April 10, 2010

"The art with which 'Dreams From My Father' is constructed to serve his deepest personal needs shows how ludicrous is the charge of Rush Limbaugh and others that he did not write it."

That laughably incomprehensible sentence is written by Garry Wills in his NYT book review of David Remnick's new book about Barack Obama (inanely titled "The Bridge").

I mean, really,the book serves Obama's interests — excuse me: deepest personal needs — so therefore he must have written it himself. Absurd!
Remnick rightly sees that memoir as a bildungsroman in the specifically black form of a “slave narrative,” a story of the rise from dependency to mature self-possession. 
Oh, for the love of God. How does a privileged modern American get to style himself as a slave?
In order to place himself in that tradition, Obama darkens the early part of the story and lightens the concluding sections. He trims the facts to fit the genre, just as he trimmed the events in his Selma speech to fit the black sermon format. 
Trims the facts, eh? Some would call that lying. Or just bullshit.
Obama was not literally a slave in his youth...
Now there's a concession!
... but he was in thrall to false images of his father, fostered by his mother’s protective loyalty to her husband. 
You see the similarity? He was "in thrall" — etymologically, enslaved — to... to what? To nothing. That sentence just says that Obama's mother presented him with a positive image of his absent father. That's nothing like slavery. It's insensitive to slaves to make that analogy. Hell, it's insensitive to common sense!
Since Obama comes to a later recognition of his father’s flaws, the story is crafted to show him shedding false idealism to become a pragmatic realist. 
Which has nothing to do with slave narratives.
The narrative protects him from claims that he is an ideologue or peddler of false hopes.
Yeah? How?

109 comments:

eve said...

I think it is outstanding that a man who has written two autobiographies before he was fifty would have to modesty not to trumpet his magnificent college and law school grades. Humility is what I think of when I think of President Obama.

Trooper York said...

Hey I really enjoyed his first two books and I can't wait for the next one where he joins Starfleet and gets those cool sunglasses.

peter hoh said...

To borrow a line from another thread, "Did you pay money for that?"

edutcher said...

It seems the farther down The Zero goes, the more desperate those who tied their wagons to his star become. Logically, there's no reason to believe Dreams wasn't ghost-written, at least in part (witness "Profiles In Courage"). But The Messiah must be shown to be perfect or the charade falls apart.

That said, eve is thinking the same thing I have. His birth cert is probably in order (although the laughable assertion that being born on the Canal Zone did not satisfy the requirement of being born in the US may have constituted a (abortive) pre-emptive strike on the McCain camp over the whole birther thing), but doesn't rule out something odd about why he hasn't released his medical records and academic transcripts.

dbp said...

What is it with liberals and using the word "bildungsroman" instead of coming of age story?

This is the second time I've come across it. Last time was in the bloggingheads TV episode where Althouse was comparing Obama and Palin's books. The uber-liberal lady kept calling Obama's book great literature and again with the "bildungsroman".

dbp said...

edutcher said...
It seems the farther down The Zero goes, the more desperate those who tied their wagons to his star become.

I agree, but couldn't help thinking that I would have phrased the second part thus: the more desperate those who tied their leashes to his car bumper become.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

As I read articles like this, I think:

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

lucid said...

Remnick/Wills write:"
"Remnick rightly sees that memoir as a bildungsroman in the specifically black form of a “slave narrative,” a story of the rise from dependency to mature self-possession."

Somebody should tell Charles Dickens that Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, etc. are really slave narratives instead of 19th Century English Lit, since they concern a movement from dependency to mature self-possession.

And I always thought those were called coming-of-age novels. All those bildungsromans were really slave narratives. Who knew?

I guess James Joyce was really writing potato-famine, British imperialism novels.

Just goes to show how unbelievably stupid and unconsciously patronizing libs like Remnick and Wills become when they try to talk about race.

Or, when in the interests of trying to be holy and pure about race, they try to do hagiography on a living and remarkably inept president.

Bob said...

> Obama darkens the early part of the story and lightens the concluding sections

Sounds like a pretty racist description to me. The reviewer obviously thinks Obama's maturation is a process of becoming white.

wv: cownpe -- #1 to cowpie's #2

F said...

Obama a pragmatic realist? WTF? He's a narcissistic liar. F

Kirstin said...

I just got home from church, where the pastor reminded us that Jesus was the Bridge.

Even Gwen Ifill is skeptical of "Dreams" now.

Pogo said...

How brave were those who broke the shackles of metaphorical slavery.

The tales of the heroes of the sham underground railroad have yet to be told.

Coming soon in BHO's next book.

Mark said...

This is getting to be an old, stale point, but now isn't the right time to realize that all the evidence has pointed from before the man entered the Senate to the conclusion that Obama is a grifter.

That a lot of people still need to believe they haven't been conned isn't surprising, just sad.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I'm so happy that we have someone so privileged to know the deepest recesses of Barack Obama's psyche as Ann Althouse is. Hell! Obama might as well not even exist! Ann Althouse must be more expert on everything that shaped his own identity (by virtue of nothing other than her own implied assertions), so why should Obama even explain a thing about what he thinks of the forces that shaped him, let alone write an autobiography about it?

Well done, Ann. I'm very convinced. Especially coming from someone who passes off (reinvents?) her own privileged undergraduate schooling as something much more humble than it really was.

BeckyJ said...

Like David said...gaaaahhhhh! Do Remnick & Wills really believe what they're writing??

LYNNDH said...

PAP! All of it, BO's books and this book and article.

Pogo said...

Ritmo, cast off your faux chains!

TheCrankyProfessor said...

Well, Gary Will is a tool - that's the basic lesson. Scholar? Intellectual? No - man in thrall to the Democratic Party.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

bildungsroman is the new gay.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Ann,

Does the NY Times pay you to link to their articles?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh Pogo! I just can't! I can't! I see victimhood everywhere (except where Roger Ailes tells me to see it)!

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Nah. He's just a poseur.

And I'm not at all convinced Obama wrote the book(s).

(Seen his article in the Columbia newspaper from 1983?)

Chip Ahoy said...

Since Wills likes the book so much he drop Ayers a note thanking for doing such a fine job of interpreting Obama's experience for him and for actually saying something interesting in under 1,000 pages. See how that circular logic works and non sequitur work?

Interesting + under 1,000 pages = ghost written. It's ludicrous to think otherwise.

JAL said...

