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When Democratic Rhetoric Goes Too Far

[ Posted Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 – 16:09 PDT ]

Lynching is an ugly word. It's ugly precisely because what it refers to is both deeply horrific and utterly counter to what it means to be an American. The history of lynching in this country is, sadly, a long and brutal one. Uncountable human beings -- mostly black males in the South -- were grabbed by what can only be called an angry mob, and summarily executed without benefit of a trial by a jury of their peers for their perceived wrongdoing. In many cases (if not most), this wrongdoing was fictional, it bears pointing out. The history of such lynchings is a sad and shameful chapter in America's story. Lynchings didn't happen in a vacuum, of course, since the broader (and more shameful) history of racial relations formed the backdrop in which such lynchings took place.

All of us should be aware (and ashamed) of this history. That such things took place in our country is something all Americans should know. This almost goes without saying. But what apparently does need saying is the reverse -- that the history of lynching should not be abused and belittled by politicians in hyperbolic fashion to make a much smaller point. Even if -- or perhaps especially if -- the politician in question is an African-American.

Here is how the Huffington Post reported this story:

A leading voice in the Congressional Black Caucus told supporters last week that Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are devastating the black community economically and would be happy to see black people "hanging on a tree."

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), the CBC whip, told attendees at the CBC's Job Tour visit to Miami that the Tea Party is actively taking steps to keep down the black community and other vulnerable populations.

"This is the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow," Carson said. "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens."

"Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree."

A spokesman for Carson, later in the article, actually defended his boss' "strong language," saying:

"A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life. So, yes, the Congressman used strong language because the Tea Party agenda jeopardizes our most vulnerable and leaves them without the ability to improve their economic standing."

Being without the ability to improve one's economic standing is indeed a dire situation. But it is not the same thing as being strung up by an angry mob from the nearest tree. It just isn't.

The accusation that the Tea Party harbors racism or racist elements has been around since soon after the Tea Party appeared on the American political scene. It is a subject for intense debate. Strong language is often used in this debate. But Congressman Carson's remarks have taken this language to an entirely different level -- a level where he really shouldn't have gone.

Because whether you believe the Tea Party is a pure-hearted organization which occasionally has problems of policing its own ranks at rallies to weed out racists who are using the public nature of the Tea Party events to spew their hatred, or whether you believe the Tea Party itself is actually racist to the core -- either way, Carson's remarks cannot be condoned. No matter what view you have of the Tea Party, to equate anti-minority political policies with applauding lynching should be seen as simply unacceptable.

Unless Carson has proof that Tea Partiers have actually suggested killing African-Americans, planned to kill African-Americans, or even considered killing African-Americans in this fashion, then he is just wrong to say what he said. To say nothing of his assertion that Tea Partiers would "love" to see such lynchings take place.

I say this even though I don't agree with pretty much of anything the Tea Party folks say they stand for, I should mention. I actually largely agree with the statement made by Carson's spokesman, that "The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities." The Tea Party platform, if fully enacted, would doubtlessly harm minorities disproportionately. So I fully understand where Carson is coming from on this issue.

But that doesn't mean I agree with the way he chose to make his argument. Far from it. I don't often enjoy defending the Tea Party, but in this particular case, I feel I must. I understand completely why the sole Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus (in which Carson holds a leadership position) is thinking of quitting the caucus over Carson's remark. I don't blame him a bit.

The politics of victimhood has been refined over the past 30 or 40 years in America. Democrats, in particular, have almost made it an art form. "We're oppressed!" is the cry, and woe to a Democratic politician who didn't respond to it. On the subject of race, it even has its own terminology now: "playing the race card." Republicans, over about the past five years or so, have developed their own strategy for playing the victimhood game (you could even make the case that the Tea Party phenomenon is a good example of this). On the race issue, Republicans now rush to play their own version of the "race card" first, before Democrats can even get theirs out of the deck. This Republican tactic consists of accusing Democrats of unfairly playing their own race card where no racism exists -- thus turning the "victim" label on its head.

