Wednesday, October 18, 2006



I hope you remember my old pal Noah. Occasionally he sends a piece to DWT, usually when something is really getting to him. Looks like something did.

"Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life… Racism is total estrangement… Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual or physical homicide upon the out group."
- Dr. Martin Luther King

With the announcement this week that they are pulling funds from the campaign of Ohio Senator Mike DeWine and moving them to the troubled campaign of Virginia Senator George Allen, Repugs are once again indulging themselves in their proud history of racism and general bigotry. Surprise. Surprise! Go macaca man, go!

This week’s Washington Post poll shows that Allen has dropped almost into a tie with his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, a former official in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. To Repugs all this is truly horrifying. Certainly, the Repugs don’t want to lose the seat. Not only that, they consider Allen to be a man of Presidential stature, a man worthy of the 2008 nomination. Well, after all, they have been recently shown to have very low standards.

Is it really all just about power and maintaining a majority, or, is it a bizarro world perfect storm made up of numbers, money, and long term agenda? A war of class vs. class. A war against race. A war against gender. A war against preference.

This kind of thing is not unprecedented in the Republican Party. It’s not even possible to discuss this subject without understating the situation. The subject would fill many volumes, but, just a few representative facts will illustrate the horrible truth quite well. Let’s just go back to 1948, a nice arbitrary post-World War II year. That is the year that President Harry Truman decided that our armed forces must be desegregated. It was a move that had to come if America was ever going to live up to its ideals, just as letting Jackie Robinson play in the major leagues the year before had been. Some, however, were kicking and screaming about such things, including not only Republicans but many, particularly southern, Democrats. Many of these upset Democrats, or Dixiecrats, eventually left their long held allegiance and their party behind. Where oh where would they go? Where could they be with their own cherished, beloved whites-only-need-apply crowd? Three guesses and the first two don't count. Drum roll please! The Republicans welcomed them with opened arms as long lost brothers (no sisters around then).

Next came the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s and the Voting Rights Act of 1964, Kennedy legislation forcefully pushed through by Lyndon Johnson, who signed the bills while noting that moving the country toward the true equality granted in our Constitution and allowing black people to vote would cost the Democratic Party for at least a generation. Not only that, but, several more racist Democrats left the party. You can guess again where they went. The Democrats were now left to being those horrible moderates and LIBERALS that Repugs love to bitch and whine about. My god, they stood for racial equality! The world is going to hell! The sky is falling! To be fair, many Republicans did support Civil Rights legislation, but, the die was cast. The Republican Party of Eisenhower, who had nominated Liberal Earl Warren to The Supreme Court and sent troops to Little Rock to enforce desegregation of a high school, was moving far to the right, welcoming bigots of all stripes.

Next, in 1968, came a man with a plan: Richard Nixon. He harnessed the resentment over the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. The South would be Republican where it had been Democratic and that is, for the most part, where it remains today. George Allen is just one example. We’ve all heard of his hangman's noose and Confederate mementos, the tales of stuffing deer heads into mailboxes in black
neighborhoods, and writing (yes, he can write) racist sentiments on the walls of schools. Pleasant guy. Qualified to the max. Perhaps, Allen is a worthy Republican successor to the founder of The Knights Of The Ku Klux Klan and neo-nazi group The White Youth Alliance, David Duke, who the Repugs ran for United States Senator from Louisiana in 1990 (He lost, but, he did get over 43% of the vote. There may have even been a paltry few Republicans that actually didn’t vote for him.)

In the election of 1972, the states that had supported one of the last old line racist Democrats, George Wallace, in 1968, fell into the Nixon column when Wallace was cut out of the picture by a would be assassin's bullet. That worked out real nicely for Nixon and his Southern Strategy plan. The bigots were all his and they all voted Republican now. Even the last of the old and I mean OLD Dixiecrats, idol of Trent Lott, Strom Thurmond, finally switched to the Republican Party. It was a big tent of hate, indeed! Come one. Come all. Bring your own sheet. Ah! Trent Lott, the man who lost his job as Senate Majority Leader because of his comments praising Thurmond and his 1948 segregationist candidacy for President. The man who spoke in tribute to Thurmond before Lott? None other than 1996 Party Leader and Presidential candidate, Bob Dole. Early TV news clips even showed Dole leaving the podium with his smiling face on. The clips were quickly edited to remove him, a blatant act of protection by our right wing controlled media.

