Why Republican criticism of Trump fails

romneyMitt Romney took to Twitter on Monday to denounce Trump’s infamous KKK hedge. For months Romney has been cautiously critical of Trump, but only now does Romney consider Trump’s antics “disqualifying.” Other conservatives have now echoed Romney’s comments and a solid opposition to Trump is beginning to take shape.

But, why?

For almost a year Donald Trump has been bloviating bigotry. His insulting comments about Mexicans and Jews earned little if any complaint. Republicans have yet to criticize his ugly comments on Black Lives Matter protesters or his efforts to incite his followers to violence. Trump has been repeating conspiracy theories and re-tweeting comments from Neo-Nazis for months and no one in the party seemed particularly troubled.

An opportunity looms behind the threat Trump poses to the GOP. In recent decades, the Party of Lincoln has contorted itself into a vehicle for the frustrated defenders of Jim Crow. That effort was always toxic, gradually perverting the party’s meaning and purpose. Defeating Donald Trump will require us to confront a painful racist legacy and restore a lost Republican agenda. Accomplishing that feat could break the Blue Wall and create a new, more vibrant Republican future. Unfortunately, the first steps will be painful.

Before we can confront the racism of Trump, we must come to terms with bigotry that sits much closer to the party’s core. Unless we reckon with the genteel racist rhetoric of respected figures like Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, any triumph over trolls like Trump is just a lull between disasters.

Romney’s comments go to the heart of what Trump’s supporters hate about the Republican Party – its hypocrisy. For half a century Republicans have been trying to recruit white nationalists without stating our intentions out loud. During election seasons we issue coded assurances to nervous racists that we support them. Concealed beneath rhetoric about constitutionalism, or religious freedom, “conservative values,” or government dependence is a promise to put the genie back in the bottle. Brown folk and women and foreigners will all be nudged back into their rightful place, properly subjugated and presumably happy. We will “take our country back.” We will “make America great again.” America will once again be a white Christian nation.

Frustrated by our failure to overtly embrace their agenda, Republican bigots have finally found a candidate who has dropped the pretense and run an explicitly white nationalist campaign. We are discovering that no one ever really cared much about abortion. No one cared about fiscal restraint, or tax cuts or nationalized health care. The Republican base we painstakingly assembled across fifty years is only really interested in one thing – preserving the dominant position of their white culture against a rising tide of pluralism. Other issues only mattered to the extent that they helped reinforce and preserve white supremacy.

No one should misunderstand Romney’s supposedly courageous stance against Trump. Renouncing the KKK requires no courage whatsoever from anyone in almost any era. His stance is not a departure from past practice. Mitt Romney condemned the KKK? George Wallace was doing that in the Fifties.

The Klan was designed to be a shadow organization. It was engineered to be disavowed. They wear hoods and operate primarily at night. Everyone who occupies some position of authority or social dignity is supposed to express outrage about the KKK even if they are members. That’s how white nationalist violence was executed in an otherwise “free” society.

Americans have always embraced colorblindness as a component of gentility, a class marker. Slaveholders insisted that they bore no animosity toward blacks. They were merely playing their appointed role in a natural order. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens was careful to describe the compassionate intentions of enlightened Southerners toward African-Americans. Blacks would uniquely benefit under the Confederacy, by “teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that ‘in the sweat of his brow he should eat his bread,’ and teaching them to work, and feed, and clothe themselves.”

Sound familiar? It should. Here’s what it sounds like when Congressman Paul Ryan repeats Stephens’ ideas:

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

When Strom Thurmond broke from the Democratic Party over Civil Rights and launched his own segregationist campaign for the White House, he stressed his friendly relationships with blacks. Thurmond explained that segregation was the key to harmonious racial relations. Just as today’s Republicans blame Black Lives Matter protesters for stirring up unrest, Thurmond explained that all was well in the Jim Crow South before meddlers intervened: “the clamor comes from agitators and socially maladjusted persons who do not care about or understand the conditions existing in the many communities in the United States where people of different races live and work together.”

Alabama’s fiercely racist Governor George Wallace distanced himself from the Ku Klux Klan, not because he was a racial liberal but because that’s what decent people do in well-bred society. Wallace never took pictures in front of burning crosses, but he nonetheless managed to get his message across.

There are no racists in America. Properly domesticated Americans conceal their racism beneath a colorblind veneer. “I don’t see color” and “I have lots of black friends” are mantras that allow systemic racism to go unchallenged. Colorblind is just blind, and blindness is a comfort we indulge in to avoid seeing the reality around us. We live in a system engineered to produce unjust outcomes along racial lines. Half a century after the Civil Rights Acts, we still fight to avoid recognizing that injustice.

Ta-Nehisi Coates described the language we use to express racism in a 2013 essay for the New York Times:

In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”

What’s missing from Republican criticisms of Trump is any distinction deeper than rhetoric. None of the candidates has set themselves apart from Trump on his most extreme white nationalist policy positions. Opposition so far all comes down to either language or a futile insistence that he’s not conservative enough. That kind of attack will never hit home.

Romney’s attack on Trump is impotent because it is not about racism. It’s about manners. For well-mannered Americans from good backgrounds, racism is like Fight Club. Speaking openly about bigotry is a social faux pas. Outrage over Trump’s Klan gaffe is nothing more than tone-policing.

Remember, Mitt Romney is the same guy who whitesplained the opposition he got from the NAACP in 2012 by implying that they just want “free stuff.” Romney is the 47% guy. This year’s establishment moderate, Jeb Bush, repeated the same ‘free stuff’ line in South Carolina last fall. None of the GOP field drew any principled distinction from Trump on his refugee policy, his stupid border wall, or his foreign policy militancy. Sophisticated people cloak their racism in a well-turned phrase. Romney isn’t criticizing Trump for racism. He’s just ridiculing him for using the wrong fork. Good luck with that.

Supporters often remark that Trump “tells it like it is” or he “says what we’re thinking.” Through color-blind glasses this paints a strange picture. After all, when Trump isn’t lying he’s generally either evading or distorting. Voters are describing him as a straight shooter not because he’s telling the truth, but because he has abandoned the politically correct language used by the ‘in-crowd’ to embarrass less eloquent racists. He is breaching a barrier of class, manners, and education.

Trump is merely a step in a natural progression. If not him it would have been someone else. Defeat him this year without confronting the racism that fueled his campaign and we’ll just keep fighting the same monster again and again with different haircuts. Thanks to our colorblindness, racism acts like dark matter in our political universe, perverting policy outcomes in ways we find impossible to understand. As long as we tolerate systemic racism the prosperity, freedom, and success we would otherwise deserve will remain elusive.

Ironically, this is a time of opportunity for the Republican Party. We have nothing left to gain from continued pandering to a racist fringe. Unfortunately, we’ve forgotten other paths. Mitt Romney’s father, George, was one of the party’s greatest proponents of minority outreach. He represents a bridge to an era when Republicans took black voters seriously. Rediscovering that legacy could open up new possibilities and break the Blue Wall.

Nothing we do will change the outcome of the 2016 election. It’s over. It’s been over for years. Our own post-mortem of the 2012 Election made that patently obvious to anyone willing to face facts.

Our goal in confronting Donald Trump is not to win in 2016, but to halt the accelerating damage and build something new. By hitting us on this specific weakness, the Trump campaign is exposing the spot where our efforts should be invested. Mitt Romney does not consider himself a racist. You can be confident that he bears no open hostility toward other races or cultures. Understanding how an otherwise standup guy found himself pandering to racists will hand us a key that can free us from repeating his mistakes.

Making America “great again” is too modest a goal, one that implies our greatness is a limited resource that can only be mined from our past. Moving past colorblindness and denial to a basic awareness of reality will lay a foundation on which to build sound, effective policy.

The Trump campaign is a gift from the political gods. Confronting the forces that conjured him is our challenge. That fight could break the party, but that’s okay. This party hasn’t been fun for a long time. Time to build something better.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in blue wall, Civil Rights, Election 2016, Uncategorized
352 comments on “Why Republican criticism of Trump fails
  1. […] expressions racial bigotry and hostility have always been considered low manners and generally avoided. Even Confederates made efforts to veil their racism behind evasive language. Since the Civil […]

  2. 1mime says:

    And, now for a little “light” political humor to make your weekend more fun. Enjoy!

  3. It is hard to see GOP leadership blasting Trump on the issue. They don’t have the credibility. …and they should have it. They should have maintained it.

  4. 1mime says:

    OT, if ever great job news isn’t relevant to politics, here’s a great jobs report report today. This is going to be hard to spin negatively by those who pillory Obama for his ineptness.

    “The immediate headlines out of the latest jobs numbers — that job growth was solid and the unemployment rate unchanged in February — would seem like yawners. But there’s some great news beneath the surface: Americans are returning to the work force in the largest numbers in many years.

    The American labor force rose by a whopping 555,000 people in February. Over the last three months, that number totals 1.52 million, the highest it has been in 16 years. In other words, this winter a lot more people have been either working or actively looking for work.”

    The question posed along with the great numbers is this: how much additional growth is possible, and, if the growth happens, will this dampen any hope of wage increases?

    Still, this is great news for the “1.5 million Americans who are in the labor force who weren’t in November — and (we need) to look for evidence of how many more people like them are out there, ready to work, as they increasingly have the opportunity.”

    “http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/upshot/americans-are-joining-the-work-force-at-the-fastest-rate-in-16-years.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20160304&nl=upshot&nl_art=0&nlid=41048410&ref=headline&te=1

    • Heather says:

      Let’s be honest- 75% of American households bring in less than 50k a year. Sorry but the jobs that are here are not living wage jobs! It’s pathetic. There is no middle class-50% of people live with someone recieving government aid. If I need welfare and I work 40 hours that’s not a good job at all!

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct, Heather, and that is what this election “should” be about, but isn’t. The disappearance of the middle class job has made a sea change in how people live. It has built anger and frustration which has been quietly building until Trump tapped into it. The thing is, none of the budgets or priorities, frankly, has focused with substance on tackling this problem. The wealth divide didn’t happen without cause and it won’t be resolved without it being a priority. What have any of the GOP candidates offered to help this class of people? Not much at all. Their focus is on their donor base, the wealthy. That’s the way it’s been and that’s it will only become more pronounced if the Republicans sweep.

    • flypusher says:

      Dude, take that weak-ass trolling to Yahoo.

      • 1mime says:

        Our super-fly blog patrol on the job!

      • Merlin says:

        Pointing out facts is trolling, now, is it? Or is that only when said facts do not conform to your worldview?

      • flypusher says:

        ” Like how Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican who had seen his people discriminated against by white Democrats and their KKK for the whole of his life? ”

        Wrong again. MLK SR was a registered Republican, not MLK Jr. You really think you’re fooling anyone here?

        So for your next trick, are you going to claim that if was the GOP that passed the civil rights act over then opposition of the Dems? We’ve seen and debunked that little gem multiple times, just as we have all the other half truths and logical fallacies you’ve just littered this place with. You are neither original nor correct. Go back to Yahoo.

    • WX Wall says:

      You’re right. And if I was living in the late 1800s, I’d be voting for the Republican party. But the year is currently 2016. Feel free to let me know if you resurrect Abraham Lincoln. I’ll surely vote for him. Until then, I’m not sure how your “history lesson” is supposed to influence how i vote this year…

      • Merlin says:

        Oh, I was merely pointing out that the racism is, and has always been, on the Democrat side. First they oppress the black people, and now they vote for someone only because of his skin color. The Republicans have a rainbow of candidates, while the Democrat candidates are all white, yet they still parrot, “Racism! Racism!”

        Basically… this article is based on a highly flawed premise. That’s all I mean.

      • 1mime says:

        Your argument is flawed. Racism crosses party lines but, as was pointed out to you earlier, this is the 21st century. What happened, happened and is history. What IS happening is what this blog is all about. If you cannot see the bigotry and racism in conservative policy and doctrine, you are going to have a hard time making compelling arguments in this blog. Opposing opinions are encouraged, but one has to at least try to support their positions with logical reasoning. If this were a history class, citing stats from the 1800s would be important. This isn’t. It’s a blog on politics. I suggest you read the outstanding VOX piece linked by Brent that discusses in intelligent, supported, well researched prose, what is happening today. Yesterday is gone. The only thing any of us can do anything about is NOW and tomorrow. IOW, to learn from history and not repeat it or worsen it.

      • Merlin says:

        How about the 1900s, then? Like how Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican who had seen his people discriminated against by white Democrats and their KKK for the whole of his life? Or how about the blacks who, today, use the suffering of blacks in the 1800s to justify their demands for special treatment TODAY? Or how about comparing the hard-working blacks who earn their own way, and sometimes make fortunes, with the idle blacks on welfare who demand more? Or, at the other end of the spectrum, the black celebrities who, despite their riches and their mansions, scream racism? Or how about the white and black cops who defend themselves and others from known and active criminals who are charging at them, and get filleted by the media and the Democrats just because this particular criminal was black, while black criminals themselves kill both white and black people in massive numbers and the media says nothing?

        The “conservative policy” you mention, is simply this: judgments are not based on appearance, but on words and deeds. We are all human, with exactly the same rights across the board, deserving only what we earn, and with no automatic entitlements.

      • goplifer says:

        It’s tough being a white guy. Always has been. The pressure to keep out reality is relentless.

      • 1mime says:

        Racism crosses parties, classes, gender, ethnicity. You will get no argument from me on that truth. To ignore the racism and bigotry that exists within the Republican Party of TODAY (get in the right decade, at least!), is honestly, beyond comprehension. That does not mean, as I have already stated, that the Republican Party has a lock on racism, but it is sure lapping whoever’s in second place.

        I don’t know how long you’ve followed this blog, but if you will go to Lifer’s archive and spend some time reading his various, well researched, well articulated posts, it will quickly become apparent that he doesn’t suffer fools of any kind or party. Lifer is a Republican, an independent thinking conservative, who does not march lock-step with the GOP Establishment. No one is blameless here, but to ignore, or, frankly, be unable to see what is going on in the GOP in regards to racism today, is naive at best, or unforgivable at worst. Take the time – read the back posts – and see if you are not better informed about what is happening.

      • Merlin says:

        Oh, I’ve no love for the GOP, or the Establishment (which is both Democrat and Republican, by the way), and I do not march in lock-step. Which is why I am free to disagree, according to my own knowledge and experiences. In my experience, I’ve yet to see any form of this racist element that Republicans are “pandering to.” Every example of such, held up by the Democrats, is nothing of the sort, just more hot air. That is where I take issue with this article, because it addresses something I believe does not need addressing, at least not on the Republican side.

      • goplifer says:

        *** because it addresses something I believe does not need addressing***

        What a relief

      • 1mime says:

        While you’re at it, Merlin, why don’t you point out your Republican President? Oops!

      • texan5142 says:

        Do not feed the troll.

      • 1mime says:

        I am such a “wuss” (-:

  5. El says:

    Anyone notice that DT again referred to his kids running his company after he wins?
    I can’t imagine any scenario where he’s able to place the Trump colossus he’s so proud of in a blind trust and keep his hands off it.

    His might be the most consequential VP pick since FDR named Truman.

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, I picked up on that last night in the “after debate” interviews of Trump. One thing is certain, being President of the United States is not a part-time job. The VP slot will be even more important in a Trump administration. If elected, Trump will quickly realize he needs help to do his job well as his ego won’t permit him to not succeed. He will surround himself with qualified people who also know how to suck up while getting the job done (-:

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kasich!

      • Bernie says:

        Sure. He will pick the bright guys who helped him set up his university or casino. You only hope he will listen to people who dont kiss his ass.

      • 1mime says:

        Does Trump ever listen to someone who doesn’t KHAss? Somehow, I don’t think that would change….if anything, given the pomp and glory of the oval office, he would probably ask to be crowned “king” along with his “presidential” honor….after all, there’s never enough, right? Nothing too “Yuuge” or too over the top for a man that gilds everything…including his hyperbole.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      In addition to the trust thing-y, I could see Trump simply bowing out after get the nom. Too much trouble, actually trying to get elected. Winning is the thing, getting the nomination. After that: meh.

      • 1mime says:

        The other thing that Trump indicated last night in the apres/debate interview with O’Reilly was in response to O’Reilly’s question about what he would do if the GOP nomination was contested at the convention. He stated that he would only run as a Republican, but he wasn’t exactly clear about what he would do if he felt he was being usurped by the GOP establishment for another candidate if he had met the delegate threshold….Did anyone else have a different take on his response to O’s question on this point?

      • 1mime says:

        The Hill reports today: “Mitt Romney is back on the scene and perhaps angling for leverage at a contested convention. A “Draft Paul Ryan” super-PAC has sprung up. ”

        Don’t want to say I told you so, but, I told you so (-: Romney being all of a sudden so visible means something; Ryan is an obvious acceptable candidate to the GOP establishment, and he sure isn’t enjoying his day job as Speaker….

        http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/271763-gop-debate-winners-and-losers

      • 1mime says:

        In the Hill article I linked above, I should have appended this paragraph as it speaks to the lengths the GOP Establishment may go to to secure/save their party.

        “There is talk of “unity tickets,” an establishment candidate running as an independent and either too many or too few candidates still in the race to block Trump from the nomination. Cruz is looking more appealing by the day. ”

        Question: Hmm, could the establishment candidate be Mittens? Yuk….Cruz strategy of division may get him the nomination????

      • Firebug2006 says:

        My thoughts, exactly. Why would he want the job? It’s bound to be a drag, compared to the free-wheeling corporate lifestyle to which he’s accustomed. Besides, if he wins the nomination and then loses the general, he can cash in on this 18-month PR campaign four years sooner.

