The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Race

Thomas Sowell has an excellent column in today's dead tree Rapid City Journal. The column can be read here at the Jewish World Review. A second column on race is available here.

Many on the left are now trying to position opposition to President Obama's health care bill in the shadow of racism. Demonizing the opposition has been an effective political tool for as long as there has been politics. Sowell cites the supposed racial slurs which were supposedly slung at the Congressional Black Caucus as they marched to take their share of credit (blame) for the health care bill.

But no such slurs were slung. An army of recording devices (from every political bias) didn't pick up a single slur. It was propaganda. And, while Democrats are famous for comparing Republicans to Nazis, it is now they who have enlisted the tactics of Joseph Goebbels. It is they who wish to change the perception of honest dissent to racial violence.

Take a look at Goebbel's Principles of Propaganda here.

Then, tell me you have not seen some of these tactics being used by the Obama Administration, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the DNC.

And, don't bother to tell me that the Bush Administration used some of the same tactics. I know they did. But, they never used race.

Sowell's columns are telling. Opposition to Obama must be about race, the Democrats say, because dissent just couldn't possibly be about the man's utterly horrible performance. Ladies and gentlemen, we the voters, have replaced the worst president in history with the worst president in history. Won't our grandchildren be proud?


Long Haul said...

Politics: The continuous argument over who gets to do what to whom; for how long, and against what degree of dissent. --Lewis Lapham, Harper's Magazine

Bill Fleming said...

I'd like to see your evidence for Obama's being the worst president in history, Mike.

Meanwhile you might enjoy this recent essay by Frank Rich (while you're digging for data):

Bill Fleming said...

Also Mike, look at the URL below and find us someone... any one... who has higher approval ratings than Hillary Clinton and Barrack Hussein Obama.

Also check the performance ratings of the Dems vs Repubs in Congress.

Michael Sanborn said...

You're kidding right, Bill? Citing a column that cites Chris (tingle in my leg) Matthews, Mark Halperin (MSNBC)? You have got to be kidding!?

You don't see me citing Glen Beck or Bill O'Reilly or any of the nuts over at FOX. Why are your liberal nuts more believable than conservative nuts? is also a liberal-leaning poll, just as Rasmussen is right-leaning. You know about polls and you know how to do a push-pull poll and you know how believable they are. Why try to sell that here?

Evidence he is the worst president in history:

Earth shattering deficit spending on programs the voters do not want.

Failure to end the war in Iraq, as promised

Failure to govern transparently

Failure to do something successful about unemployment, as promised (remember it wasn't going to rise above 8 percent?)

Failure to work with Republicans, as promised.

Failure to stop race baiting by his own party.

Failure to maintain a confident military.

Failure to do something about the horrendous "don't ask, don't tell" policy of his buddy Clinton, so that crap like the outing of the Ellsworth airman doesn't happen.

Exactly what has he accomplished, beyond signing a bill that had zero bi-partisan support (unlike the New Deal and FDR's Social Security)?

Bill Fleming said...

Citing a column that cites Chris Matthews is your only critique, Mike?

Did you see all the Republicans he cites? Don't be so lazy, man We should at least be able to count on you to read and think.

Polling Report is a collection of ALL the polls, Michael.

Rasmussen is one of them, as are the Fox polls.

And I've forgotten more about polling than you'll ever know, Michael.

For example, the Rasmussen polls typically demonstrate what is called a "house" effect, not because they are push polls, but rather because they sample "likely voters" which in most cases excludes young people, voters new to the political process, and voters who only vote occasionally.

As to your ridiculous list of "proofs":

1. Which voters don't want it, Show us the data.

2. The war in Iraq is winding down quickly.

Did you want them to pull out the next day after inauguration? Get real.

