Right Wing News: You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

Right Wing News (9/19/08)

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

Check out what Time Magazine’s Karen Tumulty had to say about McCain’s “Advice” ad. In a post titled “McCain Plays the Race Card” she wrote (via Memeo):

I’m surprised Tumulty hasn’t ruled that ALL ads McCain has run against Obama where he has used Obama’s image and the image of a white person are racist. After all, Obama is black, McCain’s a white Republican, and you know the old story about how Republicans only use black people in ads when they want to appeal to the “closet racist” in all of us …

Jack&Jill Politics: They Can’t Have That – Why I Don’t Trust Political Polls

Jack&Jill Politics (9/22/08)

They Can’t Have That – Why I Don’t Trust Political Polls

Because when it looks like the outcome is not what those in charge would like to see, a statistical poll is published to scare the masses into doing something else.  Check out the results of the following poll about the “Racial Divide” in America:

Because when it looks like the outcome is not what those in charge would like to see, a statistical poll is published to scare the masses into doing something else.  Check out the results of the following poll about the “Racial Divide” in America:

Asked how much of America’s existing racial tension is created by blacks, more than one-third of white respondents said “most” or “all,” and 9 percent said “not much.” Only 3 percent of blacks said “most” or “all,” while half said “not much at all.”

Nearly three-fourths of blacks said white people have too much influence in American politics. Only 12 percent of whites agreed. Almost three times as many blacks as whites said blacks have too little influence.

Far more blacks than whites say government officials “usually pay less attention to a request or complaint from a black person than a white person.”

One in five whites have felt admiration for blacks “very” or “extremely” often. Seventy percent of blacks have felt the same about whites.

I have several problems with this poll.  First, it was conducted by individuals at Stanford University.  Given that Stanford is indeed, a premier, Ivy League of the West Coast College; the fact remains that it is also one of the most politically conservative colleges in the collegiate education system.  Because this is a historic election year, in which the real test will be in whether or not white people can really put aside their bigotry and make a choice based on qualification as opposed to race.

Second, look at the wording of some of the questions.  Many of us who have had a statistics class will know that you can frame and design questions to facilitate subjective responses and then present the results as a matter of objective fact and outcome.  So if you frame the questions in a way that will present whites as being more bigoted than blacks, that is the result you will get and that is the result you will publish.  How in the hell can over 70% of white people say the racial tensions in this country are OUR FAULT, and not get challenged on the fact that maybe Blacks are responding to constantly having to have competed on uneven playing fields, and with stacked decks ever since they offloaded our ancestors at Jamestown, Virginia?  Polls like this one never factor how responses to these types of questions are affected by the historical aspect of slavery, colonialism, Jim Crow and everything else.  These polls don’t take into account the deniability on the part of the white participants, either, and that’s shortchanging of true responses to the questions posed.

Third, every time I see a poll like this one, it is designed to favor one candidate over another one – presumably the one the establishment would not like to see get in.  For example, Fox Network may have a vested interest in not seeing an Obama Administration because an Obama Administration may mean a restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, in which networks that turn themselves into no more than propagandists masquerading as a news organization, will not only face stiff fines and penalities for violating FCC regulations, but may also face getting their broadcast licenses yanked and getting ejected from the airwaves.  Marinate on that one for a minute, please.

Washington Monthly: ‘UPPITY’

Washington Monthly:  (9/22/08)


Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a far-right Georgia Republican, seemed to get the ball rolling a few weeks ago, calling Barack Obama and his wife “uppity.” (He later said he had no idea the word had racial connotations.) Now, the Politico’s Mike Allen has quoted a Republican insider, identified only as “one of the smartest Bushies,” who has some advice for the McCain campaign:

The tactics that got them to mid-September in a tie are not going to get them to 50 percent plus one in November. They need … an eye toward driving out the range of contrast that makes McCain different from Obama (action-oriented rhetoric v. grand prose; accessible v. uppity; humble servant of country v. arrogant).’

Seriously? “One the smartest Bushies” believes the McCain campaign should deliberately characterize Obama as “uppity”? The insider is encouraging the campaign to pursue racially-charged language to emphasize the “contrasts” between the candidates?

Minnesota Independent: Wily Fox 9 warps results of AP Yahoo poll on voters’ racist views

Minnesota Independent (9/22/08)

Wily Fox 9 warps results of AP Yahoo poll on voters’ racist views

Fox 9 News anchor Marni Hughes asked the question Sunday night: What role will race play in the November election? The answer she provided came from the latest AP Yahoo poll released over the weekend. As she told the tale (reinforced by text on screen), one-third of white Democrats reported harboring some negative attitudes toward African-Americans. That rose to 40 percent, she said, when white Republican and independent voters were added to the mix.

