The good that could come from ’stupid’ Harry Reid

I don’t like the “R” word, so I’ll agree with my colleague Cynthia Tucker: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was mostly being stupid in saying last year that Barack Obama could win the presidency because he was “light skinned” and lacks “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

But like cases of infidelity by Republican politicians who claim to be God-fearing men, we can easily find other similarly “stupid” comments by those racial harmony-seeking Democrats. And we can wonder why black voters continue to vote en masse for Democrats, and conservative Christians for the GOP.

For our other Reid-esque comments, we can start with the remark about Obama by then-Sen. Joe Biden in 2007: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Then, from the same new book that brought us Reid’s comments — “Game Change,” by John Heilemann and Mark Helperin, about the 2008 election — we get this, ahem, stupid remark about Obama by Bill Clinton: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.” Clinton made the comment in trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to persuade Ted Kennedy to endorse his wife, Hillary, during last year’s primaries. (Remember, Bill Clinton also tried to belittle Obama’s primary win in South Carolina by comparing his campaign to the 1984 and ‘88 runs by Jesse Jackson.)

And in an interview with Esquire magazine, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, also a Democrat, said he is “blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.”

Any of these can be interpreted in more charitable ways: Biden, now Obama’s vice president, misspeaks about nearly everything; Clinton’s “coffee” remark could have been merely about Obama’s inexperience; Blagojevich, well, he’s just Blagojevich.

I won’t even get worked up about a double standard that exists when a Republican says similarly “stupid” things. The double standard is so transparent by this point as to be rendered almost meaningless — and after this episode it will take a federal budget deficit’s worth of chutzpah for Democrats to go after the next Trent Lott. (Not that it won’t happen, anyway.)

I’m more interested in why these comments don’t shake black voters’ faith that Democrats are really looking out for their interests. I ask the same question of evangelicals and other conservative Christian voters, and their steadfast support of the GOP.

The best way to be marginalized as an individual or a group is to be easily taken for granted, and these two groups and others in America today may have reached that point. Yet they stand by their men — and it may be that large groups’ refusal to make the two major parties compete for their votes is a leading cause of our dysfunctional politics. The big voting blocs are arrayed permanently on the field, with both parties trying to move a few feet this way or that to capture the independents. And we wonder why we get the same old, same old.

If you’re a conservative Christian who wants Republicans to act out your values, make them earnestly compete for your vote. If you’re a black liberal who wants to see Democrats act more aggressively on issues like health care — rather than selling out to corporate interests, as a number of people on the left say — make them compete earnestly for your vote. Short of an ascendant third party, a reshuffling of voting blocs according to their interests might be one of the best ways to alter our politics.

That kind of outcome might even make the next Reid, Biden, Clinton or Blagojevich quote — or Mark Sanford, Glenn Richardson, Mark Foley or Larry Craig scandal — worth more than the usual bouts of partisan self-righteousness.

155 comments Add your comment

Robert

January 11th, 2010
2:47 pm

This parody song about sums up my feelings about this administration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR75PodzQgo

Joan

January 11th, 2010
3:09 pm

There are educated liberals, but the vast Democratic constituency is made up of entitlement types, union members, Acorn types and the like, most of whom wouldn’t read, and many who wouldn’t know how to read, a newspaper. So, you can’t expect them to know what is going on. A lot of them are still voting for Democrats because of FDR, and that is what their parents did. A union member is a groupie/lemming by definition, so will naturally follow the crowd over the cliff, or in the case of Obama, just drink the KoolAid.

Al Sharptongue

January 11th, 2010
3:12 pm

Joan seems to be a very bitter unhappy person. WWJD?
would he be so spiteful toward your fellow man becasue they do not think and behave like you want them to

Jefferson

January 11th, 2010
3:22 pm

Anyone who claims to be in or votes with a political party is in in or goes with a political union. So what are you Joan?