3. What specifically has he not been transparent about? Again, you're just buying into the talking points.

4. Jobs are on the upswing, and job losses have been decreasing since inauguration day. Do you want to see the chart from the Labor department?
Here, check it out. Note the Bush years are in red:

5. Failure to work with Republicans. Hahahaha! You mean the party of "No?" or the party of "Hell No?"
You're really sounding like Sarah Palin here, Mike, sorry to say. You need a reality check, little brother.

6. Race baiting? Show me the money, Michael. No, not you... Michael Steel, who just played the race card the other day. Want a video clip. If you think there's no race stuff going on here Michael, you've got your head in the sand.

7. A confidant military? Good lord, man, he's kicking ass military wise, don't you read the papers?

8. Don't ask don't tell is a fair point. It's happening but not fast enough. Even so, his approach here by no means makes him the worst president in history, since its a far more enlightened policy already than the one other great presidents held.
I notice the farther you go down the list, the more you seem to be grabbing at straws.

9. The last question is for you to look up Michael. You obviously need to do your homework. I already know the answers, but wouldn't want to deprive you of the joys of scholarship. A pleasure you appear to have forgone of late.

Michael Sanborn said...

Yeah, I get that pollingreport is a conglomeration of all the polls. And of the 15 polls cited in the new post above, all but 4 lean seriously to the left, and you know it.

You've diverted attention away from the original post, which was Obama resorting to the race card, which he did in the primary against Clinton and which, when times are tough, he, and other Democrats (Carter) can be counted upon play it again by calling anyone with a dissenting opinion a racist.

Obviously you didn't read the Thomas Sowell columns cited in the post.

I'm saying it isn't okay for anyone (including Steel) to be playing a race card in 2010. We're supposed to be more civilized than that.

Michael Sanborn said...


You probably have forgotten more about polling than I've ever known.

Did you forget that you can make them say whatever you want them to say?

Bill Fleming said...

Don't blame it on the pollsters, Michael, blame it on the reporters who don't know how to read them.

Thinking Democrat said...

I notice that Fleming praises himself quite often in his posts to various blogs. I also notice that no one else does.

"We should at least be able to count on you to read and think," he says. I think he means, "We should at least be able to count on you to read and parrot and insult, like me."

denature said...

Praise be to BF.

Bill Fleming said...

Mike, instead of haggling with me over what Obama's polls mean, and RC ancient history, why don't you ask Knudson, Daugaard, and Munsterman whether they agree with Gordon Howie about SD nullification of the HCR law?

Ask them if they support the frivolous lawsuit of SD vs US too, while you're at it.

In tight budget times, is this really what we should be spending SD taxpayer money on? Shouldn't it be going to schools instead.

Bill Fleming said...

Check here for similar conversation. Are you siding with Ellis and Howie on this Michael? Bob?

Bob Newland said...

Gordon Howie and Bob Ellis are vermin.

Bill Fleming said...

So Bob, be that as it may, do you support the Governor and Attorney General's efforts to sue the Federal Government over the Health Care Bill?

Mike, do you?

Bob Newland said...

I do.

Michael Sanborn said...

Well, Bill, since you seem to be here just to pick a fight, I'll say that I believe there are portions of the health care bill that are unconstitutional. Apparently the attorneys general in more than 20 states, including South Dakota agree.

I keep reading the Constitution over and over and I cannot find the clause that says the United States Federal Government can COMPEL a citizen to purchase something.

Show me where that is, Bill.

Gordon is YOUR pal, not ours. I don't dislike the guy, but I do dislike some of what he says...kind of like you.

I don't believe the Supreme Court (and that's where this is headed) will overturn the entire health care bill. I do believe there are portions of it that are simply unconstitutional, and I believe those, under the magnifying glass of the Supremes, will be overturned, line item by line item, but they won't overturn the whole thing. Given that, I don't disagree with South Dakota joining with other states on this one.

Kennedy is the key here. Nobody really knows where he will land on the deal. Ginsburg and Stevens will hang around until this issue is resolved by the Supremes, although it won't matter because Obama will appoint someone just as liberal to replace them.

