Sunday, December 05, 2010

Who's to Blame, the GOP's Dilemma

While reviewing some video of a recent debate I engaged in with a GOP operative, I noticed an interesting exchange. When I mentioned President Bush's culpability for the economic crisis, my right wing adversary made the statement "isn't it time we stopped blaming Bush for everything." A somewhat modified version of this statement is quite popular in the mainstream media. The premise seems to be that after an unspecified amount of time, the argument that George W. Bush is responsible for the current financial crisis should be abandoned. This has been particularly effective when used during discussions concerning the current unemployment numbers.

The argument that there is some kind of amorphous statute of limitations for President Obama's predecessor is remarkably flawed. This would be problematic for those using that argument if it were ever challenged. Unfortunately, the mainstream pundits are too busy discussing this lunacy to question its validity. In order for this ridiculous concept to hold, either one of two lines of reasoning must be used. Their position must be that either "Obama caused it," or "Obama hasn't fixed it."

The first argument would be that the current unemployment numbers are the direct result of President Obama's policies. The obvious problem with this "he caused it" assertion is the actual numbers. The dramatic leaching of American jobs started well before Barack Obama took office. In each of the four months prior to President Obama's inauguration, this country lost over 500,000 jobs. Twelve months after President Obama's inauguration, the job losses had stopped and there was a net gain of jobs for the first month of 2010.

This smoothly transitions us to the second line of reasoning, that President Obama hasn't both stopped the job loss and regained enough jobs to lower the unemployment rate to an acceptable level, or the "he hasn't fixed it" argument. This is an argument that does nothing to benefit the GOP. If that is their assertion, it naturally contradicts the claims that President Obama is responsible for the jobless numbers and that we should absolve President Bush of responsibility for the entire mess. The "problem" when President Obama took office was the dramatic leaching of jobs, not the unemployment rate. The latter was a clearly result of the former. That being the case, the numbers demonstrate that he was very successful in stopping the problem he inherited.

The Republicans are masters of distorting and controlling the public debate. Unfortunately, what they are really bad governing the country.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Last Throes of the Confederacy

The ghost of the southern confederacy has raised its ugly head in a variety of ways as of late. Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke of secession, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell made a point of celebrating confederate history month while ignoring slavery, and most tellingly, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering raising a state militia to protect themselves from the policies of the Federal Government.   
     Referencing terms such as “Union and Confederacy” would seem over the top in this day and age were it not for the unusual developments in right wing political circles. We must also bare in mind that the Confederacy lost the Civil War, but won the peace in a variety of ways.  The most obvious confederate victory was that they were allowed to continue practicing social and economic apartheid for at least another hundred years. From the perspective of African Americans, the Civil War granted immediate relief from legal physical slavery but not much else. They were denied their constitutional rights as citizens, often worked as semi-slave sharecroppers, and suffered vicious brutality at the hands of right wing terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Less than 10% of Southern White citizens owned slaves so most southerners lost little, other than battle damaged property, as a result of the Union Victory. In fact, for many years after the Civil War, suppression of Black voters in the South allowed Southern whites to wield an inordinate amount of power in the Federal Government.  The “Gentlemen’s agreement” surrender at Appomattox is viewed as an armistice by modern day confederate sympathizers.
     The issue of race and the political dynamics of the ongoing metaphorical Confederate v. Union conflict are inseparable. The Civil War was almost entirely about slavery and almost all other peripheral issues such as state’s rights were related to slavery. Modern day confederates view the existence of an African American President as an assault on the informal armistice agreement which allows them to maintain their Southern culture of racism and privilege. Adding insult to injury, the new President comes into office speaking of a more perfect Union, swears in on Abe Lincoln’s bible, and maintains power alongside a female Speaker of the House and a Jewish Chief of Staff.  
     The Tea party movement is the modern incarnation of the Confederacy. When confronted with the opportunity, Tea Party protesters conspicuously singled out civil rights icon John Lewis for racial harassment and spit on another African American Member of Congress. As could be expected, the only other member of Congress singled out for direct attack was Jewish (Barney Frank).
     The brandishing of weapons at Presidential appearances, signs threatening gun violence, and the April 19th second amendment march are indications that confederate sympathizers view themselves as protectors of the southern culture and are likely poised for violence.  We should keep in mind that the original violent terrorists in the U.S. were the Southern KKK members who also viewed themselves as protectors of the southern culture. I believe that the media has been irresponsible in assigning the Tea Partiers unwarranted credibility and failing to adequately address the violent rhetoric.  We overlook the overt attempt at raising a new confederate militia at our own peril.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Tea Party Movement and the Neo-Nazis?

