The Lott thickens

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Jonathan Mason

unread,
Dec 17, 2002, 9:48:36 PM12/17/02
to
As I predicted here a few days ago, Trent Lott has wasted no
opportunity to put his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. As
reviewed tonight on Hardball, Lott was interviewed on Black
Entertainment Television and in a rare scene of black comedy claimed
that he voted against the Martin Luther King public holiday in 1982,
because he didn't really know who MLK was, but that now he had found
out the MLK was a nonviolent civil rights leader who changed America,
he would change his vote if he could have it over again.

Now, the interesting thing is that others who voted against the MLK
holiday included Jesse Helms (well, he is out of it now), Orrin Hatch
of Utah, and Don Nickles of Oklahoma.

Nickles is reported to be a likely candidate for the Republican senate
leadership in the event of Lott deciding to bite the bullet and
resign. No doubt every talk show host in the nation will be waiting to
ask Nickles if he knew who MLK was in 1982, and whether he would
change his vote now, and if not, then why not.

This could run all the way to the next election with prominent
Republicans being picked off at regular intervals.

Personally I would prefer for elections to be fought by both parties
just putting forward their manifestos to the electorate, but that is
not the way it is done, so this Lott thing is really a lot of fun for
all who oppose the Republicans.

Although Orwell did fight on the Republican side in Spain, I think he
would be with the Democrats now.

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 12:42:57 AM12/18/02
to

Jonathan Mason wrote:

> ....Now, the interesting thing is that others who voted against the MLK


>
> holiday included Jesse Helms (well, he is out of it now), Orrin Hatch
> of Utah, and Don Nickles of Oklahoma.

...

Yes.

Help me out on a little history here: when exactly did the party of
Lincoln become the party of the Confederacy? We were guessing 1968, but
is that a tad on the late side?

/MAB

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 1:47:23 AM12/18/02
to
Martha Bridegam wrote:
>
> Help me out on a little history here: when exactly did the party of
> Lincoln become the party of the Confederacy? We were guessing 1968, but
> is that a tad on the late side?
>
There are several answers to that question, and 1968 is one of them.
1980 is another, as is 1994. The most persuasive date is 1876, though
you could very easily say that it all actually started under Lincoln
himself. Here's my understanding of the situation, which is really
foggy after around 1890, and is woefully uninformed about the pre-1864
North. Most is pure regurgitation of C. Vann Woodward's _Reunion and
Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction_, which
is excellent.

During the Civil War, both the CSA and the USA experienced
centralization and government involvement with industry on an
unprecedented scale. In the North, the party in power came to represent
the old Whig interests of industrialization and public works in addition
to the core idealism of the upstart Republicans that had won the 1860
election. By the end of the war, the Republican party was an uneasy
alliance between abolitionists who had supplied the moral justification
of the war, and the industrial magnates who had supplied the means to
win it. The Democratic party in the North still represented largely
agrarian interests of western farmers.

Republicans ran the country unchallenged after Johnson's impeachment,
and instituted programs reflecting their power base. The idealists
embarked on programs reshaping race relations in the South, while the
industrialists wallowed in pork-barrel spending and pure graft. Neither
side found any support among ex-Confederate, ex-Democrat agrarian
interests in the South, and pretty much eliminated their power. The
industrialists, however, found a good deal of common cause with the
ex-Confederate, ex-Whigs in the South who yearned for the same sort of
publicly-funded railroad building projects that the North and West were
getting.

By the end of Grant's second term, however, the country was sick of
graft, sick of financial scandals, and sick of funding corporate
interests out of the taxpayer's pocket. Farmers were in particular hurt
by deflation, which meant that capitalists who had bought war bonds with
deflated paper currency were getting repaid with gold, while at the same
time debtors saw the prices paid for their crops decrease and their
mortgages remain constant.

When the disputed elections of 1876 came along, the country looked to be
on the verge of another civil war, but along different lines. Many of
the demonstrations for the Democrats happened in the Western states,
with only small-scale demonstrations in the South. That election was
far less amicable than the election of 2000, with some states actually
splitting internally, and rival governments submitting their national
electoral results. All tiebreaker mechanisms, what could be discerned
of the popular vote, as well as the most obvious guesses of the
electoral vote of non-disputed states all pointed to a Democratic
presidential victory.

But then a very odd thing happened. The Democrats announced that they'd
certify the Republican returns in the contested Southern states. The
new Republican president withdrew all federal soldiers from the South,
leaving race relations in the hands of the ex-Confederates. Southern
Democratic congressmen started voting with Northern Republicans on
financial issues. And despite the nationwide anti-corruption sentiment,
a number of pork-barrel projects were passed building railroads in the
South, using southern firms as contractors.

Basically, the industrial interests in the Southern Democratic party had
sold out their agrarian allies (the Western Democrats), in order to
regain the power they'd lost with the demise of the Whigs in the 1840s
and to fatten their pockets with pork. Similarly, the Northern
Republicans sold out the ideological wing of their party (which included
the newly-enfranchised Negro in the South) in exchange for southern
cooperation.

