2/16/2008

The Republican Response: NO YOU CAN'T

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know, there are many things on this blog that I disagree with, that I think are questionable, misguided, or flat out wrong. I don’t get exercised about the former two, because those things are really based in opinion, and I want to understand the thinking and the ideas of other people that I may come closer to understanding and truth. Buy it’s the latter category that causes me great grief, because the deliberate misrepresentation of facts and history does not promote understanding and should not be tolerated.

This canard about Republicans being prejudiced and anti-black is one of those subjects.
It just does not stand up to scrutiny.

Exactly to the contrary, its Democrats that have – for the vast bulk of their history – been the party of Racists. From the Party’s founding by the slavers Jefferson and Jackson, through its backing of the Confederacy during the civil war, to its establishment in the South as the bullwork behind Jim Crow laws from the end of Reconstruction to the early 1960’s, its Democrats who consistently said “No. You. Can’t.”

Republicans, on the other hand, mustered the political courage to stand up to and fight the Slaveholding States. Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, which outlawed slavery, extended Constitutional protections to the residents of all states, and gave Blacks the right to vote. It was Federal forces, under Republican administrations, that fought the KKK in the south, and it was Republicans who passed the first meaningful Civil Rights Legislation in 1957 over the filibusters of southern Democrat Senators and send the National Guard into Little Rock to enforce that legislation.

Democrats to their credit finally decided to reform their institutional Racism when they backed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which interestingly enough was comprised mostly of provisions of the 1957 bill that could not get passed when proposed by the Eisenhower Administration. Of course, many Dixiecrat southerners continued to fight the tide of history – Democrats like Orville Faubus, Robert Byrd, George Wallace, and Bull Conner.

So why is it that you continue to spread the false claim that its Republicans with the history of Racism?

Perhaps its because Republicans, who have always sought the meaningful liberation of Blacks (i.e. Social and Economic as well as Political freedom), do not believe that Welfare, Public Assistance, and perpetual Affirmative Action (which has morphed over the years into a form of race-baced privilege) is in the best means to liberate anybody, much less Black Americans. Perhaps its because Republicans see the institutionalization of Welfare and Affirmative Action programs as “the soft form of bigotry” that will keep Blacks voting for them as long as those programs endure. Perhaps its because Republicans see Black dependency as the nothing but a new plantation, and so fight Democrat efforts to keep Black Americans on it.

We can argue about which party is doing the most to help Black Americans achieve social advancement, economic independence and real political power. It’s a tough problem, and one with different approaches. But approaches differing from those of the modern Democrat are not Racist, nor are those that promote them are not Racists.

Look, if you like Obama and his ideas, great. There is a lot to like, if the results of Democrat primaries and caucuses are any indicator. But do not suggest that Republicans will fight Obama because he is Black. They will fight him, if he is the Democrat nominee, over ideas and policy and direction for the country. But not over Race. Republicans already fought that war, and fortunately for Black Americans, they won it.

Sunny Badger said...

I would say there are fringe elements of the Republican Party that don't like Blacks. Republican David Duke, also a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, has said, “Our clear goal must be the advancement of the white race and separation of the white and black races. This goal must include freeing of the American media and government from subservient Jewish interests.” Of course, before he turned to the Republicans, Duke was a Democrat.

I think the Republican Party, as a organization, has written off the Black vote and therefore the impression is they don't like Blacks. Likewise, the Republicans don't cater to the gay and lesbian voters. That's not saying that indivdiual Republicans don't like gays, lesbians or Blacks.

The Republican Party would love to have Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination, because so many Republicans HATE her as do a large segment of the swing voters.

You mention lots of historical interactions of the Republican Party on behalf of the Blacks. The question now is "What have you done for them lately?" The Republicans have Willie Hortanized the Black males and Welfare Queened the Black women. The present day Republican propaganda machine has leveraged the worst stereotypes attributed to the Black race to scare the White voters into the voting booth. "Fear and smear" is the tag line here.

Anonymous said...

Sunny,

There are unsavory fringe elements in both major parties. The question is, do they have any influence on the mainstream thinking in the party? In the case of Duke, a man of virulent and odious ideas, the answer is clearly no. In fact, the Republican Party has publicly and emphatically repudiated him and his ideas. Heck, when he ran for Governor of Louisiana, Republicans were urged to vote for his Democratic rival instead!

I saw an item in the news today regarding our original subject, by the way, and it portrays vividly the problem I pointed out with your original post. Writing in the New York Times this weekend, Reporter Kate Zernike discusses Senator Clinton’s claim that President Johnson was just as important to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as was Martin Luther King, Jr. Then she (the reporter) goes on to say, speaking of the battle to get the bill through the Senate, that “Johnson’s great mastery was to get the support of Southern Republicans.” Well, that would have been difficult, since all the Southern Senators (i.e. VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, MS, AL, TN, LA, and AR) were Democrats. Every last one of them. More to the point, all 20 of those Senators voted against the legislation, so his mastery was not very effective when it came to getting Democrats to vote for Civil Rights for Black Americans.