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 11th, 2010
3:46 pm

Obama has not accomplished anything, and is not likely too. Just look at the jobs mess: The unemployment report on Friday was an unmitigated disaster. Based on the government’s payroll survey, the economy shed 85,000 jobs in December, many more than analysts had expected.
Worse, based on its separate household survey, the government reported that the job losses in December were 589,000 — over SIX times more.
So which of the two figures better reflects the true number of jobs lost last month — 85,000 or 589,000 jobs? According to John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics, it’s clearly the latter. Strip out the faulty seasonal adjustments from the government payroll survey, he says, and it would ALSO show job declines of about 500,000 in December!
Result: Williams estimates that official unemployment is actually closer to 10.2 percent (instead of the 10 percent reported).

The government also publishes a broader measure of unemployment, which has now risen to the Depression-era level of 17.3 percent. This includes discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job for up to a year, plus part-time workers seeking full-time employment.

If you include ALL workers who have given up looking for a job (as the government used to before the Clinton administration changed the definition), Williams estimates that the TRUE, all-inclusive unemployment rate is now close to 21.9 percent!

And most shocking of all, we are suffering this chronic high unemployment despite the greatest government stimulus of all time.

Regardless of his race, light or dark skin color, and accent, Obama is very likely to be a one term president.

Joan

January 11th, 2010
3:51 pm

Hey, I am a happy person. I have worked hard and taken care of myself, but I resent like heck taking care of all of the liberals who don’t seem to think they should be responsible for themselves. I don’t hate them, but I don’t want to feed, cloth and take care of their healthcare and mistaken life choices either. I vote for what I think is the best for my country. I have never asked it for more than an opportunity, and I have gotten that, and made the most of it. I think for myself, and so am not a union type.

Dusty

January 11th, 2010
3:53 pm

Kyle Wingfield,

I really don’t know how to change my political bloc as you suggested., Republicans do not altogether suit me. Democrats are so far afield from my ideals that I could never join them. So how exactly do we make changes?

There’s the old threat “I’m not going to vote for you if you ……(cheat on your wife, disgrace your children, bomb abortion clinics, make racist remarks, act like a racist, raise taxes,, mess with my healthcare, devaluate our military, etc. etc.)”. We can write letters. We can send money. Do you really feel confident that such actions will make changes?

It would take a concentrated tsunami to make changes in Washington. No one there is listening, just looking at a few polls to see if their political status is secure.

I hope we do have some kind of tsunami. Right now, it just looks like a wind storm in Washington . When it is over there’s still nothing but dust.

Give us some concerete goals. Will just saying “Do what is right” still work? I wish I knew the answers.

Kyle Wingfield

January 11th, 2010
4:03 pm

Dusty: I don’t think it will be easy. And I don’t think a tsunami will happen anytime soon. But I am skeptical that significant change will happen as long as it’s one “base” versus the other, with independents up for grabs. The fights will always be the same, and so will the problems.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 11th, 2010
4:20 pm

Reality will change American politics, forever, and not necessarily in a good way. The reality of sixty plus trillion dollars in Federal commitments that cannot be paid in any way, shape, or form without destroying the value of the dollar for all. The politicians know this, they are just living large while they still can. As I have said before on this blog and others, the cash cow call social security just this year went into reverse. The feds now have to repay some of the trillions in non negotiable bonds in the social security trust fund in order to pay benefits to people, because social security in 2009 collected less in taxes than they paid in benefits, a condition that was not supposed to occur for ten years yet. The same will happen in 2010, so expect a big push in Washington to “reform” social security this year. The feds cannot do without the social security cash cow, so they will try to cheat people out of their benefits. Too bad for the politicians it is an election year, and anyone who votes to cheat people out of their social security will be defeated at the pols in November.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 11th, 2010
5:43 pm

I see nothing wrong with liking well-tanned people who use Negro dialect only for comic effect.

Allen

January 11th, 2010
5:57 pm

The “all quotes can be interpreted more charitably” argument draws a false equivalence between Lott’s embrace of an explicit racial segregation platform and Reid’s insensitive and embarrassing use of the term “Negro dialect.” A fair-mind listener understands the argument: Obama’s complexion and his ability to code-switch is an asset.