I believe that this pattern persisted through the New Deal: Northern
Republicans represented moneyed interests, Northern Democrats
represented agricultural and labor interests, and Southern Democrats
voted sometimes one way, sometimes another. Under the New Deal, the
northern Democrats started to withdraw their support for the southern
Democrats racial programs, largely under the pressure of WW2. Once the
War was over, the national Democratic party refused to withdraw its
support for civil rights, and the southern wing finally felt free to
secede. After beating its head against a wall for a while, Southern
Democratic voters were swept up by the Republican Southern Strategy of
1968. This was repeated in 1980, and national legislators from the
South started crossing over to the Republican party. By 1994 the
leadership of the Republican Party had passed firmly into southern
hands. State legislators have been slower to cross over, but I'd be
surprised if any southern state legislature was in Democratic hands in a
decade.


That's my take on it. As I said, it's mostly cribbed from Woodward, and
severely limited by my youth, so correct away. I'd be particularly
interested if anyone has any insight on how the Republicans won the
plains states, which I suspect to be just as much of a radical shift as
the situation in the South.

-Ben

> /MAB

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 1:58:20 AM12/18/02
to
Jonathan Mason wrote:
>
> this Lott thing is really a lot of fun for
> all who oppose the Republicans.
>
It's also a lot of fun for those of us who'd like to see the Republicans
clean up their act enough that we'd be willing to vote for them. I
think we'd all like to approach the polls agonizing over which party we
*liked* better: "Ooh, if only I could vote for *both* of them!"

> Although Orwell did fight on the Republican side in Spain, I think he
> would be with the Democrats now.

It all depends on the issue.

-Ben

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 3:46:28 AM12/18/02
to
Ben Brumfield wrote:
>
> side found any support among ex-Confederate, ex-Democrat agrarian

That should be "ex-Confederate, Democratic"

-Ben

bayle

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 2:37:14 AM12/18/02
to

"Jonathan Mason" <jm_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:fc36aad3.02121...@posting.google.com...

> This could run all the way to the next election with prominent
> Republicans being picked off at regular intervals.

You sure you're not dreaming? (See below.)

> Personally I would prefer for elections to be fought by both parties
> just putting forward their manifestos to the electorate, but that is
> not the way it is done, so this Lott thing is really a lot of fun for
> all who oppose the Republicans.

Fun maybe but productive I doubt. Lott is a pathetic, not least because he
goes on Black Entertainment Television and panders on issues like
affirmative action (something you would hope he might deal with based on
principle) to save his own skin (which is highly unlikely). The worst thing
that can happen for the Democrats is if he is replaced by someone with a
clue.

bayle

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 2:50:35 AM12/18/02
to

"Ben Brumfield" <old...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:3E001D4C...@my-deja.com...

Agreed. Plus I'd like to know what Democrats they might be Orwell would be
with. In my view the latest repudiation of the Democratic party was highly
predictable. I'm currently watching another left make the same mistakes in
Australia. It's amazing.

Also thanks for the history lesson. Have you heard anything about Genovese's
summa, The Mind of the Master Class (the projected title)? I think it's
supposed to be published soon.


Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 4:03:40 AM12/18/02
to

Ben Brumfield wrote:

> Martha Bridegam wrote:
> >
> > Help me out on a little history here: when exactly did the party of
> > Lincoln become the party of the Confederacy? We were guessing 1968, but
> > is that a tad on the late side?
> >
> There are several answers to that question, and 1968 is one of them.
> 1980 is another, as is 1994. The most persuasive date is 1876, though
> you could very easily say that it all actually started under Lincoln
> himself. Here's my understanding of the situation, which is really
> foggy after around 1890, and is woefully uninformed about the pre-1864
> North. Most is pure regurgitation of C. Vann Woodward's _Reunion and
> Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction_, which
> is excellent.

....

Thanks, Ben.

The masks are off now. The Republican Party leadership can't go on
pretending that Trent Lott's racism is an exceptional case. They have to
admit now that as a party they have a nasty habit of accommodating the
racist hard right. They won't be getting any more moderate votes with that
inclusive/kinder/gentler cover story unless they conduct a thorough
housecleaning, and "thorough" means a lot more than appointing Don Nickles
to replace Trent Lott.

/MAB

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 4:18:35 AM12/18/02
to

> Jonathan Mason wrote:
>
> > ....Now, the interesting thing is that others who voted against the MLK
> >
> > holiday included Jesse Helms (well, he is out of it now), Orrin Hatch
> > of Utah, and Don Nickles of Oklahoma.
>

Or how about John Ashcroft, with his honorary degree from Bob Jones
University?

<http://www.newstribune.com/stories/030100/sta_0301000027.asp>

/MAB

Il Lupo Rosso

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 9:04:17 AM12/18/02
to

"Martha Bridegam" <ma...@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:3E0039EC...@pacbell.net...

You do realize that you are dreaming, right?

paul.


Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 11:23:00 AM12/18/02
to

bayle wrote:
>
> "Ben Brumfield" <old...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:3E001D4C...@my-deja.com...
> > Jonathan Mason wrote:
> > >
> > > this Lott thing is really a lot of fun for
> > > all who oppose the Republicans.
> > >
> > It's also a lot of fun for those of us who'd like to see the Republicans
> > clean up their act enough that we'd be willing to vote for them. I
> > think we'd all like to approach the polls agonizing over which party we
> > *liked* better: "Ooh, if only I could vote for *both* of them!"
> >
> > > Although Orwell did fight on the Republican side in Spain, I think he
> > > would be with the Democrats now.
> >
> > It all depends on the issue.
> >
> > -Ben
>
> Agreed. Plus I'd like to know what Democrats they might be Orwell would be
> with. In my view the latest repudiation of the Democratic party was highly
> predictable. I'm currently watching another left make the same mistakes in
> Australia. It's amazing.
>

Are you actually there now?