As I’ve said before, Republicans have always led the charge to on Civil Rights, properly understood. The fact that you and others, such as NYT reporters, keep getting the history wrong smacks of historical revisionism designed to demonize Republicans while air-brushing out the Racist history of the Democrat Party.

One last point. I agree that the question now is “What have you done for me lately?” – and that is a problem for Republicans. Liberals in Congress of both parties have pandered for the Black vote for so long that programs and hand-outs have become the currency for buying the Black vote. The question of what is best for Black Americans in the long run is largely ignored, which tends to infantilize them and relegate them to perpetual wards of the state. Republicans of principle have long held that what we should be promoting is self-reliance and self-sufficiency among Black Americans, so that they no longer need to feed at the tit of government. This “tough love” approach is not good politics, but it is good policy, and one that Republicans pay dearly for advocating. Nevertheless, it is an approach that I hope eventually gains currency amongst voters of both parties who wish to fully liberate Black citizens, and give them the social, economic, and political freedom that is their birthright.

Sunny Badger said...

So the "southern bloc" of Democrats voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and President Johnson said the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He has been pretty much correct.

So why did the southern states flip over to the Republican Party? Was it the progressive views on race relations trumpeted by the GOP? Barry Goldwater also voted against the Act, saying you can't legislate morality.

I'm not sure that you can legislate morality either. The Civil Rights Act was an attempt to legislate public morality. It was a statement that this country is going to live up to its Constitution and Bill of Rights. In a few decades, Whites will be in the minority.

Politcal parties "pander" to targeted groups that have traditionally pulled the levers of power in their favor. For instance, the Christian Right... What do you think the racial breakdown is of the voting target? Certainly, there are Blacks falling into this group, but the majority is White and Protestant.

I'd like to see some "tough love" handed out to cluster-fuck corporations like GM and Ford. Talk about your unimaginative bureaucracies. They can blame the unions all they want, but the fact of the matter is they haven't provided cars to meet the long-term reality of car market. Let's see, the first gas shock hit in 1974 and the foreign competition has slow moved into the fat cats' market and took it over. How many billions of dollars do you think were pissed away propping up these free-market fat asses?

Farmers? How about some tough love here. They used to be small businesses. Now they're going corporate and the subsidy bucket is sloshing over to the big farmers. I don't see the subsidies going to small businesses -- the future hope of our nation's viability.

My guess is there are more White people on welfare than Black people. I'm not an expert on how to solve our nation's problems, but the short-term handout route to voting constituencies doesn't seem to being working. Alternatively, maybe it is working; it's just that the vast right wing conspiracy has whipped up the small government fringe by pointing out every pimple on our county's collective ass.

I don’t think racism is a Republican or Democratic trait. I think it’s an individual trait that is not genetically passed on. Rather it is culturally learned. On the national level, the Democratic and Republican parties are all about maintaining or obtaining power. It’s basically a two or four or six year cycle, depending on the office. Making this a kinder, gentler nation is a nice to have, but not if it gets in the way of maintaining power.

Hope Monger originally did this post. From his other posts recently, you can see he is obviously hyped up on Obama. Obviously, he’s been able to post something that has made you and I think about this topic. I found some interesting polling news at work today. Two people who vote mostly Republican told me they are thinking of voting for Obama. They like what he represents – youthful change. When I asked them whom they would vote for if Hillary wins, they both said McCain. I want a president who is honest and - preferably - didn’t go to Yale or Harvard law school.

Hope Monger said...

Well Mr. Anonymous,
I just rewatched the "No You Can't Video"
For the life of me I cannot see how you can claim that it communicates what you find so offensive.

"This canard about Republicans being prejudiced and anti-black is one of those subjects.
It just does not stand up to scrutiny."

This is absolutely a figment of your imagination that you have projected into this video.
The message has NOTHING to do with some implied racism among Republicans. It is about those who currently hold and wield economic and political power to gain even more economic and political power at the expense of those at the lower and middle part of economic spectrum.
If Republican ideals and policies are so "correct" why in the world do you have a president whose approval rating is less than 30% and a Vice President whose approval is close to approaching single digits?
A recent ABC news poll found

"A clear demand is for change; 75 percent want to see the next president lead the nation in a direction different from Bush's. That compares to just 47 percent who held that view at this point in Bill Clinton's presidency, 55 percent in Ronald Reagan's."

If the Republican message and policies are so wonderful for America, then why in the world would 75% of us want to see an about face in the direction the country is headed?
I also find it interesting that you have to reach back 40 years to find
evidence to support your claim that the Democratic Party is the party that stands against the advancement of Blacks. And even further back to find evidence that Republicans are the party to support their chance at prosperity.
Take a look at your calendar. The year is 2008. This is the era of Karl Rove, not Abraham Lincoln.
If you're going to criticize a message, I highly recommend you understand what is being communicated before you project one on to someone else.

Parting shot observer said...