The contention that a double standard is self-evident has a stultifying effect on reasoned debate of the subject and encourages folks to re-entrench in their preferred positions. I remain curious about Kyle’ general argument but simply lack patience for spurious examples.

Maybe I’m blinded by bias, but George Will’s support of Reid provides some validation.

jt

January 11th, 2010
6:03 pm

“If you’re a conservative Christian who wants Republicans to act out your values, make them earnestly compete for your vote. If you’re a black liberal who wants to see Democrats act more aggressively on issues like health care — rather than selling out to corporate interests, as a number of people on the left say — make them compete earnestly for your vote.”

There is a giant demographic tsunami coming this way.

And they are not interested in your little R&D party.

Keep trying to make them relevant.

Jess

January 11th, 2010
6:44 pm

What amazes me is that democrats seem pleased that the Senate Majority Leader is merely stupid.

David Axelfraud

January 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

Well Kyle, Cynthia sure didn’t take too kindly to Trent Lott for his words. Funny how liberals will call repubicans racists when one of their own members was a grand wizard of the KKK.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2002 agreed with former Sen. Trent Lott’s (R-Miss.) decision to resign his leadership role after Lott made what some felt were racist remarks at former Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party.

“He had no alternative,” said Reid at the time claiming, “If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it’s that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I’ve always practiced how I play.”

2010: He was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately.

Yep, that Reid sure be ethical.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 11th, 2010
8:09 pm

Race is the least of our problems, but the sole focus of a few idiots on both sides of the issue. Our standard of living is about to revert to the mean, after sixty five odd years of exceeding the mean. I believe the first signs will be in rapidly rising prices for essential imports, like oil and gasoline and rubber. Luxury items that are confused with essentials, like coffee, tea, and cocoa will be next. Only then will manufactured goods join in the general price run up, as the dollar becomes worthless on world markets. You can whine about racism till your are blue in the face, but it will not buy you one more gallon of gasoline.

Bob

January 11th, 2010
8:18 pm

Did Clinton mean that Obama worked as a waiter to put himself through school or something ? What did he mean by saying Obama would be getting them their coffee a few years ago ? Was that like a rookie hazing or something where a new senator fetches coffee like NFL rookies run errands for veterans ?

Left wing management

January 12th, 2010
12:38 am

There is no double standard affecting conservatives. The notion that there’s even the remotest connection between what Reid said and Lott’s abhorrent utterance is utterly absurd. Laughable in the extreme. But does that stop conservatives from their usual fits of whining? I ask you, does it stop them?

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 12th, 2010
12:49 am

We are all marginalized by the duopoly of the two-party system, and neither the Democrats nor Republicans have incentives to change anything about it.

Independent and third-party candidates are rarely in a position to compete since they are usually seen as “spoilers.” Why vote for them and take the risk that the Democrat or Republican you most object to will win over the one you least object to?

But there is an idea catching on at the State and local levels to prevent the spoiler effect: Instant Runoff Voting It allows voters to cast their ballots by indicating their preference order for the candidates.

If the person you really want does not get enough votes to win, then your vote goes to your second choice, and so on. The process repeats automatically until one of the candidates wins a majority.

It just plain makes good old-fashioned common sense. Imagine the power of your vote! Imagine how much public money would be saved on runoff elections!

Who would possibly not want to have it? The Democratic and Republican parties, of course!

Joel Edge

January 12th, 2010
6:23 am

You’re correct. Change won’t come from the two main political parties. Unfortunately things will continue down this path for some time to come. With the libs trying to expand government as far as possible and all politicians trying to live high off public money. While companies try to save every nickel they can at the expense of jobs in this country. Change will come after a crisis. A big one. Then some individual will come out the blue and offer drastic solutions to the problem. By then frightened Americans (already comfortable with government control) will vote in large numbers for this person. Sound familiar? If you doubt this, read some history.

Kick Me

January 12th, 2010
7:29 am

Kyle,
This is a great message. If America wants change (as we say we do), we’ve got to start thinking in new ways.

Even in the face of real crisis neither Democrats nor Republicans are showing any signs of a willingness to compromise on ANYTHING. We can’t count on our reps for change.