Judging from that presentation, a viewer with 7th-grade math skills could deduce that almost half of the white Republican and independent voters must hold those racist beliefs, since adding them to the pool of white Democrats raised the percentage from 33 to 40 percent.

And that means Fox 9 also have presented the same facts this way: Almost half of the country’s white Republican and independent voters hold racist views of black people, but when you add in survey results from white Democratic voters, that percentage drops to 40 percent.

Yet the pollsters’ own presentation seems to fall short of the mark. The AP’s glib conclusion that non-Democrat racism against Sen. Barack Obama isn’t an issue (”Most Republicans wouldn’t vote for any Democrat for president — white, black or brown”) recalls the logic that rich and poor alike are banned from sleeping under bridges.

Setting aside whether AP Yahoo pollsters asked the right questions of the right people, they aren’t providing the right results to anybody. Nowhere does it appear that either outfit saw fit to break down the racist responses by party affiliation. AP’s report doesn’t have a multi-party breakdown, and neither does Yahoo’s “interactive” Web feature (where interactivity amounts to clicking through more graphs, none of which illuminate the racism-by-party-affiliation point). At Yahoo’s news report the racist views of voters by all three political party groupings appear only in a sidebar graph, without hard numbers. Most egregiously of all, the answers don’t show up in the 20-page PDF of poll results where inquisitive minds should be able to find the facts behind the graphs.

ThinkProgress: McCain pledges amnesty for 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants.

ThinkProgress (9/22/08)

McCain pledges amnesty for 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants.

In a town hall today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that as president, he would ensure that 50,000 “illegal” Irish immigrants residing in the United States could find a “path to citizenship:”

There are 50,000 Irish men and women who are in this country illegally at this time, who are hard-working people, who want to become citizens. And I want to assure you that we will enact comprehensive immigration reform, after they do certain things, obviously, give them a path to citizenship in this country as part of an overall immigration reform package.

New Mexico Politics From the Local Perspective: C. de Baca Explains His Comments to Local Blogger

New Mexico Politics From the Local Perspective (9/22/08)

C. de Baca Explains His Comments to Local Blogger

Suddenly embattled Bernalillo County GOP chairman Fernando C. de Baca finally broke his silence and spoke to Peter St. Cyr of What’s the Word. St. Cyr’s blog is becoming a must-read for people interested in New Mexico politics.

C. de Baca told St. Cyr in a phone interview, “It’s truly unfortunate. I was asked by one of the bloggers to help him understand the history of New Mexico, visa via Hispanics, and how they interacted with the Native Americans, and Blacks, you know African Americans.” The blogger he was referring to is a BBC reporter who was at the New Mexico State Fair.

I have to say, everyone I spoke to could not believe the comments that C. de Baca made. No one could think of a possible interpretation where the comments were not racist.

The thing is, I can see that I can see C. de Baca’s side of the argument. Anyone who has attempted to explain the oddness of New Mexico’s Hispanics to others (the Norteños as some call them) knows it. And with the way the BBC writer portrayed it, it was looked like those were C. de Baca’s personal views.

Mother Jones blog: AP Poll: Obama Loses 6 Points Due to Race

Mother Jones blog (9/22/08)

AP Poll: Obama Loses 6 Points Due to Race

If you haven’t read about the AP poll on race and the election, go take a look.

To be frank, it’s pretty disheartening. And not just in terms of Obama’s electoral chances. It says some pretty awful things about America. Did you know that more than a quarter of white Democrats feel that “if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites”? And that nearly four in 10 white independents feel the same way? When given an opportunity to label blacks, 22 percent of whites agreed with the word “boastful,” 29 percent reach for “complaining,” and 13 percent go with “lazy.”

Update: Just saw something over at TNR — 42 percent of white Democrats agree with the following statement: “Italians, Irish, Jews and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up; blacks should do the same without special favors.”

Wouldn’t you think Democrats who feel this way would support Obama, because he has done exactly what they think all blacks should do? If they honestly believed in an up-by-your-bootstraps worldview that was devoid of racism, they would applaud a man who has — through hard work, talent, intelligence and no special favors — beaten the odds. But in reality, just 61 percent of these Democrats back Obama, indicating that there is either (1) a distaste for blacks at the root of their answer, or (2) a suspicion on their part that no matter how well Obama hews to the “rugged individualism” ideal, he will begin dispensing undeserved handouts to blacks as soon as he takes office.