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The real story of the shutdown: 50 years of GOP race-baiting (Guess who?)
Salon ^ | October 1, 2013 | Joan Walsh

Posted on 10/02/2013 12:56:42 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

A House minority from white districts want to destroy the first black president, and the GOP majority abets them.

On the day the Affordable Care Act takes effect, the U.S. government is shut down, and it may be permanently broken. You’ll read lots of explanations for the dysfunction, but the simple truth is this: It’s the culmination of 50 years of evolving yet consistent Republican strategy to depict government as the enemy, an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else. The fact that everything came apart under our first African-American president wasn’t an accident, it was probably inevitable.

People talk about the role of race in Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”: how Pat Buchanan and Kevin Phillips helped him lure the old Dixiecrats into the Republican Party permanently. Far less well known was the GOP’s “Northern Strategy,” which targeted so-called white ethnics – many of them from the Catholic “Sidewalks of New York” like my working-class family, in the words of Kevin Phillips. Without a Northern Strategy designed to inflame white-ethnic fears of racial and economic change, Phillips’ imaginary but still influential notion of a “permanent Republican majority” would have been unimaginable.

“The principal force which broke up the Democratic (New Deal) coalition is the Negro socioeconomic revolution and liberal Democratic ideological inability to cope with it,” Phillips wrote. “Democratic ‘Great Society’ programs aligned that party with many Negro demands, but the party was unable to defuse the racial tension sundering the nation.” Phillips was not trying to defuse that tension, far from it – he was trying to lure those white ethnics to the GOP (although he later broke with the party he helped create.) But his Northern Strategy truly came to fruition in 1980, with the election of Ronald Reagan. Where Nixon swept the South, Reagan was able to take much of the North and West, too.

I loved Chris Matthews’ book “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked,” but as I said in my interview with him, I think he let Reagan off the hook when it came to race. Ronald Reagan picked up the political baton passed to him by Barry Goldwater and Pat Buchanan, and played his role with genial gusto. Reagan had trafficked in ugly racial stereotyping over the years, about “young bucks” buying T-bone steaks with food stamps and Cadillac-driving welfare queens. But the Reagan who got elected president was better at using deracialized language to channel racial fears and resentment. He and his strategists had succeeded in making government synonymous with “welfare,” and “welfare” synonymous with lazy people, most of them African-American.

When Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg studied the voters of Macomb County, a hotbed of so-called Reagan Democrats – the county gave two-thirds of its votes to John F. Kennedy in 1960, and the same proportion to Ronald Reagan in 1980 — he found that they no longer saw Democrats as working-class champions. “Blacks constitute the explanation for their vulnerability and for almost everything that has gone wrong in their lives,” and they saw government “as a black domain where whites cannot expect reasonable treatment,” Greenberg wrote.

So for a lot of Democrat-turned-Republican voters, “government” was all about black people, Reagan knew. You didn’t have to be racist to thrill to Reagan’s declaration that “government is not the solution; government is the problem,” though it didn’t hurt. Republican strategist Lee Atwater explained exactly how it worked in a now-infamous 1981 interview that was secret for 30 years. Atwater explained how the GOP dialed down its racial rhetoric for fear of alienating white moderates who might buy the GOP’s anti-government crusade, but be uncomfortable with outright racism.

This is Atwater talking to an academic interviewer in 1981, Year One of the Reagan revolution:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites … “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

And then you say “Defund Obamacare,” and everyone knows why.

* * *

To be fair to Republicans, not everyone is or was comfortable with this strategy. One of the things I remember best from Richard Ben Cramer’s legendary history of the 1988 election, “What It Takes,” was the way both George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole grappled with whether and how to reach black voters, in the wake of the Reagan revolution. Each man struggled, in his own way, to understand and accept exactly how party leaders, starting with Goldwater, had actively pushed African-Americans out of the party of Abraham Lincoln. Dole’s discomfort seemed a little deeper and more genuine; in the end, Bush acceded to Atwater and Roger Ailes, one of Richard Nixon’s media henchmen, to produce the infamous Willie Horton ad that helped torpedo Michael Dukakis.

Over and over, that’s how things got worse: Republicans who know better, who probably aren’t “racist” in the old-fashioned sense of believing in black inferiority and opposing the equality and integration of the races, nonetheless pander to those who are, for electoral gain. And when the election of our first black president riled up the racists and launched the Tea Party – supposed deficit hawks who tolerated skyrocketing government spending under George W. Bush — too many Republicans went along.