> Also thanks for the history lesson. Have you heard anything about Genovese's
> summa, The Mind of the Master Class (the projected title)? I think it's
> supposed to be published soon.

Cool. Hadn't heard a thing. The last Genovese I bought was _The World
the Slaveholders Made_, which I haven't cracked yet.

-Ben

Gene Zitver

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 10:13:52 AM12/18/02
to
Jonathan Mason wrote

>This could run all the way to the next election with prominent
>Republicans being picked off at regular intervals.
>
>Personally I would prefer for elections to be fought by both parties
>just putting forward their manifestos to the electorate, but that is
>not the way it is done, so this Lott thing is really a lot of fun for
>all who oppose the Republicans.

And it's really freaking out GOP sympathizers like Andrew Sullivan:
http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2002_12_15_dish_
archive.html#90065766

Gene


Gene Zitver

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 11:48:11 AM12/18/02
to
Ben Brumfield wrote

>After beating its head against a wall for a while, Southern
>Democratic voters were swept up by the Republican Southern Strategy of
>1968. This was repeated in 1980, and national legislators from the
>South started crossing over to the Republican party. By 1994 the
>leadership of the Republican Party had passed firmly into southern
>hands. State legislators have been slower to cross over, but I'd be
>surprised if any southern state legislature was in Democratic hands in a
>decade.

Thanks, Ben. But I wonder if the Republican trend in the south is as inexorable
as you suggest. Do you think there's anything to what John Judis wrote in The
New Republic recently (based on the book he co-authored, _The Emerging
Democratic Majority_)?

"Just as the [William] McKinley majority was closely tied to the onset of
industrialization, the emerging Democratic majority is closely linked to the
spreading postindustrial economy. Democrats are strongest in areas where the
production of ideas and services has either redefined or replaced assembly-line
manufacturing, particularly the Northeast, the upper Midwest through Minnesota,
and the Pacific Coast--including the Sunbelt prize of California--but also
including parts of Southern states like Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Republicans, meanwhile, are strongest in states like Mississippi, Wyoming, and
South Carolina (as well as in former Democratic enclaves like Kentucky), where
the transition to postindustrial society has lagged."

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020805&s=judis080502&c=1

Admittedly Judis's thesis emerges rather battered from the recent elections,
but I think he points to some significant longer-term trends.

Gene

Kelwin Delaunay

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 12:57:51 PM12/18/02
to

"Jonathan Mason" <jm_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:fc36aad3.02121...@posting.google.com...

"My profit über alles," is the Republican message and this is a clear
example. Nickles harrying Lott? Pot? Kettle?

I guess it might be fun for some, but I've never found the savaging of
any being humorous or in the least bit pleasurable to watch. I guess
part of the reason for the savaging, though, is that Lott just isn't
smart enough to quit.

Kelwin


Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 1:39:09 PM12/18/02
to

Il Lupo Rosso wrote:

> "Martha Bridegam" <ma...@pacbell.net> wrote in message
> news:3E0039EC...@pacbell.net...
> >

> ....


> > The masks are off now. The Republican Party leadership can't go on
> > pretending that Trent Lott's racism is an exceptional case. They have to
> > admit now that as a party they have a nasty habit of accommodating the
> > racist hard right. They won't be getting any more moderate votes with that
> > inclusive/kinder/gentler cover story unless they conduct a thorough
> > housecleaning, and "thorough" means a lot more than appointing Don Nickles
> > to replace Trent Lott.
>
> You do realize that you are dreaming, right?
>
> paul.

Sure, but ... (yeah, that awful old Lennon song, I know, I know...)

See, Republicans have been announcing wishful thinking as political fact, and
offering similarly condescending "advice," to Democrats, for the last 20 years,
and I'm enjoying the chance to return some.

While I'm at it, let me add that the Republican Party's centralized party
discipline leaves all of the Party's members and fellow-travelers, and even the
useful idiots in its front organizations and "think tanks," open to the charge
of moral responsibility for the wrongful acts of their party leadership,
especially considering the number of neo-conservatives who crank up the
party-line gramophone when it comes to politics and fail to think for
themselves -- whereas the Democrats have a healthier federalized party
structure that tolerates dissent and accepts independent-minded grassroots
contributions.

Whew, that felt good.

Anyone who wishes is, however, welcome to stick all of the above in inverted
commas.

/MAB

Andrew Dennis

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 4:16:15 PM12/18/02
to
Martha Bridegam wrote:

That Bob Jones University, that's the one that does the correspondence
doctorates for the more rabid sort of protestant minister, yes? I heard it
described in connection with one of its alumni, the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley.
It went something like "Bob Jones University and Hog Ranch, an institution
with lower admittance requirements than most public lavatories and a
suspiciously low degree failure rate."

So it has a race-issues reputation as well?


--

Andrew Dennis

"A maze of twisty little laws, all different."

