Rand Paul, Victim

Avatar

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist and blogger. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith or via email. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own.

Related Post Roulette

459 Responses

  1. Avatar DRS says:

    Someone should ask him why he felt he could only talk about black history to a black audience. Surely he’s invited to speak in many places in front of many audiences; what’s stopping him from talking about black history there?Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    “I think some think a white person is not allowed to talk about black history … which I think is unfair.”

    He went to Howard just so he could say that he tried to talk to Those People, but they don’t listen.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    It’s odd how many other white folks seem to be able to talk about history of whites, blacks, etc without becoming a victim. Very odd. It must feel terrible for Paul to under such a handicap that isn’t shared by other white peeps.Report

  4. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Translated: “It’s completely unfair that I can go to a university, talk about a subject on which the students are far more informed than me, and have my ignorance called out by the students!”

    If all you have on African-American history is “the Republicans are the party of Lincoln”, then you should be listening to the students at Howard, not talking at them. The problem isn’t being a white person talking about black history; it’s being a white person who knows little about black history lecturing black people who know a whole lot more about it, and expecting to get a pass on his ignorance.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Yup- Actually if someone wants to outreach to a community the very first thing to do is pull up a giant frothy mug of STFU and just listen. Then listen some more, then think about what you have heard and only then speak.Report

      • Avatar FridayNext in reply to greginak says:

        Or better/in addition, as TNC pointed out in an earlier post on the subject, actually hire some people from that community to be on your staff.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to FridayNext says:

          And who would the Republicans who not be accused of being a race traitor? Considering that 99% of the students at Howard are very liberal Democrats, where are the Republicans suppose to find african-americans who can help them and who would be acceptable to the liberal students of Howard?Report

          • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to superdestroyer says:

            Maybe you’d do better recruiting them if you weren’t still following the Nixon strategy.

            “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. 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”

            50 years of that, no wonder your racist party has so little support from the people they BETRAYED.Report

          • Avatar FridayNext in reply to superdestroyer says:

            If you actually STFU and go to places like Howard and listen to the concerns of people there and not dismiss them as 99% anything, you might learn there is a lot more diversity of opinion than you are willing to admit. Finding out what those concerns are and how your preferred world-view might engage them and their concerns instead of writing people off (or on) based on a small set of hot-button topics, would be a start.Report

          • “Considering that 99% of the students at Howard are very liberal Democrats, ”

            The students there might skew majority Democrat, at least I assume so (although I wouldn’t claim 99%). But it’s not clear to me that even those who vote Democrat are necessarily liberal. If you read one of Coates’s other articles, he acknowledges as much. He says ” Again, a lot of us have family whose politics are not very different from Rand Paul’s. These are people who don’t like foreign wars, who don’t like our incarceration rates, and don’t like our deficit.” (link: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/04/the-journey-to-mecca/274980/ )

            I disagree with the notion–which Coates seems to agree with in part–that Paul needs to find “African Americans who can tell him about the community.” That strikes me a little too much as saying “there’s one community, with ‘its’ interests, and an insider can just show you how to flash the sign and you’ll know the code.” (Coates isn’t saying that, but I can see how some people might take it to mean that.)

            Maybe what Paul really needs is just someone who’s not clueless about history, provided of course that he really wants to reach to out the students at Howard and not just play “white martyr who tried to talk to ‘those people’ and was jeered down.”Report

    • Avatar Barry in reply to KatherineMW says:

      “Translated: “It’s completely unfair that I can go to a university, talk about a subject on which the students are far more informed than me, and have my ignorance called out by the students!””

      Not his ignorance, his dishonesty and lies. If it was just ignorance, it’d have been different.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Barry says:

        And what would it have harmed his cause if Rand Paul had simply addressed the Howard students and said “Hey, nature gave me two ears and one mouth. I’m here ostensibly to talk — but what I really need to do is to listen. How could I possibly know what’s in your hearts? It’s obvious I don’t know, but it’s not as if I don’t want to know. I’m a senator from an overwhelmingly white state, 7.2% self-identified as black, talking to a crowd in DC with a 50.2% self-identified black population. C’mon, there’s a difference between an ignorant man and a hard-hearted fool. The one can learn, the other refuses to learn. And I’d like to think I’m the former and not the latter.”

        His ignorance would have then become his virtue.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to BlaiseP says:

          That’s expecting a lot of a man whose speech was basically “Let’s talk about how awesome Republicans are and all the reasons you should vote for them, except for the past 5 decades. None of that happened”.

          The problem with Paul is his very speech was insulting to his audience. You can’t really have a high opinion of your audience if you’re gonna play the “Democrats are the real racists, look at them in 1870! What? No, there has been nothing racial about anything done after 1964. At all. So back to 1870!” game.

          Unless, you know, the people he was talking to weren’t his audience.Report

  5. I kind of want to put a sign on my desk that says: “Don’t lie; Rand Paul hates competition.”Report

  6. Avatar superdestroyer says:

    What no progressive seem willing to write is that it is impossible for conservatives to appeal to non-whites in the U.S. So the question is what happens when the U.S. becomes a one party state and blacks are just one more group competing in the Democratic primary.

    Blacks are going to go from being 25% of the majority party to 12% of the single relevant political party. In suspect that liberal whites will feel much less need to pander to blacks when blacks are no longer needed to beat Republicans.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to superdestroyer says:

      It happened to the Whigs, dude. It will very likely happen to the Republicans. The GOP has run out of bluster and it’s just getting too damned old. The Conservatives need to moult, quit acting like as if these Non-White Persons are any different than the rest of us.

      But, y’know, there is one place where the Race Line is alive and kicking. Prisons. As long as y’all keep locking up so many poor people for dumb crimes and alienating the Hispanos and the LGBT folks, you don’t have a chance. You will go extinct and good riddance to the Party of Nixon and Reagan and Bush43.Report

      • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Yeah, but the White were replaced. Super destroyer is under the impression that we will live in a one party nation indefinitely.Report

        • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile says:

          Whigs were replaced, rather.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to trumwill mobile says:

            The Whigs went extinct for the same reasons the Republicans will go extinct. To the letter….Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Our system has an equilibrium of two parties. So, as the Whigs were replaced, so, too, will the Republicans. Eventually. So it’s a question of, if the current GOP coalition becomes irreparably damaged, what happens next. One of three things:

              1) Like the Whigs were replaced by the Republicans, the Republicans would then be replaced by The Somethingelse. (Maybe the Whigs!)

              2) A “new” party forms, but under the banner of the Republican Party. It would call itself the Republican Party, but it would be to the current party what the current party is to Eisenhower’s party.

              3) The Democratic Party fractures into two parties, say the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats (to pick convenient names).

              Due to election laws, I think #2 is the most likely. Followed by #1 and lastly #3.

              SuperDestroyer’s future, in which there is indefinitely only a single party, strikes me as extremely unlikely. The party would fracture at some point for some reason.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Will Truman says:

                You don’t think #3 is likely? Blacks and Hispanics voted in huge numbers for California’s Proposition 8. They’re strong social conservatives and highly pro-religion (as are many Asians, for that matter.) I think that the Republicans will be trolled out of existence by people screaming “RAPIST BIGOT” whenever they say anything, and after they finally give up the social-conservative wing of the Democratic Party will split up with the social-liberal wing, and the only argument after that will be which Amendments get repealed first.Report

              • Well, #3 is contingent on there no longer being a Democratic Party. I think the party system is too entrenched for a successful party (like the Democratic-Republicans) to just dissolve.

                More likely, whichever factions of the Democratic Party are consistently on the losing end of party politics just leave. They either join the Republicans (#2) or form a new party (#1).Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Actually, all of his seems to be over-thinking the whole matter.

                Neither of the major parties is anchored by immovable ideology. Neither party will split. Each will continue to morph their platform as large groups of constituencies become available, e.g. the Dixiecrats post 1960.

                All this talk of one party splitting or another party dying is like pretending back in October that the presidential election was really up for grabs.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to RTod says:

                Tod, you’re talking about #2. What happened in the 60’s is the Democrats fracturing and the losing end going to the other party and redefining it.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

                Ah. I thought you meant splitting into two distinct parties, as in the GOP and the Tea Party AND the Dems.Report

              • Well, most likely I see #2 happening. If it’s #1 or #3, there could be a third party for a time. Even then, though, all roads lead back to two.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Will Truman says:

                Actually, the Democrats didn’t fracture. They just picked different things to be government-authoritarian about. Instead of “government should force segregation” it was “government should force integration”. Instead of “government should force religion” it was “government should force nonreligion”. And so on.

                Don’t make the mistake of assuming that “Republican” equals “social conservative”. That connection did not exist before 1972.Report

              • Jim, it’s about party and not about ideology. The Democrats had a coalition that could almost always win. Then they lost it because the party couldn’t agree on a series of issues. Hence, the fracturing.Report

              • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to RTod says:

                Boom.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                It’s like you can’t help yourselves. You have to be on the wrong side of history and equality forever. So lots of people voted against marriage equality. Is this a Conservative principle? Is this the issue you really want to stand behind? Is this the crowd you really want to recruit?

                This sort of hollering is why the Republicans are going extinct. See, Jim, nobody sensible is going to yell at you guys, primarily because nobody sensible yells. This rancid pity party y’all have been running, trying to call it Conservatism, it’s turning off the very people you need to survive as homo conservator You’re turning off women: it’s as if you can’t stop saying rape and abortion. You’re turning off young adults who are muddling along, no longer troubled by the race line or homosexuality or transgender. These are good kids, a sombre generation, they grew up with war. The GOP has lost an entire generation. How can the GOP possibly survive?

                But most importantly, you’re turning off actual Conservatives, the people who want to preserve what’s good and right about America. Is SSM marriage and abortion the hill you guys want to die on? This isn’t social conservatism. That’s a euphemism and you know it.

                The GOP needs to go extinct before we can make any progress as a nation. That day is approaching. Animals which moult, such as lobsters and crabs, can often get in serious trouble if they can’t get out of their old carapaces. Even when they can, they’re vulnerable for quite a while until they harden up. The Democrats moulted, became the party of civil rights. Took them a long time to recover. We had to moult again under Clinton to quit being the party of welfare and big government.

                But the so-called Conservatives haven’t moulted since Eisenhower. There used to be Liberals in the GOP. Not any longer. The GOP has taken to endogamy, they aren’t making converts to their cause. It’s always amused me when Democrats are accused of pandering, a charge with considerable justification. We don’t have to pander any more, we Democrats. The GOP’s fearmongering has driven people into our camp.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Conservatives are not going to die on the hill of abortion or SSM. What is going to kill off an conservative party is a growing federal budget, growing entitlements, a growing underclass, and the death of the middle class. You can also add in that race and ethnicity based set asides, affirmative action, and quotas in a country that is less than half white will also kill off any conservative party.

                When the major issue of politics in how to fund the entitlement state, there is no reason for a conservative party to exist.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to superdestroyer says:

                The GOP cringes in the face of cutting entitlements for their own constituencies. If there are any deaths which will affect the GOP, it will be the deaths of Old People.

                If you are any sort of test case, you either do not know or cannot see how AA is dying: all the important cases are going against AA: Grutter, Ricci v. DeStefano, I predict the Fisher v. University of Texas case will go against AA. Which will it be, superdestroyer? Either you’re ignorant or you don’t want to admit AA as an issue is going away.

                Want to get rid of entitlements? Tell old people to die. There’s your solution. Of course, you’re also going to get rid of the GOP’s core constituency at the same time. Take your pick.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Blaise,

                That is another reason why the Republicans will not be around for very long. If politics is about entitlements and how to fund them, then the party with the growing demogrpahic groups wins.

                A lesson for Republicans is that Democrats always win if government spending grows even if the spending is on a core Republican group. Increased spending and a growing government are huge wins for the Democrats.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Obama and the Democrats have cut entitlements. They’ve gone after illegal immigrants. They saved the markets. They ended one insane war and are on track to end another. They’ve gone after government inefficiencies, opposed at every turn by the GOP. The Democrats steered this country in a profoundly conservative direction: take the labels off these guys, they look like moderate Republicans to me.

                You need to quit living in the past. The Democrats have been cutting entitlements since Clinton got elected on a platform of ending welfare as we know it. Read some budget proposals.

                You’re really a waste of time, you are. Nobody can tell you anything.Report

              • Avatar Pyre in reply to superdestroyer says:

                So what are the alternatives, Superdestroyer? Railing about entitlements is all well and good but, without well-thought-out alternatives, it’s all a waste of breath.

                Example

                I work in an office that skews more right-wing than I am. A while back, the whole issue with Planned Parenthood’s “entitlements/subsidies” from the government was the big story and I was drawn into the conversation on the subject with the Birther that sits next to me. Her view was that the government should not get involved in funding abortions. My counter was to ask which costs the government more: funding an abortion or having a kid on welfare for 18 years.

                That shut down the conversation.

                This is the problem with the notion of cutting “entitlements”. While I’m not against the idea, you have to be able to present a long-term plan for dealing with the effects of cutting such “entitlements”. Thus far, the people who talk the most about cutting “entitlements” are the ones that have the fewest ideas on how to deal with the long-term effects of cutting such “entitlements”.

                So, what are your feasible, long-term, ideas for the “entitlements” that you wish to cut?Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Pyre,

                There is no good solution for entitlements. Most people want more of them and will not tolerate any cuts. The only question in politics in the future is how to pay for them. That is why the Democrats are pushing for increased taxes on the rich. That is the way to get the most support for increased spending.

                The easiest way to get voters interested in cutting spending on entitlements would be to double everyone’s income taxes (that would close the current budget deficit) and tell them that the only way to cut their taxes is to cut entitlements and government spending. However, that is never going to occur.Report

              • Avatar Barry in reply to BlaiseP says:

                “It’s like you can’t help yourselves. You have to be on the wrong side of history and equality forever. So lots of people voted against marriage equality. Is this a Conservative principle? Is this the issue you really want to stand behind? Is this the crowd you really want to recruit?”

                Blaise, the GOP is currently run by (a) the Neo-Confederate wing, who are still on the wrong side of history, and who were eagerly absorbed by the rest of the right when the Democratic Party was no longer hospitable, (b) the Religious Right, which both exists for the same reasons, and overlaps (b), and (c) the military-industrial-financial complex, which has a multi-trillion dollar sweet, sweeeeet deal going, and certainly doesn’t want any real reforms.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Barry says:

                That’s a bit of a cliché. My barometers for Sane GOP Conservatism have been Senator Lindsey Graham — and my girlfriend. Neither seem especially pleased by the GOP’s banzai charges against the tide of history.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Barry says:

                My barometers for Sane GOP Conservatism have been Senator Lindsey Graham — and my girlfriend.

                Sane conservatism. Hmmm. That’s an interesting concept. (Not oxymoronic, but pretty damn close.) Maybe someone could write a post on that.

                I’m not sure we can have sane political conservatism in the US. I mean, what would that even look like?Report

              • I think the Dems are as, or almost as, embedded in the military-industrial-financial complex as the Republicans are. That’s part of the problem in governance today, in my opinion.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Barry says:

                Were I to write a new doctrinal statement for political conservatism, it could be reduced to two commandments:

                1. Thou shalt not screw with working machinery.
                2. Thou shalt warn the Liberals of the cruelty of the gods for they answer the prayers of the stupid, literally and immediately, of frying pans and fires etc.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Barry says:

                Stillwater,
                Try Thornburgh, our old PA governor. He’s decent and honest. His policies aren’t mine, but at least he was interested in the art of governance.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                “So lots of people voted against marriage equality. Is this a Conservative principle?”

                Well we’re damn sure told it is, by people like you who claim to know the difference.

                “You’re turning off women: it’s as if you can’t stop saying rape and abortion.”

                There was another post where I said that if you interviewed three Republicans about gay marriage, and one said “I hate it” and two said “I don’t give a shit”, it would be interpreted as “Republicans hate gay marriage”.

                The response was “well duh, you just said that they don’t give a shit about it! That means they hate it!”

                No matter what message Republicans bring to the table, they’ll have to spend the entire conversation explaining why they aren’t All Those Awful Things. And even if they do a job of logic that would make Aristotle bow, someone will bring up Akin and say “well what about THAT guy, HE says he’s a Republican, if you don’t agree with HIM then you must not REALLY be a Republican which means you’re LYING.”

                “Is SSM marriage and abortion the hill you guys want to die on? ”

                There’s the hill we want to die on and the hill we’re being chased onto. Republicans, in general, DON’T CARE about “same sex marriage marriage” (sic) and abortion. But the ones who do are the ones who are shown as the face of the party.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Oh boo-hoo. If the Republicans that “DON’T CARE” about those issues, they can stop voting for candidates who do very much care about those issues. Until that happens though, the ones who do care will be the ones with the power and the spotlight. It’s as if Republicans don’t want to make the tough decisions here. They want everything to be made right for them. The party needs to take some personal responsibility.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                We just defeated a proposed constitutional amendment here in Minnesota (similar to the one past in California), that limited marriage to one man and one woman.

                It seems like conservatives are picking this hill. After all, that is quite a bit of time, money, and effort to expend on an issue they (supposedly) don’t care about.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Let’s see. Wasn’t it you who said Blacks and Hispanics voted in huge numbers for California’s Proposition 8. They’re strong social conservatives and highly pro-religion (as are many Asians, for that matter.) … hmm?

                Therefore, it seems reasonable to presume these self-described Social Conservatives are against SSM and therefore on the wrong side of history, as were the Dixiecrats of yore. Remember, the Dixiecrats didn’t go Republican. They ran Strom Thurmond first — and where they couldn’t get him on the Democratic ticket, they ran him as a third party candidate. They got 39 electoral votes, too.

                The Democrats, as I have said, moulted. They shed the Social Conservative Dixiecrats and it would cost them big time. Todd Akin was (and continues to be) a lasting embarrassment to the GOP. But it hasn’t stopped the GOP from passing laws restricting the right to an abortion. Todd Akin is hardly alone: Paul Ryan was right there with him, trying to abolish the right to an abortion on the basis of rape.

                The only practical difference I can see is that the Romney campaign was able to stuff a sock in Ryan’s piehole and get him to shut up. The GOP hasn’t changed its mind on rape and abortion. So when you say people are screaming “Rapist” and “Bigot” whenever they say anything, that’s exactly right. And that’s why the GOP made Paul Ryan shut the hell up, to prevent him saying just such things.

                The GOP couldn’t get Todd Akin to shut up. And the GOP lost a seat they should have taken.Report

              • Avatar Pyre in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Actually, in fairness, Blaise, the Republicans lost the seat as soon as Todd Akin made his comments. Given the timing, the only two courses of action were:

                Excommunicate Todd Akin. Lose the seat

                Try to defend Todd Akin in the hopes that Jon Stewart will shut up. End up losing the seat and paint the GOP as supportive of his comments.

                There are points where it isn’t so much about winning as it is about cutting losses.Report

              • Avatar Barry in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                “They’re strong social conservatives and highly pro-religion (as are many Asians, for that matter.) ”

                Who are (a) strongly economically liberal and (b) strongly Democratic.
                It’s a classic feature of political science/sociology that the predictive power of religious beliefs to predict party choice for white voters doesn’t carry over at all for black voters.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Barry says:

                My observations over time seem to point to a decline in the power of the black religious communities. These go back to the 1960s when there was a strong Republican constituency within the black church. When the white bigots were trying to repress voter registration, they were motivated by this fact. For in those days, the Democratic South were little more than Not-Republicans. It had been a Republican, Eisenhower, who had forcibly intervened at Little Rock High School with federal troops.