How much time did Obama spend in Kansas before he campaigned there?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Chip, why the avatar change? I liked your last one better. This one looks more like a mugshot of Emilio Estevez after he took a few too many uppers at a bash with some college kids or Hollywood buddies.

William said...

Tea partiers are racist to the same extent that Obama is a great writer.....At what point does an ideal become a delusion. Gary Wills and David Remnick know a lot about writing, and they're good at their trade. That's why it is so jarring when professional writers of real accomplishment describe Obama as a great writer. It's like a distinguished professor of medicine at John Hopkins describing their chiropractor as a great healer.....And they wonder why so many doubt global warming.

GMay said...

"What is it with liberals and using the word "bildungsroman" instead of coming of age story?"

It's sort of like their overuse of French phrases in their writing.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Are the false images of Obama's father going to have to pay him reparations now?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

William, even Jake Cashill (who makes the strongest case that William Ayers wrote Dreams from my Father) agrees that the book is well-written. So why don't you get your side to choose the case they want to make and stick with it?

Some consistency wouldn't be a bad thing for your side.

Fred4Pres said...

At least I did not vote for him.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Recommended cover photo for The Bridge.

Or if Remnick wants a less inane title, may I suggest Uncle Oedipus' Cabin?

Andrea said...

This book review is the suck-up of all suck-ups. What did Gary Wills do that he had to write such a tongue bath of an article? Did he stub his toe and the n-word slipped out or something?

Re: "Bildungsroman" -- what irritates me is the way no one ever capitalizes it. In German all nouns are capitalized. When you're using a foreign word in order to impress people with your erudition, you could at least use the word correctly.

cf said...

This is one of your best blogs. Okay--So with Wills it's like shooting the side of a barn, but still it's great.

Beta Rube said...

I won't be able to comment until the AP's crack team of fact checkers gives a thorough going over to The One's screed.

I also think any reviewer using "bildungsroman" should also be required to use "ersatz" and "farfegnugen" somewhere along the line.

Methadras said...

There is nothing leftards will do to suckle at the cock of the presidential Oreo.

Methadras said...

dbp said...

What is it with liberals and using the word "bildungsroman" instead of coming of age story?

This is the second time I've come across it. Last time was in the bloggingheads TV episode where Althouse was comparing Obama and Palin's books. The uber-liberal lady kept calling Obama's book great literature and again with the "bildungsroman".


It's the same stupid shit that people use to inject foreign words, mostly french into the linguistics instead of just using good old english. They think they are clever and they want others to think so too. Touche`

dennisr2 said...

Some very cool comments on this post. I especially love these two:

The reviewer obviously thinks Obama's maturation is a process of becoming white. -- Bob at 9:10

Tea partiers are racist to the same extent that Obama is a great writer -- William at 10:14

WV: folas -- What Obama is always trying to do.

William said...

Ritmo: I don't doubt that Obama is a better writer than the average politician. That doesn't make him a great writer....I have only read a brief excerpt from Dreams of My Father. It was in my estimation professionally done but still a far distance from great writing. I'm sure a more sympathetic reader would have rated it higher, but the part I read simply could not be described as great writing.....I agree with you that there is something contradictory about simultaneously claiming that Dreams is a clumsy book and that Obama could not have written it. This is nothing compared to the logical lapse in thinking that Obama is a great man and that, therefore, his jottings are great literature.....Just as a test compare your favorite passage from your favorite great book with your favorite passage from Obama's opus. The bet here is that you still remember Gatsby stretching out his arms and don't remember diddly about Dreams.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Excellent deconstruction of another typical useless NYT book review.

That is why I no longer read the NYT Book Reviews since they are simply coloring-book explanations to the faithful on how to understand & view new books, er, works, that are worthy of discussion by serious people. And anyway I always had to unlearn the next day so much of what I thought I’d learned from the NYT.

BTW commenters: A Handbook To Literature uses the term "Bildungsroman". I mean I hate to be posing as "Former Eng Lit Student" (or showing myself a present pedant), but the term is a common one. It’s in the M-W Online & since it’s been adopted in English, I believe that Prof A may properly use it when writing English without an initial cap without thereby running afoul of German-language spelling rules.

And one of the critics here used the word “über”!

I agree with Strunk & White that one should "avoid foreign languages unless necessary or convenient, but you guys are having too much schadenfreude here.

Anyway, to continue my pose as “Former Eng Lit Student” let me say that since Obama's memoir involves the development of a great artist & writer, perhaps Prof A could, rather, have used Küstlerroman, “a form of apprenticeship novel in which the protagonist is a writer or an artist and in which his struggles from childhood to maturity are both against an inhospitable environment and within himself toward an understanding of his creative mission.”

I prefer "fable".

Buford Gooch said...

I finally understand. Ann voted for Obama, hoping that he would win so she would have a never ending source of blog posts.

Jason said...

The book has a certain... I-don't-know-what.

themightypuck said...

Really? Pick on someone your own size. One could attack pretty much 99% of literary criticism and reviews on the same vector. It works when the target isn't well known and the review becomes the work of art, otherwise, it is shooting fish in a barrel and somewhat unbecoming of a lady.

Seven Machos said...

What I find fascinating here is that Obama's biography as I understand it has no American slavery in his background whatsoever.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I know for a fact that Obama never had the experience that other black descendants of slaves in America had. He experienced no discrimination or saw how blacks were treated. Ever.

I know this because Fox News told me so.

So where did Machos get his information from? Fox News also?

He is just as confident in his assertions, and yet, he offers no sources. Why?

Does information just drop out of heaven, on high, and hit Machos on the head like an apple bouncing off the noggin of Sir Isaac Newton?

I want to know how our Lord imparts such great wisdom onto a man of so few words, and so little willingness to share his sources!

Machos, you ARE God-like!

But you are also very, very mysterious.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Machos wants us to think that the ski mask is just displayed in tribute to his Mexican wrestling heroes. But I think its purpose is really to protect him from falling apples!

Like, he might discover the concept of gravity or something with all that brainpower lurking beneath!

So his head must be kept safe from stray apples.

We will protect you, Master Machos. You never owned a slave, and are very considerate of the descendants of slaves - defending their legacy of racism and discrimination from nosy imposters like the half-Kenyan poseur Barack Hussein Obama. So true you are to keeping REAL SLAVERY from being cheapened in such a sick and disgusting way. But you are clearly the Master of All Knowledge on Earth and in the Universe.

You never owned any slaves. But you are certainly the master of knowledge and wisdom.