Jonathan Mason

unread,
Dec 18, 2002, 6:55:58 PM12/18/02
to
"Kelwin Delaunay" <kelwind...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<v01drv8...@corp.supernews.com>...
No, but revenge is sweet. Remember that the Republicans repudiated
Clinton's policies by attacking the man. OK, Clinton did some really
stupid things, and violated Kipling's dictum: "A woman is only a
woman, but a good cigar is a smoke", but the fact remains that the
Paula Jones harrassment case was set up and sponsored not because
anyone really believed that Ms. Jones had a case, which she did not,
but because deposing Clinton would make it possible to quesion him
about Levinsky under oath. In such a situation it was lose-lose for
Clinton.

Clinton was much vilified for lying under oath, but had he cheerfully
owned up to frolicking in the Oval office (or should that be oval
orifice) does anyone think he would have obtained the same accolades
as George Washington for his earlier confession in the case of the
fallen cherry tree? No, of course not.

As I said before, I would much rather the Republicans had brought down
Clinton and his acolyte Gore because they had superior policies than
on "character" issues, but that is not the way politics is played. Now
that Lott has opened the door to going after Republicans who have
given coded messages of opposition to the civil rights of what Kipling
might have called lesser breeds, this is a great opportunity for the
Democrats to mobilize the black vote to win crucial marginal states
like Florida.

bayle

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 4:32:25 AM12/19/02
to

"Ben Brumfield" <old...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:3E008945...@my-deja.com...

Yep. It's great. Beautiful, great climate, wonderful people. Paradise. Plus
the summer cricket season is going on so I have been watching alot of that.
Including a one day thrashing of England in person.

> > Also thanks for the history lesson. Have you heard anything about
Genovese's
> > summa, The Mind of the Master Class (the projected title)? I think it's
> > supposed to be published soon.
>
> Cool. Hadn't heard a thing. The last Genovese I bought was _The World
> the Slaveholders Made_, which I haven't cracked yet.
>
> -Ben

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2001/02/bschwarz.htm

The above link, from Feb 2001, has the following.

"his magnum opus, The Mind of the Master Class, written with his wife,
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, nears completion"

In another he is reported as giving a paper reporting result to be published
in the book.
http://www.nagara.org/clearinghouse/summer_98/08_98_summ.html

The Mind of the Master Class: The Life and Thought of the Southern
Slaveholders, 1790-1861.

The reports are a little old so I'm not sure what's going on. Thought you
might have heard something.

bayle

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 4:54:43 AM12/19/02
to

"Gene Zitver" <gzi...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20021218114811...@mb-da.aol.com...

Besides the point that Judas' thesis sounds elitist, i.e. Democrats are
smarter, do you really think that given the world situation and the
Democrats disingenuousness and lack of seriousness in dealing with it they
have any short term future? In Australia Labour has been tied into knots by
a prime minister John Howard, that no one took seriously a while ago. But he
speaks in simple language that has the virtue of clarity and common sense
(like GO?). It resonates, like Bush's, in today's climate.

Why don't you think the Lott affair will be a watershed for the Republicans?
By dumping Lott (along with the retirements of Helms and Thurmond) they can
shed their racist past and move on to issues that concern everyone. If the
blacks don't like Republicans so what. They don't vote Republican anyway.
And they will have a much harder time making a racism charge against
Elizabeth Dole or Lindsey Graham that anyone else cares about.

I'm wondering what you know about the Jewish vote in Nov. Since the exit
polls were screwed up, I didn't see any reports on the Jewish voting
patterns. Given the current state in the Middle East did more vote
Republican? I can't believe that there hasn't been a shift. I have been
talking to a fair number of Israelis and Bush is very popular in Israel
according to them. If the Jewish vote is splitting I would think that
suggest big problems for the Democrats. Any info would be appreciated.


Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 10:07:45 AM12/19/02
to

Gene Zitver wrote:
>
> Ben Brumfield wrote
>
> >After beating its head against a wall for a while, Southern
> >Democratic voters were swept up by the Republican Southern Strategy of
> >1968. This was repeated in 1980, and national legislators from the
> >South started crossing over to the Republican party. By 1994 the
> >leadership of the Republican Party had passed firmly into southern
> >hands. State legislators have been slower to cross over, but I'd be
> >surprised if any southern state legislature was in Democratic hands in a
> >decade.
>
> Thanks, Ben. But I wonder if the Republican
> trend in the south is as inexorable
> as you suggest.

I'm not sure I'd call it a "Republican trend". Since the 60's, the
south has become progressively more liberal in matters of race -- the
Republicans have merely been successful courting the trailing edge of
this trend. And it hasn't really cost them anything, either. My guess
is that if they purge Lott and the like, they still won't lose much of
the crypto-Dixiecrat vote. Those people are motivated by enough
race-blind issues the Republican party offers that it's still more
compelling than the Democrats.

And who really cares if you lose a few votes to the extremist third
parties, if you gain the swing vote?

> Do you think there's anything to what John Judis wrote in The
> New Republic recently (based on the book he co-authored, _The Emerging
> Democratic Majority_)?
>

I think that he's mistaking the trends within the urban ruling classes
for the trends within the country as a whole. David Brooks[*] has
written a wonderful book about the demographic making up Judis's
Democratic Majority called _Bobos in Paradise_ -- It's a bit light in
places, but I highly recommend it.

