A Strange Mixture

I found Matthew Delmont’s piece in Atlantic, “When Black Americans Exited Left”, a strange mixture of solid analysis and fantasy. For one thing, I think there’s room for a companion piece: “When Republicans Accepted the Dixiecrats”.

I think he’s strongest when writing about history. For my money here’s the meat of the piece:

After the 1964 election, where Republican candidate Barry Goldwater described the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional, black voters essentially found themselves in a one-party system for presidential elections. Republicans turned their attention to white voters in the South and suburbs and have made few serious attempts in subsequent campaigns to appeal to the African American electorate. Richard Nixon in 1960 is the last Republican candidate to earn more than 15 percent of black votes.

This is a problem for black voters, because the Democratic Party’s vision of racial justice is also extremely limited. Northern liberals pioneered what scholars now call “colorblind racism.” That’s when racially neutral language makes extreme racial inequalities appear to be the natural outcome of innocent private choices or free-market forces rather than intentional public policies like housing covenants, federal mortgage redlining, public housing segregation, and school zoning.

Democratic lawmakers drafted civil-rights legislation that would challenge Jim Crow laws in the South while leaving de facto segregation in the North intact. When NBC News asked the civil-rights organizer Bayard Rustin why many African American communities rioted the summer after the bill passed, he said, “People have to understand that although the civil-rights bill was good and something for which I worked arduously, there was nothing in it that had any effect whatsoever on the three major problems Negroes face in the North: housing, jobs, and integrated schools…the civil-rights bill, because of this failure, has caused an even deeper frustration in the North.” Today’s protest movements against second-class citizenship in Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland, and elsewhere are in part a legacy of the unresolved failures of civil-rights legislation.

The Civil Right Act was enacted by a coalition of liberal Democrats and Northeastern Republicans. Many of the political descendants of both of those groups now consider themselves independents. Today’s progressive Democrats don’t resemble the liberal Democrats of a half century ago so much as they do Michael Harrington’s vision of a “Democratic Left” while today’s Republicans are increasingly looking a lot like the Southern Democrats of 50 years ago.

At least to my ear his conclusion is a fantasy:

Whoever wins the nomination will likely garner support from over 85 percent of black voters, but African Americans still lack a mechanism to hold Democrats accountable once they are elected. Consequently, the outlook for blacks in the United States regarding housing, jobs, education, and criminal justice is little better today than when Kennedy helped get King out of jail in 1960. During this election year, they will again weigh what they won and what they lost when they cast their lot with the Democratic Party.

If there are any signs of that process, I don’t see them. The Democratic Party’s position appears to be more like “take it or leave it” and “at least we’re better than the Republicans”, which after a half century is cold comfort.

58 comments… add one
  • michael reynolds Link

    The problem for African-Americans is that they lack power. They are 13% of the population and stable, not growing. They control far less wealth than their numbers would suggest. They lack the option of simply disappearing into the broader population.

    They had no choice but to align with the Democrats – minorities need allies, and the GOP had clearly told them to drop dead. It’s worked out about as well as the white working class throwing its lot in with the GOP. Not to beat the obvious to death but the logical alliance is between white and black working classes – an alliance made impossible by the fact that the GOP has enabled and encouraged and exploited racism. Quite deliberate, of course, divide and rule.

    But blaming either African-Americans or the Democrats for the condition of black America is a filthy lie. This is Nixon’s former henchman:

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

    “You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

    The stumbling block remains white racism as encouraged by the Republican Party.

    It is really time for Americans to face their own history and for white people to stop denying reality and to stop blaming their victims.

  • I don’t disagree with most of what you wrote, Michael, but I think you’re letting the Democratic leadership off the hook too easily. Blacks are 13% of the U. S. population but they’re a lot higher percent than that of the Democratic Party and an even higher percent of the reliable Democratic voters.

  • Guarneri Link

    The Democrat Party has accomplished nothing but to ensure continued poverty for blacks by turning them into our national pets. 50 years of policy failure should be enough evidence. As for Republicans, almost all of their policy prescriptions have not been tried.

    Hillary Clinton periodically speaking in faux black dialect while taking her marching orders from Goldman Sachs doesn’t really make for a bright future for blacks. But since race politics have become the norm, and very lucrative for the race hustling industry and the Democrats, I don’t expect much to change.

  • CStanley Link

    Il second what Dave said. At some point you have to acknowledge that if you are a faithful Democratic Party voter you are enabling them to keep using minority votes as a step stool to get past 50%, and then enacting policies that actually harm their interests.

    Now I can understand that you might feel there is no other way for you to vote, no viable third option, but this is exactly how GOP voters who care about the plight of black people feel yet you routinely chastise us because we pick the party that ignores them rather than the party that uses them.

  • Modulo Myself Link

    Let’s see–the Democrats have fought to keep SS from being privatized, they’ve increased access to healthcare, and they’ve supported affirmative action. They are also the only people at the table who have defended any sort of welfare program.

    These are all things that are desired by poor African-Americans. So to believe that the relationship between the Democratic party and African-Americans is one where the party is using them without giving anything in return is to believe that African-Americans are idiots who can’t think for themselves.

  • michael reynolds Link

    So, I show you all clear, positive proof, straight from the horse’s mouth, that the Republican president in 1968 launched a deliberate, premeditated, purely partisan attack on the black community – an attack that resulted in hundreds of thousands of black men being sent to prison, destroying hundreds of thousands of black families, and the reaction is. . .

    Yeah, but, but, but: Democrats. Why haven’t Democrats somehow found a way to compensate for the fact that one political party is determined to impoverish and imprison the black population? Huh, why?

    Because it’s really easy to destroy and a whole lot harder to build, that’s why. Duh. Because if I shoot you in the leg that takes me three seconds but it’ll mean ten thousand hours of physical therapy for you. Duh. It’s of a piece with the last seven years of, “Why hasn’t Obama managed to clean up the astonishing mess we left him?”

    For the last 300 plus years we have set out to deliberately destroy black America. And that stuff does not go away with a snap of the fingers. Why not ask why there are so few Jews in fucking Poland while you’re at it?

    Why, I haven’t seen a single synagogue anywhere near Oswiecim, so I guess the Jews around here are just not very committed.

    Why, oh why, can’t a small, easily-marked minority come off of 200 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow, and deliberate, on-going attacks by one of the two parties, and somehow in an age of declining economy, when even white folks are feeling pressure, manage to parse the politics and come out winners! Why? Why? I just can’t figure out why?

    The only thing we can be sure of, as white people, is that it is all their fault and not ours. Clearly. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with white people being so obtuse and so immoral and so lacking in fundamental honesty that we won’t even admit what’s been done, let alone make any effort at redress.

    Why is my victim just lying there bleeding? Why is she dressed that way in all those bloody rags? Why doesn’t she want to date me? Why? Why?

    Jesus Christ in a chicken basket. Next let’s see if we can put our heads together and figure out why there are so few native Americans. One thing is sure: it’s the Indians’ fault.

  • steve Link

    ” then enacting policies that actually harm their interests.”

    What policies did the Democrats passed that harmed the interests of black people?


  • Chicago is overwhelmingly Democratic. There hasn’t been a Republican mayor here in 80 years; the city council has one Republican.

    If you can come up with an explanation of the problems of black folk in Chicago that completely exonerates Democrats, I’ll be very surprised. Democrats haven’t been innocent bystanders here.

    The “Council Wars” of the 1980s when Harold Washington was mayor wasn’t between Republicans and Democrats. It was between white Democrats and black Democrats.

    Note that in the body of the post I chide the author for de-emphasizing the Republicans’ conscious decision to pursue Southern white voters and to exclude blacks. But let’s not pretend that Democrats are uninvolved.

    What policies did the Democrats passed that harmed the interests of black people?

    That wasn’t my claim but I’ll respond anyway. I think you can either maintain that AFDC (enacted under Roosevelt) hurt black people or repealing AFDC (under Clinton) hurt black people but I don’t honestly see how you accept both at the same time.