We are all slaves to your wise words. We owe you humble allegiance.

Master Machos.

Seven Machos said...

Montana Urban Legend -- I will bet you $1000 that you have watched Fox News substantially more than I have in the last year, or the last five years, or since its inception.

Obama's father was from Kenya. His mother was a white woman from Kansas. No one on either side of his family was an American slave. Therefore, Obama no American slavery in his background whatsoever.

There is nothing radical or incendiary in this statement of empirical fact. Do you assert that someone in Obama's family ancestry was an American slave?

Furthermore, you have played this game before. If you wish to argue with me and prove me wrong. you should attempt to demonstrate in some way that is not thoroughly silly and juvenile that I am wrong.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

OHhhhhhohohohhhhhoohhhh.... Great Master Machos challenging me on the No FOX News pledge!

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but I don't know if I will be able to meet you at sunrise at the Half-Moon Saloon in order to review cable bills.

Or else, I would if I hadn't cancelled my cable subscription over two years ago.

It's all a big waste of time.

As was Obama's memoir. EVERYONE knows that a black American is not a black American unless he was descended from slaves. Of course, some blacks like to think their being subjected to racism, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws and other forms of legal and informal discrimination had to do with the color of their skin, BUT THIS HAS NO BASIS IN EMPIRIC FACT WHATSOEVER!!!!!!1!!!!!11!1!1!!

Professor Machos has declared it thus.

Just them crazy liberals trying to substitute feelings for facts. The treatment of blacks was a figment of the left's crazy left-wing imagination; it had no basis in reality.

Dr. King told Machos (his protege) so.

I bet this means I lost your Pepsi challenge, right?

Seven Machos said...

I said: has no American slavery in his background whatsoever.

Where in that statement do you glean the fantastic inference that I said that Obama is somehow not an American? Tell us all how that's done.

Furthermore, as long as you bring it up, to which racism, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws and other forms of legal and informal discrimination has Obama been subjected, ever?

rhhardin said...

Bullshit art.

John0 Juanderlust said...

"Furthermore, as long as you bring it up, to which racism, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws and other forms of legal and informal discrimination has Obama been subjected, ever?"

He was forced to attend Harvard. I think anyone would agree that those scars are slow to heal.

Seven Machos said...

The part about suffering under anti-miscegenation laws is especially rich.

Ignore the facts. Recite the cant. Repeat. Day after embarrassing day. That's how it is for Montana Urban Legend.

And when you suddenly realize what an idiot you look like, change your identity and soldier on.

Revenant said...

Of course, some blacks like to think their being subjected to racism, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws and other forms of legal and informal discrimination had to do with the color of their skin

Hm. Obama is the product of "miscegenation", and neither of his parents was prosecuted or otherwise mistreated for it. Then I guess there's the terrible discrimination and mistreatment of being raised in a life of comfort and privilege, followed by being awarded a series of honors largely for being the right race at the right time.

Yeah, so I can see how the whole race thing was a real millstone around his neck. However did he overcome it?

Come on, now. There are plenty of black Americans who suffered because of the color of their skin, and plenty more (the overwhelming majority, really) who have ancestors who were mistreated for that reason. But Obama's not one of them. He might have a few slave OWNERS in his ancestry on both sides, but that's about it.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"I know for a fact that Obama never had the experience that other black descendants of slaves in America had. He experienced no discrimination or saw how blacks were treated. Ever."

Barack Obama enjoyed the privileged upbringing of a white man and for you to suggest otherwise is a patently racist thing to say, Ritmo. Does your racism know no bounds, sir?

Barack Obama did not grow up in the era of discrimination or slavery. He has never been told to pick cotton, or made to drink from a "white's only fountain" or been stopped at a schoolhouse door, nor pushed to the back of a bus. That was slavery. That was real discrimination. Not his snooty complainings.

To suggest otherwise is to deny completely the black experience and history in America - an era that the multi-millionaire Barack Obama never lived in.

Barack Obama grew up in an America the citizens of which secured for him the rights of all free men - many did so with their lives.

You're such a racist, Ritmo. I hope one day you pay a price for it.

Expat(ish) said...

@William; Gatsby

Good LORD man, Fitzgerald? I'd rather read Obama. Get thee to some Faulkner, stat.

Arms stretched out indeed, stretched out for a drink indeed boyo!

Kidding aside, you make an excellent point. Read Grapes of Wrath and compare the picture of suffering you get seared on your brain. Then read almost anything from the navel gazing generation about how they *suffered* because their dad left them, or they didn't have the right brand of topsiders, or whatever. Bleh.

-XC

wv: glesses - what the alcoholic needs to read Fitzgerald

Hagar said...

All societies I ever heard or read of have practised slavery in the past, so we are all descendants of slaves. It is only a question of how many generations ago.

For Obama, that may not be so many, since slavery is still practised in Africa and, at least on the q.t., in many countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

And be aware that the Indian-Mexican slave market at the Taos Pueblo did not go out of existence until the early 1930's.

Jason said...

Anti-miscegenation laws? In Hawai'i?!?!?!?

Ritmo, you just don't know how to pick your battles, huh?

Of course, no tale of urban negro victimization would be complete without an experience attending prestigious prep schools like Punahou.

From Inwood said...

Seven

That's why I prefer "fable".

"Bildungsroman" & "künstlerroman" presume some truth (I misspelled künstlerroman" last night! Posing while misspelling, sigh.)

Quayle said...

I see victimhood everywhere (except where Roger Ailes tells me to see it)!

Ritmo, you've got the lefty academy critical studies narrative hook so far down your throat that you couldn't take Ailes bate if it floated by.

You're a complete intellectual slave to a nonsensical world view of the left, and it shows with every attempt at irony and pith.

master cylinder said...

Ann, I just love to come here and see the new ways you invent each day to slam the pres. You are getting such good results! Everyone gets into it and slams him too! Great job here as always.

Solar said...

Now I'm a slave to the state.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"Furthermore, as long as you bring it up, to which racism, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws and other forms of legal and informal discrimination has Obama been subjected, ever?"

None. Just none. EVER. Isn't that clear in my post? You can trust me on this because I got it from FOX, Instapundit and Althouse.

As John Juanderlust put it, he went to Harvard. So this means, by definition, that he could have NEVER experienced or witnessed or identified with ANY racism or discrimination toward BLACKS. EVER!1!!!!!!11 Ok? Case closed. QED. End of story.

