:
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...Presuming the anecdote of Barbour’s watermelon joke is accurate, it will outweigh everything else he’s done in the eyes of millions upon millions of voters. [The reference is to a 1982 Senate campaign incident where Barbour, embarrassed by his aide's grumbling about "coons" within an NYT reporter's earshot, teasingly chided the aide that he'd be "reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks." ~y.] There’s too much baggage to that remark to dismiss as a momentary stupid slip of the tongue. Even if a racially insensitive remark is said to rebuke another’s racially insensitive remark, with enough examples, the benefit of the doubt is eviscerated.

I stand by my earlier point that the bar for accusations of racism has gotten dangerously low, and that Monday afternoon we saw a disturbing conveyor belt in which Barbour was compared to the worst villains of American history over a lone comment that suggests historical inaccuracy and gauzy hometown sentimentalism, not a deep-rooted hatred or a belief in one group of Americans’ inferiority. Neither inaccuracy nor obliviousness is hate, and neither deserves the same response.

...Couple this with other Barbour comments:
•Barbour fondly remembering a black classmate at the University of Mississippi in 1965 and recalling his time there as “a very pleasant experience.” The classmate, Verna Bailey, recalls the time quite differently: “I don’t remember him at all, no, because during that time that certainly wasn’t a pleasant experience for me,” she said. “My interactions with white people were very, very limited. Very, very few reached out at all.”
•His comment that the controversy about commemorating Confederate History Month in Virginia “doesn’t amount to diddly.”
•His statement that he attended “integrated” schools—he attended during the 50s and early 60s—when Mississippi schools were not effectively integrated until 1970.
You can see a pattern emerging: where others in Mississippi experienced a painful, frightening, scarring struggle to recognize and assure the rights guaranteed all Americans, Barbour experienced a pleasant upbringing and was largely unaware of and unaffected by Civil Rights era conflicts as a child and a young man. It is possible to put this together and make a legitimate argument against Barbour: He is governor of a state that played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement, and yet today sees a long, difficult, sometimes violent, struggle for equal rights as all too easy and driven by consensus. Having seemed oblivious to the hardship and pain of Americans who were denied their God-given rights in the past, a voter might wonder if he would, as president, be properly vigilant against modern examples of Americans unjustly denied their rights.

Of course, Barbour critics skipped all that; his comment was seized upon as ipso facto evidence of racism, and it was open season to denounce him as a racist. Mississippi was denounced as “the state where politicians actually run ON racism.” The Washington Monthly declared he was “well positioned to wrap up the racist vote.” Wonkette declares he “wants a piece of that 2012 Segregationist Money” and the American Prospect call him “The Good King of White Supremacy.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson calls him “beyond appalling.” (Really? “Appalling” is too kind an adjective for him?)

...Does Barbour’s kind interpretation of the Citizens Council make him unelectable? Alone, perhaps not, but coupled with the watermelon joke and other factors, almost certainly, and deservedly so if Barbour had a habit of using stereotypical caricatures. But if Barbour’s future career is derailed by these comments, it will further reflect the epic double standard reflecting race and partisan politics. Harry Reid can marvel at Barack Obama’s lack of a “Negro accent” with no real consequence. Bill Clinton can describe Obama to Ted Kennedy as a “guy [who] would have been getting us coffee” not long ago with no real consequence. Hillary Clinton faced accusations of racism for appearing to diminish the accomplishments of Martin Luther King in comparison to Lyndon Johnson--until the Democratic primary ended, and then no liberal had much reason to stir the controversy further. Joe Biden can utter awful stereotypical jokes about Indians running 7-11s and Dunkin’ Doughnuts with no major repercussion. The President’s mentor trafficked in explicit racial insults--referring to Italians as “garlic noses”--and the topic was deemed irrelevant by many. And of course, there is the former recruiter of the Ku Klux Klan who used the n-word on national television with little major repercussion.
I'd add to Barbour's racial track record his refusal to publically dissociate himself from the endorsements of the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the Citizens' Councils, which remains openly segregationist (he said he "didn't care" who endorsed him and that to think otherwise was "a slippery slope").

I find it naive on Geraghty's part to think that "historical inaccuracy and gauzy hometown sentimentalism" suffice to explain Barbour's comments. No doubt those are mixed in there somewhere, but some things simply aren't morally worthy subjects for nostalgia, and as his own 'clarification' acknowledges, Barbour knows perfectly well what the Citizens' Councils' true mission was, even if he might be fuzzy on the specifics of how his own city's Council pursued it. To whitewash the past like this is to defiantly refuse to own your involvement in it. Which may lead in turn to dismissive views that, say, blacks' protest at their own governor's participation in honoring their ancestors' enslavers "doesn't amount to diddly." Which may lead in turn to an intentionally deaf ear to the concerns of black constituents, and perhaps others you associate with them as well. You hardly need be a rabid, vitriolic ideologue to be susceptible to this process--if anything, a signature part of Barbour's good-ol'-boy style is to respond with paternalistic, 'friendly,' 'jokey' condescension rather than open confrontationality when challenged with others' indignation, righteous or otherwise. He's a smart man, he gets that times have changed, but he grew up with certain assumptions about what people's proper relationships to each other in society ought to look and feel like, and he doesn't seem to have fully reckoned with the implications of desegregation for his political instincts.