    I’d also say that the bipartisan immigration policy has hurt black people.

  • jan Link

    I show you all clear, positive proof, straight from the horse’s mouth, that the Republican president in 1968 launched a deliberate, premeditated, purely partisan attack on the black community….

    Time, circumstances and events move on Michael. One statement, like the one excerpted, does not necessarily glue an entire party in shame for forever. The dems have had decades to make responsible changes, in not only the black community, but also in various poverty pockets around the country. Instead, they have opted to enable the under classes by limiting choices to ones only advocating old social progressive policies promoting government dependency, rather than brainstorming ideas, innovation cultivating self empowerment.

    As for your assertion of one party being responsible for impoverishing and imprisoning the black population, it’s a claim that goes beyond the pale in being a fair or rational analysis of societal problems growing more dire by the day. IMO, our senseless policies have been not only derived from but also nourished by both parties constant competition/warfare with one another. The underlying goals of today’s partisan politics is to prove how “bad, cruel, evil” the other party is. This is done with hyperbole and rancid, unproductive dialogues, which only creates a void in activating any substantive reform that could possibly create valuable, long standing alternatives to those who currently are left to marinate in unending poverty, crime (like seen in Chicago and Baltimore), broken families, and insufferable, dead end schools (hosted by self-serving union rule).

    Like what Drew said, poor people have become no more than “national pets” to be played with and waved around like rag dolls when it suits a party’s pleasure. For the dems, their novel advocacies incorporate strutting empathy-filled rhetoric — like sermons from Baptist preachers — while the republicans remain stuck on the sidelines cogitating their navels on what to do.

  • CStanley Link

    Similar to Dave’s point about AFDC, under Clinton there was a massive ramping up of incarceration of black men for drug offenses, which Obama has started to reverse.

    As to Steve’s question, I think Moynihan mostly got it right but he was overruled. I do agree with Michael’s premise that 300 years of subjugation wasn’t going to reverse overnight and society had (has) a responsibility to act affirmatively to remedy as much as possible. But that means evaluating policy honestly instead of using the issue as a perpetual political cudgel.

  • CStanley Link

    Apparently the veracity of that Erlichman quote is in question. His five children collectively raised doubts that he would have held those views, and conveniently he is no longer around to issue a denial.

  • jan Link


    A lot of what is said to be incorporated into Black History has undergone a revision of factual content. This includes many intervening comments, even remotely attached to who did what to undermine black culture, and what should have been a natural course of advancement after the Civil War.

  • Modulo Myself Link


    One explanation is that Chicago was and is a violently racist city. The white mobs there were worse, King says, than any he encountered in the South. The people who lined up and threw rocks at him didn’t vanish into thin air. They created the policies and backed democrats and were happy to believe that welfare handouts doomed black people even as eventually their children or their neighbors or their better selves recoiled from the worst manifestations of racism.

    The other is that the Democrats managed–somehow–to become a party of black people as well as white people. But here’s the thing–black politicians can offer up programs that end up being bad for black people. Lots of plans that are well-intended backfire. But this is not the same thing as being out to get black people. Human failure is not white supremacy. And that is what the GOP has been about since Nixon–screwing, demonizing, or ignoring blacks.

  • Modulo Myself Link

    Apparently the veracity of that Erlichman quote is in question. His five children collectively raised doubts that he would have held those views, and conveniently he is no longer around to issue a denial.

    Yes, who could believe a guy who was a close confidante of Richard Nixon would harbor prejudice against anybody?

  • Keep in mind that I’m not defending Republicans. Just pointing out what is obvious to me. That the Democrats are not doing right by black people. I honestly don’t see how anybody could see it any other way without willful blindness.

  • Modulo Myself Link

    That the Democrats are not doing right by black people.

    I agree, but they are doing far better than the GOP does for poor whites. I’d like to believe, barring a revolution, that the party will continue to move left and open up to challenging the class structure everyone in this country is servile to, and meanwhile continue to shed the worst Clinton/Emmanuel 90s figures. Unfortunately there’s the fact that one might be President, but still…

  • Modulo Myself Link

    As to Steve’s question, I think Moynihan mostly got it right but he was overruled. I do agree with Michael’s premise that 300 years of subjugation wasn’t going to reverse overnight and society had (has) a responsibility to act affirmatively to remedy as much as possible. But that means evaluating policy honestly instead of using the issue as a perpetual political cudgel.

    So what you’re saying is that the one guy who really understood black poverty was a white Harvard-trained sociologist, who wrote a paper tying in the systematic attack on blacks and black men in particular by whites with the family structures of the urban poor. Over time, the systematic attack part was dropped in the memories of Moynihan’s fans in favor of black family dysfunction appearing either sui generis or as an effect of the liberal welfare state. Both of these are highly flattering to white people, because it absolves them (unless they are liberals of course) of any responsibility. And both were rejected by black people.

  • steve Link

    “I think you can either maintain that AFDC (enacted under Roosevelt) hurt black people or repealing AFDC (under Clinton) hurt black people but I don’t honestly see how you accept both at the same time.”

    Since these were 50 years apart, it is possible circumstances were much different. It should also be noted then, that under Clinton black UE dropped and wages rose.

    As to the incarceration rates, the big increase was in state prisoners and most of that occurred before the 1994 Clinton bill. Yup, it made it worse, but was not the big factor.

    Unless there are better examples, I would think you can say that Democratic policy has not always placed the needs of black people at the top of its agenda, but the claims that they harmed blacks are overblown.



  • TastyBits Link

    For those unaware of the quote @michael reynolds has provided, it is from 1994, and the writer did not think it was important at the time. In a Harper’s article, Dan Baum states, “At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition.” The reason:

    Baum explained to The Huffington Post why he didn’t include the quote in his 1996 book, Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure.

    “There are no authorial interviews in [Smoke and Mirrors] at all; it’s written to put the reader in the room as events transpire,” Baum said in an email. “Therefore, the quote didn’t fit. It did change all the reporting I did for the book, though, and changed the way I worked thereafter.”

    The quote does, however, appear in the 2012 book The Moment, a collection of “life-changing stories” from writers and artists.
    Nixon Aide Reportedly Admitted Drug War Was Meant To Target Black People

    (The Huffingtonpost article includes an update with a link to a post with a rebuttal from three White House staff workers.)

    As seemingly committed to ending or substantially changing the War on Drugs, he does nothing with this bombshell quote for another 18 years, and coincidentally, it cannot be confirmed since Ehrlichman died in 1999.

    The Dan Rather Bush National Guard story proved that for the Left facts and proof do not need to be true. “False but true” is true. Honestly, this thing smells like a week old dead fish sitting outside during the hot and humid summer, but there is no odor too foul for the Left.

    What we have is a lie, and a lot of people who want to be fooled.

    Let us review the truth. The US enacted Amendments to the Constitution to protect the new citizens who were the previously enslaved, and it also granted or strengthened the existing rights for free people of color. The US Supreme Court came along and decided to repeal and replace those rights in Plessy v. Ferguson.

    This ruling allowed all governmental bodies (local, state, federal) of all types to segregate based upon race, and therefore, they were able to enforce this segregation through the legal system – Jim Crow laws. This was not limited to the South. There were laws enacted everywhere in the US when the number of black people became too large. These included New England, the West Coast, the Northwest, the Midwest, etc.

    For over 50 years, it was legal to treat a black person as a second class citizen anywhere in the US, and even if they were not being treated badly at that particular moment, it could change at any moment. When Jim Crow laws were enacted, there was no legal redress.

    This provided the breeding ground for segregation-at-large and the misuse of the legal system and outright illegal behavior. The legal system refused to punish acts (violent or non-violent) against whites, or the all white jury would refuse to convict. The legal system would also be used against to convict black persons of crimes they did not commit. When all else failed, there were the lynchings.