He's also written about the other side of that Democratic demographic --
the fast growing Republican one described in "Patio Man and the Sprawl
People":

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/531wlvng.asp

An example of this difference is, of course, the red-state/blue-state
thing, but I can see it within the political balance here in Austin.
Whether or not a light-rail referendum passes is entirely based on
demographics. If more people move here from California and the
Northeast than from Dallas or rural Texas, we'll get light-rail. If
not, we won't. There's no real reasoning with either side -- people
vote viscerally for what they view as obvious.

-Ben

[*] Ob Orwell: Here's Brooks's review of Hitchens on Orwell:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/653xorlj.asp

"But the main reason Orwell doesn't matter much to our current
controversies is that, as Hitchens acknowledges, he never really paid
much attention to the United States. And that illustrates a significant
difference between the debate we are engaged in today and the Cold War
debate that Orwell dominated.
[...]
No one thinks Islamists are heralding a glorious future or are the chief
influence on the world. Today it is how you feel about the United
States that determines whether or not you think America should play an
assertive and, if necessary, unilateral role around the world. "

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 10:09:35 AM12/19/02
to
Kelwin Delaunay wrote:
> I guess
> part of the reason for the savaging, though, is that Lott just isn't
> smart enough to quit.

Actually, it's that Lott wasn't smart enough to actually apologize. At
least not for a full week, anyway.

-Ben

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 10:15:24 AM12/19/02
to

bayle wrote:
>
> "Ben Brumfield" <old...@my-deja.com> wrote in message

> news:3E008945...@my-deja.com...
> >
> >
> > bayle wrote:

> > > Australia. It's amazing.
> > >
> > Are you actually there now?
> >
>
> Yep. It's great. Beautiful, great climate,
> wonderful people. Paradise. Plus
> the summer cricket season is going on
> so I have been watching alot of that.
> Including a one day thrashing of England
> in person.
>

Wonderful! And the food is just indecently good, isn't it? You should
be approaching the time for red champagne, if I recall. Pop a bottle of
Peter Rumball for me, if you get a chance -- they've quit importing it
into these parts.

> The reports are a little old so I'm not sure what's going on. Thought you
> might have heard something.

You know more than I do, I'm afraid. But thanks for the pointers. I'll
be on the lookout.

-Ben

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 10:19:38 AM12/19/02
to
bayle wrote:
>
> Why don't you think the Lott affair will be a watershed for the Republicans?

It all depends on how they handle it. Now that the Democrats have
finally started making hay out of this 2-week-old affair, some
Republicans are trying to close ranks.

> By dumping Lott (along with the retirements of Helms and Thurmond) they can
> shed their racist past and move on to issues that concern everyone. If the
> blacks don't like Republicans so what. They don't vote Republican anyway.

True in some cases, but Bush at least has made some first steps at
courting the black vote, in addition to his earlier efforts to court the
latino vote.

-Ben

Kelwin Delaunay

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 10:51:06 AM12/19/02
to

"...revenge is sweet." ??? Revenge is stupid because revenge is
self-defeating. Revenge leads to circular bad acts; it often leads to
escalation and the destruction of both sides.

:-) When I was writing my post, I thought about Clinton and "the
blowjobs heard endlessly round the world," but I couldn't make it
work. I couldn't equate blowjobs and lying about them with racism, so
I left them out. Thanks for bringing them up because I'd like to hear
responses to a question (several questions?) that have bothered me for
quite a while.

Why is it that those blowjobs and the lies about them could be
hammmered on month after month even bringing about articles of
impeachment, but stealing millions is worth perhaps a week and maybe
some jail time for a single scapegoat, selling products you know will
kill or maim isn't even actionable, lies about the effect of tax cuts
for the rich being good for the country (i.e. lining your pockets with
money taken from those in need) rates a ten-second sound bite a week,
and blatant racism has exposed more tap dancers in the federal
government than all the Broadway shows of the last ten years?

To rephrase it a bit, why is sex the greatest of all evils for the
vast, publically vocal majority of Americans?

(:-) And be sure not to tell them that GO liked to do it outdoors
without benefit of clergy.)

Thanks for your thoughts :-)
Kelwin

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 2:41:26 PM12/19/02
to

Ben Brumfield wrote:

> Gene Zitver wrote:
> >
> > Ben Brumfield wrote
> >
> > >After beating its head against a wall for a while, Southern
> > >Democratic voters were swept up by the Republican Southern Strategy of
> > >1968. This was repeated in 1980, and national legislators from the
> > >South started crossing over to the Republican party. By 1994 the
> > >leadership of the Republican Party had passed firmly into southern
> > >hands. State legislators have been slower to cross over, but I'd be
> > >surprised if any southern state legislature was in Democratic hands in a
> > >decade.
> >
> > Thanks, Ben. But I wonder if the Republican
> > trend in the south is as inexorable
> > as you suggest.
>
> I'm not sure I'd call it a "Republican trend". Since the 60's, the
> south has become progressively more liberal in matters of race -- the
> Republicans have merely been successful courting the trailing edge of
> this trend. And it hasn't really cost them anything, either. My guess
> is that if they purge Lott and the like, they still won't lose much of
> the crypto-Dixiecrat vote. Those people are motivated by enough
> race-blind issues the Republican party offers that it's still more
> compelling than the Democrats.
>
> And who really cares if you lose a few votes to the extremist third
> parties, if you gain the swing vote?

