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August 23, 2006

Someday In The Dark With George

Here’s what I really like about George Bush. While America gets busy defining each of his acts as either stupid or an outright lie, George does something to prove just how irrelevant the discussion is. It happens every day; he’s President Old Faithful.

For example, while the media is focusing on Ned Lamont’s defeat of Joe Lieberman and how that puts a serious anti-war spin on the 2006 elections, President Old Faithful holds a press conference and declares we will remain in Iraq as long as he is in office. Then the next day the Marines start an involuntary call-up of 2,500 reservists for active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Do you think George is stupid enough to say “there is no necessity for a draft?” Or would he just be lying?

Republicans are trying to distance themselves from their southern racist image and, therefore, from Virginia Senator George Allen after Allen referred to a brown skinned American-born man as a foreign-born macaca (you know, the polite form of “jigaboo”). So what does President Old Faithful do? Does he do what’s politically correct? Does he do the honorable thing and speak out against such behavior? Does he change the subject?

Nope. He decides to host a private fund-raiser for George Allen!

I’ll tell you, George Bush has done more for making the teevee news interesting than a thousand Katie Couric colonoscopies. He’s my favorite sitcom, next to “Everybody Hates Chris.”

Karl Rove should only be spinning in his grave.

Posted by Mike Gold at August 23, 2006 03:33 PM

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Ain't it just about the truth? It's not a draft, it's a call-up, which, as we all know, proves there's no need for a draft.

Did you hear his glowing announcement of aid to help reconstruction in Israel and Lebanon after the recent unpleasantness? Not a word about how Shrub did the square root of jacks$#t to bring hostilities to a close sooner, and make the damage less in the first place.

That mule kick to the head as a child must've been a mofo.

Posted by: Manny at August 23, 2006 10:06 PM

Republicans are trying to distance themselves from their southern racist image...

What southern racist image? Dude, I was BORN and RAISED in the south. A few miles from where I live there was a very famous sign of a Klansman on his horse "Welcoming you to town" (unless you were black or Republican).

What few Republicans there were in the "Dixiecrat" south couldn't get elected dog catcher until around the 80's when a number of Republicans from up north began to migrate south.

If there is a southern racist image of Republicans it's due to Democrats rewriting history to make themselves look better.

It wasn't a Republican Governor blocking school doors to keep the black kids out. It wasn't Republican sheriffs turning the hoses on them and siccing the dogs on them. And it wasn't Republicans with "white-only" lunch counters and water fountains. You can call them Dixiecrats if it helps you distance the Democrats from its own racist past, but I remember that shit.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 24, 2006 08:49 PM

Many Dixiecrats, most notably Strom Thurmond, their presidential candidate in 1948, seemed to have been embraced by the Republicans when they were looking for a new and more comfortable home after parting with the Democrats.

Whereas I can site many a Republican administration governing in cities with restricted water fountains -- including those I saw in southern Indiana in the 1950s -- your point is well taken: the segregationist movement defied the political parties of its time.

But that has little to do with my comment. Southern Republicans have, indeed, been trying to distance themselves from their racist image well since the battles in Birmingham and Little Rock -- note I used the word "image." Something the Southern Democrats tried to do with a but small measure of success a couple decades ago.

If only Northern Democrats were as progressive. Them was Democrats who were shooting at me in Cairo Illinois (where I was affectionately known as "nigger lover") back in 1968. Not to mention post-JFK era festivities in such Democrat-run cities as Boston, Chicago and New York.

But that George Allen sure is a hoot.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 24, 2006 09:25 PM


Neither party has a monopoly on racism -- but although you may "remember that shit," you either are unaware of or choose not to acknowledge the historic origins of southern "Democrats" after the civil war. For over a hundred years, it was difficult for a Republican to get elected in the south for the simple reason that the Republican party was the party of Lincoln. But while the southern white Democrats (with the tacit complicity of their northern brethren) were busy oppressing your family, there wasn't exactly a vocal minority of southern -- or northern -- Republicans bravely standing up for minority rights. And when civil rights finally became a national issue that couldn't be ignored any longer, it wasn't the Republicans who pushed the agenda to the forefront.

