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Hurray for President Obama, our Armed Forces, and the Huffington Post:

1. Calling Kanye West a "jackass"--in what was supposed to be an off-air private comment but which was widely reported. It would have been inappropriate for him to use the word in an official statement, but the reporting of his comment sends a good message about the importance of appropriate personal conduct. As did his speech to schoolchildren last week.

2. Acting pursuant to a presidential order, U.S. forces have killed the Somali terrorist Ali Nabhan. He is believed to be an al Qaeda commander responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

3. The Huffington Post, in its new Rocky Mountain section, is now publishing my Independence Institute colleague Jessica Corry (and her husband Rob) to offer some intellectual diversity.

ShelbyC:
Kanye West likes fish sticks, too.
9.15.2009 1:49pm
Oren:
Hooray for the Senate too, 87-13.
9.15.2009 1:57pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):

Ten days ago President Obama signed the Execute Order for Nabhan, who since 2006 was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists.


I constantly feel like I am two steps behind.

Did not Carter change the rule so that Presidents don't order executions? Am I wrong about that? Did somebody change it back? Who, and when?
9.15.2009 2:03pm
Shed (www):
I saw him on the new Jay Leno show last night. what he did was wrong but at least he seems sincere about his apology. Let's hope he learned his lesson.
9.15.2009 2:03pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oren:

I do wonder though if mentioning the organization by name in runs amok with bills of attainder provisions. I think Sen. Nelson's other amendment (denying any direct or indirect funding to ANY organization indicted or convicted of voter fraud) would have been better even though the result would have been more or less the same.
9.15.2009 2:10pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Sorry, that was Sen. Johanns' other amendment. (2356)
9.15.2009 2:11pm
Mark Buehner:

Did not Carter change the rule so that Presidents don't order executions? Am I wrong about that? Did somebody change it back? Who, and when?

It was an executive order forbidding political assassinations, and Gerald Ford issued it first. Carter and Reagan reaffirmed it.

Bush signed a presidential finding indicating this wasn't applicable in wartime, and allegedly a secret finding that it doesn't apply to terrorists. This was probably redundant seeing as Bush I worked hard to kill Hussein and Clinton tried to assassinate Bin Laden himself. The line being walked is between military and political assassinations. Bin Laden isn't a head of state, the assassination prohibition regards political assassinations, this doesn't apply to terrorists.
9.15.2009 2:19pm
stevesturm:
I applaud killing the terrorist but lament that doing so requires the President to sign off. I'd much prefer the President ordered the military to find and kill terrorists wherever and whenever they could and to let him know after the fact.
9.15.2009 2:21pm
Angus:
I applaud killing the terrorist but lament that doing so requires the President to sign off. I'd much prefer the President ordered the military to find and kill terrorists wherever and whenever they could and to let him know after the fact.
Disagree strongly. This involved our troops crossing into another country (albeit a failed one) for a military operation. That call should always, always, always be made by the President. The military should never have the authority to roll across an international boundary at its own discretion.
9.15.2009 2:31pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):
Mark, thanks.

stevesturm: waaayyy too much potential for abuse there.
9.15.2009 2:32pm
geokstr (mail):

"...his speech to schoolchildren..."

It would certainly be interesting to see the earlier versions of this speech written before the controversy over "indoctrination" started, non?
9.15.2009 2:35pm
c.gray (mail):

As did his speech to schoolchildren last week.


When I picked my daughter (8) up from school that day, I asked her what the President told her and her schoolmates.
Her response: "Something about staying in school, but we knew that already. It was all stuff we already know about. Well, maybe not the Kindergarten kids." She then veered into a mile-a-minute monologue about the playground politics of the day, a topic she considered considerably more important than the speech.
9.15.2009 2:36pm
Mark N. (www):
On the plus side of the incident, the "Kanye West interrupts X" internet derivatives are vaguely amusing imo. E.g.: http://imgur.com/h9Guq.png, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxKIcrDsJAs.
9.15.2009 2:38pm
stevesturm:
Angus: we're talking about Somalia here, not Germany. If need be, let the President issue general ROEs for situations such as this, some combination of importance of terrorist / country found in / risk of collateral damage / etc. I hate to think that if our guys found Bin Laden in, for example, Egypt, they'd have to go ask permission. I'd rather they take him out and deal with the ramifications later.
9.15.2009 2:49pm
J. Bogart (mail):
What do you mean by "intellectual diversity"? Perhaps ideological or political diversity? Or do you mean what the phrase suggests about comparative intellectual competence (the Hruska representatives)? Or do you mean they engage in a different intellectual profession than the other contributors?
9.15.2009 2:54pm
Mark Buehner:
Realistically its a moot point- the military is going to work hand in glove with the National Security Council on something that crosses lines on a map, wherever they happen to be. The intelligence agencies will be involved as well, so the NSC and/or SECDEF will be coordinating. No military commander is going to risk his people on foreign soil without some guidance (probably prodding) from above. Imagine (god forbid) this operation had been launched on a navy captains discretion and one of the choppers went down. It would be a fiasco with everybody trying to catch up to events.

