AP: Clyburn Accuses SC Gov of “Playing the Race Card”

Associated Press (3/13/09)

AP: Clyburn Accuses SC Gov of “Playing the Race Card”

The highest-ranking black congressman questioned Thursday whether South Carolina’s governor was “playing the race card” when he compared using federal stimulus money to Zimbabwe and other nations that printed cash in tough economic times.

Gov. Mark Sanford wrote a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday asking for a waiver to spend $700 million in stimulus money to pay down some of the state’s debt — a day after comparing the package to other countries that dealt with hard times ineptly. Sanford has been an outspoken critic of the stimulus but hasn’t outright refused any of the money.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., has already lambasted Sanford and other governors who said they may not take some of the stimulus money, calling such a move a “slap in the face of African-Americans” last month. Thursday brought renewed sparring, as Clyburn criticized Sanford for mentioning Zimbabwe.

The comparison “was beyond the pale,” Clyburn said. “The question that ought to be asked of him: Is he playing the race card? I don’t know why he picked that country.”

Blogometer: DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Blogometer

DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Liberal bloggers are criticizing recent columns by Dem strategists Doug Schoen and Mark Penn, who urge the hypothetical Obama administration to stick to “centrism” and “conciliation.” Liberal bloggers perceive Schoen’s and Penn’s argument as an attempt to pre-emptively constrain Obama’s progressive agenda:

  • The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen: “We’ll know soon enough whether Democrats have a good Election Day or not, but Doug Schoen is already urging the party not to perceive potentially sweeping victories as an endorsement of the Democratic agenda. […Schoen argues that] if voters turn out in record numbers, elect Democrats to control almost everything, and deliver a ‘wholesale rejection’ of conservative Republicans, Democratsshouldn’t consider this a mandate for change. Indeed, as far as Schoen is concerned, if Democratic policy makers try to implement Democratic policy ideas after Democratic victories, the party will surely be punished by voters. […] I suspect Obama, given what we know of his style and temperament, would make good-faith efforts to encourage Republicans to support his policy goals. But Schoen’s advice seems misguided — if Obama wins, he should scale back on the agenda voters asked him to implement? He should water down his agenda, whether it has the votes to pass or not? He should put ‘conciliation’ at the top of his priority list? And what, pray tell, does a Democratic majority do if/when Republicans decide they don’t like Democratic ideas, don’t care about popular mandates or polls, and won’t work with Dems on issues that matter? Do Democrats, at that point, simply stop governing, waiting for a mysterious ‘consensus’ to emerge?”
  • Open Left‘s David Sirota: “Mark Penn joins fellow corporate pollster Doug SchoenPeggy NoonanCharles Krauthammer and Jon Meacham as the latest member of the Punditburo to insist that no matter what happens on election day, America is a center-right nation, and therefore a President Obama must not govern as a progressive. […] Penn is following Schoen’s lead in making the Democratic side of this Establishment argument — using the manufactured storyline of Bill Clinton‘s supposed actions to claim that if a President Obama governs as a progressive, he will end up like Clinton in 1994. Not only is the storyline wholly fake, it implies that nothing has changed in America since 1994. That is, it implies with a straight face that the [George W.] Bush years and the backlash to those years did nothing to move the country in a progressive direction. […] Look, I’m all for Obama governing as a ‘centrist’ — as long as he recognizes that the actual ‘center’ of American public opinion is far different from the ‘center’ as defined by corporate-hired pollsters like Penn, and the rest of the Establishment Punditburo.”
  • Think Progress‘ Matthew Yglesias: “The real thing that the next administration needs to do is to avoid failure. In particular, the country clearly faces a serious economic challenge. What the next administration needs — and what the next congress needs — is policies that will work to restore prosperity. If the administration signs into law a recovery program that, whether popular or not at the time, delivers the goods in terms of restoring prosperity, then the president and the congress will be in good shape politically. By contrast, if they can’t do so, they’ll suffer. Similarly, a health reform plan that works will be rewarded. That’s the real issue here — not policies that ‘are seen as too far left’ or policies that are seen as too far right, but policies that are seen as failing.”

Atrios makes a similar argument: “No matter how much Obama wins by, if he wins, the media will have Joe Lieberman and Harold Ford explain to us what it really means, which is that the American public supports exactly what Harold Ford supports. The establishment is ‘center right,’ whatever that means, and no matter what public sentiment actually is, they will tell you that the American People support their agenda.”

Blog for our Future: “Center-Right Nation” Watch – Mark Penn Edition

Blog for our Future

“Center-Right Nation” Watch – Mark Penn Edition

Mark Penn joins fellow corporate pollster Doug SchoenPeggy NoonanCharles Krauthammer and Jon Meacham as the latest member of the Punditburo to insist that no matter what happens on election day, America is a center-right nation, and therefore a President Obama must not govern as a progressive. Here’s the excerpt from Penn’s screed in the Financial Times:

The history of 1992 contains a clear warning that a centre-left coalition can fall apart quickly if the policies are seen as too far left. In 1993, Mr Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, adopted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, proposed and lost universal healthcare and adopted gun safety measures, banning assault rifles. (emphasis added)

Penn is following Schoen’s lead in making the Democratic side of this Establishment argument – using the manufactured storyline of Bill Clinton’s supposed actions to claim that if a President Obama governs as a progressive, he will end up like Clinton in 1994. Not only is the storylinewholly fake, it implies that nothing has changed in America since 1994. That is, it implies with a straight face that the Bush years and the backlash to those years did nothing to move the country in a progressive direction.