                With the usual caveats issued wherein the plural of anecdote isn’t data — when the Democrats attempted to address poverty, they just happened to scoop up the black voter. Dr. King had remained resolutely apolitical. When Dr. King wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail, he was addressing the black church leadership.

                After some while, didn’t take long, black people finally realised they couldn’t live with the accommodative black church leadership. Ever since, the black church has been losing political influence and will never get it back. Oh, you see remnants of it here and there, but really, as a motivating force, it died with the downfall of Rev. Jesse Jackson and began to stink with Jesse Jackson, Jr.Report

              • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Barry says:

                It’s a classic feature of political science/sociology that the predictive power of religious beliefs to predict party choice for white voters doesn’t carry over at all for black voters.

                Yeah, because the GOP are assholes to them (to put things in the most simple terms). The debate is about how/if the GOP can stop being assholes to minority voters and thus use social conservatism to gain their support.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Barry says:

                Not that it matters, because the strong social conservatism carries over to YOUNG asians and hispanics about as well as it does to whites. (IE, not at all. At least not by current definitions of conservative).Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Will Truman says:

                In the past, the federal government did not spend $4 trillion dollars plus. In the past, most of the voters were white males. In the past, only a few percent of the population was dependent on the government.

                In the future where federal spending will continue to increase, most voters will not be white, and most voters will be dependent on the government. Do you really think a group currently inside the Democratic Party is going to walk away from access to trillions of dollars.Report

              • Avatar Qub in reply to superdestroyer says:

                most voters will not be white, and most voters will be dependent on the government

                Is there a charitable reading of this, or do all readings lead to the conclusion that he’s saying all non-whites will always be welfare cases?Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Qub says:

                No,

                However, given the demographics changes of the U.S., the increase in the percentage of the population above the retirement age, the increasing number of Americans on disability payments, the increasing percentage of mothers who have children out of wedlock, the increasing dependence on government created jobs as either direct public employees or employed by government contractors and academics, the idea of a conservative party surviving is laughable.
                The percentage of the adult population that will be working in wealth creation business in the private sector will continue to decline. Thus, most people will be dependent on the government for either a job or a direct payment. No conservative party is needed in a political situation where the major policy issue is entitlements and how to pay for them.Report

              • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Idiots like you are why I left the GOP behind and got my head right. One of these days you’ll realize exactly how racist and ugly you sound.Report

              • In the past, most of the voters were white males. In the past, only a few percent of the population was dependent on the government.

                I agree, the slavocracy pre-1860 was a minority of the American population, and they depended tremendously on government at all levels to enforce their prerogatives. They got extra representation in Congress. They got a fugitive slave law. The ones in the upper south got a ban on international slave trade, which enabled them to sell slaves to the deep south. State and local governments supported the masters’ prerogative to do almost anything he wanted to his slaves, occasionally with minor but ineffectual prohibitions against cruel treatment (as if owning someone wasn’t cruel in itself).

                Of course, after 1860 and especially after 1900, more people depended on government. For example, a complex of local- and state-level laws stoked white persons’ sense of superiority by mandating segregation and in practice holding lynchers unaccountable to charges of murder. Whites in northern cities also benefited: the state tolerated, and sometimes enforced, redlining practices that limited persons of color to overcrowded parts of major cities. Unionists in the west sometimes unified their white membership by scapegoating chinese immigrants.

                But of course, the fact that we now have entitlements that sometimes benefit less affluent people and persons of color is the real travesty.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to trumwill mobile says:

          What has the last time the Republicans won an election in Chicago, in the District of Columbia, in San Francisco. If the demographics are right, the U.S. political system can easily function as a one party state.

          As politics becomes about entitltments and how to pay for them, there is really no reason for two political parties. The relevant elections will be the Democratic primary, just like they are now in DC, Maryland, Mass.) and the elections will be about entitlement spending and government jobs.Report

          • Avatar Qub in reply to superdestroyer says:

            So, just like Kansas is for Republicans?Report

            • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Qub says:

              The Kansas House of representatives has 90 Republicans and 35 Democrats. a 70-30 split. The Maryland House of delegates has the same split. Mass. House of Representatives is split 80% Democrats and 20% Republicans.

              However, the difference is that the number of Hispanics is growing in Kansas and eventually the Democrats will have more seats in Kansas. There is no demographic change occurring in Mass. that will help the Republicans.Report

              • Avatar Barry in reply to superdestroyer says:

                “The Kansas House of representatives has 90 Republicans and 35 Democrats. a 70-30 split. ”

                Those who have more math than Superdestroy will have immediately noticed that the GOP lock there is strong enough to generally carry even things requiring a two-thirds supermajority.Report

          • I stand to be corrected, but I believe the last time a congressional representative won in Chicago was in the early 1990s, in the wake of the Rostenkowski scandals. But I’ll concede the point that Chicago is a one-party city, more or less.

            But Cook County is not a one-party county, nor is Illinois a one-party state.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to superdestroyer says:

            As politics becomes about entitltments and how to pay for them, there is really no reason for two political parties.

            I don’t see how that follows. In fact, it strikes me as incoherent given a normal understanding of the word “politics”.

            It presumes that no other issues are sufficient to create and maintain divides between parties (SSM! Abortion!) but also that if it were the case that everyone agreed about everything else (which is unpossible) two parties wouldn’t emerge precisely because of – and necessarily so! – disputes over entitlements and how to pay for them.Report

    • Avatar Pyre in reply to superdestroyer says:

      “So the question is what happens when the U.S. becomes a one party state and blacks are just one more group competing in the Democratic primary. ”

      Short answer: Venezuela.

      Long answer: Given the roadblocks placed before any existing third party by the GOP/DNC, we will most likely have about 2 decades of a 1 party system with maybe a few token seats in third party hands. Voter participation will dwindle badly as the perception of “It doesn’t matter if I vote or not. The DNC will have this one.” prevails but it won’t die out completely. The DNC agenda, for good and bad, will have free reign.

      At roughly the third decade, the cracks in the party unity, which will have been forming over the last two decades, will start to drive a wedge between the factions that make up the DNC. These factions will then, over the period of 8-12 years, start to form their own two separate parties.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pyre says:

        This strikes me as plausible. My guess is that in the interim, the GOP may look like the GOP that was always losing to the New Deal Coalition. Still present, but pretty powerless in most of the country. Until the primary coalition breaks. Three decades sounds like a pretty good over-under.Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Will Truman says:

          The Republicans won, what, 47% of the vote in the last election? 48%? They still control the House, and will for the next several years thanks to their control of the state legislatures during redistricting. Claims of their demise seem highly premature.

          In the long term – as in, decades – they’re in trouble if they don’t make changes, but that’s the long term; they’ve got plenty of time in which to start adapting. I’ll pay heed to predictions of their collapse when they’re down to winning one or a few states in presidential elections and 40% or less of the vote, as the Democrats were at their lowest points in the ’70s and ’80s.

          They’re nuts, I don’t deny that, but they’re still going strong.Report

          • Republicans could actually gain the upper hand by increasing their share of the white vote (think Great Lakes). That would require they stop screwing up with the women’s vote. But white women are probably the lowest-hanging fruit.

            Of course, that wouldn’t work indefinitely.Report

            • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Will Truman says:

              Unions and the memory of Republican opposition to the auto industry post-financial-collapse are the largest obstacles to them doing well in the Great Lakes, not their performance with woman. The people there who still have auto-industry-related jobs, or who know people who do, know that it’s thanks to the Democrats. But electoral fortunes can change easily, and it’s certainly the most significant swing region of the country.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Will Truman says:

          Why would any student at an Ivy League or Ivy-like school want to be involved in a party that will have no effect on policy or governance for decades. Do you really think that a party can make a comeback when virtually 100% of Ivy League graduates are in the other party?Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Pyre says:

        You forgot to account for what happens when all of the former Republican voters start voting in the Democratic primary. Also how does redistricting work when there is only one relevant political party.

        Do you really think in a couple of years when the public schools are about 1/3 white and a huge number of congressional districts are drawn to elect the appropriate ethnic group that any group will be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party. If you look at Chicago, the District of Columbia, Mass., or Maryland, no one is going to walk away from the dominant political party.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to superdestroyer says:

          Here’s what will happen, taken from what is happening. Mitch McConnell is no longer on speaking terms with Harry Reid. Oh, they’ll both talk to the President but ol’ Mitch just can’t do the deals because he’s got his tail in a twist.

          I don’t count on much vote switching. The old Republicans will be dead and will not be replaced. Oh, maybe some of their children will wear their brave state out of memory but they’ll join the more hard-line factions of the Communists and Libertarians as idealists who can’t get elected.

          The more-sensible Libertarians, no fools they, will see the opportunity thus created to move into positions of power: there’s a strong individualist streak in the American ethos and it’s always been a powerful motivator for young people for generations. And the Libertarians obey BlaiseP’s Rule of Prophets: their prophets are idiots but the disciples are wise. They just need to read Hayek and Marx to find their magic wands.Report

    • Avatar Barry in reply to superdestroyer says:

      For the host and others here – superdestroyer is a troll I’ve encountered at ‘Outside the Beltway’. He/she/it will infest a thread posting comment after comment after [m-fing] comment about how the US is a single-party state, run by the Democrats.

      He probably pisses his pants whenever he hears a phrase in Spanish while walking down the street. The old Taco Bell ads must have had him doing laundry twice a day 🙂Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Barry says:

        Ease up Barry me lad. Superdestroyer may say things people don’t like but he isn’t violating the commenting policy so far. I’d rather a fellow liberal like you not run afoul of the same.Report

      • Avatar Dave in reply to Barry says:

        Barry,

        Duly noted. Even if I’m not reading, I can always be reached if there are problems, and yes, please listen to North. I’ve had my headache quota filled and it’s not even noon. 😉Report

  7. Avatar Dennis Sanders says:

    Elias, so what is someone like Rand Paul supposed to say? How do Republicans reach out to blacks? None of this is rhetorical, I want to know.

    I think the GOP is placed in a bind when it comes to our changing nation. If they try to reach out, they are criticized for just reaching out to help themselves. If they don’t reach out, then they are considered racists.

    Paul’s message could have been better. I think part of the problem is a lack of policy in the GOP. But the fact that he sought out a forum at a major Historical Black College matters. It was about having a conversation, not pandering.

    I guess I shouldn’t expect those of you on the port side to understand. I think most liberals will see the Republicans as backwards bigots. But the GOP’s conversation with persons of color has to start somewhere, and I think Paul’s visit to Howard was a good start.Report

    • I think there are a lot of good points here, Dennis. It’s personally (perhaps less for me than for you) irritating to see every attempt to reach out reduced to “pandering” or “he’s really doing this to give racists cover” or whatever. At the end of the day, Democrats don’t want Republicans to make any successful inroads and they (and many of their supporters) will do what they can to torpedo any attempt.

      At the same time, best not to give any ammunition. They need to be careful when they do it. Not to avoid the above charges – because they’re going to come no matter what – but to reduce any traction these criticisms might get. And not seem whiny and antagonistic when things don’t go as well as they might have hoped.Report

      • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Will Truman says:

        Dennis,

        I’m not answering for Elias, but I’d say one damned good place Republicans could START is by acknowledging their embrace of the Southern Strategy. That won’t happen for a thousand different reasons, but the fact that Paul seemed to expect those students to simply forget about 50+ years of the Southern Strategy is indicative of a mindset that isn’t serious about having a genuine dialogue.Report

        • Avatar James K in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

          I think this is a point on which the Republicans are constrained by their base.

          Admitting and renouncing the Southern Strategy would do massive electoral damage in the short run, whatever good it might do in the long run.

          That’s not an excuse, but it is a problem.Report

        • Avatar Dennis Sanders in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

          And what about the 100 years of Democratic support for Jim Crow?

          I always find it interesting that we act as if the GOP was the segregationist party since the civil war and the Democrats are never mentioned.

          My own take on what Paul said (from the little I gleaned from NPR) is that he was rather clumsily trying to tell those gathered that the GOP is more than what they have heard of in recent history. I don’t think he was trying to talk down to the students.

          Should he acknowledge that the GOP has at times ignored the African American community? By all means, yes. But then you move forward and start talking about party principles and so forth.

          The whole point of this should be to build bridges, not some kind of groveling spectacle.Report

          • This is such a weird non sequitur, and Republicans fall back on it all the time. Let’s stipulate, for the record, that Democrats were, by and large, the party of Jim Crow. You’ll get no argument from me. It was the Republican Party that won the Civil War, drafted and passed the Reconstruction Amendments, and ended slavery.

            So what? It’s the Republican Party that has also used decades of the so-called Southern Strategy to establish political dominance among white voters in the South. It’s the GOP that implicitly – and often rather explicitly – feeds on white racial resentment.

            Look, no offense, but if you look at the current configuration of North/Democrat and South/Republican, and your explanation for how things got that way doesn’t involve a very explicit priority switch between the two parties on race issues, then you’re THE NICEST GUY IN THE WORLD EVER!!! (edited by Dave – don’t like it? too fishing bad)
            You can’t build bridges when your party is (often quite openly) racist. Sometimes groveling is – get this – the thing you’re supposed to do.Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            I cannot emphasize the degree to which I disagree here. What Democrats and Republicans were 100 years ago isn’t what they are now. Arguing, “Let’s focus on 100 years of history that happened before pretty much all of us were born and not focus on the 60+ years of subsequent history…” is unconvincing at best. Hell, would today’s Republican Party AGREE with anything done by the Republican Party that Rand Paul wants AAs to consider?

            Rand Paul has explicitly backed the idea of states rights; I think many people (minorities or not) recognize that endorsing states rights is endorsing the idea of majority crackdowns on minority groups. Rand Paul doesn’t endorse states rights because he thinks it’ll be better for minorities; he endorses them because he thinks it’ll be better for his (white) supporters.Report

          • Also, “the GOP has at times ignored the African American community”? Get a fucking grip. The GOP is actively engaged in voter suppression. They aren’t ignoring anyone. Jesus jumping Christ.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            Dennis,

            Are you particularly interested in what either of the parties did 100 years ago? I’m not. I’d only be insofar as what they did then continues to inform them now. If a few generations from now, the GOP has abandoned much of what I consider ugly about them today, I wouldn’t continue to hold that against them when evaluating the strength of their candidates/policies/ideas.

            And while Paul might have had a point in saying that the GOP is more than what we see now, is, “Hey, we used to be not so racist!” really the message to send? If he could point to contemporary efforts that might go unnoticed or unreported, he’d show a depth and nuance that might not be realized. Pointing to things 100 years back doesn’t do that.Report

            • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy says:

              I have to admit that I like some Republican candidates better before they open their mouths. When I read their stance on certain issues I think here is someone I can vote for. Then they open their mouths and something stupid comes out. I’m not sure if this is just a Republican problem or not. I have heard a lot of Democrats say some pretty stupid things, but I didn’t agree with their stances on the issues so it didn’t matter to me. In the end I go back to my thought that they aren’t any better than us so why should I be surprised that they say stupid things. I know I have done the same. They just have the joyous opportunity to say it in front of so many more people and to have it taped and recorded for posterity.

              I think I am going to stick with the vote for the one whose stance on issues that are important to me as closer to mine, regardless of party. It makes it more fun when I volunteer at campaigns and they find out I’m not a registered anything and that four years ago I may have been doing the same thing for the other party. Wonder why they only let me make phone calls and don’t let me go door to door.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Just Me says:

                I have myself noticed that, these days, I like Republicans a lot more in theory than in practice.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Will Truman says:

                And that was why I was happy to go to tea party events. It was a chance to say hey, wtf are you all about. Here is what I am saying as someone who could vote for you. Someone who ideologically aligns with Repubs on defense and fiscal issues. How about you get back to these issues and address some of my concerns.

                Unfortunately it didn’t take long to get told that I must be racist because only racist went to tea party rallies. Imagine my surprise. Here I thought I was telling the Republican party that they were going off the rails and better get right with the world and found that the perception was that I was trying to take them even farther off the rails into the far right desert of everyone but me suckitude. I thought it was a good thing to get more involved, but apparently not.

                In the end it didn’t take long for the old guard politicians to jump on our bandwagon with the help of the left pointing fingers at those of us who attempted to do something we believed in and turn onto the track of the same old same old crap we see here. It seems for Rand Paul and probably all politicians it is about them, not about the people they are talking to. Maybe if they tried to actually talk to instead of talking at people things would change. But I don’t hold my breath.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                Great. you hopped on Koch’s bandwagon. Bully for you.
                And now you’re disenchanted.

                … where have I heard this before?

                You sure you aren’t green?Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            I’d love him some more if he’d bothered to talk about Ike, about the Civil Rights Legislation, about half a dozen other things.Report

          • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            “And what about the 100 years of Democratic support for Jim Crow?”

            You mean DIXIECRAT support, don’t you?

            The group that ran into the waiting arms of the GOP in 1964, and by 1968 were lounging in the post-coitus wet spot known as the Southern Strategy and have never left the bed since.Report

          • “Democratsplaining”? “Liberalsplaining”?

            Help me out, here.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

              Fact-splaining? Sound-argument-splainin? Take away some of the insulting laguage and there actually are arguments being made here that take Dennis’ views seriously rather. So in that sense, it strikes me as different than “splainin”.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

              Here’s some help: ditch the “X-splaining” charge. It is almost always used to cut off good-faith efforts to communicate about issues of gender and race (and now political party affiliation?) among people of different genders and races. At the least, let the people who advanced it be in charge of figuring out when it’s rightly used and not, if it’s not just when someone of a disliked group is making an argument you don’t like. I’ve never been able to figure that out myself. I don’t think you have any better handle on it, either.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I dunno. It’s a term that has a place.

                Sure, you can argue over whether it’s accurate. Or, probably more to the point, whether it’s purposeful — although kind of embedded in the term is an assumption of unawareness on the part of the lecturer.

                I’d hesitate to foreclose it entirely, simply because that sort of smug, condescening lecture is sadly common in a number of areas — not just politics.

                It’s the sort of “bad communication” that really needs to be stomped on, for everyone’s good — for the one speaking, the one listening — heck, even for the point in question!

                You can be right and still be X-splaining, and your audience is far more likely to ignore your point in favor of being insulted. Which, you know, is kind of the definition of poor communication.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

                You can be right and still be X-splaining,

                Exactly. Because the necessary (essential!) component of “splainin” is that the “splainer” disregards the other’s point of view, rather than trying to respond to it.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            But Dennis, the distinguishing concern (I would think) is not that a party, as each one does, has a history of violent racial politics somewhere in its past. Then, you’re right, there would be less distinction between them, or even the Democrats would be clearly the party with a greater headwind to work against due to its history. What people are reacting to, I would suggest, is more likely the path that each party has staked out for itself in whatever you might call something like the Modern Political Era – in view of that history. In short, the Southern Strategy, or, to take the question of agency out of it for the sake of at least an initially neutral analytical approach, the realignment that hapened around the 1960s that resulted in a situation where politicians like Strom Thurmond went from finding the southern Democratic Party their most natural political home to finding a newly-constituted, newly-based Republican Party to be a more comfortable choice. Those kind of events are bound to have political consequences, because they’re more recent, even present, than is the deeper past (not that the racist history of the Democratic Party is in any way part of the Deep Past), and because they represent what appears to be a considered reaction to a modern accounting for that history. The actual events and changes may not have been so extensive as to justify that kind of reaction, but historical and political symbolism of events don’t always track their direct contemporary magnitude as events. In this case, it seems to me that perceptions about the choices made by each party in a moment of reckoning with our racial and political past seem to dominate the actual historical record of each party, taken in full, with respect to race.

