Madness, Madness

by Dave Schuler on July 31, 2014

I don’t dwell on it but my fundamental beef with the Republican Party is with its acceptance of mostly Southern social conservative Democrats, the Wallace Democrats, Dixiecrats literal and figurative, in the late 1960s and early 70s. For me it’s a sort of Original Sin whose taint can fade but can never be washed away. However tentative my relationship to the Democratic Party might be I could never consider myself a Republican for that reason. Consequently, I can be a Democrat or an independent which for someone who lives in Chicago means a Democrat.

That is not to say that I have the dewy-eyed naïveté about the party that so many Democrats seem to have or, at least, express these days. Chided as I might be for suggesting from time to time that “they all do it”, the reality is that they all do it.

In the midst of the furor over some Republicans (and Democrats!) suggesting that the president is courting impeachment, Katherine Miller of Buzzfeed has picked up a fine example illustrating that both parties are in fact chockful of crazies. Rail as they might against prospective impeachment of President Obama by a Republican House, a bill to impeach President Bush was apparently introduced in the Democratically-controlled House of 2008. Its sponsor was Dennis Kucinich and its eleven co-sponsors included Sheila Jackson-Lee, Keith Ellison, and Jim McDermott.

When you condemn government by impeachment, you might at least be even-handed about it.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

TastyBits July 31, 2014 at 8:55 am

@ Dave Schuler

… For me it’s a sort of Original Sin whose taint can fade but can never be washed away. …

I do not care about your party or politics, and I do not care about the Republicans. I do find it fascinating that people only have a problem with the Wallace Democrats becoming Wallace Republicans.

All the years they were stringing up black folks was not an issue, but when they started voting for the wrong candidates, there was a problem. Strange fruit was rather common.

It would seem that the Original Sin should be upon the Democrats.

PD Shaw July 31, 2014 at 9:07 am

From the link: Representative Sheilla Jackson Lee: “We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority.”

This is misleading, she’s complaining about a war authorized by the Iraq War Resolution passed in both houses. If her complaint is that Bush misled Congress to get that authority, she surely cannot mean the executive has the authority to mislead?

IMHO, most attempts to make comparisons to Bush are the result of sloppy thinking. The executive has Constitutional authority independent of Congress in matters of foreign affairs, but his domestic authority almost always has to come from Congress.

Dave Schuler July 31, 2014 at 9:09 am

Tastybits:

The Democrats have repentance going for them. The poster child for that was the late Sen. Robert Byrd. I wish they were more sincere.

However, your point is well-taken. There is no Immaculate Conception in politics.

PD:

Or, said another way, the bill actually introduced was even less valid than a hypothetical one today might be.

PD Shaw July 31, 2014 at 9:52 am

I watch the lawsuit with fascination; the stakes seem high; and the judges difficult to pin down. The stakes are higher than I believe most Democrats appreciate; they should root for the House to have standing to challenge the executive, but for this particular challenge to fail. Jonathan H. Adler is skeptical, but summarizes some of the legal arguments.

PD Shaw July 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

Oops, I am in the wrong thread.

jan July 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm

It would seem that the Original Sin should be upon the Democrats.

I agree with Tasty, on this point.

Historically speaking, it has been the democrats who subverted the rights of blacks from the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, forward to the Civil’s Right’s Act, some 101 years later. Jim Crow, Black Codes,KKK, on down the line, have originated with the democratic party. Essentially they were late coming on board with finally implementing equal rights for everyone, no matter their color. It was the GOP who consistently advocated for policies that augmented black emancipation, by introducing legislation, for their the realization of the empowerment granted in 1863, over and over again.

Nonetheless, dems have taken credit for — actually BS’ed credit — and assumed the role of becoming the political savior of this demographic. The ironic aspect of it all is that the liberal wing still holds this group down — substituting suppressive tactics now for ones that negatively enable black Americans, making them beholding to a party who literally does little to nothing (but give empty empathy and rally them for votes) to advance their lifestyles. Just look at unemployment, poverty, incarceration, figures and compare them to the percentages of blacks who have the highest numbers!

It’s all such a ruse! However, it still gives the dems a dependable 90% plus of their vote.

The Democrats have repentance going for them.

Repentance can be cheap words if no action is taken to genuinely support it. The democrats use their sympathetic, guilt-ridden words to politically capture blacks into thinking that withour dems at the helm all rights gained will be forfeited. Voter ID, certain archaic parts of the Voter’s Rights Act, affirmative action (endorsing reverse discrimination) are forever brought up as wedge issues to keep African Americans in tow and contained in their loyalty to the democratic party. For the few, in this minority group who stray, embracing conservative ideas, they are then heavily maligned, cat-called as not being real blacks, or simply traitors to their race.

It’s really disgraceful how this political gig has worked for the democrats — giving them more power, as they have left blacks to stagnate, wallowing in their dependence on limited social policies providing them mostly with a go-nowhere future.

steve July 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Forget the titles and follow the people. The folks who were Democrats in the 50s are now Republicans. If your beef is with the people and the policies/behaviors for which they advocated, then you should switch parties.

I assume black people have their own reasons for what they do. I doubt that they get mislead anymore than some white people. I think that if Republicans gave them even a minimal reason to change allegiance, they would do so. However, I thin recent attempts to reduce poor people’s ability to vote make that less likely. Also, every few months my conservative friends send me cartoons with Obama looking like Aunt Jemima or Sambo. They find it hilarious.