      • 1mime says:

        Trump’s a casino guy and a bully and an egotist. He’s having the time of his life – on “his” terms. Even if he loses in the popular vote, he’s playing his penultimate craps game. If he gets pushed out by the GOP Establishment, now, that will be more interesting. Does he say “enough”, I’ve got a business empire to run, or, does he shout: “Hell No”, I’m not gonna take this lying down! This is WAR!

        I don’t have a clue.

      • 1mime says:

        Kathleen Parker had an interesting “hold your nose and vote for the Democrat” op-ed today.

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Parker-The-party-s-almost-over-for-the-GOP-6872573.php

  6. rightonrush says:

    Cleveland is getting ready for the GOP Convention. http://www.cleveland.com/rnc-2016/index.ssf/2016/03/cleveland_seeking_to_buy_riot.html CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland is seeking to buy 2,000 sets of riot gear, including riot-control suits and collapsible batons, as part of the city’s latest move to spend a $50 million federal security grant for July’s Republican National Convention.

    The city this week posted to its contracting website a notice seeking bidders to provide the gear. City documents refer to the “Elite Defender” riot-control suit manufactured by HWI Gear and a 26-inch baton manufactured by Monadnock, plus 2,000 bags to carry them.

    The city also wants to buy 310 sets of riot-control gear — long-sleeve jackets, gloves and shin guards — that would be suitable for use by police riding bicycles. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to read the complete specifications for the riot gear.)

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s an alternative to spending $50M on riot gear that would achieve the same purpose:

      Host some bar-b-que events in the environs that are so delicious and fun (bring out the bands) that all that pent up negative energy will be spent getting forks into mouths (-:

      I mean, really – $50M budgeted for security!!!! $50Million dollars? Does that not seem obscene to anyone else? I understand the need for increased security, and communications capability, but, $50Million Dollars?

      Geez

    • 1mime says:

      A question, Right on, why are taxpayers subsidizing security for political parties?

      • rightonrush says:

        Good question Mime. I suppose for the same reason the Secret Service is paid from tax payer funds to act like a goon squad at the Trump rallies.

      • 1mime says:

        Secret service protection is easier for me to accept. Taxpayer funding of private political party conventions, is not. I assume the $50M goes to the hosting city, but, that city benefits financially from the event or they wouldn’t have bid to host. Why shouldn’t security be a line item cost to the city which is hosting?

        What business would operate in this manner? Oh, they would screw the taxpayer by demanding tax incentives and grandiose improvements…I forgot, my bad.

  7. Rob Ambrose says:

    Meanwhile, in Canada. Kind of a stunning contrast between the two.

    http://www.attn.com/stories/4793/justin-trudeau-responds-to-donald-trump

  8. Rob Ambrose says:

    Boy, last night was really…..something.

    Fox News put on probably the best debate yet. I like the instant fact check (and playing videos last debate showing exactly what candidates said). Every debate should have that every time. Of course, they were only used this time as a hatchet job on Trump.

    Trump was an absolute embarrassment. Assuring voters that if they vote Trump, they definitely do NOT need to worry about their president having a small penis.

    Like…..what is this?

    • 1mime says:

      Classy, wasn’t it? Kasich really scored by staying out of the fray. Cruz was uncharacteristically quiet as well, which I am sure was strategy – looking “presidential” (small ‘p’ – no deeper meaning implied (-; ), but Kasich really stayed pertinent. I was impressed with his command of the stage.

    • 1mime says:

      Frankly, I thought Meagan stepped way over the line with Trump. She badgered him. That’s not the job of the event coordinator, it’s the job of the other candidates. She went on way too long and really pushed the envelope on integrating him. I was amazed at Trump’s acceptance, but he was probably swallowing tons of blood from biting his tongue. Still, Kelly went too far and I am not a Trump supporter. They didn’t do this for any other candidate which made it more obvious to me.

    • 1mime says:

      Great recap of the GOP debate from the New Yorker Magazine.

      “…beneath this intramural feuding, and often obscured by it, was the actual experience of the country. The greatly felt rupture in the nation now is economic inequality, which Cruz has barely mentioned and which Rubio has met with inspiring words and a proposal to zero out the capital-gains tax. Whatever happened in Flint slid quietly under their radar.”

      Bret Baier asked a specific question about Flint. Cruz and Rubio politicized their response. Never did they really show they related to the tragedy of what happened there. Instead, their view of Flint was that it was all about Dems trashing a Republican Governor – nothing about the horrendous medical issues children did and will face going forward. It is this lack of ability to empathize with the situations poor people are in that is such a disconnect for Republicans. The article points out that for all the criticism of Trump, not one of the other Repub candidates has anything in their platform that truly addresses the needs and grievances of this group of people. “HOW” is America going to help those who cannot help themselves? What are these future presidential aspirants going to do about cities like Flint? Have they even thought about it? At least as much as they’ve thought about how they’re going to cut taxes for their donor base?

      Therein lies the disconnect. That is what is mobilizing Trump voters. As the Vox article so neatly put it: Trump is merely a symptom of a country that has ignored a large swath of its people for too long.

      http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/no-one-here-can-save-the-g-o-p?mbid=nl_TNY%20Template%20-%20With%20Photo%20(16)%20remainder&CNDID=24419463&spMailingID=8625035&spUserID=MTE3NDg4MjU3NDg2S0&spJobID=880578396&spReportId=ODgwNTc4Mzk2S0

  9. Rob Ambrose says:

    Whoa. A Christian politician who follows the actual teachings of Christ?

    Now I’ve seen everything!

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/georgias-gop-governor-uses-new-testament-to-reject-anti-lgbt-religious-freedom-bill/

    • goplifer says:

      Well… Interesting wrinkle there. Gov. Deal discovered a more…let’s say…”nuanced” Biblical interpretation with a little help from some major donors. Georgia was staring down the barrel of a major economic backlash, similar to Indiana’s situation, but much worse.

      Still, having a Republican put money above bigotry is a welcome step back toward normalcy.

      • flypusher says:

        It would be nice if the TXSBOE would get that message. One of the candidates in the runoff is an absolute RWNJ caricature. But she’s real, and she actually got a plurality.

      • johngalt says:

        Georgia’s politics have always been business-minded (at least since the Depression-era). It may have a governor and Atlanta may have a mayor, but they answer to the business community. This is often good, when it tames the pandering to the baser instincts of (mostly) rural voters and can sometimes be bad. One of the good stories comes from the aftermath of MLK’s assassination. A bunch of yokels from the sticks had no interest in celebrating the life that uppity n****** and convinced the governor (and then the mayor) to refuse to allow a funeral parade in Atlanta. Robert Woodruff, the president and CEO of Coca-Cola (a company that had a worldwide footprint by this point) went to them and told them point blank that they eyes of the world would be on Atlanta for a few days and they had the choice to embarrass the city or make it a shining star. They protested about security concerns (perhaps legitimately, there were riots in other places) and that they didn’t have the money to ensure its safety. Woodruff told them to do it, and do it right, and he would pay for it. They listened. The yokels barricaded themselves inside the Capitol, but by that point it didn’t matter.

        You’d also be surprised the number of instances of Georgia institutions being desegregated as a direct consequence of something related to football. UGa’s first football game against a desegregated team was in the Sugar Bowl against Tulane. “But, Tulane’s got colored boys on the team. We can’t play them.” “What the hell are you talking about? It’s the Sugar Bowl. Who cares?”

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, the business community does need to step up and speak out. If the GOP and the business community in OH would spend some of that $50M (I still can’t get over that number!) on outreach to leaders within communities, the need for riot gear might not be necessary. Security is important but so is outreach.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Fly, most dangerously, apparently Texas (for some reason) tends to set the guide for national textbooks.

        We could all get hurt by Texas idiocracy

      • 1mime says:

        Pardon me if I am cynical (I can’t help myself), but it’s easier to “see the light” when the people that control the power turn it on.

        The positive point is that major donors ARE becoming more sensible and sensitive to rational thought. AFter all, ‘supposedly’, politicians reflect their base.

      • flypusher says:

        Rob, It’s about size. TX is a very big market and the book publishers don’t want to have to publish a bunch of different versions for each state. If TX wasn’t always trying to dumb things down that wouldn’t be a problem.

        JG, that’s one thing you’ve got to give credit for concerning sports, whether you are a fan or not- it’s very close to a pure meritocracy at its best. Talent and hard work usually win out over skin color and connections. Although some sports are still a bit behind the times (looking at you, golf and tennis).

      • 1mime says:

        And, let’s be clear about why “color” is no longer a barrier in sports. Black athletes make $$$$ for schools and cities and businesses. There are few people in the early days of integrating sports who supported it out of purity of equality. When college boards and presidents figured out they could subsidize school budgets through a winning athletic program, which ginned up their donor base AND provided cash flow, that was really the prime motivator. Regardless of reason, it has offered tremendous opportunities for students of racial and gender who had been excluded from scholarships, opportunity and entry for decades. Then business realized they could make money from successful athletic programs – they sell more coca cola and popcorn, hot dogs and t-shirts, and so forth. They put their names on stadiums and advertized in blazing lights – because.it.paid.off. Cities soon realized that the increased number of visitors meant higher tax revenue, and higher visibility for attracting major events.

        What’s not to like? The end result has been positive for men and women of color and gender, but let’s not fool ourselves about the reason integration of sports began.

      • flypusher says:

        Sometimes you just have to settle for the right thing getting done for less than lofty and principled reasons.

      • 1mime says:

        It is, Fly, but at least be forthright about your reasons. It’s the hypocrisy that is so galling.

    • 1mime says:

      The article didn’t state whether the governor put meat on his statement by vetoing the Legislature’s bill. Until he makes that kind of official commitment, it’s interesting and good to see a Republican think for himself, but I want to see him stand up for what he said – like Gov Rauner is doing in IL.

      Show me the money, Gov!

  10. Griffin says:

    From Jonathan Chait. Why, when Trump probably wins the nomination, most of the (national) GOP politicians and pundits are likely to flip their position on Trump and follow him.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/romney-and-the-probably-doomed-trump-revolt.html

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Now when you say “follow”…

      • Griffin says:

        Openly endorse him as the candidate at the very least, and probably help him with his campaign. THere’s a cance it will slowly start to adapt aspects of his, er, personality as well, much like how the Party became even more dumb downed after Palin became an important figure. For many national GOP figures they had two choices, take on some of Palin’s “populist” appeal or get primaried. Trump could cause that same effect.

    • 1mime says:

      Yahoo had an interesting article on the quandry the Republican Estabishment finds itself in. There are some sharp comments if you have time to read them….Here’s one that I particularly liked:

      “Danny Bersch
      I can’t help but notice that Mitt Romney’s speech is just a continuation of the “party-of-NO” strategy that has failed the RNC for the last decade or more. Romney told us why we should be AGAINST Trump, but not why we should be FOR any of the others. That same strategy gave rise to the lack of accomplishments that we’ve seen over the last decade. We have no energy policy; we have no fiscal policy; we have no immigration policy; we have no education policy. The GOP has led the fight AGAINST all of these, but steadfastly refused to hold forth an achievable vision for any of them, nor to work for marginal progress when they couldn’t “get-it-all”. Even on healthcare, it can be argued that we’d be in better straights had they chosen to improve what we have instead of investing all their energies in the futile hope that they can completely overturn it. The GOP seems to be splitting into the ‘establishment’ wing that knows how to get things done but won’t do them; and the “Tea Party” wing that insists on unachievable ideological goals but is willing to work toward them. Surely, we can find some middle-ground within the party where we can agree on things that CAN be done and show the willingness to actually DO them.”
      Reply

  11. flypusher says:

    Out of the mouths of babes:

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/3/11157376/donald-trump-kids-ract

    Don’t forget who first said that the Emperor was nekkid.

    • flypusher says:

      Don’t have cable, so I have to experience the ongoing debate vicariously via several live threads. If a post from Freeperville says that it’s a disgrace and an embarrassment and to boycott Fox News, you KNOW it’s bad.

  12. dowripple says:

    “Motown Showdown”! Maybe it will be like a WWE Smackdown, with Kasich most likely to get hit with a chair.

  13. vikinghou says:

    Although I am not a fan of Trump, I am offended by his rivals’ contention that he is a “failed businessman.” It may be true that some of his ventures have failed, but isn’t that the nature of capitalism? You have an idea, you make an investment hoping for success, and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In the final analysis Trump has had a successful business career.

    As an analogy, I spent 30 years working in research and development at one of the largest energy companies in the world. Although some of my work resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, many of my ideas didn’t pan out. In a few cases the company risked a sizable investment supporting projects that seemed feasible in the laboratory but didn’t survive the transition to oilfield practice. But we learned a great deal and the knowledge gained has since been used to develop successful technologies. If a company is not willing to take risks and is afraid to fail, its long term viability is at risk.

    • 1mime says:

      That’s a great attitude and outlook on life, Viking. It applies to far more than business research. Where would we be in medical cures if our pharmaceutical companies didn’t continue to explore? For that matter, I think a creative, questioning mind is the single greatest lesson (short of teaching kindness and respect for others) that one can give a child. Who knows, some day that child may grow up and work in research at a major oil company and generate millions of dollars (-:

      • vikinghou says:

        Exactly, 1mime.

        Carrying the discussion further, here is a list of companies I can think of that were once preeminent and have withered or disappeared because of risk aversion and failure to adapt to a changing business environment.

        Blockbuster
        Dell
        Eastman Kodak
        Polaroid
        Sun Microsystems
        Digital Equipment Corporation
        Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

        Sadly, I believe many players in the energy industry are next. Failure to embrace renewables and incorporate them in the corporate business strategy will be calamitous.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Viking, I think the better evidence of that is that Trump could have sunk his inheritance into the S&P and had billions more then he does.

      Hes actually lost money by getting into the real estate business.

      • 1mime says:

        Most people want to build something in their lives if they can. I’m sure Donald Trump understands compounding, but he would not have been satisfied (nor would most sons of wealthy scions) with simply investing an inheritance. The quality of the investments is probably mixed but he has had successes along with failures. As Viking noted, risk is frequently rewarded with failure, but if one perseveres, the next risk may be an electric bulb.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Indeed Mime, there are many good reasons why one may want to make any particular choice in their lives, including whether or not to maximize RoI.

        My point is just that his record does not represent business brilliance when anybody with a broker could have made better returns in the same time period.

      • 1mime says:

        Donald Trump does not represent brilliance that I respect, but it’s difficult for me to assess his achievements in business as I haven’t studied his record in this area.

      • 1mime says:

        I think Kasich won the debate tonight, hands down. Substantive, even-keeled, sensible. Kasich helped himself a lot tonight by continuing to stress the importance of getting things done by reaching across the aisle. He looked very good. Now, if we could just get him to moderate his social views….

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        I could stomach Kasich as president, but not with these Republicans in Congress and certainly not in control of either house. Without a Democratic Congress to keep him in check, his social views would take us back and it would be the same old story of tax cuts without much in the way of innovation to better the lives of ordinary people. No thanks.

  14. flypusher says:

    Gov. Romney? A few follow-up questions if you don’t mind?

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/few-follow-questions-mitt-romney

  15. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I’ve managed to come almost full-circle on Trump.

    First, Trump has no business being President of the United States, but compared to the other GOP candidates, would he be so bad in the grand scheme of things?

    At least from the left side of the political spectrum, he’s not going to push a lot of anti-abortion stuff, and I don’t think he cares one way or the other about gay folks.

    He can talk about banning or registering Muslims, but that isn’t going to really happen.

    Our esteem in the world will likely go down, but we managed to survive 8 years with W, so I don’t know that we’ll go any lower than that, and Trump isn’t nearly as much a hawk (or a follower of hawks) as was W.

    Trump really has no idea how government works. It took three years for Obama to figure out where the bathrooms were, so I would assume that Trump would be completely baffled for the better part of his first (and only) term.

    Rubio would be a second choice, and in the grand scheme of things, he’s a less mature Romney who will go along with whatever the congressional GOP leaders want. That would generally be horrible for women, gay people, and poor people, but probably not any more so than any other normal GOPer (including Kasich).

    Cruz would be horrible – for everyone.

    So, Lifer gives up on the GOP for 2016 if Trump is the candidate. Would Lifer actually vote for a Candidate Cruz over Hillary in the general election?

    • 1mime says:

      Good question. I hope Lifer responds. He’s in a tough spot, but so is America.

      • texan5142 says:

        Chris has already said he was voting for he most qualified person for the job this election and that would be Clinton. Love her or hate her, logically she is the smart choice. That is called putting country before party, a true republican attribute . /s Whish someone would step up (Huntsman) and fill the hungry void for a sane person on the GOP side to vote for. I do not want any of the current crop any where near having the power to start another war. Dog I would like to see a Clinton/Huntsman ticket.

      • 1mime says:

        I share your respect for Huntsman. He is a quality person. Too bad Republicans can’t support men like Huntsman. When he accepted the Ambassadorship to China from Obama, he killed his future in the Republican Party. Our nation’s loss, that’s for sure.

    • goplifer says:

      I’m not voting to send another Republican to Washington anytime in the foreseeable future. That goes for Senate and Congress too. I’m all in behind Gov. Rauner and I’m working hard for local and state candidates. Federal is a no-go. Might change some day. Hope it will.