Today, the entire government has been taken hostage by leaders elected by this crazed minority, who see in the face of Barack Obama everything they’ve been taught to fear for 50 years. Start with miscegenation: He’s not just black, he’s the product of a black father and a white mother. (That helps explain an unconscious motive for birtherism: They can’t get their minds off the circumstances of his conception and birth.) With his Ivy League degrees, they are sure he must be the elitist beneficiary of affirmative action. Steeped in Chicago politics, he’s the representative of corrupt urban machines controlled by Democrats – machines that ironically originated with the Irish and once kept African-Americans down, but which are now synonymous with corrupt black power. In Michele Bachmann’s words, Obama is a product of Chicago’s scary “gangster government,” or did she say “gangsta”?

Leading Republicans who know better have demeaned the president with a long list of racially coded slurs. Obama is “the food stamp president,” Newt Gingrich told us. He wants to help “black people” (or was it “blah people”?) “by giving them somebody else’s money,” Rick Santorum said. Even his so-called GOP “friend” Sen. Tom Coburn insists Obama is spreading “dependency” on government because “it worked so well for him as an African-American male.”

Where Mitt Romney’s father, George, stood up to the rising tide of racism in his party and marched in fair housing protests in the 1960s, Mitt himself embraced the birther-in-chief Donald Trump during the 2012 campaign. And when things got tough in the fall campaign, he and Paul Ryan doubled down on racial appeals by accusing Obama of weakening welfare reform – he hadn’t – and of giving white seniors’ hard-earned Medicare dollars to Obamacare recipients. And we all know who they are.

Now we have John Boehner, elected House speaker thanks to the Tea Party wave of 2010, shutting down the government over Obamacare. Boehner has the power to open the government by bringing a clean continuing resolution to the floor and allowing it to pass with the help of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. Should we expect such courage? In one of his first major media appearances after becoming speaker, he refused to rebuke the birthers in his caucus. “It’s not up to me to tell them what to think,” he told NBC’s Brian Williams.

Now he’s kowtowing to the roughly 30 House Republicans from bright red districts that also happen to be almost exclusively white, in a country that is more than one-third non-white. They want to shut down the government to torpedo Obamacare, the signature program of our first black president. Obviously, though he’s the leader, Boehner believes it’s not up to him to tell the GOP suicide caucus what to think. Although the speaker told reporters after Obama’s re-election that Obamacare was the law of the land, and that a government shutdown would be bad for the country, he changed his tune when confronted with an insurrection, and the de facto House speaker who happens to be a senator, Ted Cruz. (Cruz’s father, by the way, just joined the ranks of those who seem to believe Obama is a Muslim, telling a Colorado woman who made that claim: “[Sen. John] McCain couldn’t say that because it wasn’t politically correct. It is time we stop being politically correct!”

In the end, it’s all about Obama. I keep waiting for John Boehner to have his “Take this job and shove it” moment, since he’s not the House leader, he’s being led by Ted Cruz and the House suicide caucus. But I’ve been waiting a long time for Republicans to do the right thing and repudiate their party’s lunatic fringe, particularly its racist fringe. I assume I’ll be waiting a while longer.

Joan Walsh is Salon's editor at large and the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."


TOPICS: Issues; Parties; U.S. Congress; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: boehner; govtshutdown; joanwalsh; obama; racist; salon; shutdown; teaparty
It never ends, does it?
1 posted on 10/02/2013 12:56:43 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Don’t need to read it to know it’s a loaded sack of BS.


2 posted on 10/02/2013 1:02:59 AM PDT by wastedyears (One nation, under wub. Saints Row IV)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’d never hit a woman, but I’d make an exception in her case.


3 posted on 10/02/2013 1:06:27 AM PDT by Heavyrunner (Socialize this.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would say one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.

The author had to use a very large dredge to come up with this one.


4 posted on 10/02/2013 1:11:52 AM PDT by wita
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh, for the Sake of Pete!


5 posted on 10/02/2013 1:14:04 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Henceforth, the Office of the President shall be known as IMPOTUS)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is satire, right?


6 posted on 10/02/2013 1:27:45 AM PDT by BlueCat
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Actually it does: Self-hating white liberals are the fastest disappearing demographic in the US. They won’t be missed.


7 posted on 10/02/2013 1:29:27 AM PDT by FredZarguna (With bell, book, and candle, please.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
...... government as the enemy, an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else.

Well, at least that part is true.

8 posted on 10/02/2013 1:36:51 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s been developed on the social sites for a while now. The progs are taking down the country and they will have the media to place the blame elsewhere. I’m not laughing because today’s head-shaker will be tomorrow’s “news analysis”. The angry crowds will need a scapegoat to place blame on.


9 posted on 10/02/2013 1:37:31 AM PDT by martian622 (The Revolution is being televised.)
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To: martian622

Ah, but there’s the rub. For every crowd they assemble, we could gather five, should we have the nerve.