No, we’ll have to make change ourselves, through our own truely independent thinking.

Skip

January 12th, 2010
7:47 am

Kick me, “make change ourselves”, you must never read this(or any other) blog.

kitty

January 12th, 2010
7:56 am

You have to look at the past record on race for Reid and Lott if you are going to compare those comments. Reid was stating a political truth about white Americans. Lott was stating what he really thinks about blacks considering where he comes from. I have lived down here enough to know that racism is just quieter now among most Southerners but it is still strong and it slips out like it did when Lott spoke.

kayaker 71

January 12th, 2010
8:05 am

You mean ebonics won’t wow the electorate any more than redneck rhetoric will have a hard time getting someone elected. Of course Bozo changes his manner of speaking when he gives a speech before the Black Caucus or in front of the numerous black organizations that he addresses. His teleprompter has a switch on it that changes the manner of speech from one to another depending on the need. Just like Hillary sticks a wet finger in the air before making an opinion statement. All politicians are of the same stripe regardless of their party affiliation. No wonder no one trusts them.

DAVID-AJC TRUTH DETECTOR

January 12th, 2010
8:14 am

LET’s HAVE ONE SET OF RULES FOR BOTH PARTIES…

DAVID-AJC TRUTH DETECTOR

January 12th, 2010
8:15 am

CYNTHIA……IS A DAMN JOKE……THE AJC IS A JOKE.

Partisanship is alive and well

January 12th, 2010
8:26 am

I didnt know getting welfare means you are a liberal as so elogently stated by Joan. Joan please get your facts straight. Your little taxes do not cloth and feed all of those in need in the USA. How do you know your taxes aren’t going to fix roads or help with public school. Your taxes are used for more than welfare payments to other people. PLEASE GET OVER YOURSELF!

Partisanship is alive and well

January 12th, 2010
8:27 am

David: Why waste your time on these blogs if it is a joke?

neo-Carlinist

January 12th, 2010
8:34 am

Excellent screed, Kyle. I think what gets lost (or is ignored) is the fact that politicians are a shrewd lot. You think Democrats care about “healthcare”? You think the GOP cares about “racism”? These “issues” are ginned and spinned to make political hay. none among us will go through life without feeling marginalized, or being subjected to some for of discrimination. Our nation was formed as the result of a Declaration of Independence, not Co-dependence. Nobody speaks for me. Politicians create issues (racism, terrorism, drugs, “too big to fail”, etc.) for the sole purpose of then offering a “solution”. We’re all racists and we’re all stupid. and by “we” I mean including Joan. Joan, when you identify a bad guy (liberals) you surrender your independence for the faux security of the herd (which, I am pretty sure is Kyle’s point). You’re tired of picking up the tab for “liberals”? I’m tired of picking up the tab for AIG, Xe/Blackwater, etc.

Ask a black person

January 12th, 2010
8:34 am

The comments made by Reid were inartfully stated but they are the truth. If Obama talked like Jeezy or TI he would not be president. If he were dark skinned like Wesley Snipes he would not be president. What Reid said was a round about way to praise Obama but he used the wrong choice of words.

The comments by Lott were inartfully stated but if you say they are true then you agree we as a nation should still be segregated. You believe that we as nation would be better off if every black person had to continue to sit at the back of bus. All of these are what Lott was agreeing to in relation to Strom Thurmond. There is a distinction.

Ask a black person

January 12th, 2010
8:36 am

Neo-Excellent point. Its so hard for me not to be partisan when the R’s keep slapping me in the face with their partisanship.

2 Wrongs dont make a right but it darn sure makes it even.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 12th, 2010
8:46 am

Africans cause trouble where ever they go, this is from todays wsj: “The riots began Thursday when a local resident fired a pellet gun at a documented African migrant worker, lightly wounding him.