      Here’s what I wrote about Sen. Mark Kirk, kind of fits with the Romney piece: https://goplifer.com/2015/03/21/the-mark-kirk-dilemma/

      • 1mime says:

        That leaves you either: not voting, or voting for a different party. Either choice can’t be easy given how deeply committed you are to the democratic (small “d”) process. I won’t press you further on this but do recognize how hard this is for you.

        I listened to a wonderful interview today about the IL budget crisis, and how Gov. Rauner successfully beat back a $600M proposal by Democrats in the General Assembly. The purpose of the amendment was “good”, although it was unclear whether it was more of a political move vs a genuine concern for those who would benefit from the appropriation. Rauner didn’t buy it and said so, and this new debt was not added to the state’s existing deficit. I’m not close enough to the process to have an informed opinion, but I admired the governor’s courage in standing up for what he believed was a bad financial decision and being willing to take the heat for his decision.

        Here’s my point: we need more people like Rauner to run for office, but politics has become so toxic that capable, good people frankly have better ways to spend their lives. That has got to change. We need “statesmen/women” desperately in government. Donald Trump stated something at the debate tonight that I do agree with: government works through “give and take”, negotiation and compromise. Gridlock and vitriol get you nowhere – government doesn’t work for anyone. America cannot afford this luxury. “Party” has to become subservient to the democratic process rather the reverse as presently exists. Fairness and equality of opportunity used to be cornerstones of our country’s promise. Not anymore. And, that has to change.

        Stick to your guns, Lifer.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s a pretty smart piece of analysis by Peggy Noonan from the WSJ. I think she is honestly telling the story of the 2016 GOP meltdown…..and where the Trump supporters are coming from……

        http://www.peggynoonan.com/trump-and-the-rise-of-the-unprotected/

    • 1mime says:

      This article illustrates that for all his bravado about his credentials, Cruz has been pretty much on the public teat throughout his career….Now, I don’t hold that against him, especially as it validates his “Insider” bona fides (-: but if I were Trump, I’d go into a little more detail about this on my next opportunity.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ted-cruz-law-enforcement-experience-fact-check

  16. flypusher says:

    Another commentary on Romney vs Trump:

    http://theweek.com/articles/610119/mitt-romneys-calm-measured-critique-donald-trump-cruelly-backfire

    Yeah, there are many reasons that Romney’s the wrong guy to say all this, even if it’s so true, but at this point I don’t think that there’s anyone who can change a die-hard Trumpkin’s mind. These people are gone, GOPe, at least for this election cycle. All you can do is decide whether to try to beat Trump, or join him. His people aren’t joining you. They have rationalizations for every valid point of attack you bring up.

    • 1mime says:

      And, the messengers the GOP are using really suck. Believe me, the GOP machine is firing on all cylinders now in FL and they are talkin’ hard to Kasich. They HAVE to have FL and OH or it is all over but the shouting.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Rubio’s sunk in FL. The only question is whether he’ll suffer the humiliation of losing his home state to Trump or if he pulls a Santorum (no vulgar insinuations intended) and drops out beforehand. Not impossible, but I won’t hold my breath.

        Ohio’s going to be close. Kasich’s popular and definitely within striking distance of Trump, but he’s got to go all in there. If he takes his home state too lightly, it’s a coin flip as far as I’m concerned and he’s already said that if he loses there, he’s out. We shall see.

  17. rightonrush says:

    IMO Trump has a cult like following and no matter how much he’s bashed he’s going to keep those voters. My wife & I raced from Bush Airport to our voting place Tuesday evening to vote just as the polls were closing. BTW, our folks in Israel think Trump is batshit crazy, and we agreed.

    • 1mime says:

      I worry about how the world sees America because of the ugliness and absurdity of the Republican campaign. Thankfully, the Democrats have had a steady, dignified campaign and possibly that offsets some of the doubt about America’s future. Fledgling democracies must be scratching their heads….so, this is what Democracy is all about?

    • rightonrush says:

      I’ll vote for Ms. Clinton in Nov. Mime. I don’t give Bernie a snowball’s chance in hell of beating her. Bernie got our twin granddaughter’s politically involved and I’m grateful for that. As a grandpa to many grandkids I’m always excited when they chose to discuss their political opinions with me.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Right…Bernie would have a better shot at truly fueling a revolution with a hard push in the 2018 election.

        The GOP revolution wasn’t with Reagan, it was Gingrich in ’94.

        I’m pretty convinced that Bernie would be a hopelessly ineffective President in 2017, but if the energy and enthusiasm for Bernie would channel into some midterm election success, then there would be a chance for some of his ideas to come to fruition.

        Sadly, I do not suspect we will hear anything from Bernie and his revolutionaries in 2018.

      • 1mime says:

        Bernie is, after all, 75 years old. In ’18, he will be 77. I suspect as you do that this is his swan song. However, he sure does have a lot of spunk and energy. These campaigns are grueling and he is hanging in there. You have to give him that.

      • 1mime says:

        Now I recall you telling us that earlier. I think our nation owes Bernie Sanders a debt for engaging our young people’s enthusiastic interest in this election. There is so much at stake, especially for our young people. Us old folks are pretty well positioned but the future is our grand kids. I want the best for them and I want them especially to believe in democracy. True democracy where they can make a difference with their time and their votes and can influence change. If America loses this, we have lost a great deal.

        How was the middle east part of the world? Was traveling there uncomfortable?

      • rightonrush says:

        Mime IMO the media makes traveling to the ME much more scary sounding than it really is. Keep in mind that I’ve traveled that path many, many times. I don’t have enough sense to be frighten of Muslim, Jew or any other assorted boogie-men I do know that the government of all the countries I travel or have traveled have a dossier on me. I’m considered a harmless businessman (retired) and do my best to not be just another ugly America. I have Jewish grandkids and close Muslim friends. I love’em all.

      • rightonrush says:

        HH, hope I’m posting this under the right thread. I’m hoping that some of Bernie’s ideas influences the Dems also.

      • 1mime says:

        Right on, which of Bernie’s ideas are most interesting to you? (don’t need much detail…)

      • rightonrush says:

        I really like Bernie’s free college for all. However, I realize that it would be hard pressed to get that idea going. Perhaps free community college might be a great stepping stone. Someone on this blog suggested (I think it was this blog, perhaps Tutt) as a reparation for African American’s that college be free for them. It struck me a one of the best ideas that I’d heard in a long time. Maybe as an old timer I’m just wishful thinking, but I do think that is a wonderful idea.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ve thought a great deal about the “free college” proposal and have decided that it is too costly and also would not be appreciated without some contribution from the student. What I do believe could be done is to create more scholarships for qualifying students (thus producing incentive to work on their High School academics more) – with the focus being on income qualified. IOW, deliberately target low income families. Another possibility is to make a special category of Pell Grants that are targeted to qualifying minorities. There are plenty of scholarships out there for all other students but America absolutely needs to make college affordable. The whole college loan for profit thing is wrong. It should be revenue neutral. Student credit cards sold through colleges should not be abusive either. It is criminal that so many of our young people are graduating college with incredible debt.

        America needs to re-examine its entire educational process. Kids exiting from high school need more skills assessment and guidance into careers and programs or higher ed as appropriate to their abilities and interests. College should never be unavailable purely due to cost if a young person has the grades, desire and ability to attend, but skilled positions that are market relevant and quality programs serve an equally valuable role in a complex society.

        I asked you the question and responded with a book (-: Sorry, Right On! A subject near and dear to me.

    • objv says:

      In her last debate I couldn’t figure out if she was channeling Chairman Mao, a raincoat or a mustard bottle. Very confusing.

      http://rare.us/story/while-the-democrats-debated-all-twitter-could-talk-about-was-hillary-clintons-jacket/

      • rightonrush says:

        Well now, bless your heart Obj. You seem to be easily confused.

      • objv says:

        Easily distracted, too. During the debate, the jacket in all it’s blinding intensity made it hard to concentrate on what the candidates were saying. All I could think was: The Horror! … I wonder if it’s going to rain … For some bizarre reason, I’m hungry for hot dogs … I wonder if she has that in another color … all her pantsuits seem to be made with different variations of one Simplicity sewing pattern with colors, collars, buttons, and materials rotating … Help!

      • 1mime says:

        I loved the yellow but agree that the design of her jacket was over-powering. It was only a momentary distraction as I got interested in the content of the debate.

      • rightonrush says:

        I reckon that some ladies are into Ms. Clinton’s fashion. However, I’m more interested in her political stand on issues. Funny how SOME ladies call foul when men have the audacity to make comments on how a lady dresses.

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, how can dudes be critical of women’s wear when the only thing different about their dress are their ties! Boring….Steve Jobs definitely understood that!! Loved the cool T and jeans!

      • Elian Gonzalez says:

        How long did you work on that bit?

  18. Rob Ambrose says:

    Lost in Trumpmania is something that is probably more important, who is going to replace Scalia on the bench.

    I wonder if/how the events lately might change the Senate’s opinion on confirming or not.

    Surely, the strategy that had them refuse to hold hearings was predicated on the overly optimistic hope that a) the GOP would win the white house and b) the nominee would be Rubio or Cruz.

    I wonder if this changes anything? If Obama nominates a moderate candidate, had McConnels calculation changed?

    With a Trump nomination, the chance that Hillary wins with the Dems retaking the Senate is a distinct possibility.

    • 1mime says:

      The “only” thing I’m certain of in this whole process, Rob, is that the Republicans will not hold a nomination hearing until after the election. IF Hillary wins, and that is a big “if” IMHO, Repubs lose big – the Senate will likely see a net gain for Dems which will help with cofirmation. They are definitely gambling on winning it all, so be forewarned of the stakes for them. If Trump or Cruz wins, we’ve lost it all as Repubs would have learned nothing and will therefore see no need to make any changes in direction, and they will control all branches of government. That will be a dark day in the history of our country but it is definitely possible.

  19. flypusher says:

    Interesting, and certainly germane to some of the discussions going on:

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/3/11153694/public-drinking-manhattan

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Germane, yes. If more minorities than whites are arrested for the same minor offenses, how can anyone imbue arrest statistics with some greater meaning about the arrested population’s culture? The arrests don’t mean the minority population committed the offense more often, it just means they were arrested more often.

      • 1mime says:

        John Gault provided a bare knuckle rebuke to Titanium on this subject. I have shared that post with my contact list as it was so succinct and expressed my personal views so well. I couldn’t have stated my feelings any better. Thank you again, JG, for speaking so strongly and clearly on a subject of such great importance.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Yes, JG’s response to the racist rant in the guise of statistics was perfect.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s important on a blog like this which attracts smart people with strong opinions to have clarity and civility of opposing viewpoints. Everyone here make a fine effort to respect the forum, and I salute you…even those with whom I disagree. (You know who you are (-; Lifer puts a lot of time and effort in his posts which needs to be respected. I love hearing from people from all walks of life. It informs me and I look forward to reading your posts. This is a special forum.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, can you share JG’s post with us now right here? Or is it somewhere in the string of posts down below?

      • 1mime says:

        I assume Lifer won’t mind and it bears repeating. John Gault in response to Titanium:

        “Titanium, thanks for proving Chris’s points in perfect clarity. BLM “really is a racist group” while “a third of black males ended up incarcerated.” To write these sentences requires a complete suspension of disbelief in terms of the color-blindedness of American justice. You literally have to ignore decades of data documenting race-based distinctions in prosecution and sentencing.

        Then you move on to dropout rates, which you describe as a “cultural issue” and for which no amount of money will help “those people.” Dropout rates and educational attainment have little to do with race and much to do with the educational level and socioeconomic status of the parents. Go to Appalachia or Fresno or Cheyenne and tell me how the good white kids are doing there. Except you’re not intellectually honest enough to do that.

        Next is crime rates. Seriously, how is there today a person intelligent enough to use the internet today who does not recognize the inherent biases (as Chris points out) in the application of justice in America? It’s beyond the pale.

        Thanks for stopping by, Titanium, and proving, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the existence of subtle, pervasive racism that the vast majority choose to sweep under the rug And, yes, I mean you.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thank you, Mime.

      • 1mime says:

        Politico expanded on the theme of helping our high school graduates make “better” choices about the futures. Skilled jobs are needed and there is too little encouragement in our high schools for the value of this vocational area – which Politico nicely reinforces.

        http://www.politico.com/magazine/sponsor-content/2016/01/tackling-the-youth-unemployment-crisis?cid=20163wwmsrefr

  20. Dennis says:

    I have to disagree that Paul Ryan’s statement was racist or even coded racism. I think he was trying to talk about ways to bring work and reinstill a culture of work in poor communities.

    This leads to another concern: dog whistle politics. Maybe it’s because of my autism, but I’ve always been wary of this because its hard to determine if there is really a coded message when it might be a bad choice of words. Also, it makes me wonder if any criticsm of social programs considered racist?

    On an aside, you recently wrote about my hometown and you scored some important points about how Flint brought this upon itself which is mostly true. But Flint is also where it’s at because of racism as well. It might not be the Republican kind of coded messages, but how policies have been designed in Michigan have when it comes to revenue sharing or transportation. Read the story of the so-called “walking man” who exemplified a Regional bus system where most white suburbs opt-out. (http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2016/02/06/walking-man-james-robertson-detroit-buses-transit-jp-morgan-chase-ford-taurus-oakland-county/79495910/). What I’m saying is that Flint is a both/and story, not an either/or.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Dennis, I agree. I think it’s important to be wary and not make assumptions or generalizations about hidden meanings behind what people say. We are not them so we can’t know for sure. Also, it’s easy for us to inject meaning into other people’s words based on our own prejudices.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Call me naive, but I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and take their words at face value until they prove otherwise.

      • 1mime says:

        I used to be that way, Tutta. I have become way too cynical, I admit. It’s not positive thinking and if I reduced my focus on the political sphere, I would probably find more things to applaud.
        Your approach is definitely better.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I don’t think it’s just the political sphere. I think the online world and social media create a toxic environment of endless outrage over the latest tidbit of news, be it about politics or about a flight attendant’s rude behavior.

        Sometimes it’s good to just get away from it all and take a media fast. I prefer to be in the dark about the latest news than to be constantly up in arms over the latest piece of manufactured news.

      • Creigh says:

        Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Creigh, I will take your comment at face value.

    • 1mime says:

      Dennis, that is a wonderful story about how Mr. Robertson’s quiet, determined, consistent demonstration of loyalty and pride inspired change that helped so many others who need public transportation.

      People who criticize the poor for not doing more to change their personal situations likely never experienced life without a vehicle (unless it was by choice). For many poor people, owning a car, insuring it, maintaining it, is simply too costly. For them, public transportation is essential. Mr. Robertson has truly made a difference. The need was always there, but poor people have such a limited voice in things that impact their lives that many simply make do, as Mr. Robertson did for years. That’s admirable and equally unfortunate. It shouldn’t take this example of extreme sacrifice to gain something as basic as expansion of public transportation routes and hours. Bravo to the director of public transportation for his persistence in making changes long needed.

  21. 1mime says:

    The GOP Establishment “stop Trump” machine is in full array. The high visibility of Romney makes me wonder if he is the “ghost convention nominee” since Rubio isn’t cutting it, and the only person Repubs hate more than Trump is Cruz….The FL primary is going to be the “tell” for what happens for the GOP convention process….

    Game on!

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/271518-big-money-groups-band-together-against-trump-in-florida

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I get the impression Romney is the elder statesman called in to take urgent action and bring order to all the chaos, an “outsider” in the sense that he currently holds no office.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Unfortunately Tutt, as you know all too well, really conservative folks had absolutely no love for Romney, so I don’t think the Tea Party gang views him as an outsider or a conservative.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Not that kind of outsider. As I noted above, an outsider in the sense that he currently holds no office and could be considered to be above the fray, and his only role would be to bring order to the chaos, someone merely interested in the good of the party, not to be the Republican nominee.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Tutt

        I think the best way for Romney to derail the Trump train is to endorse him.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles, you nailed it!

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Pretty amazing moment. Unprcedented to have a major party elder statesmen so explicitly call out that partys front runner.

      That was a pretty good speech by Romney. I doubt it will change any Trump minds but it may steel resolve or sway those on the fence.

    • vikinghou says:

      I can think of no stronger endorsement for Trump than Romney speechifying against him. Romney epitomizes the establishment GOP that Trump voters hate, and with good reason, the fat cats who exported their blue-collar jobs to China and Mexico.

      • 1mime says:

        Of all people, indeed. The irony of Romney chastizing Trump for with holding his tax returns is laughable. Does Romney really believe that people have such short memories of the stall he made on releasing his taxes? What a hypocrite. Now, I think all candidates should release their taxes but to have Romney, the King of “tax return stall” be the spokesman is absurd.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      If this is Republicans’ idea of joke, color me amused. They’re bringing out the guy who LOST to President Obama, to now rail against the man whose endorsement he took and who, frankly, is going to chew him up and spit him out like a piece of stale chewing gum.

      Tonight’s debate is going to fun. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I’m going to miss Ben Carson’s presence at the debate. 😦

      • 1mime says:

        I vowed not to watch any more debates, but you just convinced me to change my evening plans, Ryan. I hope Trump does respond. It ought to be a classic. The cat calling the kettle black, indeed!

      • objv says:

        Tutt, I’ll miss Ben Carson as well. I know I’ll be roundly mocked for writing this, but if I could choose among all the candidates, I’d pick Carson. While he made some unfortunate remarks during his campaign, Carson has the right combination of intelligence, patience, and compassion to be a truly great president.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, what Ben Carson lacked was political experience, so I had serious doubts about his capability to be president, but he provided a much-needed graceful touch to this wild campaign, a much-needed break from the craziness. I hope there’s a place for him in a future administration.