The CIA on the other hand...
9.15.2009 2:58pm
Shelley (mail):
Re. Huffington Post

Your statement assumes that there is already something "intellectual" about the HuffPo and that your friend is going to bring "diversity" to it.

Have you ever read anything at the HuffPo?
9.15.2009 2:59pm
DennisN (mail):
stevesturm:

we're talking about Somalia here, not Germany. If need be, let the President issue general ROEs for situations such as this, some combination of importance of terrorist / country found in / risk of collateral damage / etc. I hate to think that if our guys found Bin Laden in, for example, Egypt, they'd have to go ask permission. I'd rather they take him out and deal with the ramifications later.


I tend to agree, but don't know the classified details.

I suspect the ROE are already in place, and they were followed. I don't know if POTUS permission must be obtained for individual raids into Somalia, or against what kinds of targets. The details are probably classified, as we don't want to let the enemy know what we're willing to do.

And as for Calling Kanye West a "jackass," I've gotta agree, too.

Now that I've agreed with Obama twice in one day, I have an ice fishing date with Lucifer.
9.15.2009 3:16pm
PLR:
"I hate to think that if our guys found Bin Laden in, for example, Egypt, they'd have to go ask permission."
They're coming to get you. It's only a matter of time, and they won't ask anyone's permission. Better hunker down.
9.15.2009 3:16pm
DennisN (mail):
stevesturm:

we're talking about Somalia here, not Germany. If need be, let the President issue general ROEs for situations such as this, some combination of importance of terrorist / country found in / risk of collateral damage / etc. I hate to think that if our guys found Bin Laden in, for example, Egypt, they'd have to go ask permission. I'd rather they take him out and deal with the ramifications later.


I tend to agree, but don't know the classified details.

I suspect the ROE are already in place, and they were followed. I don't know if POTUS permission must be obtained for individual raids into Somalia, or against what kinds of targets. The details are probably classified, as we don't want to let the enemy know what we're willing to do.

And as for Calling Kanye West a "jackass," I've gotta agree, too.

Now that I've agreed with Obama twice in one day, I have an ice fishing date with Lucifer.
9.15.2009 3:16pm
Oren:

I hate to think that if our guys found Bin Laden in, for example, Egypt, they'd have to go ask permission.

Well, someone has to ask permission from someone, the only question is how far up the chain of command it has to go.

The fact is, I trust Robert Gates to have this all sorted out.
9.15.2009 3:25pm
stevesturm:
I tend to agree, but don't know the classified details.
We'll just have to wait to read the NYT for the leaked details.
9.15.2009 3:26pm
Oren:

I do wonder though if mentioning the organization by name in runs amok with bills of attainder provisions.

(1) I read "afoul" in place of "amok".
(2) Spending power.
9.15.2009 3:26pm
Monroe:
Kanye West at Patrick Swayze's funeral:


“I’m really [sad] for you. I’m going to let you [get back to your funeral], but [Michael Jackson] had one of the best [funerals] of all time.”
9.15.2009 3:59pm
Guest14:
We won't truly be free until individual soldiers can go anywhere and shoot anyone necessary (in their discretion) to stop the terror.
9.15.2009 4:29pm
rarango (mail):
never heard Kanye West and don't know who he is.

But major kudos to the President for whacking a terrorist in what appeared to be a well executed raid. I think that is a major plus for Mr. Obama's "standing" among the bad guys and also furthers his (no longer) war on terror objectives--actions speak much louder than words. Now about that ice fishing date :)
9.15.2009 4:31pm
Connecticut Lawyer (mail):
Kudos to the President for ordering the assassination of a major bad guy.

