Who’s ‘the party of civil rights’? That’s the wrong question

Kevin Williamson, writing in National Review, expresses contempt and disgust for what he calls “the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought” in modern politics. He then proceeds to indulge in something pretty close to the fabrication that he claims to despise.

Williamson’s thesis is that the Republican Party is and always has been the party that fought hardest for civil rights in this country, and that the Democratic Party has been the party that has fought hardest to sustain white privilege. And he is angry that the reputations of the two parties do not reflect what he perceives as historical reality.

“That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century,” Williamson writes.

Let’s stipulate that on the narrow terms in which Williamson attempts to define the issue, and within a particular time frame, he has an arguable case. Fifty or 60 years ago, much of the Republican Party did indeed support civil rights reform. That’s why the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., along with many other black Americans, considered themselves proud Republicans at the time.

Conversely, as Williamson documents well, a very large chunk of the Democratic Party — much of it located here in the South — fought bitterly against civil rights and desegregation and in favor of white supremacy. For years, the Democratic Party in Georgia and elsewhere even conducted “whites only” primaries, meaning that black voters such as King Sr. could not have participated even if they wanted to do so.

But once you get past 1960 or so, that history gets much more complicated. You’ve got GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater defending segregation in his 1964 campaign, while President Johnson, a Democrat, fought valiantly for passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

You’ve got George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, and by 1968 you’ve got Richard Nixon and his Southern strategy. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips described the thinking back in 1970:

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

In other words, trying to debate who deserves the title of “The Party of Civil Rights” can quickly get pretty ugly and confusing. So rather than sink into a morass of charge and countercharge, along with attempts to count the various racists on each side in various eras, let’s simplify things dramatically. Instead of discussing this in terms of Democrats and Republicans, let’s address it in terms of liberals and conservatives.

Looked at that way, the issue crystallizes immediately.

Yes, members of both political parties supported the civil rights movement. They were liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats.

Yes, many Democrats chanted “segregation now, segregation forever”; they were conservative Democrats. And that distinction can be traced through every institution of society.

Liberal churches as a rule supported the civil rights movement, as did liberal Jews and liberal clergy such as Will Campbell. Conservative churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention, on the other hand, bitterly opposed desegregation. When the issue split a denomination, as it did the Presbyterians for a time, it was the liberal faction that supported civil rights and the conservative faction that opposed it.

The liberal NAACP and ACLU pushed Brown v. Board of Education to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the liberal Thurgood Marshall argued the case and found a sympathetic ear in Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was so reviled by conservatives that they launched a long-running campaign to impeach him.

Conversely, conservative political groups such as the John Birch Society routinely condemned the civil rights movement as communist-inspired and -led.

Liberal newspapers in the South — the Greenwood Delta Democrat-Times in Mississippi and the Atlanta Constitution here in Georgia, among a few others — angered many white readers with support for desegregation, while conservative newspapers such as the Richmond News Leader, edited by James J. Kilpatrick, staunchly defended segregation on the grounds that “the Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race.”

“When the Negro today proclaims or demands his ‘equality,’ he is talking of equality within the terms of Western civilization,” Kilpatrick once wrote. “And what, pray, has he contributed to it? Putting aside conjecture, wishful thinking and a puerile jazz-worship, what has he in fact contributed to it? The blunt answer, may it please the court, is very damned little.”

And while liberal media outlets advocated strongly in defense of civil rights, conservative outlets such as Williamson’s own National Review argued just as strenuously that because of the “cultural superiority of white over Negro,” whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.”

At this point, let me make it clear that the conservatives of today are not the conservatives of 40 or 50 years ago; I have every confidence that many many conservatives today would strongly repudiate what earlier generations of conservatives espoused. Nor am I attempting to argue that they are permanently stained with the mistakes of their ideological predecessors, because that would be ridiculous.

But let’s also make it clear just what Williamson is attempting to accomplish in his essay. He believes a political legacy is important and useful. He believes that today’s conservatives deserve some vague sort of credit for something that previous conservatives in fact got tragically wrong. He also believes that on issues of race, it is possible to inoculate today’s conservative movement by linking it to a crusade that their ideological forebearers fought bitterly. And history will simply not sustain that claim.

I would further suggest that if today’s Republican Party has “allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony,” it is at least in part because today’s Republican Party has not exactly been in a rush to reclaim that part of its heritage.

