Category Archives: Republicans

Technology Gets RNC in Trouble, Again.

You’ve probably already seen the picture of President Barack Obama eating fried chicken with the caption, “Miscegenation Is a CRIME against American values… Repeal Loving v. Virginia,” that was hastily removed from the Republican National Committee’s Facebook page.

In this case — along with the e-mails of watermelons in front of the White House and Obama bucks — it’s not clear whether anti-Obama racists don’t understand how quickly these types of things spread, or whether they just don’t think it’s wrong.

Racism as Backhanded Compliment.

from Wikimedia Commons.

In a post called “Penny-Pinching Jews and South Carolina Republicans,” Jeff Goldberg points to an editorial by two South Carolina Republicans defending Sen. Jim DeMint’s opposition to opening the federal spigot for his state.

Recently your newspaper published a letter from state Rep. Bakari Sellers attacking U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and his opposition to congressional earmarks.

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

To which one of Goldberg’s readers responded:

Perhaps I’m seeing something that isn’t there, but I inferred from the title of this post a suggestion of anti-Semitic bigotry on the part of the two county Republican chairmen.

First, I think there is a difference between stereotypes to be disparaged and stereotypes to be emulated. The chairmen were guilty of the latter. Second, I’ve lived 2/3 of my life in the South/Southwest and the rest in the Northeast. I’ve the noticed that the attitudes about Jews in either place to be remarkably different. In New York, a Jew is some jerk who is dating his sister or a weirdly dressed guy who’s probably hoarding diamonds. In the S/SW and probably in most of the Midwest, a Jew is David or Solomon or Daniel or Jesus or James or Paul.

Ah, yes! Those good stereotypes that we should emulate! They’re always tossed into the bin of “bad” and “racist,” which just isn’t right. Unlike “bad stereotypes,” the good ones are dehumanizing and condescending, but in a well-intentioned sort of way! More…

Which is which?

There’s been plenty of fun made on the intertubes of the GOP relaunch of their site. Marc Ambinder gave us 10 reasons why the site was ‘fizzlin’;’ Greg Saunders at The Talent Show rounded up all the banner images, which gives us some insight into the demographics the party is going after; Sam Stein at the HuffPo picked apart the GOP’s insistence that Jackie Robinson is a Republican hero; Christopher Orr at The New Republic notes the silliness of the updated “future leaders” page; and a few laughs were had over Michael Steele’s inaugural post on his (renamed) blog in which he informed us that the internet ‘has been around for a while, now.”

Today I showed a (quite conservative) web geek coworker the new GOP site. After he recovered from seeing the insanely bright red, he took screen caps of both GOP.com and Democrats.org, desaturated them, deleted all identifying info, and put them next to one another.

screengrab-196

screengrab-197

The aesthetic similarities are unsurprising. I don’t think it’s just a case of the RNC ripping off the DNC (which itself ripped off BarackObama.com). Pale stars and suggestions of stripes are just the trendy Web 2.0 way of saying “USA.” What is surprising, sorta, is the fact that when the identifying information is removed from each site, I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

In the words of my coworker: “Two parties, no color, no self-identification, just rhetoric.”

Black Republicans and the Specter of Tokenism.

(x-posted from U.S. of J. and the League)

The whiff of tokenism notwithstanding, I’m actually glad to see that there are credible black Republicans angling for high-level political office.  I’ve long argued that it would be good for black people, and great for the country, if Republicans took the African-American community seriously.  For starters, greater black representation within the GOP would probably force our political culture to actually acknowledge the huge amount of ideological diversity within the black community, and increase the likelihood that those views would find substantive representation in the halls of power. I know I’m not speaking alone here when I say that I am regularly annoyed/driven to a blind murderous rage by the fact that our political culture treats black people as this liberal, ideological monolith, which – despite our heavy support for the Democratic Party – is really not the case.