      • objv says:

        I do, too, Tutt and agree with what you said. I read Carson’s book “Gifted Hands” during the controversy over some of his comments. Some have tried to characterize him as a crackpot, but reading his book convinced me of his intelligence and ability to solve problems as well as his ability to overcome the poverty and racism of his past.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, by the way, I voted for Kasich in the Republican primary. What is your take on him? Aren’t you originally from Ohio?

      • Crogged says:

        Like Jimmy Carter minus the charisma…….

      • objv says:

        Tutt, My sister and dad think Kasich has done a great job in Ohio. My problem with supporting Kasich is that he doesn’t have much of a chance of winning at this point.

        Rubio and Cruz are young but more representative of the future of the Republican party. I’d support either one over Trump any day.

      • 1mime says:

        Like many Republicans, if Trump captures the delegates he needs to lock in the GOP nomination, it’s over. I can’t see the GOP risk destroying the party to have a convention fight to put Rubio or Cruz in over Trump if he’s won by their own rules. That’s going to be a problem for Republican voters to reconcile come election day if Trump is the nominee.

      • objv says:

        New Mexico’s primary isn’t until June 7. All of the fun is passing me by. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, even though i can’t stand Trump, I agree that if he gets the requisite number of delegates, the voice of the voters must be honored, and he should be the nominee. If not, imagine the precedent that would be set — the potential for the Republican establishment to strike down any candidate who they happen not to like.

      • 1mime says:

        We agree. And, if I were a Republican, which I am not, I would vote for Trump over Rubio or Cruz. I will vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, or Sanders if he does.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Charisma is overrated.

  22. Griffin says:

    Damn, Robert Reich’s open letter to the Republican Establishment is pretty good. Lifer I know you were asking why so many people were angry, maybe this can provide part of the answer (even though I suspect you’re not a Robert Reich fan it’s still worth a read).

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/35491-an-open-letter-to-the-republican-establishment

    (BTW I accidently posted this in today’s earlier post as well (“About Trump’s Big Win”), so if you want to delete that one be my guest.)

    • flypusher says:

      The lower classes are screwed with any of the GOP picks. Trump may talk the talk they want to hear, but his tax plan is just more of the same tax cuts for the rich.

      Henry Ford, who was no friend of unions, at least got that paying workers enough so that they could buy cars was a good long term economic plan.

      • johngalt says:

        Everyone other than the tiniest sliver at the top is screwed with the tax plans of the three main GOP candidates. All of them are basically mathematically impossible. Someone (apologies, but I can’t remember who) posted a link to an analysis of them. To make Rubio’s work, you start with “eliminate medicaid and all children’s health insurance” and this only gets you two-thirds of the way there, and that is without factoring in his planned increases in the military budget. Cruz and Trump have plans that are even more irresponsible.

        Rubio’s plan will cost $670 billion a year in revenue. The entire non-military discretionary budget is about $500 billion per year. There is no amount of growth that makes up for this.

      • 1mime says:

        The REpublicans can’t grow their way out of this problem. What they count on is that many people do not have the sophistication or desire to look more deeply into their budgets. What they will do, if they successfully buy all 3 branches of government in the coming election, is pay for their increases with more cuts to programs and services for the bottom three quarters of America’s people. Growth is smoke and mirrors; cuts is how they will pay for “their” narrowly focused budget plans.

      • flypusher says:

        Here’s a few graphs:

        http://www.vox.com/2016/2/25/11109160/donald-trump-marco-rubio-tax-comparison

        Despite what the righty trolls like to mindlessly bray, I don’t have envy of people with a lot of $. However, I do have issues with people who already have far more $ than they could ever spend, but they have to have even more, and they’re fine with getting it at the expense of people who have practically nothing. That’s a dick move, period.

      • 1mime says:

        Absolutely, Fly. All the while parading themselves around as Christians. Sorry, that cloak is covering up a lot of AH. Really, how much is enough for a person? Takiing from those who have so little so they can have more reeks of moral hypocrisy.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Mime, not only will they cut spending/taxes severely, my guess is they will also dramatically cut the budget of the agencies responsible for collecting and analysing economic data, so it will be much harder to even see the damage they are doing. Until it’s too late, of course.

      • 1mime says:

        True. After all, all of the GOP candidate frontrunners plan to abolish the IRS….which staff has been cut severely through the Republican budget process…to the point that they cannot go after tax cheaters …. which has been yielding a healthy return of revenue to the American taxpayer….but, when you want an agency to fail, you cut their budget so they can’t succeed.

        Strange, all these energy companies and the extended peripheral related suppliers they impact, have been cutting costs and divesting themselves of whatever ancillary divisions they can in order to survive. Good for them…..But, many are still going under and will take some banks with them…..Are there never any lessons here for capitalists to apply to government operation? Be efficient and effective – YES, but give people the resources they must have to perform the jobs they are tasked with.

    • 1mime says:

      Post this wherever you can, Griffin. It is excellent. Clearly stated and simple to understand. All of us should post/share this letter with our contact list. I have. Thanks for the link.

    • moslerfan says:

      Good article except for one thing. What Reich is completely right about is that lack of consumer demand for goods and services is why investment in new production capacity is stagnant and holding back economic growth, and that is making unemployment higher than necessary and keeping wages stagnant.

      The conclusion that Reich should reach is that the Government can stimulate consumer demand by cutting taxes on people who would spend the money on consumer goods. Cutting taxes for people who will “invest” it when there’s no prospect of profit in new capacity only drives up prices on existing assets. In other words, cut taxes for people like you and me, not taxes on hedge fund managers and investment bankers.

      Of course the hedge fund managers and investment bankers are lobbying Congress hand over fist to cut taxes further on “job creators” instead. I wonder which path Congress will choose.

      • 1mime says:

        Cutting taxes for lower income individuals would, of course, speak in favor of a graduated tax versus Cruz’ flat tax proposal. If the “trade-off” for a tax cut for lower income brackets is to accept a tax cut for those in the top 10%, it still won’t work. How do you see Lifer’s Guaranteed Basic Income fitting in with your support for tax cuts for working class people?

      • moslerfan says:

        As far as stimulating demand goes, tax cuts for low income or Guaranteed Basic Income both spend the same. No difference there, a dollar to spend is a dollar to spend. One could quibble about fairness or political expediency either way if one was so inclined.

        Flat tax has always seemed to me as a way to make tax cuts for the rich look “fair.”

      • 1mime says:

        The “ultimate sleight of hand”, right Mosler! It’s really kind of amusing that there is any discomfort at all from those who are benefiting so much from the tax loopholes their wall street accounting firms have devised. That’s why whenever the discussion turns around to tax reform for business, I chuckle. These corporations and wealthy individuals will never give up their loopholes in exchange for a “fair and reasonable” tax system. Fair and reasonable is the last thing they want. They want and expect privilege, after all, they are the “makers”.

  23. Griffin says:

    Wow what timing! Jonathan Chait just wrote an article with a similar theme: How Trump made Republicans half-aware of racism.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/trump-made-republicans-half-aware-of-racism.html

  24. libtard says:

    Appealing to racists definitely got Drumpf his start. Many thought he would top out at around 30% support once he ran out of bigots (which is pretty damning of the R party). But then he broke through that ceiling.

    Excellent article from Vox adds some deeper layers to Drumpf’s appeal.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

    • Glandu says:

      Frightening. And I see it in Europe as well. Front National voters loved the old fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen. They were not convinced by the daughter Marine Le Pen, when she took the lead of the party. Then she kicked him out of the party. THAT won her the support of the neonazi wing and the Algerian war nostalgics(young fascists & old fascists, if you prefer). Because, all of a sudden, they see her as someone tought enough to exile her own father, and no more as an illegitimate technocrat. And they love it. They don’t care if she’s not a true fascist(the old man was kicked out specifically for fascist talk). They love her authority.

      They are dreaming of a “true” boss. Someone who hit hard. They don’t realize they’d be amongst the first to be hit hard.

      • Creigh says:

        “They don’t realize they’d be amongst the first to be hit hard.” Right. And the people who want Trump to run the government like a business don’t think they will ever be “fired.”

  25. Oh, my. And now we have rock-ribbed Republican Chris Ladd quoting… Ta-Nehisi Coates. How very droll. Why is it that everything with Chris (and Obama, for that matter) boils down to race? One detects an unsavory whiff of overcompensation. Could it be there’s a grand wizard or two festering away in the ol’ East Texas genealogical woodshed?

    Yep, Trump’s a boor. Although, for much of his base, that counts as a plus. That aside, his general appeal isn’t really that hard to understand. To quote Theodore M. Wight of Seattle in his WSJ Letter to the Editor,

    “[Trump] is promoting the one thing many Americans want to hear: the greatness of America. Many, if not most Americans, believe America is the greatest country ever and want their leaders to confirm this. They are sick and tired of Democrats and the New York Times running down the country they love and being told that they are advantaged—those who have never been given anything, those that get up and go to work on time, work hard, obey laws and respect others—simply because they are white. They believe people should be judged by the content of their character and that most people are responsible for their own character.

    “If Mr. Trump wins, most certainly the U.S. will head into uncharted waters, but that seems better than the highway to socialism of the left.”

    Q.E.f’in-D.

    • goplifer says:

      Isn’t Trump a socialist?

      • Yeah, Chris, that’s the funny part of it all. Good ol’ H.L. Mencken was spot on:

        “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

      • goplifer says:

        Wait, but hold on. The op-ed you cited mentions that Trump will be the antidote to socialism. You don’t find that just a bit suspect?

      • goplifer says:

        After all, any definition of “socialism” broad enough to encompass Obama would also include Trump. Yet somehow Trump is going to save us from something that Obama is trying to do to us.

        It’s almost as if there were some factor in that chemical reaction that doesn’t show up on the ingredients list. I wonder what it could be.

      • Yeah, just a bit. Don’t mistake me for Trumpster, Chris. I don’t trust Trump on *anything* as far as I could throw him (and he’s a pretty big lug). What the denizens of our sheltered social stratum seem to be having a real hard time grokking is that working class America has reached DEFCON Honey Badger. They’ve had enough, and they just aren’t going to take anymore – from either party. Trump has tapped into that big time.

      • goplifer says:

        Stay with me here:

        “Trump has tapped into that big time.”

        Tapped into what, exactly? Lowest unemployment rates in decades? Record streak of job creation? Net negative immigration from Mexico? A steady, relentless decline in federal deficits?

        Or maybe fears of socialism? Having their guns taken away?

        What has *actually happened* that might leave people feeling…I don’t know…disoriented? Something that Trump seems to be offering a remedy for?

        See where I’m going? Look, race doesn’t explain everything in our world. In fact, in the big picture, it explains relatively little. But it matters far more than any Republican is willing to acknowledge.

        If the only thing that changed was that Republicans acquired to the capacity to recognize that race does matter, it does influence economic outcomes, and our racial history has effected people’s lives in the present, we could at least stop being pushed around by forces we don’t understand. That is a scary prospect because people are afraid of where an honest reckoning might lead. Better to take charge of something frightening than press it down and deny it.

      • Griffin says:

        I think there’s this idea that in the old days, when the economy pulled itself out of a recession (or, earlier than that, a “panic”) people could “feel” it, if you get what I’m saying. Now alot of the jobs that have been created don’t pay very well, and many working class people feel as though they have the same purchasing power they did in 2009.

        I think the second, more important factor was brought up by Tony Blair of all people, which is that technocratic, gloablization might be pragmatic but it makes people feel as though their lives are being run by the elite and the destiny of the nation is out of their control (the latter is partly true, especially for EU nations that have given up their national currency). We are in a state of constant uncertainty. No longer can we shrug it off if China has a recession. We ALL feel it if one major country has economic problems, and considering how unstable global economies tend to be people don’t feel like there’s much to look forward to.

        Noah Smith added to this by noting how much optimism there was in the late 90’s and the feeling that everything was going well, only for a bunch of disasters in the 2000’s (both political and economic) that made people turned off by optimism.

      • Give it a rest Chris. I see where your’re going. It’s just that you’re all (or at least mostly) wet.

        Median income in the Obama years? Down thousands of dollars:

        http://misunderstoodfinance.blogspot.com/2014/10/us-real-median-household-income-1999.html

        Labor participation rate? Yikes:

        http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/record-94610000-americans-not-labor-force-participation-rate-lowest-38

        If you’ve long since given up looking for work, you don’t show up in the unemployment numbers, Chris.

        It just ain’t all wine and roses out there in trailer park and low rent apartment land. For you and I illegal immigration is an academic issue. Cheap labor? Lower costs for goods and services? Yeah, baby. That hits my wallet in a good and happy way.

        Of course, if you make a living in the service sector, or working in the trades, or in manufacturing, life pretty much sucks, and has been sucking hard for a long time. And you certainly have no love lost for your neighbors from points south who are depressing the crap out of your wages and/or flat out taking away your job. And you have even less love lost for an entire political class that *REFUSES* to do anything to mitigate the situation. If you are that guy, you *like* what Trump is saying, and racism doesn’t have a dang thing to do with it. Get a clue. It’s the economy, stupid.

      • goplifer says:

        And this is all completely different from in the past right? I mean, life was great in the trailer park under GWB.

        And the fact that we’re experiencing net negative immigration from those guys “south of the border,” Obama gets credit for that, right?

        Racism can’t possibly have anything to do with this disconnect between perception and reality. So, I wonder what does?

      • “…technocratic, gloablization might be pragmatic but it makes people feel as though their lives are being run by the elite and the destiny of the nation is out of their control.”

        LOL. Griffin, that is the very ***definition*** of ‘democratic’ socialism. Must I refer you to remedial Hayek?

      • Chris, if you’ll actually examine that census data, you’ll see that life in the trailer park, if not great, was at least tolerable until 2008. It’s been rough sledding since.

        BTW, I’m not totally discounting your racism theory; I just don’t think its nearly as really, really, ridiculously important as you seem to think it is. People vote their wallets – always have; always will. Both parties have been ignoring the wallets of vast swaths of lower to middle income America for a very long time. Trump is fixin’ to make ’em pay for it.

      • Crogged says:

        Leaving off the last two years in discussing median income wasn’t necessary. http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Median-Household-Income-Update

      • Crogged says:

        And “workforce participation” always seems the scoundrel of my friends on the right, it has been decreasing for decades, even during those good ol days of whenever you want to pick.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Tracy Thorleifson:

        >] “BTW, I’m not totally discounting your racism theory; I just don’t think its nearly as really, really, ridiculously important as you seem to think it is. People vote their wallets – always have; always will. Both parties have been ignoring the wallets of vast swaths of lower to middle income America for a very long time. Trump is fixin’ to make ’em pay for it.”

        Yeah, people vote their wallets. Do people always know what’s best for said wallet stuffing though? More or less 50/50 on that one, IMO.

        As for racism though, I’d argue that it actually hurts incomes broadly. When we have some of our people not being allotted the same opportunities as others, our economy suffers because they’re not able to contribute as much as many of them otherwise would. Take it the obvious step further and others are put on the hook, helping to pay for welfare programs and other such things that drains their incomes, which in turn means that they have less money to pour into the economy.

        It’s a vicious cycle all around, and no one likes it. That’s why we desperately need a basic minimum income to set a floor for all people, no matter who they are. It’s a brilliantly simple idea that would solve so many issues in one fell swoop, it’s almost criminal.

        Racism and people’s incomes are quite inextricably linked, and we need to bring the hammer down on this problem so we can move on with our respective business in bringing about the most prosperous and brilliant future the world’s ever seen.

      • objv says:

        Hello from Trailer Land, NM where living in a nice trailer is no disgrace. 🙂 Chris come down for a visit. Whether you talk to a white, Hispanic or Native American, you will not hear many singing Obama’s praises. Our area has been hit hard by a double whammy of job losses. Both coal and natural gas industries have been heavily impacted lately.

        The loss of thousands of energy related jobs has effected the whole community from the dentist whose patients lost their dental insurance to the sales associate at a local small business idling away the time.

        Please tell them that Hillary will make it all better by keeping the Planned Parenthood clinic open and extending Obama’s policies. I’m sure you will get an earful no matter the ethnicity of who you talk to.

      • objv says:

        affected 🙂

    • Hi Tracy:

      I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Wight of Seattle.

      Trump rails on about how we are always losing, how China is beating us, Mexico sending us their unwanted, etc., and how we need to “make America great again”.

      Hillary picked up on this last night when she said “America has always been great”.

      • Neil, Hillary can chant “America has always been great” all she wants, but in the very next breath she’ll declare herself the enemy of some 5 million Americans (my fellow NRA members, roughly 30% of whom happen to be Dems), or echo Obama with a variant of, “You didn’t build that,” or, “If you don’t agree my socialist master plan, you’re racist, woman-hating, LGBT-hating scum,” or some other equally divisive BS.

        The 53% are sick and tired of Obama his ilk telling them in no uncertain terms that they are lazy, selfish, stupid, racist and generally suck. They’re equally sick and tired of GOP candidates telling that they’re going to make it all better, and then sitting on their collective thumbs upon being elected to office. Hence, (most likely) President-elect Trump, may God have mercy upon our souls.

      • goplifer says:

        Tracy, that’s a really odd comment. I would love to see the actual quote from President Obama that was somehow translated on the receiving end to “If you don’t agree my socialist master plan, you’re racist, woman-hating, LGBT-hating scum.”

        You know, verbs and nouns, not just secret meanings. Honestly, I’m not sure he actually said that, or something that could be similarly construed. You might have misheard the guy.