– Jay Bookman

490 comments Add your comment

kayaker 71

May 24th, 2012
8:26 am

“We turned the corner”. “The recession is over”. “The economy is improving”. Yeah right. AJC reports today that of over 770,000 homes analyzed in the Atlanta area, 55% were under water. Nation wide, one in three homes are worth less than the mortgage on the home. And the most important stat of all…… Atlanta homes are down in value by a whopping 39%. Yeah, Bozo, we’ve turned the corner alright. Tell us another fairy tale.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
8:33 am

Ok here’s the short story

Civil rights legislation was passed via a deal between northern and southern democrats

Northern d’s would get civil rights legislation

Southern democrats got LBJ on the Kennedy ticket

It’s slightly more complex than that, but not much more

Mick

May 24th, 2012
8:35 am

yaker

You strain all credibility if you try to tie underwater mortgages to obama. You need another foil, try the ownership society for starters…

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
8:35 am

“By the way, I’m calling BS on your claim about a majority of nonwhite babies being born into a fatherless family. Feel free to back it up with actual data; I very much doubt you can”

Give me a freaking break stands. Everytime, I produce facts for you clown you throw a temper tandrum: (1) Facts about Roman Catholics being Democratic – you got your panties in a wad; (2) Facts about under-performing schools in GA being mostly in Democratic areas – you argued the AJC link was outdated. You vomit out of the mouth all the time about backing up my information then scamper away like a cockroach when the facts are prodcued. Here is one from Brookings pal – feel free to discredit this one yet again:

http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/1996/08/childrenfamilies-akerlof

Mick

May 24th, 2012
8:38 am

Romney’s education policy is a big dud. Trying to blame education problems on teachers unions is a fools game, one that won’t result in him being president. Pretty idiotic and simple minded, not encouraging…

Mandingo

May 24th, 2012
8:39 am

kayaker 71 you seem to enjoy blaming President Obama for all of Georgia’s problems. You come across as a KKK member that blames the black guy for the demise of the organization. Georgia is governed by men with low morals and misguided value systems. Look in the mirror and you would surely see the cause of the problems in Georgia. Your Johnny Reb Economic theories are comical and sad.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
8:40 am

MM @ 8.35, your study is a) from 1996 and the census data is about 2010, and b) doesn’t appear to address whether or not the family is “fatherless”, as you asserted, but rather unwed, which is not quite the same, now is it.

So my call of BS stands, and I think you’re a splendid example of the bat-crap emotional/crazy that motivates a lot of conservatives on the issue of civil rights.

scamper away like a cockroach when the facts are prodcued

When you “prodcue” any actual facts in support of your assertions, I’ll be there to comment and yeah, even admit if I’m wrong. I do that, you see. But you’ve provided nothing so far.

TaxPayer

May 24th, 2012
8:42 am

From Milton’s 1996 paper,

From the late 1960s to the late 1980s, the number of births per unmarried woman roughly doubled for whites, but fell by 5-10 percent for blacks. The fraction of unmarried women rose about 30 percent for whites, about 40 percent for blacks.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
8:44 am

Milton 8:35 they all do that even with up to date info

It’s a waste of time to present facts to the liberals

Moderates are a different story, but there are few of them here

TaxPayer

May 24th, 2012
8:45 am

Perhaps kayaker’s local economy is suffering as a result of his mortgage being underwater and he needs someone else other than himself to blame for it. After all, Republicans also blame President Obama when the cost of filling their SUV’s goes up.

godless heathen

May 24th, 2012
8:46 am

Quickly skimmed this thread this morning, and just have a few quick comments on the subject. First, many need to consult a dictionary and read the definitions of racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Early on, jewcowboy linked to an article titled, Most Racist Comments Politicos and Conservatives Commentators Made in 2011 (http://www.theroot.com/multimedia/how-do-they-get-away-it. I read this article and can only say if those are the ten most racist comments politicos and conservative commentators made in 2011, they are doing pretty good. To find racism in the majority of those comments took some real stretching. But if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. #1 was Gingrich speaking about lazy, poor children. Where is the racism in that statement? Mr. Gingrich knows full well that most poor children are white.

#8 was Rep. Doug Lamborn saying he didn’t want to get stuck to President Obama’s economic policies, ‘It’s like touching a tar baby….” The Uncle Remus Tar Baby story is a great parable. When did mentioning it become racist? I grew up in the rural south and I have heard every pejorative term that could be possibly used to describe black people, and I never heard anyone use tar baby that way. I have heard it used many times to describe a sticky situation one shouldn’t get involved in.

#3 was Gov. Perry calling Herman Cain, Brother in a debate. (As an aside the blog showed a picture of Romney speaking to Cain to illustrate this one.) So if AmVet calls Brocephus “Brother” on this blog, is he making a racist statement? Condescending maybe, but racist? Refer again to the definition of racism.

Oftentimes bigotry or prejudice is mislabeled as racist. Bigotry or prejudice is a lot more prevalent. I could go through this blog daily and find many examples of bigotry by the enlightened progressives. “cons are racists”, “repugs hate black people” “GOPers are only want to protect the wealthy” etc. Should not be confused with racism.

The fact is, almost noone is immune from the human propensity to feel that the group they belong to is in some way superior to someone else’s group. The most bigoted people I run into are poor white people. They use prejudice to feel superior to members of a group they don’t belong to. Just as limousine liberals do. The groups they disparage are conservatives, southerners, and “rednecks”. But that is good prejudice, I suppose. Certainly acceptable in modern society.

When I was a kid my cousins from out west would visit and they would talk about the disgusting Indians. Seemed odd to me because I kinda thought the poor Indians had gotten a bad deal. And they felt the same way about southern black people. Unfortunately, it seems that everybody gotta hate on somebody.

