Skip to comments.The real story of the shutdown: 50 years of GOP race-baiting (Guess who?)
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. Youll read lots of explanations for the dysfunction, but the simple truth is this: Its 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 wasnt an accident, it was probably inevitable.
People talk about the role of race in Richard Nixons 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 GOPs 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 didnt have to be racist to thrill to Reagans declaration that government is not the solution; government is the problem, though it didnt 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 GOPs 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 cant say nigger that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states rights, and all that stuff, and youre getting so abstract. Now, youre talking about cutting taxes, and all these things youre 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 Cramers 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. Doles discomfort seemed a little deeper and more genuine; in the end, Bush acceded to Atwater and Roger Ailes, one of Richard Nixons media henchmen, to produce the infamous Willie Horton ad that helped torpedo Michael Dukakis.
Over and over, thats how things got worse: Republicans who know better, who probably arent 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 theyve been taught to fear for 50 years. Start with miscegenation: Hes not just black, hes the product of a black father and a white mother. (That helps explain an unconscious motive for birtherism: They cant 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, hes 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 Bachmanns words, Obama is a product of Chicagos 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 elses 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 Romneys 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 hadnt 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. Its not up to me to tell them what to think, he told NBCs Brian Williams.
Now hes 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 hes the leader, Boehner believes its not up to him to tell the GOP suicide caucus what to think. Although the speaker told reporters after Obamas 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. (Cruzs 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 couldnt say that because it wasnt politically correct. It is time we stop being politically correct!
In the end, its all about Obama. I keep waiting for John Boehner to have his Take this job and shove it moment, since hes not the House leader, hes being led by Ted Cruz and the House suicide caucus. But Ive been waiting a long time for Republicans to do the right thing and repudiate their partys lunatic fringe, particularly its racist fringe. I assume Ill 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."
Don’t need to read it to know it’s a loaded sack of BS.
I’d never hit a woman, but I’d make an exception in her case.
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.
Oh, for the Sake of Pete!
This is satire, right?
Actually it does: Self-hating white liberals are the fastest disappearing demographic in the US. They won’t be missed.
Well, at least that part is true.
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.
Ah, but there’s the rub. For every crowd they assemble, we could gather five, should we have the nerve.
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
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?
Well I guess I posted half way through writing my comment. Damn cat.
See Post #12
Salon still publishing?
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?
> Id never hit a woman, but Id 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
The race card has been played. It’s over. ‘Rats lose.
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 didnt hurt.