      • Griffin says:

        Lifer, I’m 80% sure you’re being trolled.

      • Griffin, I suffer the imp of the perverse: very seldom can I resist the temptation to yank Chris’ chain. That said, Obama *is* an incredibly partisan, patronizing, divisive ideologue. Good Lord, it only took the man 7 years to recognize that there might a problem in this country in that regard. Heck, give him a few more *decades*, and he might even figure out that he’s had something to do with it. But, hey, at least he’ll have something constructive to do with his retirement.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        >] “Griffin, I suffer the imp of the perverse: very seldom can I resist the temptation to yank Chris’ chain. That said, Obama *is* an incredibly partisan, patronizing, divisive ideologue. Good Lord, it only took the man 7 years to recognize that there might a problem in this country in that regard. Heck, give him a few more *decades*, and he might even figure out that he’s had something to do with it. But, hey, at least he’ll have something constructive to do with his retirement.”

        As one who voted for President Obama twice, I’d be the first to come out and say that he made some very real mistakes when he came into office and in his time since. I’d also say that President Reagan, a man whom I like, absolutely should’ve been impeached for his Iran-Contra scandal, but hey, no one’s perfect, y’know? We can mince words here and there, but we’ve got the country’s business to move on with.

        That’s more than I can say for the Republicans who decided, quite literally on President Obama’s Inauguration Day, that they would come together and resolutely block any and all of his agenda for political gain. Mitch “The Turtle” McConnell, Paul “The Bearded Lady” Ryan, Kevin “Incompetent Sandwich” McCarthy and others; unrepentant assholes, each and every one of them.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “[Trump] is promoting the one thing many Americans want to hear: the greatness of America. Many, if not most Americans, believe America is the greatest country ever and want their leaders to confirm this. They are sick and tired of Democrats and the New York Times running down the country they love ”

      It seems like Trump is doing the exact literal opposite of that. Hes not praising America. Hes talking about how shitty it is now, and how its filled with losers, and it always loses, and the Chinese are always kicking sand in our face etc etc.

      Thats not talking about the greatness of America.

  26. Titanium Dragon says:

    The problem with the Black Lives Matter movement is that it fundamentally refuses to recognize reality.

    We’ve done numerous studies on police action and police violence. The problem is that these studies have shown the same result:

    The police, at least at a national level, aren’t racist.

    Blacks are killed by police as often as would be expected from underlying crime rates, and are arrested as often as would be expected from underlying crime rates, and sentenced as would be expected given pasts of criminal activity and the severity of the crimes committed.

    The problem is, when you dig down into it, you find that race isn’t actually a factor in law enforcement’s treatment of people on a national level.

    That means that any approach based in law enforcement isn’t going to fix the underlying problem.

    The problem is, in fact, a cultural issue. White people don’t make black people kill each other. In fact, crime has gone up in black communities even as living conditions have otherwise greatly improved.

    Pretending like this is a result of white racism when it postdates the banning of overtly racist policies is deeply problematic.

    The reality is that it robs black communities of agency and claims that all these problems are caused by whites.

    Well, sorry, but they’re not. They’re caused by blacks.

    The government means well for black people, by and large, but governmental policies are incapable of fixing the problems in these communities. They can police and tamp down on it, but the result is a third of black males ended up incarcerated at some point or another.

    That isn’t really solving the problem so much as it is treating the symptoms.

    Black Lives Matters really is a racist group. The idea of establishing “safe spaces” for black people is outright segregation. You can’t pretend like these people aren’t racist; they are. They’d rather move out of the Nashville Public Library than allow their meetings to be open to the general public. Any group which is unwilling to accept people of all races is and always will be racist.

    The reality is that Black Lives Matters is an undirected backlash against the wrong people.

    • 1mime says:

      Government can help Black people and all working class people, Tracy, through good public schools, safe neighborhoods, and child care. There is also a need for reform in the justice system, but I concur that local and state police and prisons are much more to blame….which the BLM people clearly understand.

      I am sorry to learn that the BLM meetings are closed. That needs to change so they remain open to input.

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry, Titanium Dragon, the above post was intended as a response to your remarks. I need to go to bed early tonight….3rd mistake today in my posting. Geez!

      • LOL. Well, 1mime, your confusion is entirely understandable. I couldn’t have penned a better post than TD on the topic, but I’d be proud to claim it as mine. 😉

      • And 1mime, “good public schools, safe neighborhoods, and child care” are fundamentally a locally produced and consumed products.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Education only helps if we lower the dropout rate. A lot of this is a cultural issue; when your dropout rate is 50% higher, and the dropouts are the people who are the ones who commit the most crime, what do you do, exactly?

        At any given point in time, about a third of black high-school dropouts are in jail or prison in the decade or so after they drop out of school. That’s not “total lifetime incarceration”, that’s “at any given moment in time”. It is totally unacceptable.

        More education funding does nothing for those people. You need to keep them in school.

        But you can’t do that on your own. You need the parents and community to help. And parental involvement in majority-black schools is poor.

        Throwing money at the problem isn’t going to fix it, but it is a good way to make ourselves feel all progressive and like we’re helping.

        It has to go beyond the schools and into the communities.

      • 1mime says:

        Precisely, Titan, as I stated: help from within and without. Change has to begin in the homes and neighborhoods, but resources facilitate the changes….”safe” community centers for kids to visit after school; quality teachers and current materials of instruction, law enforcement that is local – IOW, the police know the people of the area they patrol; child care so that single moms can work and safely care for their children; and yes, gang control and eradication.

        Titan, I don’t know your background, but crime is far more likely in poor, multi-cultural areas. The reasons are obvious; the solutions are hard.

      • 1mime says:

        Money alone, will not help. Money spent in smart ways is a huge help. The article points out the basic and most important ones: smaller classes, longer school years, and better paid teachers, and quality materials of instruction(computers, shop equipment, printers, libraries) , health centers for students, after school programs, transportation and access to magnet programs.

        Year round school has been a boon to low income areas where the community and teachers have accepted it. You are correct, unarmed, more money if properly focused, can make a big difference. The parents of students in low income areas lack the financial ability to fund raise for their children’s schools in amounts that can augment state and local funding.

      • One might even go so far as to suggest that it’s necessary for one to take responsibility for one’s own life, and to respect the lives of others. Some call this virtue, some call it character, some just call it doing the right thing. Like all the best things in life, it’s simple, but hard. And while others can show you how to do it (preferably parents), they can’t do it for you. Nor can you take it away from somebody else and appropriate if for yourself. You can’t throw money at it; you can’t substitute a government program for it. It’s something you have to do for yourself.

        Aw, heck. That’s just crazy talk. I’m pretty sure all these inner city problems stem from racism and not enough federal budget devoted to social programs.

      • 1mime says:

        Nah, Tracy, all these people? They just need to work harder. Some of the hardest working people I know are still struggling to provide for their families. You simply cannot make broad assumptions about people. I have never been poor, for which I am grateful. But I try very hard to not be critical of those who are. It’s a wonderful exercise in Christianity, BTW.

      • 1mime says:

        Newly elected Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, is moving positively on many fronts. He is trying to work with minority areas experiencing high crime levels by getting them involved. That’s a great start.

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Turner-wants-community-buy-in-to-stop-violence-6866762.php

    • TD, fair warning: pointing out unpleasant, but incontrovertible facts is seldom helpful in this venue.

    • Crogged says:

      And let’s address the real issue here, Titanium is full of shit and assertions but most definitely wrong. http://www.vox.com/cards/police-brutality-shootings-us/us-police-racism

      • Hey, fifty, “don’t get trolled,” eh? Thank goodness, we can always count on Crogged to be the exception that proves the rule, right? 😉

      • Crogged says:

        Facts are “trolling”, talking about racism is racist and motherfucking Donald Trump has “tapped into” ummmm “Anger” or concerns about the scourge of political correctness holding us all back. Sounds like a winner, see you in November.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        The overall black crime rate is 28% of all crime.

        https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-43

        They commit 50% of homicides and robberies, which are probably the most likely to result in dead bodies.

        Also, while there aren’t nationwide statistics on this, blacks in NYC at least are much more likely to resist arrest than whites (about twice as likely), which dramatically increases the chance of death:

        http://www.wnyc.org/story/resisting-arrest-black-white/

        The problem is that the numbers which are relevant aren’t their proportion of the population – it is their proportion of the population which is likely to be killed by police.

        The most likely people to be killed by police are criminals who resist arrest.

        Blacks are disproportionately likely to be criminals who resist arrest.

        Frankly, if the resisting arrest figures in NYC hold across the entire country, then it is a minor miracle that it is only 31% of fatalities and not even higher than that.

      • goplifer says:

        One more time, when a kid in my neighbor gets pulled over with a bag a weed, he goes to jail right? He ends up in those crime stats? Ends up “resisting arrest”? No matter that he’s white and driving a beemer, he gets treated just like everyone else. He gets pulled over for suspicion on a regular basis.

        Go ahead and post those stats about who gets pulled over.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m catching my “second wind” here (-: I understand what you are saying, but, here’s the thing. Black problems in America, regardless of cause, impact all of us in a myriad of ways. If you think you can avoid it by living in a WASP community, you’re wrong. If you look at the problem of Black crime, arrest, incarceration (there’s a deep subject), adjudication, without looking at attendant poverty, education and home environment factors, you’re wasting your time. I am interested in seeing the studies you alluded to. Frankly, I’m tired of casting blame, I want to see solutions.

        It is helpful to talk to those who have labored long and hard to try to bring about change within Black communities – from within, and from without. Racism does exist, it does impact crime, and crime impacts not only the quality of people’s lives, but our economic security. If we deal with the underlying contributory problems that are motivating “bad” behavior, whether it is Black on Black, police on Black, or whatever, we make progress. If all we do is assign blame, that is a poor excuse for not working to understand and address underlying issues.

      • Crogged says:

        So we have a huge white crime problem we aren’t addressing because we aren’t racist?

    • Hi:

      Can you post some links to these studies. Cheers.

      • Neil, it’s call the FBI National Crime Statistics Tables, published annually:

        https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

        Knock your lights out.

      • goplifer says:

        What happens to white kids in great neighborhoods who get caught with drugs? Do they end up in the FBI’s crime stats?

        Just asking for a friend.

      • Well, Chris, we both know the answer to that one. Here’s few, related, questions for your friend:

        Are your white polly purebreds in the great neighborhood entertaining themselves by doing drive-bys on Friday nights? Pimping out their hooked girlfriends, and busting the heads of the completion? Cutting their neighbors because they’re sporting the wrong colors?

        Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, law enforcement is concentrating its attention where its due?

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Lifer: drug charges are not the primary driver of incarceration in America. Even if we set every drug offender free, it wouldn’t change much, and we’d still have the highest incarcerated population in the world by a wide margin. Only about 300,000 people are in jail for “drug charges”, and that’s actually an exaggeration, as in reality, that’s just 300,000 people who are in jail for which their drug charges are their longest sentence; about 2/3rds of them committed other crimes as well.

        The largest factor which determines whether or not you get sent to jail for drug charges is whether or not you’ve committed other crimes. And you’re much more likely to get CAUGHT with drugs if you commit some other crime, or are on probation. Also, you’re more likely to be caught with drugs if someone AROUND you commits a crime as well. All of these structural factors result in more drug charges for blacks, and jail time as well because of criminal activity.

        The net result of all this is that blacks are both more likely to be caught with drugs because of other criminal activity, past or present, and more likely to be sentenced to jail time FOR drug possession because people with past criminal convictions are much more likely to be sent to jail for it.

        The police are unlikely to catch the suburban kid with a bag of weed because he and his friends aren’t doing anything to draw attention to themselves. They’re also much less likely to go to jail for it because most first-time drug offenders don’t go to jail for it.

        They’ve done studies on criminal sentencing, and they’ve found that once you account for number and severity of charges, past criminal activity, and other factors, race disappears as a factor in sentencing. In other words, while black people are more likely to be sentenced to long jail terms, or put in jail for drugs, it isn’t because they’re black, but because of the same factors which would lead to a white person being put in jail. It is simply that black people are more demographically likely to have past criminal convictions or commit more severe crimes.

      • Dragon, are you suggesting there might be some sort of link between the drug trade and systemic, endemic, violent criminal behavior? Careful now, that could be construed as racist.

      • dowripple says:

        “Lifer: drug charges are not the primary driver of incarceration in America.”

        I’m not sure how you are making that connection when “The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,531,251 arrests)…”

        (from 2011 stats, FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/persons-arrested/persons-arrested)

        While first offenders may not even go to jail, it has a cumulative effect on subsequent arrests, especially when you can’t afford a lawyer.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Dow: very, very few of those drug arrests result in people going to jail.

        About 12 million people are arrested each year. 1.5 million drug arrests means you’re talking only 1 in 8 people who are arrested are arrested on drug related stuff. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of those – about 75% – are very minor offenses which almost never result in jail time.

        DUIs are #2, at 1.2 million arrests, and larceny-theft is #3, also at 1.2 million arrests.

        Yes, it may be the #1 “cause of arrest”, but that’s not really indicative of what fraction of the total it is. When you consider only 1 in 8 arrests is drug-related, that means that even if all drugs were legalized, you’d be cutting arrests by only 1/8th at most. More problematically, however, what is recorded is the most SERIOUS offense at the time of arrest. This means that drug arrests are actually somewhat overstated; if someone is suspected of being a thief, and during the investigation they find out that they deal meth, that person’s arrest will be a “drug arrest”, not a larceny-theft arrest, even though the reason for the investigation was originally the larceny, not the drugs.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Titanium – your handle suggests some interesting combinations when shortened. I was wondering if you could provide some links to the studies you mention. Don’t put more than one in your post, unless you want it delayed. I’m sure you have multiple sources, because you sound very sure of your point.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Aw, that’s why the post didn’t go up. Anyway, the most obvious is table 43 of the FBI:

        https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-43

        You can look up table 43 from other years as well if you’re interested, it comes out pretty much the same.

        50% of homicides and over 50% of robberies are committed by blacks. Both of those crimes seem more likely than average to result in the police having to use violence against the perpetrator.

        But in any case, the difference between 28% and 31% probably isn’t meaningful on a dataset of only 1000 people; that’s within the bounds of noise.

        The NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey) agrees with the FBI’s numbers, FYI.

        Also, in NYC, blacks are about twice as likely to resist arrest.

        I replied with more links in a delayed post, but Google should be able to find a lot of it.

        It isn’t really surprising if you think about it, though. What areas of the US are noted for being high crime? Inner-city ghettos. That’s why no one builds businesses there (which is why there aren’t any jobs – who wants to get robbed all the time?), and they’re overwhelmingly populated by blacks.

        You can’t end up with cities with homicide rates higher than Mexico without this happening.

        The reality is that these areas are extraordinarily high crime in seas of much lower crime, so it isn’t really surprising that black crime rates are higher.

        Interestingly, this is a large deviation from historical norms – back in the 1950s, their crime rates weren’t nearly so high. Crime of people of all races rose in the 1960s, and spiked in the 1970s-1990s crime wave, but it hit blacks especially hard.

        People forget the crack epidemic of the 1980s, but shit got really bad in the inner cities. Things have gotten a lot better since the peak, with homicide rates tumbling 50% in the last two decades, but some areas still have sky-high homicide and crime rates.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Titanium – I was hoping to see studies done of shootings by police where the shootee unarmed. Broken out by race. You have no argument from me and most of the people who post here about crimes committed by Black people. By the way, the info at the Vox link from Crogged is from the FBI. So your link says Blacks commit more crimes, Vox says when they do they get harsher punishment and higher likelihood of being shot while unarmed.

        You point to a cultural failing. Some cities have middle class Blacks and I would assume they have a lower crime rate. So the ones that haven’t joined this middle class lifestyle, why? What is it about the Black culture that requires them to live in the poor part of town? Why don’t they get a middle income job? Why do the continue to raise their children in a violent culture. You aren’t saying it is inherent in their ..um.. genetics, are you?

        Why are you so certain that there is nothing the government can do?

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Why do black people live in bad parts of town?

        The answer is a combination of historical factors (redlining, blockbusting) combined with socioeconomic factors (places which are poor and high crime are cheap to live in relative to nicer areas, meaning that poor people will tend to live in worse areas of town because they’re the places where they can afford to live, and blacks are more likely to be poor). It is also self-reinforcing – areas with high crime rates will drive away everyone who can afford to move, leaving only the poor people behind, because they’re too poor to be able to afford to move.

        Moreover, these areas tend to stay poor as long as they are high-crime. People talk about giving economic incentives to businesses to move into the area, but no economic incentive is worth getting robbed or shot. This discourages most businesses from moving into said areas because you simply aren’t going to offer them enough money to make it worthwhile; moreover, these areas are poor, so the incentives they can AFFORD to offer businesses to move in simply aren’t that great to begin with.

        Once the crime goes away, then the area will tend to gentrify, possibly rapidly, as people move in and buy up the cheap property which is now undervalued. Property values soar, rent goes up, and the poor people who lived in the area now end up moving out of it because of the increased cost of renting (as many poor people do not own their own housing).

        And where do these poor people end up moving to?

        Other shitty areas where they can afford to live.

        There are other issues as well. When you’re talking areas where 1 in 3-4 men ends up in jail or prison at some point, that’s endemic. And that’s the case in some of these places. At such high crime rates, everyone knows criminals – and criminals know everyone.