The issue of Tea Party racism vaulted to the forefront of the discussion last week when its members spat on an African American member of Congress and shouted the n-word at least fifteen times at another. Republican members of Congress were seen stirring up the angry mob. When confronted about the racist acts and their party’s connection to the Tea Party movement, GOP members of Congress defended the actions as isolated incidents, then went on to attack those who were the targets of such attacks as opportunists using the actions for political gain. African American RNC Chairman Michael Steel immediately responded by saying that there were “some idiots saying some very stupid things.”
Started by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Stormfront .org is the internet’s premier White Nationalist Neo Nazi website. It started in 1990 as an internet forum and was taken over in 1995 by Don Black. Mr Black was also a former grand wizard of the KKK and a former member of the National Socialists White People’s Party (formerly theAmerican Nazi party). was named by USA Today as the most visited hate site on the net. As early as 2005 the site had 52,566 registered users and by 2008 was attracting more than 40,000 unique users each day. One of the sites regular posters gained national attention when in April 2009, Richard Poplowski, was charged with ambushing and killing three Pittsburgh Police Officers and attempting to kill another nine. Focusing its message of hate principally on Blacks and Jews, with a secondary focus on illegal aliens, is a dangerous hate site that is closely monitored by such groups as the Anti Defamation league, The Southern poverty law Center, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It is also a Neo-Nazi website which promotes Adolph Hitler as a great leader.

Events White Nationalist demonstrations, rallies, conferences, talk shows, media interviews.

Here are some ACTUAL posts:

“I saw something about it today on one of the cable news channels. Seems that there are going to be a lot of people protesting across the country I believe this is the national site.

This is a post by a member who calls himself “WHITE CSA (confederate states of America) and sports a Confederate flag as his ID.:

“We are hosting one at the Tupelo City Hall (Mississippi) on Saturday April 11, 2009 and I am helping organize another Boston Tea Party in Prentiss County, Mississippi on Tax Day. I am proud that so many people are finally waking up and speaking up for Lower Taxes!

“This could be the start of a new third party and it would be good if it opened the way of getting rid of our problems once and for all - rather than just another political puppet of the jews, and a new mask for jewish rule.”
“I will be at the one in Richland, WA. I will bring a friend from work and a family of 5 from the community. This is a golden opportunity for us people, Leave the flags at home, that will come later when you have thousands of pissed off people to pick from for your White nationalist group”

This is an interesting post by “Whites Forward, “bring Ernst Zundel Home Now”

In terms of major goals for tomorrow, I was thinking:
1) Assertion of independence of the Tea Party crowd from the Democrats AND Republicans.
2) Rejection of neocons.
3) Mass White rejection of the Leftist thugs (this should be loud)
4)assertion of the pressing issues I mentioned that take the consciousness beyond the realm of taxes to the realm of racial polarization and struggle.
---mortgage crisis
---bailouts of banks and major corporations
---unemployment and Third World labor
---Wars for Israel
---affirmative action
---non-White crime
5) Strong first impression and precedent set by racialists at the Tea Party event.
6) Vivid mass media coverage of any of the above 5 points
7) Real-world racial mass activism experience for the racialists
8) We gain a receptive audience, new contacts, and hold a independent meeting for those who share much with us within a week.