All of this lies within the boundaries of acceptable political discourse, though. Even Representative Maxine Waters recently telling the Tea Party they could go "straight to Hell" has to be seen as nothing more than sharp words in a media and political climate that encourages such statements. But telling your political opponents to go to the Devil is one thing -- accusing them of outright deviltry is quite another.

On the level of political effectiveness alone, Carson is not doing his cause any good, and is in fact detracting from the argument he's trying to make. By "becoming the story" himself, Carson's bigger point is all but lost in the fray. Outrageous statements may get your face in the news, to put it another way, but when the story focuses solely on the outrageousness of your language, then you are turning off the very people you're trying to convince.

Carson should have stopped at: "Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens," and his comparisons to the Jim Crow era. Whether you agree with this or not, Carson is making what he feels to be a very valid and urgent point. But Carson didn't stop there. He followed it up with: "Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree." He crossed the line into nothing more than a very ugly ad hominem attack by doing so.

There's a modern convention in political discussions (especially online) that calling someone a "Nazi" or comparing them to Hitler is completely unacceptable. The word Nazi should be reserved for speaking of Germans in World War II, to put it another way. It is seen as a heinous term that refers to inhumane brutality, and thus is placed outside the boundaries of proper discussion. Nazi comparisons weaken your argument, because it is so unreasonable to equate any contemporary political position with the stark reality of Nazi Germany.

But we're not Germany. Here in America, one of the ugliest accusations to be made is that of racism, because of our own history. Calling someone a racist is to use one of the strongest terms of disapproval possible in American discourse. But Carson went beyond even this strong language. He used the specific example of the lynch mob to paint his opponents in the worst possible light imaginable -- all on merely a hyperbolic level. But unless Andre Carson has some sort of evidence he hasn't yet made public that a Tea Party gathering not only lynched someone, but actually loved doing it, then he simply went too far in his rhetoric. What he said actually belittles and disrespects the memory of every lynching victim in our history, in fact. Even a Tea Partier who advocated cutting off every single penny of government help to minorities doesn't deserve to be smeared as someone who would "love" to see black bodies hanging from the trees. The two just are not the same thing.

Whenever any politician crosses such a line, I feel the need to admonish them. Because (full disclosure) I am more sympathetic to the Democratic point of view, it is always easier for me to do so when the transgressor is a Republican. When the Tea Parties were just getting started, I advised them to police their own ranks to weed out the crazies who showed up, because doing so would help them get their message out without such distractions. But Democrats need to do the same thing, at times. Which is why it pains me to say it, but it still needs saying: Andre Carson should apologize to the Tea Party. Because what he said was just wrong.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

48 Comments on “When Democratic Rhetoric Goes Too Far”

  1. [1] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    Right on, Chris . . . or should I say "Left on" . . . by way of trying for a thoughtful, moral stance which is willing to take on extremists of either, of any ilk.

    George Orwell wrote many years ago about how language must be distorted to produce distorted thinking. He would have nodded knowingly at your example.

    If I might define by another example, this week Pat Summit (Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach) tried taking on another kind of language born out of fear, suspicion, and superstition, by declaring forthrightly that she has Early Onset Alzheimer's and will go about her life as openly and completely as possible. This is tantamount to Betty Ford's breaking the taboo against discussing breast cancer a half century ago. Before that cancer was unspeakable; obits would only refer to "a lingering illness." After her plain speaking,real thinking came out in the open. Real discussion, real decision making, thoughtful decision making always feeds on such candor and courage, - - the kind of discourse you call for here.

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Chris: I nearly always agree with you, but you are wrong on this one. I am a white woman, so I can't claim to speak from the perspective of a Black person -- but then, neither can you.

    Non-republicans of every stripe have been being abused and accused by the right wing for years now, virulently, and on a daily basis. Very nasty things have happened to gay people and to black people (and to lefties in Norway).