That said, there is a definite aura of tokenism surrounding these guys.  After all, they aren’t just the lone black faces in a lily white party (indeed, a party that takes “lily white” to its Platonic heights) – they are the lone black faces in a party that routinely and casually exploits racial fear and paranoia for political gain, and whose most prominent representatives in the media are race-baiting demagogues.  More importantly, and as Adam recently pointed out, the GOP has yet to really grapple with its ugly racial history, and in fact, hardly acknowledges it (Ken Mehlman’s brief words in 2005 don’t really count).  By contrast, Democrats – from the  Civil Rights Act onwards – have devoted a hell of a lot of political capital to atoning for their ugly racial history.  Indeed, the 1960s are something of an inflection point in that regard: at the moment that Democrats committed themselves to racial liberalism, Republicans embraced the disaffected white southerners left behind in the march towards greater political equality.

Tokenism, as I see it, has less to do with numbers and everything to do with self-respect.  Insofar that any of these guys are tokens, it’s in their willingness (and in the case of Michael Steele or Ken Blackwell, enthusiasm) to be used as props for a party desperate for cheap grace, and eager to absolve itself of its sins without doing the hard work of atoning for them.  That said, and assuming they want to reform the GOP from the inside, I wish them the best of luck.  They’re going to need it.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Nuts about ACORN

Today in my office, a pimp and his prostitute came looking for advice on where to score some blow and advice on how to fill out their W-2s. When I told them what they could do, they accused me of encouraging them to engage in public masturbation. I hope Beck and Co. don’t get hold of the video:

pimp

It’s hard out here for a pimp. No, really. James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles (not pictured above) risked their lives, limbs and a camcorder to infiltrate the den of “thug criminality” that is the largest organization of poor and working families in America.

This is a time for us to appreciate their deep commitment to maligning ACORN, which clearly is an issue of utmost importance in these most troubled and divisive of times. I am sure their hearts and motives are pure.

Now if we can, let us move forward and consider some of the news of the weekend:

1. As always, if you want to learn something new or interesting or possibly infuriating about health care reform, reading Ezra Klein is essential. (Blackink)

2. Are pregnancy, bunions, acne, or receiving therapy or counseling pre-existing conditions that might allow health insurers a reason to deny people coverage? Of course. Best health care system in the world, eh? (Blackink)

3. Officially, according to a U.S. Census report, the Bush years were full of fail. h/t John Cole. (Blackink)

4. Go with your first instincts, Roxanne Wilson. (Quadmoniker)

5. Massachusetts might appoint an interim replacement for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Ted Kennedy by the end of the week. (Blackink)

6. In an e-mail sent to friends and supporters last week, Van Jones made his first public comments since resigning from the White House. Said Jones: “Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the ‘outside.’ Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: ‘Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise.’ Churchill quipped: ‘Damned good disguise.’ I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now. :)” (Blackink)

7. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is cutting federally funded child care in the poorest wards of the District. Making it more difficult for single mothers to bring in money (or inviting child neglect cases) seems like a counter intuitive way of addressing city budget issues, at best. (Shani-o)

8. Something we probably won’t see in any campaign brochures from Texas Gov. Rick Perry next year: Texas remains first in the nation in rates of uninsured residents and uninsured children. Upholding family values and rebuffing creeping socialism … I love my home state. (Blackink)

9. Also related: Perry is not a very smart or honest man. (Blackink)

10. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) backed off prior claims that President Obama is a socialist because, uh … he’s not one. (Blackink)

11. Among those at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was the clear choice for 2012 Republican presidential nominee. The 600 voters said abortion was the most important issue in determining their choice. What else is there to say about that? (Blackink)

12. Also at the Values Voter Summit, the chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma made the case that: 1. we should trust the sexual instincts of prepubescent boys; 2. bigotry against homosexuals is fine by him; and 3. “all pornography is homosexual pornography.” Video here. Sigh … Michael Schwartz and his ilk are almost completely beyond ridicule. (Blackink)

13. So rather than resort to ridicule, Amanda Marcotte moves the conversation forward to talk about some of the very real problems with porn. Which don’t include making boys turn gay. (Blackink).