It's only a matter of time, though (give it a few years) until the usual suspects start accusing Mr. Obama of committing a crime by ordering this hit; after all, Nabhan was never tried, let alone convicted, for any crime and so must be presumed innocent, blah, blah. Someday, the political prosecutors at the ICC will want to go after Mr. Obama and this will be one of the counts in the indictment.
9.15.2009 4:38pm
second history:
. . . .Clinton tried to assassinate Bin Laden himself.

Wow--I never knew this. When did it happen? I find it hard to picture Clinton parachuting into AFPAK with the SEALs or Delta Force, but stranger things have happened. ;-)
9.15.2009 4:39pm
Bruce:
They tweeted an off the record comment? We'll see when ABC gets invited back to the White House.
9.15.2009 4:52pm
Off Kilter (mail):
. . . .Clinton tried to assassinate Bin Laden himself.

Wow--I never knew this. When did it happen? I find it hard to picture Clinton parachuting into AFPAK with the SEALs or Delta Force, but stranger things have happened. ;-)
-----
I believe the pivotal issue was the opening of a new McDonalds on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border...
9.15.2009 5:03pm
Dave N (mail):
Minor correction to Oren's first post:

The vote in the Senate was 83-7. The 7 who voted "No" were Burris (D-IL); Casey (D-PA); Durbin (D-IL); Gillibrand (D-NY); Leahy (D-VT); Sanders (I-VT); and Whitehouse (D-RI).

The 9 who did not vote were Burr (R-NC); Byrd (D-WV); Coburn (R-OK); Graham (R-SC); Gregg (R-NH); Hutchison (R-TX); McCain (R-AZ); Mikulski (D-MD); and Vitter (R-LA).

I would guess that of the 9 who did not vote, the only who MIGHT have voted "No" would be Barbara Mikulski.

Overall, I agree with the 3 cheers. Plus there's a bonus: Since the President called Kanye West a "jackass," I can't be accused of racism if I call him that, too.
9.15.2009 5:05pm
Joan in Juneau (mail):
Has there been an official condemnation of the shooting of the pro life man on Friday yet? If so, I missed it. He hasn't been as quick to condemn as he was when the abortion Dr was killed.
9.15.2009 5:08pm
AnthonyJ (mail):
They tweeted an off the record comment? We'll see when ABC gets invited back to the White House.
As open mike oopses go, one where 99% of observers seem to agree with the Prez is not the most harmful...
9.15.2009 5:26pm
second history:
Has there been an official condemnation of the shooting of the pro life man on Friday yet?

Yes.

President Barack Obama on Sunday condemned the killing of an anti-abortion activist in Michigan as activists and others gathered for vigil near the site where he was fatally shot.

Obama called last week's shooting of James Pouillon "deplorable" in a two-sentence statement.

"Whichever side of a public debate you're on, violence is never the right answer," Obama said in the statement.
9.15.2009 5:26pm
kumquat:
Man, the VC commenters have spoiled me; I made the mistake of looking at the comments on that Politico article Kopel linked to - the stupid, it burns.

Also, Joan in Juneau - by all accounts, the shooter you're asking about was just some nutjob who went on a killing spree, and shot the pro-life guy because he was there. There was no intent to send a message to anyone about the morality or proper legal status of abortion.
9.15.2009 5:34pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Dave N:
Since the President called Kanye West a "jackass," I can't be accused of racism if I call him that, too.

Hmm. Ss, you are thinking that if Obama calls a black man a jackass, you can call Obama one and not be thought of as 'racist'? Let's see, does that have something to do with the President's 'blackness' [mixed racial identity]?

You might want to reflect on that a bit.
9.15.2009 5:43pm
ChrisTS (mail):
second history:

Good of you to bring some facts to the table, but probably beside the point for Joan in Juneau.
9.15.2009 5:45pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Four out of four in my house agree: Kanye West was a jackass (the son prefers 'a**hat,' but he's having independence issues).
9.15.2009 5:47pm
Dave N (mail):
ChrisTS,

The "him" I was refering to was Kanye West, not President Obama. I might disagree with the President on a wide range of issues, but I have not, nor will not, call him a "jackass."
9.15.2009 6:01pm
SFH (mail):
ChrisTS: I'd say Obama calling Kanye West a "jackass" makes West an official jackass, something that Americans of all races can agree with.
9.15.2009 6:02pm
Dave N (mail):
My point had to do with the notion that criticizing someone for their conduct (by calling them, say, a "Jackass") is inherently racist if the person being criticized is Black.