African immigrants in the area responded by burning cars and vandalizing shops. Some local Italians retaliated by forming bands that began going house-to-house attacking immigrants. The clashes, which appeared to have ended by Saturday, left dozens injured, including a group of immigrant men who were beaten with metal rods.” you can read the rest of the story at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126324769848725205.html

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 12th, 2010
8:50 am

Just yesterday I predicted there would be increases in social security taxes, today I see a proposal for the Medicare tax to be extended to include all investment income, like dividends, interests, and capital gains. Also from the wsj ” WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators are considering applying for the first time the Medicare payroll tax to investment income as part of a compromise to pay for a health overhaul.

The extra Medicare tax would apply only to the wealthy and could allow congressional Democrats to reduce the sting of a tax on high-cost insurance plans, said Democratic aides and others briefed on the negotiations.

Labor leaders complained directly to President Barack Obama on Monday about the tax on high-value plans, which would hit some union members who have negotiated generous health benefits.

At least one union is threatening to oppose the underlying legislation if the tax remains, and the president of the AFL-CIO suggested in a speech that Democrats who took unions for granted risked losing support in congressional elections later this year.

“Politicians who think that working people have it too good … are inviting a repeat of 1994,” when Republicans took control of the House after decades in the minority, said AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka.” U kin read the rest at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126325868807825625.html

?

January 12th, 2010
8:52 am

So Dems are Corrupt: We should not be taxing the rich? Arent they the ones that sent the jobs overseas but the peril of the working class? I say tax the sh** out of them.

lmno

January 12th, 2010
8:59 am

It seems that Reid’s comments were more derogatory towards the general public than Obama himself. He is basically saying he has little faith in the general public’s ability to see past color or dialect.

Blue

January 12th, 2010
9:01 am

Ask a black person; is it really your belief that if a republican had said the same thing, that Obama would have simply said that it was “inartful”? And that the democrats would not have lashed out with indignation? Be honest about it.
?…I would probably be considered “rich”, but I have not sent ONE job overseas. I have simply become a strong producer for my company. And the government already taxes the sh** out of me. Your mindset of “keep taking more from those that have achieved” will, eventually, take away the incentive for those people to keep on achieving. Read the IRS numbers; the top 5% of income earners pay 50% of federal income tax, and the top 50% pay 97% of the income tax. I’m not saying that I want people with little to pay more…but increasing spending (like both the current and the last president did) and funding it by taking MORE from those who are already paying MUCH is fiscally irresponsible and unfair. CUT SPENDING. And for those who always say “rich pay no taxes”, I refer you back to the IRS numbers. Check them out for yourself.

Dan

January 12th, 2010
9:02 am

? has an appropriate handle I think, the rich sent jobs overseas? how about unions forcing them to go. But of course the whole argument is silly, just the manufacturing portion of the us economy alone is about the size of Germanys entire economy. So claims that there are no jobs here or that they all have been sent overseas is quite ignorant

First Sergeant

January 12th, 2010
9:05 am

Partisanship is alive and well stated at 8:26 am, Joan, “Your taxes are used for more than welfare payments to other people.”

Partisanship, you must understand what you are working with here. Joan is simply spewing the same-old garbage she listens too on television; you know the channels! However, I’ll be willing to bet, that with the bad weather we’ve experienced these last few days, she certainly looked for the roads to be cleared, cleaned, and ready for travel. And, when those accidents occurred, I’m sure Joan expected those to be cleared ASAP. Oh, and how about the problems we are having with underground pipes bursting. I’m sure Joan expect those to be repaired ASAP also. Now, let’s pray that Joan isn’t involved in an accident during this bad weather, because, if she was, she certainly would expect emergency service and treatment. These are just some examples of what our taxes are used for. Oh, I can’t forget that if Joan had been affected by our struggling economy, she certainly would not have expected help from anywhere. Why? Because, unlike Americans who do not share her views, she has “worked hard and taken care of herself.” There is no-way a struggling economy can affect her. If I were to advise her, it would be very simple; “treat people as you wish to be treated” and “quit being so self-righteous”.