Anyway, I didn’t want to write a Mary Elizabeth post this morning, just my thoughts on the issue.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
8:46 am

Jm, I will repeat the pulled-out-of-Milton’s-arse assertion for you:

Now you libs are happy that the majority of live births today are to current minority women??? Yes, let’s just skip by the fact that most of theses babies are introduced into a “fatherless” family

This is unsupported, emotion-driven bullsh-t. Any principled conservatives out there — and I know there are some, are you one? do you even try to be one? — ought to repudiate this crap.

Mick

May 24th, 2012
8:47 am

jm

As if you possess the whole of the truth and facts! Your blinders are as dark as any cons…

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
8:52 am

16 hours in and no concrete evidence to refute Jay’s essay???

—————————

As to the “fatherless” families, unwed and fatherless are not one and the same.

jj

May 24th, 2012
8:53 am

Good to see that Comrade Bookman has joined the race baiting club. In my 60 years I have often found that those who cry the loudest are generally exactly what they say they are not.

JamVet

May 24th, 2012
8:55 am

“War on Women”

PLEASE.

The more correct name is The GOP’s Full Scale Legislative Assault on Women’s Rights.

Is that better?

Out again, enjoy your exclusive (as in exclusionary) lil club, cons!

Oh, and I really enjoyed that seventh grade analysis at 8:33…

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
9:01 am

” I have often found that those who cry the loudest are generally exactly what they say they are not.”

Much like a lot of the “christian” wingnuts who live here…

william

May 24th, 2012
9:02 am

For any of you that actually read and enjoy reading: Check out books on Theodore Roosevelt and his administration. Interesting in what Roosevelt, as a Republican, could support and what he did. Lots of opposition in his party. Reads about the same as today. One can suport Bookmans argument of liberals and conservatives in the books about TR.

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
9:03 am

“You strain all credibility if you try to tie underwater mortgages to obama. ”

especially since 99.9999999% of those were written during the heady days of W’s booming economy…

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
9:05 am

Godless… I loved Song of the South… It used to be on network TV on sunday nights every now and again…

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
9:06 am

Bro – How exactly do you refute arguments that are made like that? There are both truths and half-truths in the statements. And anytime anyone here tries, honestly (well, I may be giving some people here too much credit), to debate the issues and refute arguments, or make a counter argument are typically called racist or ignorant by others here. Kinda makes for a stacked deck. I’ve said it here, more than once, and others have made the same point about other topics, but this is an “old man’s” problem. By which I mean, it isn’t such a problem with people my age, and will most likely be less so with your children and their peers. Even living my entire life in Georgia, being raised in a community that was seemingly as segregated as it would have been 75 years ago, I grew up with none of the same hang-ups that were produced there 75 years ago. I look at people, and take them on an individual basis. I don’t care what you look like, I care what you bring to the table. I can try and refute what Jay, and others here have said all day, and not get anywhere. Others here, simply because I identify myself as a conservative will label me as a racist, and not listen to what I’m saying. Some of the ones that do listen to what I’m saying will decide I’m lying or just saying what I think you would want to hear. It is a lose-lose. So no, I can’t refute it, but I can say, and feel that with some certainty that I’m right, it isn’t going to be a problem for your children the way it may have been a problem for you.

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:12 am

(ir)Rational

All one has to do is show that there were Conservative groups back in the 1860’s that were actively fighting for abolition. Find conservative groups that fought out in the open against Jim Crow laws. Find conservative groups that actively fought for the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Likewise for the liberal side of the debate. Find liberal groups that actively fought against those things.

You have to remember that there were liberal and conservative elements in both parties back then. The current polarization that we see nowadays as something akin to normal did not exist even 40 years ago. Jay’s point, which is spot on, is that no one party can claim to be the party of civil rights as there were elements in both parties that fought on opposing sides for and against them.

Tundra Dude

May 24th, 2012
9:12 am

Jamvet:
The more correct name is The GOP’s Full Scale Legislative Assault on Women’s Rights.

They can’t help it, they’re serious students of the bible.

http://bit.ly/HLnp0T

15 Bible Texts Reveal Why God’s Own Party is at War with Women

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:15 am

(ir)Rational

I’ll also add that your observation hits the nail right smack dead on the head. It’s a generational thing. Younger people could give a sh*t less about it as we did not have to live through those days. However, when you study history, you know it has the tendency to repeat itself. If we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past, we have the potential to make them again.

Corey

May 24th, 2012
9:19 am

ay
May 23rd, 2012
5:13 pm

Jay, Skipper’s point is he hears it all the time, morning noon and, night read so passionately by the professional teleprompter readers on Channel 2 Action News. If I didn’t live in the city and was not accustomed to trekking on weekends throughout downtown and midtown and solely relied on Channel 2 to inform my views of the city I wouldn’t dare venture into the city either.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
9:21 am

Bro – I don’t remember a time when it wasn’t polarized. And honestly, it doesn’t matter one way or the other to me. I could analyze it, but what is the point? Things happened, no matter what we say about them, or know about them, they’re not going to change. What matters, is what is going to happen in the future. Do you really think it is healthy to label an entire group, based off a few people’s actions/statements as racist? I know you better than that, you’re willing to look at individuals (or at least I thought you were) and know that everyone has their own set of beliefs, formed by their own experiences and ideals. It isn’t my responsibility to go and look at what someone did 50 years ago, or 150 years ago and say “well, because they were conservative/liberal then I guess all people that take that name today have the same belief system.” Which is what it sounds like Jay and a lot of others here are wanting me to do/admit.