Steve

TastyBits July 31, 2014 at 3:44 pm

@Dave Schuler

If you were a Democrat during that era, do you need to atone for your sins? Who is worse the sinner or the enabler?

TastyBits July 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

@jan

The Democrats today want to squirm away from their past, but their present is no better.

The Democrats were not the cause of the racism of the past. It was the country as a whole. It is no different today. Nobody wants to be around a large number of black or brown folks. Everybody is against racism until the third black family moves onto their block. Then, they are suddenly concerned about the area going downhill.

During the Jim Crow era, you can find horror stories all over the country. Nobody was for segregation until the black folks started moving in.

You have one group of white people blaming another group of white people for black people’s problems, and black people’s problems continue to grow.

I happen to agree with Minister Farrakhan. Both groups caused the problems, and both groups are going to continue to cause problems. Why black folks would trust either group is beyond me.

(I do not get the UFO stuff.)

CStanley August 1, 2014 at 7:17 am

I came of age in the Reagan era, and wasn’t aware of the Southern strategy until years later.

Looking at it in the rear view mirror, I see it a bit differently. Playing to racist sentiment, to the extent that the GOP did so, was wrong. On the other hand, I don’t think the Democrats by and large were choosing the path of righteousness, but rather were cynically exploiting the other side of the racial divide (and as time went on I think the exploitation became even more obvious, and more harmful.) The former is less forgivable, but not to the extent that I’ve ever felt that I should eschew the political philosophy that I think is the healthiest (note that it’s the philosophy of conservatism, not the party, that gets my vote.)

In short, I feel that if I aligned and voted for a party on the basis of virtue, I’d never vote. Weighing which is worse has always seemed a fool’s errand to me, and I think those who say it’s a false equivalence are kidding themselves (easy to do these days, when media sources present the crazies of one side and ignore them on the other.)

jan August 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

In short, I feel that if I aligned and voted for a party on the basis of virtue, I’d never vote.

And, what would that accomplish? Life is full of comparisons and contrasts, dealing with nothing short of weighing the inherent flaws in people and/or the greater society. Perfection is not really much of a choice, most of the time. Being virtuous is considered old-fashioned and boring. It’s why good news stories get little play over the red meat and bloody ones.

Having said all that, your critique of political parties is probably why more and more people are opting to become Independents — shedding any R or D allegiance, choosing instead to sway back and forth according the greater the pros, or the lesser the cons, exhibited by a party during a particular time period.

steve August 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

“Weighing which is worse has always seemed a fool’s errand to me”

That’s mostly how I vote. I like to argue a bit so I may defend Obama policies more than i should, but I don’t think he isa a great president, just better than the alternatives that were offered. In some local votes where I personally know people running I may actually vote FOR someone, but in national elections I am deciding who is worse and voting against them.

Steve

jan August 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

but in national elections I am deciding who is worse and voting against them.

That’s how I vote as well, Steve. Of course you and I differ on how to get from point A to point B, explaining why the qualities we are seeking in a candidate or their agendas also differ.

Sometimes, though, voting does seem to be more an exercise in futility, rather than actualizing any semblance of accomplishment by creating a higher quality of life, more opportunity or heightening the vibrancies of meaning for people.

TMLutas August 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

The early seventies was 50 years ago. Anybody who made that switch as a twenty something is now in their seventies and the demographic tables have mostly caught up with anyone older than that at the time. The GOP did not stop being an anti-racism party because new people came into it. Social and political groups don’t work that way. The new entrants do exert an influence but it pales in comparison to the influence flowing the other way.

Democrats pulled over the blacks into their orbit and exerted a mostly malign influence these past 50 years. Republicans pulled over racist whites in the south and indisputably exerted a positive influence these past 50 years.

So who has the original sin?

jan August 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm

“Democrats pulled over the blacks into their orbit and exerted a mostly malign influence these past 50 years. Republicans pulled over racist whites in the south and indisputably exerted a positive influence these past 50 years.”

That kind of political paradoxical twist is something few liberal democrats will admit, let alone concur with. For so many on the liberal left, racism is a drilled-in behavior that never ebbs, rarely changing it’s victimology from white suppressing black, and is always attributed, through revisionist interpretations, to Republicans. That’s why affirmative action continues to be a justified remedy in the liberal community, and also why they vehemently oppose voter ID capabilities, as their patronizing attitudes can’t accept the fact that being smart, savvy and personally ambitious is not predicated on the color of one’s skin.

No, for many liberals racial recidivism is just around the corner, hibernating, waiting to spring into action unless tons and tons of social programs, special considerations laced with social justice themes, are not growing and permanently solidified into place. Consequently, generational dependency has been inculcated into American lives, creating traps of helplessness, as well as convenient political quid pro quo agreements among bracketed constituencies where it’s stressed, “When you vote for us, we’re promise to make life easier for you.”

Cstanley August 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Hmmm, your interpretation is a bit different than my intended thought, Steve, so I suppose I didn’t express it well.

I too often find myself voting for the lesser of two evils in that no one aligns perfectly with my beliefs and no one seems even close to perfectly qualified, or perfectly ethical. My comment though pertained to the weighing of the two parties’ general tactics and “crazy factors”. I don’t agree with those who see a great deal more to repulse them from one party or the other.

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