It would be a known fact - if it didn't plainly follow from each artfully constructed premise in this legal proceeding we are conducting. As everyone knows, trials MAKE reality! (Like in the O.J. Simpson trial). Are you not reading any of this? I am obviously in perfect agreement with you. Your questions are not even necessary as I will agree with them before I even hear what they are! Such is the power of Machos' logic - its reputation precedes it.

Jason said...

As a young caucasian kid growing up in Hawai'i public schools, I got to deal with Kill Haole Day.

Do I get to write an insipid autobiography, too? Will Bill Ayers help me?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Machos, even though you define the universal standard of honesty, I wish to point out something that your enemies may use against you. When you preface your question, you say that you said:

"I said: has no American slavery in his background whatsoever."

But this might be perceived as untrue (although it couldn't really be untrue because what flows from Machos' mouth is always the unadulterated, purest form of truth there is) because in your previous remark you did not use the verb "has":

"Therefore, Obama no American slavery in his background whatsoever."

What you must be on guard for is the fact that your enemies of truth may use this alteration against you. Now, you and I know that a mere verb doesn't make or break a sentence, but there's no telling what the academics, lefties and other Enemies of Truth (TM) will do. And what makes this all the more tragic is that you even put your phrase in bold. Twice:

"no American slavery in his background whatsoever."

at 1:17 AM and at 2:11 AM.

(But at 1:17 AM, as I said, you made that sentence happen without a verb, like this:

"Obama no American slavery in his background whatsoever."

Now, if you miss a detail like that, how is anyone going to believe that you have the goods on every single interaction that Barack Obama witnessed or was party to over the course of his life?

I thought you were the Obama as a Son of Privilege warrior in the Army of Obama De-Legitimzers (and you still are and will always be), but just be careful, ok? You never know what crazy details and standards of evidence the awful left, independents and other Enemies of Truth (TM) will require of a person in such a position of high importance as you!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I also know Obama has experienced no discrimination because when cops used racial profiling they made it a point to never pull over and question a black man just because he was black, but because they used their handy, hand-held computers to check his pedigree and identify American slaves in it, based on a DNA sample that they took of the suspect before even stopping him! That's right, they used handy devices that took DNA samples from black men with high-speed darts (from a distance) and matched the evidence to huge genealogy databases of slave ancestry before they could question the black man. It had nothing to do with the color of his skin WHATSOEVER QED CASE CLOSED END OF DISCUSSION SO SAID MACHOS AND SEAN HANNITY AND EVERY ONE ELSE THAT ROGER AILES HAS EMPOWERED TO TELL THE TRUTH REGARDING THIS PHONY IMPOSTER BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA FOREVER AND ALL TIME SO THERE!!!!!!111111!!!!!!!!!!11!!11111111111

Lincolntf said...

Having subjected myself to both of Obama's memoirs, I pity anyone attempting to defend either one. If there is an original thought concealed in any of those pages, it has somehow eluded detection despite the millions of volumes sold. The man is incapable of anything but restating the simple-minded cant that passes for deep discussion among the "educated class".
How anyone could have read either of those books and still voted for Obama is a bigger mystery to me than whether or not someone helped him fill in the blanks.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That was a very deep thought, Lincoln.

Lincolntf said...

Oh Please, Ritmo.
Those books sucked and you know it. There was nothing worth spit in either one of them. His command of the language is weak and the only "voice" that comes through is that of a C-student having to fill pages to meet quota.
If you found anything insightful, revelatory or even well written in either tome, feel free to enlighten me.
That piece of garbage "Audacity of Hope" is a particularly insipid book, maybe you've distilled some great wisdom from that one?
I even gave his navel gazing poetry a try. Got as far as "musty wet pelts" before I started feeling bad for him and had to quit.

FormerTucsonan said...

@Seven Machos:
no American slavery in his background whatsoever.

Wrong! Apparently, he's descended from slave owners.

eve said...

Ritmo: Oh, Jesus Christ!! Now we have the "driving while black" example of oppression. Pluuuuueeeeese. You probably believe that Tiger Woods had the N word written on his body when he was a boy. By racist whites in racist California in the racist 1970s. There is a hard core group of Democrats, probably born after the civil rights battles were won, that cry for the day when racism actually existed on a wide scale., North and South. Democrat and Republican.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I didn't read Audacity of Hope and don't plan on it.

Dreams from my Father I enjoyed, and yes, I found the larger connections he realized (especially in the former colony of Kenya) to be interesting. Narratives are subjective and come from personal experiences so if you don't relate to or appreciate the experience of momentarily returning from a place where you trade the connections you got from a respected, loving family for personal opportunity, then so be it. The plot was not to your liking - I guess Obama should change his personal history. Or not. I don't see differences of taste or opinion or resonance as a big deal when it comes to personal recollections.

As far as the writing goes, you say you have the book, so I'll assume that if it's the paperback edition, passages on pp. 27, 197, 270-271, or 328 might be of interest. Or not. No big deal. Personally I found the language used to describe some of these situations creative and the scenes themselves interesting.

Anyway, since no one gets anywhere by arguing matters of taste, why not just stick with the obvious dilemma for those who suffer from ODS? The best case for it's being ghost-written comes from Cashill, who doesn't argue that the alleged author, Ayers, is a bad writer. He argues the opposite. And Cashill is probably in a better position to judge writing than anyone here.

A.W. said...

Althouse,

I think I get what Wills is saying.

He is arguing that the author "writes like a black dude."

Which is stupid and racist, but there you go.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

There is a hard core group of Democrats, probably born after the civil rights battles were won, that cry for the day when racism actually existed on a wide scale., North and South. Democrat and Republican.

There is a hard core group of Republicans, probably born after the Civil War was won, that cry for the day when the Union was fractured and divided by race, class and whatever other division defined social harmony. South persistently, but not only - given sympathizers who have taken up their lost cause in the Midwest and elsewhere.

Jason said...

Sorry, bitch. Secession, slavery and Jim Crow were all Democrat causes.

Chris N said...

The problem here is not whether Obama is a good or not good writer, it's that the NY TImes has nothing left.

Althouse is continually pointing this out (the Times can't distinguish between good literature and bad, politics and higher aesthetic standards, the past and the future...it's all a 'narrative' excessive relativism)

As someone sympathetic to the 60's, and knowledgeable about how this fits in with leftist political ideology...I'm hoping she'll help her kids' generation deal with this big shit sandwich we've been handed.