14. Don’t you love links about porn? Yes. Well, here’s another: “The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online. Considering the standard climax to even the most vanilla hard-core scene today, that means there is an entire generation of young people who think sex ends with a money shot to the face.” Whoa. (Blackink)

15. Feminist Finance speculates on where she’d be if she hadn’t rejected all the “dudely money advice” she’s received over the years. (Shani-o)

16. BitchPh.D puts out a call for volunteers for the 40 days for CHOICE campaign. (Blackink)

17. For John and Elizabeth Edwards’ sake, I hope his former aide is lying about this: “Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.” Please let that be a lie. (Blackink)

18. Let us mourn the death of American civility with Jude at First Draft. (Blackink)

19. Bruce Bartlett remembers Irving Kristol, father of neoconservatism. (Jamelle)

20. According to Marcus Buckingham at the Huff Post, women have grown increasingly unhappy as they made professional and social progress over the past 40 years. There’s a lot to digest in the provocative piece, and I get the feeling something is missing from this analysis. I need someone smarter than me to fill in the gaps. (Blackink)

21. After six years, Leslie Bennetts says The New York Times is finally attempting to set the record straight about the “Opt-Out Revolution” – well-off women who quit their careers to become full-time mothers. (Blackink)

22. Crooked Timber highlights a recent op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education that points out the problem of poor, black and Hispanic students choosing to go to less-demanding college institutions and an overreliance on standardized tests. (Blackink)

23. Colorism isn’t just the purview of black folk — it exists in the South Asian community as well. Sepia Mutiny notes a campaign that’s attempting to address the fear of darker skin. (Shani-o)

24. After charges were dropped last week against five men accused of raping a Hofstra University freshman, Amanda Hess parses some of the many problems of living in a rape culture. That includes false rape accusations. (Blackink)

25. In case there was ever any doubt, Andrew Sullivan has major pull. (Blackink)

26. While I was watching the Giants thump the Cowboys and the season premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” apparently Neil Patrick Harris and the Emmy Awards were putting on quite the show. (Blackink)

27. I’m finding myself agreeing with Alyssa again: you should definitely get down to your nearest newstand or bookstore, pick up a copy of the latest New Yorker and read Ta-Nehisi’s piece about MF Doom and hip-hop. And, like her, I might quibble a bit with a few parts of the feature. Then again, we’re both from the South. (Blackink)

28. Harry Allen asks if Kanye is doomed to become “the next O.J.”? At the least, Kanye’s “victimization” of Taylor Swift has drawn out some of the bigots among us. (Blackink)

29. Nearly four-fifths of NFL players are bankrupt or struggling financially within two years of retirement. The Business Insider looks at some of the reasons why. (Blackink)

30. And because I’m from Houston and hate the Dallas Cowboys, I really enjoyed this:

Feel free to drop some links that would be of interest or chat among yourselves. Let’s hope we’re all in for a great week.

Deuces.

More on Steele at Howard.

Sorry about the lack of posts, folks; we’re all swamped with real life. In the absence of actual content, I turn to the always illuminating Jay Smooth, who tackled that travesty of a town hall Michael Steele held at Howard University. Jay agrees with me: Steele is boring as hell. (And that when he attempts to son the angry white lady, he’s downright dishonest.)

Great White … Hopeless

Colin Asher makes a point that I wish I had made first (damn oversleeping):

Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins stepped in it twice over when she said the Grand Old Party was looking for a “Great White Hope” to stop President Obama’s political agenda.

Not only did she put the lie to Republican claims that the party’s beef with the president is purely ideological, and not racial, but by employing a boxing metaphor that she clearly doesn’t understand, she set herself up as a punching bag.

See, Ms. Jenkins, the thing about Great White Hopes is…they always lose.

Sarah Palin and Eric Cantor look an awful lot like James J. Jeffries to me.