            As a matter of personal reaction, I find your focus on the Democrats’ history to be completely understandable. But it does remain something of a political fact that that view is something of an outlier for, basically, black people by-and-large, not to put too fine a point on it. As an analytical matter, whatever your personal views, that’s just a phenomenon in need of explanation. (One which I have been on at length to say you shouldn’t be expected to have special insight into, but still, a fact all the same.) Rand Paul seems to act as if this is an analytical failure on the part of the majority of black people – one for which his party isn’t responsible, and on account of which it gets a raw deal politically. I don’t think this approach is ever going to get him anywhere. You can’t just tell people they’ve got it wrong if you want to win them over. If you face some kind of barrier in communication that stems from a specific grievance or impression of a real event or deed, you have to deal with that first on their terms, and only once you done that can you try to adjust they way those perceptions operate. (And all the while, you have to be open to the possibility that it’s you who has the perceptions in need of adjustment. After all, keep in mind that during the political period for which Paul would like the GOP to get some credit, when Democrats were the more racist party and Republicans were the part of liberation to some extent or other, in fact a successful national politician hailing from the part of the country that Paul does, carrying the message that he does, would have been more likely to be Democrat than a Republican.)Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            I don’t think he was trying to talk down to the students.

            It came across that way, because he was asking questions like “Did you know that the first black US Senator was a Republican?” Oddly enough, highly educated black students did.

            And Dennis, if all you know about what Paul said is a little you gleaned from NPR, why are you arguing about it with people who’ve read the whole thing?Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              Let’s give Rand Paul the benefit of the doubt — he didn’t mean to be condescending. He probably meant those are more…prefatory remarks, the sort of “We all know this but let’s recap as an intro” sort of remark…

              It’s a bad line. It is, at best, tone-deaf and implies your audience is rather ignorant of history. Like “Did you know the first President was George Washington” level history. Not like, tiny minutia of pre-1776 farming practices history.

              At worst, it’s flat-out whitesplaining to an audience you feel is too dumb to grasp current events — or anything, really, from the CRA forward. And that, also, your audience is prepared to totally vote for you based on what your great-great grandfather did, but not against you for what you or your dad did. (Metaphorically. Not as in Rand and his Dad. As in the GOP now or 20 years from now versus 100 years from now).

              Going into an audience predisposed against you and offering an argument that is, well — crap, to put it bluntly — at best and insulting and condescending at worst?

              Either you’re not ready for prime time, or you have another agenda entirely, or you’re simply so isolated you don’t grasp how what you just said is gonna be taken by anyone else.Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            I agree with you, Dennis, he shouldn’t go groveling. Groveling seems as condescending as preaching. If preaching says, “I’m smarter than you, so let me tell you how the world works,” groveling says, “You’re too stupid for me to talk policy with, so let me flatter you and hope that will win your votes/support.”

            This is not to say that I think Paul’s speech was a good one, or his motives for giving it good either. His statements after the fact make it sound like he went there so that he could say that he went there and they were mean to him, so he doesn’t need to go back. But Paul ~= the Republican Party, so maybe there are others who could go to Howard or any other gathering of black people, Hispanic people, or whatever group in which a large number of people feel like the Republican Party doesn’t represent their interests, and actually try to engage in a dialogue with them. I don’t see it happening, but that has less to do with who the Republican Party is than with the fact that our political system is so fished up that dialogue doesn’t seem to be a priority for anyone. Instead, they want to win votes with cheap marketing ploys and us vs. them thinking.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Dennis- I’m sure you know the history of this country. Paul could have not gone to Howard with the apparent belief that the students didn’t know that R’s and D’s have had different coalitions, policies and attitudes towards blacks. My guess is R’s need to offer a lot more policy and less history lessons. I believe not only blacks but whites and everybody else does care about policies. Offer a solution to health care problems, etc. Also if he really wants to reach out he might start by talking about why blacks haven’t voted for R’s. And i dont’ mean because they don’t know history or they just want a handout. I think there are valid reasons why blacks have gone for D’s. If R’s want to compete they need to admit that to themselves and then start to talk about it. In fact coming out and saying the 47% BS is, well, BS.

      As a lib i would truly love it if the R’s started to compete more for minority votes. It would be better for the country and push the D’s to be better. It really isn’t healthy to have one party be mostly the party of Southern/Rural Whites and most of the rest with the other side.

      I saw this analogy on the comments at TNC’s blog. What kind of reaction would Obama get if he went to a room full of southern white college kids who he knows vote around 95% Repub and said “Hey kids all the southern states were strong Dem territory for many years. Your grandparents probably all voted Dem. You should vote Dem now because for decades the south was strong for Dems.” How would that go over?Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to greginak says:

        How would it be better for the U.S. for the Republicans to throw middle whites (the core of the Democratic Party) under the bus to pander to the very liberal blacks at Howard university. The U.S. already has a liberal party and blacks are very comfortable in a political party who argues that people can be treated differently because of their race. Why should the Republicans have to pander to blacks while throwing whites under the bus?

        The reasons blacks want Republicans to pander to them is the belief that it will cause the Democras to pander even more. Why should conservatives want to get into a race with the Democrats to see who can pander more?Report

        • blacks are very comfortable in a political party who argues that people can be treated differently because of their race

          This might be the most amazing comment ever published at the League.Report

          • Avatar Russell M in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

            that it is.

            at least SD is very very consistent. and you know what they say about consistency.Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

            Then how do you explain blacks overwhelming support for quotas, affirmative action, set asides, race norming, and even organizations like HBUs.

            Blacks support racial political boundries, support affirmative action, and have been in front of the Supreme Court as lately as 2012 arguing that it is OK for universities to treat whites differently than blacks or Hispanics.

            Blacks are great supporters of separate and unequal as long as they benefit. The last thing you will ever hear from any black politicians is that all Americans should be treated equally.

            Of course, if any progressive responds to this it will not be a denial but a justification for separate and unequal treatment.Report

            • Liberals are the real racists!Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Liberals are only racist is you believe that supporting positions where the government treats citizens differently based upon their race makes one a racist.
                Liberals have been good at defining racism and being a racist is something that only whites can be or be accused of. Non-whites can be as ethno or racial centric as they want to be and liberals will never accuse them of being racist.

                Maybe the solution is to change the definition of racism and racist so that it does not justify prejudice on the part of the government.Report

              • One good place for you to start if you have any hope of ever knowing anything would be trying to understand why this is the case:

                Non-whites can be as ethno or racial centric as they want to be and liberals will never accuse them of being racist.

                I’m not claiming that you’ve characterized reality totally appropriately, but there is a nugget of actual insight buried in that. Understanding it is absolutely vital for understanding race in America.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to superdestroyer says:

                Maybe the solution is to change the definition of racism and racist so that it does not justify prejudice on the part of the government.

                Well, that’s a pretty large concession to make, especially if the government is used as a remedy to various forms of institutionalized cultural racism. It would effectively restrict the concept of racism to only those types of discriminatory behavior that government is excluded from playing a role in ameliorating.

                From your pov, wouldn’t that (somewhat arbitrarily and circularly) include all forms of government intervention based on race, sex, gender, ethnicity, etc? And if so, then isn’t the concept of racism effectively meaninglessness as most people use it?

                For one thing, it obliterates a very important distinction between cultural racism and governmental racism. And begs the question along the way.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to superdestroyer says:

              The American Disabilities Act also treats people unequally.

              So too, Lily Ledbetter.

              We sometimes pass legislation that treats people differently depending upon age, gender, socio-economic status, and, yes, even race to bring about greater equality for all or better well being for a hard-suffering few.

              We love in a world where blacks are very often treated badly still, and much of that bad treatment is caused by slavery, which the governmentwe still live under benefitted from, and the Jim Crow era, which was not so long ago, withingliving memory.

              But you know this. You just have no desire to debate in a serious way.

              Please go away or do better.

              I will not respond to your responses.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5 says:

                Thus, offering government help to one group who are being badly treated currently (as a result of government approved action of past generations) is “unequal treatment” in some loose sense of the word. but it is designed to remedy a greater inequality in society by helping those who are worst off.

                There are arguments against affirmative action, but you seem to be unable to make them.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Shazbot5 says:

                “The American Disabilities Act also treats people unequally.”

                Actually the whole point of ADA is that people should be treated THE SAME. The intent of ADA is that disabled persons shouldn’t *have* to ask for special treatment; they should be able to use publicly-accessible facilities without needing to make special requests or get special assistance. They should be able to just walk up (well, or whatever) and enjoy that facility just the same as someone with four functioning limbs, two eyes, full hearing, and so on.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Yes, but to listen to Rand paul, it inconveniences small businessmen (showing he’s never read the fucking law), and thus should be abolished.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Kimmi says:

                Imagine a law where rich people could go into a business and declare that the business owner had to pay them ten thousand dollars right away or be shut down by government order.

                Now imagine that you don’t have to imagine that law because that’s how the ADA actually works.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Ooooh, so fucking scary.
                You try doing that to the watermelon peddler down the street.

                Any business that decides that it’s less profitable to do business under the color of law, is welcome to join the underground economy just like everyone else.Report

            • “Then how do you explain blacks overwhelming support for quotas, affirmative action, set asides, race norming, and even organizations like HBUs. ”

              If you actual listen to “blacks,” which for you seem to be one overwhelming almost monolithic category, you might find a wide variety of opinion on all those matters. Even if a majority end up saying they support affirmative action, I suspect you’ll find nuance in their answers.Report

            • Avatar Drew in reply to superdestroyer says:

              “All black people are the same, you racist assholes!”Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to superdestroyer says:

              HBCUs are disgusting. Who are Those People to say that Harvard and Ole Miss aren’t good enough for them!Report

          • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

            I think the fact that this comment and some others have not been more strongly condemned by more people (or even officially by most of those on the masthead) is a shame and lends credence to charges of making an uncomfortable environment for non-white people and/or women.Report

    • Avatar dand in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Elias, so what is someone like Rand Paul supposed to say? How do Republicans reach out to blacks?

      How about talking about the way that overregulation harms the inner city. Point out that many inner city neighborhoods have high unemployment and lack basic services then talk in details with specifics about the regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome in order to start a business in those areas.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Elias, so what is someone like Rand Paul supposed to say?

      “Those kids were really sharp. They caught me out a few times. I genuinely enjoyed talking to them, and I’m going to do more of it in the future. But next time, I’ll be ready for them!”

      Or he could sound sorry for himself because he couldn’t win them over with one speech.Report

    • Avatar DRS in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Elias, so what is someone like Rand Paul supposed to say? How do Republicans reach out to blacks? None of this is rhetorical, I want to know.

      I’m kind of surprised at these questions. As a Republican, shouldn’t you be telling us what he should have said?Report

      • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to DRS says:

        This. Dennis, you’re the gay, black, not-particularly-wealthy Republican. Please, enlighten me, because for the life of me I can’t figure out what the Republicans are offering you.Report

        • Avatar Dennis Sanders in reply to Rod Engelsman says:

          Why is it that any person of color or gay person that isn’t a diehard liberal has to explain to liberals why they exist? Why aren’t we free to choose are own political views? Why are we always viewed as traitors to our race/ethnic group/sexual orientation.

          I’ve tried explaining who I am for years and as I get older, I really don’t care to “enlighten you.”Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            Far as I’m concerned — and I read black blogs…
            most conservative blacks vote democratic.
            (and Pew says that most democratic blacks fall into ConservaDem territory, anyhow)

            I’d say it’s a fair question, but I appreciate you not wanting to answer it.Report

          • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            Because you’re standing right in the same party that happily accepts membership from KKK members and from people who think the Civil Rights Act was an “unconstitutional infringement of liberties.”Report

          • Dennis, I know that I’m one of the last people you want to hear this from but:

            Dude. You be you. If you know what you are, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it… no matter how many people are red-faced screaming that you’re doing it wrong.

            And, yeah, I know you know that. I just wanted you to know that there were people out here who know it too.Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

            You’re free to choose your own political views. I don’t think anybody (here) argues otherwise. But cmon: it is a bit odd to see a person who is black and gay allying himself with a party that makes explicitly clear its dislike of both blacks and gays.

            For me, I guess I find it odd that you’re not an independent. That strikes me as an obvious political choice but I can’t/won’t/don’t think for other people. If anything, I find it fascinating on purely rational grounds. We so often assume rationality for other people and generally we’re simultaneously being wrong and unfair about it.

            So I’m surely hope that you didn’t think I was saying that you’re wrong; please know that that certainly wasn’t my intent. I just want to know more.Report

            • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

              “it is a bit odd to see a person who is black and gay allying himself with a party that makes explicitly clear its dislike of both blacks and gays. ”

              Yes, just like how Democrats are the party of drug-addled funbois.

              Oh wait, that’s just a stereotype presented by heavily-biased media outlets?

              Welp.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

              I don’t think this is odd or strange or irrational. Everyone has different priorities and preferences.

              I might not like the D’s higher taxes because they drain my zillions of dollars, but I may like their pro-chociedness. Something like that.

              What I take issue with is trusting any politician to work to help some community when he refuses to admit and apologize for all the sins that his part has very recentlydone, and is still doing, to that community.

              Actions speak louder than words, and the distant pasts of the parties don’t matter here.

              If you care about race issues and gay rights over other issues, then it is irrational to trust R’s to follow any gague promises to help you more than they have in the recent past, but if you care about other issues (low taxes, ending the EPA, etc,) then it is perfectly rational to vote R.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to DRS says:

        This is misguided. The Republican message (emphasis on *message*) of small government and etc. etc. obviously does reach some black people, and Dennis is one of them (though I get the impression there’s an element of reforming name-loyalty there for him; that if he could change aspects of their unintended message, the one sent by their unscripted comments when they get away from the simple question of the size of government, he would do so). The question is not how the party can reach African-Americans and other minorities, it’s how they can reach more of them. And since Dennis is one of the ones they do reach (to some degree) with their current message, he’s exactly who we shouldn’t expect to tell us how they can reach more. It’s a kind of profiling in the face of directly opposing particular facts to think that he is.

        To know what the Republicans are failing to offer to the larger mass of African-American, Latino, or any other subset of voters, we’d need to ask them – the ones whose votes they’re currently losing. To ask someone like Dennis not only profiles him, but tends to steer this important conversation for Republicans to be having into a kind of closed circuit/echo chamber.

        I don’t mean to say all this unduly harshly, but that much does seem clear to me.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Michael Drew says:

          Considering that blacks vote at the 95% level for Democrats and that blacks are some of the most liberal voters in the U.S., then real question is how does the more conservative party reach any of them.

          Of course, the other question is how does the Republicans reach out of blacks and Hispanics without alienating their current core supporters. The Democrats have a massive advantage is that different parts of the party can have opposite positions on issues and no one cares or even notices. Yet, for the Republicans, what one of them says is applied to all Republicans.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to superdestroyer says:

            Of course, the other question is how does the Republicans reach out of blacks and Hispanics without alienating their current core supporters.

            Why would the GOP base be alienated if Republican politicians actively tried to fold black individuals and black communities into the party? What exactly are you saying here?

            Cuz it sure sounds like you’re saying what you keep saying you’re not saying, but what you’re pretty comfortable attributing to others. Including blacks. And personally speaking here, I need a better explanation than you’ve given for the claim that blacks are the real racists.Report

        • Avatar DRS in reply to Michael Drew says:

          And since Dennis is one of the ones they do reach (to some degree) with their current message, he’s exactly who we shouldn’t expect to tell us how they can reach more.

          See, that sentence makes no sense to me. Why can’t Dennis tell us what about the Republican message reached him and what they can do to reach others? Isn’t he the one who has that particular insight to share?Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to DRS says:

            He can tell us the former. And he can give an opinion about the latter, but precisely because he can tell us that, we can’t presume he can give us special insight into what the GOP needs to change to reach a lot more people “like” him. That’s just stereotyping of a kind. Sure, to figure out how to reach black people they’re not currently reaching, the GOP needs to ask black people they’re not currently reaching. But the latter descriptor (“ones they’re not currently reaching”) far supercedes the former. To just operate on the racial descriptor eliminates the individual nature of politics and imposes a racial generalization on what is fundamentally a political problem for the GOP. It’s a, frankly, racist and stereotyping attitude to think that because Dennis is black and gay, that he has better insight than others would into the political thinking of other black gay people who, in point of fact, don’t think like him politically. For then GOP to look to him to understand the thinking of people who don’t think like him but who match those other descriptors would be to further the basic failing that has gotten them to where they stand in relation to American political society today, which is the failure to apprehend and apply a basic understanding of the overriding political imperative of our time, which is the multiplying and cross-cutting rise in diversity of all kinds that characterizes our society that resists all attempts to essentialize people.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

              Shorter me: because this politics business, it’s a complicated, context-and-even-individual-specific business defined, in a country like ours, by diversity of all kinds. And that’s not just a frustrating annoyance to be dealt with and moved past; it’s the basic organizing principle you have to approach the business of politics with, and maintain as your guiding principle as long as you’re engaged with it.Report

            • Avatar DRS in reply to Michael Drew says:

              You’re not addressing a single thing I actually wrote so I don’t feel the need to respond to this. Good spelling, though.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to DRS says:

                Why can’t Dennis tell us what about the Republican message reached him [I said he could address this]and what they can do to reach others? Isn’t he the one who has that particular insight to share?

                I was clearly addressing these questions. You look foolish to suggest I wasn’t directly addressing them.

                Thanks on the spelling. It was pretty good for me.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Michael Drew says:

                You kept harping on “special” insight, which you italicized for emphasis. I did not use that phrase. Obviously to you it means something derogatory that I was demanding from Dennis. But I would have thought this thread would be perfect for Dennis to share his views on blacks and Republicans – and I still don’t see why he doesn’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DRS says:

                and I still don’t see why he doesn’t.

                How about the fact that he’s been treated pretty shabbily? Would that be a reason you’d acknowledge?Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Jaybird says:

                Not by me, he hasn’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                You’d think he’d be climbing over himself to join your political party, then.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Jaybird says:

                Since he’s not a Canadian, that might not be very productive for him. All those international flights just to attend a constituency event would start to add up pretty fast.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to DRS says:

                Isn’t he the one who has that particular insight to share?

                If I misunderstood the import of those phrases, I apologize. I don’t think it’s unfair for me to have made the “special insight” inference from them, however, even if it was mistaken.

                I do understand your not liking being in the position my words put you in, in any case…Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Michael Drew says:

                What position is that? (Genuinely mystified here – what the hell are you talking about?)Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                Being told the way you are thinking is to deploy racial generalizations as analytical tools.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I still have no idea what you’re talking about and have reached the point where I don’t care. For some reason asking Dennis to make comments on Rand Paul’s speech, and on blacks and the Republican Party is NOT A GOOD THING and should not be done because it puts the asker in a POSITION. Maybe this is all too American for me to understand so screw it.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                If you don’t feel my words said that, then by all means disregard. I do feel it’s an implication of what I said (in fact I thought I said it explicitly), but saying that was not a primary purpose of mine, so if I didn’t communicate that idea to you, we can just leave it at that.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to DRS says:

                I’m sure this will come across as horribly condescending and you may feel free to accuse me of Blacksplaining — but I’m going with what my grandparents had to say on this subject, who started Carver College.