So it comes to Kennedy.

Overturn parts: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito

Leave as is: Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor.

Swing: Kennedy. He'll be the guy the states will have to convince.

And no, I don't think it is a bad thing to have this sweeping legislation come under the scrutiny of the court.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided had the Democrats made the Republicans a part of the solution, which they didn't no matter what you say. They excluded Republicans from all discussion and came up with a bill that appears to be very much like dead mackerel by moonlight. It's shiney, but it stinks.

Michael Sanborn said...


"In tight budget times, is this really what we should be spending SD taxpayer money on? Shouldn't it be going to schools instead."

By the time this state and others get done paying for all the unfunded mandates contained in the health care bill, there will be no money left for schools, or parks, or roads, or natural resourses, or utilities and other infrastructure...


Bill Fleming said...


Not picking a fight, Mike. Creating robust dialogue. — something you guys seem to be unable to muster without coaching. Too bad. It's the lifeblood of your blog, if you really want to have one.

Unless of course you want a site like Ellis and Sibby which are basically just glorified soap boxes.

Your call though. If you guys just want people to kiss your ring and drool over your sagacity, let me know and I'll stay out of the conversation.


Bill Fleming said...

It's the first three powers under:

Article 1
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

That about covers it doesn't it?

If you don't buy insurance, you get taxed to pay the debts of Government and to provide for the general welfare. Same reason you get FICA taxed.

The rest has to do with regulation from state to state. Simple. I get that you don't like it, but there it is.

Bob Newland said...

Your interpretation of the commerce clause gives a bunch of suits in DC the authority to, literally, do anything they want to do. I get that that is what you want, but that does not make it right.

Bill Fleming said...

It's important to remember that we already HAVE universal health care now. No one is refused care because they don't have insurance or are broke.

If you get in an accident, you're taken to the emergency room, no questions asked. Likewise if you present there with a stroke or a heart attack.

It's just the most expensive and least intentional form of national health care.

And people with pre-existing have to go bankrupt to get it.

Compared to that, a $300-700 a year tax is peanuts. (Besides, the Gov will probably be pretty lax in collecting it. Just a hunch.)

I think you guys are just getting your shorts in a bunch over a case you have no possible way of winning. Better to concentrate on making the law better instead of suing the government over a states rights issue you can't possibly win.

Bill Fleming said...

That's the way it is, Bob, and the way it has always been. If you don't like it, get your peeps to start lobbying their Govs and State legislatures to call for a Constitutional convention. Big Corporate and their puppets in the US Congress are never going to do it.

I've been harping on this for months, by the way, and you guys keep telling me it's a bad idea. But guess what, it's the ONLY workable idea.

Neal said...

Bill said:
"That's the way it is, Bob, and the way it has always been."

Right on the first point, wrong on the 2nd.

Yes, under current commerce clause jurisprudence, the health care reform bill is probably constitutional.

As for your suggestion that the commerce clause was *intended* to confer upon the federal govt the powers it currently exercises ... well that's just totally wrong.

I have neither the time nor the desire to disabuse you of this nonsense by way of a blog comment, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

But Newland is right: the way the commerce clause is currently interpreted, the feds have the power to do anything they want. Literally.

So much for the "laboratories of democracy" that the states were intended to be.

Bill Fleming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Fleming said...

I suppose Neal has a point. Lincoln & The Civil War did change things a little.

Bill Fleming said...

Now, as for your and Sowell's assertions that there were no racial slurs, I submit that you weren't there, Michael, and neither was Sowell.

These people were:

And I have seen the video, the people spitting, the victims wiping the spit off their faces, the mocking crowds, the hateful signs. I have heard the taped phone calls, with the offensive words bleeped out, and watched footage of the offenders being arrested.

And more to the point, I have heard all that and more, first hand in microcosm, on the streets of Rapid City all my life.

Now, if you want to deny it Michael, be my guest.

But I really expected more of you than that.