Or not.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Sorry, bitch. Secession, slavery and Jim Crow were all Democrat causes.

Then why have Republicans made it their cause to pander to the people who mourn their end, bitch?

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 forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

Learn your history, bitch.

Or don't and be condemned to repeat it. As you are right now.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me the enjoyment of writing is rather like the enjoyment of wine. It's interesting to read other people's views, and in some cases their criticism can be instructive. But its more important to drink the wines I like rather than the ones a wine critic tells me I should like. So with reading. As always people can disagree..

Lincolntf said...

It's more than a matter of taste in this case. Those two pads of piffle were supposed to make up for the fact that nobody knew who the hell Obama was. We knew he'd given a speech and we knew that he'd slavishly voted the Party line in his brief Senate career.
We knew that he had once represented the South Side of Chicago (still just as much of a pit as when he started, wonder if he promised those folks "Change", too?) and we knew that he'd been a community organizer.

To really "know the man", we were supposed to read his memoirs. We did. They were the work of an intellectually immature grasper. Eager to make his privileged upbringing and lack of substantive achievement the stuff of an epic, he turned out a cookie-cutter version of the American Dream, with all the capitalism, effort and sacrifice curiously omitted.
He's always been a joke, and his books have always been the proof.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, well I see. For you there's an inherently political case to be made instead.

In which case...

Eager to make his privileged upbringing and lack of substantive achievement the stuff of an epic, he turned out a cookie-cutter version of the American Dream, with all the capitalism, effort and sacrifice curiously omitted.

Not too shabby when you compare that to the cookie cutter version of the American Dream (TM) achieved by John McCain's marriage to a beer heiress capable of providing the goods necessary for launching a career in politics (after dumping the faithful wife whose looks faded after a car crash) and Sarah Palin's grooming into the role courtesy of the wealthy and influential publisher-pundit Bill Kristol. Combine all that with McCain's dismal performance at the naval academy, his selection of an unqualified VP whose previous credentials (apart from amassing increasing debt on the part of the city and state she attempted to govern) included beauty pageant queen and sportscaster, and a clearer picture of McCain's character and priorities emerges.

I'd say Ayers wrote better talking points (if that's the case) than Kristol did. But then again, it's not very clear that the literary merit of Obama's books was really your concern so much as was the political case that could be made off of it.

I surely hope John McCain's and Sarah Palin's stunningly unoriginal recitation of The American Dream (TM) would have been more to your liking.

A larger portion of the country saw it as restrictive, stifling and rote.

And, oh yeah - They also saw the portrait painted by that dangerous duo as "intellectually immature".

It's a pity you choose not to relate to them.

Lincolntf said...

John McCain has many flaws, as does Sarah Palin. Both of them are worlds ahead of Obama in terms of intellectual depth, real world experience and personal virtuosity.
While the most hated working mother in America was busy raising a family, serving as Mayor, serving as Governor etc., Barry Obama was still shaking down the poorest slum dwewllers of Chicago in order to gild his resume.
While Chicago Jeebus was sucking up student grants from Whitey, John McCain was recovering from his war wounds.

The fact that a tool like Obama entranced a dipshit like you doesn't mean that he's deep. It just means that he still has a grip on the softies.

Jason said...

Then why have Republicans made it their cause to pander to the people who mourn their end, bitch?

They didn't, bitch, that whole line of reasoning is a libtard lie to its core.

Holy crap, you're going to trot out that tired old discredited racism meme by citing Percy Sledge's guitar player and a guy who cut an album with BB King?

Know why the Dixiecrats migrated to the Republican camp? Because the America-hating, pro-communist libtards got too stupid even for them.

How dumb can you get?

Jason said...

I'll tell you what else... I'm not even going to concede thing one to you, Ritmo. You know damn well that even if one stipulated your libtard lies as true, they still don't negate the fact that slavery, secession and Jim Crow were ALL Democrat causes, to the core.

Own it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Despite your demands, one thing I don't have the power to own is the ability to sanctify your desire to justify a one-party state. Only you have the power to own that.

Slavery was a "Democrat cause"? This is the dumbest piece of ahistorical nonsense I've ever heard. Was it Jeffersonian Democrats or Jacksonian Democrats who traveled back to Athens, Alexandria and every other corner of the ancient world to promote the age-old "cause" of slavery?

Fuck off and get a clue, numbnuts. And, oh yeah, find me a single historian willing to condone your revisionist bullshit regarding the Southern strategy.

Of course, you won't. And you can't. But that won't stop you from feeling personally responsible for it with these visceral outbursts of yours. Funny, that.

Looks like the only sense of ownership is coming from you. It seems to be what's fueling your temper.

Very transparent.

Jason said...

and that of a fictive American South that somehow never had a racist bone in it after the run of George Wallace.

1. Straw man. I never said the South never had a racist bone in it after George Wallace.

2. What racism there is there, we have Democrats to thank.

3. Ninety three percent of Southern Democrat Representatives and Ninety five percent of Southern Democrat senators voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Own it.

Jason said...

Despite your demands, one thing I don't have the power to own is the ability to sanctify your desire to justify a one-party state.

Straw man. I never said any such thing, nor implied it. We need a few Democrats around to remind us how stupid they are.

You sure are fond of straw man arguments. Too bad you don't know how to argue in good faith. No, you are reduced to misrepresenting my views. That's what losers do, when on the losing end of the facts.

Slavery was a "Democrat cause"

Precisely. In fact, Democrats are the only political entity in the modern western world to have gone to war specifically to preserve the institution of slavery.

Own it.

Was it Jeffersonian Democrats or Jacksonian Democrats who traveled back to Athens, Alexandria and every other corner of the ancient world to promote the age-old "cause" of slavery?

Straw man.

Take a logic course and get back to me.

And, oh yeah, find me a single historian willing to condone your revisionist bullshit regarding the Southern strategy.

Of course, you won't. And you can't.


Of course I can. Pretty easily. I'd start with Byron Schafer and Richard Johnston. I can do this because, unlike you, my grasp of American political history is more than talking-point deep.

fuck off and get a clue, numnuts... And you can't. But that won't stop you from feeling personally responsible for it with these visceral outbursts of yours.

Irony is most ironic when unintentional.

Funny, that.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"While Chicago Jeebus was sucking up student grants from Whitey, John McCain was recovering from his war wounds."

I love how you bury the racism midway through your rant. What a way to hide such a precious gem.