From ex-Congressman McCloskey about Strom Thurmond, the dirty details of the 1968
"Southern Strategy," and Republicans who may have to leave their party on
principle:
<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/12/19/ED66198.DTL>

c/o MAB

you

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 3:47:16 PM12/19/02
to
On Wed, 18 Dec 2002 01:03:40 -0800, Martha Bridegam
<ma...@pacbell.net> wrote:

>
>The masks are off now. The Republican Party leadership can't go on
>pretending that Trent Lott's racism is an exceptional case. They have to
>admit now that as a party they have a nasty habit of accommodating the
>racist hard right. They won't be getting any more moderate votes with that
>inclusive/kinder/gentler cover story unless they conduct a thorough
>housecleaning, and "thorough" means a lot more than appointing Don Nickles
>to replace Trent Lott.
>
>/MAB

Double standards

by Walter Williams [For those who judge a man's opinions based on the
color of
his skin, WW is black]

December 19, 2002

During World War II, ex-Ku Klux Klansman, now U.S. senator, Robert
Byrd vowed never to fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should
die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to
rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by
race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

Just a couple of years ago, Byrd lectured us on the floor of the
Senate that
"there are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my
time." I wonder whether he was talking about whites who act like
blacks.

San Francisco's esteemed mayor Willie Brown once described a
successful
legislative battle this way: "We beat those old white boys fair and
square."

Spike Lee said in disapproval of interracial marriages: "I give
interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they
see me on the street."

The National Association of Black Social Workers drafted a position
paper calling white adoptions of black children "cultural genocide."
They warned against "transculturation ... when one dominant culture
overpowers and forces another culture to accept a foreign form of
existence."

Donna Brazile, Al Gore's presidential campaign manager, called
Republicans "white boys" who seek to "exclude, denigrate and leave
behind."

At a celebration for retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., Sen. Trent
Lott, R-Miss., said that Mississippians were proud to have voted for
Thurmond in his 1948 presidential campaign "and, if the rest of the
country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems
over all these years."

Which among the above statements are the most racist, which have
received the most media coverage and which caused the most angst?
Clearly, Lott's statement received the most media coverage and created
the most angst, but it doesn't begin to qualify as the most racist.

You say: "Williams, that's different. High officials shouldn't honor
and
praise racists or ex-racists." Then what about Bill Clinton's
acknowledged political mentors -- former Arkansas Sen. J. William
Fulbright and former Arkansas Gov. Orville Faubus -- who were both
rabid
segregationists? Yet the former president highly praises Fulbright and
bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.

By the way, Fulbright was one of 19 senators who issued a statement
titled, "The Southern Manifesto," condemning the 1954 Supreme Court
decision of Brown vs. Board of Education and defending segregation.
That's a bit more recent than Thurmond's run for the White House. Does
Clinton's praise of Fulbright mean that he supported "The Southern
Manifesto," just as the assertion that Lott's praise of Thurmond means
he supported Thurmond's segregationist stand in 1948? If so, why not
also condemn Clinton?

I have several possible theories on the responses to Lott's rather
stupid remarks -- stupid in the context of our politically correct
world.

My first theory is that conservatives are held to higher standards of
decency, conduct and decorum than liberals. In other words, it's like
behavior that's tolerated in the case of children but ostracized when
adults do the same thing. That theory might also explain why racist
statements made by blacks are excused.

Another theory is that since 9-11 and President Bush's public
popularity, both appointed and unappointed black leaders have had no
platform and been paid no attention. Lott's gaffe gives them platform,
voice and mission.

Finally, the Democrats, having lost all branches of national
government
in the recent elections, are desperate to get something on Bush and
the
Republicans, and Trent Lott's statement is the answer to their
prayers.

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 4:11:22 PM12/19/02
to

Someone named "you", making an apparent first appearance on this newsgroup,
wrote:

>
> ...Double standards...

Please go away or give us the following:

- Your own reasons for posting pseudonymously.

- The name of the publication, if any, in which this article has appeared.

- The credentials of its author.

- Verifiable sources for all the comments attributed to public figures.

- One good reason why Trent Lott shouldn't resign.

/MAB

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 5:21:52 PM12/19/02
to

Martha Bridegam wrote:

OK, found a few answers to the above:


<http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/02/standards.html>
<http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams1.asp>
<http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles.html>
<http://www.capmag.com/author.asp?name=15>


It seems that, FWIW, Professor Williams is a member in good standing of the
conservative/libertarian academic establishment. I'd still like to see sources
for the quotes, but they're more convincing than before. Of course, if in fact
they are accurate, they only demonstrate something we knew already -- that
both major parties need a housecleaning. They don't make Trent Lott's behavior
tolerable, or Professor Williams' willingness to defend him comprehensible.

/MAB

Gene Zitver

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 6:00:36 PM12/19/02
to
Ben Brumfield wrote

>> Do you think there's anything to what John Judis wrote in The
>> New Republic recently (based on the book he co-authored, _The Emerging
>> Democratic Majority_)?
>>
>I think that he's mistaking the trends within the urban ruling classes
>for the trends within the country as a whole. David Brooks[*] has
>written a wonderful book about the demographic making up Judis's
>Democratic Majority called _Bobos in Paradise_ -- It's a bit light in
>places, but I highly recommend it.
>
>He's also written about the other side of that Democratic demographic --
>the fast growing Republican one described in "Patio Man and the Sprawl
>People":
>
>
>http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/531wlvng.asp

Thanks. I think Brooks is on to something here, although being a sunnily
optimistic conservative, he doesn't see any potential downsides to this
phenomenon. After all if the exurbs keep expanding as he says they will,
they'll eventually all collide with each other in a Kansas wheatfield. And it
won't be pretty. Also he has nothing to say about, for instance, the guy who
works on the loading dock at Home Depot, other than to refer to him as "some
minion." But how much money does this minion make? Does he have health
insurance and a pension? Where do he and his family live? I suppose thinking
about these things disqualifies me from becoming a Patio Man.