    And while You are unlikely to ever have to consider the possibility of being lynched purely because of your color, I don't think it's at all unreasonable for a black person to fear that return to Jim Crow is around the corner. The hate and ugliness are palpable and unrelenting and the response by most of our institutions of power has been to write most of it off as free speech. If I were a black person I would have zero sense of faith in the gov. or law enforcement in terms of protecting me before something awful happens. No, it will be a matter of what gets done AFTER something happens. Didn't you hear about the group of young white men that beat up the black auto worker, then ran over him in their truck? They were not prosecuted as adults (how likely would that be had the positions been reversed?)

    You have the luxury, Chris, of being protected from the brunt of this kind of brutal hatred.

    The right wing has been very effective at making racism almost OK again. Not quite there, but there's a lot more public racism now expressed than there was 10-15 years ago. How far removed, do you think, is verbal racism from physical racism? You may not be sensitized to that, but you should assume that black people are.

    For them, it's not a matter of "political correctness" or "standards of decency", it's a matter of life and death.

    And, at least Congressman Carson is trying to protect his people, rather than being willing to sacrifice them on the alter of "lets not go there". I say, go there. Effing go there. I say, good for him.

  3. [3] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    I'd say Carson has more than earned a MDDOTW.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula -

    While I agree with most of what you're saying, I have to respectfully disagree about Carson's words. He was not merely pointing out (as you did) the situation blacks face or the fear of Jim Crow returning being a very real one. He accused not just Tea Partiers but members of Congress of a very evil thing -- not just lynching itself, but that they'd "love" to see it happen. That's a whole 'nother level of evil. And while I agree that he's fightin' mad and wants people to know, there are lines in the sand (at least for me) that you just don't cross.

    We're not facing a wave of lynchings in this country. We just aren't. I've heard that when they were searching for the bodies of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman in Philadelphia, MS, that they pulled something like 17 unidentified black male corpses from the swamp in their search.

    That was the reality only a few short decades ago. It wasn't "metaphorical" lynching, or "high tech lynching" (forget who said that, a few years back), it was actual lynching. It used to be a real, and horrifying event.

    If the country had just had a wave of such mob murders, then Carson would have been justified, perhaps, in what he said. But until that point, the rhetoric is just too much, for me at least.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Osborne -

    I was going to wait until Friday, but decided he needed a whole column on his own. But rest assured, he is first in a line of one for this week's MDDOTW...

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I don't think it needs to be said, but I'll say it anyways..

    Great commentary!! :D

    Paula,

    And, at least Congressman Carson is trying to protect his people,

    "His people"??

    You mean, Americans???

    rather than being willing to sacrifice them on the alter of "lets not go there". I say, go there. Effing go there. I say, good for him.

    Carson has done "his" people much more harm than Republicans would EVER do...

    First off, let's dispense with the utter felgercarb that the Tea Party is racist..

    There is abso-frakin'-loutly ZERO evidence to support the claim..

    Sure, you can find a Tea Party'er here or there who has made a racist statement. Just as you can find an NAACP'er here or there who has made a racist statement..

    Hell, according to black people, the very NAME of the NAACP is racist!!

    But a here or there does not a racist organization make...

    The issues are not the problem. ANY issue can be solved if reasonable people get together and act like reasonable adults..

    We do it ALL the time here on CW.COM..

    The rhetoric is the problem.

    After Tucson, Democrats flooded the airwaves with calls for civility in discourse..

    You call THIS "civility"?

    Republicans aren't lynching anyone despite what Carson says.

    Republicans aren't terrorists, despite what Biden says...

    Republicans don't want to throw old folks off a cliff..

    Democrats don't want to create a Sharia paradise here.

    (I am sure there are more "horror stories" targeted at the Left, but that's all that comes to mind right now...)

    This country would be a LOT better off if the Left (AND the Right) would get past the hateful rhetoric and do what's best for the country.

    Wouldn't you agree??

    Matt,

    I'd say Carson has more than earned a MDDOTW.

    Mark this date down, CW....

    Matt and I are in complete agreement!! :D

    "Stuart, don't agree with me. It just makes me doubt myself."
    -Michael J Fox, SPIN CITY

    :D

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's also interesting to note that Carson was the CongressCritter who claimed that someone in one of the CrapCare protests used the N-word towards him..

