Saturday, November 24, 2012

Last Call

Jonah Goldberg has some whitesplaning to do dammit, and no holiday weekend will stay him from his appointed rounds.

If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more “racist.”
The scare quotes are necessary because I don’t think the Republican Party is racist now (and, historically, has a lot less to answer for than the Democratic Party does).
But that hasn’t stopped people from slandering Republicans as racist for one reason or another.

Wow, that’s a pitch roughly the size of Utah over the plate.  I’m going to step out of the batter’s box for a second so that I can get a running start at this thing, it’s not moving that fast.  Clearly Jonah here is full, nay, gravid with excellent advice.  Besides, GOP can’t be racist because Colin Powell!
Just consider some recent examples from over the summer. When Mitt Romney visited Michigan, he joked about not needing a birth certificate to prove he was from there. 
Not very funny? OK, sure. Poor taste? Eh, maybe, I guess. “The basest and the most despicable bigotry we might be able to imagine”? Errr, no. And yet that’s what one respected “expert” on race, Michael Eric Dyson, called it on MSNBC.

I have to admit “noted race relations expert Jonah Goldberg” does have a nice ring to it, it’s a little much to fit on the business card along with the multi-cultural and multicolored stick figures, but you know, that privilege ain’t gonna assume itself.  Sometimes a white guy just has to lay out what racism is to us black folk:

Now, the cynical motivations behind this relentless slander are too numerous to count. Such moral bullying makes white liberals feel better about themselves. It scares moderates and centrists away from the Republican Party, and it no doubt helps dissuade wavering blacks from even thinking about giving the GOP an honest look. 
It also does wonders to stifle journalists terrified of having their racial bona fides questioned in any way. And it helps a feckless left-wing black political class explain away its own failures. Racial slander is like duct tape: There’s no limit to what you can do with it.

Wow.  I had no idea being a black person was so simple.  All this time if I ever wanted to get ahead in life, I could just use “racial slander” to put white America in its place.  Truly we live in an age of post-racial America where I had no idea being white was so bloody difficult, laced with traps and pitfalls whenever you tried to explain to the brown horde that your policies were necessary medicine they needed.  Somebody always comes along and racial slanders it.  You guys, Jonah’s trying really hard here!

But can you imagine how much worse it will get if Republicans actually do reach out to black community (as they should)?
One of the points of racial slander is to signal that only liberal policies are guaranteed to be non-racist (even when such policies were forged with racist intent, like the Davis-Bacon Act). This is why the Congressional Black Caucus insists on calling itself the “conscience of the Congress.”
That’s why policies like school choice are routinely denounced as racist, even though they’re largely aimed at improving the lives of inner-city blacks trapped in bad schools. Teachers unions don’t like school choice, ergo, it’s racist.

It’s hard out there for a white guy, dedicated to trying to explain to the stupid, largely ignorant black masses that your policy is good for them dammit and they need to shut up and accept it.  Why don’t they listen to Jonah?  He’s got the business card and everything!

Any serious attempt by the GOP to win black votes won’t involve Republicans copycatting liberal policies. It will require going over the heads of black and white liberal slanderers to offer a sincere alternative to failed liberal policies on schools, poverty, crime, etc. The more effective that effort, the more the GOP will be called racist. 
When Romney, whose father marched with Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to the NAACP, Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast dubbed him a “race-mongering pyromaniac,” primarily for using the term “ObamaCare” — a term Barack Obama used himself.
Just imagine the attacks in store for a more effective Republican.

If only black people like myself were smart enough to see through the racial slander…gosh they just might have that outreach they need here.  Surely somebody should appoint Jonah in charge of it.  Immediately.

How To Secede At Business Without Really Trying

Texas?  You have another Lone Star State-sized problem on your hands over this "secede from the union" nonsense.

In Texas, talk of secession in recent years has steadily shifted to the center from the fringe right. It has emerged as an echo of the state Republican leadership’s anti-Washington, pro-Texas-sovereignty mantra on a variety of issues, including health care and environmental regulations. For some Texans, the renewed interest in the subject serves simply as comic relief after a crushing election defeat. 

But for other proponents of secession and its sister ideology, Texas nationalism — a focus of the Texas Nationalist Movement and other groups that want the state to become an independent nation, as it was in the 1830s and 1840s — it is a far more serious matter. 

The official in East Texas, Peter Morrison, the treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, said in a statement that he had received overwhelming support from conservative Texans and overwhelming opposition from liberals outside the state in response to his comments in his newsletter. He said that it may take time for “people to appreciate that the fundamental cultural differences between Texas and other parts of the United States may be best addressed by an amicable divorce, a peaceful separation.” 

The online petitions — created on the We the People platform at — are required to receive 25,000 signatures in 30 days for the White House to respond. The Texas petition, created Nov. 9 by a man identified as Micah H. of Arlington, had received more than 116,000 signatures by Friday. It asks the Obama administration to “peacefully grant” the withdrawal of Texas, and describes doing so as “practically feasible,” given the state’s large economy. 

Last I checked this problem was settled about 1865 or so, and frankly this whole thing is getting silly.  Republicans lost an election, not a war.  If 116,000 Texans want to be shown the door over losing an election, well good luck to you.

Which side hates America now, huh?

Treat The Disease, Not The Symptoms

As I mentioned earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio's mealy-mouthed dodge on the age of the Earth is indicitive of a much, much larger problem among the anti-science, anti-fact, anti-reality GOP.  Paul Krugman agrees.

By the way, that question didn’t come out of the blue. As speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Mr. Rubio provided powerful aid to creationists trying to water down science education. In one interview, he compared the teaching of evolution to Communist indoctrination tactics — although he graciously added that “I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.” Gee, thanks. 

What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence

And this is the crux of the problem.  It's because of this awful rejection of anything they don't want to believe, to the point of forcing the rest of the country to go along, that is doing irreparable harm to America and the planet.

The most obvious example other than evolution is man-made climate change. As the evidence for a warming planet becomes ever stronger — and ever scarier — the G.O.P. has buried deeper into denial, into assertions that the whole thing is a hoax concocted by a vast conspiracy of scientists. And this denial has been accompanied by frantic efforts to silence and punish anyone reporting the inconvenient facts. 

But the same phenomenon is visible in many other fields. The most recent demonstration came in the matter of election polls. Coming into the recent election, state-level polling clearly pointed to an Obama victory — yet more or less the whole Republican Party refused to acknowledge this reality. Instead, pundits and politicians alike fiercely denied the numbers and personally attacked anyone pointing out the obvious; the demonizing of The Times’s Nate Silver, in particular, was remarkable to behold. 

What accounts for this pattern of denial? Earlier this year, the science writer Chris Mooney published “The Republican Brain,” which was not, as you might think, a partisan screed. It was, instead, a survey of the now-extensive research linking political views to personality types. As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true. 

Or as Stephen Colbert famously said, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."   As long as the unreality party continues to hold power, America will never be allowed to do more than token action on climate change, education, and science.

And that's a shame, because by most measures, it's already too late:  the time for action was 20 years ago.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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