    If Plessy v. Ferguson had been decided the other way, there is no way to know what the alternate history would have been, but I think it is reasonable to assume it would not have been worse. I think it would have been substantially better. At the end of Reconstruction, the South was not doing well, and there were a lot of white people who were as bad or not much better off than the black people.

    There would have been friction, but it would not have been government sanctioned friction. Without the fear of government de facto or de jure sanctioned violence spilling onto them, it would have allowed the Northern “carpetbaggers” to come south more freely. The South would have changed from the influx of new people and the freedom of the recently freed people.

    Instead, the Democrats gave the US Jim Crow laws, and they segregated everywhere they could. The Democrat party would have withered and died without Jim Crow. When the Democrats suddenly found morality and threw off their racism, the party was still filled with the former racists – overt and covert.

    When the Democrats found morality, they stood up said, “sorry”, and then, they went about their business like they had not been oppressing black people for over 50 years. When Democrats were oppressing black people, they were not passing voter ID laws or running unfavorable TV ads. Democrats were passing Jim Crow laws and running nooses over tree limbs.

    The reason the black community is devastated is due to the Democrats Jim Crow years. Period. Democrats dehumanized black people for over 50 years, and then, they refuse to acknowledge the damage caused by them. Nothing that is occurring today would be as bad as it is had the Democrats not designated black people as second class citizens until the day they changed their mind and decided they were equal.

    If anybody should pay reparations to the black community, it is the Democrat party. This is why they attack anybody over anything that could possible lead to the truth. This is why they hate Minister Farrakhan. According to Leftist theology, no black person can be a racist. It is impossible. Well, they make one exception – Minister Farrakhan. He is not a Republican or conservative, but he does not agree with much of the Leftist dogma. He does not care about politics. He cares about black people. His people.

    Again, I do not advise any black person to join or consider the Republicans. My advice is to never trust any white person especially one who claims to be helping them. I advise them to check out Minister Farrakhan because he has their best interest in mind. They do not need to convert or agree with everything he says (especially the UFO stuff).

    Regarding Goldwater, Libertarians, and the Civil Rights Acts, the problem is that black citizens were unconstitutionally treated as second class citizens for over 50 years. The question is how to rectify that situation. The Constitution made them first class citizens, but the Supreme Court repealed and replaced it. Even with those Acts, the damage has not been undone.

    I agree with Libertarians that private property rights should be protected, but how do you return the unconstitutional economic gains you obtained from your private property? There may have been better solutions, but yelling property rights over and over ain’t gonna make them appear them.

  • steve Link

    “If anybody should pay reparations to the black community, it is the Democrat party. ”

    Nope, it should be the people, not the party. All of those people went and joined the GOP, largely as a response to the passage the civil rights laws. Look at the map where you had the Jim Crow laws. Look at map for the red states now.


  • jan Link

    Steve, with supreme simplicity you dust off the historic debris left by the democrat party.

  • Andy Link

    If one takes a slightly different worldview and looks at events and circumstances in terms of elite vs. non-elite, I think it makes more sense. In a two party system each side will have dominant factions – other, lesser groups will need only enough pandering to make them more appealing than the alternative. Working class whites and African Americans are necessary pawns to achieve an end, but at the end of the day they usually just get crumbs from the table. So it’s not surprising that Trump, Bernie and BLM are forces to be reckoned with since they represent political communities that have, up to this point, been secondary and tertiary players on the political stage who receive a lot of unfulfilled promises. And you look at the mainstream candidates and it’s more of the same.

    Another way to look at it is in terms of generational differences. MLKJ was probably one of the greatest strategists of the past two centuries – no American alive can match him. Or, compare the political leadership of the boomers to the silent and “greatest” generation – I think history will not be kind to the boomer political class. Sadly, on a personal level, I fear my own generation may be even worse than the boomers if Cruz and Rubio are any indication of what’s to come.

  • TastyBits Link


    Jim Crow laws were enacted from Maine to California and everywhere inbetween. There is an island (if I recall correctly) in Maine that they declared the inhabitants insane because they were interracial couples. I have not kept a running tally of all the places that popup, but it is far from the South.

    Anytime the number of black residents became too large (subjective term), segregation laws would be enacted. Even into the 1970’s, there were riots in the North when busing was enacted to integrate the schools.

    The point about the Democrats is that you do not do what they did for over 50 years and wake up one morning having changed your mind. In fact, they only chose to exploit race from the other side. It is nice that Democrats no longer feel it is OK to string up people because of the color of their skin, but they are still using people based upon race.

    You may not do it, but your party does.

    We will give you all a pass for the racists in your party allowing the Tuskegee Experiments to continue, but are we supposed to let you all get away with allowing the CIA to funnel cheap cocaine through the black gangs to finance various operations? Was there not one of the shiney new non-racist Democrats that thought, “I would not want cheap cocaine funneled through my community, and now that I understand that black people are really and truly humans and not the animals I thought they were, it might not be such a good idea to be funnelling it through their neighborhoods.” But, I am kinda crazy like that.

  • Guarneri Link

    I don’t really know much about this program:


    But I don’t need to know much. The incentives are perverse. And the reforms cited 3/4 the way down the article, little things like actually having to be convicted, make too much sense on their face.

    It’s too bad racist white Republicans like Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch restarted this program.

  • CStanley Link

    @MM what I’m saying is that disintegration of family structure has been devastating to blacks, and it now affects large swaths of the white population too.

    I regret that many on the right have cherry picked Moynihan’s paper to ignore the parts where whites were responsible, but that’s not on me and it doesn’t invalidate what he wrote (nor does your ad hominem based on his ethnicity and social status.)

  • jan Link


    That article posted has confusing layers and players associated with it. It describes the restarting of a program, dealing with asset confiscation under the Obama/Lynch administration, which purportedly is being investigated by the Center for American Progress, for allegedly preying disproportionately on the poor. This means that a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization is looking into the antics of a progressive administration. Hmmmmm…..


    You’ve provided an antidotal back story most democrats have wiped clean from their party history. They disown it, by repeatedly saying the south is now dominated by republicans, so the past trials and tribulations of blacks are “their bad.” Shelby Steele writes about the exorcism that dems underwent to put the demons of racism not only behind them, but entirely not attributable to them. It’s indeed an amazing, but successful tactic, to dilute historical responsibility of a political party’s prior actions.

    It will be interesting to see how dems eventually convert the damage currently being inflicted on African Americans, making black communities government-depended and dependable democrat voters, onto someone or something else.

  • TastyBits Link

    Trump does not matter. What matters is that the people who have been ignored (white, black, young, old) can have a profound effect. If he wins, it is because of them, and if Hillary Clinton wins, it is because of them. I have written about cracks. These are things that should not happen, but they do happen.

    Others will notice, and they will try the same within their party or organization. The political cracks are only one area. They are everywhere. The narrative is broken. The old formula do not work. Soon, the narrators will need to take steps to fix the problem. On college campuses, speech codes are the fix. In science, outlawing oppositions is being attempted. In economics, a movement is slowly moving to outlaw cash.

    The elites, the educated, the intellectuals, the well spoken, the right minded, the well bred – our betters – are beginning to feel that something is not right. They are using the standard plays. Call people racist, stupid, etc., and they will fall in line. It ain’t working.

    Putin refused to be shamed out of Syria, and then, he had the audacity to actually succeed. He can now protect countries in Russia’s general area, and there is nothing the US or Europe can do about it.

    Angela Merkel has tried to shame Europe into taking in the entire Middle East as refugee, and it has failed miserably. Now, many of Europe’s beautiful theories are being tested, and they are failing or are about to fail.

    In the US, the shame game is winding down. It still works for establishment Republicans and the non-RINO’s, but nobody else cares. The game is over. Call me a racist, and I will be a double racist. Call me stupid, and I will be double stupid. Call me whatever, and I will be double whatever. If that does not work, I will be quadruple-quadruple whatever. Who cares.