Even party icon, Ronald Reagan deliberately launched his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, MS, site of the most heinous of civil rights era crimes; the murder of three young workers by the fine local citizenry with the help of local law enforcement. They ended up buried in an earthen dam and Reagan gave his famous campaign opening "states rights" speech, thereby endorsing the local habits. There's a pattern here, folks. At least now, in 2006 some of it is starting to get coverage. You can't hold back a tsunami of evil forever. You can only hope to distract the viewer with something else. Calling Karl Rove! Lest anyone think George W. Bush is somehow different than this cast of goons, he managed to veto a Hate Crimes law while Governor in Texas and even lied about it to the whole country in the 2000 debates. I guess it wouldn’t be his first or last lie to the public he demonstrates such contempt for. Someone could write a great article on the numerous racist federal judges he has nominated. Given what has happened in Florida and Ohio, his voting rights feelings are well known.

So there you have it. There’s a bumper sticker on thousands of cars in Virginia. It says "Virginia Is For Lovers." Perhaps we will wake up on the morning of November 8th and find that it should read "Virginia Is For Bigots." I hope not, but, I won’t be holding my breath. Virginia is where I personally witnessed Whites Only water fountains. They went away, but, when I lived there you could still see the White People's Power Message billboard as you crossed over the Potomac from Washington. Granted, that was around 1970 but even after that, you could still visit what we called "the Nazi Outlet" store right out in the open, accepted by the community standards, on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. Old habits die hard though. Allen was elected in more recent times. According to the above mentioned poll, almost 50% of Virginians support him for re-election. How do they measure progress? More importantly, how does the Republican Party measure progress? That they are pouring so much money so desperately into the career of the likes George Allen and view him as an ideal Presidential candidate provides a very sad indication. What is it about a political party that embraces such lowlifes and what does it say about us as a people that we stand for it?

A last thought-- an addendum if you will. Food For thought inspired by recent headlines: Is Strom's history of having a black mistress while admiring his career built on racism the same as current Repugs pushing a homophobic agenda while cruising for 16 year old male pages? To me, that's just a rhetorical question. Of course it is. It’s all part of the fabric and pattern of what it means to be a Republican. I don’t worry about who people sleep with, but, pedophilia bugs me. Evidently, a lot of Repugs just don’t feel the same. Most politicians are hypocrites, but Republicans raise hypocrisy to an art form. It is truly a bizarro world here in 2006.



At 6:14 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

"To be fair, many Republicans did support Civil Rights legislation."

I think it's always worth pointing out that one of the Republicans who energetically supported civil rights was Connecticut Sen. Prescott Bush, the father of former President George H. W. ("Poppy") Bush and grandfather of President George W. ("Poopy"?). According to Kitty Kelley's invaluable book on the Bushes, the formidable Dorothy Bush, Poppy's mama, never let her son forget it. When he decided to become a good ol' Texas boy and oppose civil rights, he got one of her famous phone calls.

Dorothy lived into her 90s, and throughout Poppy's time in the House, then as vice president and even president, he came to dread those phone calls, dressing him down for betrayals of family principles.

What, one wonders, would Dorothy Bush have made of the idiot Poopy's White House reign of terror?


At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If memory serves, It was 1972(the year of RMN landslide )that Arthur Bremer took George" the bantam rooster' out of the campaign. Wasn't George Allen Sr the coach of Trickys Alma mater?

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Noah, It's truly disturbing sometimes to think of the right and their embrace of racism. I think their ability to hide their hatred from the electorate for so long is a true testament to the near complete duplicity of the media. It also shows that many white people in America are still at least a little racist. If we weren't then these politicians would never be elected.

I grew up in Texas and even though my mother made a real effort to raise me to live without racist or bigoted beliefs I was still surrounded by it every where else. I struggle every day to reject those thoughts in myself. I think most people are not willing to take on that stuggle and when society seems to be telling you its okay then why bother.

As far as Bush and race. His legacy is built on racism. The family fortune was built in large part from their support of Hitler and the Nazi party in pre-war Germany. As Governor, Bush first fought against hate crimes legislation(brought on by the dragging death of a man in Jasper) until he realized it was going to pass and then he jumped on board and took credit for it sighting all his hard work to make it happen.


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