At least in Kanye West's case, the President and I are in agreement and the President expressed my thought--so calling Kanye West a "jackass" can't possibly be racist.
9.15.2009 6:06pm
ShelbyC:

I might disagree with the President on a wide range of issues, but I have not, nor will not, call him a "jackass."


If you disagree with Obama you're a racist whether or not you call Kanye West a jackass.
9.15.2009 6:19pm
Joan in Juneau (mail):
Second History

Thank you. It makes me feel better knowing he did and also what he said. He is correct, violence is not the answer.

ChrisTS: You are wrong but probably not what you wanted to hear either. Never presume to understand what I am thinking on any given issue. I have treated this president as I have treated all those before him, do something I agree with and I say 'good on ya'. Do something I disagree with and I say 'shame on ya'. I have never voted for anyone because of their party, color, religion,etc. Just for the person who I felt would be best for that job and I am not planning on changing that now.
9.15.2009 6:28pm
santa monica (mail) (www):
ShelbyC
I do try to avoid using ad hominem attacks. But points like yours really make you look like an simpleton. Why on earth would mere disagreement with Obama make you a racist? I don't think I have read a single more-idiotic statement on the intertubes. Less crack-smoking; more exposure to differing points of view will lead to a less-crazy outlook on life.

(And, to avoid the inevitable flaming: Yes, I am actually aware that Shelby was almost certainly being sarcastic, in some dumb effort to make a point. But since it's not liberals who think that disagreement = automatic racism, whom is her attack really aimed at? To me, people who make such asinine points are really saying, "I don't actually believe X, no rational person would believe X, but I think *you*--the target audience--are in fact idiots who will believe a stupid claim of X, and so I'll make it in an effort to make cheap political points."). Grrrr.

For some idiosyncratic reason, it's cynical, stupid, and manifestly-false arguments like this that drive me nuts (and absolutely have the same effect on me when they are make by liberals).
9.15.2009 8:24pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'd much prefer the President ordered the military to find and kill terrorists wherever and whenever they could and to let him know after the fact.

No President of either party is going to give that kind of order and run the risk of waking up one morning to find out the US military has killed someone they thought was a terrorist but turns out to be the Turkish foreign minister or some such thing.
9.15.2009 9:01pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Dave N:

My apologies. It seems I have become so accustomed to reading undergraduate papers that I, too, no longer know the rules of pronoun reference. :-)
9.15.2009 10:00pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Joan:

Apologies to you, as well. I have to admit I thought your post was evidence of trolling, as it seemed irrelevant to anything in the OP. (Note that The Prez did not make any announcement that West was being a jackass.)
9.15.2009 10:01pm
I Believe in the Internet Fairy!:

If you disagree with Obama you're a racist


My estimate is that 100 percent of Volokh.com comments with this sentence are written by conservatives.
9.15.2009 10:39pm
Joan in Juneau (mail):
ChrisTS
Apology accepted. My brain works a bit differently at times it seems. To me, it made sense. I did not know whether he had made an announcement on the shooting or not. But feel he has involved himself in matters before that he really should have just stayed out of. Then others when I felt he should say something, he hasn't. That was what I was trying to find out in this instance. Also, the first report before ABC sucked it back in as a twitter gone wrong was that this is what he had said and you also have to consider that anything the President says is pretty much considered an announcement by eager press corps.

Whether off the record or not, glad he put it as he did. It shows that he is human. I still feel he needs to concern himself with more pressing matters and forget about what the idiocy in H'wood are doing. JJ
9.15.2009 10:40pm
ShelbyC:
@santa monica, of course I'm refering to crap like this. But I'm not that worried about looking like a simpleton. How's looking like a stupid, childish little twit workin' for ya?
9.15.2009 10:41pm
Kazinski:

If you disagree with Obama you're a racist



My estimate is that 100 percent of Volokh.com comments with this sentence are written by conservatives.