But it's a tactic I won't perpetuate. I'll put your real feelings up front, where everyone can see them. "Whitey". (Or however you prefer to be addressed).

"John McCain has many flaws, as does Sarah Palin. Both of them are worlds ahead of Obama in terms of intellectual depth, real world experience and personal virtuosity. "

I suppose that's why you abandoned your pretension to any literary analysis of Obama's works. Virtuosity? Really? In what arts where the Danger Duo virtuosos? Piano? Sculpture? What, exactly?

Your use of the phrase "intellectual depth" in the same sentence that contains reference to those two bastards is just a laughable joke, and too stupid to even respond to.

I'm feeling sorry for you already.

"While the most hated working mother in America was busy raising a family, serving as Mayor, serving as Governor etc., Barry Obama was still shaking down the poorest slum dwewllers of Chicago in order to gild his resume."

I'm sure you think there's no way that compares to how the "most hated working mother in America" continued sucking more tax money per capita to Alaska than almost any other state and earning the ire of Republican colleagues that found her too corrupt for even their tastes. And don't forget her bankrupting of Wasilla. (Again!) All this while running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, right?

$506.34 per Alaskan in 2008. Great model for the leader of the Tea Baggers, wouldn't you say? About as great a model for responsible teenage sexual habits.

The fact that a tool like Obama entranced a dipshit like you doesn't mean that he's deep.

I suppose here's where the limits of your erudition and pretension to literary criticism really stand out!

I mean, really, "LincolnWTFft"! THAT was deep.

And I commend you on your adept use of the language.

It just means that he still has a grip on the softies.

Despite your obvious depravity and failure to advance rational, civilized discourse (unless it agrees with the items already approved of in your one-track mind), I'll resist my clinical inclination to interpret this in a sexual manner.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

1. Straw man. I never said the South never had a racist bone in it after George Wallace.

And to which party do you think all his former supporters went?

Oh, that's right. You don't think.

2. What racism there is there, we have Democrats to thank.

Sure. Like racism wasn't a part of the human condition. A party just appeared, let's say call them "Democrats", and then so did racism.

Nice theory.

3. Ninety three percent of Southern Democrat Representatives and Ninety five percent of Southern Democrat senators voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Own it.


You seem to believe that historical facts depend on my endorsing them.

Oh, and their irrelevance doesn't, either.

Jason said...

And to which party do you think all his former supporters went?

Robert Byrd stayed Democrat, as did Fred Phelps.

The rest of them went to the party that wasn't running a peacenik, pro-Hanoi libtard like George McGovern.

It was a pretty easy choice.

Then you ran Carter, and he turned out beautifully. And then you ran Mondale against Reagan.

You didn't need a southern strategy from the GOP to hemmorhage representatives who wanted to remain viable candidates. Libtard Democrat stupidity did that all by itself.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Despite your demands, one thing I don't have the power to own is the ability to sanctify your desire to justify a one-party state.

Straw man. I never said any such thing, nor implied it. We need a few Democrats around to remind us how stupid they are.


Not a straw man if you use sarcasm to reinforce your belief that the other party is not necessary.

No, you are reduced to misrepresenting my views.

Really? I think you're doing a good enough job of misrepresenting your own views on your own.

Slavery was a "Democrat cause"

Precisely. In fact, Democrats are the only political entity in the modern western world to have gone to war specifically to preserve the institution of slavery.


The Southerners did. The Northern wing wanted to preserve the Union without war. What interest would Northern Democrats have had in preserving slavery? Are you really this ignorant?

Own it.

Again, funny belief system you maintain about how I have the capacity to validate historical facts -- or rather, your deep misunderstandings about them.

Do try to get some help for that.

Was it Jeffersonian Democrats or Jacksonian Democrats who traveled back to Athens, Alexandria and every other corner of the ancient world to promote the age-old "cause" of slavery?

Straw man.

Take a logic course and get back to me.


No straw man. You called slavery a "Democrat cause". This implies that it wasn't a human condition that existed before the Union, before American political parties, and before anything else that's relevant to your pissy rants. The Southern Democrats defended it and the Republicans were a Northern party. It's the South that needs to own it, not me. Not Democrats of 2010.

You need to own your own ill-considered and ignorant words. Eat them.

And, oh yeah, find me a single historian willing to condone your revisionist bullshit regarding the Southern strategy.

Of course, you won't. And you can't.

Of course I can. Pretty easily. I'd start with Byron Schafer and Richard Johnston. I can do this because, unlike you, my grasp of American political history is more than talking-point deep.


Why don't you cite the particular work of your revisionist Schafer, seeing as how little traction this "deep thought" of his seems to have gained? Maybe you can actually cite the passage that resonates so deeply with someone who discredits a quotation based on its link to B.B. King.

And this Johnston guy? Can't even find a historian by the name on the internets. Maybe you meant the blues musician? No? The bed and breakfast owner? Wait...! Was he the guy with the downloadable music on his MySpace page...? You devil!

Irony is most ironic when unintentional.

Funny, that.


You mean, the irony that finds me personally responsible for events hundreds of years before I was born, while getting angry for that fact? Actually, that's pretty funny.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Robert Byrd stayed Democrat, as did Fred Phelps.

The rest of them went to the party that wasn't running a peacenik, pro-Hanoi libtard like George McGovern.

It was a pretty easy choice.

Then you ran Carter, and he turned out beautifully. And then you ran Mondale against Reagan.

You didn't need a southern strategy from the GOP to hemmorhage representatives who wanted to remain viable candidates. Libtard Democrat stupidity did that all by itself.


What was Lee Atwater's reason for asserting otherwise? You don't believe the quote? How about Pat Buchanan's reasons?

What was William Buckley's position on civil rights in the 1950s when he was publishing the National Review?

Apparently Buckley did quite a job "cleaning up the party" of all the kooks that he later claimed he needed to rid it of. Very fantastic, spectacular, bang-up job. No racists voting Republican after that, in your mind.

What garbage you believe. Again, address Buchanan's memos to Nixon.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

National Review doesn't have the balls to electronically archive what Buckley wrote in print in 1957 regarding the voting rights act:

"The central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes - the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists."

As Jason would say, someone needs to "own it".

Jason would like you to believe that a purge of anyone with such attitudes or beliefs was later conducted on behalf of Buckley's own party, and that it was so successful that not a single influential faction of racists was left among them less than 13 years later.