godless heathen

May 24th, 2012
9:26 am

Corey,

When I drive through an area and see burglar bars welded over everyone’s windows, I don’t need Channel 2 News to tell me that it’s not the neighborhood I want to live in.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
9:26 am

K71 — “The Civil Rights act has produced two or three generations of welfare dependence, such as the country has never seen. We have taken an ethnic group and turned them into a group of hangers on and government dependent people who can’t think past the next government check.”

How, precisely, did the Civil Rights Act do that?

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
9:27 am

(ir)Rational, 9:06

“. . .but I can say, and feel that with some certainty that I’m right, it isn’t going to be a problem for your children the way it may have been a problem for you.”
================================================

Having lived for nearly seven decades, I can confirm that you are correct regarding the perceptions of most of today’s young people in “taking (people) on an individual basis,” as compared with their parents’ and grandparents’ perceptions of others. It was for precisely that vision, and for that hope for the future generations, that Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to give his life’s efforts as well as his life. . .

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
9:29 am

Bro – I’m not saying don’t learn from history, I’m saying don’t let your perceptions of the past shape/form your entire basis for how you approach today. I read an op-ed about a year or two ago talking about how this dad from Southern California was taking his son to UNC or NCSU or one of those schools (I remember it was in North Carolina, but can’t remember the specifics), and how he had to teach him how to “drive in the South.” As if somehow it would be a crime for the young man to own a car and drive around campus simply because of the color of his skin. I can see how that could have been a problem years ago (I would even concede as recently as when you were growing up), but I don’t see how that could be a problem in a major city today SIMPLY because that city was in North Carolina. If you teach your children about the problems you faced, great, if you teach them about the problems you faced as a child, that haven’t come up in 20 years, and teach them as if the problems still exist today, I feel that is where the problems are perpetuated. You’re placing your experiences and expectations on another generation, hampering the evolution of the problem. In my opinion anyway.

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:30 am

Do you really think it is healthy to label an entire group, based off a few people’s actions/statements as racist?

Nobody’s labeling an entire group as racist. That’s where many people jump off the tracks. Pointing out which groups did what does not automatically equate to the entirety of the group believing the same way. The only thing I see with that is that someone could be guilty for being complicit by not speaking out against the grain, but I’m not interested in making any allegations of that nature.

As Jay and many others have stated, the groups then bear no resemblance to today’s groups. Nobody’s claiming that a conservative today is racist because of past conservative behaviors. I would think you’re smart enough to see that statement made and understand that nobody’s labeling groups. What this debate is about is the false statement that’s always made about the GOP being the party for Civil Rights and the Democrats were against it. That statement is patently false because there were groups in both parties that were for and against the Civil Rights Act.

In short, nobody’s accusing you of being racist because you are a conservative. The whole point is that the GOP can not claim to be the party of Civil Rights because that’s not the complete truth. I hope this can help you understand this whole thing much better.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
9:35 am

Mary Elizabeth – Others have made the same point about things such as same sex marriage here. People my age just don’t care. We look at our elders that spout off crap about how this, that, or the other is wrong and shake our heads and dismiss it as them being old and stuck in their ways. For some people, myself being one of those people, were raised that way. It is ingrained in us, just as much as the opposite is ingrained in older generations, to accept people for who and what they are, not what they look like.

TaxPayer

May 24th, 2012
9:35 am

We have taken an ethnic group and turned them into a group of hangers on and government dependent people who can’t think past the next government check.”

The majority of so-called government dependents up here in the little ole county where I live are most definitely members of that white “ethnic group”. How does that fit in with kayaker’s claim.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
9:37 am

Brosephus — “For those who are melanin enhanced and know the truth, they realize that neither party really gives a rats ass about us beyond what we do at the polls. Once we cast that vote, we don’t exist.”

This is not unlike how some atheist voters feel. Neither party seems to want to come right out and court our votes (though John Kerry came closer than anyone else IMO), but the GOP is downright hostile to us. There’s an atheist ping list on Free Republic.com, but every time Rim Job, I mean Jim Rob figures it out, he purges us all and deletes all our discussion threads. The Democrats aren’t *friendly* to atheists, but at least they don’t go on pogroms to get rid of us.

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
9:39 am

“When you “prodcue” any actual facts in support of your assertions, I’ll be there to comment and yeah, even admit if I’m wrong. I do that, you see. But you’ve provided nothing so far.”

Good grief. Do you think within the past 10-20 years that the family unit has strengthen is the country??? That defeats all studies and logic which you appear to have very little.

Unwed and fatherless families are different??? So using your “logic” a father magically appears when the single mom leaves the hospital to take care of the child???