                With the Great Migration, the black populations of several southern states moved north en masse, especially tradespeople. With them went most of the black Republican constituency. The didn’t convert to Democrats in the North: that conversion was very late in coming. FDR made all the difference: there’s never been a politician like him before or since.

                We sorta forget how the Great Migration affected black culture. One abiding truth: people don’t vote their colour. They vote their zip code and their wallets. Black people came north and where they prospered, they moved into nice neighbourhoods and voted for the politicians who represented their interests.

                It’s true the black cultures (plural) were systematically repressed, both in the North and in the South. Black culture might not have a clear picture of their identities in the slavery era — but since the Civil War, they have been producing good scholarship on their own history. The black cultures have not forgotten when they became free men — or who freed them. Howard University is named for a white man. If my grandfather named Carver College for a black man, my grandfather never cast a vote for a Democrat (with the exception of FDR) in his life. No right-thinking advocate for equality did in those days.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                “Black people came north and where they prospered, they moved into nice neighbourhoods and voted for the politicians who represented their interests.”

                But wait, I thought that it was Shockingly Racist to suggest that black people would vote for politicians who would give them money.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Jim,
                it’s only shockingly racist if you assume that it’s only blacks who are doing it.

                Middle Class WASPs vote for people who will give them money.

                Hell, Koch tells other folks to vote for people who will give him money.

                Ain’t nothing so unusual about it.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Heffman, you’re starting to sound like a troll. There is no difference between a Handout and a Tax Loophole. It’s the same sack, turned inside out.

                There’s a part of Dupage County, in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, where the black people moved once they had the money to get out of Bronzeville, then in the thrall of the Democratic Party and a few Stepin Fetchits who did the will of Mayor Daley. They had to go a fair ways down North Avenue and Roosevelt Road to get there, through Cicero, which Dr. King called “the Selma of the North”

                Dupage County is one of the most reliably Republican counties in the nation and also one of its most prosperous. Wheaton had been a stop on the Underground Railroad and a haven for abolitionists from its inception.

                I don’t hold with the doctrine of race as a viable construct. I accept it only in terms of how someone describes himself. It’s a regrettable holdover from evil days, when the Race Line meant something. I don’t believe it’s compatible with Christianity.

                So why don’t you find someone else to troll? Run ‘long now, Heffman. You haven’t contributed anything of substance since you got here.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                “So why don’t you find someone else to troll? Run ‘long now, Heffman. You haven’t contributed anything of substance since you got here.”

                It’s interesting, because I get the idea that you honestly believe you aren’t a bully, that you’re just Real Talkin’ and people just can’t handle the truth.

                “There is no difference between a Handout and a Tax Loophole.”

                So you just crawled out from under a rock and aren’t aware of the line of argument, espoused in this discussion, that goes “saying that black people vote for handouts is racist!”Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Jim, “People vote their interests” isn’t racist.

                “Black people vote their interests” puts a qualifier on the “people”.

                Which implies, yanno, that there are people who don’t vote their interests because they aren’t black.

                Otherwise, you wouldn’t bother putting the qualifier on there, would you?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Stop whining, Heffman. You don’t address my points and your screeching only excites me to further cruelties. This began when I said the GOP would degenerate into irrelevance as had the Whigs, their political forebears.

                But the USA was not done with the Whigs. Many of the Southern Whigs would call themselves the Conservative Party and would form the basis for the Un-Republican Solid South. Now we see the roles reversed, with the GOP going the way of the Whigs: times changed and the GOP hasn’t.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Michael Drew says:

          A strong +1 to this; Michael Drew is precisely on target. I’d not, also, that the gay community in general could hold an enormous potential constituency for a right wing party that discarded theological based gay animus from their policy positions and party. Many homosexuals have significant economic clout, income potential and are fiercely individualistic and enormously scornful of the more cultural relativistic wing of liberalism. You can bet your last dollar that if the GOP had chosen to downplay or eliminate gay bashing in the past couple decades instead of tripling down on it like they did that gay votes would be very divided between the two parties.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North says:

            My dream is that someday I will have gay neighbors. We’re roasting some hot dogs out back. Our kids are playing together. We’re kvetching about those whackadoo liberals, their latest crazy idea, and how they don’t understand Arapahoan values.

            I like this dream because it represents an era in which homosexuality is a non-issue, and it represents a Republican Party and/or conservative movement that hasn’t so thoroughly alienated me.Report

            • Avatar Just Me in reply to Will Truman says:

              I am already living that dream. Oh, except for the kids playing together. I don’t have kids. So maybe we are a little closer than you think to you experiencing that dream.

              Maybe that is why I get confused sometimes on here. I have friends and family who are gay. Most of them are conservative. In my world there is no you are automatically a Democrat or Republican based on your sexual orientation. Or skin color for that matter. Though more of my black friends are Democratic than Republican. But then my significant other is Democratic and if I’m not gonna hold that against him why would I hold it against anyone else. It does lead to some interesting discussions.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Just Me says:

                A fair number of gays do vote Republican. It’s still the exception rather than the rule. And they tend to be a very silent minority. If it weren’t for polling, I’d believe Republican voting among gays to be about 5% rather than between 20-25%.Report

              • I just have a really hard time understanding how people can identify with a party that explicitly trades on various sorts of cultural marginalization of certain types of people if you’re one of those people.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Yes. And the answers are either not satisfying or don’t address the initial question, and often go into the tangents like “well the Democrats were racist 100 years ago!” or “Obama wasn’t for full marriage equality until last year!” etc. etc.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I have.

                Stripped of illusions, it almost always boils down to elite privilage. The same reason rich kids get a slap on the wrist for drug posession while poor kids go to jail.

                Why the daughters of pro-life parents have an abortion that somehow isn’t the murder that they picket against daily.

                In short, they’re Republican because they don’t actually believe the gay bashing will affect them. No one will bust down their doors to arrest them, no one would dare fire them or marginalize them. They’re upper middle class, they’re important, they’re not the masses.

                And they’re probably right. Tax brackets affect them far more than anti-sodomy laws or disdain against gay marriage. They can afford lawyers to write their contracts, to enforce their privilages, to ensure their life flows smoothly.

                And that’s what it boils down to — each and every one I personally know (although I doubt this is true of all of them) is either sufficiently well off or educated, or plans to be, to realize that they’ll be sheltered from it.

                Nobody in their circles bashes gays — they’re too educated, upper-class. Nobody in their circles looks down on them.

                I guess you can say they get to have their cake and eat it too.

                And like I said — they’re quite right about the whole thing. It’s a perfectly rational, if profoundly self-interested, decision.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I totally agree with your premise, they are republicans because they believe it serves their self interests to do so. The gay republicans I know work on factory floors, most of them that is, some are higher income office types, a couple are doctors. But they all do have something in common with those you know, nobody in their circle bashes gays or looks down on them for being gay.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                JM,
                curious cat wants to know where you live.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                “And the answers are either not satisfying…”

                Why should the way in which they identify themselves politically need to satisfy you?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I hate to speak ill of my fellow ‘Mo’s but my own experience has very closely tracked Morat20’s.
                GOP supporting gays, in my own experience are either really deeply drinking the far right Kool-Aid* (a very small minority) or assume a lofty knowing air about it.
                They live in liberal urban areas, with enough money much of the day to day concerns of legal matters can be ameliorated and as bonus points they can really tork off some of their peers which gives them no end of entertainment.

                The only non-cynical gay supporters of the GOP I’ve met are at political activist gatherings. Log Cabin republicans say “oh they’re not that bad, they’re getting better” so much that beaten house wives feel compelled to tell them to stand up for themselves and dump the party. They’re dreadfully sad fellows.

                *A small minority within this minority is foreign policy fixated and loathes left wing cultural leftism. Gays are the beneficiaries of Western modernity and this extremely small minority is keenly fixated on that fact and honestly fears liberals would let revanchist social foreigners erase those advances out of cultural sensitivity and political correctness.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I want to explore the angle that Morat and North are discussing in an atypical way, which might be a swing-and-a-miss, so bear with me…

                We have a predominantly liberal crew right here discussing the appropriateness of gays or blacks or whomever supporting the GOP because we see the GOP as either actively working against their interests as members of those groups or being wholly indifferent to them. And, consequently, we question the motives behind that support and accuse them of voting against their own interests or being privileged such that the extent to which the GOP is antagonistic towards them is mitigated.

                Do I have that right? If so, let’s proceed…

                Now, let’s flip the script. One thing that many on the right believe is that SSM is harmful to straight marriage. They believe this deeply and sincerely. As such, they see the Democrats and their support of SSM as antagonistic towards straights, in much the same way we see their opposition of, say, affirmative action, as being antagonistic towards blacks. I’m a straight man. I’m married. I voted mostly Democratic in the last round of elections.

                What would we say to a group of conservatives that looked at me and said, “Why are you voting for a group hostile to your interests as a straight man? Are you super privileged?”

                Thoughts?Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I don’t see where in the Democratic platform they’re looking to ban and anull your marriage.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                The difference, Kazzy, is that there’s no evidence of liberals/gays/etcetera taking ‘rights’ away from straight people. I mean, no more than the CRA took away the ‘right’ of white people to not do business with black people due to the color of their skin. Even then, most of the gay marriage laws being passed have healthy exemptions for churches and other private religious institutions to not have to deal with gay people if they want.

                On the other hand, the conservative movement, who are largely in the Republican Party in 2013, has moved to limit the actual basic civil rights of African-American’s, Hispanic’s, and gay people in recent times. Whether it’s voter suppression laws, SB 1090, anti-gay marriage laws, etc., all those have obvious effects on the rights of various non-white people.

                On the other hand, of the people who say that gay marriage will take away ‘rights’ from straight people, it all largely is built on hypothetical ideas that Child Protective Services will swoop in and take your kids away if you take them to a church that is anti-gay or your restaurant will be shut down if you refuse to cater for a gay couple (btw, if you don’t want to cater for a gay couple, just lie. Say you’re already booked for that day. It’s not like that doesn’t happen to other ‘non-desirable’ people the world over.)Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                You might say that, as a white straight (and married) man, my reaction to the question “Why are you voting for a group hostile to your interests as a straight man?”

                is pretty simple: How are they hostile to my interests as a straight man? Obviously I percieve ways in which the GOP is hostile to the interests of gays and minorities. I can list them, point out the policies and problems I have.

                But for the life of me, I can’t see a single way in which SSM impacts my life. If I were gay, I could see many ways in which SSM — or lack thereof — would impact my life.

                Now maybe that’s not as huge a difference as I think — surely many conservatives would disagree that the policies and problems I find problematic aren’t hostile, or bad, or affects gays or minorities like I think. Maybe it’s all perspective.

                I’m open to being convinced.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                To channel my inner Jaybird, of course you (and I!) would say that these things are totally different. But I want to explore that perspective part. Maybe the gays or blacks who vote GOP say, “Eh, I don’t really see them as antagonistic to me,” in much the same way, “Eh, I don’t see how supporting SSM is antagonistic to me.”

                In some ways, I guess I’m saying the level of oppression one feels at the hands of another is someone what in the eye of the beholder. The ultimate YMMV. So rather than cast aspersions on gays or blacks or whomever who vote GOP, we should accept that they are making a well-informed decision with their best interests at heart… and just disagree with us when doing so.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I in fact said that, in my personal experience with gay republicans, that they are voting in their own self-interest.

                Given where they live, given their income bracket and their demographics, their jobs and their social circles — being gay is unremarkable.

                They will not be bullied. They will not be assaulted. They will not be excluded or pariahs. Their tax bracket has a lot more affect on their lives than gay rights do, because they are sufficiently wealthy and well-connected to not have to worry.

                I don’t feel they are self-loathing or misguided. I don’t call them fools. I don’t even consider them short-sighted, since it’s pretty obvious where the wind is blowing on gay rights.

                And heck, being gay has never even been a bar to Republican politics — as long as you weren’t running for office. Staffers, consultants — the folks who had the real power (and didn’t have to deal with the publicity) could and have been gay. Even quite openly.

                So why not be a gay Republican? It’s self-interest all the way down, since there are enough gays who either have it bad enough to make “I can’t vote Republican as long as they’re trying to criminalize my sexual orientation” or who, shall we say, are not so ruthlessly pragmatic to keep the ball rolling.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Morat,

                That’s a great point. I think you’ve accurately and fairly summed up how some gays may feel. I’m just getting the impression that some folks (not necessarily you or North) are somehow saying that such gays are “bad gays”.

                Jesse,

                I’m not talking about what “is” but about what’s perceived.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Which I believe, Kazzy, goes back to Morat’s point.

                The policies that are horrible for the vast majority of black/Hispanic/gay/non white straight Christian people simply don’t effect most conservative black/gay/etc. people. Maybe they’re so smart that the taint of affirmative action could never cross them (Ben Carson). Maybe they’re hedonists who aren’t interested in marriage at all (from reports, many gay GOP operatives). Maybe they can pass for white and as a result, are never asked for their papers (the history of class warfare in Latin America is full of this).

                So, they maybe making a well-informed decision for themselves, but the problem is, they then are held up to the rest of their community by the conservative movement and told, “see, this x can vote for us. Thus, it proves we aren’t racists/xenophobes/homophobes. It’s just a bunch of lies that those white liberals have told you.”

                The weird thing is, on another message board, that was mainly non-political, there was a guy like Dennis. Black, conservative, but sane about it. Only on this other message board for a variety of reasons, it was far more liberal. As a result, throughout most of Bush’s second term, in the political section of the board, I saw him go from defending most of Bush’s policies to defending some of Bush’s policies, to classifying himself as a progressive Republican, to voting for Obama and changing his registration to Democratic.

                We didn’t lie to the guy. He was simply pushed, multiple times a week, for an explanation for his views. By a lot of people, including people who make me look centrist. He’s still the same guy with largely the same policy views, he’s just realized a lot of what he supports was never actually supported by the modern Republican party.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                “So, they maybe making a well-informed decision for themselves, but the problem is, they then are held up to the rest of their community by the conservative movement and told, “see, this x can vote for us. Thus, it proves we aren’t racists/xenophobes/homophobes. It’s just a bunch of lies that those white liberals have told you.””

                Which might be the case. But then our criticism should be with the GOP, *not* with the black/gay/whatever Republicans… right?Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Unfortunately, many black/gay/Hispanic/etc. Republican’s don’t just stand by and allow the asshole white guy make arguments such as that, they go along and also make the same argument by themselves.

                I also think as Morat said, black/gay/Hispanic Republican’s tend to wave away substantive complains from the black/gay/Hispanic community as they’ve never been accused of getting somewhere because of affirmative action, been asked for their green card by a police officer, or been stopped from visiting a partner in a hospital. As a result, they tend to believe that special interest groups are inflating the actual problems for these groups of people to keep, to use their phrasing, x people on the Democratic plantation.

                In short, it’s the Rob Portman problem with gay marriage where since something doesn’t effect them specifically, there seems to be little empathy from people on the right-leaning side of the aisle. As somebody joked, “if only Republican politicians could have children that could be poor, illegal immigrants, or melting glaciers.”Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Look, way back when, Barack Obama was cynically avoiding taking a stand for marriage equality. He knew it was a hot button issue and wouldn’t take a stand on it until he had enough political support for it. If one party marginalises certain types of people, the other is too cowardly to stand up to un-marginalise them.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Yeah, I actually mentioned something about this in my previous comment, but scratched it and started over. Its worth noting that gay Republicanism is on the decline (it was once something like 30%, now closer to 20%). I think a lot of that is attributable to the fact that Democrats are finally standing up on the issue.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Some people are cussed stubborn??
                I mean, let’s play this in reverse, at least a little…
                There is some sort of strain of “anti-redneckism” in the Democratic party.
                It doesn’t stop a good deal of rednecks from voting Democratic.

                In fact, some racists do vote Democratic (one of the classic lines from Ford’s campaign in TN was “This is the first time I’ve ever considered voting for a n—“[person belatedly realizes that he’s at a democratic rally]”…black person.”Report

              • Nob,

                Out of curiosity, as someone whose views are far more in-line with the Democrats than the Republicans, how would you respond if the Democrats took on a very anti-Asian stance and the Republicans embraced them? But everything else remained more-or-less the same. Do you think you could actually support the GOP despite their views on virtually everything else?

                I ask because I don’t know how I would respond if the party that is otherwise of my choosing suddenly chose to make a target out of me. I’d imagine that I would gravitate towards the other party, but I am not really someone with strong opinions and so it doesn’t take as much to get me to gravitate as others.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Will Truman says:

                That’s a very good question, Will.Report

              • I would withdraw any and all affiliations I have with the Democratic Party and either be apolitical or strictly speaking, independent with policy preferences that would otherwise lean Democratic.

                But that’s not getting into the whole “I’m an immigrant and therefore not entitled to political opinions” type debate.

                If for example there was a strong push to say marginalize and attack high-skilled immigrants in the Democratic Party, again I’d stop the self-identification and simply work to get rid of that attitude either by advocacy or otherwise.Report

              • That is to say, I wouldn’t actually and couldn’t support the GOP so I might be one of those disenchanted bitter people who write long screeds on the internet.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Puh-leeze. The Democrats have been calling GOP voters a bunch of ignorant rednecks since the election of Nixon. The only reason why more people haven’t voted Democratic is precisely because the Democrats have been so dismissive of those “ignorant redneck” considerations, some of which are entirely valid.

                Democrats have done a great job of inclusion — with a few notable exceptions. They have not appealed to core conservative values where such values might be useful and necessary to winning the votes of honest people. Let’s not mince words here: the Democrats have been unnecessarily nasty to large numbers of people. Where we might have appealed to the likes of the Tea Partiers, we called them racists and don’t say we didn’t.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise, I think this is where it’s worthwhile to differentiate between “liberals” and “The Democratic Party.” A lot of liberals do as you say. The Democratic Party, though? They’re quite amazing about this. They don’t just tolerate Brian Schweitzer, or demand conformity from him, they try to make a star out of him.

                That is, perhaps, my favorite thing about the Democratic Party.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Will,
                That’s now, and with a strong push from … kos and company. Hasn’t always been the case.

                … what would it say about the Dems if they had held Byrd up as a star?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                The Dems did exalt Byrd. The whole “Dean of the Senate” thing. Obviously, they weren’t celebrating certain aspects of his past that he apologized for.

                Good point about it not always having been this way. It was quite different in the Clinton years than it has been in the Obama years.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Heh. I can just see Brian Schweitzer running around Washington with a little coal stove and a hot branding iron.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to BlaiseP says:

                He more than apologized for. He spent decades voting for and working to show that it was, in fact, something he more than regretted.

                Saying “I’m sorry” to a group you’ve offended is a start. Showing through deeds that you mean it? It’s how you earn a second chance.

                I think the GOP can’t get past step 1 (probably because ‘Sorry’ coincides with either ‘But I was right’ or ‘Oops, did it again). And I suppose one reason Byrd really stuck in their craw.

                They never really grasped that Byrd didn’t just make a pro-forma apology and continue on exactly as before.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Not that it reflects well on them anyway, but on the point at issue, that’s quite apples/oranges on Schweitzer/Byrd. You can take whatever approach to a new governor in a Red State that you want if you’re the national party. You have to go way out of your way to deny someone the kind of veneration he straightforwardly earns as a result of following the rules to get that veneration from separate institution (i.e. the Byrd things was as much a Senate thing as a Democratic Party thing). (And again, not that they did go out of their way to deny that to him, and not that that failure doesn’t reflect poorly on them. But it’s a different thing from how they’ve actively marketed people like Schweitzer or Tester or Heitkamp – to mixed and sometimes uncomfortable results for the party base, it should be said.)Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Robert Byrd’s legacy can be interpreted several ways. First, I don’t believe politicians are capable of honestly held opinions nor should they. They, like lawyers, from whose ranks they are overwhelmingly drawn, are advocates.