        Everyone is familiar with the “my baby/friend/family member is a perfect angel” story from people whose family members are accused of committing crimes; when crime is so endemic in an area, it is likely to make the entire population hostile to police because everyone knows a criminal, and thus their “my angel” issue is much more likely to crop up. Personal bias towards the person they know all too often outweighs loyalty to the law, and of course, almost all criminals will claim to be innocent, that they didn’t do it, that they were really justified, ect. and if you actually know the person you’re going to be much more sympathetic to that argument.

        The net result is a population which is hostile to police presence and has a very high crime rate at the same time.

        Add to this a bit of racism – the idea of “acting white”/”selling out to THE MAN”, and the idea that middle and upper-class black folks look down their noses at them, ALA Ben Carson and Bill Cosby – and you have a nice recipe for a bad place to be. An environment where people are full of resentment, where they see themselves as victims of persecution because their friends are being arrested and thrown in jail for criminal activity, where people don’t value education because that’s just training you to be a lapdog for white people, ect.

        It isn’t a good situation.

        One solution is to break up the ghettos – they’ve found that if you take lower-income people and spread them out over a broader area, the lower-income folks will tend to more closely resemble their higher-income neighbors culturally and in terms of crime rates.

        But breaking up these areas is really controversial – saying “you can’t live here with other poor people, you have to be spread out across suburbia” is not going to be super popular. Many people value their homes and communities, and resent the idea of trying to push them away from their neighbors. Likewise, no one really wants a bunch of poor people moving in next door. Add in a bit of racism from both sides – the black people thinking white people are all klansmen, and the white people thinking the black people are criminals – and you’ve got even more resistance to such plans.

        Such social engineering projects also raise human rights issues – is it even fair to try and break up communities like this? You’re also sort of intentionally destroying the culture of said regions, which is often seen as ethnocentric, and we have a bit of a history with destroying cultures of minorities here in the US which makes a lot of people leery of such cultural engineering projects.

      • 1mime says:

        In reference to breaking up ghettos and spreading poor people around, this was done in New Orleans, LA following Hurricane Katrina. The ghetto areas, aka “projects” had been destroyed in the storm so it was a perfect opportunity to try something radically different. Social engineering and housing in one fell swoop. I haven’t followed the effort in recent years, but it was implemented and did experience some success. There was also the very real exodus of middle class, educated Black families who decided to simply leave and start a new life. Some returned, but most did not. They basically exported the resettlement process from within the city of New Orleans to a new state…many went to Texas.

        These are thoughtful, bold initiatives and while they are not always successful, the status quo rarely is. Your comment reminded me of this experiment.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Incidentally, WRT: according to the Washington Post 40% of shootings of unarmed people in 2015 were of unarmed black men.

        That isn’t actually that impressive of a number, though. “Unarmed” people represented less than 10% of all police shootings, and black men represented 40% of those, meaning that we’re talking about a sample size of 36 people (out of 965) here.

        Another problem is the definition of “unarmed”. For instance, if someone is shot to death while steering a motor vehicle towards a police officer or otherwise behaving in a reckless manner which puts the lives of others in danger, and they don’t have a weapon on them, they’re “unarmed” according to this data, but that’s really misleading – from a legal standpoint, they were armed with a lethal weapon (their vehicle).

        As the article notes:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/

        There are situations where someone tries to flee from police while driving a vehicle where they end up getting shot. Someone fleeing the cops speeding down a residential street isn’t what most people think of when they think of someone who was unarmed who was shot to death by a police officer.

        The reality is it is hard to say that 40% number even means anything. With such a tiny sample size, 40% and 28% probably aren’t distinguishable, and that’s assuming that unarmed black people are the same as unarmed people of other races in terms of behavior, which may or may not be the case.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Dragon – although this became a hot button issue in 2015, there are data from before 2015 that provide a nicer sample to analyze.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        titdragon- I have decided you have been trollin’. Mighty fine trollin’, but still, trollin’.

        Listen, I believe that we need to do something different that we are doing now. The BLM movement may be hard to take, and not present their complaints well, but they have some part of the truth on their side.

        So, if institutional/governmental racism can cause huge hardships for a class of people, why can’t it alleviate it?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Our Titanium Dragon and TT are just precious.

      I’ll forgive an illustrious dragon for he knows not, but Tracy is smarter than this and has a better grasp of data.

      As our shiny Dragon notes, let’s start at the national level, and let’s take a flipped-side view of Black Lives Matter.

      What is the single biggest predictor of whether a murderer will receive a death sentence?
      The race of the victim.

      Blacks and Whites are killed in approximately equal numbers in the US (noting the disproportionate lawlessness that Tracy would quote from FBI statistics), yet about 80% of those sentenced to die killed a White person. It seems that White lives matter just a bit more.

      As a defendant, a Black folks are at least twice (and higher in many states) as likely to have prosecution pursue the death penalty, even after controlling for the number of victims, the prior criminal record of the defendant, and the number of aggravating factors alleged by the prosecutor.

      It is not necessarily that juries are somewhat biased (although they are), but that train starts with the folks deciding whether or not to pursue the death penalty. For fun, in states that have the death penalty, 95% of elected prosecutors are White. In 9 death penalty states, 100% of elected prosecutors are white.

      If we would move beyond our grand dragon’s focus at the national level, we could visit various city’s and state’s stop and frisk program and any number of studies regarding traffic violations.

      Here in Bellaire, we have our own study showing that way more than 50% of people who are pulled over for traffic stops are Black or Hispanic even though Blacks and Hispanics make up less than 10% of Bellaire’s population.

      Now, you could accurately argue that Bellaire is surrounded by a whole lot of racial diversity that drives through Bellaire, and sure, that could certainly account for some of these race group differences.

      Then, it gets interesting. The reasons people get pulled over become fun variables. Speeding is easy, but lots of folks get pulled over for expired inspections, missing tail lights, expired tags, etc. Want to guess which groups get pulled over more for those things?

      You could accurately argue that Blacks and Hispanics actually are more likely to have expired tags and inspections and to drive vehicles with more mechanical problems than do Whites.

      But then, it gets even more interesting. Once the person is pulled over, the number of searches conducted is very disproportionate for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Blacks and Hispanics are way, way more likely to be searched than are Whites. Interestingly, Blacks and Hispanics are actually way less likely to be found with contraband than Whites.

      At some point, the officer makes a decision to ask the person if the cop can search the vehicle or to believe there is enough probable cause to search the vehicle without consent. Every bit of data you can find will show that officers make that decision disproportionately more for non-Whites. The fact that they find more contraband with Whites suggests that they search Whites when they have a pretty good reason to search them, but I wonder what the reason is that makes them search so many more non-Whites who do not possess contraband?

      Then, we could talk about what happens when contraband is found. Want to guess what is likely to happen when the 17-year old Bellaire kid is found with a dime bag in his new SUV compared to the 17-year old kid Sharpstown kid with a dime bag in his old Corolla?

      But sure, the Black Lives Matter folks are the problem and the real racists.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Black people only make up 45% of people on death row nationally. They constitute 50% of people who commit homicide. This suggests that blacks are actually somewhat underrepresented on death row, as the ONLY offense which warrants the death penalty is homicide.

        Moreover, the 80% white victims actually makes sense. Which is more likely to result in a death sentence, do you think: someone who shoots their drug dealer after getting in a fight with them, or someone who kidnaps, rapes, and murders someone?

        The latter, right?

        A lot of black homicides are not of the “kidnap, rape, murder” kind, but of the “street violence” kind. Thus, while blacks may constitute 50% of homicides, they don’t constitue 50% of the worst murders – and the worst murders are disproportionately likely to be the ones which get the death penalty.

        Thus, they should be underrepresented somewhat from their homicide rate.

        On the other hand, if you look at the crime victim stats cross-referenced by race:

        https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-6

        You’ll see that whites killed only 193 blacks in cases where the murderer was known in 2011, but blacks killed 448 whites.

        Cross-racial crimes are unusual – almost all murders are intraracial, not interracial. This often means that a homicide victim who is of a different race from the perpetrator is not a “usual victim”, but instead has been killed for some other reason. Thus, these cross-racial crimes are probably the most likely to be something where the death penalty would apply – a hate crime, or something where the circumstances are aggravated, such as a murder during the comission of a felony, such as a robbery or something similar (felony murder is always first degree murder).

        Both of these phenomena combined is likely to result in people who commit crimes against white victims being overrepresented in terms of people who are put on trial and exposed to the death penalty. Thus, that 80% figure isn’t actually that surprising when you think about it.

        That isn’t to say that it is impossible that racism doesn’t play a factor in it; I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it did. But there are underlying factors which suggest that white victims may be more likely to be the targets of the worst crimes.

        Though there may be another reason as well: black juries may simply be less likely to hand out death sentences than white juries, so homicides which occur where the jury population is mostly black are less likely to result in people being sentenced to death.

        Incidentally, WRT differential pull-over rates:

        The relevant question is not population fraction but infraction fraction. You cannot simply assume that all people are equally likely to commit traffic infractions.

        That said, I think that 50% is pretty suspicious. Nationally, only 13% of DUIs are given out to blacks, and blacks are not vastly more likely to die in automobile accidents than whites are according to the NHTSA. A national study by the BJS in 2011 found about 13% of blacks end up getting pulled over, compared to about 10% of whites. If you look at the actual reasons, blacks are slightly more likely to be pulled over for vehicle defects, record checks, or “no reason given”, but the difference in those stats is too small to make up for the difference, suggesting that blacks are genuinely more likely to commit traffic infractions. That said, the difference is like 25%, not 500%, which suggests that your local police force is probably either racist or something else strange is going on, such as the police camping out in some areas more than others.

        One major caveat, however, is the difficulty in ascertaining the race of a driver before pulling them over. This is especially true of hispanics, who aren’t really that visually distinctive when seated in a motor vehicle travelling at speed. This makes me suspect that the actual cause is less likely to be direct racism and more likely to be a result of policing patterns. If you live in a higher-crime area, there’s going to be more cops around to notice you driving without a seatbelt or speeding, too. This is a pretty well-known phenomenon.

        I’d be interested in a link to the study, if you have one handy. The only one I could find was a Houston study which suggested that Hispanics and whites were about as likely to be pulled over each other, with blacks being overrepresented. According to the Houston study, 18% of whites and 16% of blacks and hispanics stopped by police were arrested, which suggests that blacks weren’t being unduly targeted.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        We can also have fun looking at the FBI data and then digging a bit further when it comes to police shootings.

        Our Dragon and Tracy would point out that Black folks are shot and killed by police at a rate that is approximately proportionate with their rates of arrests (and we’ll quibble with the obviously non-racist reasons for those disproportionate arrest rates later).

        However, as we dig a little deeper, an interesting finding emerges. Police shoot and kill plenty of armed and unarmed people in the US.

        When police kill armed people, Blacks make up about 25% of those killed. Certainly disproportionate to the overall racial makeup of the country, but not wildly, wildly disproportionate.

        When police kill unarmed people, Blacks make up about 45% of those killed.

        I wonder what it is about an unarmed Black person that makes them so much more scary than an unarmed White person?

      • 1mime says:

        Homer, it’s sometimes difficult to get beyond statistics and actually see the problems beneath them. Addressing underlying social and cultural problems that impact young and old people who are poor and poorly educated is a far better investment of time and energy than reading FBI tables. Not that one wants to be uninformed of relevant data, but that it is easy to become consumed by statistics and fail to grasp the inherent problems. I think that’s the case here.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Dragon: ” If you look at the actual reasons, blacks are slightly more likely to be pulled over for vehicle defects, record checks, or “no reason given”, but the difference in those stats is too small to make up for the difference, suggesting that blacks are genuinely more likely to commit traffic infractions. ”

        Are you seriously going to argue that based on those data, Black folks are genuinely more likely to commit traffic infractions? To top that off, you are going to argue that police really do not have an inkling of the race of a driver? Come on.

        Much like with every punt in a football game and every low-post play in basketball, any number of infractions are going on. Some are called and the vast majority are not. The police could pull people over for any number of infractions every 5 minutes of every day, but they don’t.

        You focused a bit on DUI, and the funny thing about DUIs is that they are about the only traffic stop that does not favor White folks.

        But let’s go a bit deeper. In a pretty decent study by UNC with a few million data points, when controlling for the reason of the traffic stop, Black folks were searched way, way more than White folks (with the exception of DUIs). So, a Black kid in North Carolina pulled over for not wearing a seat belt was about 200% more likely to get searched. If he was violating the speed limit, about 75% more likely to be searched. Inspection sticker/equipment issues, about 100% more likely to be searched. Only DUIs had White people searched more frequently.

        I’m smart enough to know that there are a few hundred variables that come into play with crime statistics and race, but your head has to be way, way in the sand to try to argue that racism isn’t one of (and a decent sized one) of those variables.

      • “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” – Community activist chant, circa 2015 CE

        HH, let’s just posit that there’s enough racism to go around. We can dally with statistics (“There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics.”) until we go blue in the face. As a guy who grew up around LEOs, I will state that the simple fact of the matter is that cops get pretty darn proficient at picking up on the baddies among us. Go ahead, call it profiling. Or call it subliminal cue assessment. Call it what you want. But I will simply tell you that a good cop will figure out PDQ if he/she’s dealing with a miscreant, and will then look for any opportunity to take said miscreant into custody. Frankly, I’m good with that. And you should be, too.

        It’s a simple fact that the poorest, most dangerous, most crime-ridden neighborhoods are predominantly populated by minorities, and the criminal element in those neighborhoods conforms to the neighborhood demographics. Furthermore, that criminal element preys primarily on the locals. And the cops generally know who they are; it’s just a matter of hanging a charge on them that sticks.

        Now, I feel bad for the plight of the folks who live in such neighborhoods. A lot of factors have led to that plight. Racism is one. Misguided government social programs are another. Illicit drugs streaming across porous borders figure into it, too. And yes, the cultural norms and life choices of the residents of such places play a major role. But there’s one thing I’m pretty sure of: when a bad guy gets taken off the street and gets sent to jail, life for everybody gets just a little bit better.

      • “When police kill armed people, Blacks make up about 25% of those killed. Certainly disproportionate to the overall racial makeup of the country, but not wildly, wildly disproportionate.

        “When police kill unarmed people, Blacks make up about 45% of those killed.”

        HH, blacks commit roughly 50% of violent crime; the 45% stat is consistent with that. A more interesting question to ask is, why the black proportion of armed shooting deaths is so low? Why is that armed whites are killed by police at disproportionately high rates relative to armed blacks? Hmm.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Houston: I replied about the unarmed shootings above, but we’re talking about 36 unarmed black people in the entire US being shot in 2015, out of a total of 90 unarmed people. That’s a tiny number which is unlikely to give you any sort of statistical significance. Moreover, as I noted, “unarmed” doesn’t actually necessarily mean unarmed; someone who is driving a motor vehicle is armed with a deadly weapon if they are using it in a way which endangers the life of another human being. There’s a difference between “guy running down street shot in back by cops” and “guy who gets busted by cops tries to run one over in order to escape” (this actually happened to a white person who got busted for dealing drugs; they steered towards a police officer while trying to peel out of the parking lot and ended up getting shot to death. They are marked as “unarmed” in the database, but I think you can agree that calling someone in a two-ton truck “unarmed” when they’re steering it towards someone is questionable, though it is ambiguous from the video whether the perpetrator was trying to run over the cop or just get out of there and the cop was in the way).

        Even if we assumed that half of those shootings were unjustified, we’d still be talking about 18 people out of a population of over 300 million people. And given even most of these cases don’t result in people being found guilty by juries, it is probably even less than that.

        There is no doubt that police officers do sometimes straight up murder people. But it isn’t a common event – no more common than the general population, most likely.

        Also, WRT: blacks being searched more than whites: that’s not surprising. Overall, you’d expect about twice as many black people to have a warrant out for their arrest/match the description of a suspect in a recent crime as a member of the general population, which would mean you’d expect 2x as many searches on average.

      • 1mime says:

        I’d like to recommend a book on this general subject that I found helpful and disturbing for your consideration.

        “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption”, by Bryan Stevenson

        Paperback – August 18, 2015

        http://www.amazon.com/Just-Mercy-Story-Justice-Redemption-ebook/dp/B00JYWVYLY/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        HH: Blacks do not make up 50% of violent crime. Look at table 43 of the FBI. They make up 50% of homicides and robberies, but they make up only about 33% of aggravated assaults and 30% of forcible rapes. Homicides are by far the rarest kind of violent crime, while aggravated assaults are by far the most common. Overall, blacks commit about a third of violent crimes, not 50%.

        https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-43

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I have a relatively fun job that has provided the opportunity to work pretty closely with a number of law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal levels – from our lovely jails here in Houston to some very interesting parts of Chicago to an inordinate amount of time with the FBI.

        I would not necessarily disagree that most competent LEOs develop an ability to pretty quickly identify some of the bad folks. I think I would argue that they look extra hard at some folks and miss a lot of other bad folks (either willfully, unconsciously, or because it is too much effort).

        I’d probably disagree with “But there’s one thing I’m pretty sure of: when a bad guy gets taken off the street and gets sent to jail, life for everybody gets just a little bit better”, but I guess it would depend on how we are defining “bad guy” in this case – are they really, really bad or just kkinda bad? We put a whole lot of folks in jail in this country, and I’m not sure that has made life for everybody just a little bit better.

        With regard to frying pigs, I would posit it is better to be on the receiving end of a chant from a frustrated group of people than being on the receiving end of the police treatment in Ferguson.

        With regard to statistics, they can only lie to you if you don’t bother to look at them.

      • flypusher says:

        “With regard to frying pigs, I would posit it is better to be on the receiving end of a chant from a frustrated group of people than being on the receiving end of the police treatment in Ferguson.”