    When the impossible occurs, it should be a sign that something is afoot, and when the people most in danger of being affected ignore it, something is going to happen. The L.A. riots 1 & 2, Ferguson, Stonewall, etc. do not occur in a vacuum. Often the spark is misplaced, but the tender is real and been building for years.

    A crackhead getting the crap beat out of him is not an unusual occurrence. A low level criminal altercation going badly is not an unusual occurrence. Police raids to harass or shakedown businesses or certain people are not an unusual occurrence. In most of the major cities, the police are as bad or worse, but the people do not riot over the same events. This does not mean that their situation is not as bad or worse.

    I only know New Orleans first hand, and it was and, from what I read, still is as bad as ever. It was probably a lot worse back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but that could be my personal bias. Although, they put out hits on people making complaints to Internal Affairs, and I think this was in the early 1990’s.

    Republicans in many cases are people who refuse to consider that their beliefs might be wrong because the premises are wrong. There might be real underlying problems that are well beyond the ordinary individual black person to overcome. The ordinary individual middle income college educated person will not move much higher than their parents, but this is not taken as a character flaw. This person has any number of advantages that are not available to a poor person, but the middle income person cannot pull themselves up by their bootstrapes into the upper income level. Why is this different?

    I would suggest that the reason is because there are a lot of other factors, and most of those factors are social. It is difficult to join a group where you are the minority. This is why white progressives do not go into places where they will be the minority. This is why poor black people do not pull themselves by their bootstraps, and it the same for middle income whites.

    One side hollering “racism” and the other side yelling “individual responsibility” does not solve anything, but they do help to win elections and increase campaign donations. I guess I need to recalibrate my priorities. As we say, “I’m worrying about the wrong thing.”

  • steve Link

    jan, TB–It is just a statement of fact, not even controversial, that Southern conservative used to belong to the Democratic Party. They now belong to the GOP. The northern Republicans who voted for the civli rights laws are now Democrats. The ones who voted against it were the Dixiecrats, now your fellow travelers in the GOP.

    So, while it remains technically correct that the Democrats supported measures harmful to minorities, most of the Democrats from the era moved to the GOP. The modern GOP and modern Democrats are much different than they were in the 1800s and earlier 1900s. Note that i ma not saying that the people who eventually became Democrats were w/o flaws either, just that the modern GOP contains those elements who left the Democrats specifically so they could continue to oppose further civl rights efforts and programs designed to help minorities.


  • jan Link


    That was a thought-provocative commentary. I’m not sure I wholesale agree with everything. However, there is little I personally know about that can actively discount or counter what you said. Instinctively, though, I feel a shift occurring among the populace that is incongruent with what the intellectuals and 2-party elites are saying, as to what incorporates the societal defects being debated nowadays.

    I also think the anger, despair, disappointment, that seems so prevalent, is far deeper than conveniently compartmentalizing their etiology into categories that can be easily politicized and then polarized, such as skin hues, gender and economic status. The discontent, IMO, is enmeshed in a deterioration of the human spirit, of relationships, productivity yielding meaning to one’s life. Being relevant is important to people. But, what we are being told, from people saying they know better, is that we should straighten up, take it on the chin, and definitely not talk back or question what has been constructed as “unquestionable.” It’s like living on a dead end road, where there is only one way in and one way out. All other routes have been methodically blocked off by a cadre of people saying they represent our best interests, when in fact it appears to be their interests that are being promoted and protected.

  • TastyBits Link


    I am not a Republican, and I dislike them only slightly less than the Democrats. I find they tend to be more polite and will at some point consider an alternate argument, but often, it takes a lot of patience.

    At the state and local level, Democrats were in charge for years. I would need to look it up when the various states began to flip, but Louisiana was in the 1990’s.

    David Duke ran as a Republican for the same reason Bloomberg did. It was easier to get the nomination. Louisiana went to open primaries to eliminate the chance of a Republican winning. Now, it has the opposite effect, but it was not racially motivated.

    At the national level, the Democrats still had many prominent former racists. I am not impressed by anybody who has a conversion but who does not explain why they were wrong. This is for anything. If you do not tell me why you were wrong, I do not know that you have fully reformed.

    Nonetheless, the reparations model would condemn the Democrat party as having benefited unjustly, and therefore, anybody associated with the party today is benefiting unjustly. This is not my theory. You need to take it up with your side. If you want to expand it to include the Republicans, I have no problems. It is not like they are covered in glory. During all that time, none of them thought that it might not be right, and maybe a new Amendment was needed to clarify the seemingly perfectly clear Amendments that so befuddled the Supreme Court in 1896. When we catalogue the list of sins the government has committed against the citizens, the Republicans are well represented and, possibly, overrepresented.

  • jan Link

    i ma not saying that the people who eventually became Democrats were w/o flaws either, just that the modern GOP contains those elements who left the Democrats specifically so they could continue to oppose further civl rights efforts and programs designed to help minorities.


    The above statement is what I see as a “blind spot,” in activating a society of true equality. Back in the day, dems opposed equality through segregation tactics. Now, they seemingly oppose racial equality through unending enabling tactics , encouraging government dependency, as a way to make indefinite amends, as well as racial animosity towards anything or anyone defined in terms of “white privilege.”

    The very fact that voter ID laws are stigmatized as racist, that black racism is not discouraged as much as white racism was and is, that upgrading the voter rights laws is called out as “going backwards,” when in fact such laws are artifactual in their intent to curb prior racist legislation — these are the very elements of the democat party, IMO, that hinders equality from being the staple of American society.

    IOW, racism must be fairly applied to and appalled by everyone in order for equality to be completely implemented in our society. There can’t be loose ends and asterisks applied to some but not others. White, black, brown (all colors) racism should be viewed as equality virulent and objectionable. Safety net programs, workplace qualifications, scholarships etc. should exhibit empathy and leniency for a person’s special or needy circumstances not because of skin color alone. I think for a moral practice to seat itself permanently, people must apply it impartially and with the maximum due process allowed to anyone

  • TastyBits Link


    I think you pretty much got it, and if you just look for the things that are not the way they should be, you will begin to see the fault lines. Most people match things by finding enough similar points and, then, quit. They never “check their work”. If it is a match, there should not be glaring holes or contradictions.

    If Planned Parenthood is the third rail for Republicans, Trump should have been gone after refusing to condemn them.

    If poor black people will follow President Obama anywhere, a Houston woman should not have been on camera questioning his judgement on some issue (I forgot).

    If BLM is about racist white Republicans, they should not be showing up at Sen. Sanders’ rallies and getting in his face.

    @Icepick should be voting.

    There should be no implication that @Ben Wolf is an *.ist.

    @michael reynolds should not have been run off from OTB as a wild-eyed right winger. (He is crazy, but he should have been engaged rationally.)

    The civil forfeiture program being reinstated by President Obama.

    It is everywhere, but a lot of it is still small. It is not going to cause a revolution, but there is a major shift coming. For every “nobody saw it coming” event, there were a lot of people who saw it coming.

  • michael reynolds Link

    First of all, Re: Ehrlichman. There is no reason to seriously doubt the quote since it is classic Ehrlichman. For those who weren’t around, Nixon had two primary in-the-oval henchmen: Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Everyone knew Haldeman was the real asshole. Ehrlichman was your more conflicted sort of evil, self-aware evil. @Tasty the fact that the author at the time didn’t make much of it is irrelevant, unless you want to advance it as proof of just how clueless white people can be.

    Here is what is clearly true:

    1) The Democratic Party was the party of the south, of segregation, of Jim Crow, etc… No question.

    2) Until 1948. That’s when a Senator Hubert Humphrey stood up at the Democratic convention and gave a speech on civil rights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nwIdIUVFm4

    3) This precipitated a split, or perhaps just widened a split, between northern and southern Democrats.