As for Judis, he writes that "Bush did better than Gore in the 50 counties that
grew the fastest during the '90s, averaging 62 percent of the vote, compared
with 33 percent for Gore. But these pro-Bush counties are relatively
small--averaging just 109,000 inhabitants--so their high growth rates translate
into only modest increases in actual Bush voters. By contrast, in the 50
counties with the largest overall population growth--metropolitan counties
averaging 1.46 million inhabitants--Gore won by a decisive 54 percent to 42
percent."

Judis emphasizes that minorities and at least a part of the white working class
are still essential elements of any Democratic majority. He also makes the
interesting point that in "Ideopolis" areas (like Seattle, WA, and Portland,
OR), Democrats tend to do much better among white working class voters:

Judis also argues that creative white-collar professionals are shifting
politically: "...many professionals have come to draw a sharp distinction
between their priorities and those of the market. Once advocates of
laissez-faire capitalism, they have grown increasingly amenable to government
regulation of business." Maybe, as you suggest, the more Republican ones become
Patio Men and Realtor Moms, while the BoBos favor the Democrats.

I was amused by Brooks's image of people fleeing to Sprinkler Cities from the
horrors of Volvos with "Million Mom March" stickers, Turkish restaurants and
theatres showing foreign films. You can run, folks, but you can't hide.

>An example of this difference is, of course, the red-state/blue-state
>thing, but I can see it within the political balance here in Austin.
>Whether or not a light-rail referendum passes is entirely based on
>demographics. If more people move here from California and the
>Northeast than from Dallas or rural Texas, we'll get light-rail. If
>not, we won't. There's no real reasoning with either side -- people
>vote viscerally for what they view as obvious.

I'll root for the out-of-staters on this one.

Gene


Gene Zitver

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 6:56:44 PM12/19/02
to
bayle (I see you downsized your name) wrote

>Besides the point that Judas' thesis sounds elitist, i.e. Democrats are
>smarter, do you really think that given the world situation and the
>Democrats disingenuousness and lack of seriousness in dealing with it they
>have any short term future? In Australia Labour has been tied into knots by
>a prime minister John Howard, that no one took seriously a while ago. But he
>speaks in simple language that has the virtue of clarity and common sense
>(like GO?). It resonates, like Bush's, in today's climate.

First, Judis isn't passing judgment on the intellectual superiority of
Democrats vs. Republicans. He's basing his thesis on actual election data and
demographic trends.

I said in a post here after the recent election that the Democrats need to
start taking serious positions on national security and foreign policy issues.
They should start by raising hell about Bush's massive hypocrisy in leading a
war on terrorism while continuing his father's cosy relationship with the
terrorism-funding Saudis.

>Why don't you think the Lott affair will be a watershed for the Republicans?
>By dumping Lott (along with the retirements of Helms and Thurmond) they can
>shed their racist past and move on to issues that concern everyone. If the
>blacks don't like Republicans so what. They don't vote Republican anyway.
>And they will have a much harder time making a racism charge against
>Elizabeth Dole or Lindsey Graham that anyone else cares about.

I don't think tossing Lott overboard is going to solve all the Republicans'
problems on race. One example: Attorney General-to-be John Ashcroft in a 1998
interview with the neo-Confederate magazine Southern Partisan:
"Your magazine also helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of
doing that, of defending Southern patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Stonewall]
Jackson and [Jefferson] Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do
more. We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect or else we'll be
taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred
fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/ashcroft.sp.4.html

The "perverted agenda" in question, I suppose, is the preservation of slavery.


>I'm wondering what you know about the Jewish vote in Nov. Since the exit
>polls were screwed up, I didn't see any reports on the Jewish voting
>patterns. Given the current state in the Middle East did more vote
>Republican? I can't believe that there hasn't been a shift. I have been
>talking to a fair number of Israelis and Bush is very popular in Israel
>according to them. If the Jewish vote is splitting I would think that
>suggest big problems for the Democrats. Any info would be appreciated.

Every election you hear about a supposed shift of Jewish voters to the
Republicans, but it never seems to happen. Israel is very important to Jewish
voters, but most Democrats in Congress are pro-Israel too. Jews are also
concerned with ecomic and social justice and separation of Church and State.
Things like school-prayer amendments and faith-based initiatives makes them
nervous. As long as the religious right has so much say in the Republican
party, there won't be any massive shift.

Gene


Jonathan Mason

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 7:19:21 PM12/19/02
to
"Kelwin Delaunay" <kelwind...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<v03qqbh...@corp.supernews.com>...