    Of course, there never was any evidence to support the claim, despite the massive filming of the event going on AND despite a $100K reward for anyone who had such proof..

    Seems to me that Carson and Playing The Race Victim are well acquainted....

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    dsws wrote:

    The statement was horribly inappropriate in political discourse.

    But as a comment on human nature, it was true. Public hangings were often festive events. All the most respectable people of the community would bring a picnic lunch, and get a thrill off of the fact that they were alive and that hapless fellow on the gallows wasn't -- and that they lived under an unchallenged authority from whose wrath they were safe by virtue of their status as respectable citizens. It didn't much matter whether the late owner of the newly-minted corpse had been guilty of anything or not.

    Human nature hasn't changed at all, and society hasn't changed as much as we like to imagine.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    But as a comment on human nature, it was true. Public hangings were often festive events. All the most respectable people of the community would bring a picnic lunch, and get a thrill off of the fact that they were alive and that hapless fellow on the gallows wasn't -- and that they lived under an unchallenged authority from whose wrath they were safe by virtue of their status as respectable citizens. It didn't much matter whether the late owner of the newly-minted corpse had been guilty of anything or not.

    Your making the same mistake that some HuffPo writer made when he said Toby Keith's BEER FOR MY HORSES video was racist..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/toby-keiths-pro-lynching_b_115526.html

    Your equating Lynchings with Hangings...

    Hanging was a legitimate form of capital punishment back in the day. As legitimate as lethal injection or electrocution is today.

    Human nature hasn't changed at all, and society hasn't changed as much as we like to imagine.

    Perhaps. But it's hypocritical in the extreme for Democrats to decry violent rhetoric (as they did after the Tucson shooting) yet rely on it themselves..

    Jamie O'Neal's "There Is No Arizona" seems to be the Democrat's mantra these days...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    dsws wrote:

    There's a distinction but not a dichotomy. Not all hangings are lynchings, but all lynchings are hangings. The perpetrators told themselves that they were doing justice. The audience was often much the same, whether the supposed justice was administered by legitimate institutions or by an ad-hoc assembly of the citizens. So was the festive mood, often. And all too often, so was the reliability of the process by which guilt was ascertained.

    In fact, if you look at some of the ideas this country was founded on, about the sovereignty of the people and the right of revolution, and take them to their logical conclusion, it's not too much of a stretch to say that an ad-hoc assembly of the citizens has just as much authority to dispense justice as do their appointees.

    Organized killing for public entertainment is still organized killing for public entertainment, even if it scruples to restrict its choice of victims to those who have had due process.

    So yes, I'm trying to draw attention away from the distinction between judicial homicide and culturally-legitimized mob homicide. There's a distinction there, and it matters. But there's a similarity too, and it also matters. There's no danger of anyone forgetting the distinction, but people routinely fail to see the similarity.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not all hangings are lynchings, but all lynchings are hangings.

    "A difference which makes no difference IS no difference."
    -Commander Spock

    I would also point out that you are in error..

    Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching

    What you are trying to do is equate "mob rule" with justice...

    While the only similarity is, in this case, a hanging, I would put forth that it *IS* the only similarity.. And it's not consistently similar either..

    It's the difference between a cop who shoots and kills a scumbag to save an innocent life and a mob hitman who kills for fun and profit...

    There's no danger of anyone forgetting the distinction, but people routinely fail to see the similarity.

    That's because the minute similarity is lost in the multitude of differences..

    And rightly so...

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting reading on the Wiki page...

    Violence in the United States against African Americans, especially in the South, rose in the aftermath of the Civil War, after slavery had been abolished and recently freed black men were given the right to vote. Violence rose even more at the end of the century, after southern white Democrats regained their political power in the South in the 1870s. States passed new constitutions or legislation which effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites, established segregation of public facilities by race, and separated blacks from common public life and facilities. Nearly 3,500 African Americans were lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968.[1]

    The Left always stands ready to accuse the Right of racism...