But yet they remained, "by default" - (i.e. because of other reasons).

What a bunch of hooey.

If Jason wants to cast doubt on Buchanan's statements during the Nixon administration, what about his embrace of David Duke? Duke converted to the party that would accept him after 1988, which was the Republican party. This improved his fortunes greatly. Apparently the Republicans don't mind their racists whitewashed, if unrepentant. As long as they can bring home the votes.

I'm really looking forward to Jason's views on Dukes beliefs, Buchanan's defense of him, and the Republican party's embrace of him as a more viable candidate under their sponsorship.

Sounds like someone doesn't want to own something.

Only the denial of some on the hard-core right is strong enough to cover up the radioactive issue of the racism that lingers on in their midst.

Jason said...

No straw man. You called slavery a "Democrat cause". This implies that it wasn't a human condition that existed before the Union,

No. It doesn't. Go back to your logic class, kiddo.

And this Johnston guy? Can't even find a historian by the name on the internets.

Hey, you brought up the southern strategy. It's not my fault you're ignorant of the most prominent writers on the subject.

But since you need to be babysat, because you're fingers are typing out checks your fund of information can't cash, then look up "The End of Southern Exceptionalism."

Really, you do need to get some better sources than Talking Points Memo and The American Prospect.

I mean, it's one thing to disagree with a point of view. You are so pig-ignorant you didn't even know the point-of-view even existed.

Amazing.

Yet you, more than any other poster on Althouse, hide behind your ersatz erudition.

To paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, you don't know what you don't know.

What was Lee Atwater's reason for asserting otherwise?

I don't think he did. He did nothing more than state the obvious.

The most ferocious resistance to busing came not in the South, though, but in Massachusetts. Liberal, Kennedy-and-Dukakis-territory Massachussetts. A stronghold of Democrat power.

It's about time Democrats took responsibility for their vile, cynical, race-bating "northern strategy,"

You'll have to be more specific regarding Buchanan's memos to Nixon. I suspect you're projecting.

Jason said...

David Duke? Interesting guy.

Did you know he actually won the vice-presidential primary in New Hampshire in 1988?

As a Democrat.

He switched to being a Republican. Unlike Democrats, Republican officials tried to block his nomination when he ran for President in 1992 (he took less than 1% of the vote) and routinely endorsed his opponents in all of his primary races.

Duke, like many Democrats, is a racist fucktard. And Louisiana is an open-primary state. Racist southern democrats crossed over and voted for him in droves when he won a special election for a LA house seat.

His candidacy for Livingston's seat was condemned by Republicans.

Unlike the stunning acceptance of former Klansman Robert Byrd by the leadership of the Democrat party, the chairman of the Republican party went on record as saying 'there is no place in the party of Lincoln for a klansman.'

The Republican party despises its racists. The Democrats elect people like Robert "White Niggers" Byrd to West Virginia's Senate seat.

Seven Machos said...

Why do you people want to spend time arguing with an idiot who in past threads here has demonstrated that doesn't even know the basic political constitution of the Supreme Court?

Life is short. Call Montanitmo an idiot and move on.

el polacko said...

ACK !! yet another comment thread hijacked by a lefty loon.

Lincolntf said...

Ritmo, you ignorant slut.
The fact that you have been unwilling to even read "Audacity of Hope" is all anyone needs to know about your pathetic attempts to defend Obama's work.
Completely bereft of information, you fall back to Plan B and call everyone a racist. With "supporters" like you it's no wonder that Obama's popularity has reached record lows. Try to read his book and then get back to me.

Jason said...

The Southerners did. The Northern wing wanted to preserve the Union without war.

Yes. They did so by trying to win the election of 1864 so they could surrender the battlefield and ensure the survival of the institution of slavery, even as Grant was finally putting the screws on the Army of Northern Virginia.

Democrats have a long history of trying to surrender causes won by their betters, even up to the present day, with Harry "The War Is Lost" Reid.

From Inwood said...

Jason

God bless you for perseverance.

It seems that on any site in which there’s a discouraging word about The Anointed Ώne & his policies (insofar as one is able to understand his policies), even here in a simple deconstruct of a Book Review, someone feels that he/she has to get on & snigger at what he/she sees as simplistic analyses of the antediluvian, troglodyte, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, racist, warmongering rightwingnuts who would believe, without question, anything bad about the Left, as opposed to the sophisticated analysts in the MSM & Academe, that herd of independent minds, who represent all those, past & present, who stand up for Truth & Social Justice.

Over the weekend a rightwing friend (RWF) carelessly sent around an Urban Legend about Bush/Obama & visits to an Army Hospital, & said: QED Obama = Bad Guy.

One of the guys on RWF's list, a self-described centrist/moderate/independent (CMI), who is somehow always on the Left side of any argument, quickly & smugly denounced RWF for distributing such an Urban Legend, but then went off on a riff about how these Urban Legends "only come from The Right".

In my reply to RWF, with a CC to CMI, I asked "Has [CMI] somehow missed the daily legends about the Anointed Ώne & his policies from the Leftist MSM and the Legends of the Bad Rightwingers (like Tea party people spitting on congressmen & calling them the “N” word)?”

I then suggested that CMI read the Urban Legends of the Left on, say, The Kos Kids & on every non-Leftist Blog like this which disses or is thought to have dissed The Anointed Ώne.

This thread would be a good place to start re your debunking the Legends of Counterfeit History.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Unlike Democrats, Republican officials tried to block his nomination when he ran for President in 1992 (he took less than 1% of the vote) and routinely endorsed his opponents in all of his primary races.

I'm not surprised they did. Duke was able to do much better when running as a Republican than as a Democrat, coming in first in the 1990 House primary (33%), and ultimately defeating the GOP's favored candidate John Treen. He went on to serve in the Congress before attempting larger, presidential ambitions.

This can be contrasted to the losses, sometimes massive losses, he incurred while running previously as a Democrat.

Apparently Republican constituencies don't mind voting for racists, perhaps effusively so, even if their party's leaders are embarrassed enough by that fact to have to intervene.

Contrast this with Robert Byrd, whose membership in the Klan he ultimately renounced, repeatedly and without much reservation.

Duke, OTOH, remains an unrepentant racist to this day, regularly traveling to Europe to remind his white "brethren" about the Jewish conspiracy to subvert white Europe.

I guess that if these two guys are any indication, the big difference between the parties is that Democrats are capable of changing their mind, whereas Republicans still had good reason to fear (as recently as 20 years ago) that racists could exploit their platform and voter base.