I do get where Geraghty's coming from about the unconstructiveness and sometimes hypocrisy of "ipso facto" denunciations. It's snickerworthy when liberal pundits dub Barbour "Boss Hogg," but it's also juvenile, and symptomatic of a lazy attitude that we don't need to bother understanding exactly what kind of political animal Barbour is and where he comes from. That said, past a certain point (I'm thinking the 'watermelon joke,' perhaps) it does seem a bit precious to look down on people for having hair-trigger reactions--Barbour was 35 when he said that, running for national office, and speaking with a national newspaper.

Geraghty's analogies to various Democrats seem pretty weak to me. The Clinton ones don't really even make sense--Bill Clinton's aggressive "support" for Hillary on the trail clearly was highly damaging to her campaign, her own slip-up didn't help, and since we're talking the impact on Barbour's Presidential aspirations here, what sense does it make to gripe that these comments were "forgotten" after Hillary's Presidential aspirations failed? Robert Byrd apologized for, not just 'clarified,' his weird and uncomfortable reference to "white n-----s" (rednecks) afterwards, just as he'd repeatedly acknowledged and repudiated his own past loyalties previously, with a humble directness it's almost impossible to imagine coming from Barbour. Wright wasn't Obama's "mentor" (9 times out of 10, when a pundit refers to some candidate's "mentor" that means a lazy, irresponsible smear is forthcoming), nor was he running for office, and anyhow his racial comments did indeed create a major campaign crisis for Obama--albeit not the particular comment Geraghty bizarrely singles out, which involved Wright's take on the Roman Empire in ancient Israel, not present-day Italian-Americans, though I guess you could kinda sorta parley it into some 'coded' expression of prejudice towards them. Reid had no prior history of racist comments nor affiliation with racist groups, as Barbour does, and like Byrd he apologized profusely for his comments. Biden did get more of a pass than he should've for his comments about Indian-Americans, no argument there, but to suggest that this is the sort of thing most Americans of either party would ever see as a dealbreaker--rather than Biden's tone-deaf idea of complimenting a new immigrant group's entrepreneurialism--is just silly.

Barbour does in some respects represent the end of an era, probably the last white Southerner raised with segregation to still(?) have a long shot at the White House, and as such he'll probably also be the last to encounter a certain guilty-until-proven-innocent (on race) skepticism from the media. But that skepticism isn't fundamentally unwarranted, even setting aside the uglies that are already there in Barbour's record; as a group, white Southerners of his generation had an obvious stake in resisting desegregation, and were raised and socialized to protect that stake. It may be uncomfortable, but it is in the public interest to examine such men's backgrounds rigorously before entrusting them with the highest office our country has to offer, one where they would be working with a diverse legislature on addressing the interests of all Americans. Of course, this should happen at the state level as well, but unfortunately, that's not always how it works.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:22 AM   #218
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Harry Reid can marvel at Barack Obama’s lack of a “Negro accent” with no real consequence.
I'd have to see the whole quote again in context, but I seem to recall reading that quote as Reid remarking more on the fact that that was what perhaps made Obama appeal to white people at large. If that's how he meant it, I'd have to say that's actually a rather accurate assumption. If Obama had more of the stereotypes many associate with being black, I've no doubt that could have hurt him in some areas with some people.

Course, the "unless he wanted to have one" statement that came after commenting on the accent doesn't really make any sense...

Anywho, bottom line, Democrat or Republican, it's pretty sad that in this day and age race still has to matter at all, that this Barbour guy feels nostalgic about a time that clearly wasn't as rosy as he thinks it was, or that Reid would have to comment on how Obama's skin color would affect his voting chances, or so on. Most people in the U.S. know about all the stereotypical images and words associated with various racial groups (the "watermelon" thing), and they should know full well that bringing them up is going to raise eyebrows and get people talking. yolland's mention of people holding mindsets from a different time makes me think of how they seem to forget to take into account that they're living in an era where every little thing they say will be all over the internet in two seconds and dissected and analyzed.

So, either they'll have to learn to watch what they say, or they'll say it, and then have to expect the flak that comes with saying such things.

I do think, though, that the way we tend to discuss matters of race only hurt the problems we have in dealing with the subject rather than help it. We yell and scream and freak out and have our little vent over some comment, and then...nothing. The words are still out there. They were still said. The person who said them may have apologized (and SO sincerely, too, as all public apologies naturally are), but it doesn't mean they don't still hold that thought. We never really seem to accomplish anything beyond making these moments a bit of a news story for a couple weeks. And then the cycle starts again.

Angela
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:26 PM   #219
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Christine O'Donnell's Campaign Funding Reported to Be Under Investigation - ABC News
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:03 PM   #220
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Delay will be getting new dance partners.


DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Money Laundering Case
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:37 PM   #221
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Delay will be getting new dance partners.


DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Money Laundering Case
I believe Texas still has a 3 Strikes law. Could be more bad news for DeLay.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #222
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Delay will be getting new dance partners.


DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Money Laundering Case


you know, the above really drives home the saying: "DC is Hollywood for ugly people."
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:22 PM   #223
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Looks kinda like Roy Clark circa Hee Haw.

Maybe it's just the vest.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:25 PM   #224
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i had a friend who worked his way up the political ladder for a bit, and after a long day, he'd often wonder if all these people really want is to see their names up in lights.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #225
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I have no problem believing that.

Think DeLay actually will serve his jail time? I'd hope so, but you know how they can manage to sidestep these things a lot of the time.

Angela
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