Maybe it was just chance that put two consecutive Democrats in the White House when the civil rights movement came in to full bloom (and one of them from the south, too), and maybe it was just good old-fashioned Democratic wishy-washy, flip-floppy, cut-and-run cowardice that allowed the movement to gain some measure of success. And maybe you're lucky Nixon didn't win in 1960.

Or maybe a Nixon-esque Republican would have been great for the civil rights movement -- or at least not nearly as bad as the current crop of Republicans and "conservatives" running the country today. They are a different breed entirely (many of them used to be southern Democrats) -- and IMHO they are not your friends.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 24, 2006 10:05 PM


I won't deny that Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms did indeed switch parties, but just as many didn't. All you have to do is look at Robert Byrd, George Wallace, Fritz ( I put the confederate flag over the South Carolina State Capitol) Holland to see that many of them are still there. all they did was change their names from "Dixiecrat" to "blue dog Democrats".

And they're just as strongly embraced by today's Democrats as you claim the Republicans embraced Strom and Jesse. Hell, a few Black Democrats even spoke up to defend Robert Byrd when he called someone a "white nigger" a few years back.


I know it sounds like I'm defending Republicans, but I'm just not interested in letting Democrats whitewash their own racist past. Although I tend to vote Republican, I'm an Independent. I vote for the candidate, not the party. In fact, in most local elections I tend to vote Democrat.

BTW, your history is a little shaky. Northern Carpetbaggers and Republicans gave many blacks their first chance to get into office and try to effect social change. Problem was they were marginalize by the sheer number of southerners who wanted the "yankees to go home" and the "niggers" back in their place. That's why the Nightriders and the KKK became so prevalent.

Republicans weren't in the White House or Congress in any great numbers at the time mainly because of the Great Depression. A number of blacks began switching parties back then. but it wasn't until Kennedy was assassinated that Blacks began to feel that the Democratic Party was the better of the two choices. LBJ was pressured into signing the Civil Rights Act and interestingly it was AL Gores father was one of the chief opponents against it.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 25, 2006 04:41 PM


I don't think we fundamentally disagree. Yes, the Democratic party has an undeniable racist past in the south, but the Democratic party has also done far more in the past 50 years (actually almost 60 years, starting with the party platform in 1948) to rectify past injustices than the Republican party has. So, at any given point in my lifetime, if I had to pick the more racist of the two parties on a national level, I think I'd have to go with the GOP.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 25, 2006 07:59 PM

Well said Rick,
No one is denying the past wrongs of the Democrats, but they have shifted in policy dramatically since the signing of the Civil Rights Act. If we are talking about the parties of the Here and Now, then I think you would be hard pressed to identify the progress the Republican party has made in favor of minorities.
In any case, the original thread was a commentary on the entertainment value of the current administration's zany policies. It's good for a belly laugh but often ends in chills up the back.

Posted by: George LaVigne at August 28, 2006 11:40 AM

Quite possibly, the racist reputation of the Republican party stems from the their recent identification with rich upper middle class corporate concerns, while the Dems have usually curried favor with organized labour, working class, and lower middle class. In other words, the social levels most minorities in America found themselves in.

Further, given that a Republican president sat in office when the stockmarket crashed in 1929, and did nothing for 3 years. A Democrat comes in, and at least does something to get things moving.

The current Administration has labelled anything not in line with their goals as "liberal". Since the Republicans control all levels od government,
anything "liberal" is Democratic. This has given us the white, rich, Christian, conservative Republicans vs. multicultural, working class, sucular humanist Democrats divide.

Posted by: Manny at August 28, 2006 12:45 PM

Old-fashioned conservatives were theoretically opposed to big government in all forms. Modern neocons are really only opposed to big government in the form of business regulation and social programs, both of which disproportionately affect the poor, who are disproportionately minorities. I won't argue the pros and cons of various social problems, although I will acknowledge that there is probably some validity to the complaint that some of those programs foster an unfortunate co-dependence that does not address the underlying root problems.