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
9:41 am

if CONSERVATIVES gotta tell blacks that the CONSERVATIVES was for the CIVAL RIGHTS THEN you’ve already lost them. DEMOCRATS DONT NEED TO REMIND BLACKS

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:41 am

JHM

Glad to know I’m not alone. I don’t know how you can do Free Republic. Everytime I try to read through different threads there, I have to leave before I give myself a concussion by facepalming.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
9:43 am

Bro – I understand it quite well, honestly. I’m not arguing based solely off today/yesterday’s conversation. I’m going back over the time that I’ve spent here and drawing off that experience. Like I said, I feel like I know you better than to think you would label an entire group as racist based off past actions, and the actions/words of a few. Yeah, some of us might be complicit when we don’t speak up against people that say things that we should speak out against. I think that argument could be made for both sides. And I would ask when did (insert any name you wish here) start speaking for “all” of us, or even just for me, as is asked here so many times nearly every day. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to defend or refute every statement made by anyone who opens their mouth. If they’re big enough to open their mouth and get it put out there nationally, they’re big enough to defend themselves for opening their mouth. If what they said is blatantly and patently stupid, why should I have to point it out if it is obvious? If asked, I’ll give my opinion, but that’s typically about the best you’ll get from me.

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
9:44 am

we dont need liberals to tell us which side they were on, we already know….why do conservatives feel they need to tell blacks whose side they were on? Dont they know how insulting that is to blacks, like we dont hav e commonswnse to know who our friends are…it was white liberals who were on the side of equal rights not “STATES RIGHTS” CONSERVATIVES

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
9:51 am

Brosephus — “Glad to know I’m not alone. I don’t know how you can do Free Republic. Everytime I try to read through different threads there, I have to leave before I give myself a concussion by facepalming.”

We have different circumstances and backgrounds, and clearly different life experiences, but we seem to have similar outlooks on a lot of things.

I still sympathize with many classically conservative principles, but I don’t see today’s GOP being either honest or determined in pressing their case in any kind of coherent fashion. Because of that lack of honesty and character, I can’t be part of the GOP or down with their causes any longer.

That could conceivably change at some point, but given where we are, I don’t see it happening any time soon.

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:52 am

I don’t feel it is my responsibility to defend or refute every statement made by anyone who opens their mouth.

No worries then. My earlier statement would not have been directed at you. Honestly, based on your posting, I wouldn’t have directed that question or statement in your direction anyway. My original statement was geared more towards those who come here everyday with the same post… “Jay lies…”, “Jay’s spreading liberal talking points…”, and things like that. I feel that if you’re going to accuse somebody of doing something, then you should be able to prove your accusations. You don’t come here and accuse anybody of doing anything unless you’re specific about what your point is. If I were you, I wouldn’t let this stuff bother me because it really doesn’t have any bearing on you at all. I’ve never seen you make any such false claims, so I’d defend you against anybody making blanket accusations in your direction. There are people here of both political leanings that are cool, and there are some of both who are jackasses. I tend to ignore the jackasses as much as possible.

Brosephus™

May 24th, 2012
9:55 am

JHM

I think time changes all things. There are far fewer of the “extremist” type of conservatives in the younger groups. The GOP has the opportunity to get back where it’s supposed to be, but it will be the younger groups that will get it there. I’ll probably get accused of age bias, but I think many of the older people are too set in their ways to adapt well to change. That’s why you have the “I’m more conservative than you” thing going on instead of truly sticking to what the basic principles should be.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
9:56 am

MiltonMan — “Gotta love Watts – knocking up a couple of girls in high school while being raised in a Democratic family. Saw the light & turned from the dark ways. Jumped Ship??? Hardly my man. The guy contemplated voting for Obama but instead donated to old man McCain’s campaign – waste of his money in my opinion. The guy is doing pretty well right now & continues to support republlcan canididates.”

Actually, Watts *did* jump ship and said so when he left Congress in 2002. He was tired of being the token the GOP trotted out every time they wanted a non-old, non-white face in the crowd, but not being otherwise important to the party.

I understand that the final straw for Watts came when the Crusader missile defense system (which would have been partly built in his district) was cancelled by the DoD — because he only got two hours notice before SecDef Rumsfeld announced it publicly. FWIW, I can relate to Watts’ position — it’s pretty hard to stick with a political party that acts like it doesn’t want you around and only comes to you when it wants something for its own benefit.

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
9:59 am

do conservatives think blacks dont know that BIRTHERISM is sbout OBAMAS race?

Mary Grabar

May 24th, 2012
10:02 am

Nice to appoint yourself historian, Jay. Yeah, for the final word on history, read my blog post! So do you also have “Truth Team”? It’s no wonder people aren’t subscribing to your paper.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
10:02 am

Brosephus — “I’ll probably get accused of age bias, but I think many of the older people are too set in their ways to adapt well to change. That’s why you have the “I’m more conservative than you” thing going on instead of truly sticking to what the basic principles should be.”