    Maybe the Left would not be so quick to do so if they were reminded of the racist past of Democrats, eh??

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Are you mistaking left for democrat/liberal and right for republican/conservative for the entire history of the country?

    Read the history of the democratic party. During the period you mention you would think they were the republican party of today. And pre-1960's the republicans advocated classical liberalism and progressive ideas along with the normal conservative economic ideas they have always followed. Policy they would not be caught dead being connected with today. Plus, after the republicans ended slavery, most the white south would not be republican regardless of their political beliefs. Just factions within the democratic party.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Are you mistaking left for democrat/liberal and right for republican/conservative for the entire history of the country?

    I am not mistaking anything.

    Regardless of what they are like today, as opposed to what they were like 100 or 200 years ago, they were Democrats.

    I am also constrained to point out that the "racist" history of the Democratic Party is not THAT far removed as you would want me to believe..

    Does the name Senator Robert Byrd mean anything to you??

    If Democrats don't like the history of the Democratic Party, that is just too bad...

    It's no fun having an entire group painted with somewhat inaccurate brush, is it?

    Perhaps the Left would do well to remember that, the next time they want to paint an entire group with the brush of a few miscreants, eh??

    Michale.......

  15. [15] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And just what group am I supposedly brushing now?

    One guy painted a group in a less than stellar light in order to make a point. Some on the left agreed. Many on the left did not. Discussion ensued. Please point out how that translates in to the entire left agreeing with the one guy. And how is you trying to paint the left in a singular light is not the exact same thing?

  16. [16] 
    dsws wrote:

    Everyone knows that the Democrats of 1947 and before were essentially the Republicans of 1980 and since. The subject is unworthy of further discussion.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW...

    Iddn't it great how ya'all get to disavow all the bad stuff Democrats have done, while STILL clinging to the RIGHT=RACIST mythos..

    Must be so very nice, not to mention convenient, to have such selective memories.. :D

    You can spin the historical facts all ya want..

    But the simple fact is this..

    For a time in this country, DEMOCRATS were the racists that were lynching black Americans...

    This being the FACT, one would think that the Left would be a tad more prudent regarding throwing around the racist accusations, don'tcha think??

    But, political bigotry (like racial bigotry) knows neither logic nor reason..

    All it has going for it is hatred...

    Blind hysterical hatred..

    As evidenced by the subject of this outstanding commentary...

    'night... :D

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    For a time in this country, DEMOCRATS were the racists that were lynching black Americans...

    Did you just figure this out today? The rest of us learned it in grade school if we were paying attention or it was pointed out to us in high school civics if we weren't...

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did you just figure this out today? The rest of us learned it in grade school if we were paying attention or it was pointed out to us in high school civics if we weren't...

    I was the star quarterback.. I didn't need to pay attention.. :D J/K I was the nerd who was too busy playing Star Trek on the teletype computers in the science lab... :D

    Seriously, yea I probably learned it... I guess I just didn't make the connection.

    I mean, seriously. Who could think that the Hysterical Left could be so in the face of the Right, accusing them of being racists when it was the Democratic Party of a hundred years ago that was lynching black Americans....

    I wouldn't have thought not even the Hysterical Left could display such depths of depravity and hypocrisy...

    "I guessed wrong."
    -Austin Powers

    It really puts Carson's hate-filled spew in a whole new light, now doesn't it??

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Carson is not playing a very smart game. In fact, believe it or not, he's playing the CONSERVATIVE game.

    Since Nixon's Southern Strategy, conservatives have worked to target segment the political market into white versus black. I don't necessarily believe that their motives are racist so much as demographic (whites comprise the majority and the majority wins elections).

    (Ok, ok ... for the record, it could be debated whether that strategy itself is racist but I don't find this debate particularly productive.)

    Democrats should recognize this as a tactic and not unwittingly play into their hands. Obama recognized it and fought successfully to define his campaign in different terms.