Maybe that says something.

But I'm sure you'll find a way to believe it doesn't.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

I guess that if these two guys are any indication, the big difference between the parties is that Democrats are capable of changing their mind,

Well, Obama sure is. You can't trust a damn thing that comes out of his mouth for more than 15 minutes.

Duke was able to do much better when running as a Republican than as a Democrat, coming in first in the 1990 House primary (33%), and ultimately defeating the GOP's favored candidate John Treen.

Of course he does better running as a Republican. He'll get the people who pull the (R) lever no matter what, and he'll get a good number of crossover votes from racist Southern Democrats.

Republicans don't cross over to vote for racists. Only Democrats do.

At any rate, you know you're party's in trouble when you can't even beat a Klansman in a general election.

Contrast this with Robert Byrd, whose membership in the Klan he ultimately renounced, repeatedly and without much reservation.

"White niggers."

That was one of your ranking Senators. And not that long ago.

'Nuff said.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

As for the New Hampshire Vice Presidential Primary, I'm glad you found something to hang your hat on. Not many people know about it; that's probably because it's a meaningless and trivial contest that amounts to nothing.

How many of these "winners" does anyone vaguely familiar with American politics recognize?

John Barnes, Jr. Raymond Stebbins (2008)

William Bryk Wladislav D. Kubiak
(2000)

Herb Clark Jr. Endicott Peabody Nancy Lord (1992)

Wayne Green David Duke (1988)

In 1980, Jesse Helms won it for the Republicans. What do you think of that?

1976 Wallace Johnson Auburn Lee Packwood

1972 Spiro Agnew Jorge Almeyda

1960 Wesley Powell Wesley Powell
(I guess the parties didn't discriminate that year).

1952 Styles Bridges Estes Kefauver

Thanks for informing me of this strange and completely useless piece of trivia.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Well, Obama sure is. You can't trust a damn thing that comes out of his mouth for more than 15 minutes.

Well, that's pretty scary. Next think you know he might commit himself to moments of conscious thought that last for longer than 15 seconds. Someone who changes his mind or tactics is surely not capable of dealing with a world as constant, fixed and stagnant as Republicans believe it is in 2010, right?

Duke was able to do much better when running as a Republican than as a Democrat, coming in first in the 1990 House primary (33%), and ultimately defeating the GOP's favored candidate John Treen.

Of course he does better running as a Republican. He'll get the people who pull the (R) lever no matter what, and he'll get a good number of crossover votes from racist Southern Democrats.


I think the fact that this "good number" (as vague as that sounds) only adds up to anything when you combine it with Republicans who are so party-line, identity-based and ideological that they have no problem with his racism, says something. Apparently, you don't.

Republicans don't cross over to vote for racists. Only Democrats do.

Why does this matter? The fact that a Republican ticket is the winning strategy for a racist to gain office is a significant one. If you don't have a problem with that, then why are you even bothering to argue about the role of racism, in politics? Not many independents or Democrats are very impressed by your excuse, which amounts to: Republicans are too party-line and authoritarian to challenge their own ways, even if it includes pulling for an out and out racist shithead.

At any rate, you know you're party's in trouble when you can't even beat a Klansman in a general election.

Which is why the GOP stepped in with the heavy-handed endorsements.

Contrast this with Robert Byrd, whose membership in the Klan he ultimately renounced, repeatedly and without much reservation.

"White niggers."


Oh, the horror! Next thing you know he'll be enslaving, segregating and supporting discrimination of whites. The nation will experience a race war and oppression the likes of which only Glenn Beck can imagine! God help us!

Whatever.

That was one of your ranking Senators. And not that long ago.

I am an independent and don't vote according to party. The fact that you have to continue lumping me in as someone on your Nixonian "political enemies" list, simply to make a point in favor of the GOP, that says something. But the intimidation, condescension and divide and conquer bs have run out of steam.

You might want to wait until the next time Republicans have divided and fractured the country this badly to try that tactic. It just doesn't work any more.

'Nuff said.

I guess this means you're done. Oh well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"What was Lee Atwater's reason for asserting otherwise?"

I don't think he did. He did nothing more than state the obvious.


Which was... what, precisely? That nearly every plank on the Republican party platform from 1972 through 2008 was basically a transition from outright racist positions to positions that were just more subtle and abstract in their racism?

That's what the Atwater quote says. The word "abstract" is right in there. The entire impact of the quote is to show that Atwater believed that racism wasn't something to disavow, rather it was something to subconsciously propel his party to power through the endorsement of bigger and more "abstract" (if not entirely unrelated) positions.

I'm not surprised that after casting doubt on the quote, you now shift to saying that it was just a restatement of the obvious.

So, good. How about Buckley's quote on the voting rights act?

At least he owned what he said. At least Byrd owned his past.

David Duke and Lee Atwater never did. And the latter paved the way for GOP operatives just as successful and disingenuous as Karl Rove.

It's this kind of dishonesty that has caused the Republican party to finally implode like the house of cards that it has sadly revealed itself to be.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

One last thing I think is worth addressing.

I put Robert Byrd (and Strom Thurmond, for that matter) in a separate category than I would Duke or the party apparatchiks. Byrd and Thurmond are/were holdovers who were mainstays in their states' respective political machines from before what can be identified as the shift in American politics resulting from civil rights.

Both Byrd and Thurmond ultimately adapted to the new reality in their changed attitudes - even if that's just their political personae and not what they really think deep down, the point still stands; what they proclaim publicly and how they vote is the point. They both came from Southern (WV/Appalachia is culturally Southern in many respects) states and adapted to a changed reality that Duke did not. Whether Buchanan, Atwater, Buckley did or did not is another question. I think Buckley's conversion is sincere; Buchanan and Atwater seem to come across more as opportunists (well, that was their job description, after all), who seem willing to continue exploiting racist fears and attitudes, even if they wanted to do it in a subtle way that didn't outwardly proclaim any form of racial superiority.

Jesse Helms seems to be a bit trickier to categorize. I'd place him somewhere in between all three, depending on whether it suited him to come across as conciliatory or not. But I think his heart was always with the David Dukes, even if he was too much of shallow opportunist for it to have mattered what he really thought.

Jason said...

Which was... what, precisely?

That shitheads like Byrd shouldn't throw around the word "nigger."

Jason said...

What public office did Buckley hold?