10 posted on 10/02/2013 1:50:03 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the mainland US There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The left realy hates non-blacks and uppity blacks for wanting the liberty and freedom to be self reliant. This horse faced self hating racist


11 posted on 10/02/2013 1:55:44 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (What's the frequency, Kenneth?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dear joan,
I think you need a vacation. I know just the place, or places, your choice, not expensive at all. If you like, you can even have a room on the tenth or eleventh floor with a view. This is not to say you will like what you see, hut it would suit you quite well nonetheless since you are so inclined to judge Americans by your own ill informed fantasies.
First, I would recommend Detroit, preferably a garden apartment in an upscale project in a city run by democrats who you seem to idolize for their compassion towards minorities. The catch is, you must stay for at least a week to get the best rates and a feel for the lifestyles of the poor and miserable. Oh, and you can’t use your celebrity for perks. You will be just another person living la vida loca.
Then there is Philadelphia, also run by democrats, where you MIGHT be able to book a subsidized rowhouse for real cheap in a low rent neighborhood of your choosing. Same rules apply. I would advise against wearing jewelry if you intend to walk anywhere and an expensive car, woman all alone, is definitely a no no. Expensive shoes are out as well unless you enjoy black eyes, broken jaws, and bare feet.
Of course, there are alternatives. You could travel to Newark, also run by democrats, where you might find a basement apartment for rent VERY cheap because rats love basement apartments where it’s rather dingy and damp because of the sewers and all, but you’ll get used to it if you live. After all, New Jersey IS the ‘Garden State’.
There are other places you could try, but these are my top recommendations if you prefer the east.
This way you can live in the utopia the democrats have provided through their benevolence and altruism.

And I mean, what have you got to lose except your life?


12 posted on 10/02/2013 1:56:11 AM PDT by MestaMachine (My CAPS work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: Conspiracy Guy

Well I guess I posted half way through writing my comment. Damn cat.


13 posted on 10/02/2013 1:58:41 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (What's the frequency, Kenneth?)
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To: Gaffer

See Post #12


14 posted on 10/02/2013 2:01:48 AM PDT by MestaMachine (My CAPS work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: Conspiracy Guy

LOL


15 posted on 10/02/2013 2:02:41 AM PDT by MestaMachine (My CAPS work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Salon still publishing?


16 posted on 10/02/2013 2:08:13 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It’s the culmination of 50 years of evolving yet consistent Republican strategy to depict government as the enemy, an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else . . . He and his strategists had succeeded in making government synonymous with “welfare,” and “welfare” synonymous with lazy people, most of them African-American.

She's a racist. Government is an oppressor. Government works primarily as the protector of parasites and criminals who milk the system, including welfare, to steal from those who produce. The truth is that I visualize those parasites as mostly white, and it is racist for her to stereotype them as black. Doesn't she know that liberals have brought all losers (and that is mostly whites) down to their level?

17 posted on 10/02/2013 3:06:38 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: Heavyrunner

> I’d never hit a woman, but I’d make an exception in her case.

You call that shell a woman? Look at those eyes and that smile. She’s just another Obamazombie demon inhabiting a human body...lol


18 posted on 10/02/2013 3:20:20 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The race card has been played. It’s over. ‘Rats lose.


19 posted on 10/02/2013 3:26:26 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.
You didn't have to be racist to thrill to Reagan's declaration that "government is not the solution; government is the problem," though it didn’t hurt.

20 posted on 10/02/2013 3:49:26 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

how is someone born of a white mother of slaveowner stock the first black president. at most hes the first light skinned biracial.


21 posted on 10/02/2013 3:55:40 AM PDT by hecht (america 9/11, Israel 24/7)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
In the end, it’s all about Obama.

That (almost) last line says it all. For them it is all about Obama and how the color of his skin makes them feel. People like this woman are obsessed with color and believe everyone else is too. They can't see past the color of his skin and have no idea that THAT actually is racist.
22 posted on 10/02/2013 4:03:22 AM PDT by CelesteChristi
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This *unt wants to be black so badly but she cannot wish her white skin away. Instead... she has blackened her soul with hate and is guilty of the sins of which she accuses those who disagree with her. She is the CONSUMMATE democrat demon.


23 posted on 10/02/2013 4:03:54 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: martian622
The growing level of black on white violence (now approaching epidemic levels) is fueled by writers such as this and by progressives in general. The give their implicit approval to all the flash mobs and the "justice for Treyvon" murders by not speaking out against them. They are as responsible for this as are the Mulllahs who incite their uneducated followers to kill innocent people,

Writings like this try to create white guilt. White guilt is why whites stay silent in the face of black on white violence. By not fighting back, it only encourages more violence white at the same time creating black entitlement. Black entitlement is why there is not criticism from black leaders on this issue.