    4) JFK gave lukewarm support to Civil Rights, but his successor, LBJ, probably with prompting from Hubert Humphrey, his Veep, determined to push Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills through. He said at the time that it would destroy the Democratic Party in the South.

    5) LBJ was right. Nixon, seeing the opportunity, moved the GOP into opposition to Civil Rights.

    6) Since ’68 the electoral map makes it quite clear that LBJ was right: the Democrats lost the South. They still don’t have the South.

    7) Since then southern whites have been reliably Republican and blacks have been loyally Democratic.

    So all this prattle about the Democrats being for Jim Crow is absolutely true… and totally beside the point. Because the Democrats, unlike the GOP, chose good over evil. And we allow for redemption, right? Right.

  • TastyBits Link

    Some things that are called racist today are either not understood or intentionally misunderstood. Open primaries have been called racist because they disenfranchise the black vote through dilution. In Louisiana, this is correct, but they have the wrong voters. It was Republicans the Democrats wanted to disenfranchise.

    With two party races, the Republican candidate had a 50% chance of winning, and the Republicans could put up their best candidate. On the Democrat side. The candidate would be the one who had the most votes in the primary, and this could be the worst candidate if there were several good candidates splitting the votes.

    With open primaries, the top two candidates would be Democrats and at least on would be from the top tier. This was perfect because Democrats would be in the majority “as far as the eye can see”, but a funny thing happened on the way.

    Now, it has swung around on the Democrats, and they are the ones being disenfranchised by their own making. If there is any racism, they own it, but racism was not the motivation.

  • michael reynolds Link

    As to whether the Democratic Party has done right by blacks, in terms of their economic picture overall? Absolutely not.

    Here’s what Democrats have done for the black constituents: they made it possible for a black man or woman in this country to vote, to walk into any store, attend any school, serve on equal terms in the military. In other words Democrats have successfully removed the legal barriers to black progress.

    Because, duh, legal barriers are really all legislators can deal with directly. Legislators do not have the power to change the mind of a racist. And racists are still legion, ever more openly so, thanks to Trump.

    Democrats have not created a heaven on earth for black people. They have not managed to take a small, deprived minority and lift them to full economic equality.

    But then again, the Republicans have failed white working class people. People who were already up, and are now sliding down.

    The “job” of Democrats (in the context of this debate) was to lift up black people, despite slavery, despite Jim Crow, despite the overt hostility of huge swathes of the American population, despite the sabotage of the US government at times. On the political difficulty scale that’s about a 9 out of 10.

    The “job” of the Republicans (in the context of this debate) was simply to keep the prosperous white middle class from becoming slightly less prosperous. That’s about a 2 out of 10 in terms of difficulty. And yet, they have failed.

    Trillions of dollars in white wealth disappeared because rapacious, amoral swine in New York, with plenty of help from Washington, crashed the economy in 2008. That’s what Republicans did to ‘help’ their base.

    What we’ve done is give the country the longest period of sustained growth in our history. That did not undo all the damage, and it did not rescue black people from their distress.

  • michael reynolds Link


    Your party – and only your party – is shutting down polling places in minority neighborhoods, as we saw quite clearly in Arizona, so blow it our spout.

  • Here’s what Democrats have done for the black constituents: they made it possible for a black man or woman in this country to vote, to walk into any store, attend any school, serve on equal terms in the military. In other words Democrats have successfully removed the legal barriers to black progress.

    Michael, I think you need to decide whether you’re talking about the present or the past and stop mixing them together. The heavy lifting on that was done fifty years ago and it was done by a collaboration of the Democrats and Republicans of fifty years ago, neither of which bear a great deal of resemblance to the Democrats or Republicans of today.

    Let’s limit the discussion to what’s been done during last period when Democrats had control of the House, Senate, and White House, shall we? Or we could extend the discussion to the previous time, too.

    But reaching all the way back to the Johnson Administration basically demonstrates the point I’m making.

  • michael reynolds Link


    I was addressing multiple commenters who have been talking about the history more broadly.

    What have Democrats done for black people lately?

    1) Elevated black people to positions of power and prominence, Barack Obama being the obvious exemplar.

    2) Restarted the economy which has cut black unemployment as well as white.

    3) Resisted GOP voter suppression so that the black vote can still be counted.

    4) Supported Black Lives Matter in its push to minimize cop-on-black violence.

    5) Pushed laws allowing largely POC felons who’ve served their time to vote.

    6) Defended diversity efforts when they’ve been attacked in court.

    7) Extended health care coverage to millions of POC through Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion. Millions more would be helped, but: Republicans.

    8) The Fair Sentencing Act which cut the clearly racist drug laws that penalized ‘black’ drugs harshly and ‘white’ drugs leniently.

    In other words, Democrats have done what legislators can do. They have not done what a dictator might do, but they’ve done what legislators can do in the face of the white majority and the attacks coming from the race-baiting GOP.

    What exactly do you expect them to do?

  • michael reynolds Link


    You’re basically asking why Democrats haven’t solved all the problems of black people. I refer you to Chris Rock:

    Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.

    We are the problem, we white people. The Democrats are still a mostly white party, but we are the white people who are trying to lower barriers, the GOP are trying to raise barriers to African-Americans, and yet somehow to all the white folks here the question is, “What have Democrats done for black people?” and not, “Why are Republicans still trying to keep black people down?”

    If Rock is right and the ‘problem’ is white people, then maybe you should ask the white people’s party why they haven’t solved the white problem.

  • michael reynolds Link

    By the way, if you want to see just how much white people are the problem, look no further than this thread, where the news that the USG deliberately criminalized blacks for political profit merits a shrug and some vague mooing noises about doubting the quote.

    A bunch of white people here simply dismiss tens of thousands of black families broken apart by the actions of a white government, and all the white people here want to talk about is, “Why haven’t Democrats solved all of Chicago’s problems?”

    Chicago is on track to have another record year for gun violence, and who is it working tirelessly, night and day to make sure that every thug has all the guns he could possibly want? Is it the Democrats? Come on, let’s see if you can guess which party keeps the gun markets open. Come on, there are only the two parties. . .

    Really, folks, buy a nice jar of Vaseline, apply liberally, and see if maybe you can pull your heads out of your rear ends.

  • TastyBits Link

    @michael reynolds

    You can believe whatever anybody says, but there is absolutely no proof. Furthermore, the book was about the very quote. If you were writing a book about how the Bush Administration manipulated the intel to justify the Iraq invasion and Dick Cheney gave a similar bombshell quote, I am sure you would have sat on it for almost 20 years. Yeah, right.

    I know – false, but true.

    I must say that those Republicans are a sneaky bunch. Apparently, they have been lynching black people without anybody knowing about it. The reason for cataloging the Democrat’s Jim Crow era is to contrast it with the claims that the Republicans are as bad or worse.

    Please, I would love to see your examples of anything remotely resembling the Democrat’s Jim Crow era. Let me help you. You ain’t gonna find it. There is discrimination, and there are places in rural areas you do not want to go. Yes, there are still “drag a n*gger behind a truck” racists around, and yes, there are still juries that will either not convict or will convict for a lesser charge.

    The fact that we still have bigotry, discrimination, ignorance, intolerance, and racism is not OK because we are not living in the Jim Crow era, but if there is going to be a comparison, it is going to be honest.

    I have met the real life hardcore type of racist in and around New Orleans and out in the rural areas of Mississippi, and around the city, more than one has learned the hard way that I was not a skinhead just because I shaved my head. (mid 1980’s) Out in the rural areas, it was a different story. There is not much that scares me, but those mother f*ckers do. A badge does not help when the Sheriff is the one with the chain and truck.

    The point is that neither you nor anybody else needs to recite third and fourth hand stories, and I know about other types of abuse whether racially motivated or not.