                Robert Byrd lived to repent his choices but it was the Klan who backed him. They were a powerful political force in those days. Byrd couldn’t just change political parties, he stayed a Democrat because he was already in a leadership position.

                So if he apologised, and he did, early and often, it cost him nothing — after all the damage he’d done, filibustering the Civil Rights Act. He really was a conniving bastard and there was not one honest bone in his rickety old body. He was a pork baron and a vicious old bigot, while such positions were supportable.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

                +1 BP. Dude was a scoundrel of historic proportions, an embarrassment to his party and everyone associated with him. No doubt.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Mike,
                Byrd was being a good soldier,who knew when he had done wrong and did right to make up for it. I’d say he deserved to be the Majority Leader for a while. (not that I’m a fan of seniority)Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

                It’s an embarrassment to the party that he got those chances to publicly repent with its approval and aid, Kimmi. Not that it didn’t do something to rehabilitate him, in a real way, that Thurmond or Helms never even approached. But it didn’t get him out of Scoundreltude.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise,
                WV pays higher state taxes than we in PA do, and for poorer services. Byrd may indeed have been a pork baron, but if we must have pork, I’m all for it going to the people who are trying their damnedest to pay their fair share, and just can’t quite make ends meet.
                I’ve been on gravel roads in WV.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Michael, it was my impression at the time that Byrd was being given esteem above and beyond the basic seniority. I agree that it wasn’t the same as the treatment Schweitzer/Tester/Heidkampt are getting now, and I’m not trying to make political hay (“Racist Democrats!”) out of it, just saying I think he got more than his seniority necessarily granted.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Right on. It was my impression that motions were just being gone through (except for some of the older dogs, perhaps?), but that too was just an impression.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Please. Get your facts straight. PA pays a flat 3%. WV pays between 3 and 6%. PA charges lots of sales and motor vehicle taxes.

                Ever seen those bridges in Charleston? Three Interstate highways converge on it. Or the huge FBI complex up there in Clarksburg? Federal money has poured into WV — there’s Byrd’s famous Road to Nowhere, bulldozed into some of the most mountainous terrain in the continental USA?

                Byrd was the goddamn King of Pork. It didn’t go into the pockets of poor people but rather into the Robert Byrd Political Machine. He was, for all practical purposes, the Emperor of West Virginia.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise,
                Apparently WV getting closer to dropping their food tax. Pa doesn’t tax food, and it doesn’t tax nearly any clothes.

                By road to nowhere, are you talking the one that swings by Elkins? ‘Cause that’s called a path from DC to tourist country. Plenty of places put roads like that in, and they’re worth every penny.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I’ve been looking into PA-WV-MD-VA lately due to a host of job opportunities in that region. West Virginia is in the low range, as far as taxes go. Lower than Pennsylvania for state and local, though higher than Pennsylvania if you’re just looking at state taxes.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Will,
                it’s not even the raw numbers, though. it’s the services you get. PA gets gobs of money off Philly, so they dont’ need to tax the rest of us terribly hard to have all paved roads.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Byrd was given certain esteem because well, he hung around for longer than everybody else. He was 3rd in line to the Presidency not because Democrat’s loved him, but because he has won reelection after reelection.

                As others have said, speaking as a liberal Democrat, there’s no great love for Byrd other than keeping a seat that probably would’ve feel into Republican hands during the 90’s or early 00’s out of it by living for a damn long time.Report

    • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Among other things, I think he could’ve discussed how his ideology confronts their problems rather than lecturing these students as to why their antipathy towards the GOP is the product of historical ignorance.Report

      • Elias- In all fairness, I think it needs to be acknowledged that Paul spent a good chunk of his speech doing exactly that with his discussion of sentencing reform and school choice, as well as his insistence (whether you agree or not as to the likely effects) that small government will mean economic growth.

        In all honesty, I’m wholly with Dennis on all of this.

        Look, one thing I’m noticing about Rand Paul is that, for better or for worse, he is extraordinarily shrewd, and is infinitely more politically talented than his father. This is a speech before a small audience at a college almost three years before the first primary of 2016, and three and a half years before the 2016 general election; it is not a one-off “do it to say you did it” speech to the NAACP in the midst of a general election campaign.

        No matter how successful or unsuccessful this particular speech was, Paul is far too shrewd a politician to have intended such a speech as a one-off.

        Perhaps he did a poor job in answering questions and his history lecture was no doubt amazingly tone-deaf, but – again – this is a speech three years from the 2016 primaries; how this particular speech was received is basically irrelevant in the long run, a fact of which Paul was indubitably well-aware.

        So why make this speech at all? That he held a question and answer session at all seems telling to me – he’s trying to figure out what he’s got to do to refine his message to make inroads into the African-American community. If he can make any inroads at all in that regard without giving up any significant portion of his increasing credibility with conservatives, then that helps him massively in the 2016 primaries – if he can double the number of African-American voters in the GOP primaries (not as tall an order as it sounds since African-Americans make up such a small percentage of the GOP primary electorate), while also getting a plurality of the existing African-American GOP primary vote, that gives him an extra two to three percentage points that no other primary candidate can compete for. In the primaries, a two or three point swing can be huge. What’s more, if he can do that, then he gets an added bonus with existing white GOP voters – he gets the added aura of electability.

        Basically, to get the 2016 nomination, Rand needs to do the following:
        1. Recognize that he has little potential appeal in the primaries to the GOP money men (unless of course he can gain an aura of electability) and moderates, who in recent history have been quite successful at uniting behind a single candidate early on in the primaries, allowing that candidate to win when the movement conservative base fails to unite behind a single candidate despite movement conservatives’ numerical advantage over GOP moderates.
        2. Hold on to as much of his father’s political base as possible, which is becoming a major grassroots force within the party, but which also is intensely loyal on a personal level, giving Paul a 5 or 6 percent base of support that no other candidate will even be able to compete for, and maybe a little more, since that base of support tends to be quite a bit younger than the rest of the GOP electorate, meaning that base is growing every year while the rest of the GOP electorate is quite literally dying off.
        3. Do as well with movement conservatives as any other candidate, at least in the early primaries – ie, if there are two other candidates competing for most movement conservative votes, he needs to get about a third of those votes. Combined with his father’s base, that alone should get him up around 20-25 percent in the early primaries, which are always at least a four or five way race.
        4. But early support of 20-25 percent, while enough to be competitive, probably isn’t going to be quite enough to defeat whoever the money men and moderates unite behind. He really needs to be up around 30 percent in the early primaries (again, assuming an early four or five way race). To do that, he’s going to need to find some other group from outside the party’s traditional voters to bring into the fold- if he can succeed in doing so, even if the number he actually brings into the fold is only a couple of percentage points, he’ll also give himself an aura of electability that will allow him to grow his support as the primaries go on and other candidates drop out. African-Americans, precisely because so few are Republicans, as well as because his differences from GOP orthodoxy probably have their greatest relevance to African-Americans, may well represent his best chance on that front.

        But to do that, he has to first figure out how to refine his message, and only time will tell if he succeeds. Paul is playing a long game here, something he’s proven quite adept at doing. I suspect that if you were to look closely, you’d find that his policy views are actually not nearly as different from his father’s policy views as is commonly assumed; what he has done is figured out how to pick his battles in order to have as much appeal to the GOP’s movement conservative base as other candidates without alienating his father’s separate base. Having largely succeeded at that, his next step needs to be to find an additional voter bloc to bring into the fold.Report

        • Thanks a lot for this comment, Mark.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          Yeah, he’s another “veterans benefits are the new welfare” kind of bloke.
          Also a man who can’t be bothered to read a law before delivering a screed against it.Report

          • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Kimmi says:

            You’d rather we have men who can’t be bothered to read a law before voting in favor of it?Report

            • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jim Heffman says:

              Is it really so hard to ask folks to know the existing law of the land before they presume to change it?

              I expect that every congressman gets cliffnotes about laws. Because laws are long, and unlike you, I understand that every single law gets rewritten before it goes into effect anyway (your standard cadre of lawyers ready to define all terms, etc). And they pass a lot of laws.

              I expect them to know enough to not comment on what they haven’t read.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Kimmi says:

                I guess you forgot PPACA and “we have to pass the bill to know what’s in it”.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                I love that line. It’s as good as “Al Gore invented the internet” to really tease out who wants an honest conversation and who doesn’t.

                I mean, come on, anyone who knows how the process works knows the process of voting a bill through involves amendments and changes out the wazoo (at least if done democratically — you can always railroad a bill through without offering amendments, but that’s often frowned upon). Then of course there’s reconcilliation.

                Plain fact of the matter is, while you know about 95% of a bill from the first ‘real’ votes, the remaining bit is up for grabs until near the end.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Morat20 says:

                And nearly every observer who was interested in the subject had a pretty good idea of what the basics of the bill would contain.

                The rest is, honestly trimmings and details.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Morat20 says:

                The other thing is that, even for the 95% of a given bill of any complexity that is known from the beginning, the majority is going to be basically unreadable – a lot of it is things like “strike the words “_________” in 11 U.S.C. 234, replace with ___________.”Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                Yeah, but they have actual synopsis and staffers that provide “and this is what it does” in English.

                Which is another hilarity with the ‘have to read the whole bill’ people. Having read bills — reading one out loud will not result in enlightenment.

                Strangely, our legal system reads like laws. 🙂Report

              • Pretty much – the bill summary is about the only aspect of a bill that is legible; attempting to “read” the rest in any meaningful sense is just a complete waste of time.Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Morat20 says:

                So was the 1099 rule discussed before the bill was passed?

                How about the rule that anything that comes out of an FSA or HSA requires a prescription?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jim Heffman says:

                Fuck Off. You have to ask particular private companies what’s in it, as they’re setting half the standards. AND they ain’t done yet.

                Thing is? Legislature NEVER knows what Executive is gonna do. And since Executive writes the rules… well, there you go.

                No way you’re gonna be able to say anything more than “bring in qualified experts” (like highmark) — or “eliminate no-bid contracts”Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Kimmi says:

                Fuck Off.

                Seriously?Report

              • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Dave says:

                Oh, are you just now meeting Kimmi?Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Dave says:

                I’ve met her and seen some comments that have raised my eyebrows more than a bit. She has a potty mouth that warms the cockles of my dago heart.

                However, this is the first time I’ve seen her tell someone to f–k off. Maybe I’ve missed it.

                I don’t know what’s in the air or water today, but I’d much rather finish the post I’m trying to write than have to deal with some of the crap I’ve seen today. Sigh…Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Dave says:

                Today Kimmi told someone to f/o. A few days ago someone said it to Kimmi. She’s kind of a special case.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Dave says:

                “I’d much rather finish the post I’m trying to write than have to deal with some of the crap I’ve seen today.”

                On that front, I want to again say thanks (as always) for that bit of work you do. Know that it is very appreciated by many here, myself included.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Dave says:

                Thank you Tod.

                By the way, you and I should probably touch base via email at some point since I haven’t had the chance to speak with you.

                Will,

                So we have token liberals, conservatives, libertarians and a special case?Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Dave says:

                I’m a special case! I eschew labels!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dave says:

                Patrick please. You of all people should know that you can’t escape labels. Simply being the type of person who eschews labels puts you in a category. Labelphobe, for example.

                So, there ya go. You’re a labelophobe. And we all know what *those people* are like, don’t we?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dave says:

                Sorry, man. Most folks have been around here long enough to figure out that me swearing is just part of me talking.

                That said, that was intended as emphasis, explaining to the person on the other side that really, he has absolutely no idea about the issue, and is sounding like a putz by blathering on.

                … i swore again, didn’t i? bloody hell.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Dave says:

                I’m not afraid of labels, though, Stillwater.

                I just cannot be defined.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dave says:

                I just cannot be defined.

                Hmmm. My little joke is getting more interesting. If you can’t be defined, do you think that other people also can’t be defined?

                When you say you can’t be defined, are you saying that others can’t define you or that you can’t define yourself?Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          The takeaway from this is that Elias was wrong to even offer a positive suggestion for what he should offer up, since doing so would be taken as a specific denial that he did anything like that even though the suggestion was in fact that Paul do that *”rather than”* including the tone-deaf history lecture, which leaves open that the point was “rather than, not just in addition to,” not “rather than, because it resulted in him not doing any of the other.” IOW, that what he needs to do above all is ditch this kind of grievance about how the party is perceived and the condescending lecture about how those perceptions are based in ignorance, so that the other parts of the message can be heard.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          I heartily endorse this comment, as well.Report

        • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          Thing is, I don’t much think Paul’s desire to accrue more power exculpates him of responsibility for his own speech and its implicit (or explicit) shortcomings. The heart of the speech was a history lesson, with a smattering of substantive policy here and there. Most of that happened during the Q&A, during which Rand was ungracious and defensive.

          But I’ll admit I have very little patience for his grandstanding about the drug war considering his position, as you note, is essentially his father’s; i.e., the only problem with the War on Drugs is its trampling of States’ rights. (Note that the clear majority of people in jail due to drug law violations are jailed by….state authorities in state prisons. Not federal.)Report

          • Avatar Elias Isquith in reply to Elias Isquith says:

            Or: what Mike just said.Report

          • Thing is, I don’t much think Paul’s desire to accrue more power exculpates him of responsibility for his own speech and its implicit (or explicit) shortcomings.

            If anything it’s a more damning indictment of the shortcomings of the speech.

            But let’s put the speech itself aside for a moment.

            It’s this “poor me” victimization schtick that’s terrible.Report

          • Thing is, I don’t much think Paul’s desire to accrue more power exculpates him of responsibility for his own speech and its implicit (or explicit) shortcomings.

            I actually agree with this. My objection is that focusing on this particular shortcoming misses the forest for the trees. Was he white-splaining (or, if you’d prefer, conserva-splaining) with that part of the speech? Absolutely. Was it ignorant in the extreme? Absolutely. But what else would you expect from a first attempt? That Republicans, including Rand Paul, are ignorant of the African-American experience is basically a given – how could they not be, given how few African-Americans they actually engage with or have in their party. But, of course, that very ignorance is their biggest current problem. The thing about ignorance is that one who is ignorant of others’ experiences doesn’t realize they are ignorant, and the only way to overcome that ignorance is to engage with those others while displaying it.

            The heart of the speech was a history lesson, with a smattering of substantive policy here and there.

            I have to disagree with this pretty strongly – roughly the last 1300 words of the 2800 word speech were dedicated to policy; once you factor out the preamble fluff that constitutes the first 500 words or so, that’s a bigger chunk of the speech than the history lesson.

            But I’ll admit I have very little patience for his grandstanding about the drug war considering his position, as you note, is essentially his father’s; i.e., the only problem with the War on Drugs is its trampling of States’ rights.

            Ehhh, I’m not sure this is an accurate portrayal of either Paul’s position on this. From what I’ve always gathered, they tend to use states’ rights arguments on the WoD when speaking to audiences where such arguments will be likely to gain the most traction, and humanitarian arguments when speaking to audiences where humanitarian arguments will be more likely to gain traction for opposing the WoD. Additionally, keep in mind that we’re talking about politicians in federal offices, so forcing states to end their own wars on drugs just isn’t something that’s realistically within their power. Last but not least, do not underestimate the impact of federal policy on state level wars on drugs – the militarization of local police, for instance, is heavily driven by federal policy, federal drug schedules and grant programs provide a systemic disincentive for states to pull back on their wars on drugs, and it is also the feds who quite literally fight the WoD as a “war,” which has all sorts of pernicious effects that go well beyond questions of who gets locked up such as increasing the violence in the drug game and making it a more lucrative business than it otherwise would be.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

              This “first attempt” business strikes me as a pretty thin reed upon which most of your estimation of the speech rests (the point that there was a significant positive policy component being a fair one that stands on its own). This is not a newcomer or an ingenue. This is a professional politician, son of a professional politician, a sitting U.S. Senator, not a dumb man as you point out, and a man who knows what his words mean, what his aim for them is, and not a little about the cultural and political reality of the country in which they’ll be understood. This is a guy who determines what he means to say, what effects he means it to have, and says it.Report

              • This is not a newcomer or an ingenue. This is a professional politician, son of a professional politician, a sitting U.S. Senator, not a dumb man as you point out, and a man who knows what his words mean, what his aim for them is, and not a little about the cultural and political reality of the country in which they’ll be understood. This is a guy who determines what he means to say, what effects he means it to have, and says it.

                Here’s the thing, though – I don’t care how shrewd or smart you are, if you’re not regularly engaging a group of people, then you actually have no idea what the effects of your words on that group of people will actually be. A prominent Republican hadn’t spoken at Howard in, what, 20 years? I honestly can’t recall the last time that a Republican politician, much less a white Republican politician, of any reknown whatsover went before a primarily African-American audience or neighborhood of any size and actually sought unfiltered feedback from that audience.

                Rand Paul did not say a single thing in his “history” lecture that I haven’t heard before in private, in almost the exact same tone, from other extremely intelligent conservatives. The fact is that there really are an awful lot of extremely intelligent Republicans and conservatives who believe that Rand Paul’s history is an accurate portrayal of the GOP’s problems with the African-American community, and who honestly think that the reason those problems can’t be solved is that the media has sold a false narrative and thus those facts are basically unknown. It’s easy to come to such conclusions, no matter how intelligent one is, so long as one almost never engages with that community in a meaningful, two-way, fashion.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                There is ample room for a mixture of various intents and execution that leaves something to be desired. I didn’t mean to say his performance was perfectly done to achieve his aims. Only that he isn’t completely inept or naive about what he is doing and how to do it, either. And that there are a number of things that it is entirely possible constitute his aims, and that it’s unlikely the lecture was just pure misstep or poor execution.

                I was, I’ll concede, overstating that point for effect in above comment. 😉Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                The fact is that there really are an awful lot of extremely intelligent Republicans and conservatives who believe that Rand Paul’s history is an accurate portrayal of the GOP’s problems with the African-American community, and who honestly think that the reason those problems can’t be solved is that the media has sold a false narrative and thus those facts are basically unknown.

                I was trying to think of a clever, sarcastic riposte to this, but I give up. Anyone who actually believes that is too fishing stupid to live.Report

              • Careful. The comment police might not like you calling people stupid.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                I’ll take my chances,Report

              • You didn’t call any of their token conservatives stupid, so you’re probably okay.

                EDIT: You also said “fish” instead of “fuck”. Since the comment police haven’t watched Louis CK’s bit on “the N-word”, you’re probably okay there too.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Ryan, please don’t try to enlist me into your mishegos.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Wow, what an epic burn, Dave.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                I was trying to be friendly. I’m not THAT bad of a guy. 😉Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Uh… okay.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                Michael,

                While I was being a bit of a smart ass, I was hoping that he would reconsider.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

                You didn’t call any of their token conservatives stupid, so you’re probably okay.

                Ryan, go get a cup of coffee or something.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                One of hazards of teaching white history, or European-American history, or whatever you want to call history from the perspective of the majority, is that people will be largely ignorant of the history of minorities, except from the limited perspective of the majority. I don’t think these people are stupid, certainly not too stupid to live. I think they were failed by an education system that is only just now (as in, during the last decade) starting to realize that not only are there other perspectives on history, but that those perspectives might actually help people who don’t share those perspectives to understand history better.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Chris says:

                …Of course, for them, that development in educational perspectives is a problem in need of urgent remedy.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

                But it’s not just about talking to minorities. As a liberal, I get told the same nonsense, and I’m extremely white. (Like, my favorite group is the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields white.) To believe that “Bububububu Robert Byrd!” is a compelling argument requires dismissing everyone in the world who doesn’t already agree with you.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

                Michael, I was thinking that as I typed the comment. I live in Texas, after all.