    Carson needs to work on his game. Hopefully, this incident will help him understand that what he said did not help.
    -David

  21. [21] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I think the problem is racism is one of those huge subjects that the fine gradations are important. In this case it seems to me it's an example of correlation is not causation. There are racists in the republican party. There are racists in the tea party. Hell, I would not be surprised if there are still racists in the democratic party. I've overheard white conservatives refer to that "boy" in the white house and I don't think they were talking about his age. I also suspect that if a white guy named John Smith was born in Hawaii 1961 then was elected president there would not be a witch hunt for his long form birth certificate. But, I don't for a second think that tea party members got together and came up with the idea that less government and cuts to social programs will keep the black man down. Ideology just had that real world effect. Not to mention it affects all poor roughly the same way regardless of race. I don't think all or even a large percentage of the republicans and tea party members are racist either but racists in the republicans and tea party party do fan the flames when ever convenient.

    Your point that because the democrats were once racist or more accurately the democrats once contained many racists in their party makes any cry from the left of racism, hypocrisy is completely ridiculous. It ignores the shifting and general mixing of political ideology over time. Should we always ignore economic ideas from the republicans purely because at the start of the depression they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency?

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Should we always ignore economic ideas from the republicans purely because at the start of the depression they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency?

    Well ... that might not be such a bad idea :)

    Ok, ok. You know I'm kidding, Bashi

    Not to mention it affects all poor roughly the same way regardless of race.

    This is the point I'd much rather see Democrats hammering home.

    -David

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Carson is not playing a very smart game. In fact, believe it or not, he's playing the CONSERVATIVE game.

    Really??

    Calling political opponents racist has been a Leftist/Liberal "game" for quite a while now...

    Don't make me pull out all the links that prove this. The link moderation system here at CW.COM would blow up.... :D

    Bashi,

    But, I don't for a second think that tea party members got together and came up with the idea that less government and cuts to social programs will keep the black man down. I

    Place a call to Maxine Waters and Fredrica Wilson and that Carson critter, will ya!??? :D

    There are racists in the republican party. There are racists in the tea party. Hell, I would not be surprised if there are still racists in the democratic party.

    The fact that you have to quantify when referring to the Democratic Party and specify that you WOULDN'T be surprised at racists within the Democratic Party is indicative of my point..

    It would have been more factually accurate (and intellectually honest) if you had said "There are racists in the republican party. There are racists in the tea party. And there are racists in the democratic party."

    Your point that because the democrats were once racist or more accurately the democrats once contained many racists in their party makes any cry from the left of racism, hypocrisy is completely ridiculous.

    No more "completely ridiculous" than when the Left brings up all the past history of the Republican Party when it comes to morals et al and tries to paint the GOP as hypocrites when they get caught in a sex scandal.. I simply went a bit further back.. But, realistically speaking, 100 years is not all that huge a leap in the grand scheme of things...

    Should we always ignore economic ideas from the republicans purely because at the start of the depression they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency?

    That seems to be the common theme from the Left, no??

    As evidenced by David's somewhat tongue in cheek response. :D

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    all the past history of the Republican Party when it comes to morals et al and tries to paint the GOP as hypocrites when they get caught in a sex scandal.

    Grasping at straws there? Usually when a republican gets caught in a sex scandal it was that very man who campaigned on morals or rallied against those who's morals differed from their own. No history needed...

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Calling political opponents racist has been a Leftist/Liberal "game" for quite a while now...

    I think it actually happens much less than you think. Especially overblown rhetoric like Carson's.

    Nevertheless ... I'm arguing against it. You're arguing against it. I'm pretty sure everyone here is arguing against it.

    I actually largely agree with you, Michale. Even after you pulled your usual "Left" bashing. A leftist pinko communist union thug like myself. Agreeing with you. What has the world come to?

    That seems to be the common theme from the Left, no??

    At least you're consistent in always bashing the "left" :)

    How come instead of arguing w/ the people who are actually talking to you, you have to go off on the "Left" or the "Hysterical Left"?

    Isn't this kind of like calling people "racist" ... you just call them "left" or "socialist" instead. No?

    -David

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Grasping at straws there? Usually when a republican gets caught in a sex scandal it was that very man who campaigned on morals or rallied against those who's morals differed from their own. No history needed...