    It is not my place to decide which political party has been better or is better for the black people. For that decision, I defer to black leaders who have nothing to gain from either political party, and those are Malcolm X, the Honorable Muhammad Elijah, and Minister Louis Farrakhan. They have not been impressed with either party, and they do not trust the white man to do what is best for the black man. A review of history proves them correct.

    Basically, what we have are a bunch of white men helping themselves by claiming to help black men, and what they are really doing is keeping the black man dependent and self-loathing.

  • TastyBits Link

    @michael reynolds

    Your party – and only your party – is shutting down polling places in minority neighborhoods, as we saw quite clearly in Arizona, so blow it our spout.

    I am not sure what party you are talking about. I am registered as an independent, and I have voted once or twice in the past about 25 years (maybe longer). In essence, I helped elect President Obama.

    (Not voting is the same as voting for the winner, but I think Louisiana went to McCain and Romney.)

    I would like to see Trump blow-up the GOP, and then, I would like to see somebody emerge to blow-up your side. I have lots of hotdogs and marshmallows, and I have my pistols and PR-24. Let the games begin.

  • TastyBits Link

    @michael reynolds

    … merits a shrug and some vague mooing noises about doubting the quote.

    It never happened. I was in the room, and he said “goodbye”. That was it. Dan Baum asked if it was possible that Nixon had started the War on Drugs to get back at the negroes and hippies, and Ehrlichman stated emphatically, “No”.

    That is how it really happened. We all had MoonPies and a Coke. As we were eating, Ehrlichman asked Dan if he was going to use the quote, and Dan said, “Not in twenty years.”

    There you go.

  • steve Link

    “The very fact that voter ID laws are stigmatized as racist”

    What exactly is the purpose of these laws? It has been shown repeatedly that there is essentially no voter fraud that would be stopped with ID cards. In fact, in PA where I live, the lawyers the GOP hired to push for the ID law noted in their brief that it doesn’t exist, so they didn’t even list it as a reason for wanting ID. OTOH, there is tons of fraud associated with problems at the polls and with absentee voting. Do we address this? No. Does the fact that absentee voting generally favor the GOP have anything to do with this?

    Finally, you do realize the stuff about dependency is mostly a right wing talking point I hope. Classic welfare is gone. You guys won, as Dave noted, with Clinton’s help.


  • steve Link

    TB- Farrakhan represents a small percentage of black people. I would rather just assume that black people know what they are doing about as well as white people know what they are doing. Which is to say that a lot aren’t that politically involved, just like white people, but they have a general sense of what they want and don’t want. Seems pretty clear they don’t want the GOP.


  • jan Link

    ….they made it possible for a black man or woman in this country to vote, to walk into any store, attend any school, serve on equal terms in the military. In other words Democrats have successfully removed the legal barriers to black progress.

    I think your history is a bit off, Michael, as removing the legal barriers to black progress was, at the very least, a bi-partisan effort, that was actively promoted under earlier R administrations.

    In 1947 Truman tried to avoid the issues of black civil rights, altogether. However, following a civil rights report issued by a presidential committee, he had little choice but to call for an end to racial discrimination in federal hiring practices, as well as an EO ending segregation in the Military — an action that was completed under the Eisenhower Administration. The republican president, though, took civil rights even further by backing the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1960. The one in ’57 fought against denying blacks the right to vote, while the one in ’60 gave federal courts the authority to register black voters. These two pieces of legislation were preliminary steps paving the way for the creation and ultimate passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — an act in which Everett Dirksen played a vital role, as did a majority of republicans who were in Congress in ’64.

    These bi-partisan roles apparently are overlooked by many dems in their zeal to take credit for being some kind of saintly do-gooders.

    In fact most legislation, developed through bi-partisan efforts and consensus, usually has a better chance of becoming accepted by the public at large, and successfully integrated into the mainstream format of this country. That’s why, IMO, the PPACA did so poorly…..


    The reasons against having IDs when voting is a dem talking point, one which has little relevance, as possessing some kind of ID is almost mandatory for most everyday life functions. It’s also easy to obtain, costs nothing in most areas of the country, and is a popular idea among over 70% of the people. So, what’s the beef?

  • jan Link

    Classic welfare is gone. You guys won, as Dave noted, with Clinton’s help.

    Obama has basically gutted welfare reform enacted by Bill Clinton — legislation which precipitated an increase in work among welfare recipients, until it was reversed under the Obama presidency.

  • jan Link

    1) Elevated black people to positions of power and prominence, Barack Obama being the obvious exemplar.

    Of course if they’re not democrats they don’t count — i.e. Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Condi Rice, Tim Scott — the first black elected R senator in over a century in SC. There’s a big old long list of outstanding people who aren’t affiliated or elevated upwards by the democrat party. Consequently, it’s ludicrous to think only the D party supports and inspires personal excellence in people of color.

    2) Restarted the economy which has cut black unemployment as well as white.

    I guess it all depends on what stats you’re looking at. However, most people seem to agree that black employment has not been served well under the Obama administration. The labor participation rate also continues to be decades behind, even though the jiggered UE figures look rosy.

    3) Resisted GOP voter suppression so that the black vote can still be counted.

    Yes, I know social progressives denigrate Voter ID laws, promoting fears among minorities that they are nothing but a tool to suppress black vote. It’s interesting to note, though, that this is an extreme interpretation by the left, and that over 70% of the public supports people having some kind of ID, not only to register a legitimate vote, but also to present in a myriad of situations that formally request an ID.

    4) Supported Black Lives Matter in its push to minimize cop-on-black violence.

    Another fallacy, not supported by actual statistics regarding rampant cop violence against only blacks. The Black Lives Matter movement has only added heat not better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they are supposed to “protect.

    6) Defended diversity efforts when they’ve been attacked in court.

    Lots of people of all political stripes have defended diversity, the poor, and the non-powerful populace in courtroom proceedings.

    Michael, for almost every point made, saying that dems have added value to black lives, it can also be noted that their policies and racial rancor have concurrently taken away from black lives.

  • Andy Link

    “Here’s what Democrats have done for the black constituents: they made it possible for a black man or woman in this country to vote, to walk into any store, attend any school, serve on equal terms in the military. In other words Democrats have successfully removed the legal barriers to black progress.”

    The Democrats did not do any of that willingly. They only did it after a long struggle by a movement of Americans lead by MLK jr. and others who were not associated with any political party. It was that movement that forced an historic restructuring of our political system – it didn’t spring forth from any political party and it’s revisionist history for Democrats or the GoP (with their claims to be the “party of Lincoln”) to claim that mantle today, much less try to take credit for it. After 50 years the Democratic party is still riding those coattails. Another transformation on the scale of what MLK jr achieved will not come from any party, but will be a movement that forces the parties to change.

    “We are the problem, we white people. The Democrats are still a mostly white party, but we are the white people who are trying to lower barriers, the GOP are trying to raise barriers to African-Americans, and yet somehow to all the white folks here the question is, “What have Democrats done for black people?” and not, “Why are Republicans still trying to keep black people down?”

    White people aren’t the problem directly. The problem is a system that happens to be primarily supported by white people (due to the simple fact that white people are the majority). That may sound like a distinction without a difference, but it is a huge difference. Islamic terrorism is a similar case – terrorism is not a problem caused by Muslims directly – rather Muslims are part of a system (willing or unwilling) which allows and sometimes promotes terrorism. Blaming “white people” directly for racist policies in America is no different than blaming “Muslims” directly for Islamic terrorism.

    By contrast, MLK jr used a strategy that focused its effort on changing the system. It’s goal wasn’t merely to improve the material condition of African Americans, it was to create a united, “beloved” community. To that end, one of his six principles stated that evildoers are also victims of an evil system. Since evildoers were victims and not enemies, they became potential allies that could be convinced and recruited to the cause or morally coerced into acceptance. It was a “hate the sin, not the sinner” strategy that actually succeeded. It’s unfortunate that those ideas were tossed away in favor of combative identity politics.