Finally, Joan states, “A lot of them are still voting for Democrats because of FDR, and that is what their parents did”. Wrong!! Actually, many blacks voted Democrat, and will continue to do so because of proven failed Republican policies and their “self-righteous, elitist attitudes”. Besides, the last presidential election was quite easy; Like it or not, there is no way McCain could have accomplished what President Obama has accomplished already!

?

January 12th, 2010
9:09 am

Blue, thanks for your rational response. I got some good information from your posting. I am middle class and I pay my taxes. I dont want to be poor or pay any more than my share. I do not think poor or middle should pay more. I do believe the rich should. They have it to spare. So what if you dont get to go to Paris this year. Think about your fellow Americans.

If you want to talk about taxing the sh** out somebody here is the breakdown of my check.
$1400 before taxes
-300 Ins
-400 taxes

I bring home about 700-800 every 2 weeks. No welfare and I am a home owner. No new taxes for people like me.

Ask a black person

January 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Blue: I can agree with one point you made. I would be upset that a R said something like this just like Reid. I say yesterday to my coworker what he said was wrong but it is true. I would say the same thing if an R had said it. Granted I would have been more mad at the R than the D.

Rev Al Sharptongue

January 12th, 2010
9:13 am

reid told the truth, he is not racist

?

January 12th, 2010
9:14 am

Dan: Tell that to the 5 million people who have lost their jobs in the last 3 years. My husband being one of them. Your post was ignorant.

You must be one of the lucky few that still has a job. In that case I wish you all the best and hope you can keep your job to feed your family. These big corporations did send jobs overseas for the benefit of their bottom line, PROFITS. Please dont ever forget that.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 12th, 2010
9:17 am

Dear ? – My point was that the federal government is already bankrupt, with approximately 60 trillion dollars in promises that cannot be paid. I predicted a rush this year to raise the social security tax, and a day later I see this proposal to include investment income in the Medicare tax. If that flies, it will be easier to extend to social security. I do support lifting the limit on income that is subject to social security such that the income is unlimited, and investment income should be included. The wealth have been getting away with murder on their taxes, like the private equity thieves paying only a 15% capital gain on their so called carried interest. So yeah, tax the rich, but remember the definition of rich is up to the politicians, and they are a lying, thieving lot. They just might include a lot of us in the upper income bracket.

Blue

January 12th, 2010
9:19 am

?…read what I said. I do NOT want you to pay more. That would be STUPID. Like I said, I am for not taxing ME even more (by the way…I pay about 40% of my taxes to Fed, State and Fica). And who are YOU to say that rich people go to Paris? I make well over six figures, yet I live in a house that is about 1/4 of what I could, I drive an 11 year old car, I don’t buy things I don’t need. I rarely go on a vacation, and certainly not overseas when I do. And that allows me to tithe to my church, that allows me to buy an air conditioning system for a good friend who is down on their luck, that allows me to provide Christmas presents for up to 10 families each year. I say that NOT in pride. But to refute your assertion that “they have it to spare”. THAT statement would be the exact same as me saying “all people who are in need are in that situation because of all of their poor choices”. Although it would be true for many, there are truly people who NEED help and deserve it.

Blue

January 12th, 2010
9:22 am

?…again, jobs overseas. You are right…they do it for profit. Maybe our government could DECREASE SPENDING and stop taxing companies (i.e., the organizations that PROVIDE the jobs) to the point where they feel like they have no choice?

no name

January 12th, 2010
9:32 am

Kyle, I agree with your comments that our candidates have been marginalized. Blagovich’s comments are true too, he was raised in a more typical environment of a black man than Obama, but the party chose Obama to hold up as a Black candidate and push his race to other Black leaders. Why, because as we are told by Reid, he fit the mold of what they could sell to Americans. Why was this a historical election? If I had a child with an Asian, would he be considered Asian or White, what about if I have a child with italian imigrants, irish? Does it really matter? Obama was played, the black vote was played, and people aren’t paying attention to the real issues, but rather reacting emotionally.

I think that Harry Reid’s comments are racist because he is indicating that as a culture the “negro” is inferior and can’t win an election. That is racist and this kind of thought is not color blind.

