15 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

With the election of a black man as POTUS, America supposedly entered a new post-racial era. Apparently, the racists on both ends of the color spectrum didn't get the memo.

Let us begin with Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson and his valiant defenders. Defenders such as Rep. Steve "Why Bother Recognizing Slaves for Building the White House" King, who tries to explain why supporting a racist symbol isn't really racist:
Over on the Wonk Room, Andrea Nill notes that King is going so far in his defense of Wilson that he’s defending the South Carolina congressman’s vote in favor of keeping the Confederate flag waving above the state capitol. Here’s what King said this morning on Fox News:

[Wilson] is an officer and a gentleman and everyone who knows him knows that. … Being a son of the South puts you in a different position when it comes to the Confederate flag. It means something entirely different to the people who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the south side of the Mason-Dixon line.

Uh-huh. That might be a little easier to believe if Joe hadn't belonged to a group that thinks slavery is peachy-keen, and if you didn't refer to "Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses as 'separatist groups.'"

The other reason I have a hard time believing in Wilson's pure-as-the-driven-snow motives is the fact he came out swinging in defense of a segregationist:

GOP Rep. Joe Wilson, last seen heckling the president during a speech to Congress, praised an avowed segregationist with a history of Confederate Flag worship as a “patriot” in 2001.

“He’s a patriot,” Wilson said, in a reference to Maurice Bessinger, a barbecue baron who generated a great deal of controversy for his views about race and slavery, according to an Associated Press article dated January 24th, 2001. “I want people to know that despite any perception.”

Wilson, then a South Carolina state senator, even invited Bessinger to the Statehouse, despite his views, the AP article reported.

Of course, Rep. Wilson doesn't see a problem in this. And he doesn't see a problem in his demands that illegal immigrants don't get no stinkin' health care. He's not anti-immigrant! He loves immigrants! Why, he was even an immigration attorney once!

Or not:

At a Thursday press conference, Wilson was at pains to present himself as a friend of immigrants, declaring:

We need to be discussing issues specifically to help the American people. And that would not include illegal aliens, these are people-- I'm for immigration, legal immigration, I've been an immigration attorney. But people who have come to our country and violated laws, we should not be providing full health care services.

We weren't aware that Wilson had been an immigration attorney. So TPMmuckraker went looking for information about his work in the field. And we came up dry.

Funny how no one remembers the immigration attorney part of your career, there, Joe.

The House is about to condemn him for a breach of decorum. They should condemn him as a lying asshole. Then again, to be fair, they'd have to condemn nearly every single GOP rep for that...

In other not-a-racist Southern gentleman dumbfuck moments, Mike Huckabee should've chosen his descriptions a lot more carefully:

Is there a competition for "Most Blatant Politically and Racially Charged Comment" underway in the national discourse? Swear to god, the stupid is being turned up to 11.

The latest yokel terribly upset and angered by the fact that there's a black man sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office is failed Presidential candidate and alleged man of God, Mike Huckabee. In a tirade on Fox News ostensibly about the death of journalism, Huckabee very publicly heaved himself up on the jug-bandwagon by letting slip this little beauty:

On Van Jones, Huckabee said that when the former Obama adviser was “caught with bright red lips making outrageous statements about Republicans, police officers, and it being discovered of his belonging to numerous radical groups, the media was incapable of so much as a notice of his record and only mentioned him at the time of his resignation.”


I wonder -- does the antebellum, Reconstruction-denying segment of our society believe that, now that we have a "minority" President, they have license to let the race hate out for everyone else to see? Do the willfully ignorant teabaggers consider the ramifications of alienating a majority of the country . . . or can they even spell "ramifications"?

For those who may be at a loss as to why "bright red lips" is offensive, see the accompanying illustration.

While Huckabee indulges in minstrel imagery, Human Events goes for the angry black man stereotype:

I'll take racist dog whistles for $500, Alex.

The anger that seemed President Obama’s central theme in his September 9 speech to Congress was palpable, almost shocking. He demanded action now, and threatened to “call out” those who -- he claimed -- were spreading falsehoods about his healthcare nationalization plans.

Obama does not seem to realize that the fire and brimstone of the campaign trail have to be left behind when a man enters the Oval Office. Presidents who exude confidence, competence and principle usually succeed. Anger belies the self-confidence that has been Obama’s trademark. It may soon replace it.


Shorter Jed Babbin: hide the white women, Obama's on a rampage!

I'm sure if asked if he realizes what he's saying, Jed has perfected his outraged innocence face. And he'll probably have a photo of his black friend handy.

These folks may not realize what the ramifications are. But eventually, the phrase "losing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of advertising" might sink in:

Today, Color of Change announced that since it launched a boycott of Glenn Beck’s Fox News show a month ago, the controversial host has lost half of his estimated advertising revenue:

According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck’s program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. ColorOfChange.org launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck’s estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.

That's an appreciable chunk of change. And Color of Change has only just begun to make Faux's bottom line bleed. The lesson, my darlings: racism doesn't pay.

Someone might want to tell that to the folks in Tenneesee who've decided to try their hands at running on racism rather than the merits:

Two years later, we're unfortunately seeing a replay.

A Congressional race in Tennessee has become freighted with racial overtones almost a year before the election, with a prominent black politician saying the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.

The black candidate, former Mayor Willie W. Herenton of Memphis, has argued that Tennessee needs a black voice in its currently all-white delegation. He is running a blistering campaign against Representative Steve Cohen, a fellow Democrat with a precarious hold on the majority black district.

"To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans," Mr. Herenton said in a recent radio interview on KWAM. "He's played the black community well."

Herenton's campaign manager, a black county commissioner, told the NYT, "This seat was set aside for people who look like me. It wasn't set aside for a Jew or a Christian. It was set aside so that blacks could have representation."


Herenton has been a fairly successful mayor of one of Tennessee's largest cities. He can very easily run a campaign highlighting his record and accomplishment. To target his opponent's race is cheap and unnecessary, and antithetical to Democratic Party politics.

What the fuck is wrong with the black politicians in that district? It's not the first time they've tried that gambit against Cohen, and I'm pretty sure it'll end up the same way. Blacks in the district do have representation: they chose to have Cohen represent them by an enormous margin. They decided they're rather take the white Jew than the people trying to use the GOP's politics of race. That should tell these idiots something.

Apparently, they need to be told again. Just like certain morons in Congress need to be reminded that just because you're Southern doesn't make racism right.

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