Anonymous,
If you wonder why local Republicans just may be giving the impression that they are racists, recall an entry on OTBL entitled "Parting Shots", with a picture of a group of beer swilling fools gathered round the "Stars and Bars" a symbol that stood against everything Republican President Abraham Lincoln fought for. If you wonder why reasonable people might assume that this little cadre of bloggers just might be racists, recall the image with these people having photoshop circles imposed over their faces. The internet equivalent of KKK hoods.
No revisionist history necessary.
A picture is worth 1000 words.

Anonymous said...

Hope Monger,

Maybe I’m a little oversensitive, after seeing other items on this blog like a Reagan quotation juxtaposed with a 1860’s-era daguerreotype of a whip-scarred slave. Then again, this “No You Can’t” video bothered me because the main nay-sayer is a dead-ringer body-double for Cheney, all the characters are up-scale white businessmen and trophy wives telling Senator Obama (and the one other Black American who advocates for him) No You Can’t, and of course it ends by clearly associating the No You Can’t mantra with the GOP. Its not about Obama’s policies or ideas or programs, but merely gainsay’s the Obama rallying cry. It strongly suggests that Republican voters are elitists who just don’t want a Black man running the country. That is false, and that is what I object to.

I agree that the Republican approach to racial equality is not popular with Black Americans. I’ve tried to explain that Republicans view hand-outs and perpetual state ward-ship as demeaning and ineffective policy. I cannot speak for MLK, but I do think that if he were to see where we are now, 40 years after his death, he would find that he still has a lot of work to do, for while Americans in general and the US Government in particular have made great strides to eliminate all vestiges of institutional racism and prejudice, the infantilizing of Blacks though welfare and affirmative action has led to great harm in their communities. Crime, unwed motherhood, high school drop-out rates, unemployment, and the disintegration of the family are rampant in the inner cities. If liberal policies have been so good for Blacks, why, for a great portion of them, is their lot in life deteriorating rather than improving? Why, after we have worked so hard to knock down institutional barriers to their advancement, has not the content of their characters enabled them to succeed in far greater numbers?

It’s a tough question, but I do think we need to start re-looking at our assumptions about which programs really are helping blacks, and which are hurting them.

Perhaps I overstated the point about Democrats wanting to keep Blacks on the government plantation. I have many liberal friends who want to do what is best and right. But the data shows that the policies they have advocated have had adverse albeit unintended consequences in the Black community, and have done terrible damage. Yes, I agree we need change, and this is definitely one area that needs a sea-change.

I think Sunny Badger had it right: People want to know “What have you done for me lately?” Republicans have not done enough to wean Black Americans off the government tit, and have not been able to articulate their vision for the future of Black America. Democrats keep pushing the same old failing policies and programs, but in the vacuum caused by Republican abdication on the issue, Blacks understandably think that its only the Democrats that are doing anything for them. They need to wake up, too.

Oh yes, and regarding approval ratings, well, Bush may be in the 30’s, but the Democrat Congress is in the high teens. Maybe 80% of us want some change there, too.

Hope Monger said...

Anonymous,
The mere fact that somewhere hidden deep behind the obvious message of this video against a party that coddles the rich, is a more subliminal one that something to do with race simply astounds me.
As you say the Video"
" strongly suggests that Republican voters are elitists (YES) who just don’t want a Black man running the country.(NO) That is false, and that is what I object to."

How in the world can you see a racial message in this? It is obvious to me that you cannot view Barack Obama as a candidate for president who happens to be black, but instead see him as a black candidate for president.
Even Bill Kristol, someone who I loath, stated recently on Fox News Sunday that Obama has run perhaps the most color blind campaign that he has ever seen. Yet somehow you depict him as someone like Al Sharpton who wants to feed his chillin from the government tit.
Frankly, judging from you comments you don't appear to be a racist. But how you can see a racial message in this video is beyond me.
It's about the abuse of power and privilege by Repubicans who influence politics to gain more weath and power.
The racist part is something, that youve interjected.
A delusion in your own mind.

Anonymous said...

Hope Monger,

You say: "How you can see a racial message in this video is beyond me.
It's about the abuse of power and privilege by Repubicans who influence politics to gain more weath and power.
The racist part is something, that youve interjected.
A delusion in your own mind."

Perhaps you are correct; as I acknowledged earlier, I may be oversensitive on this issue. The point I want to make is that Republicans in general are not Racists, and that efforts (even subliminal efforts) to paint them as such are misinformed at best and propaganda at worst. I just want the readership of this blog to know the historical facts, and that Republicans have nothing to apologize for in the area of race relations.

I agree with you and Mr. Kristol that Obama himself has run a race-neutral campaign, and for that I am grateful and appreciative. My sincere hope is that it continues to be run in the same manner.

Now that it seems Senator Obama is the presumptive nominee for the Democrat ticket, we shall be able to look much more more deeply into what his vision for America really entails, and how that vision stacks up against the vision of the preumptive Republican Nominiee Senator McCain.