FWIW, if you ever want to *troll* Free Republic instead of participate, the best tactic I’ve found is what my wife and I call “Righter Than Thou.” When you pick out your target, stake out a position farther to the right than he’s professing. Get emphatic. Call your mark a liberal, a commie, a Code Pink nancy boy, whatever. Just make it clear that you’re criticizing him for being a librul. It TERRIFIES them. :D

I think the “more conservative than you” thing is like a territorial display in the animal kingdom, and that if you assault someone’s conservatism, you’re questioning their masculinity and threatening to take their ‘territory’ away.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:04 am

Bro – Thanks. Means a lot that you think well enough of me to defend me. I’ve had a few of y’all do that recently when I was asking questions that were upsetting people. Makes a kid feel good that you old fogies can accept me. ;)

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:08 am

JHM – That does sound like fun. :)

Jay

May 24th, 2012
10:09 am

And yet here you are, Mary, reading and contributing to an AJC product.

Thanks!

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
10:11 am

How lovely. Jay seems to have riled up a member of the conservative blogosphere.

Ms. Grabar, regardless of what you think of Mr. Bookman’s work, I’d much rather write for a major metropolitan daily newspaper than for Pajamas Media. Of course, YMMV.

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
10:17 am

ir(Rational) 9:35 am

“Mary Elizabeth – Others have made the same point about things such as same sex marriage here. People my age just don’t care. We look at our elders that spout off crap about how this, that, or the other is wrong and shake our heads and dismiss it as them being old and stuck in their ways. For some people, myself being one of those people, were raised that way. It is ingrained in us, just as much as the opposite is ingrained in older generations, to accept people for who and what they are, not what they look like.”
=============================================

I agree with your words, (ir)Rational, but I would add a cautionary note. Be sure to size up each of the “older generation” on their individual thoughts and merits, and resist predetermining what those thoughts might be based on their age (although I know full well what you meant).

For example, I have never (at whatever age I happened to be on my age continuum) perceived of others in terms of their race or sexual orientation, or any of a myriad of other ways that divide. One thing I cannot control is getting older and being a part of the “older generation,” any more than I can control the fact that I was born as a Causasian or as a heterosexual woman. There are as many variations of thought in the “older generation” as in any other group, although you are probably correct in your implication that humanity is evolving in its perceptions and that most of the older generation are “stuck” in their views of a past time. That is why we need to study history. As someone has said, “If we do not know from where we came, we cannot know where we are going” (In other words, by knowing our history, we are able not only to see the future emerging from the past, but we can also, hopefully, learn from it.)

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
10:18 am

Why do some white southerners get mad if we say the Confederates were traitors? Isnt anyone who takes up arms against their nation, traitors?

Mighty Righty

May 24th, 2012
10:20 am

You leave out meaningful details. Wallace, Thurmond and Helms were Democtas. Al Gore, Sr. was a noted segregationist as was William Fullbright, Bill Clintons mentor and friend. True the Republican party took advantage of the disarray(sic) the Democrats were experiencing over the “States Rights” issue much to the shame of the party. However it was the Republican party that passed LBJ’s civil rights legislation over the objections of the Democrats. Also, it was Eisenhower that enforced school segregation. Finally, the republicans problem with Earl Warren who was a Republican had to do with his activist interpretation of the constitution which we are paying for today. It had nothing to so with his stance on segregation or civil rights and a lot to do with his interpretation of the commerce clause.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:22 am

Mary Elizabeth – I realize that there are differences between thought processes in the older generations just as much as there are in my generation. I learned a lot of my beliefs/thoughts on this subject from my grandparents and even my great-grandparents. As well as from my parents. I wasn’t saying all of them, I was basically saying they are more likely to be the ones standing in the way of progress on this and other issues.

Mighty Righty

May 24th, 2012
10:23 am

ir(Rational) 9:35 am

You will get over it. We all did.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:24 am

Gotta say, resisting responding to trolls is VERY difficult. The level of stoopid is just mind blowing.

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
10:26 am

(ir)Rational, overall I am proud of today’s young people. :-)

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:28 am

Mighty – What?

Mary Elizabeth – That’s surprising. Most of you old farts/strike> people think we’re a bunch of immoral, impertinent little turds. Actually, I’ll go one farther and say that most of the people my age think that about the generation behind us.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:30 am

BOOO!!!! I messed it up. :(

That’s surprising. Most of you old farts people think we’re a bunch of immoral, impertinent little turds. Actually, I’ll go one farther and say that most of the people my age think that about the generation behind us.

There, I fixed it.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
10:30 am

If Romney Believes — “Why do some white southerners get mad if we say the Confederates were traitors? Isnt anyone who takes up arms against their nation, traitors?”

I’m a Suthun boy, and I have gotten into some EPIC arguments with other Suthun boys who didn’t like hearing someone call their great-granddaddies traitors. Well, you know what? Germans don’t celebrate their Na Zi forebears, and I don’t think Americans should be celebrating their Confederate forebears, either.

Long story short, if you have an ancestor who fought for the South, then you have a traitor to America in your family tree. Deal with it.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:35 am

JHM – I could argue, but it would be pointless (especially for me, my ancestors gained their citizenship by wearing blue), that they weren’t traitors to their country, they were fighting for their country. The southern states, at that time, were not part of the Union. They had formed a separate country, and were fighting for the survival of that country. I would agree that people like Davis could rightfully be called traitors, but the rest, in my opinion, weren’t.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
10:39 am

(ir)Rational — Let’s agree that we have a legitimate difference of opinion, and perhaps the basis for a very good and very lengthy discussion, and leave it at that, then. :)

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:40 am

JHM – Works for me.