        We get that some people here don’t approve of BLM’s means. Fair enough. But you guys don’t say much about their grievances. Do you find them legit or not? And why?

    • johngalt says:

      Titanium, thanks for proving Chris’s points in perfect clarity. BLM “really is a racist group” while “a third of black males ended up incarcerated.” To write these sentences requires a complete suspension of disbelief in terms of the color-blindedness of American justice. You literally have to ignore decades of data documenting race-based distinctions in prosecution and sentencing.

      Then you move on to dropout rates, which you describe as a “cultural issue” and for which no amount of money will help “those people.” Dropout rates and educational attainment have little to do with race and much to do with the educational level and socioeconomic status of the parents. Go to Appalachia or Fresno or Cheyenne and tell me how the good white kids are doing there. Except you’re not intellectually honest enough to do that.

      Next is crime rates. Seriously, how is there today a person intelligent enough to use the internet today who does not recognize the inherent biases (as Chris points out) in the application of justice in America? It’s beyond the pale.

      Thanks for stopping by, Titanium, and proving, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the existence of subtle, pervasive racism that the vast majority choose to sweep under the rug And, yes, I mean you.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        Dropout rates are a cultural issue. To argue otherwise is to be wrong. You can actually look at the demographics of dropout rates, and it is very self-evident that parental behavior and the culture someone grows up in have an enormous impact on whether or not they drop out of school.

        Throwing more money at the schools will not fix the problem. It is a way to lie to ourselves and say we’re helping when we’re not.

        If you want to fix things, you have to run targeted programs that actually prevent people from dropping out. You need to change people’s attitudes. It isn’t just the kids; its the parents. You have to get them involved. You have to get them to give a shit about their kid going to school. It is easy for people to say they give a shit; it is harder for them to go out, grab their kid by the ear, and haul them off to school.

        You need action, not words.

        You are part of the problem. You are not part of the solution. Schools are underfunded is a convenient lie to avoid addressing the true issue.

        As far as claiming that there are inherent biases in the justice system – I’m sorry, but this is another Big Lie.

        It is a big lie used to avoid addressing the real issue.

        The FBI reports that 28% of crimes are committed by blacks. This is real, hard data. And if you want the hardest data, half of homicides are committed by blacks, almost all on other blacks. There are actual corpses backing that statistic up. Over six thousand of them per year.

        To deny the homicide rate is to deny reality. You’d have to concoct some sort of insane conspiracy theory for how thousands of dead bodies are faked in New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, ect. every single year.

        That’s obviously insane. It’s like claiming that the Moon Landings didn’t happen.

        Now, some people complain that the FBI’s arrest records don’t necessarily tell us much about other crimes. They claim that we don’t know all the criminals we don’t catch, and, moreover, if the police are biased against black people, they’d arrest more black people anyway. This is a legitimate point; we should check this.

        But there’s another data source on this.

        The NCVS is an independent survey administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It is a survey given out to the general American population in order to ask them questions about whether or not they’ve been victims of crimes. They ask for all sorts of information.

        This is useful not only because the FBI can’t get at a lot of this data, but also because it can also give us some idea of how much crime happens that isn’t reported, as well as give us additional demographic data.

        But it also allows us to compare offender data to FBI data. They ask people about the race of the people who committed the offense against them, if they say that they saw the perpetrator.

        And, as it turns out, these data sets resemble each other strongly.

        Two independent data sources both point towards the same conclusion: blacks commit a disproportionately large amount of crime.

        You claim it is self-evident that the justice system is biased against blacks.

        But blacks SHOULD make up a disproportionate amount of people in jail if they commit a disproportionate amount of crime.

        The relevant number is not population. It is crime rate.

        And it is immediately obvious to anyone who has any familiarity with the US that this would be the case, because the places which everyone refers to as the bad part of town – the ghettos of America – tend to be heavily populated by blacks (and to a lesser degree, Hispanics – who are also over-represented in the justice system, though to a lesser degree).

        Pretending like the problem is the justice system when the problem is the people is again a means of avoiding dealing with the real problem.

        If you cannot accept reality, then you cannot solve real problems.

        Moreover, it is racist to suggest that these problems are caused by other people. White people didn’t make two black kids get in a fight over drugs in Oakland. White people didn’t make a black kid drop out of school.

        Those are choices that the people involved made for themselves. They, just like white people, are capable of making their own decisions.

        The problem is that they make poor ones disproportionately often.

        You cannot solve the problem until you recognize this.

        You have to change the behavior which is leading to these problems in the first place.

        You talk about subtle, pervasive racism – you’re racist! You, yourself, are racist.

        You claim that these things are all happening because of people other than the ones who are directly involved in these situations. You don’t fundamentally believe that black people have individual agency. You don’t see them as people.

        What we have to do is influence people to make the right decisions. We can’t just fix things with our big white man hands, because -that isn’t how things work-.

        If it did, then Iraq wouldn’t have fallen into tribal infighting.

        And frankly, if you don’t think BLM is racist, you’re wrong. They talk about how they need “safe spaces” where white people aren’t allowed. I think we all remember the last time there were “safe spaces” – we called it segregation.

        A group in Nashville actually quit using the Public Library because they were told that groups using library facilities for meetings must make their meetings open to the public; they cannot exclude people on the basis of things like race.

        http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/davidson%20/2016/02/19/black-lives-matter-color-only-rule-runs-afoul-nashville-library/80606970/

        You cannot claim that a group of people that behaves in this way is not racist.

        Period.

        I understand you don’t want it to be true. I understand you want the problem to be something else.

        But the reality is that human behavior is ultimately the fault of the person who is behaving in a certain manner. Suggesting that “society” is responsible for an individual behaving poorly is to say that individual is incapable of making their own choices.

        You cannot pretend otherwise.

        You want to fix the problem, you need people to behave differently. That’s the only solution.

      • Crogged says:

        You are on to something here-rather than give the money to the schools, or via coupons for certain food products that Cargill wants to move, give money directly to the people who need it.

        You want to ‘change behavior’ without using ‘big white man hands’, then give money directly to people who don’t have any money.

        Have we ever looked at crime statistics in ways other than the color of the skin? Maybe blondes are in disproportional relation to brunettes with regards to burglary. Perhaps someone else can tell us what other factors are in play in those ‘bad parts of town’.

        America has determinedly and forcefully mistreated certain citizens for centuries based on the color of their skin. At first it was overt, proudly spoken of and worth dying for. Some people say we still need to celebrate the achievements of men who died in support of the institution of slavery. Now we choose to think these ‘bad parts of town’ just kind of sprung up out of ‘human nature’ and ‘choices’. For a lot less money than the million dollars Mr. Trump needed for his success, we could have different outcomes in those bad parts of town, even the bald could succeed.

      • 1mime says:

        Instead, America has ignored our slums, our poor areas, and our dying towns. Let’s just ‘pretend’ they don’t exist and they ‘don’t’. This is where the populace uprising is springing from – people who are being left behind while watching the majority party focus its largess on those who have benefited. Of course, the “times” have changed and those who either couldn’t or didn’t become educated for a different work environment have a responsibility as well. For many who gave their whole lives over to jobs that are being shipped overseas or becoming obsolete, their options are few. This is where government and business could and should step in to offer people who want and need work the training to do so. There is a huge swath of people who are ten-fifteen years away from retirement that simply need a bridge to secure what lies ahead. New skills is one way, the basic income is another, but most significantly, there needs to be a recognition by our country and its leadership that we don’t use people up and then ignore them when circumstances over which they have no control, impact their livelihood. I believe some might consider that the responsible, moral thing to do….instead, all the moralists are focusing their energies on abortion, and gay marriage, and cutting welfare, etc. Turn some of that Christian action to more substantive issues that change people’s lives.

  27. fiftyohm says:

    It is somewhat interesting to note here that our friend Mitt is a member of a religion, so stupid and appalling, that it considered black people less than fully human prior to 1978. Yes that’s right, 1978. I wonder if he “knows anything about” that?

    • 1mime says:

      Mitt Romney never passed the smell test with me. There was always that “air of entitlement and privilege”….I’m thankful he lost – decisively.

    • Griffin says:

      Mitt Romney is a spineless panderer who, if elected President, probably would’ve have handed the car keys over to the far-right despite not personally being one of their members just so he could maintain a clean primary in 2016 and not have to deal with the insurgents, and would’ve supported an economic policy that would basically redistribute wealth upwards.

      However I don’t think we should hold his religion against him, unless he’s a clearly unhinged fundie, or his Mormonism is the sole reason for his public policy decisions, or if he was personally involved in the LDS churches shadiness (such as misogynistic or racist practices). Afterall George Romney was a Mormon but was progressive on racial issues, so I don’t think all Mormons are racists.

      • 1mime says:

        Agree. Freedom of religion means each of us gets to pick our own, or, not. I have other feelings of disappointment for Romney but his religion is his business and his right, not mine to question.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Right. And the KKK is just a social club? Why are you giving Mormonism a pass? Because they “changed” in 1978, or because they are a religion?

        (Hint: the latter is the wrong answer.)

      • 1mime says:

        I’m not giving Mormonism a “pass”, but I believe it’s each person’s right to choose their own religion. It’s flawed from my point of view, but then so are the Baptist Fundamentalists, and faiths that separate women from men in services.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Of course it’s everyone’s right. I’ll defend that to the death. I’ll also defend my right to call a belief system for what it objectively is. And I don’t give a goddam whether it’s a religion or not. Screw that PC garbage that religions are something special, or sacrosanct. That’s complete bullshite. The left has a real problem with this, and the sooner they figure that out, the better we’ll all be for it.

      • 1mime says:

        Fifty – There are so many ignoramuses in so many places that I simply have to blot them from my mind. Mormons have altered their views on Blacks but there certainly are many White educated people who haven’t. Organized religion has not worked for me but it has for many others, and I’m happy for them. Unfortunately, bigotry has many harbors, with religion being one of them and is the most hypocritical application of all….using the cover of religion to denigrate anyone for any reason (gender, age, sexual orientation, race, class) is despicable.

      • fiftyohm says:

        If you include gender, ignorance and violence in your list, you’ve included about every ‘organized religion’ I can think of. So, I guess we agree?

      • See #8, fifty. Esther got it right in one. Row well, and live, my friend.

      • Griffin says:

        I don’t conflate all Mormons with the KKK, that’s ludicrous. The KKK is evil, and most fundamentalist/cultist Mormonist sects are pretty evil too (at least the leaders who brainwash the followers are), but not all protestants are the KKK, just as not all Mormons are unhinged fundies or racists.

        Really me not holding EVERY SINGLE Mormon responsible for the decisions of the leadership over the past 100 years ago is being “pc”? No, that’s just being realistic. I don’t hold every Catholic responsible for the Vatican’s past stupidity, unless they personally support said stupidity. Likewise I don’t hold every sect of Muslims responsible for the actions of the Wahhabists or Shia fundamentalists, because I’m aware of the existance of different religious sects.

        Just because you’re not “PC” doesn’t mean you’re a truth teller. Donald Trump is the opposite of PC, and he’s the biggest liar in this presidential race.

      • fiftyohm says:

        It certainly may be, Tracy. But it’s not necessarily more than we *can* know. And there’s only one path to that.

        Once again, a thoughtful response. Thanks!

      • fiftyohm says:

        Griffin – I think you overreacted a bit. Would you vote for a ‘reformed’ Klansman? I wouldn’t. Or a ‘moderate’ Klansman? No difference. We are, and should be, judged by the company we keep. About the only exception I can think of is Maajid Nawaz. And he had to do write a book to earn it.

      • “But it’s not necessarily more than we *can* know. And there’s only one path to that.”

        Indeed. As Locke put it,

        “…for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise Maker, all the servants of one sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order, and about His business, they are His property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during His, not one another’s pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses…”

        One can’t know for sure, of course, but I’ve think you’ve touched on just what “business” of His that we’re supposed to be about… 🙂

      • BTW, fifty, I came to Christianity as an adult; one might say my first “religion” is science, and it’s orthodoxy the scientific method. I struggle constantly with the more mystical tenets of faith; by nature I’m more of an Epicurean bent. (And, of course, I read De Rerum Natura long before I picked up a bible.) But like Descartes, perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised in the end. Sadly, I’ll never have the simple faith of a child.

        Not surprisingly, this may explain why Ben-Hur is one of my favorite stories. (I watch the movie version every year around Easter.) Consider Judah Ben-Hur, a formidable, capable, intelligent, proud man. So formidable, capable, intelligent, and proud, so caught up in his own doings, in fact, that he is simply incapable of recognizing the beneficent hand of God in his life. And so it goes, with so very many of us…

        “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29

      • fiftyohm says:

        Well Tracy – since we’re on the topic of 17th and 18th century philosophers, I’ll go with Hume, and the last lines of his first Enquiry.

        I came to this from the opposite direction as you. But I must say you are nothing if not a very interesting fellow indeed.

  28. unarmedandunafraid says:

    How about this! A NYT article about universal basic income. Maybe I will see a UBI in my lifetime.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/03/technology/plan-to-fight-robot-invasion-at-work-give-everyone-a-paycheck.html

  29. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Fierce writing, Chris.

    But who’s listening?

    Not the rrrrrry-Rs.

  30. Joy Jacques says:

    My problem with three parties is what I call the “Jesse Ventura Effect.” I lived in MN when Ventura won the governorship, Dems got 32%, Reps 33%, and Jesse won with 35% of the vote. Then there’s the Bore/Gush/Nader in 2000.

    I worry when we start talking about three-way races.

  31. JK74 says:

    A letter I read in the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald today; “I don’t know why the Republican establishment is so worried at the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president. If he gets elected, they can simply obstruct every single thing he does. Just like they’ve done with Obama for the last seven years.” Made me laugh on the bus to work.

  32. Rob Ambrose says:

    Mime, you’ll like this read.

    The Notorious RBG shreds the government case in Whole Women.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/02/ruth_bader_ginsburg_asks_the_most_important_question_of_oral_arguments_in.html

    • texan5142 says:

      I always wear my notorious RBG tee shirt with pride.

    • flypusher says:

      Wow. Keller may indeed be a very skilled advocate, but I don’t think anyone is skilled enough to get away with peddling such total BS in front of the notorious RBG. I look forward to reading/ hearing the transcript. Hopefully Ginsberg was nice and left a few scraps for Sotomayor and Kagan.

    • 1mime says:

      Ginsburg is a champion! And, yes, she focused right in on the hypocrisy of the TX appeal. From everything I am reading, however, it looks bad for PP, and, by extension, TX women.

  33. Rob Ambrose says:

    About that “But the GOP is extremely healthy at the lower levels” meme:

    http://gawker.com/the-newest-texas-gop-county-chairman-is-completely-fuck-1762439255

    Any party that can elect someone like this to leadership at any level is not healthy. Its rotten to the core.

    • Tom says:

      The GOP is healthy at the lower levels in the sense that, in heavily-gerrymandered legislative districts and in wide swaths of exurban/rural America, they can still win elections. But this brings its own set of problems; with no threat of losing elections to the Democrats these politicians have little reason to change even if they hurt the GOP’s chances of winning the Presidency.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I guess that’s a pretty reasonable definition of healthy (I.e. the ability to win votes). At least, its the subjective definition of healthy.

        I think another definition, at least as important, is the ability to field OBJECTIVELY sane candidates of high quality.

        This guy is a joke. I don’t know how any party that elects this guy (by a landslide) to leadership can truly be considered healthy.

      • 1mime says:

        Tom, you’re correct – gerrymandering creates people who actually believe they can walk through fire without burning.

        Rob, you are correct – the goal of any sane party is to offer, well, sane candidates. This guy Morrow is not only foul-mouthed, he puts Trump to shame. You’d think that the Republican Party would be trying to avoid these kind of people….Promoting them? Can’t understand it.

  34. Rob Ambrose says:

    The problem is not so much that Trumps a racist. Its not even that he’s not dog whistling his racism (although that provides a “noble” excuse forbthe party to try to wrest control back).

    What the establishment REALLY can’t abide by is his rejection of Conservative economic policy, with his rejection if free trade and anti immigration platform.

    Its no coincidence that Trumps signature issue is immigration, I.e. “The Wall”. That’s the issue that is the biggest gap between base and establishment.

    Remember, the GOP establishment LOVES immigration, especially the illegal kind. They love it for the same reason the base hates it: it drives down real wages. As a bonus for the owners of capital, an illegal workforce can be easily exploited and they often have no recourse.

    Don’t get me wrong, immigration is not at all to blame for what ails middle America. But it’s simple supply and demand: a large undocumented population is going to act as a drag on wages.

    At the end of the day, it is Trumps heresy on economic policies that is fueling this establishment freak out. If it was not for that, they’d be justifying the racism away just like they always do.

    • antimule says:

      Bingo. They are afraid because rednecks are finally trying to vote for their own self interest.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        It isn’t even in their own self-interest, though. Trade deals are in everyone’s self-interest because we all benefit from lower consumer prices and a more advantageous position in the global economy.

      • antimule says:

        Operative word is “trying.”

    • 1mime says:

      I think it’s deeper than that, Rob. I believe the policy positions are merely the tip of the iceberg. What the GOP can’t abide and will not accept, is a candidate they can’t control. THAT is the real issue. Everything else springs from that foundation.

  35. Tom says:

    On the other hand, your prediction about the Democratic primary doesn’t really seem to be coming to pass. Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee.