FDR is widely viewed as being responsible for ending the depression. This is only indirectly true. World War II ended the depression, not FDR's social programs. This ushered in an era of prosperity that enabled us to support both social programs and unprecedented military spending. Reagan is widely credited with bringing down the evil empire by outspending the Soviets on weapons of mass destruction. Now the cold war is over, and the era of prosperity is behind us -- but the military spending continues unabated. Something's got to give, and so the neocons boldly wave the banner of small government to jettison social programs, with no notable decrease in the taxes of most Americans since somebody has to pay for all those weapons and ancillary spending, and it sure isn't going to be the top 1% who reaped disproportionate benefits from George W. Bush's tax cuts.

It's somewhat ironic that it was a Republican president who said, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 28, 2006 02:23 PM

"FDR is widely viewed as being responsible for ending the depression. This is only indirectly true. World War II ended the depression, not FDR's social programs."

Rick, whether or not FDR's programs ended the depression was not the point. FDR actually did something to ease the strain.

WWII could be seen to have ended the depression, but could also be seen as the final inevitable result of the depression. The combination of the Versailles Treaty and the resultant collapse of the German economy gave Hitler the rhetorical ammo he needed to grasp power. (We'll save the excesses of said treaty for another time.)

Posted by: Manny at August 29, 2006 11:44 AM

Sorry, Manny. I got off on a tangent. I agree with your comments.

And regardless of whether or not FDR's social programs would have proved economically sound in the long run (we'll never know), I get to admire the results of one of them on a regular basis. We own some land in rural Wisconsin, and the CCC did a great deal to restore the forests and farmlands of Wisconsin.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 29, 2006 04:46 PM

If EClark really "remembered" the South, he'd also have remembered the fact that George Wallace REPENTED for his racism after the assassination attempt on his life in 1972. When he ran for Governor of Alabama in 1982, he spent a great deal of time among Black voters and this was marked by a very genuine impression in the Black community that Wallace was indeed sorry for his earlier actions. It is rather interesting to learn that in Wallace's first gubernatorial campaign in 1958, he refused the endorsement of the KKK--which his major opponent eagerly accepted--and picked up the endorsement of the NAACP. Wallace lost by 64,000 votes in the run-off, and following that defeat, Wallace tailored his ideology to match that of the state's heavily racist voters. I'd also note that the state's current GOP votes largely come from its racist contingent (the same group which made up the nearly 40% who voted to retain the state's constitutional ban on interracial marriages back in 2000).
Wallace also denounced the use of racist ploys in election campaigns (almost exclusively on the GOP's part) in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.

Posted by: JosephW at August 31, 2006 02:28 PM

In this whole discussion, I haven't seen what I think is the most important part of the "racism in political parties" being discussed: Nixon's Southern Strategy.

LBJ said that when he signed the Civil Rights Bills into law, the Democrats lost the South for a generation. Nixon started the ploy of using terms like "State's rights" to give their racism a patriotic sheen and using the term "Law and order" to go after peaceful protestors. This back-door, covert racism is still one of the mian tactics used to appeal to a segment of the population, such as:

-Reagan giving a speech about "State's rights" in the city 3 civil rights workers were killed in 1964
-Bob Dole proudly claiming he carries a copy of the 10th Amendment (used by anti-Civil Rights activists to say that the Federal Government has no right to stop segregation)
-Willie Horton.
-Bush's push-poll in 2000 accusing McCain of having a "illigitimate black baby"
-Trent Lott saying "we wouldn't have all of these problems" if Strom Thurmond had been elected President in 1948

The Democrats and Republican parties have changed a lot since 1964, and to claim that the Republicans still have the same ideals of Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln shows you just don't understand your history.

As for Bush himself...I've often said that to dismiss him as stupid is foolish. Bush isn't stupid, but every time I see him speak, it's very clear that he is of the opinion that everyone he is speaking to is a completel idiot, and is in dire of of condescention.

Posted by: Cory!! Strode at September 9, 2006 02:03 AM