Then again, progressives thrive on violence.

24 posted on 10/02/2013 4:15:11 AM PDT by Sir_Humphrey (Is it too late to save the country?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve been hearing this stuff for fifty years. Any attempts to rein in federal spending have always been met with cries of racism directed at people who are trying to keep costs from going out of sight. Walsh is just the latest in a long line of not-too-bright libs who use the epithet of racism to attempt to disguise the fact that liberalism is a destructive vehicle. They shout “racism” because they have no legitimate arguments. Major welfare reforms were undertaken during the Clinton admin. But of course, Clinton wasn’t a nasty racist, he was the first black president. If Reagan or either Bush had done the same thing, the shouts of “racism” would have been deafening.


25 posted on 10/02/2013 4:15:47 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I would hit it - with a car door.


26 posted on 10/02/2013 4:59:47 AM PDT by Noumenon (What would Michael Collins do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

She views black people as helpless children - and WE’RE the ones who are racists?


27 posted on 10/02/2013 5:03:15 AM PDT by randita
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It never ends, does it?


Who’s listening (or reading) anymore? Lame Duck waddling...


28 posted on 10/02/2013 5:08:43 AM PDT by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There is a lot of White Guilt with this one.


29 posted on 10/02/2013 5:41:51 AM PDT by Mr. Quarterpanel (I am not an actor, but I play one on TV)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh Lord, they are frantic when they try to play the race card on this issue.
I wonder what time the White House fax ordering the press to play the race card arrived at the WaPo? Has Mika mentioned it yet?


30 posted on 10/02/2013 5:47:29 AM PDT by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All

The regime ans its media army took a cut and dried criminal episode between a person working security and his attacker and perverted it through its propagamda arm into a racial incident and because of it martyrs result . Until the facts get outed figers get pointed at those media sources that were complicit this krap is going to continue and their pretence of using them as reliabile informational sources sustained.


31 posted on 10/02/2013 5:52:59 AM PDT by mosesdapoet (Serious contribution pause.Please continue onto meaningless venting no one reads.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

She engages in fantasies instead of research and objectivity, which is an interesting way to write an article.

Who is the fool who paid this fool?


32 posted on 10/02/2013 5:58:02 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberal: A person who charges their grandchildren for today's party)
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To: CelesteChristi

While in Fort Collins, Colorado, I was engaged in a political tiff with some liberal. I brought up a series of constitutional points on why Obama wasn’t doing his job. The liberal’s reply was predictable: “You’re just a racist.”

This is not stupidity. It IS psychotic behavior.


33 posted on 10/02/2013 6:01:10 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberal: A person who charges their grandchildren for today's party)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dear Joan, I’m curious. Do you take drugs or do you need drugs? Seriously. Yes. I hate Obama. Yes, it is about color. He’s red. Your specious accusations that people who are against Obama simply because of race is the most obscene lie ever cast against a patriotic people and is so intellectually dishonest one has to wonder about your sincerity if not your sanity.

Please stop.

Immediately.


34 posted on 10/02/2013 6:06:17 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: Loud Mime

You’re right. It is psychotic. Brainwashed groupthink. It’s disturbing that the lib/prog/dem mind is so easily controlled and directed. I don’t trust any prog on any level because they don’t think for themselves. They have a pack mentality, like a mob. And if they can be convinced as a group to chant “racist, racist”, what else can they be convinced to do?


35 posted on 10/02/2013 2:35:40 PM PDT by CelesteChristi
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To: CelesteChristi
<< "They have a pack mentality, like a mob. And if they can be convinced as a group to chant “racist, racist”, what else can they be convinced to do?" >>

Barabas! Barabas! Or,

Crucify him!

Take your pick.

36 posted on 10/02/2013 2:45:20 PM PDT by Nita Nupress ( Use your mind, not your emotions. Refuse to be manipulated by Marxists!)
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To: Nita Nupress

Exactly.


37 posted on 10/02/2013 2:50:05 PM PDT by CelesteChristi
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To: CelesteChristi

I highly recommend Ann Coulter’s”Demonic.” It covers the mob mentality quite well.


38 posted on 10/02/2013 3:21:44 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberal: A person who charges their grandchildren for today's party)
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To: Loud Mime

Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll pick it up at Audible.


39 posted on 10/02/2013 3:35:07 PM PDT by CelesteChristi
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It won’t end until after CW2, if even then.


40 posted on 10/02/2013 6:38:15 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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