    So, you are telling me that the Left never engages in the activity I described whereas the entire group as a whole (in this case, the GOP) is painted with the brush of past actions...

    Is that what you are trying to tell me..???

    Seriously?? :D

    David,

    I think it actually happens much less than you think. Especially overblown rhetoric like Carson's.

    Carson, Waters, Wilson are just a few examples that have occurred within the past couple weeks..

    I can post dozens of links that show a consistent, ongoing and determined conspiracy to paint elements of the Right as racist...

    I am honestly surprised I have to even argue this point. The evidence is self-evident..

    Carson is simply the latest and more egregious example of this ongoing tactic...

    Nevertheless ... I'm arguing against it. You're arguing against it. I'm pretty sure everyone here is arguing against it.

    Fair enough.. But to effectively argue against, you have to realize that it IS a problem..

    Put it another way, you would definitely be helping the Democratic Party if you are able to tell those that use racist accusations as a blunt force weapon, that it's not helping...

    If that makes any sense.. :D

    How come instead of arguing w/ the people who are actually talking to you, you have to go off on the "Left" or the "Hysterical Left"?

    Because no one here would EVER stoop to using racism accusations as a blunt force weapon...

    So, we simply discuss the problem, identify it and figure out ways to fix it..

    Don't get me wrong..

    I don't have ANY problem with ANYONE (Dem, GOP, Indy) calling out REAL racism..

    My beef is with those who use the accusation against political opponents while knowing damn good and well, that it just ain't so...

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    So, you are telling me that the Left never engages in the activity I described whereas the entire group as a whole (in this case, the GOP) is painted with the brush of past actions...

    As I have been arguing for years, some on the left certainly do but they do not represent enough of the total "left" for you to say that it represents the entire left.

    I can post dozens of links that show a consistent, ongoing and determined conspiracy to paint elements of the Right as racist...

    Will all the links go to conservative opinion pieces? :D

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I have been arguing for years, some on the left certainly do but they do not represent enough of the total "left" for you to say that it represents the entire left.

    Fair enough...

    I think that it is prevalent enough to come to the conclusion that it is the totality of the entire Left..

    Especially since there is little outcry FROM the Left condemning these actions and statements..

    CW.com is the exception that proves the rule..

    Did anyone from the Left try to reign in or dispute the actions or words of Waters, Carson or Wilson??

    Nope...

    "tammoH nob"
    -Old Klingon Proverb

    Will all the links go to conservative opinion pieces? :D

    Would that make them any less valid in your eyes?? :D

    Michale.......

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Put it another way, you would definitely be helping the Democratic Party if you are able to tell those that use racist accusations as a blunt force weapon, that it's not helping.

    What about those who use "socialist" and "liberal" as a blunt force weapon?

    Just sayin' ...

    At the end of the day, we only have control over ourselves. :)

    -David

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    What about those who use "socialist" and "liberal" as a blunt force weapon?

    "There can be no offense where none is taken"
    -Sarek Of Vulcan

    In my youth, I wore the "liberal" label proudly...

    Of course, with regards to Sarek's wisdom, there are some things that are patently offensive, regardless...

    :D

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Seriously though..

    Are you comparing someone calling someone else a racist to someone calling someone else a liberal??

    I know you well enough to know that you know that there is no comparison.... ya know...

    "Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed"
    -Austin Powers, THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME

    Michale......

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "Those who are bound by desire see only that which can be held in their hands."
    - Bruce LeRoy, The Last Dragon

    :)

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Are you comparing someone calling someone else a racist to someone calling someone else a liberal?

    I am merely suggesting that arguments against painting people with a broad brush have greater credibility when they come from people who practice what they preach.

    -David

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am merely suggesting that arguments against painting people with a broad brush have greater credibility when they come from people who practice what they preach.

    Fair enough..

    See my response to Bashi for further..

    Towhit..

    There is enough of this kind of garbage coming from a multitude of sources from the Left to give credence to "painting people with a broad brush"...