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
10:50 am

@irarational

but they didnt have a right to form their own country.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
10:53 am

And the people of the 13 Colonies did? I would say there was more precedent for it in 1860 than there was in 1776.

reasonable

May 24th, 2012
10:55 am

Moderate Line – thank you. You have made the same point on this issue that I have tried to make before. It is fair to note, however, that those northern Republicans were also absolutely essential in getting cloture on the southern fillibuster. That was made possible by negotiations between LBJ and Republican Minority Leader Dirksen prior to the cloture vote. Jay, while I agree with your post, I think you slight the moderates in both parties who also played a key role. This was, after all, a time when moderate was not seen as a dirty word.

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
10:57 am

@irrational

no matter how u try to sanitize it, they were traitors plain and simple

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
11:00 am

I’m not trying to sanitize it. Like I said, I could agree with an argument that people like Jefferson Davis were traitors. The common soldier, you’ll never convince me of that.

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
11:08 am

(ir)Rational, 10:28 and 10:30

“Mary Elizabeth – That’s surprising. Most of you old farts/strike> people think we’re a bunch of immoral, impertinent little turds. Actually, I’ll go one farther and say that most of the people my age think that about the generation behind us.

That’s surprising. Most of you old farts people think we’re a bunch of immoral, impertinent little turds. Actually, I’ll go one farther and say that most of the people my age think that about the generation behind us.
There, I fixed it.”
================================================

Why would you feel it necessary to end such a pleasant, reasonable discussion in such a negative way, (ir)Rational? I am disappointed in your choice.

if Romney believes the government doesnt create wealth why does he want the top government job

May 24th, 2012
11:08 am

@irrational

so youre saying only the leaders were traitors? wrong, anyone who fights against their country is a traitor. I’m from Hopkinsville,Ky. and in our county {Christian County} we have the JEFFERSON DAVIS MONUMENT..it looks like the WASHINGTON MONUMENT

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
11:10 am

Mary Elizabeth – If we have more pleasant exchanges in the future, you’ll learn that I’m more than a little bit of a smart aleck. It is in my nature. I rarely take things (especially myself) too seriously. And find great joy in poking fun at people.

Mary Grabar

May 24th, 2012
11:19 am

Not paying for it, though. And YOU are reading National Review. Thank YOU and to all the readers of PJ Media (Joe Hussein Mama), the Weekly Standard, and other places where I write. These places, btw, are gaining readers, not losing them.

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
11:20 am

So? People can build monuments to whatever/whomever they so choose. In Atlanta, well actually Stone Mountain, we have the entire side of a mountain dedicated to the leaders of the Confederacy. Doesn’t really change anything, one way or the other. Wouldn’t change anything if it weren’t there. To your point about anyone fighting against their country being a traitor. Okay, but what was their country? Cause if you look in the history books, between 1861 and 1865, they were citizens of the Confederate States of America, not the United States of America. They argued, correctly, that this country was formed by voluntary agreement among the states that made it up. They decided that they no longer agreed with those in power, and that it was their right to withdraw their membership. Many in the north agreed with them, and would have been content to let them go, but Lincoln felt (and I would argue also correctly) that it was his duty to preserve the Union and provoked a fight in such a way that it made it look like the South was the sole aggressor, therefore swinging northern sentiment his way. It worked, and we had a long and bloody war to decide who was ultimately correct. While it could be argued that the issue was never truly decided, Lincoln changed the course of the war dramatically in 1863 when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, changing the cause of the war from states rights, to slavery. Interestingly enough, and a fact that is often overlooked/ignored, he only freed the slaves in the states he had no power to do so in. He didn’t make it illegal, and he didn’t give the freed slaves citizenship.

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
11:21 am

ir(Rational),

Well, I can’t really contribute that difference in how we would post to a “generation gap.” It is, I think, essentially a difference in our unique natures.

Thank you for the follow up post, though, and do have a good day.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
11:23 am

M. Grabar — “Not paying for it, though.”

Shrug. Your page clicks are paying the bills too, Madam.

“And YOU are reading National Review. Thank YOU and to all the readers of PJ Media (Joe Hussein Mama), the Weekly Standard, and other places where I write.”

Don’t strain yourself in leaping to all those conclusions.

“These places, btw, are gaining readers, not losing them.”

Well, train wrecks *do* draw crowds, you know. (laughing) :D

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
11:26 am

Mary Elizabeth – You have a nice day as well.

Mary Grabar

May 24th, 2012
11:32 am

So, Joe Hussein Mama, if you’re not reading PJ Media, how can you determine the quality? (It apparently doesn’t meet your standards.) Of course, I was referring to Mr. Bookman’s attempt to clear the historical record at National Review. I believe the article in question was by subscription only. And shouldn’t you be reading National Review if you’re commenting on an article in it?