AeroNautica0909

January 12th, 2010
9:35 am

This is about the first time that I have agreed with Mr. Wingfield since he started writing for the AJC… there needs to be shifting in voting blocs to really change political behavior. Each party has gotten too comfortable with their base and are not really looking out for the interests of their voting blocs.

sane jane

January 12th, 2010
9:36 am

Kyle writes an excellent post that correctly points out hypocrisy on both sides. And most of these comments only see the one side that appeals (or repels) them.

That’s precisely the problem.

Those of us who are politically concerned but not party affiliated pretty much have nowhere to go – we see the hypocrisy too.

So the electorate shrinks, independents get turned off and become disinterested, and government officials become elected based on who’s hard-core partisans are the most enthusiastic about Their Guy.

Wonderful.

Sometimes I think the only political change that will affect this country will, by necessity, be violent upheaval.

HDB

January 12th, 2010
9:41 am

“I’m more interested in why these comments don’t shake black voters’ faith that Democrats are really looking out for their interests. I ask the same question of evangelicals and other conservative Christian voters, and their steadfast support of the GOP.”

Kyle, here’s my take on this as a person of color:

1) Many Caucasians have YET to be completely exposed to people of color, particularly those out West. Many of the things they say are insensitive, but the INTENT is not the same. Having travelled throughout this nation, I can tell the difference in INTENT and viewpoint….and the preponderance of people can tell the difference. The problem with conservatives is the INTENT….for since the GOP has numerous racist intents, people of color see the racism first!!

2) Conservatives still don’t believe that racism exists….and that conservatism’s champions were generated from the Southern Dixiecrats….who were racist in theirphilosophy. The GOP changed in 1964 from the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Racists..with Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, et. al.. They have yet to counteract that philosophy.

3) Conservatives have yet to fully embrace people of color as their equivalents…..and thereby decry measures to make equivalency so, i.e., Affirmative Action, better access to education and employment. Note the response to Colin Powell in the 200 GOP Convention when he stated that the party needed to expand its tent, and to do so, it needed to expand its thinking on minority issues; he was BOOED off the stage!! To expand on Kanye West’s statement: Conservatives don’t like black people!!

4) Please let me know when a conservative Republican has gone into the black neighborhood to ask for my vote?? Answer: NEVER! How can one’s mind be changed if communication doesn’t occur?

5) The mainstream media…the conservative bastion of communication, always adversely portray people of color in the negative!! Who does the presentation?? Answer: White people!! MSM IS conservative; who owns them? Corporate America!!

6) Remember what Martin Luther Kng, Jr said about church: 11:00 am on Sunday in the most SEGREGATED hour in America!! That fact still hold court!! How many evangelicals have invited people of color to worship with them. eat with them?? Rare, if any! The evangelical viewpoint seems to denegrate those that don’t believe as they do; ALL religions are based on the same tenents!! The application is the difference!!

7) Democrats tend to be the champion of the preponderance of minority issues, whereas the Republicans tend to champion the issues of the wealthy and white. Democrats have over 1500 minority delegates to its Conventions; Republicans have less than 150. Republicans appear to be uninterested in anyone without substantial money; Democrats want for those without money to be able to access it!!

8) Look at the Republican’s records on race since 1964….and compare to any Democrat; enough said!!

Yes, Reid’s comments were boneheaded, but compared to Trent Lott’s statement stating that the path that Strom Thurmond wanted to take this nation if he were elected President, i.e., continued segregation….I’ll take Reid’s apology over Lott’s anyday!!!

Opinion????

?

January 12th, 2010
9:43 am

I think the politicians from both sides are in trouble. I see a lot of educated people posting things in a different light. I am not pro D but I am anti R.

Thanks.

Roadie44

January 12th, 2010
9:46 am

I think this is a pretty good column and the responses prove Kyle’s point that people stick to their pre-chosen view. The responses all point out that the other guy is stupid. I don’t feel that Reid’s comment was as stupid as some people seem to think. I do think that it is actually a sub issue. For example, can anyone name the last President of Italian, Greek or Spanish or Lebonese desent. Do you think it has nothing to do with the fact that they are darker?