    Especially in light of the fact that those on the Left who claim to be against such tactics are eerily quiet and sanguine about confronting such tactics...

    Present company excepted, of course. :D

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, the likes of Carson, Waters and Wilson appear to be the rule amongst the Left, rather than the exception...

    There is ample evidence to come to this conclusion. One only has to peruse the Leftist oriented blogs to see this...

    Michale.......

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/02/could-democrats-bad-words-be-helping-tea-party/

    Kind of goes hand in hand with what we have been discussing here...

    The only ones who don't see a problem here are those on the Left...

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    akadjian wrote:

    In other words, the likes of Carson, Waters and Wilson appear to be the rule amongst the Left, rather than the exception.

    Yes, we know. It's all a big Leftist socialist pinko conspiracy plot to take down the Tea Party by doing the only thing that could make the Tea Party look good.

    Right ...

    -David

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, we know. It's all a big Leftist socialist pinko conspiracy plot to take down the Tea Party by doing the only thing that could make the Tea Party look good.

    So, you don't think the hateful rhetoric is anything to worry about?? Anything to stop??

    What happened to the post-Tuscon calls for civility in politics???

    Just more politics???

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Can you point to any posts, comments or commentary (sans CW) from the Left that refutes or condemns the incivility of Carson, Wilson and Waters?

    Any?? Any at all??

    "Beuhler?? Beuhler???

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    dsws wrote:

    [8]

    The statement was horribly inappropriate in political discourse.

    That seems to pretty clearly condemn the incivility of it. Yes, I went on to discuss the aspect of it that's true. But condemning the incivility of a statement with some truth to it, is still condemning the incivility of a statement.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Agreed... But CW.COM is THE only place you will see such condemnation..

    That's pretty much par for the course for CW...

    But no where else do you see it...

    Ergo, the logical conclusion is that the Left in general supports such statements as Waters, Wilson and Carson...

    Michale.....

  42. [42] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Can you point to any posts, comments or commentary (sans CW) from the Left that refutes or condemns the incivility of Carson, Wilson and Waters?

    Before looking, will you change your opinion if I cite folks on the left who are against this type of thing?

    I don't think it will be hard to find, but I don't have the time for this wild goose chase if that's indeed what it is.

    -David

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you can find a *pattern* of condemnation from Leftist blogs (DK, HP, FDL, etc etc) and/or Pundits AND their commenters, then I will certainly acknowledge that the Left in general doesn't appear to buy into the crazy and hateful ideas of the likes of Carson, Wilson and Waters..

    But the condemnations will have to be the same in specificity and severity that the Left goes after the Right with...

    A wankish "oh wow, they shouldn't be saying those things" would be insufficient to sway me..

    Michale.....

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Refer to CW's latest FTP commentary...

    Apparently the hate-filled rhetoric is more widespread amongst the Left than even I imagined...

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    akadjian wrote:

    A wankish "oh wow, they shouldn't be saying those things" would be insufficient to sway me.

    This is silly. Thank you for keeping me out of that wild goose chase.

    We both disagree with these tactics which to me seems the most important point.

    Hope you're enjoying your Labor Day! Me ... I'm at work :(

    -David

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    We both disagree with these tactics which to me seems the most important point.

    Yes we do and yes it is... :D

    Apparently, the only thing we disagree with is how representative it is of the Left in general..

    I have the evidence to back up my position.. :D

    Michale.....

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I have the evidence to back up my position.. :D

    Hahahahah. I'm glad you're saying that tongue in cheek.

    I never realized that a couple examples were all that was needed to show a Leftist conspiracy! :)

    -David

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    See my latest post in the FTP comments..

    There's about a half dozen examples, just from the last couple weeks...

    I am sure if I go back a few months, I can find a couple dozen more examples quite easily... :D

    Uncannily, outside of CW.COM, I can't find any CONDEMNATION of those hateful and hurtful comments.

    "I WONDER WHY THAT IS!!!???"
    -Kevin Spacey, THE NEGOTIATOR

    :D

    Michale.....

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