  • Andy Link

    “Farrakhan represents a small percentage of black people.” That’s totally true. The Nation of Islam was competing with MLK jr’s nonviolent movement. We know which one succeeded and which one failed. We know which one emphasized love and redemption and which one emphasized divisiveness and hate.

  • steve Link

    “Obama has basically gutted welfare reform enacted by Bill Clinton — legislation which precipitated an increase in work among welfare recipients, until it was reversed under the Obama presidency.”

    Only true in the conservative bubble. In real life, not true.

    “Michael, for almost every point made, saying that dems have added value to black lives, it can also be noted that their policies and racial rancor have concurrently taken away from black lives.”

    Then it should be easy toggle examples of this. Please do.

    “. It’s also easy to obtain, costs nothing in most areas of the country, and is a popular idea among over 70% of the people. So, what’s the beef?”

    It serves no purpose, except to keep some people from voting. Since it won’t stop voter fraud, why have it? All costs and no benefits. The ultimate in big government wastage.


  • TastyBits Link


    I came into contact with the Minister Farrakhan about 25 years ago when I used to debate a fellow Marine. I was a rabid libertarian, Objectivist, and Austrian, and he would bring up the Nation of Islam (NOI) related arguments. (Many of my positions were similar to today’s libertarian’s and somewhat the Republican’s positions, and I know their usual moves.)

    I started reading the original sources to be able to crush his argument, but a funny thing happened on the way to my anticipated victory. I found out about the Tuskegee Experiments and a few other incidents, and at that time, getting to authoritative sources was difficult at best. I began to look at the world from their eyes and match their experiences with what I had seen.

    NOPD was crooked, and they were worse to the poorer people. It was really about whether the person could successfully bring a lawsuit. Since most of the poor were black, it would look racial, and there were racist among them. Combine this with the long list of crimes the government has perpetrated against its citizens amazingly overwhelmingly non-white, and the world begins to look a little racist.

    I get where they are coming from, and if I were a black man, I would be mad as hell and want to burn this bitch down. But, The last time I checked I am not, and the only way for me to have the same rage is to put on a show.

    Over the years, I have tried to keep up with Minister Farrakhan, and with the internet it has become much easier. You may think he represents only a few people, but what he talks about in his speeches resonates on the streets of the poor and low income neighborhoods. He does not incite hate or violence anymore than Hollywood, Grand Theft Auto, or AC/DC. He says what most people think, but they know it is best not speak too loudly.

    I have over the years tried to keep up with the various ways all levels of the US government has tried to and succeeded in f*cking its own citizens. As a libertarian or Objectivist, injustice is not tolerated, but too many of them would rather not see injustice. Even if injustice is not a motivator, the old, “They came for …” should be a warning.

    (If you notice, I never fully identify as a libertarian or Objectivist. I am not an anarchist, but if the choice is between keeping the today’s unchanged system and anarchy, I will take the anarchy.)

    If you have lived in and around poor and low income black areas and interacted with them on a regular basis, you know that these are everyday ideas. The difference is that they accept what he says to refuse (handouts), and they do what he says not to do (long list). The grievances and frustration he articulates are real, and you should know this.

    I suspect that where you are now there are the “drag a …” type racists in close proximity, and if so, you know the vast majority of people yelling “racist” have never met them. It puts things into perspective. Yes, Uncle Joe is a bigot. He might discriminate, but he is not hooking anybody to the back of his or any of his buddy’s trucks. Although, the big question is whether Uncle Joe would be able to convict those who did, or would he find some reason to let them go or to lower the charges.

    Now, you might have a logically sound case, but it is going to be built upon what the Uncle Joe’s or non-bigoted Aunt Suzy’s would do. Are the majority of white people so cruel and inhuman that being shown the results of individual racist acts they would condone it or find some way to justify it? If the American public were shown films of dogs and firehoses being used on people who were peacefully marching but just happened to be black, would the American public shrug their shoulders and change the channel?

    I am probably as cynical as the most cynical people out there, but I tend to think not. When confronted with evil, I think most people recognize it and are willing to fix it with the right approach, and yelling “racist” over and over is not going to do it. (Yelling “racist” over and over is not going to win a moral argument, a logical argument, a public policy argument, or any argument. It has one purpose, and that is to attain power.)

    In Ferguson, the images of the police looking like combat soldiers in Iraq caused a brief pause in the militarization of the police, but with the civil forfeiture being reimposed, that is probably gone. Those images juxtaposed against people peacefully protesting make decent people begin to think. If they are doing this on camera, what are they doing off, and combined with cellphone video, a lot of things are being brought into public view.

    If white people are as racist as the Left claims they are, you all should just round them up and throw them into the ovens. They are a blight on the planet and the wondrous future you all envision. Stop all the bullshit and get on with the elimination. Is the world really going to miss one or a few million racists?

    As to black voters joining the GOP, you all still do not get what the Trump movement signifies. Trump supporters are not threatening to become Democrats. There are probably Democrats among them, but it is aimed at Republicans. Since 2006, there has been a group in the Republican party that has been dissatisfied.

    The Tea Party was a manifestation of it, but it quickly went astray. Mitt Romney had no appeal. Trump has been saying many of the things they feel, but he is not the wild-eyed liberal the Republican establishment portrays hem or his supporters as. They do not want to tax the rich or get “free stuff”, but because those things are not their raison d’etat, they are called names.

    If Cruz gets the nomination, he will lose. The conservatives can blame the Trump supporters, but they got the conservative candidate they have been demanding. Their claim that a conservative candidate would sweep the country will be done, and blaming Trump supporters is just another way of saying they are not conservatives. Conservatives have taken the political ground they previously held, and they have pissed away a substantial portion. They can either compromise or die.

    If Trump gets the nomination and wins, the Republican political class (workers and elites) will be out of work for four or eight years. They work on favors and payback. He will owe them nothing, and they fear he will not ask for any favors. A lobbyist cannot sell access if they cannot get anybody to return their call.

    This is what scares the Republican political class. If candidate Cruz loses the election to candidate Clinton, they will still have jobs. The Democrats will have jobs one way or the other, but they have one little problem. They also have peasants they use for political purposes, but those peasants have been kept in the underclass a lot longer. The good news is that they are not a leaderless unruly mob waiting for one to come along, but the bad is that they are organized enough that when a leader comes along it will not take as long to get behind him or her.

    This leads to Trump and Trump supporters because the black voters do not need to become or threaten to become Republicans. They do not need to not vote or to vote Republican as a way of protesting. The Trump model is far superior than anything dreamed of by anybody to date, including Donald Trump.

    If a viable politically and financially independent Democratic candidate emerges that they can support within the Democrat party, they can shake the party at its foundation. By threatening the income of the Democrat political class, they will force them to begin to listen. They will not require the GOP, any conservatives, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, any rightwing PAC’s, or anything else you would not like.

    It would be 100% Democrat and Left wing. The Republicans might benefit for a cycle or two, but they have been at almost all levels, anyway.

    What is next for the Trump model? I do not have a clue, but it is the most exciting that has come along in a while.
    Side Note

    I bring up the Jim Crow era for two reasons. The second is in reaction to constantly dragging up who is to blame for the past, but the first is not to place blame on any specific group. It is to show that it was not limited to the South and to demonstrate how easy it occurred.

    It started with one Supreme Court decision, and if we are to understand some, once they have ruled, that is that. (This is another lesson for another day.) At the time, I am sure the ruling sounded reasonable, and even today, it can be setup to sound reasonable. It was not limited to private property. Had it been, white people would have had a difficult time trying to segregate themselves from black people.

    There may still have been the KKK and the violence they perpetrated, but they government would not have endorsed their belief that black people were second class citizens at best and sub-human animals at worse. While hate-crimes may not have been defined legally, they would have been defined morally.