(ir)Rational

May 24th, 2012
11:38 am

if Romney believes – I’ve got things to do, but I’ll be back if you would care to continue this conversation.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
12:15 pm

M. Grabar — “So, Joe Hussein Mama, if you’re not reading PJ Media, how can you determine the quality?”

Come now. One can read the work of the various contributors without actually having to *visit* PJ Media. Knowing who you are and being somewhat familiar with your work doesn’t mean that I’m following you around on the Internet. And when did I mention the Weekly Standard?

“(It apparently doesn’t meet your standards.)”

Or Pam Geller’s, apparently.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/01/pajama-media-closes-its-doors.html

“Of course, I was referring to Mr. Bookman’s attempt to clear the historical record at National Review. I believe the article in question was by subscription only.”

I imagine the AJC, like most major newspapers and periodicals, has subscriptions to most *other* major newspapers and periodicals. But that doesn’t mean that Jay’s necessarily devouring every word in NR or NRO.

“And shouldn’t you be reading National Review if you’re commenting on an article in it?”

Reading the article, certainly. But I don’t see how you can necessarily draw the conclusion that anyone’s a regular or frequent or even irregular reader of NR or NRO simply based on their citation of an article. I’ve directed many friends and collegues to articles and essays online, but that doesn’t mean that any of them became subscribers or regular readers because of it.

IOW, I’ve read the Bible more than once, but that doesn’t make me a Christian.

Finally, on the topic of gaining readership — considering PJM collapsed about three years ago, I’d say y’all have nowhere to go *but* up. So congratulations on cracking into the Top 1000 websites in the US — climb just another 400-500 places and you’ll be up in AJC territory.

Mary Grabar

May 24th, 2012
12:42 pm

Joe Hussein Mama,

http://pjmedia.com/

It collapsed? So then who sent me my check for my article this month?

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
12:55 pm

M. Grabar — “It collapsed?”

It did; the news was all over the conservative blogosphere in early 2009. Read my earlier link from Pam Geller and this one from Ann Althouse.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2009/01/pajamas-media-blogging-enterprise-has.html

“So then who sent me my check for my article this month?”

Who said it *stayed* that way, Madam? Perhaps you should have paid closer attention to the last sentence of my previous post.

Kimono

May 24th, 2012
2:11 pm

Republican an democrates helped pass civil rights the far religious right or far right wing of evangelicals or what is today the base of the republican party today teabaggers moral majority and back in the day the clan a fringe group of southern white men and their property. I mean wives Have always been against civil rights for blacks. Browns women an gays They hide behind their bible to spew their hate Hence their slogan take back America

Moderate Line

May 24th, 2012
2:40 pm

Mary Elizabeth
May 24th, 2012
7:21 am

Having lived in both the South and the North, I think that Moderate Line posted astute observations at 6:09 pm last evening on this issue.
++++
Thanks. It is a well known example of the Simpson Paradox. Statistics can many times be misleading.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson’s_paradox

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
2:54 pm

You know, Ms. Grabar, 2009? Around the time you lost out on the AJC editorial gig to Kyle Wingfield? Kyle’s still here, but you? No, you’re not a regular; you only come around once in a while to gripe and complain.

I bet those AJC editorial grapes are still sour, aren’t they?

Atlas Shrugging

May 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

So Joe all of us “wives” (you idiot… proof what you blog) white folks that worked for civil rights in the 60’s didn’t believe in what we were doing thus the phrase “take back America”! YOU achieved civil rights all by yourselves????

Joe Hussein Mama

May 24th, 2012
4:22 pm

Atlas Shrugging, I don’t know who you’re addressing, but I don’t think it’s me. You seem to have me confused with another poster.

Corey

May 24th, 2012
6:06 pm

godless heathen

May 24th, 2012
9:26 am

Godless, every window in the city has burglar bars on the window?

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
7:44 pm

Moderate Line, 2:40 pm

Glad you saw my post. I thought your perceptions were very much on target regarding the issue of civil rights in both the North and the South, from having lived in both places, and especially from having lived in Georgia since the 1940s, with time out for living in NYC from 1963 – 1970. (Btw, I seriously considered not returning to my Georgia roots, in that I had already been offered a job with the City of NY upon my graduation from college in 1970. I had more natural affinity with most in NYC than with most in Georgia.The difference in points-of-view regarding the civil rights issue (which you sharply caught) was only one example. But, roots are strong and family, dear, so I returned. However, I later married a French immigrant and removed myself, mentally, from either! ;-)

I am going to post the following link from my personal blog, in case you might enjoy reading it, Moderate Line. In it, I discuss how “knowing” truths sometimes can be gathered beyond “data analysis.” Don’t feel a need to respond to my blog entry, or even to read it, but just in case you might be interested, here is the link:

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/danger-zone-stereotypical-thinking/

Fast and Furious Spending

May 26th, 2012
10:37 pm

Jay,

I had always considered Kevin Williamson a weak link in the National Review chain.

You’re weaker. He sure put you on your butt.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/301053/yes-party-civil-rights-kevin-d-williamson

[...] that statement has some truth in it, it was not my argument at all. As I wrote, asking which party is the party of civil rights is simply the wrong question; the [...]