Probably but that doesn't make statements like this:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,"


any less ridiculous. It's fast becoming "Godwins II".
9.16.2009 12:07am
santa monica (mail) (www):
Shelby,
I think I dialed up the heat too much, and for that I do apologize. I think I could have made my point without the personal attacks, and I should have done so.

But you link does not support your original point. You said, in essence, 'Anyone who disagrees with Obama is automatically a racist.' With the subtext, "People who make the above statement are idiots and are unfairly playing the race card." Are we in agreement so far?

But you can't simply link to people who maintain that some of the opposition to Obama is based (at least in part) on the color of his skin. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that proposition. Do you? Are you saying, "Of all the opposition to Obama, there is not a single person who is motivate by racism, not even in the slightest degree." Of course not. It's been clear from the signs at protests, from comments on-line, etc., that some people were very uncomfortable by the idea of having a potential black president. And now, there are some who are not at all happy about it, and will do or say (or believe in) anything to de-legitimize his presidency. Does that subset comprise a majority of the opposition? No. A large percentage? No. It's probably a very very very small percentage. But they exist, they are very vocal, and it's not surprising that they get more than their fair share of media attention.

I think that if you go back and look at the tons of threads relating to Obama and his various policies and programmes, you will see lots of comments from liberals and moderates. And you will see that just about ALL the comments do not accuse people of being racists. As Internet Fairy says, above, these sort of comments (usually raised in the context of strawmen) are [almost?] always written by conservatives.

So let's be fair. It might help me if you can link to comments that people have made here, or elsewhere, where it's clear that [1] a liberal, progressive, moderate, etc. is the one making the comment, and [2] they are saying that anyone who opposes anything to do with Obama is a racist. I have heard people say this, but the people who come first to mind for me--Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, et al--are not examples that support what you are claiming.

I look forward to hearing from you, in this new era of civility. And I absolutely promise to keep an open mind, in the event you are able to provide evidence of your assertions. :-)
9.16.2009 12:32am
santa monica (mail) (www):
After I posted, I see that Kazinski did provide the following link.


"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,"


Sigh. I am big enough to admit that this definitely does contradict my thesis. Thanks, Carter. Although, if he had managed to be a bit more moderate in his language, and had merely eliminated the word 'overwhelming' from the sentence; he would have been entirely correct.

So I am clear: I absolutely disagree with the "overwhelming portion" of that statement, and I think it certainly false. (Although one of the real problems with hurling around accusations of racism is that it is almost always impossible to prove or disprove.]
9.16.2009 12:38am
Kazinski:
Santa Monica,
Well then I think we can both agree that Jimmy Carter's statement is ridiculous:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,"


This from a man who also once said "I have always been in favor of ethnic purity."
9.16.2009 12:47am
Kazinski:
S&M,
I guess we cross posted again. But no, I don't think the only problem with his statement is "overwhelmingly". America has a long history of large segments of the population vigorously protesting the President dating from the Whiskey Rebellion. Certainly the opposition against Obama is no worse than we've seen against Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush. I remember a lot of disgust and contempt for Carter but not quite the level of vitriol as against the others. The opposition against Obama seems more the rule than the exception.
9.16.2009 12:54am
santa monica (mail) (www):
Kaz,
I think we may be in agreement. But would you disagree with the statement, "A small percentage of the people showing animosity towards Obama is due to--at least in part--racial issues." The moderators here at the VC thankfully do keep a certain level of civility here. Relative to much that's on the web, it would be a great level of civility. (Which may say more about the fringe elements elsewhere than about any of us here.) :-)

But if you do venture out into the wilds of the internet, you can easily find putrid, racists comments about Obama. And you just won't be able to convince me that a good number of the Birthers (to give just one example) were not motivated at least in part by racism. I heard--with my own ears--enough comments from some of the extreme Birthers to convince me of that.