Give all of these hacks credit. Out of their hysterical fear of waking up to irrelevancy on November 5th has come a disciplined strategy of lying – lying about where polling data shows the country is on issues, and lying about what an election of Obama actually means in such an ideologically polarized context.

Nashville Post Politics: The End Of Affirmative Action

Nashville Post Politics

The End Of Affirmative Action

Could Barack Obama usher it in:

That was “a huge admission,” said Linda Chavez, the chairwoman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and another anti-affirmative action crusader.

Chavez is also supporting McCain, but she said Obama is more likely than her candidate to shift the debate on race in her direction, and possibly even end race-based affirmative action policies.

“He certainly would be the perfect candidate to do it,” she said. “It would be sort of like a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.”

Partisans of both sides of the bitter, long-running wars over affirmative action say Obama’s position on the subject is ambiguous, and scarcely articulated. His campaign did not respond to repeated requests to make a policy adviser available to discuss the issue.

Booker Rising: Thomas Sowell: on Affirmative Action & Gay Marriage

Booker Rising

Thomas Sowell: on Affirmative Action & Gay Marriage

The conservative commentator sure is a busy man, with two op-ed pieces today. He argues that affirmative action and gay marriage are special privileges, not rights: “Equality of rights does not mean equality of results. I can have all the equal treatment in the world on a golf course and I will not finish within shouting distance of Tiger Woods. When arbitrary numerical ‘goals’ or ‘quotas’ under affirmative action are not met, the burden of proof is put on the employer to prove that he did not discriminate against minorities or women. No burden of proof whatever is put on the advocates of ‘goals’ or ‘quotas’ to show that people would be equally represented in jobs, colleges, or anywhere else in the absence of discrimination.”

He adds: “The question is not whether gays should be permitted to marry. Many gays have already married people of the opposite sex. Conversely, heterosexuals who might want to marry someone of the same sex in order to make some point will be forbidden to do so, just as gays are. The real issue is whether marriage should be redefined — and, if for gays, why not for polygamists? Why not for pedophiles? Despite heavy television advertising in California for ‘gay marriage,’ showing blacks being set upon by police dogs during civil-rights marches, and implying that homosexuals face the same discrimination today, the analogy is completely false. Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus because they were black. They were doing exactly what white people were doing — riding a bus. That is what made it racial discrimination. Marriage is not a right but a set of legal obligations imposed because the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation.”

My response: I concur with Mr. Sowell on affirmative action. However, I tackle the issue from the standpoint of black competence and self-esteem – my black nationalist side raises an eyebrow when it is explicitly or implicitly argued that standards have to be lowered for blacks – while Mr. Sowell is concerned about color-blind merit. I disagree with him on gay marriage though. And yes, the law should also allow polygamy. If a man wants to marry a woman, a man, two women, two men, or a man and a woman, how is that the business of government or other people if everyone consents to the arrangement? Pedophilia involves children, so consenting adults are not the issue there.

Capitol Annex: TX HD 107: Keffer Campaign Launches Racist Mailer Against Allen Vaught

Capitol Annex

TX HD 107: Keffer Campaign Launches Racist Mailer Against Allen Vaught

 

Pictures of an Hispanic man flashing a gang symbol, another Hispanic man in the custody of immigration officials, and an Hispanic male in a kitchen with a rifle adorn the lastest race-bating mailer sent out by ex-state representative Bill Keffer (R-Dallas) in his grudge match against State Rep. Allen Vaught (D-Dallas).

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The mailer, which was paid for by Keffer’s campaign, alleges that Vaught says the illegal immigration issue is a “political gimmick,” but cites no source to illustrate that Vaught ever made any such statement.

 

Politico: Affirmative action change under Obama?

Politico

Affirmative action change under Obama?

Among the California voters suffused with hope at the prospect of the election of Barack Obama is one Ward Connerly. 

He supports Senator John McCain out of small-government principle, but on the cause for which Connerly is best known—the drive to end the programs referred to by most as “affirmative action” and by him as “race preferences”—he says of a potential Obama administration: “I’m hopeful.” 

“[Obama] is a very, very bright man who thinks through the nuances of issues and I cannot help believe he realizes the inherent flaw in race preferences,” Connerly, 69, said in a telephone interview last week. “If you listen to him carefully, you cannot help but think he is really torn by this issue, and that he is leaning in the direction of socio-economic affirmative action instead of race preferences.” 

The election of the first black president would inevitably alter views of race in America. The campaign itself, in which Obama has played better in lily-white Montana than in diverse South Carolina, has revealed a complex picture. Should Obama move into the White House, it would further change the country’s conversation about race, though not necessarily in predictable ways. 

A black president from a troubled big city could turn new attention to the problem of race or make the political choice to take his black support for granted; his own race may convince some of the benefits of diversity while others would take it as proof that racism is so far in the past as to no longer needs remedies. 

Affirmative action has not been on the agenda of either presidential campaign, and while it’s been a hot issue at times on the national stage, it’s not a necessary feature of the White House agenda.

Educational policy is conducted largely at the state and local level, and broader economic woes have pushed the battle, and most other socially charged issues, into the background. 

But experts say that President Bush’s additions to the Supreme Court could come down harder against race-based affirmative action then previous courts had, and a conservative group’s recent lawsuit against the University of Texas could force that question during the next president’s term. 

And Connerly is one of several opponents of race-based affirmative action who say they think Obama is far more likely than Senator John McCain to abolish, or profoundly alter, that system. Their hopes are founded on Obama’s remarks that well-off black children don’t need the program—something that he, unlike most Democrats with a national profile, could say without rebuke, because he was referring to his own daughters.