Thanks for bringing them up because I'd like to hear
> responses to a question (several questions?) that have bothered me for
> quite a while.
>
> Why is it that those blowjobs and the lies about them could be
> hammmered on month after month even bringing about articles of
> impeachment, but stealing millions is worth perhaps a week and maybe
> some jail time for a single scapegoat, selling products you know will
> kill or maim isn't even actionable, lies about the effect of tax cuts
> for the rich being good for the country (i.e. lining your pockets with
> money taken from those in need) rates a ten-second sound bite a week,
> and blatant racism has exposed more tap dancers in the federal
> government than all the Broadway shows of the last ten years?
>
> To rephrase it a bit, why is sex the greatest of all evils for the
> vast, publically vocal majority of Americans?
>
It isn't really, but you have to understand the the approximately 50%
of people who actually vote are mostly more conservative and older
than the population at large. Out of those 50%, most vote consistently
for the same party, so it is only the swing voters who count.

Particularly in the House of Representatives there are very few
marginal seats, so they assume vast importance.

Politics largely revolves around issues that pollsters have found to
be of interest to these important swing voters, who are probably only
5% of the population at large. Sex is easy to understand if it is
couched in the right terms. For example, the greatest fear of many
older women is that their husbands will abandon their wife and kids
and take up with a younger bit of fluff. So if a politician can be
painted as "cheating" on his wife, that can be a vote winner. Never
mind that perhaps the politician and his wife have an arrangement that
he can screw who he wants, because it is political suicide to admit to
such a thing, except possibly in San Francisco, where it would be
political suicide to be married at all.

So if you cheat and then lie about it, you are made for the attack
polical commercials. Obviously swing voters watch certain TV programs
that I don't, because political TV commercials are said to be very
influential, even though I don't recall seeing a single one in the 10
years I have been in the USA (but I have read about them).

Now this Lott thing has swung the game a bit in the favor of the
Democrates, because they could run ads saying something like: "In 1982
Trent Lott didn't even know who MLK was! Do you want this ignoramus to
represent you in Washington?" And you may well win over some waverers.
More to the point in this whole thing is that if the Democrats are to
win back the presidency, they need to get out a large black vote in
Florida. Another 500 last time around might have done the trick,
assuming that the Supreme Court would not have found a way to void the
result.

Martha Bridegam

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 7:36:17 PM12/19/02
to

Jonathan Mason wrote:

> ...because it is political suicide to admit to


> such a thing, except possibly in San Francisco, where it would be

> political suicide to be married at all....

Not so. City Hall does a brisk business in marriages and civil unions here, and in the spring Golden Gate
Park and the pretty area by the old Palace of Fine Arts are full of young couples posing for album photos.
You should really visit here some time.

/MAB

Ben Brumfield

unread,
Dec 19, 2002, 7:32:00 PM12/19/02
to
Gene Zitver wrote:
>
> Ben Brumfield wrote
>
> >> Do you think there's anything to what John Judis wrote in The
> >> New Republic recently (based on the book he co-authored, _The Emerging
> >> Democratic Majority_)?
> >>
> >I think that he's mistaking the trends within the urban ruling classes
> >for the trends within the country as a whole. David Brooks[*] has
> >written a wonderful book about the demographic making up Judis's
> >Democratic Majority called _Bobos in Paradise_ -- It's a bit light in
> >places, but I highly recommend it.
> >
> >He's also written about the other side of that Democratic demographic --
> >the fast growing Republican one described in "Patio Man and the Sprawl
> >People":
> >
> >
> >http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/531wlvng.asp
>
> Thanks. I think Brooks is on to something
> here, although being a sunnily
> optimistic conservative, he doesn't
> see any potential downsides to this
> phenomenon.

I'm a huge fan of Brooks, though I don't always agree with his politics
or aesthetics. I read _Bobos in Paradise_ first, and can tell you that
he describes the left-leaning Bobos in glowing terms. In fact, I was
really surprised to discover that he was conservative after reading that
book. "Patio Man" has a refreshing absense of the condescension you
usually see in writing about the suburbs, and I'm coming to the
conclusion that Brooks is simply an evenhanded writer.

> I suppose thinking
> about these things disqualifies me from becoming a Patio Man.
>

Probably. But then your posting to a literature discussion newsgroup
disqualifies you more.

[Interesting stuff by Judis snipped.]

> Judis emphasizes that minorities and at
> least a part of the white working class
> are still essential elements of any Democratic
> majority.

What does he suggest doing to retain or reclaim that white working
class? You know, the sort of midwestern white male union members that
were the swing vote in 2000?


> Judis also argues that creative white-collar professionals are shifting
> politically: "...many professionals have come to draw a sharp distinction
> between their priorities and those of the market. Once advocates of
> laissez-faire capitalism, they have grown increasingly amenable to government
> regulation of business."

I'd buy that, particularly after the market bubble burst.

[snip]


> >Whether or not a light-rail referendum passes is entirely based on
> >demographics. If more people move here from California and the
> >Northeast than from Dallas or rural Texas, we'll get light-rail. If
> >not, we won't. There's no real reasoning with either side -- people
> >vote viscerally for what they view as obvious.
>
> I'll root for the out-of-staters on this one.
>

I voted with them, but am now rethinking the issue.

-Ben

Jonathan Mason

unread,
Dec 20, 2002, 7:58:31 AM12/20/02
to
Martha Bridegam <ma...@pacbell.net> wrote in message news:<3E026600...@pacbell.net>...
Couldn't afford it, so I will send Barbara Ehrenreich as a proxy. But
are the young marrieds the swing vote?

bayle

unread,
Dec 20, 2002, 8:58:32 AM12/20/02