    Whether you were a direct or indirect beneficiary of the Jim Crow laws, it was easy to excuse the laws, yourself, or both by referring everything to the Supreme Court decision, and it’s seemingly reasonableness. If nobody in your town was mistreating black, it could not be happening, and just because there were no black people in your town, this could not possible influence your opinion.

    The catalog of abuses needs to be taught, understood, and never forgotten not as a hairshirt but as a reminder of how easy it is to justify evil actions.

    I will add a related point. Many white people do not get the problems with the police that poor and low income black people experience. First, the people who repeat the horror stories have no idea of what they are talking about, and they get most things wrong.

    Nobody has a problem with a young black male who is also a drug dealer terrorizing the neighborhood getting a beatdown by the police. The problems start as you begin eliminating parts of the description. If he is not terrorizing the neighborhood, he gets a little sympathy. If he is not a drug dealer but still terrorizing the neighborhood, he probably gets no sympathy. If he is neither but he is hanging out with either, he will get more, but if you hang out with people playing the game, you should expect to be treated like you are in the game.

    The real problems come when none of the above applies. The police cannot tell who is and is not “in the game”, or they refuse to distinguish who is and is not “in the game”. They “jack” anybody that fits the profile of a drug dealer – young, black, and male. Then, they treat everybody like they are a criminal. Now, you have two problems. As I have stated before, they may have instituted their own “civil forfeiture” program, and since every young black male is a criminal money and jewelry must be ill gotten gains. Now you have three problems. The police are apply a beatdown at any time, and now, you have four problems. That is just one group of the poor black community. They disrespect everybody in the community, and they would never treat people in non-poor, especially black, neighborhoods the same way.

    This is not universal, but when a place like Ferguson explodes, something is going on, but most white people have never experienced anything like it. Therefore, they have a hard time believing it. When they see cellphone video, it becomes more real, but fake or setup situations make everything suspect. When they see it happening to white people in white neighborhoods, it becomes real for them. They get it. Many of them can begin to apply it to the black community, and as the white incidents increase, they accept the black incidents are valid more and more.

    Unfortunately, it is not a fast process, but it is made a lot slower by beating people over the head. In the gay marriage area, it came and went without much notice. There are a few holdouts, but there were Japanese soldiers who were still fighting WW2 years after the surrender was signed. A baker here and a photographer there are about it, and where are they now. The people who may tell pollsters they are against gay marriage are not riding to the rescue. It turns out that people lie to pollsters.

    I am tired. I will finish with you and your political ally accusing or implying that I am in some way a member of the GOP.

    I am not sure which Republican or conservative any of you are going to find that will vouchsafe my credentials to be considered one of them. I reject the “bootstraps” argument on a number of grounds. I reject the “lower taxes will increase business” on a number of grounds. I reject the “almost every regulations are bad” on a number of grounds. (Libertarians and conservatives recognize that they are used for crony Capitalists – Republicans.) I insist that the middle income people will never “bootstrap” themselves, and this is not considered lazy and shiftless. I do not base any of my arguments on Democrat or Left wing premises, and maybe, this is what confuses you all.

    I have been pointing out their usage of the financial and monetary systems which are the products of Left wing concepts while they reject the concepts which undergird those systems. They want it both ways, and the Democrats and Left wing lets them have it. Maybe, my pointing out the fact that the Democrats and Left wing require a rigged system is confusing you all.

    I am starting to get aggravated with the various pension fund potential bankruptcies. I think public employee unions should have been outlawed yesterday, and the politicians and union leaders who negotiated in bad faith should be dealt with somehow, if possible. I am getting tired of the apparent glee at the potential for the various workers being screwed over.

    Whether they “earned” it or not is a different debate, but the ones who have retired are counting on the money. The funds need to be modified into SS and 401(k), and depending upon their length of service, something should be done to the funds to help the presently working older members not retire destitute. The ultimate solution is for the unions to go or the union contracts to be voted by the public. It is not perfect, but it would be better for a while.

    I am not sure how well the GOP would keep me around with my attitude towards law enforcement.

    Conservatives get a slight advantage over the Left because they tend to be more polite, and if presented correctly, they will eventually consider arguments. Most importantly, there are no hippies and, therefore, no f*cking patchouli or clove cigarettes.

  • TastyBits Link

    I did not mean to write a dissertation.

    On voter ID’s: It seems reasonable, and there is no reason why anybody should not have one. There would be several ways to fix it. Allow mail-in ballots for everybody. Allow using your mail-in ballot as a form of ID. If the mail-in ballot would not be fraudulent, it should be good as an ID since the same person who would have mailed it is in front of you. This leads to the question of why anything that arrives in the mail is not subject to fraudulent behavior.

    I would think a bigger problem is the out-of-date voter rolls. Dead people not removed, or people who have moved and not removed. There are other ways of fixing this.

    In my previous post, I stated the think before acting rule, and while the Voter ID laws seem reasonable, the Democrats and Left make valid points. If there is no widespread fraud, why all the fuss? When it comes to most regulations, the Right takes a “wait and see” approach. Why not with Voter ID regulations?

    I do not think it is racism. I think they do not trust Democrats, and it may have started with the 1960 presidential election. In the Republican majority areas, Republicans trust themselves to be honest and trustworthy.

  • Having seen voter fraud at first hand I know that it exists. How big an issue it is I couldn’t say. There appear to be more proven cases of voter fraud than voter suppression, possibly because voter suppression is a lot harder to prove.

    IMO there don’t need to be thousands or hundreds of thousands of instances of either for it to be a problem. Lots of elections are decided by a handful of votes.

  • steve Link

    “Having seen voter fraud at first hand I know that it exists.”

    Happens all of the time at the polling sites and with absentee votes, but the kind that would be stopped by ID cards is incredibly rare. I would fully support efforts to stop the voter fraud that is really happening in large numbers, but we know who that favors so it won’t happen. Basically, voter ID is one of those things that might make some people feel good, but will stop almost zero fraud. It will clearly stop a fe people from voting.

    “Absentee voters tend to be older and whiter than in-person voters. In 2012, nearly half, or 46 percent, of mail-in voters were aged 60 and older, and more than 75 percent were white, according to an analysis by Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida who tracks demographic trends in voting. Older white Americans generally are more likely to vote Republican.

    African-Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, are less likely to use mail-in ballots. Although they make up about 13 percent of the population, only 8 percent voted by mail in 2012.”


  • TastyBits Link

    For the Voter ID laws, I think they make sense, and I am inclined to agree with them. However, people like @steve and a few other non-rabid Left wingers have made their case, and they seem to be correct about the lack of abuse. Because of them, I agree that until there is widespread abuse it should be placed on hold.

    I still have a hard time considering it unreasonable or burdensome, but I will go with innocent until proven guilty.

    As to black people and the mail, they may be like me. If I do not know who it is or what it is, it gets trashed or shredded. The government should have a special design, legally protected, on their envelopes, and then I would know that it was an official document. Even then, the ones for mail-in or absentee ballots should have it clearly marked. I do not trust anybody.

  • jan Link

    Just curious…where has there been any recent “evidence” that voter ID laws have blatantly suppressed votes from being cast? Such evidence, of such deliberate “suppression” of voting rights, would include someone wanting to vote not being able to readily and inexpensively obtaining proper identification that could be used anywhere.

  • TastyBits Link


    If the recent Voter ID laws were in response to fraud or abuse, the onus was on the backers to provide the proof before enacting these laws since in the past there have been laws that were used to disenfranchise black voters.

    If this is such a major concern, why is there no push to cleanup the voter rolls? They are full of dead people, and people who have moved. What about people who have property in multiple states?

    More importantly, this is how the government imposes its will unjustly upon the citizens. How do you think regulations abuse begins? It is all sensible sounding. Who is against protecting endangered species? Well, most people understand that the protection is not a blank check to screw over anybody. IRS scrutiny of tax exempt groups sounds sensible. Recognize any of these.

    If nothing else, self-preservation should be a major factor. The party that favors government can and will find a way to use this against you.

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