                Mike, partisan politics makes people stupid. That’s probably a scientifically proven fact, though I haven’t done a lit review. The “Robert Byrd was the most respected Democrat ever in the history of the WORLD!” thing is par for the course when it comes to partisanship.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chris says:

                Who actually thinks that? (That Bryd is the most respected Democrat in the world).

                In general, he mostly gets respect for rethinking his prejudices. Those who agreed with him, back in the day, jumped ship to another party where they kept right on with those prejudices.

                Whether Byrd secretly continued to believe them or not, he showed no signs of it and spent a few decades voting against that sort of thing.

                Which doesn’t translate out as “most respected Democrat ever” (actually, I can’t think of anyone even a largish minority would give that title too). It just translate out “He changed his tune. Others didn’t.”

                Obviously he’s gonna get more Democratic respect than the guys who became Republican and helped the Southern Strategy. (Especially keeping in mind the hit Democrats knew was coming after the CRA — they knew they’d be hammered for decades over it).Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Chris says:

                Michael, I was thinking that as I typed the comment. I live in Texas, after all.

                Mike, partisan politics makes people stupid. That’s probably a scientifically proven fact, though I haven’t done a lit review. The “Robert Byrd was the most respected Democrat ever in the history of the WORLD!” thing is par for the course when it comes to partisanship.

                It’s sort of progress, right? I mean at least they’re renaming dorms named after Klansmen and what not.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

                The University of Texas hasn’t been very Texas-like since at least the 1960s. I assume this is part of why Perry and the Regents have been attempting a sort of coup.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          If he can make any inroads at all in that regard without giving up any significant portion of his increasing credibility with conservatives, then that helps him massively in the 2016 primaries – if he can double the number of African-American voters in the GOP primaries (not as tall an order as it sounds since African-Americans make up such a small percentage of the GOP primary electorate), while also getting a plurality of the existing African-American GOP primary vote, that gives him an extra two to three percentage points that no other primary candidate can compete for. In the primaries, a two or three point swing can be huge. What’s more, if he can do that, then he gets an added bonus with existing white GOP voters – he gets the added aura of electability.

          Alternatively, if he can go to a HBU and “tell the truth” as perceived by the kind of white voter that makes up most of his father’s political coalition (retaining which you stipulate to be a necessary part of any successful bid for the nomination), that could give him the inside track on a certain part of the GOP base that he’ll need to maximize in order to be competitive with this dude named Rubio who’s fluent in Mexican and is getting ready to grant a blanket amnesty to all the illegals.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

            …And I’m not saying it’s that or the other thing. Just saying our interpretation of the overall speech – its existence, its content, the presence of that lecture – is I think the rosiest one, substantively and politically, that could possibly be devised. Which, again, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.Report

          • Alternatively, if he can go to a HBU and “tell the truth” as perceived by the kind of white voter that makes up most of his father’s political coalition (retaining which you stipulate to be a necessary part of any successful bid for the nomination),

            I think you need to be careful when talking about the group that “makes up most of his father’s political coalition.” That coalition is actually quite an odd amalgamation, and there’s a substantial division within it – in fact, if you look at the exit polls from the primaries, you’ll find that the overwhelming majority of Ron Paul’s supporters came from the younger age groups; the older age groups from which his more traditional, paleocon constituency, was derived only made up about a third of his overall support. That older, paleocon portion of the Paul base is dying off, making the younger, more socially tolerant, portion of that base increasingly important to the Pauls.

            The other thing here that I have to keep going back to is that we’re three years from the first primaries. If his goal is just to have a one-off moment that allows him to go back to his base and brag about “telling the truth” to black people, then giving a one-off speech to a comparatively small audience at a college – as opposed to an organization that is a right-wing bugaboo – three years from the first primary makes absolutely no sense. Three years from now, no one is going to remember this speech.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

              A fair point on the coalition. This kind of strategy remains an entirely plausible one into which this appearance can fit, though. There are multiple possible interpretations. Indeed, the two interpretations aren’t mutually exclusive – he could be trying to keep both of these tracks viable. My sense is that the more Paul tacks toward the mainstream of the current GOP, the more he’ll start to lose the newer part of his father’s coalition. That will force him to seek buttressing support elsewhere. Do we think that is likely to come from marginally increasing his share of the African-American GOP primary electorate? I have my doubts.

              This all fits just fine into your point that this isn’t (or may not be) a one-off as well (and I’m not sure why you think I must be saying it’s a one-off for this interpretation to be plausible). That seems irrelevant to me. If it is not a one-off, it’s not clear to me how that cuts, anyway. The next installment will be the next installment, and it will also be subject to multiple interpretations. It is too early to say what specific words or events mean, but it’s not too early to begin to sketch out the political paths that are open to potential candidates. Your account is plausible; so is mine.Report

        • I suspect that if you were to look closely, you’d find that his policy views are actually not nearly as different from his father’s policy views as is commonly assumed; what he has done is figured out how to pick his battles in order to have as much appeal to the GOP’s movement conservative base as other candidates without alienating his father’s separate base.

          I suppose a charitable interpretation is yours, but the alternative is that Rand is doing an excellent job of taking the worst, knee jerk defensive crouch positions of the conservative base AND his father’s gold buggery cranks and fusing them into a nativist oriented cocktail that’s quite noxious.Report

          • I don’t necessarily view this “alternative” as being inconsistent with my interpretation, which has nothing to do with the policy preferences of the resulting coalition, and everything to do with the politics of what Rand Paul is trying to do.Report

            • Rand Paul has shown a mastery of political theater that his father’s never had. That actually frightens me because I find his policy mixtures to be noxious and terrible. I do think there’s a tendency for people to flock to admiration of him because he’ll talk about issues that aren’t always important to mainstream discussions but are to certain constituencies, but then you dig into the substance of his solutions it starts to get a bit scary.

              I’m still standing by that with regard to his positions on say targeted killing.Report

              • To be clear, though – I’m not here taking any position on whether his policy mixtures will be good or bad. In all honesty, I’m still not at all certain whether I think he’s, on the whole, an incredible danger or a breath of fresh air – there are certainly a number of things where he very much scares me, a number of other things where I’m skeptical of his sincerity, a handful of things where I think he’s fighting the good fight, and then a whole bunch of things where I question his ability to be a capable executive rather than being someone whose skillset is much better geared for staying in the legislature.

                To the contrary, my point is that debating the merits of this particular speech completely misses the forest for the trees.Report

              • I think his reaction to the speech’s reception, more than the content of the speech is telling in the direction he intends to go.Report

              • I think there is some truth to this. The more I read about the speech itself, the more defensible it is. Still struggling with the reaction to the reaction, though.Report

              • Nob – that’s a fair point, though I’m still skeptical because I haven’t been able to get the full context of that comment, and the link to the relevant article isn’t working for me. Certainly, without any context, that comment looks pretty bad, though I ‘m not sure it contradicts my thesis so much as it shows just how far Rand needs to go.Report

        • Avatar Just Me in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          I hope he doesn’t swing too far his father’s way though.Report

      • Go read an actual transcript of his speech. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/04/10/rand-paul-delivers-speech-at-howard-university/ “How his ideology confronts their problems,” and also how it has failed to do so or has seemed to fail to do so, was his theme. He offered a theory that verges on admission against interest, especially if you don’t find other aspects of his analysis persuasive: African Americans as an historically oppressed group may at any given time and especially under hardship seem to have more to gain in the short term from the state than from socio-economic dynamism. He offered a parallel, superficially plausible explanation for the switch from Republican to Democrat allegiances that does not contradict the “Southern Strategy,” but sets the background for it historically – although following his narrative does require analytical simplification, especially by defining the Republicans as the party of individual rights and the Democrats as the party of the state.

        He also leaves much out, of course, especially the role of the federal government as guarantor of civil rights (not precisely the same as individual rights) against intermediary political, administrative, and social forces – or, more generally, the problem of the incompleteness of civil rights in the absence of actual economic and political power – but you don’t have to be persuaded by Paul, or to take his analysis in the same direction he does, to acknowledge it as an authentic argument, a traditional and even classical argument that takes new concrete forms at any historical conjunctur, and not just a self-interested political pander or “publicity stunt.”

        We could ask what libertarian Republicanism might have to offer African Americans and the rest of us going forward, or what African Americans and the rest of us might stand to lose by simply ignoring the libertarian Republican argument. The absence of such a discussion might itself be taken as a part of the answer on the latter question.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to CK MacLeod says:

          “We could ask what libertarian Republicanism might have to offer African Americans and the rest of us going forward, or what African Americans and the rest of us might stand to lose by simply ignoring the libertarian Republican argument. The absence of such a discussion might itself be taken as a part of the answer on the latter question.”

          This is the kind of stuff that always makes me glad you show up, CK.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to CK MacLeod says:

          We could ask what libertarian Republicanism might have to offer African Americans and the rest of us going forward, or what African Americans and the rest of us might stand to lose by simply ignoring the libertarian Republican argument. The absence of such a discussion might itself be taken as a part of the answer on the latter question.

          That the question has been asked, discussed, and an answer has been reached: not much, it is thought?

          Or do you actually have something to say to that question?Report

          • I presume you (https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/04/rand-paul-victim/#comment-532495) mean the “latter question”: I was referring especially to the left-liberal reaction to Paul, which in my observation tended to attribute malign motives to him, and to focus on what he left out, rather than even acknowledge what he tried to say, much less respond to it. So, maybe we end up losing an ability to respond to political disagreement other than defensively, typically by ad hominem, as in the search for and relentless exploitation of “gotcha” moments meant to confirm that the speaker is an evil racist self-seeking Republican politician who cannot by definition say or represent anything useful or interestingly challenging. From his point of view or the point of view of one of his supporters and potentially of the un-committed, you end up with a stagnant discourse that corresponds to the stagnant public institutions and stagnant political-economic life it is deployed to defend: public intellectual bureaucrats defending their fiefdoms (or seeking approval and entry), skilled at disarming and expelling the occasional interloper, and applauding and supporting each other in the joint effort. It might even be the right thing to do, politically, but it may be costly in other ways.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to CK MacLeod says:

              This Paul speech was hardly the first or only opportunity for African Americans and the rest of us to ask and discuss”what libertarian Republicanism might have to offer African Americans and the rest of us going forward, or what African Americans and the rest of us might stand to lose by simply ignoring the libertarian Republican argument.” You have no reason to think this hasn’t been done, and thus to think that the attention to the lecturing part of Paul’s speech is evidence that such questions aren’t being considered. These discussions have been had over the years. People can listen to Paul’s or Ryan’s proposals and judge them, and they do. When Paul proposes them yet again at Howard but add in a condescending and self-(or party-)serving lecture on the history of racial politics, it says nothing about anyone’s willingness to consider known policy proposals that people ended up focusing on the insulting lecture. The lecture had its purpose, and it wasn’t to draw attention to the policy proposals.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                ..And this

                losing an ability to respond to political disagreement other than defensively, typically by ad hominem, as in the search for and relentless exploitation of “gotcha” moments meant to confirm that the speaker is an evil racist self-seeking Republican politician who cannot by definition say or represent anything useful or interestingly challenging.

                would be a fair thing to criticize if it were not a straw man.Report

              • A straw man (https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/04/rand-paul-victim/#comment-532616 )? Can you point me to a place where the substance of Paul’s speech was discussed at all, or even acknowledged, except as his supposedly “insulting” the audience? I don’t like Paul much at all, but at a certain point continually returning to a perceived insult is itself insulting, and not just to Paul. It’s as though we all have nothing better to do than collect imaginary injuries.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                My view is that his views on the history are sufficiently jarring that that would be unlikely to be most liberals’ initial reaction – again, given that his policy positions are broadly known. But that is not all you said. The straw man was in a charge of a lost ability, rather than a legitimate reaction in this instance, and everything following “meant to confirm.” It’s not a straw man to say that the reaction was almost exclusively to his historical interpretation and lying about his own record, but then to blame that reaction on a failing of the audience rather than of the speaker is a exercise in blame-shifting IMO. There was more than enough there to get in the way of the policy statement being the primary thing people were going to respond to in this speech. A natural reaction to clear provocation doesn’t demonstrate the loss of an ability to address policy disagreement in policy terms. If Paul wanted to make the main takeaway of his appearance for the audience the benefits of limited government for African-Americans and the evils of the prison state, he could have done that; he has the oratorical skills to focus the message in that way if that was his aim.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                …It is also a straw man,because it was conditioned on the hypothetical of “African Americans and the rest of us… simply ignoring the libertarian Republican argument,” which, as I have been saying, is not a state of affairs that actually obtains in the world, and in any case whose actual existence is not positively spoken to one way or the other by reaction to this speech, due to its many distractions from that argument, and due to the fact that it’s just one speech by just one politician given on just one day in a particular place.Report

              • Of course, it’s “been done” (https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/04/rand-paul-victim/#comment-532612). In a country of 300 million people, “it” is probably being done at any given moment of the day in numerous locations. However, Senator Rand Paul represents a relatively novel configuration of views, offered from a potentially influential position. Some of his “policy proposals” are less familiar than others coming from someone in his position and his party – especially the long, largely unremarked portion of his speech devoted to the drug war and mass incarceration – and he also seeks to ground his approach in a theory of political-historical change.

                On the latter note, I don’t think it’s condescending, for instance, to suggest that the Depression – and the assembly of the FDR coalition – was a or even the critical moment for the movement of African Americans into the Democratic Party, and that immediate material or economic self-interest played a role. That is or was, in fact, the standard history, with many suggesting that the moment was already ripe when Woodrow Wilson, due to his own racist tendencies, failed to grasp it for his party (as ever, the history is more complicated, of course). The CRA along with the movement over the course of a subsequent extended generation of the last Dixiecrats to the Rs more or less completed a long historical process, of which the Southern Strategy was but one moment among others at least equally significant in my opinion, but the Dixiecrats themselves have been somewhat transformed in the process, even if many of the old obnoxious reflexes still remain.

                As for the lecture’s “purpose,” the notion takes us into the realm of personal-political speculation and suspicion. Most of the “insult” seems to be a combination of prejudicial reactions to his rhetorical technique – the series of “why” questions introducing his theory – and the Q&A/back-and-forth “gotcha” on the origins of the NAACP. Was there something else of great significance or novelty that I missed?Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                Senator Rand Paul represents a relatively novel configuration of views, offered from a potentially influential position. Some of his “policy proposals” are less familiar than others coming from someone in his position and his party – especially the long, largely unremarked portion of his speech devoted to the drug war and mass incarceration – and he also seeks to ground his approach in a theory of political-historical change.

                This is indeed the account offered by those disposed to be highly charitable or sympathetic to him and who have an agenda for how people should receive him and what he has to say, I’ll give you that much.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                …I mean, the drug war stuff either is important enough to break through the rest of the message and matter to people in that way maybe you think it should… or it’s not. There’s no “should” about it. A politician saying that the drug war is way over-prosecuted or just out-and-out wrong and that mass incarceration is a problem that is out of hand to a room full of liberals I think has less novelty to it than you imagine… and you’re imagining into it a kind of affirmative action for Republicans that simply doesn’t exist. There have been plenty of politicians who have said these things, and there’s no way to know what will happen in the very unlikely event he becomes president. And there’s no reason other than your agenda and preconceived ideas about people’s priorities that that issue should govern an audiences reaction to a speech/appearance with a much broader set of subjects. If you are a politician, or his spokesmen, the people will tell you what their priorities are, not the other way around. A politician who operates on the reverse basis will quickly find out why he’s got it backwards.Report

              • Eh – I doubt you mean that (https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/04/rand-paul-victim/#comment-532674) really, since taken literally it would be an argument for pure demagogy and complete disregard of content on its own terms. How an audience reacts is one thing – or potentially a number of different things depending on the report. The novelty of the drug war part wasn’t the pure novelty of an idea. It was the novelty of a Senator and rising figure in the R Party devoting so much attention to the idea and promising to work for reform across party lines. Maybe it would be in the self-interest of those liberals and others to reward politicians with such views but from the other side with a little “charity” – unless counting coup against Republicans is more important than moving America towards a more civilized penal system. It would also be a way of getting at Paul’s limitations, but that’s a longer discussion.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I don’t appreciate being told what I do or don’t mean, and in any case I don’t know what you are saying I don’t mean. So I’m going to disregard that.

                The point is simple – you are articulating why it seems to you that the message in Paul’s speech had a novelty to it, and saying that, accordingly, that novelty ought best to have been perceived and acknowledged by a better version of *this* audience. Well, it doesn’t work like that. However novel those stated views were to that audience (and it seems to me that you are an advancing a “Don’t you know who I am?” argument on this man’s behalf to get the audience to a rhetorical place where you can say they ought to have received some part of his message as novel), the fact remains that it wasn’t, in the end, novel enough to them to overcome the shock factor of other things he had to say. And that’s not because of some lost ability on the audience’s part. it’s because of what Rand Paul decided he wanted to say to that audience on that day. Those are the facts. The end, good night Sally.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                …I want to add that I don’t actually deny that a better version of this audience (in the room and in the media) would have made greater note of his policy statements. But it really doesn’t work like that, not when the provocations are so acute and the novelty of the policy statements so middling, your suggestions to the contrary notwithstanding.Report

              • Since you (https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/04/rand-paul-victim/#comment-532717) say you don’t understand, but appear to take offense anyway, I will offer some explanation, and hope we can leave the rest of this for some other day. I said that I doubted you really believed in what read as a completely unprincipled depiction of what a public figure or politician should aim for.

                Audience: Rand Paul speaks to multiple audiences. I saw someone claim, though cannot verify, that almost half the audience was political journalists. You and I, everyone else here, and millions of others, are also his “audience.” We are also each other’s audience, and each audience can break into multiple sub-audiences by political affiliation and other factors, and we are all such manifold audiences to his speech as well as to the reception of his speech, and to his interaction with the live audience of students, and to his comments about the reactions of others, and so on.

                I haven’t advanced an opinion about how the live audience “should” have reacted or how Paul ought to have wanted them to react. We could conclude that his speech was a failure as outreach to those particular students at that time, and still conclude that it was a success or a mixed success, etc., in a range of other ways. Maybe if one of those students suddenly gloms on to the wonder and the glory of libertarian Republicanism twenty years from now, without knowing why, the speech will have been an authentic success, and no one will ever know. Those other ways could also potentially include their more immediate influence politically, in terms of getting things accomplished or in terms of creating useful discussions, and so on. To conclude that the only thing that matters is that a politician successfully flatter his audience, or audiences, or their predispositions, beginning with his live audience, is a very narrow way of viewing things. That’s the essence of demagogy: Make the audience love and follow you for how you make them feel about their own impulses and identities.

                Maybe he should have devoted more of his art to flattering the students and left-liberals beyond, had the students on the edge of their seat wondering if he was about to announce he was switching parties, flayed the Republican monster, praised the President and Nancy Pelosi and Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, too. I don’t know. You could make an argument. As for the rest of us, we have a choice about what part of the speech or what aspect of the speech to respond to. We can attempt to do what others, maybe including even ourselves, fault him for failing to do – show sympathy and respect for our adversaries or for ideas in general, or for political realities perhaps, or we can… focus on other things.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I didn’t take offense – it was a mild annoyance, and I wasn’t completely clear what you referring to, so I moved on.