I think that we do indeed have a long (and proud) tradition in America of protesting the president. Our country is the better for this. I suspect that when we have the first Jewish prez, there will be some attacks on him due to his religion/culture. When we have the first female prez, there will be some due to her sex. Same for the first gay prez, the first Mormon prez, and so on. To admit this is not a sign of weakness in your position. It's merely an acknowledgment that there are some people who are motivated in part by one's race (religion, sex, etc.). That's hardly a controversial thesis, is it?
9.16.2009 1:05am
ShelbyC:

But you can't simply link to people who maintain that some of the opposition to Obama is based (at least in part) on the color of his skin. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that proposition. Do you? Are you saying, "Of all the opposition to Obama, there is not a single person who is motivate by racism, not even in the slightest degree." Of course not. It's been clear from the signs at protests, from comments on-line, etc., that some people were very uncomfortable by the idea of having a potential black president. And now, there are some who are not at all happy about it, and will do or say (or believe in) anything to de-legitimize his presidency. Does that subset comprise a majority of the opposition? No. A large percentage? No. It's probably a very very very small percentage. But they exist, they are very vocal, and it's not surprising that they get more than their fair share of media attention.



Well, I wish I had been more temperate in my response to you too. But hey, I'm sure there are people who are opposed to Obama because they think he's an alien from outer space. And a very small percentage of the folks who were opposed to Bush were opposed to him, in part, because he was white, or male, or from Texas, or whatever. But what's the point of bringing that up if not to cast aspursions on everybody who's opposed to him?
9.16.2009 1:08am
santa monica (mail) (www):
Thanks Shelby. :-)

While your main point (that nutbags can be found that believe anything) is perhaps valid, I think you will have difficulty finding people who made anti-Bush statements that were at all based on the color of his skin, or because he was male. (I do remember several anti-Texas comments, but I am not sure if they applied only to Bush, or, were more of an anti-Texas screed, much like you can easily find anti-California comments, and can certainly find anti-San Francisco comments.).

But your last comment is the most relevant, and where it's possible that we just don't see things the same. I think that noting certain people whose comments (signs, actions, etc.) might reasonably be interpreted as coming in part from a racist motivation does not AT ALL implicate everyone else who opposes Obama, no matter how loudly those others state their oppostion.

I'll give some examples.
-"Get your goddamn governmental hands off my health care." Not racist.
-A sign equating Obama to Hitler. Not racist (but dumb and offensive for a variety of other reasons).
-A sign opposing health care with an image of a black man eating watermelon. Racist.
-"Obamacare = socialism" Not racist. (again, in my opinion, inaccurate. But not racist).
-A sign opposing Obama, also saying, "Get back to your birth country in Africa." This is more difficult. I might see a racist subtext, while another might see mere dumbness displayed.
9.16.2009 1:41am
Kazinski:
SM,
I agree that some small percentage of opposition to Obama is due to racial prejudice, but it is so small as to be insignificant, and not worthy of mention unless specific examples are raised. But most of the speculation of racial motives are general and try to tar most of the opposition to Obama as racist. Here is what the rule should be: If the the criticism is of Obama is along the same lines as criticism to past presidents, then it should be assumed that it is not racist.

For example, comparing Bush to a chimpanzee was not considered racist, so it should be fair game to compare Obama to a chimp. After all Blacks and Whites both share 96% of their DNA with chimps. But God help the first conservative that trots out an Obama/chimp parody.

Depicting Bush as the Joker was not racist, neither are the Obama Joker posters. Same with Nixon halloween masks and Obama Halloween Masks.
9.16.2009 1:43am
Angus:
But God help the first conservative that trots out an Obama/chimp parody.
That's because history matters. For decades, "monkey" has been used as a derogatory term specifically towards black people as a whole. It has not been used as such towards white people aside from Bush.
9.16.2009 7:27am
Angus:
I don't think that racism motivates all of Obama's opponents, but I am wary of a subset of Obama's loudest critics. For example, Joe Wilson's strident pro-confederate beliefs make me suspect that he is racist.
9.16.2009 7:39am
geokstr (mail):
santa monica:


"Why did people join in tea parties to protest runaway spending? Racism, says Janeane Garofalo to a nodding Keith Olbermann. Why are people against a bloated government takeover of health care? Racism, says Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson said that “socialist” is the new “N” word. Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution declared 45% to 65% of town hall protesters racists. Representative John Dingell compared protesters to the KKK."

Aren’t They Getting Tired of Calling Obama Opponents Racist?

(I realize that the left will sneer at the source of this article as "biased" unlike the NYT and CBS, et al.)