“You might want to move them from conservatism, and mild anti liberalism, and anti-colored sentiment, to more pronounced dislike of the liberals, blacks, and other scum.Than from liberalism you can move on to communism, crimes during ww2, and eventually the jews.

“There are two kinds of people in this world, those who know what the Jews have done and those who do not.

"avoid no-no's - in america this is 
1) "racism" - and use of the word "race" "jew" - even people who are anti black or anti-jew do not want to be racist - it's ok to be anti balck but not a "racist" - avoid this fortification - be a racist without being a "racist" 2) extreme solutions genocide deportations) (more on this)"

As you may have noticed from these posts, the Neo-Nazi White nationalists are organizing Tea Party events and working within the movement to further their racists agenda.The connection can no longer be denied and the Republican leaders should be brought to task for their acceptance of this dangerous organization.

The latest greatest event planned by Tea Party Sympathizer Skip Coryell is the Second Amendment March (formerly known as the million gun march). The event is scheduled for April 19th, the anniversary of the date on which Timothy Mcveighkilled 168 civilians in a home grown terrorist attack on an Oklahoma City Federal Building. Among the featured speakers are Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Larry Pratt. Information about Pratt, who formed the Patriot militia in 1992 along with White supremacists and anti-semitic Christian Identity leaders, and other scheduled speakers can be found can be found HERE.

The mix of violent right wing hate groups and legitimate political organizations should be of extreme concern to Americans of all races and religions. It should come as no surprise if an act, or acts, of violence arise from this dangerous unstable brew.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Teabaggers, Obama’s Cavalry?

Although the issue of health care reform can be an important political issue during the 2010 elections, I believe it is a serious mistake to argue that it will be the primary determinant of how the election cycle swings. Recently, the Whitehouse quietly announced that their next major legislative issue will be immigration. Clearly health care reform is a very expensive initiative and the “death panel” arguments have created an emotionally heated argument, but comparatively speaking, health care reform is a very mild emotional topic when compared to immigration reform.
While immigration reform is obviously an important legislative matter and The White House will undoubtedly need to tackle it before 2012, the political timing of addressing this controversial topic is quite interesting. The unique political characteristic of immigration reform, from a strategic perspective, is its potential to expose major fissures in the republican machine. The Bush Administration’s position on immigration and the reaction of the GOP rank and file was an early indication that this would be a deadly issue for the Grand Old Party. Bush sided somewhat with the left and was in favor of a lenient (by GOP standards) “guest worker” program. Many felt the program was specifically designed to allow corporate America access to cheap labor but that it would at least allow undocumented workers some access to job safety and possibly even a retirement plan. The GOP foot soldiers were furious and reacted so angrily that the issue was quickly defeated and pushed to the bottom of the pile. The truth about immigration was out, the wealthy corporate republicans were dying to get their hands on a new generation of cheap labor and the Limbaugh listeners were looking to get rid of unwanted brown people who speak a foreign language. Once again, the chickens from the racist southern strategy were coming home to roost.
In the next few months healthcare reform will be finished and the GOP will once again face the internal divisions that are exposed by the issue of immigration reform. The Tea Party Movement will go nuclear at the mention of legislation that creates an avenue for undocumented workers to become US citizens. They will demand mass deportation and move to unseat all GOP incumbents who stray from their rigid anti-immigrant position. Meanwhile, GOP Congress members are facing a growing Latino population. This amounts to the trifecta of political headaches for the Republican incumbents come November. The Corporations favor lenient policies for foreign workers, the right wing rank and file favor rigid anti-immigrations laws, and the increasing numbers of Latino voters favor extremely liberal immigration policies. The paradox of man has always been that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. As was the case in upstate New York, the Teabag purist may very well dominate the GOP internally and produce general election candidates too extreme to claim any votes from the center, thus handing some reliable republican seats to a democrat. It is quite possible that the rigid right wing fury of the Tea Party Organization ultimately proves considerably more helpful to the President and his party, than the GOP.