                When I said that the argument had been considered and it was concluded not much was lost, I was thinking in terms of rejecting it, rather than ignoring it. So that was a failure on my part to follow your circumlocution exactly properly. As I say, I don’t think it’s been ignored, and I don’t think reaction to this speech is evidence that it has been. It’s been considered, and broadly rejected, though not everywhere.

                On priorities, the point was not that speakers should only speak about their audiences’ priorities; it was just that speakers will have to be guided as to what their audiences’ priorities are by gauging their reactions to the various things they might say; not prescribe what parts of their speeches ought to receive the most conscientious and attentive consideration. It is the speaker’s job to so focus his remarks that the topics considered are the ones he prefers to have considered, if that is what he prefers happen.

                If you are not advancing a view as to what we or the audience ought to have reacted to in the speech, then I think that is a good thing. Rand Paul’s remarks were composed in such a way that the reaction to them was what it would under nearly any circumstances. The reaction was not the result of, nor did it result in, the loss of any ability on the part of audiences to address policy (or political differences) on their terms, when in fact they are presented straightforwardly on their terms, and not with attending provocations and the thick, concocted political subtext that underlaid this event.Report

    • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      Why does a political party that will never receive a significant number of black votes need to open a conversation with the most liberal demographic group in the U.S.

      Maybe Paul should have avoid the history lesson and spent his time trying to embarass a student body that supports race-based government, separate and unequal standards, and race-based reparations. Instead of reaching out to blacks, maybe Sen. Paul should have used to talk to show how liberal and irrational educated blacks are in the U.S. when it comes to government policy.Report

    • Avatar Russell M in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      I was just the other day wondering where you had gone. glad to see you back.

      and to not answer for Elias as well, I think actually offering policy’s that would benefit city’s(better zoning for housing, better schools, talking more about his disgust with federal drug policy) and more honesty on the part of the republican party that yes, the voter ID laws and cutting Early voting are aimed at keeping the southern strategy a going thing.

      Then turn around and announce that because all the targeted voters went out of their way to make sure they could vote the party will now repeal the voter suppression laws and renounce any party member who talks all racisity.

      and listen to actual concerns of non-white, non-rich voters. then respond with actions that directly benefit those voters. hearing that taxes are to high and responding by cutting cap gains taxes again would be an example of a non-starter.Report

    • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      The GOP doesn’t do it by lying. They don’t do it by failing to come clean.

      50 years, 5 decades, of THIS, Dennis Sanders:

      “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. 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.”

      Here’s what I don’t get. You’re black. You obviously dealt with a few things. How can you be so self-deluded that you think the GOP want you for anything other than tokenism?

      50 years. They lay claim to having “freed the slaves” in the mid-1800s, did nothing else for the longest time, make claim to passing the Civil Rights Act despite a DEMOCRAT president signing it, despite 66% of Democrats voting for it overall, and despite the Dixiecrat block running straight into the waiting arms of their new best-buds in the GOP to line up for the Southern Strategy.

      50 years of the racist bullshit the GOP have been spewing ever since.

      And instead of apologizing what does Rand Paul do? He runs in and PRETENDS THE LAST 50 YEARS NEVER HAPPENED.

      If you think that’s a good start, well, you must be just as dumb and gullible as Rand Paul and the GOP think you are.Report

      • While I probably agree with much of what you said here, that last line is entirely out of bounds and thoroughly unnecessary.Report

        • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to Sam says:

          The GOP thinks blacks are stupid. Listen to any of them talk about why they don’t get more of the black vote any time. They’ll spew and spew about how the Democrats supposedly exploit blacks, want to keep them dumb, how only someone dumb would vote for the Dems.

          Rand Paul showed precisely this mentality. He walked in to try the old bullshit “but we were the party of lincoln” line, thinking that it would wash over the last 50 years of bald-faced GOP racism including his and his father’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act. He thought shouting a bunch of things and then insulting the intelligence of the young men and women in the room pretending the last 50 years never happened was a good idea.

          I’m sincere here. The GOP thinks that blacks are dumb and that what they need to do to get more of the black vote is come up with “tricks.” They want to pay people to be their shills to go into black neighborhoods, they want to lecture blacks about what they think blacks “really need” rather than looking at the actual conditions and the actual racism that their own party members subject blacks to on a daily basis.

          If it’s out of bounds to say that argumenters like Dennis reinforce this notion for the GOP, reinforce the notion that this kind of trickery will work, then call me out of bounds. Rand Paul went into that argument playing the game of insulting his audience’s intelligence and Dennis thinks that the GOP strategy of calling all blacks dumb and insulting their intelligence qualifies as a “good start.” There’s a lot of gullibility in that statement.Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Recovered Republican says:

            I’m objecting to this – “…you must be just as dumb and gullible…”

            If you’d written it the way you wrote it the second time, I wouldn’t have piped up.Report

          • Dennis’s posts on the GOP have shown, to me, that he is anything but dumb or gullible about the political realities. I don’t quite have a firm grasp on why he’s a Republican, but he’s no fool. He’s well aware of the problems.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Recovered Republican says:

            I simply don’t agree. The Democrats and Republicans have both pandered to the various black constituencies over time. For crissakes, Bush43’s closest political advisor was Condi Rice. Granted, I think she was a complete botch but that’s not the point.

            Every time someone tries to conflate “blacks” or “whites” or “hispanics” into constituencies, they’re making a racist judgement. The GOP is perfectly willing to admit blacks into their ranks. Look at the appointment of Clarence Thomas.

            The GOP acts like LBJ is still in office. It’s stupid when they do it. It’s equally stupid when the Democrats act like Nixon is still in office. Time to grow the hell up and derive our opinions from today’s newspapers. The GOP has historically cuddled up to some unpleasant customers over time and we can blame them for that — from the facts. But this isn’t dKos over here, RR. Quite a few Republicans read and write for this site, including Dennis, an interesting and honest enough guy to warrant you making at least a caveat for him. A political party is an organisation established to get people elected by recruiting good candidates and raising money for campaigns. The GOP knows it’s in serious trouble. If their efforts to recruit people to their cause are obtuse and misguided, that’s a cause for amusement in some quarters — but you listen here, bubeleh — they are trying. And they’re continuing to try. And those who continue to try will eventually succeed. The Democrats aren’t doing themselves any favours by throwing the same old monkey shit they threw at Richard Nixon.

            The Democrats have pandered to black constituencies and if I was a black man, I would rather go with someone who’s trying than someone who thinks they can tell me fine things every few years and do nothing for my cause. People of colour in this country have gotten so used to being lied-to and treated like a big lump that they’re not voting in great numbers. Oh, they might have voted for Obama but lemme tell you, the Democrats have been resting on their laurels and not paying attention to the causes of black people. Our prisons are full of black men, black-majority schools are in terrible shape, black unemployment statistics are horrible. Now you tell me why black people should go on voting for the Democrats.Report

            • Avatar Recovered Republican in reply to BlaiseP says:

              “Our prisons are full of black men,”

              You’re right, they are. Blacks were ghettoized and pushed into poverty-stricken neighborhoods and those neighborhoods have been going downhill ever since. It hasn’t helped that most of the police forces blacks have to deal with are full of people who think blacks are inferior. It hasn’t helped that inherent issues of identity cut generations of black males off from their fathers and kept them away from better father figures.

              The “war on drugs” started from racism. Things were said like “If the Chinaman cannot get along without his dope we can get along without him” and “Most of the attacks upon the white women of the South are the direct result of a cocaine-crazed Negro brain” and “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

              Which party has actually done anything about it? Started to try to pass laws to decriminalize it, break the stranglehold of “mandatory sentencing” that gives black men decades in prison for crack cocaine possession while the sons of rich white men, possessing powder instead, get a slap on the wrist? It sure as hell isn’t the racists of the GOP. Get a clue.

              “black-majority schools are in terrible shape,”

              A lot of schools are in terrible shape. It’s not limited to black-majority. Latino-majority, even “poor white” schools are in trouble. The GOP solution was Every Child Left Behind, threatening schools with yanked funding if they didn’t magically pull score-improvement solutions out of their asses while at the same time fat asshole GOP legislators cut funding to public schools at the state level.

              These kids aren’t just getting robbed of the three R’s. They’re being robbed of a really enriched education. They’re robbed of theater, music, advanced science. They’re robbed of the things that teach kids to think critically and show them not just what to learn, but how to learn.

              The College Board says “The arts expand student potential by encouraging creativity, innovation and critical thinking skills. A comprehensive arts education is an effective tool for developing the whole child, keeping students in school and promoting high achievement.” I know this because my kid just wrote a paper on the subject begging the school board in our area not to cut funding for the school band yet again. Only it’s not the “school band” any more, it’s the “district band” spanning FOUR FUCKING HIGH SCHOOLS that have to share one band director, get to practice only once a week and do their yearly performances as one combined group now due to funding cuts.

              The GOP solution to failing public schools is to shuttle money to religious asshole schools where they can teach creationism instead, while doing nothing to help the schools get any better or get the monkey of George Dumbshit Bush’s “no child left behind” off their backs. Fuck that stupid shit.

              “black unemployment statistics are horrible.”

              How many black men have a criminal felony record? How many black kids grew up with the education a GOP legislature stole from them? NONE of this is disconnected. The GOP have ever been the proponents of disproportionate sentencing and “tough on crime” legislation and it’s no secret that they target blacks harder than any other racial group in their rhetoric.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

              A lot of schools are in terrible shape. It’s not limited to black-majority. Latino-majority, even “poor white” schools are in trouble.

              You’re going to need a citation on that one.

              To be clear, there are in fact many minority-majority schools that are in trouble. Most of those schools, however, are tightly coupled to economic factors moreso than race/ethnicity.

              Poor, inner-city schools are the ones that are having trouble. Hell, every school in my district is minority-majority IIRC (not because Pasadena is predominantly minority, because Pasadena middle class folk generally don’t send their kids to public school). However, most of those schools are doing pretty well and have been improving steadily over the last decade.

              The ones that are in the worst shape are the ones that have pernicious problems with parent involvement. The ones that are in the best shape are the ones that have at least some active parents. Unsurprisingly, many of those schools that are doing “most well” are the ones with a lot of middle class white/Asian parents… but that’s not because of their whiteness or their Asianness, but because they have money and time.

              Money and time are a lot more important than Black/Hispanic vs White/Asian.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                Grannydoc had a great writeup about how in trouble her schooldistrict is, in SW VA.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                You’re also underestimating the fact that since Pasadena has a decent-sized middle class which upon they can get property tax and such to fund schools helps to mitigate the other factors, Pat. The absolute worst schools in the country have a triple whammy – there’s no money, there’s no time for parents, and there’s no well-paying jobs. As a result, even if you “throw money” at the problem to use the phrasing of some, it’s not going to help too much, unless you fix the underlying problems of child poverty.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I don’t think you realize how public school funding works in California.

                It’s *all* per-head. Property taxes go to the general fund for the state, and are distributed out from there. (http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/r_310mwr.pdf for more). Public schools in 310 get as much state money as those in the 909.

                In fact, the school that gets the worst total per-pupil funding (both from the state’s GB and federal education assistance) is the one that has the least number of poor kids because they don’t qualify for free and reduced lunch any more.

                Public schools in Compton get as much money, per head, as public schools in Pasadena (assuming constant percentages of Title I kid populations).Report

              • Patrick, that’s state money. What about local money?

                Back home, it’s generally the case that the poorer a school district is, the more money is spent per-pupil. However, I get the impression that’s because of federal money, and if you took that out, it’d be the other way around.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

                From reading the first couple paragraphs of the paper, it looks like there’s a certain ceiling of revenue per district, at which point, the rest goes into the state kitty.

                Which makes California just a smaller example of what you stated. Without redistribution, schools in Pasadena would have much higher spending per pupil and the gap between schools in Pasadena and Compton would be even larger.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Will Truman says:

                What about local money?

                There isn’t any. The City of Pasadena does not provide financial support to the schools, there is no local parcel tax (that was on the ballot last year, failed to attain supermajority).

                PUSD is funded entirely by state and federal monies, with the exception of a couple of schools which have established annual funds, which are donations.

                Some school districts in California do have local support; others have (obviously) larger annual funds.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Will Truman says:

                Without redistribution, schools in Pasadena would have much higher spending per pupil and the gap between schools in Pasadena and Compton would be even larger.

                I’m not debating that, precisely.

                There’s a case of multiple floors and ceilings, here. You can get gains inside floors with money, but to jump through the ceiling to the next floor, you need something other than just cash, unless you’re talking serious money.

                It’s hard to replicate parent involvement with paid positions.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Will Truman says:

                (to be clear, I’ll agree that the greater problem of parent involvement is tightly coupled to demographics and socioeconomic factors.)Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

                I largely agree with you, which I believe the main thrust of “education reform” in the short term should be more redistribution so we have child poverty levels closer to the rest of the OECD instead of trying to destroy teacher’s unions.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Recovered Republican says:

            RR,
            I take my cues from Field Negro before I call someone a House Negro. I figure he’s more in a position to tell than I am.
            Some black Republicans are people that ought to be hogtied and shot (witness Erik Rush calling for all American muslims to be killed).

            … some are actually decent people trying to walk a hard road.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Sam says:

          And it’s not the first time, so last warning.Report

      • Avatar Dennis Sanders in reply to Recovered Republican says:

        Wow. So I’m stupid because I’m not a Democrat like all the other good little black folk?

        If you have read my posts, which I guess you haven’t, you’d know that I’ve been critical of the GOP. I associate with the GOP because I tend to have a political philosphy and economic outlook that is center right. But that doesn’t mean I’m shill for the GOP.

        Listen, I’m not here to hate on Democrats. I know too many folks, including my partner, to do that. I may not agree with them, but I don’t hate them. What I don’t get and never will is how folks who say they accept diversity can be so hateful to someone because they are conservative or libertarian and downright nasty if that person happens to be a person of color or gay.

        I’ve enjoyed the League for it’s civil conversation, but that seems to be less so these days. The message seems to be from the commenters that Republicans need not comment. How sad.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

          I venture to say some folks were asking you honest questions. And some were just on an ideological high.

          I’ll apologize for the latter,a nd hope you can bring yourself to answer the former.Report

        • Avatar Just Me in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

          I think I see a pattern here. This last year as a woman I have been told over and over that if I vote for any Republican I am stupid or uninformed. All Republicans are out to get all women and keep them down. Seem familiar?

          I too have a economic outlook that is center right and I align more with Republicans than I do with Democrats. I too am upset beyond belief that Democrats seem to be pigeonholing people. You must only vote for us because you are one of the downtrodden masses that the Republicans are out to get.

          I don’t vote for politicians who will represent the woman part of me, I vote for the politician who will represent the American part of me. The part that needs a job, the part that believes in a strong defense, the part that believes we should not spend just to spend and that there are limits to the power of my government. If that politician is a Dem so be it…but very rarely is it. It is most likely that that politician will be a Republican, especially on the national level.

          You can tell me that individual politician A does not fit the bill I have outlined as the criteria I look at when I vote, but don’t tell me that while politician A does fit the bill he hates women so I should vote for B who doesn’t fit the above criteria but does love women.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

            I do in fact consider you ill-informed. That, I hasten to add, is quite different from being uninformed. For one thing, I’m giving you credit for wanting to know about the issues.

            For another, I’m putting the blame directly where it goes, on a particular cadre of paid propagandists.Report

            • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

              I’m not sure what propaganda I am falling for. I would be interested in finding out what area’s you think I am ill-informed about.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Just Me says:

                Well, how do you square a sprawling national security state with limited government power, for example?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                I didn’t realize that I was for a sprawling national security state. Am I for that?Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Just Me says:

                Write a guest post about what constitutes “strong national defense”.

                That is in fact a very non-snarky, totally honest request.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                That sounds like a good idea. I will attempt to do just that.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Just Me says:

                I was under the impression you’ve spoken in favor of the GOP’s take on national security/defense issues, along with noting a “strong defense” here.

                I’m unaware of any definition of that term that wouldn’t keep the current national security state and in time expand the worst parts of it, both fiscally and legally.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Ok, sorry I misread you. I don’t know why, but I thought you were talking about an internal national security state. When I think of limited government power I think of it as an internal limit. My bad, you are correct in thinking I am in favor of a strong national defense policy.Report

              • More often than not the national security state is both internal and external at the same time, regardless of what the law itself might say.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                We can start with the history of the Tea Party if you’d like.
                Astroturf the whole way down.

                The dudes currently in charge of the Republican party are, in general, not your friends nor mine. If you want jobs, and not wage slavery (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/us-usa-survey-paycheck-idUSBRE88I1BE20120919), then they’re REALLY not your friends, as wealth concentration is an explicit and vocally stated goal of theirs.

                Keep the middle/lower class destitute enough that they don’t have enough time or energy to rebel.

                Classic pyramidal scheme.

                … I hasten to add that I’m not asking you to vote Democratic. Just telling you that you ought to take a spade to the folks in charge, as they mean you no good.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                There is no Tea Party. That is the problem. There are Tea Parties. It is the left that told us there was one Tea Party. The Tea Party events I went to were all about getting people involved in local politics. It was about do you wish your voice could be heard, well do something about it. Then the left said well The Tea Party did this or The Tea Party did that. And then the Repubs jumped on and tried to nationalize it. That is not what the Tea Party was.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                hahaha. you think i heard that from the left????
                ROFL.
                Who do you think gave Santelli permission to open his yap?

                I’ll go on record that the Tea Party was a horrid strategy.
                I don’t have much respect for its leaders.

                But I do have some semblance of timelines, and of who started things.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                Ok, I must be ill-informed about why I went to a local tea party rally. An I must be wrong about who was there and what their stated goals were. My bad.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi says:

                JM,
                I find the phrase “follow the money” to be quite illuminating to the ill-informed…

                (note: this is explicitly not to say that one cannot pervert a tool for control into a tool for wresting power away from the very elites that sought to control you).Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                Ok, maybe I should have said from left leaning news commentary.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                From what I can see it comes down to choosing which elites I chose to allow to control me. Unless you don’t think there are elites on both sides.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kimmi says:

                JustMe,
                nope. not from there either. I heard it from a guy who’s worked for Gingrich, among other folks, and he heard it from the horses mouth, so to speak, during the course of business.

                Justme,
                Certain folks mean trouble for everyone who isn’t one of them. They’re on the right, for now. I mean, sure, there /are/ “democratic elites”. One of them writes for Futurama. Another married a republican (Ahnold). But come on, there’s a difference between Coors and Lamont. One guy’s an entrepreneur, after all.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                Well that same argument could be used against the Dems and in fact I have heard it used against the Dems. That the Dems want to keep people poor so they will have a guaranteed voting block.

                I don’t think the dudes in charge of either party are friends of us personally.

                That is why I thought it funny that when people like me finally were fed up with Repubs being the way they were we were ridiculed. The occupy and tea party people should have gotten together and seen the overlaps in their gripes instead of bashing each other based on their political leanings.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                Ain’t nobody been in charge of the Democrats, ever. They do coalitions, and that means everybody gets a vote, even Mr. Brinkle from South Carolina who keeps on wanting us to do the physically impossible…Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Just Me says:

                The occupy and tea party people should have gotten together and seen the overlaps in their gripes instead of bashing each other based on their political leanings.