I follow a number of conservative blogs, not tiny off-the-wall fringe kook sites, but some of the largest most popular political sites in the country, and literally every day I can find an article where another leftwing pundit, politician, columnist, etc, smears the entire opposition as racists, on just about every issue imaginable, using logic that, well, defies logic.

That is now the epithet of choice, and has been since Obama began running.

Last year, it was implied that Palin was a racist. Why? Because she was wearing white a lot on the campaign trail. When journalists even bother to cover a huge tea party, they ignore all the normal, everyday Americans engaged in their first protest ever, holding signs that talk of freedom and liberty and overbearing government and find the one nutjob in the crowd with a sign that could be twisted to mean he was a racist. Then they edit and crop to make it look like that is the prevailing attitude at the protest.

Perhaps that charge is used less here on the Conspiracy, but it is everywhere on the old line media. I could link to easily hundreds of instances where very prominent democrats like Howard Dean and congressional leaders have implied or even directly stated that all the opposition to Obama is racially motivated.
9.16.2009 8:17am
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):

For example, Joe Wilson's strident pro-confederate beliefs make me suspect that he is racist.


Can you enlarge upon this, Angus? I'd like to see an example of what you refer to as stridency. Thanks.
9.16.2009 12:52pm
dr:

For example, comparing Bush to a chimpanzee was not considered racist, so it should be fair game to compare Obama to a chimp. After all Blacks and Whites both share 96% of their DNA with chimps. But God help the first conservative that trots out an Obama/chimp parody.


Amen. Also: Jimmy Durante had a big nose and no one considered it antisemitic to point that out, so it should be fair game to draw a caricature of Rahm Emmanuel or Joe Lieberman as having giant hooked noses. After all Jews and gentiles both have noses. But God help the first Gentile that trots out a Lieberman/nose parody.
9.16.2009 1:16pm
Angus:
Can you enlarge upon this, Angus? I'd like to see an example of what you refer to as stridency. Thanks.
Membership in the SCV, which has long since ceased to be a historical society and has become a neo-Confederate advocacy group. Wilson was also one of the most outspoken defenders of flying the Confederate battle flag over the S.C. capitol. He defended it not just because it was part of S.C.'s history, but because he claimed that the Confederacy's cause was entirely honorable, according to him. Google Joe Wilson Confederate and you'll find thousands of hits that go into much more detail.
9.16.2009 1:31pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):
Membership in the SCV and being "outspoken" in expressing his viewpoint = "strident". OK. (The man lives and is a politician in South Carolina - if he weighs in on the debate about the flag there he's being "outspoken"?

Here's the quote that I suppose you are referring to:


But local lawmakers, like Republican senator Joe Wilson say it is all about pride and history, and nothing to do with racism and hate. He finds comparisons with Nazis odious.

"That's offensive to me that they would take my heritage and make it into a Holocaust era type description. I find that very offensive, and it's not true," Senator Wilson said. "The Southern heritage, the Confederate heritage is very honourable."


I don't think the Confederate flag has any business being displayed anywhere except Civil War battlegrounds and people's private homes and businesses if they want them. I certainly don't think it should be part of a state flag anywhere, or flown over a government building. That doesn't mean that I think people who express disagreement with my view are automatically strident any more than I am for expressing my view in the first place.
9.16.2009 1:42pm
Angus:
Laura,
You presume that I am using "strident" as some sort of pejorative. To the contrary, I view "strident" as a non-political descriptive term: "loud, persistent, and forceful."
9.16.2009 1:59pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):
Ah. And I am thinking more along these lines:

stri·dent (strdnt)
adj.
Loud, harsh, grating, or shrill; discordant. See Synonyms at loud, vociferous.

[Latin strdns, strdent-, present participle of strdre, to make harsh sounds, ultimately of imitative origin.]

free online dictionary

Still not seeing what's loud, persistent or forceful about Sen. Wilson's statement, as much as I disagree with it. But I suppose there was more to his support for the Confederate flag than this?
9.16.2009 2:08pm
Angus:
Well, the debate went on for months and he frequently spoke out on the pro-flag side, not just in a "this is history and we can't hide from it" way but in a "three cheers for the glorious Confederacy" way. I interpret that as persistent and forceful. Not seeing the interviews first hand, I have no way of judging his volume.
9.16.2009 2:28pm

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