  36. antimule says:

    Although I agree with what you laid out generally, I think that most important factor isn’t skin color, it is class. If you are blue collar, then illegal immigrants are your direct competition. If you are white collar, your profession is gated, illegals can’t take it because they generally don’t have a college degree.

    But I find it fascinating that many leftists get upset over skilled worker visas. Remember the kerfuffle over Disney hiring foreigners? I suspect that the moment when illegal immigrants start working for NGOs, is the moment when many SJ types will suddenly go Trump.

    As world gets more overpopulated and more global, and jobs less secure, people will naturally grab for whatever power structure they can get, unfortunately. Not saying it is a right thing to do, but it will happen anyway.

  37. Peter Gray says:

    Beautifully written, Chris. I haven’t been able to take the GOP seriously for quite a few years, but it’s always refreshing to hear from someone in the tiny, dwindling population of sane voices from the Right. Peggy Noonan’s WSJ op-ed over the 02/27-28 weekend is another example.
    Given your thoughtful statement a few months ago about what it would/will take for you to leave the party, have you staked out a new domain name? I see that exgoplifer.com is still available…

  38. WX Wall says:

    This is a great post! You’re right, that the reason why Trump remains popular is that every other candidate (aside maybe from Kasich) agrees with him, and only differs in the language they use. If you’re appealing to the same prejudices, you can’t whine just because someone else does it better and more directly than you.

    But if the Republican party truly excises its racist platform, what remains? I think you’re optimistic that if only the Repubs could get over their dependence on racism, they’d get wide support for the rest of their ideas. There’s a reason why the Republicans embraced the Southern Strategy to begin with (although you make a very good argument that it was the other way around: the south embraced the Republicans, that doesn’t diminish the fact that the Republicans were happy to oblige). The rest of their platform was not that popular and was dooming them to permanent minority status.

    I’d argue that a platform of tax cuts for the rich, social welfare cuts, inefficient government (as a byproduct, if not an outright goal), and science denial will never hit 50% support. The only part of the GOP platform right now that gets majority support and is different from the Dems is a strong military (and even that is more a matter of rhetoric than substantial difference).

    Most independents and suburban professionals never worried about Romney’s racism (whether because they felt it didn’t affect them, or none of the extreme stuff would make it through Congress, or because he “didn’t really mean it”). They just didn’t find the rest of his platform all that compelling.

    Reagan was a temporary stopgap that allowed the current Republican party to delay reforming itself until now, when the reforms might actually kill the host. By fully embracing the Southern Strategy, he was able to cobble a coalition behind Republican ideas like deregulation, dismantling the social safety net, tax cuts for the rich, etc. that have never been popular. This has allowed the Republicans to run on fumes, focused on fighting past battles with a long-dead President (FDR), rather than addressing the needs of the current modern world.

    Reforming in the 70s or 80s might have led to a stronger party. After all, back then, there were people like Jack Kemp, who was popular with unions (and he famously criticized his own party, joking that “Republicans like small government and big jails”), GHW Bush, who coined the term voodoo economics, and Bob Michel, the longtime Republican House minority leader who believed in working together to pass legislation. Heck, Senator Prescott Bush (GHWB’s father) was a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and chairman of the CT branch of the United Negro College Fund!

    But what’s left now? Setting aside the racial agenda, what part of the Republican economic platform (that wasn’t co-opted by Clinton in the 90s) is popular? What part of its foreign policy?

    So yes, the Republicans must excise the racist parts of their platform, sacrificing that voting segment if necessary. But I’m not sure what remains is necessarily all that attractive either. That’s just the first step to an overhaul of their entire platform.

    • 1mime says:

      Excellent, thoughtful analysis, WxWall I had never heard the Kemp quote you cited! How can Republicans be the party of small government and insist on a mammoth military? Rather selective, aren’t they? There is no one more comfortable at using the services of government when it suits their purposes as our friendly Republican Party.

      I think Lifer got this subject right when he stated in his “Politics of Crazy” that smaller government means that we look at the role of government differently – one that is responsive to the nation’s needs and priorities and times. It could result in divisions/functions being reduced, eliminated or consolidated, and in other areas fundamental change through use of technology and shift of function/purpose. I can agree with the logic of that without subscribing to the conservative agenda. Most conservative leaders seem incapable of de-coupling the narrow social mantle of self-righteous exclusivity so basically dependent upon privilege from their business principles. That’s unfortunate and that needs to change.

    • Tom says:

      Well, yeah. the problem is that the Republicans’ economic platform is based mostly on garbage economic theories. So that would need to be fixed as well.

      The GOP foreign policy platform is pretty strongly tied into the racial agenda (bomb the Muslim countries.)

  39. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    What do you get when a newly elected Texas GOP Chairman tells his unhappy party, and I quote: “they can go f*** themselves”?

    Switch a few names out and this is a local microcosm of what’s happening with Donald Trump: http://www.texastribune.org/2016/03/02/newly-elected-gop-chair-texas-capitol/

  40. flypusher says:

    The GOP come clean about its racism? Surely you jest, when anyone who studies it out knows that the Dems are the real KKKers:

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/2/11146030/kkk-cnn

    Sound familiar?

    The problem with this cunning plan is that Rip VanWinkle can only vote once.

  41. 1mime says:

    LIfer, one of your best.

  42. Stephen says:

    In Florida if you are a felon you cannot vote. The percent of black felons is much larger than white. And no black folk are not more wicked than white folk. This is oppression of black folks and removes their ability to participate in the political process. A former Governor move to fix this injustice, Governor Crist a Republican at the time. Well he got removed at the primary level when he ran for the Senate. In the end this moderate Governor changed parties to Democrat. And the next Governor undid his good work with restoring felon rights. Lifer unless more people willing to fight and out vote the bigots join the Republican Party, I don’t see how long term the Republican Party will survive. As the Dixicrats flooded the Republican Party, moderate to liberal Republicans have voted Democrat and then switched parties. The demographics are relentless. The country is getting more brown and progressive. To survive the Republican Party needs a moderate to progressive wing. But those people have been pushed out as RINOs.

    • WX Wall says:

      The War on Drugs is the new Jim Crow. Just as Jim Crow laws were being dismantled, Republicans like Nixon and Reagan found a way to re-implement much of that oppression under a new moniker. The goals of disenfrachisement and isolation from mainstream society are still being pursued, just under a different name. It’s ironic, but in GOPLifer’s quotes above, you can shift the focus from race to drugs and get the same result. For example:

      “In modern America we believe [drug use] to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs.”

      “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a [drug-free] community.”

      And is Paul Ryan’s quotes about culture in inner cities any different than a whole host of politicians — conservative and liberal — talking about drug culture in inner cities? (hint: chronic cocaine use by hip whites in Manhattan’s Studio 54 is not what they’re referring to)

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        The War on Drugs is not the new Jim Crow. It is the new Prohibition.

        It is largely driven by a combination of the same factors – drugs play a major role in many crimes, especially violent crimes, drug addicts are a burden on society, ect.

        Just ask New Hampshire about its heroin problem. They’re white as hell and they hate heroin.

        Or hell, ask the black community in the late 1980s about crack.

        While it is occasionally useful to racists, the War on Drugs being recast as a racist thing is actually quite silly. It isn’t a racist thing, it is a Prohibition thing, and is driven by exactly the same forces.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      Uh, the reason there are more black felons as a proportion of their population is because blacks do commit more felonies. Blacks commit 28% of crime in the US, and comprise only 13% of the population. They also commit 50% of homicides and robberies.

      That’s not to say that targeting felons doesn’t have a racist element (it totally does), but the reason why it is advantageous to target felons is because more black people are felons.

      And no, it isn’t a result of the war on drugs.

  43. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Lifer….the GOP has spent two election cycles talking about racism.

    They freely acknowledge the racism exists, it is just that the real racism is targeted towards Black conservatives. Any other racism is just liberals playing the race card.

    Ted Cruz’s had a victory party at the “Redneck Country Club” bar owned by our friend, Micheal Berry. Berry is a bit of a conservative talkshow loudmouth, who has a blackfaced character “Dr. Rev. Shirley Q Liquor,” and has unleashed a whole slew of wonderful nuggets such as:

    Defending a billboard paid for by a group formerly known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan with, “As long as 1 group can promote their race, EVERY group can. Nothing wrong with it. The NAACP is the black KKK”

    the election of Barack Obama might have “prompted the poorest, most violent segment” of black Americans to challenge police authority.

    The kids at the pool in McKinney when the cop went nuts were “jungle animals”

    And for fun, he has a weekly segment about the black and black shootings and deaths in Chicago. Last year, Tyjuan Poindexter, an innocent bystander 14-year-old was shot in the head and killed. Berry’s take on it? “Tyjuan Poindexter. Ha ha. Tyjuan Poindexter was standing outside with some friends when some people drove by and opened fire. Young Mister Poindexter was shot in the head and died at the scene. He won’t have to live with that name anymore.”

    Cruz specifically mentioned Berry in his speech after he won the Senate primary in Texas and celebrated his Super Tuesday night at Berry’s bar.

    It is kind of hard to denounce racism when you hang out with and like racists.

    • flypusher says:

      Berry’s not just bigoted against Black people. That mofo actually said that if that proposed Islamic Center in Manhattan ever got built, someone should firebomb it. So dude was calling for a terrorist act to be committed.

      1st Amendment rights for me, but not for you!

  44. tuttabellamia says:

    Lifer, is the goal to stop pandering to the racist fringe, or to confront the racism that exists deep down in all of us?

    Are you accusing Romney of not properly denouncing Trump for being racist, or of being racist himself?

    That part is not clear — whether the racism to be confronted is just on the fringe, an anomaly, or if it pervades the entire party.

    • goplifer says:

      A quote from Sinclair Lewis comes to mind:

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      Goal #1 is something very simple: Acknowledge that racism is a real thing that impacts outcomes in America. That’s one of the Four Inescapable Realities outlined in a previous post: http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2014/11/four-inescapable-realities/

      Forget about a personal reckoning or apologies or political correctness. Just acknowledge something that’s real.

      If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and every other major Republican figure was not operating under the mandate that no racism can ever be acknowledged to be real, then Romney would not have been so blind as to say the things he said in 2012. Paul Ryan’s poverty agenda would have a completely different orientation. Jeb Bush would not have made that stupid comment about free stuff. Trump would not be a Republican.

      These are not dumb people, but they are rewarded politically for indulging in a fairly absurd delusion. That delusion is producing ridiculous outcomes. Let’s drop the delusion.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        This “drop the delusion” post might be the best, most earnest post I’ve read all day.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, I have read several commentaries on Paul Ryan’s poverty plan, but have not see a detailed plan. Since you bring it up, if there is a formal plan, would you provide a link? Everything I’ve found is very old and I am interested in his ideas.

      • goplifer says:

        Ryan’s plans are a slippery target because they’ve never been introduced as a legislative proposal and they keep changing. Here’s the best summary, though it’s outdated:

        http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/embargoed_expanding_opportunity_in_america___7232014.pdf

        His approach focuses on:

        Removing the federal government from decision making or oversight, by converting most of the money to block grants.

        Discontinuing redundant or unnecessary programs

        Criminal justice reform

        Education reform (again, with the block grants)

        An enhanced EITC

        And an overall effort to “encourage work.”

        That last bit is the nasty racist nugget that makes the whole thing fall apart. All of this is premised on the notion, expressed in his remarks about the “inner cities” that black people in big cities are poor because they don’t work. Start there, and everything you attempt to accomplish downstream from that assumption is distorted.

        Start from an understanding about redlining, the origin of American ghettos, education inequality, and the general effects of racism, then you can start to introduce reforms that can make sense.

        Ryan can’t do that, because he’s not allowed to acknowledge that racism exists. It’s unfortunate really, because a shift toward a more market-driven approach to poverty could be very helpful.

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks, Lifer. That is helpful. I have very mixed feelings about block grants being the funding mechanism to deliver services. When gerrymandering is eliminated and one man one vote is truly in effect, then I would have more confidence in the fairness of state and local politicians to manage federal tax dollars. I’m afraid my cynicism in this regard has been well founded. If all you do is shift where the dollars are spent, versus “how” they are spent, what has really been achieved? Bureaucracy shifts from federal to state, but is still needed at the national level, and politics being politics, games will be played and money not spent wisely.

        Otherwise, with the exception of the last conservative platitude (encourage work), all of these ideas are worthy but how they are implemented would be critical. Also, something this important really needs to be bi-partisan. If ever there was a problem that deserved people coming together for the good of the nation, poverty is it. What it shouldn’t be is a plank in a platform designed to sell the poor on how sensitive the party is to their problems. If one’s motives are pure, the effort engenders its own respect and the initiator benefits naturally. It cannot be contrived for political purposes. It has to be genuine.

  45. Dave Clow says:

    it’s the next step that ought to worry Republicans. Trump hasn’t revealed anything that wasn’t strongly implicit. He’s made the business model available to anyone who can monetize the base’s thinking. He took Republican Conservatism out of the hands of the former owners made it open-source rage. Anyone can follow this example now.

  46. Joe Detrano says:

    Does anyone think the Republican Party will give up the Dog Whistle politics, the gerrymandering and especially the voter suppression that keeps them in power? I don’t!

    • Griffin says:

      Those things only go so far when your “party” is literally split between two or three factions that are all taking the vote from each other and damaging each other in elections.

    • Tom says:

      They will if it becomes clear that they can’t win elections.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tom, sadly they win lots and lots of elections – local and state elections, House and Senate elections. The GOP has a majority of governors, state legislatures, and Senate and House members. They are kicking ass and taking names at those levels.

        The GOP isn’t obstructionist. They are freaking activists with a few hundred anti-abortion bills enacted since 2011.

        If Bernie and his supporters really want to start a revolution, they should get their asses out to vote in 2018 and 2022 more so than 2016.

      • Tom says:

        That’s actually a lot of the problem.

        The GOP can win elections at those levels… because of gerrymandering, and because there are wide swaths of the rural and exurban South where Democrats are a nonfactor in elections. It’s so bad that many county officials I know outside of Houston are secretly Democrats, but who run as Republicans because this is the only way to get elected.

        But the fact that they can still win these elections while not winning the Presidency is enough to convince a lot of Republicans that there is no problem.

      • 1mime says:

        You’ve got it, Tom. But, unless and until the gerrymandering stops, that process is locked down in the House for the foreseeable future. That’s why there is a shot for Senators and Governors but even there, the deck is stacked. The state legislatures in the majority of the states are majority Republican, and what can’t get passed in Congress, is being kicked back down the the state legislatures, where it is translated into law and policy. Then, for really important issues, they set up a conflict which implements the appeal process which (with Scalia on the bench) was a slam dunk sure thing.

        Say what you will about Republicans – they are master system manipulators. And they have been allowed to get away with it by their base and the Democrats who were impotent to change it.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      As things stand, the Blue Wall has locked Republicans out of the presidency. We all had fun toying with the idea that Sanders might pull an upset and shatter it in a way that no one else could. That’s not going to happen.

      Demographics are destiny and the Republicans are facing down the barrel of minority voters and Millenials who are just a few short years away from reaching the pinnacle of their political strength.

      The share of the white vote that Republicans are absolutely dependent on to win is declining and declining rapidly. As if that weren’t enough, elderly whites are actually dying out at a higher percentage than they were before; for tragic reasons that should be addressed, absolutely, but that’s the reality right now.

      Republicans can’t gerrymander themselves out of accountability forever, and their foolish attempts in trying actually hurt them more in the long run. They’ll either change or they’ll face political extinction.

  47. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    I really wish that ANYONE in the run for any office at all would say things like lifer does. I would vote for them in an instant regardless of political party.

  48. Griffin says:

    Great article Chris. The black community has been screwed over for too long, getting actively hurt by GOP policies and somewhat ignored by the Dems.

    “That fight could break the party, but that’s okay.”

    So do you think it would look like the aftermath of the Whigs collapse, where for a few election cycles the GOP will be split into multiple parties and the Dems will dominate until the GOP can pull itself into one party?

    Also where do all the racists go if the GOP pulls itself together as a non-racist party? They are not large enough to win national elections but they are still too large of a faction for politicians to ignore, especially on the state or local level. I don’t see them going back to the Dems, but if they started their own party the GOP would a lot of elections.

    • Griffin says:

      but if they started their own party the GOP would “lose” a lot of elections

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Rome wasn’t built in a day, so they say. If Republicans are going to undertake a serious rebuilding effort, they’ll have to be prepared to lose some battles if they hope to win the war.

  49. pbasch says:

    Nice distinction, about Mitt’s disavowal of Trump’s indelicacies as bad manners as opposed to simply racism. I admire your desire to drive racism out of the GOP, to return it to some kind of “party of Lincoln.” A big obstacle to that is that the GOP creed of individual liberty is so grafted onto the toxic weed of racism that even if you could somehow tease them apart, what kind of individual liberty are you talking about? If you don’t have the liberty to refuse to rent to minorities (as per Trump), if you don’t have the liberty to intimidate the weak with prominently displayed firearms, if you don’t have the liberty to speak one’s racist mind without fear of public shaming, because “PC”… well then, individual liberty is just worthless, and certainly no fun at all. It seems that all the “individual liberties” so yearned for (even as they are enjoyed) by all those angry white men are all about kissing up and kicking down.
    Example are all those white people who feel that they are discriminated against. I’d love to hear them explain how, exactly.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Good points but not that simple.

    • 1mime says:

      Romney is a hired gun for the GOP establishment. He’s the wrong figure at the wrong time to be preaching honor and inclusion. Expect more “Romneys” to be trotted out as the establishment builds its spin machine message against Trump.

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