                Some things, people just can’t help.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kimmi says:

              Look, that’s not entirely fair. We might rather ask how someone reached their conclusions ere we discount those conclusions with much dismissive hand-waving.Report

          • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Just Me says:

            In general I’m having a hard time seeing where in any sense the word “center” can be applied to anything connected to the modern Republican party. I’ve seen droves of moderate conservative (mostly fiscal hawks) jumping ship from staff positions and party affiliation and either going into advocacy or governmental affairs work because they simply can’t understand how their party went entirely off the rails.

            There’s no “center” in a party that demands 100% spending cuts and 0 revenue increases as part of any deficit reduction deal. There’s no “center” when they’re talking loudly and proudly about how nativism is the way to go. There’s really no center there.

            But even if the ideology weren’t so terrifyingly strange, it’s another thing to put up with the sheer amount of contempt the party elite seem to have for certain types of people. They keep pushing maximally socially conservative party agendas (which of course they have no real desire of spending political capital on) as a way of mobilizing their white, male, straight base.Report

            • Avatar Just Me in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

              So instead I should put up with the amount of contempt the other party has for certain types of people? You know, the type of people who vote Republican. I respect that you don’t see “center” anywhere when it comes to Republican policy. I lean more on the cut spending side then I do on the increase taxes side. Republicans I hope get back to some semblance of fiscal responsibility.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Just Me says:

                I would say that the number of people held in contempt by Republicans is substantially larger than the other way around, if only because of demographic realities.

                As for fiscal responsibility….Have you looked at the President’s latest budget? It’s a 2:1 cuts to revenue package, with a reduction of deficit to GDP that’ll make a start toward fiscal responsibility.

                I mean look, the reality is that there’s really no political party that’s going for expansionary fiscal policy right now, and that’s true of every level of government.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Just Me says:

                If you largely do agree with the modern Republican Party in words and actions and actual policy prescriptions, then yeah, I think you’re pretty damn contemptible. I’m not saying you can’t be fiscally conservative or even be socially conservative or even vote for the GOP, but the modern GOP in practice and policy for the past five years have been nothing more than a nihilist death cult trying to create destruction for the sake of political gain (yes, I know, Obama once voted against the debt ceiling as well).

                In other words, I have a lot more contempt for the pundit who gives a slow, languid back massage to Paul Ryan via an editorial for the Washington Post than the average Republican voter in Iowa or North Dakota who has no real clue about the policies of either party.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Lord have mercy! A party being out for political gain, what will the world come to? If only those Republican voters more more educated and had a clue.Report

              • Avatar Russell M in reply to Just Me says:

                People might not object to a political party being out for political gain if it did not involve deliberately threatening millions of people with starvation and homelessness.

                being out for power is fine and dandy. doing so in a way that harms the people you claim to want to represent? that just being a dick.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                O’Neil called the current batch of Republican legislators “economic terrorists”
                Do you agree or disagree?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi says:

                No I don’t think the Republican legislators are economic terrorist, more like freedom fighters.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                JustMe,
                See, I could vote for O’neil. He’s a decent, upstanding Republican.

                I couldn’t vote for any of the woowoos in congress.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Just Me says:

                What type of person does the Democratic party have contempt for?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Shazbot5 says:

                I probably should have said some people who identify as Democratic versus stating a whole Party. I don’t think that the Democratic Party itself holds contempt for individuals or comes off as doing so like the Republican Party does. I do think that there are people on the left side of the fence that do hold people on the right side of the fence in contempt.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Just Me says:

                Ok, let me put this out there. I do not agree with any Party, be they Democratic or Republican. There are things that I dislike about both parties. There are things I like about both. There is a reason that I am not registered for either party even though I am a registered voter. I don’t think either Party represents me. I tend to follow a politician and see what their stance is on a few issues. If you want a better measure of what I believe politically I would say that Gary Johnson has been the politician that closest matches what I believe. Even though I liked him I was hesitant on some of his foreign policy ideas.

                To show how crazy I am I would love to see a Repub and Dem on one ticket. Don’t laugh, I thought for a few minutes I would see that until Sarah Palin dashed my hopes of a McCain/ Lieberman ticket.

                I also am a firm believer that we should never have one Party in control of the House, Senate and POTUS.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Just Me says:

                So, you think immediately removing trillions of dollars from the American economy via spending cuts is a good idea?

                See, I think a McCain/Lieberman ticket would be on the worst in modern American history, since not only would domestic and social policy be largely ignored by the POTUS, except in crappy Bipartisan Consensus sort of ways (Social Security should be cut for the good of the program!), but it would’ve been full on neocon bomb everybody insanity all under the veil of both McCain and Droopy Joe being Very Serious People.

                There’s a reason why we’re in two different parties as a nation. We have different priorities. Why should I be happy about a split ticket as a liberal? Oh, we’ll only cut half of the New Deal into ribbons? Why should a conservative be happy about a unity ticket? Oh great, as abortion continues, maybe those babies will be only half dead! Sorry, the only thing worse for society than the modern Republican Party is the fetish for bipartisanship and centrism, especially when one party is fully committed to moving the center continually to the right.

                Also, divided government is all fine ‘n’ good when there are two parties who are engaged in actual debate and compromise, not a situation when the one side moves one step to the right, the other side moves another two steps to the right and says the first side must move even further to even begin negotiations. As a liberal, either give me an actual Republican Senate, House, and White House, so they can have full credit for what they want to do to the country or give me a Democratic Congress or White House so we can clean up the Republican’s mess…again.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                This is interesting, you may have already seen this but I’m gonna post it here anyway. Take a look at pages 6 and 9. I didn’t realize that discretionary spending has jumped so much in the last few years. I’m not sure how easy it would be for either party to fix this. I admit I am not very with it when it comes to the economy, but I hope someone can put the trend I see here in perspective so it doesn’t seem so bad. Here is the outlook for 2010 – 2020.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

                The republicans were hiding a lot in “not budget dollars” and Obama/Pelosi fixed it. So if you’re seeing a spike, that could be it.

                I’m actually moving step by step towards “lets fix the damn deficit”… mostly by listening to CalculatedRisk’s “The future’s so bright, I’m wearing shades”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Just Me says:

                So, you think immediately removing trillions of dollars from the American economy via spending cuts is a good idea?

                Well, if the trillions were coming from taxes then the money used to be in the American economy, at least until it got hoovered up by the IRS. If it wasn’t already in the American economy then just figure out where it came from and milk that cow dry, or choke the goose, or whatever makes the magic money farm poop out cash.Report

              • Avatar Russell M in reply to George Turner says:

                we borrowed the money like all good liberals. plus matty Y says borrowing is better then taxing at this point, because real 10 year interest is less then zero.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me says:

            Personally, I don’t see how someone could think that voting for Romney could ever lead to a strong defense. The man’s too good at pissing off even people who started out liking his policies.

            … let ALONE getting trolled so hard on national television.

            Dat’s Malarkey.

            I can see voting for other folks — even John McCain (who, in a fit of unlikely wisdom, seems suddenly interested in voting for gun control. Not that I’m on either side of the issue, but I do suspect that he’s voting for what his constituents want, and not what he personally wants).Report

    • Elias, so what is someone like Rand Paul supposed to say? How do Republicans reach out to blacks? None of this is rhetorical, I want to know.

      I don’t think the following misrepresents any positions taken by the Republican national party. What if Sen. Paul had said: “Policies pick winners and losers. We favor people who own their living space over those who rent. We favor employers over employees. We favor people who will pay for their own medical care over people who don’t. We favor people who will accumulate assets and pay for their own retirement over people who don’t. As a general rule, we’re going to take the side of the proprietor over the side of her customers. We prefer roads to rail — because on average, roads benefit people who want to own their own house or start their own business more than rail does. I acknowledge that we have people in our party with hot button issues that are discriminatory — all parties do. In some areas there are enough of them to elect officeholders who believe the same things. But if your goals in life are to own your own house and operate your own business to leave to your kids — we’re you’re party. And the more of you that do join us, the less influence those hot-button folks will have.”Report

      • Avatar Thablackguy in reply to Michael Cain says:

        But that ain’t what he said man. He said they freed the slaves so we should ignore the racist shit they keep saying TODAY. He lied about his saying the civil rights act was bad. He talks about school choice, what fucking school choice, all the republicans ever offer is a lottery system that picks out a few choice kids and lets the rest of us suffer. 50 of us get to try to get into the nice happy white schools, there’s another 5 thousand of us still waiting but sorry maybe we’ll get lucky next year when another 50 kids get their lottery win or maybe we’ll never get it and we’ll still be in our shitty falling apart broke-ass schools looking at all the nice shit the kids living in republican districts get to have in their schools. Why not fix my school? Why not make sure the school most of us go to has real working classrooms, has a real working wood ship, has a real working stage for the theater kids, has instruments to loan to the kids in band, has desks that aren’t 50 years old and broke and held together with screws and tape, has a locker room with more than 1 working shower for after gym class.

        I wanna show you something https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xdfVAPvv9A this is the shit in our lives. Make the schools fucking equal this republican separate but equal shit is bullshit.Report

      • Avatar Thablackguy in reply to Michael Cain says:

        But that ain’t what he said man. He said they freed the slaves so we should ignore the racist shit they keep saying TODAY. He lied about his saying the civil rights act was bad. He talks about school choice, what fucking school choice, all the republicans ever offer is a lottery system that picks out a few choice kids and lets the rest of us suffer. 50 of us get to try to get into the nice happy white schools, there’s another 5 thousand of us still waiting but sorry maybe we’ll get lucky next year when another 50 kids get their lottery win or maybe we’ll never get it and we’ll still be in our shitty falling apart broke-ass schools looking at all the nice shit the kids living in republican districts get to have in their schools. Why not fix my school? Why not make sure the school most of us go to has real working classrooms, has a real working wood ship, has a real working stage for the theater kids, has instruments to loan to the kids in band, has desks that aren’t 50 years old and broke and held together with screws and tape, has a locker room with more than 1 working shower for after gym class.

        I wanna show you something https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xdfVAPvv9A this is the shit in our lives. Make the schools fucking equal this republican separate but equal shit is bullshit!Report

    • Avatar Thablackguy in reply to Dennis Sanders says:

      You what? I don’t get you, man. You look like me. You kind of talk like me. Then you stab your own in the back. Ive lived through real racism. Had white cops tell me to get along home or else and go back to the hood when driving to pick up my girlfriend for a date. Had to look for jobs go to interview and some old white lady secretary tells the boss the nigger is there to interview. I wanted to punch his racist ass but they can call you that all day and unless you got it on video, nobody going to take your word above theirs.

      My high school barely had working water some days and half our classrooms were trailers with broken window ac. High school in the next district where all the whites got to go had a fucking swimming pool and central air conditioning and a computer lab.You want to pretend the republicans aren’t racist you tell me why THEIR school has fucking everything and we have to take up collections in class to buy some extra chalk for the teacher.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Thablackguy says:

        I wonder if you’re not being distracted from something important, here.

        Let’s look at school districts that are controlled, seriously, controlled entirely by Democrats. Are these likely to have some of the same institutional problems you decry here?

        It seems to me that, if we can, then there’s some other cause. It also seems to me that we can.Report

  8. Avatar Recovered Republican says:

    “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. 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”

    Nixon’s still the GOP standard-bearer, he just has funny hair now.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Recovered Republican says:

      Except that demographics changed, and the Republicans do need more. I saw some interesting stats after the election that Obama got about the same proportion of the vote from each ethnicity as Mondale did; it’s the proportions of the different ethnicities (and the proportions that are voting – Organize for America has done major work in the area of voter registration) that are changing. I think the Republicans are starting to realize that they’re going to need to change their support base, too; they just have no idea how to and aren’t to the point where they’re willing to do anything serious – they think symbolism should be enough.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Kath,
        Don’t expect the republicans to change. They don’t.
        Expect a takeover, cause that’s how republicans work.

        Someday soon, folks’re gonna wake up, and discover a
        ton of former-Reagan Democrats (by which I mean the folks who voted for Reagan… and then went back to voting Democratic) have taken over the
        Republican party.Report

  9. Avatar Barry says:

    Elias, you’ve seen how ‘kudzu’ superdestroyer works; he will spam your comments threads like – well, kudzu.Report

  10. Avatar Morat20 says:

    *shrug*. Any speech that has “You should vote for [X] because of what we did 100 years ago” is a loser of a speech.

    That basically means “We have nothing for you” — at best, it means “we have nothing for you on this topic”.

    What makes it insulting — rather than a loser of a speech — is when that is in response to “We have issues with what you have been doing the past 50 years” and your response is “Look how awesome we were 100 years ago”.

    It’s a contemptous response. Rand Paul would have been better served by just flat out admitting “Yeah, our policies on that topic are just not your friend. We’d like to be better, but it’s slow going at best. We just haven’t been in line with you the past couple of decades. However, we are doing some exciting stuff on other topics that might interest you”.

    Because it doesn’t insult his audience. Who is going to go “Well, you know, I’ve got serious concerns about how the GOP views race, but then I was reminded that 100 years ago they were really awesome on race. So my fears have been set aside!”.

    No one. And it’s insulting to pretend it IS a meaningful argument.

    Which is, you know, the problem the GOP has with minorities, right there in a nutshell. Their outreach itself is often just flat out insulting or contemptous of the people they’re trying to reach out to.

    Counterproductive.Report

  11. Avatar greginak says:

    I’m gonna to take this comment to the bottom since it doesn’t really fit in directly into any of the pissy threads above. Dennis and the other conservatives are giving a lot of push back to the liberals for what they feel is condescension, Dennis having to constantly explain how he can be a Repub among other things. If i have a point its that what the Conservatives are compalign about is nothing particularly different from that which is directed at D’s and liberals by R’s and libertarians. The refrains about Liberty and Freedom by libertarians carry just as much condescension and haughty claims of moral authority. Republican diatribes about the 47% and creeping communism are just as insulting as what R’s feel D’s say about them.

    This isn’t a party issue, it is a how we communicate issue. It’s more about the easy and lazy phrases we fall into in these debates. It is fair to point out when someone is factually wrong or being a bit of dink, but no one party has a monopoly on those behaviors.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak says:

      I think some of the discomfort with regard to Dennis pertains to the personalness of it. Specifically, white liberals explaining to a black person about how he’s wrong about how black people should view things (and in terse terms). You’re right about the “no monopoly” thing as conservatives very often do this, and libertarians do.

      Around these parts, though, there isn’t exactly parity between liberals and conservatives, and the libertarians around here don’t do it as much.

      (On the other hand, of course, there has to be room somehow for folks of pallor to disagree with folks of color about race things without it being reduced to “whitesplaining” or condescension.)Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think you are sort of right about the “personalness”. Maybe its a bit more about the accusatory nature of the questions. I tend to think its best to speak directly to people then to groups so maybe i’m biased. When phrased poorly personal discussions do sound like personal attacks instead of a discussion.

        I strongly dislike the authenticity speak so many R’s fall into about who is or isn’t a “real american.” It isn’t any better when it is used for or against blacks regarding which party they should vote for. It gets in the way of the very many good reasons for blacks to dislike the R’s and papers over the history of blacks in the Dems.

        So much of the speech about blacks makes them a passive participant, which carries a lot of negative weight. Blacks are not just a voting group of the Dem’s but they have, for decades, been a significant part of the D political apparatus and elected politicians. D’s didn’t just pander to blacks since blacks were part of the leadership guiding what the D’s did. Blacks were not just receiving what D’s gave them but getting it for themselves through active participation in democracy through the Dems.Report

      • Avatar Thablackguy in reply to Will Truman says:

        As a black liberal I’d splain it to you but you wouldn’t listen to a black liberal on this site, libertarians don’t want black liberals around.Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to greginak says:

      Are you suggesting that we treat people as individuals and address THEIR views?

      Wow. Who thought of THAT idea? 😉Report

  12. *surveys comment thread he’s been too preoccupied of late to read*

    *gives low whistle*

    *backs away slowly*Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Yeah, I had a serious and relevant (I know, rare for me, right) comment that I wrote up, but in the time that it took me to carefully review/edit it so that it wouldn’t inadvertently cause a thread to go off the rails, that thread had already crashed into a flaming wreck without any help from me.

      I am still trying to figure out the exact dynamic that so reliably makes any race-related discussion go kerblooie, especially in a forum in which the actual incidence of racist beliefs or opinions amongst the participants is probably significantly lower than in the general US population (and the commenting populace is almost certainly more racially homogenous, in any case).

      It just appears to be a topic where it is often so apparent that someone else is GETTING IT WRONG, which of course prompts one to jump in as a corrective, only for someone else to look at one’s contribution and decide that one is ALSO GETTING IT WRONG, and, well, the Centre just Does Not Hold.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Man with wisdom wisdom.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Same here.

      But I’ll just toss out a cute Louis Armstrong song about the WPA, which I found at Volokh.

      WPA by Louis Armstrong and the Mills brothers.

      Sleep while you work, while you rest, while you play
      Lean on your shovel to pass the time away
      T’ain’t what you do, you can die for your pay.

      The W.P.A.
      The W.P.A.
      The W.P.A.

      Now don’t be a fool working hard is passé
      You’ll stand from five to six hours a day
      Sit down and choke while you smoke, it’s OK.

      The W.P.A.

      I’m so tired, I don’t know what to do
      Can’t get fired, so I’ll take my rest until my work
      is through.

      Black attitudes toward government jobs apparently used to be a quite bit different, and humorously derisive. ^_^

      Catchy tune, too.Report

  13. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Bottom line, Paul, the GOP, and everyone should show and not tell. If you believe your program should appeal to people, then present your program and say why it’s good. Don’t say, “Here’s why my program will be good for you *as a _____ person.” Say, “Here’s why my program will be good.” That’s the respect politicians owe everybody. (If you can skate by and make gains not adhering to that advice, fair enough, but if you’re having trouble “reaching” people, I say that’s probably what you want to go back to.) If they, then, come back to you with, “here’s why I don’t think your program will be good for me, and that because I am a ______ person, and so the situation for us is different,” that’s when you address those concerns. Certainly you don’t go around making arguments that essentially seek to explain to people why, as a historical legacy, their political affiliations as ______ people tend to be what they are today. (Why? Why would you make that argument? what does it get you? Well, there might be things, but I don’t think they have to do with “reaching” that audience…).

    If this means that you forgo special speeches at “their” colleges and universities where you address “their” questions and concerns. Again, if your program can be made to appeal to them, then it can be, and it will appeal in the same ways it appeals to everyone else. If not, special appearances aren’t going to change that (though they may serve other purposes). That’s basically where Rand Paul went wrong here. And it’s why there wasn’t much attention paid to the straightforward policy sections of the speech. Because you raise expectations about what kinds of questions are really the order of the day by making a big deal out of this special appearance in this very particular venue, and your straightforward policy views aren’t really pursuant to those expectations. You set yourself up for an inevitable fall, and make it impossible for your central message, if that’s really what you want to focus on, to take center stage. If it really was, then Paul ought to have done a much better job focusing on it.Report

  14. Avatar Jason M. says:

    There was a small group of Young Republicans outside a coffee shop near campus having an animated conversation about the 10th amendment. I saw my opportunity for political outreach and jumped in:

    “Hey, I couldn’t help but notice you guys were talking about federalism and the erosion of state’s rights. You know, if you really care about this issue, you should consider voting Democrat. No! I’m serious! The Democratic Party has long been the champion of states rights for well over a hundred years!”

    They rolled their eyes and proceeded to ignore me as they continued chatting amongst themselves. Oh, well…kids these days just don’t know a damn thing about history I guess.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *