Resolved: It's ok to call John Edwards a faggot

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The Ann Coulter remarks from Friday have created quite a to-do and resulted in some unfortunate confusion which I herewith intend to clear up.

Here is the exact quote from Ms. Coulter's address at CPAC:


I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.' So I'm kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions.

First, some initial points that need to be made:

Let me state for the record that I do not recommend anyone use the word "faggot" under any circumstances. It upsets people such as the folks at Equality Loudoun, who became quite agitated and unwittingly added to the confusion by making a number of misinformed claims - such as that this was Ms. Coulter's biggest applause line of the afternoon, when in reality it was about 5th. Furthermore, "faggot" is inarguably a pointed epithet which can evoke strong negative emotions from listeners and, as a general rule, for the sake of one's well-being, it is prudent to avoid doing this in the course of everyday life. It is also goes without saying it is a VERY rude thing to say in reference to gay people, in the same class as the n-word, although as will be noted I think such usage is about as common as the n-word nowadays.

Also, it is important to note that Ms. Coulter did not call John Edwards a faggot. The sentence structure is a combination of the pluperfect and future subjunctive forms and yields a hypothetical statement regarding both Mr. Edwards and the term in question. There is no reason to assume she did not choose her words carefully, because regardless of whatever else one might say about Ann Coulter few accuse her of being a poor writer. Her actual statement concerned what happens if you use a particular word. Considering that the public response to her statement has precisely confirmed what she said, there is a simple factual accuracy to the remark. In addition, as John Hawkins observes in the course of denouncing the remark, she was without doubt referencing an incident several weeks ago in which an actor went into rehab after publicly using the word 'faggot'. Ms. Coulter simply took a joke that was already half-made and plugged herself and Mr. Edwards into it.

Finally, before the false idea that Ms. Coulter's remark was representative of the outlook of "conservatives" in any degree goes any further, it must be noted that the universal "conservative" reaction has been negative. As noted in both the New York Times and Washington Post, the major Republican candidates have denounced it. In addition to Hawkins, every major right-of-center blogger I've found to have commented on the remark has denounced it: See Michelle Malkin, Ace, Captain's Quarters, American Mind, Right Wing Nuthouse, American Spectator, The Corner. I spoke with several bloggers at the conference and to a person they also denounced it.

The contention of this essay is that Ms. Coulter's remark is undeserving of the degree of opprobrium that has been heaped upon it and that conservatives, such as they are, do not need to be sprinting away from Ms. Coulter with such knee-jerk haste. In order to prove this point, we will focus on the word in question, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Coulter, and the context in which the word was used.

Up until the mid-1980s, when they began putting "bad" words in the dictionary, the official definitions of "faggot" had to do with bundles of sticks, old women, and knots. Ironically, in my own East Coast, metropolitan milieu, by the time dictionaries defined faggot as "a homosexual man" that usage had become rare, if not passe. The reason was that homosexuality had become relatively unexceptional and epithets lose their salience as the objects become more commonplace. In addition, an increasing number of heterosexuals learned from direct experience that gay people could be decent and civil, and normal manners thereby made the old epithets "faggot," "queer" etc., seem less and less appropriate.

This is not to say the word disappeared from the lexicon (referring once again to my own milieu and, I am guessing, that of Ms. Coulter). Much like "gay," "weenie," "wuss" or "queerbait," "faggot" continued to occupy a hallowed position within the longstanding tradition of heterosexuals questioning a fellow heterosexual's "manliness" - a treasured battery of insults which heterosexual men, and some of the women they most love, have launched at each other since the beginning of time.

I can give some typical, real-life examples from personal experience over the past 25 years. One may likely be called a faggot by one's associates for: Not bringing enough beer on a fishing trip; having to leave the poker game early so as not to get in trouble with one's wife or girlfriend; having to do ANYTHING for reasons of one's wife or girlfriend; getting a tear in one's eye for any reason whatsoever; and the list, in my own case, unfortunately goes on and on. A more abstract usage, still in the sphere of joshing among friends, would be to express extreme dissatisfaction for any reason, i.e. "you just put your chair down on my foot, you faggot!"

Whereas, in the modern day circa post-1985, one could easily imagine the following exchange:

"You just put your chair down on my foot, you faggot!"

"Um, he's gay."

"Oh, sorry."

A less common usage is to insult another male who is deemed worthy of insult and incidentally provides an opening because of some nominally "unmanly" characteristic. Examples might be a sports figure "whining" excessively about a penalty or a guy driving a minivan or pink convertible making a dangerous move in traffic. Ms. Coulter's use of the word in the current case, I would argue, falls within this category (although, as noted above, Ms. Coulter's joke was one step removed from actually calling Mr. Edwards anything).

Much of the immediate negative reaction to Ms. Coulter's speech centered on the supposed use of "hate speech," exactly as if she had used the n-word. This, I contend, is bogus. The n-word is so out of bounds because its meaning is almost entirely racial and racist thinking has been completely delegitimized. While awareness of racial differences is real, the ideology of everyday life is becoming more and more race-neutral. Consequently, there are almost no areas of social life, no milieus, in which it would be considered remotely appropriate to use the n-word. One might suggest the narrow definition of "slave" or "servant" could leave open a usage such as "He shouldn't treat so-and-so as though he's his n----" but the window of propriety is a narrow one if it exists at all.

By contrast, gender-based thinking, and jokes based on gender-skepticism, are a long ways from being ruled out of order provided they are not directed at homosexuals - which Ms. Coulter's comment clearly was not. Epithets condemning homosexuals have no place in modern discourse. If she had attempted the same joke with, say, Andrew Sullivan as the object, she would have been comprehensively pilloried and the current controversy would have been over within hours. She'd be dead meat, career-wise. But she did not do anything of the sort and her later comments during the Q and A portion of her address made clear she bore no ill-will toward homosexuals. Jokes or insults based on gender-skepticism among heterosexuals will undoubtedly persist until such thinking is deemed forbidden in the same way that racist thinking is forbidden - in other words, until the day when ours is a nearly gender-neutral culture. That day is not imminent.

All that being said, there is a good reason that "faggot" and other terms once used to denigrate homosexuals are infrequently uttered in public discourse: They are crude, edgy, and constitute a type of profanity. If she had substituted "Bobby Brown" for "John Edwards" and "a--hole" for "faggot" the crudity of the remark would have been about the same. It's not everyday speech; for many people it would not be any-day speech. But Ms. Coulter is, among other roles, an entertainer, and the comment was made in an entertainment venue where taking potshots at public figures is hardly unexpected.

Mr. Edwards is inarguably a public figure. As a fellow human being who has done good things and suffered his share of difficulties, he deserves the same respect we'd accord anyone else. But as a public figure he has also said and done things that open the door to less kindly treatment. Any candidate for office who talks about "recreating hope" will evoke some degree of ridicule from the cynics among us, and one whose grooming proclivities have earned nicknames like Breck Girl is already an easy mark for jokes in the gender-skepticism genre.

Some might ask: "Just because the man is idealistic and supposedly on the 'pretty' side of 'good-looking' does he deserve to be the subject of crude jokes?"

I would argue that the game is hardball and Mr. Edwards threw the first pitch. Most will remember, during the 2004 presidential campaign, both Mr. Edwards and John Kerry made it a point to highlight the fact that Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian. Many people who watched the debates considered the references gratuitous and Mary Cheney herself called Mr. Edwards "total slime". But while some thought it inappropriate for a candidate for such a high office to make someone's sexuality an issue, my personal take was: This is the big leagues and this is how the game is played.

Much more recently, in an instance of almost poetic coincidence, Mr. Edwards specifically refused to fire from his campaign staff two bloggers (who later quit) who were found to have written a number of rather nasty and crude posts - which likely never would have merited news coverage if they'd merely contained the word "faggot." Although there was a fair amount of outrage that a candidate for the U.S. presidency would give tacit approval to such rude opinions, again I contend that at a certain level of popular debate, when a great deal is at stake, the gloves come off. Mr. Edwards was merely looking to gain every possible advantage and these two bloggers were deemed potential assets.

It should be no surprise whatsoever, then, that Ann Coulter would find in John Edwards a fat target.

Ms. Coulter is not a policy maker, Republican Party official or candidate for any office. She is an attorney, columnist, television commentator and author. At the Conservative Political Action Conference - and in some of her other guises - she is more than anything an entertainer. Many of her columns and large portions of her recent books read like a series of one-liners, and her reputation as a humorist is buttressed by the fact that in unscripted appearances - such as on television talk shows and in a generous segment of each typical public appearance - she delivers at least a-joke-a-minute. Much of what she says and writes is brilliant, and some of it is jaw-droppingly politically incorrect. My personal belief is that in the context in which she operates, viewed against all the other personalities from the far left to the far right, Ann Coulter is the best at what she does.

What does she do? During 25-minute appearances such as at CPAC primarily she skewers the opposition.

If they have any sense of proportion, those conservatives now arguing this singular one liner undoes the hard work of thousands probably ought to buck up on behalf of the thousands.

If the point of that half-hour session was to put a public face on the "conservative movement," such as it is, ACU could have done a right fine job by putting any number of economists or judicial experts at the podium. Heck, they likely could have had Michael Medved available to deliver that keynote at the drop of a hat. They could have brought good old Sam Brownback back to remind everyone about the core principles of conservatism and why cancer is bad. They probably could have found at least thirty more people running for president on a platform of "quoting Ronald Reagan and revealing the failures of the former GOP congressional majority."

Instead, ACU took the absolute nutso gamble that Ann Coulter would not don the persona of Alan Greenspan but would, shockingly, play herself once again.

All anyone with a heart can say is, how absolutely horrible this is for the thousands of grassroots conservative activists who now must bear the burden of Ann Coulter's thermonuclear remark. I will hazard a guess that, in living rooms across America, conservatives struggling to absorb the very concept of "if I said John Edwards was a faggot" are lining up to enroll their 3rd graders in sex-ed classes. This is how political movements die.

Now, if this entire discussion were taking place in the sitting area of the local Baptist church with tea and soda crackers, folks might have good reason to be troubled. No one ever says "faggot" in those parts, and those that do are usually either at one end or the other of a large caliber firearm.

But the present discussion is in fact taking place on the big stage, the national stage, where much is at stake and where they play nothing but hardball. This is, undoubtedly, John Edwards' territory.

What sort of minefield did Ms. Coulter wander into with her remarks? Is she like a drunken firebrand who has stumbled into a university lecture hall?

No, I think it is much more accurate to say she is a firebrand who has stormed onto a battlefield of firebrands.

Ms. Coulter's rhetoric should not be measured against that of the opposition's academic rhetoricians. It should be measured against the liberal yahoos. This makes all the difference.

It should be instructive that one of Ms. Coulter's premier liberal counterparts, a comedian and all around instigator, described a sitting U.S. senator as a "butt boy" for President Bush. This remark which invoked a negative homosexual caricature was not considered a big deal by the conservative intelligentsia - much less the liberal intelligentsia - on account of the fact that this is what firebrands do.

In another instance, a liberal firebrand created a Web site perpetuating a whispering campaign against a candidate for governor which highlighted said candidate's purported effeminate way of talking. "He sounds gay" was the basic message.

Tough stuff: But as I said, this is the major league playing field. Ann Coulter is no better or worse than the instigators on the other side of the ideological divide.

The mystery, to me, is that liberal bloggers did not run away from the firebrands in their own camp the way conservatives are running away from Ann Coulter. Oh well, I guess it is all relative at some level. Perhaps conservatives should hold themselves to a higher standard, eh?

Oh, one minor correction:The firebrand who called a sitting U.S. senator "butt boy" is not merely an entertainer, but is actually an announced Democratic candidate for U.S. senator. Al Franken, by name. Certainly, liberal bloggers will soon be lining up to condemn Mr. Franken for the remark made months ago.

Oh, and one other clarification: The whispering campaign which insinuated a Virginia candidate for governor was effeminate because of the way he talked was conducted against Virginia Republican candidate for governor Jerry Kilgore and included a Web page called Jerry the Duck, which was sponsored by the Tim Kaine for Governor campaign. Tim Kaine is the current Virginia governor. The Jerry the Duck Web site was taken down (but thanks to the magic of the Wayback Machine we can still view it).

Hey, this is the big leagues. Conservative commentators say tough things; liberal candidates and office-holders say equally tough things.

Both sides engage in similar hyperbole. As far as I've seen, only the conservatives are throwing their spokespeople to the wolves.

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68 Comments

zimzo said:

So basically your argument is that everybody does it (which is not really true) so it must be OK. You could have said that in a lot fewer words.

You, of course, ignored the fact that it was not just this one liner but the latest in a long series of vile remarks.

You also didn't address Ed Morrissey's comment that her remark and the cheering that followed were revealing of an animosity toward gays by conservatives, which you yourself, as I have pointed out before, have manifested. The reason her remark had so much resonance is that it rang true for people because many conservatives are anti-gay and there is plenty of evidence for it.

Here is what Andrew Sullivan had to say:

"Her argument is that it was a joke and that since it was directed at a straight man, it wasn't homophobic. It was, in her words, a "school-yard taunt," directed at a straight man, meaning a "wuss" and a "sissy". Why would gays care? She is "pro-gay," after all. Apart from backing a party that wants to strip gay couples of all legal rights by amending the federal constitution, kick them out of the military where they are putting their lives on the line, put them into "reparative therapy" to "cure" them, keep it legal to fire them in many states, and refusing to include them in hate crime laws, Coulter is very pro-gay....Coulter's defense of the slur is that it was directed at an obviously straight man and so could not be a real slur. The premise of this argument is that the word faggot is only used to describe gay men and is only effective and derogatory when used against a gay man. But it isn't. In fact, in the schoolyard she cites, the primary targets of the f-word are straight boys or teens or men. The word "faggot" is used for two reasons: to identify and demonize a gay man; and to threaten a straight man with being reduced to the social pariah status of a gay man. Coulter chose the latter use of the slur, its most potent and common form. She knew why Edwards qualified. He's pretty, he has flowing locks, he's young-looking. He is exactly the kind of straight guy who is targeted as a "faggot" by his straight peers. This, Ms Coulter, is real social policing by speech. And that's what she was doing: trying to delegitimize and feminize a man by calling him a faggot. It happens every day. It's how insecure or bigoted straight men police their world to keep the homos out.
And for the slur to work, it must logically accept the premise that gay men are weak, effeminate, wusses, sissies, and the rest. A sane gay man has two responses to this, I think. The first is that there is nothing wrong with effeminacy or effeminate gay men - and certainly nothing weak about many of them....Secondly, gay men are not all effeminate. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a leading NBA player and a Marine come out to tell their stories. I'd like to hear Coulter tell Amaechi and Alva that they are sissies and wusses. A man in uniform who just lost a leg for his country is a sissy? The first American serviceman to be wounded in Iraq is a wuss? What Coulter did, in her callow, empty way, was to accuse John Edwards of not being a real man. To do so, she asserted that gay men are not real men either. The emasculation of men in minority groups is an ancient trope of the vilest bigotry. Why was it wrong, after all, for white men to call African-American men "boys"? Because it robbed them of the dignity of their masculinity. And that's what Coulter did last Friday to gays. She said - and conservatives applauded - that I and so many others are not men. We are men, Ann."

Finally, you never make a case for why the Ann Coulters of the world add anything positive to political discourse. Your basic argument is that that's just the way politics is. Well, it doesn't have to be that way if people like Ann Coulter don't have a forum.

My argument is what my argument is, regardless of what anyone else has said.

Seriously. Just read the above. I spent a bunch of time working that out, with no reference to Captain Ed or Sullivan or whomever.

Tear me a new one on that basis if you are so inclined. I think you realize I don't care what anyone else is arguing.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

When you say, "I can't use the insult X, therefore I can't talk about person Y." It stands to reason that you're calling Y and X. [Walter Reed]

zimzo said:

It took you all that time to work out the everybody does it so it's OK argument? You do mention Andrew Sullivan and you do try to claim that her use "faggot" is not an antigay slur and that she is not antigay, which Sullivan parries pretty convincingly. You ignore what Ed Morrissey says because you know it's true and you don't have an answer.

Maybe instead of trying to work out some rhetorical gymnastics to defend Ann Coulter for the indefensible you should consider why virtually every conservative as well as liberals disagree with you. The fact that you don't even consider that they might have a point shows how weak your argument is. As I said to Jacob, maybe it's time for some self-reflection.

Stay Puft: whatever that means, I am sure you are right. College guy.

Zimzo: Ok, welcome back. I promise to be more civil, even when, as now, I do not quite follow.

It is interesting, though, that a conservative WRITER is held to such a higher standard than a liberal OFFICE-HOLDER.

It makes me think we should spend a great deal more time ridiculing liberal office holders.

Anyone else on board with this? We could have an entertaining year and a half or so if we really put our minds to it, now couldn't we.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I meant what I said, pretty much.

I think part of this is a deep suspicion that conservative America has hateful bigotry hiding just below the surface. I know you've spent a fair amount of time defending conservative stances against accusations of bigotry, and accusing liberals of over-using the word.

...so when a prominent voice of the conservative movement says something like this, it people see it as an instance of that underlying bigotry boiling up to the surface.

among other things, Ann coulter's called Muslims rag-heads and said we ought to bomb non-christians, and now this. And conservatives always flock to her defense, "She's not hateful, what she says makes sense!" The fact that conservatives continue to give her the time of day makes it look like those accusations of bigotry are true.

this reminds me of the whole Mel Gibson deal. Conservative Christians got off on his "Passion of the Christ" gore-fest, and vehemently denied/scoffed at "liberal" suggestion that the movie had anti-semitic overtones.

and then he got pulled over while drunk driving, ranting anti-semitic slurs, and it brought back into question his portrayal of Jews in the film.

Can't speak for Mel and didn't see his movie, but he did not appear to acquit himself too well during that traffic stop. I'll grant you that.

I think Ann said "convert them to Christianity at gunpoint" or something to that effect, not "bomb them." Bombing them would be ridiculous. Jeez.

In this case I was not thinking of defending myself or Ann against the bigotry charge, so much as saying "I refuse to allow this bit of speech to be protected." However I do not think she is bigoted against gays based on other things she has said. I don't think using the word faggot makes you a bigot - although it is sort of funny that I don't think, I've heard the word used in a couple years and now I've used it myself about 50 million times in the past four days. Maybe this presages some type of renaissance ...

jacob said:

Joe,
I think Coulter knew exactly what she was doing. The idea was to shock. We all have taken the bait. We are talking about her.

The sorry thing is she is only diminshing herself in the process. How much she should be diminished is the only open question.

No, she is not a bigot. But she, like Bill Clinton before her, is far too clever for her/his own good. Clinton played the 'those people' game she is putting the word 'faggot' into a sentence. If anything she is playing a more dangerous game.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
As for the Passion of the Christ, everyone looked bad. With possible exeption of Mary.

The Roman soldiers looked like total sadists. Pontius Pilate ducked his responciblity. Herod, an Edomite, was utterly decadent.

The Pharisees and Sadducees argued over what to do with, so surprisingly they do not look unformly bad. The biggest Jewish villian was the High Priest.

Amoung te aposltes Peter came out of it looking like a coward. The apostle John fared better, more of an anxious oberver. Judas, a villian repents and commits suicide, hounded by demons.

The most damning scene was when the crowd chose to spare Barabas and condem Jesus. The crowd is from the street of Jerusalem. Who do you expect to see, Norwegians? The crowd represents all of humanity.

Have you seen the movie?

spmm said:

i've seen the damned film. My point wasn't that Ann Coulter is a racist or that there were antisemitic overtones in "Passion,"

my point was that people are suspicious of the thinking underlying the conservative community, and things like this ann coulter statement or the mel gibson thing seem to do more to confirm those suspicious than not.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
OK. So you are suspicious that conservatives are a pack of closet Nazis. I get it. So how is the a valid stance? Why should we be guilty until proven innocent? Why is it right for you to put me under this cloud? If all you are going to do is examine each statement through this prism then eventually you will find what you want.

You are like a kid who has found a penny in the gutter. Once you find a coin, you run home screaming, "Lookie what I found, the streets are paved with money!!"

The conclusion is obviously false, even though the youngster does have a penny his hand. This is what the left looks like to me when they embark on these witch hunts.

Tricky Dick is dead, and his southern strategy was last used in 1968. This is akin to holding every Democrat at fault for the actions of all the Democrats who enacted and enforced the Jim crow laws staring over to 110 years ago, and who manned the fire hoses in Birminham 40+ years ago, and who were card carrying members of the KKK. I got news for you, they did NOT all become Republicans. I actually knew someone who worked for Wallace, he hates Republican more than he does Democrats. Still remembers that to-do back in 1861-1864.

I have some more news for you, more Republican Senators than Democrat voted for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and it was Democrats who filibustered it.

Given your behavior, I guess its OK by you that I should then paint YOU with the same brush as I would those Democrats. You know,guys like Senator Byrd. I know, maybe I should hold you personally accountable for the "hymie town" remarks made by Jessie Jackson, or the other assorted antisemetic remarks made by Sharpton. No, thats not right? OK, I won't. Why? Because it is unjust and dumb.

Now excuse me, I have to go wash my white sheet and pillow-case before my meeting tonight.

zimzo said:

How many pennies does one need to collect, Jacob, to prove the streets are paved with money? I have seen all of these arguments before, but I will bat them down nevertheless.

More Republicans did not vote for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 than Democrats. In the Senate 47 Democrats voted in favor vs. 30 Republicans. In the House 221 Democrats vs. 112 Republicans. All 17 Democrats who voted against it in the Senate were from the South.

The idea that the Southern Strategy was a one-time strategy used in 1968 is just ridiculous. The power of the modern Repubublican party relies directly on the fact that Southern Democrats became Republicans after the Civil Rights acts were passed. Why do you think the southern delegation in the Senate is almost completely Republican now when in the 1960s it was completely Democratic? From 1874 to 1979 every governor of Texas was a Democrat. When John Connally switched to the Republican party in 1973 it barely existed. George Bush would never have been elected as governor of Texas as a Republican if that never happened. Was it just a coincidence that Ronald Reagan began his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi where three civil rights workers were killed? Lee Atwater and his protege Karl Rove based their enire careers on exploiting the Southern Strategy.

Here is Lee Atwater on the Southern Strategy:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'"

The Republican party and the conservative movement have relied on using such codes since the 1970s. Karl Rove adapted this same strategy to exploit homophobia. You don't have to say "faggot," all you have to say is "gay marriage" or "gays in the military." What was so shocking and stupid about what Ann Coulter did is that she went beyond this carefully cultivated strategy and actually said the word "faggot." That's why conservatives are so angry at her.

So the Marshmellow Man is right to be suspicious. Recent history certainly hasn't proven that Republicans and conservatives have changed their stripes. From the callous and incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina which disproportionately affected African-Americans, to the use of racist rhetoric to oppose immigration to the opposition of every single effort to grant equal rights to gays including not only gay marriage but also the Employment Non-Discrimination Act there is plenty of evidence for at least a callous disregard of gays and non-whites if not outright racism and homophobia. In light of past and recent history the burden of proof is on you.

Jack said:

OK, Zimzo, Jacob mis-wrote. A higher PERCENTAGE of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in both the House and Senate.

Robert KKK Byrd did not become a Republican.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
You are correct, I left off percentage. Can you tell me who conducted the filibuster? Since we are in a discussion here, answering each others question, or, acknoledging what is writte one of the casual curtisies you know.

The total vote numnbers in the house and senate were:
Senate House
Y N Y N
R 30 2 112 24
D 47 17 221 61

In the house the percentage of no votes was three times higher. In the senate all but 2 Republicans voted for the bill. The resistance to the act came form the Democrat party.

As for Atwater, you are making my point. Thankyou. You paint me with Atwater, OK, I will paint you with Sharpton.

ex. 1 Since you are a Democrat (I assume) you are therefore an race baiting anti-semite.

If this does make sense try the next senstence ...

You are a Republican therefore you are a homophbic racist.

The gramatical construction of the two sentences are identical. If either one makes sense to you then you, I would do some soul searching.

I ain't Atwater and you ain't Sharpton. Been to plenty of meetings, never heard the n-word, and I would have left if I had. I would hope you would do the same.

I have been involved in a couple of campaigns both down south and up north, nobody ever did bother with that nonsense, much as you like to beleive otherwise.

As for the penny in the gutter example. To answer YOUR question, "It depends on the size of the road." Coulter is a bomb thrower. If you want to use her to judge me, it is you who are ridiculous. Keep the Sharpton and Kos examples in mind. You want to play I can play along, but we will get nowhere fast.

BTW, why is it that one hand you use a right wing colum to demonstrate that Coulter has gone too far, but you then will in the same argument thread not acknowledge that Coulter IS being pilloriewd by the very community you suspect of being inherently homophobic, racist etc. Don't you see the illogic in your actions/position here?

jacob said:

zimzo,
As for gay marriage. What the gay community is seeking is affirmation of their lifesyle. As far as I am concerned you can do whatever you want in the bedroom. But do not make me say amen to it. If you refuse to see the difference, that is fine by me. But the difference exsts whether you admit it or not.

jacob said:

zimzo,
As far as coding goes. Without rancor, to me it looks like you are putting word in my mouth to support your 'he's a bigot' argument. Sorry, that is how I see it. If you want, I can come up with a code to make you look like an anti-semite, anti-amercian commie, I am sure it will either aggravate or amuse you. As your code tends to do with me.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

oh come on Jacob. There was a political realignments because of the civil rights stuff. Once upon a time the south had slaves. Because of Lincoln, the South voted democratically, until those damn northern democrats started talking about equal rights. Which party controlled the south before civil rights? After?

and no one cares whether you say "amen" to their marriage or not. This whole anti-gay marriage thing is just the majority telling members of a minority how they're going to live their lives. "the difference exists" in your head.

which brings me to my next point, which is, you're missing my point. I'm not calling you a racist or lumping you in... or whatever. I'm saying, with regards to the coulter thing, that some voices of the conservative movement have a history of saying crazy stuff. and whenever they do, their supporters explain it away, or just ignore it. Then the conservative voice says something way over the top, and it calls into question everything that person has said in the past.

and in the same way, you had a room full of people, a majority of who most likely supported banning gay marriage (because why should they "be forced to condone" something they don't approve of) A lot of them have probably defended themselves against accusations of homophobia with arguments similar you yours. ...they're not bigoted, they just think marriage should be between a man and a women; it's that simple.

and then we get this video clip of Coulter calling a presidential candidate a faggot, in so many words, and the crowd of (supposedly non-bigoted) conservatives yucking it up.

It just doesn't bode well for a group of people who have already had to defend themselves against accusations of being homophobic, and who have have been active in the effort to block gays from marrying. Can't you see that?

it's 2007. People don't say "fagot" in jest. You might be thinking, "So just because liberals accuse conservatives of being bigots, that means conservatives should censor themselves?"

I'd say conservatives ought to be careful about what they say, or what they applaud/laugh at, if they don't want to send the wrong message.

I'm not saying, "you're a bigot" or, "See, I was right all along" I'm trying to inform you that, to the rest of the country, that's what this LOOKS like.

Jack said:

And the demonrats don't do the same thing? Who in his party denounced Jackson for his "Heimytown" remark, or Byrd for his "white nigger" comment? Who among the Democrats, even in the primaries, called Sharpton to task for his race-baiting?

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
"A minority how to live there lives" Lets get this straight, no pun intended (ouch), Gays in this country have a higher per capita income. So can we dispose of the "they are oppressed" nonsense please. The days of the cop chasing them and throwing them into the slammer for being gay are long over. When you are gay you are choosing the lifestyle, that lifestyle precludes you from getting married. That sir is choice they made. Any given man gay or not, can marry any women he wants to. Being gay is a behavior. Couching this issue in the same language as the Black/African-American/Negro experience is frankly hideous. Blacks experienced violence as well as economic deprivation, for being, not acting a given way.

I will agree with you that anyone yucking up Caoulter's gaff is an idiot. Why because it gives left-wing, pains-in-the-neck ammunition to tar the rest of us with. With all respect to Zimzo, I get the impression he really thinks most conservatives have brown shirts in the closet. If that is a stretch Zimzo, speak up. (If only to answer a one of the three questions I asked you, try the last one)

As for Jack's point on how the left behaves when the shoe is on the other foot, you ought to try to answer that. You may not like him, but Jack has a valid point here. Recently two of Edwards' campaign staff refered to all Christians as Christo-Facists. The story got nowhere near the play the Coulter story did and guess what, they insulted some 200M people like I did in generations, but the did so in earnest, and face it as a member of the 'me' generation I was making fun of myself. Why are then not called out to maker a public apology to god, king and country?

stay puft marshmallow man said:

Damnit, Jack, you've got to knock it off with the, "they're no better..." It doesn't move the discussion forward. Neither does the term "demonrat." All you're saying is, "I know you are but what am I?"

grant it, I called coulter a bitch-bot. Mia culpa! But this topic's been too hot to handle since last weekend. Do you want to have a discussion or go into defensive shield mode?

This is exactly why Ann Coulter is worthless. I think it's a proliferation of her brand of hateful rhetoric that makes having a discussion difficult. It's, "we're right and if you disagree you're a laughable idiot" and the other side goes, "oh yeah, you're a bigot fascist" and the response is "I know you are but what am I" and we have Americans divided and no one getting anywhere.

This started with coulter calling someone a fagot, and it's been nothing but name calling ever since. If Ann Coulter had her way, all political discourse would look a lot like the conversation we've been having about her lame joke. too much of it does already.

zimzo said:

Jacob, you seem to be missing the point so I'll try to make it clearer.

1) It was Democrats who led the fight for passage of the Civil Rights bills. It was Kennedy and Johnson who moved them through Congress. The Democrats who opposed it came from the South and virtually all of them then became Republicans. The father of the modern conservative movement Barry Goldwater opposed the bills and voted against them.

2) The point is not that we are "painting you " with Atwater. The point is that he is one of the architects of the political realignment SPMM referred to, a realignment built on racism. Sharpton is not the architect of any political relignment.

3) It is not opposition to gay marriage in and of itself that shows animosity toward gays or opposition to any number of civil rights bills that shows animosity toward blacks. It is the fact that on virtually every issue conservatives find themselves on the opposite side of most blacks, gays and other minorities. After a while people begin to wonder if this is just a coincidence. When prominent members of your movement go beyond coded words the way Trent Lott and Ann Coulter did it just confirms what people already believe. As I said, the burden of proof is on you.

4) Fine, you are opposed to gay marriage. But how is granting gay relationships the same rights as straight ones "affirming" their lifestyle. Did letting Anna Nicole Smith marry an aging billionaire or Britney Spears marry her first husband briefly in Las Vegas "affirm" their lifestyle? What does it have to do with you?

4) I never said you were a bigot or that you were using coded words. I merely pointed out that the people who are responsible for putting conservatives in power, such as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, not only do do it, Atwater admitted that they did it. So you have a special burden, sadly, to prove that you are not doing it. That is why I called Joe on using age-old racist rhetoric in his statements about immigration. I am not saying you are racists or homophobes. I am saying that people will perceive you that way if you use the rhetoric of racists and homophobes. In the 1960s William F. Buckley threw the anti-Semites and John Birchers out of the conservative movement precisely for that reason. Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters is recommending something similar when he says that conservative must take proactive action aginst homophobes in their movement. That is, if you want to win elections.

RE "unified bigotry" theory: Are blacks lined up in favor of illegal immigration in the way you seem to imply? I don't know. If many of them are in fact on the same page as me, this would poke a whole in the unified bigotry hypothosis.

I'd also be interested in knowing how blacks voted on the Virginia Marriage Amendment.

Finally, addressing Captain Ed, Jacob, and basically everyone else in the conservative tent (this "coalition" does tend to mitigate against the notion that conservatives by and large are homophobes, as Jacob said, does it not?) --

It's not about gays: It's about irreverence. A comedienne can joke about having sex with God and that's funny stuff. John Edwards' house bloggers can excoriate Catholics and that's - well, not funny but acceptable. But use the word faggot and you have gone OVER THE LINE.

Give me a break.

Jack said:

Sorry, Puffy, slip of the thum on the demoCrats.

Anyway, the point is not that the democRats are no better, but that they are WORSE. That they NEVER chastise their own, regardless of what vile comments they make.

Republicans do.

zimzo said:

I post one response and you say something else ridiculous.

1) Please show me on what you base the notion that gays have a higher per capita income than straights. prove it.

2) Even if that were true, who cares. If Jews had or have a higher per capita income does that negate anti-Semitism?

3) Gays maintain and so far most science confirms that being gay is not a choice. Is being heterosexual a choice? How would you feel at being told you are free to marry any man you want?

4) Of course, there are difference in how gays and blacks are treated. On the one hand gays can hide their sexuality and most blacks cannot hide their race. On the other hand, gays are sometimes kicked out of their families for being gay and most blacks are not kicked out of their families for being black. In the end, descriminatio is discrimination no matter how it manifests itself. To say that gays have not experience economic deprivation when they can be kicked out of the military or legally fired from their jobs because they are gay in many places is false. Certainly, as a group they have not suffered the economic devastation of African Americans (and I am very happy to see you acknowledging that African Americans have suffered economic devastation) But to say that gays have not experienced violence is more than just absurd. According to the FBI 15% of hate crimes consist of hate crimes against gays, far in excess of their precentage of the population. According to GLSEN more than a third of gay students have experienced physical harassment for being gay. To suggest that violence against gays is somehow justified because they are "acting" a certain way instead of "being" is truly unconscionable.

5) Making statements such as "he really thinks most conservatives have brown shirts in the closet" makes me think you have not read anything I have said. Have I not quoted conservatives who are opposed to homophobia? Ridiculous.

6) No one on John Edwards' campaign staff referred to all Christians as Christo-Fascists. One blogger, who was hired to run his website and has since quit referred to anti-gay, anti-feminist Christians on her own website once as Christo-Fascists. Please get yor facts straight.

zimzo said:

Once again, Joe, with the "everybody does it so it must be OK" argument. It's a losing argument Joe. You really should drop it.

I don't know where you got this "unified bigotry" theory. Not from me. There are racist gays and homophobic blacks and blacks and gays against immigration. What's your point?

I believe many blacks voted for the anti-gay marriage amendment and voted against George Allen. In fact, I think that may have been one of the reasons he lost. Again, what's your point? If some blacks are homophobes does that make homophobia OK. If some gays are racists, does that make racism OK?

I have never said most conservatives are homophobes. I have said that it is easy to perceive them that way considering the rhetoric of some of their members and the positions they dedicate their energy to. That is why Captain Ed says that conservatives must do something to resist this perception that conservatives have animosity toward gays. Whether it is a false perception or a true perception conservatives must fight it proactively. That seems to be what he is saying to me.

Again with the distraction. Sarah Silverman's comedy, if you are not familiar with it and which may not be to your taste, is based on playing a character like Borat who is patently offensive, intolerant and racist. You are supposed to disagree with what she says. Ann Coulter's "comedy" is the opposite. She depends on the audience to agree with what she says though they are too afraid to say it out loud. As far as John Edwards' former bloggers go, he said he found what they wrote on their own blogs offensive and that he disagreed with it. They no longer work for him. Enough with the distractions and the "Ann Coulter is no worse" canards.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. First, I am NOT the "Ann Coulter is no worse" guy.

I'm the "Ann Coulter is fantastic" guy. Let's be clear on that.

Second, I think certain others here - cough, cough "Zimzo and Stay Puft" cough cough - are weaving the unified bigotry theory quilt. I was just trying to poke a hole or two in it.

I wonder if maybe this whole "bigotry is bad" meme is getting too much play. Here it is 2007 and we're dredging up the arguments of the 1950s. Isn't it time to move on?

You guys are obviously bigoted against Republicans, conservatives, traditionalists, while we have our issues with liberals, Democrats and peyote-heads.

Can anyone besides me here appreciate the symmetry? The yin and yang of it all?

You say Che Guevara, I say Torquemada. We all have our excesses and prejudices but at the end of the day it all evens out, does it not?

Anyways, I think "faggot-gate" is doing a disservice to both sides, and I for one am ready to ratchet down the rhetoric I admittedly may have fed in some small way. I don't know that conservatives, such as they are, acquitted themselves all that well in this controversy by scurrying away like frightened little girls, and I also think the general trend of normalizing gays probably gets knocked a few steps backwards whenever "gayness" is made an issue and gays and liberals take the bait.

Probably, gays could have laughed along with Ann Coulter and would have furthered their own cause much better than if they had acted as though this incident was a harbinger of a new Dredd Scott societal turning point.

Anyone read the recent Time article by John Cloud? I don't have the link handy but see "reporters allowed to interview Ann Coulter again"

http://www.anncoulter.org/cgi-local/content.cgi?name=bio

Maybe she LIKES gays. That would punch a hole in the quilt.

Kevin said:

"RE 'unified bigotry' theory: Are blacks lined up in favor of illegal immigration in the way you seem to imply? I don't know. If many of them are in fact on the same page as me, this would poke a whole in the unified bigotry hypothosis.

I'd also be interested in knowing how blacks voted on the Virginia Marriage Amendment."

"Blacks" are no longer a monolithic group, thanks to civil rights. A long way to go, still, but no longer a monolithic people. (which I know you know, Joe)

Also, I'm not sure where the whole gays are richer than non-gays is really coming from. There may be stats out there, they would be helpful in supporting whatever argument you were trying to make with it, but if it is fact, it does not constitute non-oppression.

The "choice" and "behavior" argument is unwinable, those are beliefs. One could argue that lack of choice is a belief just as easily. However, choosing ridicule, violence, lack of rights, etc. over fitting in to society seems awfully odd.

*$$$$$* Anne Coulter. You're filling her coffer. What does she care?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

hey, I ain't weaving a quilt! All I'm trying show you where the dots are, it's up to you to connect them!

here's my argument as simply as possible:

A. Ann Coulter is worthless

B. When she calls someone a fagot, and a room full of conservatives laugh and cheer, and the whole thing goes up on youtube, it makes conservatives look dumb.

C. Maybe she's a homophobe, maybe not. Maybe the conservative tent is full of homophobes, maybe not. Bottom line: they have an image problem and Ann's little joke ain't helping it none.

yeah?

zimzo said:

Funny, Joe, but you haven't made a case for why Ann Coulter is fantastic or even attempted to. So far you have just tried to show that she is not as bad everybody else.

No one argued anything even close to a theory of "unified bigotry." I guess one way to win an argument is to invent an argument for someone then knock it down.

Of course, you believe the "bigotry is bad" argument is getting too much play. That's what you always say when the subject comes up. That's the whole point. Conservatives would rather pretend bigotry doesn't exist so that no one can accuse them of it.

Bigoted against Republicans? So now after you try to deny victim status to anyone else you want to seize it for yourself. Hilarious. I guess the correct answer to that is "I can't be bigoted against Republicans. Some of my best friends are Republicans." When Republicans are denied the right to marry, we'll talk then.

Now you want to call a truce. Another good sign of a losing argument.

Then you trot out the "Why don't gays have a sense of humor" argument. C'mon it's just a joke. Can't you take a joke? That's what bullies say after they make fun of someone. And actually, I thought some of their attacks on Ann Coulter have been pretty funny.

And, yes, I've read Time Magazine's puff piece by Ann Coulter's buddy John Cloud. Zzzzzzzzz.

Here's why I think you are so weary of this discussion that you can't even manage a cohesive effective argument. You are losing. You are virtually alone. It makes you look bad. Somewhere deep inside you realize you are wrong but you don't have the guts to admit it.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

...but I like your yin and yang thing! I do, however, think that "fagot" is closer to the "n word" than an innocent little cute-ism, and that it is crossing a line.

but hey, that's just my opinion.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

...and let me just add that when you talk about "normalizing" gays... I'm sure things like the anti-gay marriage amendment don't help in this regard, either. and when a group feels under attack, they might get a bit more defensive...

It's a bit odd for a group of people who worked to ban gay marriage to laugh and cheer at Ann Coulter's "fagot" joke, and then you suggesting that gays are preventing their lifestyle from being "normalized" by getting upset about it.

alright, that's all I got

Grr! Zim-ZO!! Clever bastard that you are. Of course I've never made any case BUT that Ann is fantastic, totally unapologetically, and of all the people I know I am the least concerned about what anyone else thinks.

I HAVE won the argument because YOU'RE argument hinges on me acceding to some silly dipshit idea that I'm not sufficiently kow-towing to your notion of bigotry.

No, sir! No, I disagree.

I disagree, and I think I carry on here without the least taint of bigotry.

I wish no truce. I wish only the world should know I am right and you are wrong, and your self-diminution is a bad pattern for liberals to follow.

I will shortly post more evidence from the real world.

So where do we begin the conversation?

zimzo said:

Media Matters, among others, has launched a campaign to get newspapers to drop Ann Coulter's column. After listening to you, Joe, Jacob and Jack, argue in favor of Coulter, I'm convinced that any emails you sent to editors in favor of keeping her column would be just as good at convincing them to drop it as emails against her so I do hope you will write. Here's the info for the one Virginia paper that still carries her column:

Harrisonburg Daily News-
Record
Peter Yates
pyates@dnronline.com

You can find the rest here:
http://mediamatters.org/items/200703080002?src=item200703080002

Oh, mama, this will change the face of publishing itself. Once we've lost Harrisonburg, Bowling Green is sure to follow, then Carmel Church, and finally, Clippers. Why, the men of Vinton even now must be gathering in the public square.

A mighty, mournful, raging echo, Virginians they shall hear, and they shall awake on the 'morrow to a sad morn, wondering "where hast gone the land of yore, where my pappy once ran the hounds?"

Harrisonburg, land of rest stops and Applebees, how we loved ye', and perhaps never shalt again.

jacob said:

whoa. I go to church one night and I come back to find a royal donnie-brook here at the pub (blog).

Jack said:

Puffy:

If you can so frequently misspell "faggot" as F-A-G-O-T, which is a bundle of sticks, why can't I misspell Democrats as D-E-M-O-N-R-A-T-S?

Jack, I think multiple spellings are considered appropriate, though the word is not.

Zimzo, Jacob is anti-Coulter on this issue, you should bear in mind.

Stay Puft, I'm not saying it's a nice word nor am I having t-shirts printed up. I am just saying Ann's joke was an ok joke to make given the overall context.

Jack said:

Actually, Joe, a fagot is a bundle of sticks, while faggot is a male homosexual, according to my 1970 version of Webster's.

However, things may have changed in the last 35 years, and the alternate spelling may now be acceptable.

As we all know, language is changed by the ignorant.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
Before you start crying in your cup that I am being mean, for the last time, I am not in Coulter's corner on this one. Got it? I am also not surprised that you keep typing otherwise. At what point can I call you a liar for repeatedly typing something that is not true?

Joe,
Thanks for pointing out the obvious to zimzo, it appears his reading comprehension skills have not improved during his hiatus from our site. (Was that being mean zimzo? Guess slander is mean, isn't it?)

zimzo said:

Apparently, Jacob you are incapable of having a discussion with someone you disagree with without resorting to calling them a liar, which is why I am loathe to attempt a civilized discussion with you. I have already pointed out instances where you got the facts wrong but I have never stooped to calling you a liar. Please grant me the same courtesy.

Here were your two ringing denunciations of Ann Coulter:

"In another example of classic left wing hypocrisy, Ann Coulter is cited in the NYT, the SF Chronicler, and the Washington Post (WP) for her remarks regarding Edwards. Personally, I don't like the remarks. Comparing Edwards to gays via the old term 'faggot' is cruel to gays. The word 'faggot' was always used as a pejorative and the Edwards comparison is itself really nasty. Edwards is an opportunistic money grubbing, girlie-man, shyster-lawyer who claims to commune with the dead. "

and

"I pointed out that Coulter's comment were wrong."

Everything else you wrote was an attack on everyone who has attacked her. If you don't want people to get the impression you are defending her, perhaps you shouldn't leave that impression.

stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

"As we all know, language is changed by the ignorant."

HAHAHA! you're so full of it! Besides, didn't God change languages base at the Tower of Babel incident?

It looks like the double g is the British spelling, and that both spellings carry both meanings.

as for the use of the word as an anti-gay slur:

"The origins of the word in this sense are rather obscure.

It is often claimed that the derivation is associated directly with faggot meaning "bundle of sticks for burning", since homosexuals were supposedly burnt at the stake in medieval England. This, however, was never an established punishment for homosexuality in England, although, according to one source, those accused of homosexual acts were sometimes doused in fuel and used in place of sticks for the burning of supposed witches.[1] However, this practice ended centuries before the word faggot became associated with gay people. [2]

The word has also been used since the late sixteenth century to mean "old or unpleasant woman", and this would appear the most likely derivation.[3] Female terms, it should be noted, are often used with reference to homosexual or effeminate men (cf. nancy, sissy, queen). The application of the term to old women may be a shortening of the term "faggot-gatherer", applied in the nineteenth century to people, especially older widows, who made a meagre living by gathering and selling firewood.[4] It may also derive from the sense of "something awkward to be carried", an etymology that is more plausible if one considers the use of "baggage" as a pejorative term for old women.[5]"

-good ol' wikipedia

I think the full phrase "faggot gatherer" has a much softer aspect, and perhaps could serve as a sort of middle ground position. I'll give it a try one of these days and let everyone know how it works out.

Jack said:

Puffy:

Wikipedia is hardly a reliable source, since anyone can alter the entries.

As for "queen," Freddie Mercury took that epithet all the way to the bank.

zimzo said:

Seriously, Puffy, you should cite something much more reliable than Wikipedia, such as Conservapedia:
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/internet/0,72818-0.html

Robin said:

In defense of Senator Robert Byrd, he did become a member of the KKK for not quite a year at the age of 24. He says he became disillusioned with the group, left the group, became a Democrat, then ran for political office. He did remain a segregationist for years, obviously still combating his racist attitudes, but has since made ammends, and apologized repeatedly for his actions and activities.

Having grown up in WV, I can tell you that the KKK is seen as a social group for God and country. It's just the way people are raised there. It is difficult to get away from that mind set. The fact that Senator Byrd has changed from his upbringing and has apologized repeatedly for his actions and words, allows me to give him my respect.

Sorry, to break the illusion that he's a bad guy but people do change for the better. But, I don't hear Coulter apologizing. In fact, she has gotten worse in her verbage over the years (and her "facts" leave something to be desired) The use of hurtful words is simply wrong any way you look at it. Still some people change and make amends and some people continue to use those words to shock and humiliate. Ann Coulter is the latter.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
In the spirit of civlity I did NOT call you a liar. I posed it as a rhetorical QUESTION.

Please, read the two points and tell me directly what is it you don't understand?

1. On three occasions you have said I am defending Coulters actions here. I have told you each time that I am NOT defending her position or speach. You then go on to repeat yourself and claim I am defending Coulter's speach.

This is fact, wade the the previous 45+ comments, here and elsewhere on this blog germain to this topic, and you will see I am speaking the truth.

2. I did not call you a liar, I asked you at what point CAN I CALL YOU such, because you keep repeating an untruth.

Why can't you understand the simple launguage I am using to denounce what Coulter said? Are you being if not untruthful, just dense or are you doing your best to aggravate? If you want to hide behind the banner of civility then
1. read the comments of those whom you debating
2. don't seek to aggravate them

What is so difficult here? If you are deliberatly trying to annoy? Then you will reap the behavior you claim you dislike, for it is is a function of YOUR BEHAVIOR. I have never questioned ANYONE ELSE'S VERACITY other than yours? WHY? Because of things like what I see above.

Son, even Joe has said I do not support Coulter. If it is clear enough for him, why can't you get it?

jacob said:

Zimzo,
You Write:
It is the fact that on virtually every issue conservatives find themselves on the opposite side of most blacks, gays and other minorities.

I reply:
A blanket statement. please pick an few issues, We will see if this assertion is correct. I think you over reach here.

stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

are you kidding me Jack? Is your knee-jerk reaction to everything I post really so strong that you're going to try to undermine my claim that "faggot" and "fagot" mean the same thing because I referenced wikipedia?!?

God Almighty!

zimzo:

That's funny! I think they're serious, too. (talk about constructing your own reality!)

#1 reason why wikipedia has liberal bias (according to "conservopedia"):

"Wikipedia allows the use of B.C.E. instead of B.C. and C.E. instead of A.D. The dates are based on the birth of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise? Conservapedia is Christian-friendly and exposes the CE deception."

"the CE deception"?!?!? everyone in a wide variety of fields has been using b.c.e. since the 1950's!!

I also like #9, because it reminds of of Jack's theory on the evolution of language:

"Wikipedia often uses foreign spelling of words, even though most English-speaking users are American. Look up "Most Favored Nation" on Wikipedia and it automatically converts the spelling to the British spelling "Most Favoured Nation." Look up "Division of labor" on Wikipedia and it automatically converts to the British spelling "Division of labour," then insists on the British spelling for "specialization" also.[9] Enter "Hapsburg" (the European ruling family) and Wikipedia automatically changes the spelling to Habsburg, even though the American spelling has always been "Hapsburg". Within entries British spellings appear in the silliest of places, even when the topic is American. Conservapedia favors American spellings of words."

why don't these guys just go dig a hole? If they have a problem with wikipedia, they should edit it! that's the point! It's aggregate knowledge, man! That's how wiki's work --democracies too!

zimzo said:

At what point can I call you an idiot, Jacob?

I'm not saying you are an idiot, I'm just posing it as a rhetorical question.

If you are too stupid to understand that (and I'm not saying you are, I'm saying IF you are) MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS EVEN THOUGH IT'S THE INTERNET EQUIVALENT OF YELLING AND MOST PEOPLE THINK IT'S VERY RUDE.

Forgive me for not realizing two sentences buried in thousands of words of vituperative attacks on anyone who opposes Ann Coulter amounts to a strongly worded denunciation and not a defense. My advice is the next time you want to denounce someone you don't bury it under paragraphs and paragraphs of denunciations of their critics.

Now if you are able to refrain from name-calling, I will even answer your question. First, allow me to amend my statement "It is the fact that on virtually every issue conservatives find themselves on the opposite side of most blacks, gays and other minorities" to make it clearer. I meant to refer specifically to issues of direct concern to each specific minority. (Now I see where Joe derived his bizarre "unified bigotry" theory).

For example, there might be many blacks who agree with conservative positions on gays but not conservative positions on blacks. I thought this was obvious but apparently it was not. In addition, there might be some conservatives who disagree with some or all of these positions (for example, Andrew Sullivan calls himself a conservative but disagrees with most conservative positions on gays), but they represent a general consensus. Many Latinos are socially conservative but resnt conservatives' anti-immigration stance. Here are two examples of minorities and the issues that matter to them, on which conservatives are on the opposite side:

Conservative positions on gays:
--Anti-gay marriage
--Opposed to gays in the military.
--Opposed to ENDA
--Opposed to including gays in hate crime laws
--Opposed to sex education that mentions homosexuality
--Believes homosexuality is a choice
--Opposes gay adoptions
--Believes homosexuality is a sin or is immoral
--Supports Boy Scout's ban of gays

African-Americans
--Opposes Affirmative Action
--Opposes most anti-poverty programs
--Opposes the minimum wage
--Supports mandatory minimums in sentencing, which disproportionately affects blacks
--supports the death penalty, which disproportionately affects blacks
--supports purging voting rolls of felons, which disproportionately affects blacks
--opposes national health care
--supports the brandishing of the confederate flag and flying it over statehouses
--supports racial profiling
--generally takes the side of police in brutality against blacks
--believes racism is no longer that big a problem

I'm sure there are a lot more. That's just off the top of my head. The real proof of what I am saying is the fact that very few blacks or gays consider themselves conservatives or vote for conservative candidates despite attempts to recruit them.

zimzo said:

On Conservapedia:
Take a look at some of the links in the article for endless examples of unintentional hilarity. One of my favorites, their entry on "Kangaroo":

"Like all modern animals, modern kangaroos originated in the Middle East and are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood....After the Flood, kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether this migration happened over land -- as Australia was still for a time connected to the Middle East before the supercontinent of Pangea broke apart -- or if they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters."

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

hmmm, sounds like there's some geographical confusion going on...

there was a super continent during the great flood? but the mid. east was still the mid east?

I like their entry on Bill Clinton. ...very non-biased!

jacob said:

Zimzo,
As for ...
I never said you were a bigot or that you were using coded words. I merely pointed out that the people who are responsible for putting conservatives in power, such as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove

I reply:
I appreciate that you do not put me in the bigot/racist camp, but you are still generalizing. Puting the whole conservative movement on the block, in general, filtering what is said vis a vie 'the code' is what we call in science 'biasing the results'. You are going to get the answer you expect.

Take the audiences that Maher and Coulter had. Both audiences laughed. Do these people want Cheny dead in one case and think it is something other than sophmoric (at best) to call him a 'faggot'. I don't. We are dealing with people, people in groups are dumb. Ask anyone from either audience if what they heard was smart, the answer would be no.

If we as a country want to damn each other, there is plenty of cause, both real and imagined, and if we do not think, then we will spend our days knocking down strawmen.

Atwater's case is closed. He was a bigot, albeit a repentent one. Given the commentary I have seen, many on the left did not forgive him, despite his remorse. We are in aggreement there.

You put Rove into the same boat. Do you have cause? Asiding from his beating your side of the fence in two presidential races? The whisper campaign; is there clear linkage? Is there any other occasions?

Kevin said:

"As we all know, language is changed by the ignorant." ROFL! try "torture", for one.

zimzo said:

As I said before and you easily could have discovered yourself, Rove was a protege of Atwater. They were very close friends. Rove learned everything he knows about politics from Atwater:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/rove072399.htm

When conservatives stop using Atwater's methods, then I will stop "painting them with Atwater" as you would say.

Next.

jacob said:

First of all, you are absolutely correct regarding CAPITAL letters; but you earned it. Note I never did this on the blog before to anyone else. Heal thyself.

As for the rest, I get it, you're just annoying to me and you can't help yourself. I seek civility. Yes, I am guilty of ventures into sarcasm but that as far as it goes by and large; you are special. I have taken the time to go over some of our earlier discussions. Same tactics, same zimzo. You ignore what is inconvenient, you repeat your original point ad nauseum, regardless what the other side of the debate is writing. You take every opportunity to launch a personal insult when possible. I have come to the conclusion you are blind to your own behavior. So I will ignore this behavior from now on. If things improve over time, it might be worth it. Smiling through gritted teethe, beats a food fight any day.

Now, to answer your last comment.

You write:
Forgive me for not realizing two sentences buried in thousands of words of vituperative attacks on anyone who opposes Ann Coulter amounts to a strongly worded denunciation and not a defense. My advice is the next time you want to denounce someone you don't bury it under paragraphs and paragraphs of denunciations of their critics.

I reply:
This is a blatantly incorrect characterization of my words regarding Coulters faggot remarks. Try again. Better yet; don't. There is a comment to Joe where this is all I write about. Obviously finding was too much for you.

As an aside:
Asking you to provide an example of what you see as Rove's bigoted behavior, or some other such, is giving you the courtesy of choosing where you want to go with the given topic. Using this repeatedly as an opportunity to disparage my ability to find things on the web is, well, at best gratuitous. But go ahead, it obviously floats your boat.

You write:
Now if you are able to refrain from name-calling,

I reply:
You first.

You write:
I will even answer your question.

I reply:
A First!!

You write:
..., allow me to amend my statement "It is the fact that on virtually every issue conservatives find themselves on the opposite side of most blacks, gays and other minorities" to make it clearer. I meant to refer specifically to issues of direct concern to each specific minority.

I reply:
Fine.

You write:
For example, there might be many blacks who agree with conservative positions on gays but not conservative positions on blacks. I thought this was obvious but apparently it was not.

I reply:
I would argue many blacks are offended by the comparison. As for the conservative positions regarding blacks, we spoke past each other to some degree. I will get into this below. In case you are wondering; I, and most conservatives, would say that the social welfare program up until Clinton and the Republicans changed it, was harmful to the poor and to poor blacks. Yes, I am sure you will disagree with this. We can get into it later. I would enjoy it. So don't go zimzo on me, yet.

You write:
In addition, there might be some conservatives who disagree with some or all of these positions (for example, Andrew Sullivan calls himself a conservative but disagrees with most conservative positions on gays), but they represent a general consensus.

I reply:
Sure, same goes for you side of the fence. This is a truism.

You write:
Many Latinos are socially conservative but resent conservatives' anti-immigration stance.

I reply:
I would be willing to argue that Latinos are not monolithic on the immigration issue. Furthermore, I think that immigration issue in the black community is seen from the conservative law and order perspective. We have 4.5% unemployment nationwide. If we did not have as many illegals as we do the country would be looking at full employment. The Black community knows it.

You Write:
Conservative positions on gays:
--Anti-gay marriage
--Opposed to gays in the military.
--Opposed to ENDA
That's right, forget about the whole free exercise of religion thing. Now, which ammendment was that again?
--Opposed to including gays in hate crime laws
If a crime is committed against anyone, nail them with the existing law. Rememb er conservative are the law and order guys. We look forward to using that nasty death penalty. If the law is not enforced, then this might be an issue. Otherwise what happens; you electrocute the bigotted loser twice?
--Opposed to sex education that mentions homosexuality
--Believes homosexuality is a choice
--Opposes gay adoptions
--Believes homosexuality is a sin or is immoral
--Supports Boy Scout's ban of gays

I write:
Guilty, we are against all of the above for it is our belief the above is wrong for the country and the behavior is a sin. You are correct in this. That is still light years away from Coulter's antics.

An aside:
In following section, I will reply to each item separately. We can later, get into each one as you wish. Let me know, I will post a new thread, we can have at it on a clean slate.

Continuing ...
African-Americans (I assume you mean only blacks who were brought over as slaves)

--Opposes Affirmative Action (AA)
Needs to be ended, there are more black who are middle class, than who are poor. AA, can put an asterisk next to the achievement of the individual. Cosby has spoken about this and I agree with him. If you look at how many black Americans whose parents are immigrants are attending prestigious colleges you will see that the problem today is not having a black skin.

--Opposes most anti-poverty programs
It depends on the program, Zimzo. Welfare programs that cause the unemployment rate to increase even during periods of economic expansion and detrimental to blacks. Moynahan wrote about this phenomenon 20 years ago. Programs that lead to intergenerational welfare are evil. Getting someone back on their feet is something conservatives are for. Are you for intergenerational poverty Zimzo?

--Opposes the minimum wage
Minimum wage impacts the teenagers far more than it does the poor. This is not anti-black, nice try zimzo. Furthermore, when the minimum wage is increased historically, the unemployment rate goes up. You will, I am sure, tell me how no one can raise a family of four on minimum wage. I will tell you no one does. The number of people who are supporting a family of four on minimum wage at any single point in time is miniscule. Most people get promoted out of the minimum wage position, or, get a raise while in the position. I have never met anyone, or, heard of anyone working the same job for years without a pay raise.

--Supports mandatory minimums in sentencing, which disproportionately affects blacks
I agree. Mandatory sentencing guidelines have affected blacks disproportionately. This was neither planned for, nor desired. I have read that part of this was the disparity in sentencing between powder cocaine and crack cocaine. Powder cocaine being consumed more in the white community. This particular disparity in the sentencing guidelines was in part from the black communities' outrage at the violence spawned by the crack cocaine epidemic. Please note that violence from the crack epidemic affected the black community disproportionately. That does not account for all of it. The rest of it deserves more than a paragraph.

--supports the death penalty, which disproportionately affects blacks
I personally am against the death penalty. Chiefly because I do not want to see the government have that much power. The reasons for black over representation on death row are varied. To say support of the death penalty is anti-black is in my estimate a falsehood. If you say that this is the perception in the black community, I won't disagree.

--supports purging voting rolls of felons, which disproportionately affects blacks
The glib answer is, "So don't become a felon." I feel little sympathy here. Don't go nuts just keep reading. While poverty leads to lack of opportunity, so I am all for reducing it as much as possible, it is not an excuse. You and I will disagree strongly on the "How to reduce poverty", but we both seek the same thing. On the other hand, giving criminals the vote is not something I want to see. I could be convinced of giving a felon who has steered clear of criminal activity for a number of years the vote (say 7?), but while in the system or recently released, forget it.

--opposes national health care
This is not anti-black Zimzo. It's just a real bad idea.

--supports the brandishing of the confederate flag and flying it over statehouses
You mean like when Bill Clinton was governor of AK? The ACLU has allowed the neo Nazis to fly swastikas. If we can abolish both at the same time, it's a deal.

--supports racial profiling
Racial profiling for finding terrorists makes sense. As for criminal activity, I am against it.

--generally takes the side of police in brutality against blacks
Zimzo. No one supports "police brutality" against anyone. Try again.

--believes racism is no longer that big a problem
OK. When some of my friends start using the n-word in private I'll report them. At this point in our history Jim Crow is a bad memory. I am not aware of any institutionally sanctioned bigotry. Can you provide an example?

I was in the military, and I will say that the vast majority of people in that institution do not have an issue of bunking with, eating with, taking orders from, or exchanging blood with people of differing color.

In the work place, I have seen no issues among the 20 and 30 somethings. Among some of the older folks, I have seen a few. This argument is settled, being a racist is not acceptable. It took a few generations for all the anti-Irish prejudices to completely recede, but they did go away. Spending your time looking for white idiots who still hate blacks is the penny in the gutter.

>Question: Zimzo, is it, or is it not, better then 30 years ago?

You write:
The real proof of what I am saying is the fact that very few blacks or gays consider themselves conservatives or vote for conservative candidates despite attempts to recruit them.

I write:
So what? A lot of blacks, especially outside of the inner city, are socially conservative church goers. The black community voted 90% Republican until the great depression; despite 60 years of benign neglect. As a community they are very loyal to the party, whichever party they belong to. This actually does not serve them well. Conservatives are courting the black community unashamedly.

You yourself noted W.F.B. threw out the Birches and other racists of the movement in the 60's; they are not welcome. I maintain Nixon and his ilk are the aberration, Atwater not withstanding. When it comes to getting a sizable chunk of the black vote eventually, "We shall overcome."

jacob said:

Zimzo,
Go back a few posts ...
You wrote:
1) It was Democrats who led the fight for passage of the Civil Rights bills. It was Kennedy and Johnson who moved them through Congress. The Democrats who opposed it came from the South and virtually all of them then became Republicans. The father of the modern conservative movement Barry Goldwater opposed the bills and voted against them.

Gee, I thought it was Eisenhower who sent in the troops to escort those kids to school. Now, what party did he belong to? You don't have to answer that.

This takes nothing away from Kennedy and Johnson, but for crying out loud, it was not the work of the Democrats alone by a long shot.

zimzo said:

As far as civility goes, I guess it's all my fault for making you angry and losing your ability to be civil, not yours. And gee, I thought it was liberals who are supposed to blame society for everything and and are not willing to take personal responsibility.

You've missed the point, Jacob. I said that blacks and gays are suspicious of conservatives because of the positions they take. You said to give examples of what those positions are. I gave you examples. You proved my point by saying you agree with most of those positions. Whether these positions pring from racist or homphobic attitudes or at the very least apathy toward the concerns of blacks or gays is not the issue. Whether fair or not, blacks and gays remain suspicious of conservatives and making racist or homophobic comments obviously sets that effort back.

Yes, Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock and signed to weak civil rights laws. But he was not willing to do any more that. If republicans were the ones who fought for civil rights, then why did all the southern democrats become Republicans after the civil rights acts were passed? Your effort to rewrite history doesn't pass the smell test.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Jacob,

I just wanted to say something about your "full employment" comment:

unemployment of 4.5% is just about right for our economy. If unemployment was 0%, everything would get out of whack, because of all that 'supply and demand' stuff. At full employment, wages would shoot up so high it would drive companies out of business (a backlash)

our economy depends on a cushion of around 4-5% unemployment. This has always been the case, even during "boom times" (this is also why [some] social welfare programs are a necessity)

...so you ought not blame immigrants for the current level of unemployment.

jacob said:

Oh come on Marshmallow, (great phrase)
The political realignments you are talking about did not occur until the lat 80's and early 90's, twenty to thirty years after the Civil and Voting rights acts. The trouble for the Democrats in the south revolved around guns, god and abortion; I quote howling Howard on this. The term Southern Redneck became a pejorative, gee that helps. As Christians became 'scary', the number of votes south of the Mason Dixon decreased, the scarier the Christians got.

Losing the 'solid south' was a massive self inflicted wound. Giving reign to the atheists who abolished the pledge of allegiance in school is symptomatic of a host of other cultural issues that did it. When the face of the Democrat party became more of one that is a citizen of the world, or cynical, the knives really came out. Folks down south like their nationalism to be thoroughly chauvinistic. Doubt about the goodness of America is poisonous to most Southerners. Every time the question is asked, 'Why do they hate us?' that's another seat in the house gone.

The South was left behind by the Democratic party not the other way. 40 million dead babies was a big part of it. This country sees 4000+ abortions each working day. I have heard the ridiculous argument that abortions in the main save lives?!? You want to try a bite at that apple? At one time the Baptists were the single largest voting block in the Democratic party. Today, that really is not the case now is it? Would you like to explain the issue with the Baptists in the South through the lens of religious bigotry 20 years after the fact? Please do try.

Moving along ...

You wrote ...
with regards to the coulter thing, that some voices of the conservative movement have a history of saying crazy stuff. and whenever they do, their supporters explain it away, or just ignore it.

I reply:
OK. So when some left yahoo says something dumb, or crazy don't you just explain it away? You mean there are no nutty aunts in the left wing attic. Are you expecting me to buy this?

You wrote:
... and in the same way, you had a room full of people, a majority of who most likely supported banning gay marriage (because why should they "be forced to condone" something they don't approve of) A lot of them have probably defended themselves against accusations of homophobia with arguments similar you yours.
...they're not bigoted, they just think marriage should be between a man and a women; it's that simple.

I reply:
I guess in your world I am personally guilty on that. I feel it is not bigoted to hold to your religious belief that marriage is as much a religious as civil institution. And, as such the belief that homosexual acts are a sin is also not bigotry. Go ahead, fornicate all you want, it is sin, but so is lying. We cannot legislate a sin free world. However, do not ask for marriage; because it's not just life insurance.

You wrote:
and then we get this video clip of Coulter calling a presidential candidate a faggot, in so many words, and the crowd of (supposedly non-bigoted) conservatives yucking it up.

I reply:
Hey, I am not happy with the whole stinking mess. Lots of good speeches and potential party planks got forgotten because of that stupid comment. Please note however, the folks in Maher audience laughed at the bomb thing. OK. Do they all want Cheney dead? No? I addressed this with Zimzo. Some people when in crowds will laugh at anything. If you want to say it LOOKS like something bigoted, go ahead. I guess then it LOOKS like liberals are hateful and want the VP dead. Happy?

You wrote:
People don't say "fagot" in jest.

I reply:
I agree.

jacob said:

All,
what a bunch of sorry bastards, got nothing better to do on friday other than write past each other.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
Eisenhower signed the laws that were goven to him. These laws were still a first step. Don't blame him for the law being weak. He was the first, which is huge. He also sent in the troops. Which was ground breaking. If he had not done what he had done, do really think Johnson could have gone where he did?

As for the positions, to say the blacks and latinos are suspicious of the positions I can argue is more a function of successful Democrat propaganda. I am fully prepared to argue that many of the socialist style panacea's the Democrat party has offered have harmed minorities. The destruction of the black family coincides with the great society programs of Johnson. The result? All that disproportionate impact from mandatory sentencing, deagth penalty etc. I can argue that locking up criminals reduces crime. Why is the argument always couch in terms of blacks being targeted by the cops, when the ghetto is the place where the crimes are committed. Who do you think are the victims of those crimes? I am sure the following would cause a big uproar, "guess Democrats don't care if blacks are the victims of crimes." Even though coddling criminals does send that very message.

Every election when a republican wins I hear all the stories of how blacks are kept from the poles. These atories are bs, if they were not someone would have gone to jail in the past 15 years, don't you think.

As far as the homophobic and racsist comments giving red meat to the Democrat party, oh yes. I won't disagree there. It is dumb, it is foolish. I can make fun of Edwards for being a pretty boy. I read you earlier comments Zimzo, not all gays are 'poofy' shall we say. Peggy Noonan said it best, "It ain't nice." Sounds quiant? Read the article, its on opinion journal. Both sides can learn from her on this one.

As for the mass exodus of sheet wearers into the Republican party read my comment to Marshmallow. This 'exodus' took close to 30 years to complete. And it did not start until the mid 80's. Thats over a generation. Sorry, it does not hold water.

zimzo said:

So basically your reaction to to these issues that are of concern to gays and African-Americans ranges from dismissive to condescending to hostile. And you wonder why more gays and African Americans are suspicious of conservatives.

And you persist in rewriting history. No, Eisenhower wasn't the "first" President to work for civil rights. As you pointed out yourself blacks voted largely Republican until the Great Depression, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected President. Though Roosevelt was loathe to alienate southern democrats with civil rights legislation, he did issue a series of executive orders, appointed blacks to posts in his administration and set in motion the integration of blacks in the military. Eleanor Roosevelt became an increasingly outspoken supporter of civil rights, most famously in inviting Marian Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial after she was barred from DAR Constitution Hall. And, of course, his New Deal was instrumental in helping blacks economically. It was during his administration that blacks switched from being Republicans to Democrats. Truman integrated the military and attempted to pass a civil rights bill but was rebuffed by southern democrats. Eisnhower did not even propose a civil rights bill until late in his first term. "I believe there are certain things that are not best handled by punitive or compulsory Federal law," he said. In 1957 he signed an ineffective voting rights bill. In 1958 he asked for "patience" on Civil Rights. In 1960 he signed another ineffective voting rights bill. Sum total of blacks who gained the right to vote under these bills: 3%.

Kennedy and Johnson made passing effective civil rights bills a priority. When Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, which Barry Goldwater the titular leader of the Republican party opposed, Johnson said. "We've lost the South." Southern Democrats left the party in droves, joining the Republican party. In the next election Nixon exploited these divisions with the Southern strategy, which used code words like "state's rights," "bussing" and "law and order" (exploiting whites' fear of black crime and urban riots) to win the South. Because of Watergate and the fact that the Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter was a southerner, Democrats won back some southern states in 1976. Then in 1980 Ronald Reagan launched his campaign in Philadelphia, MS, where three civil rights workers were killed and revived the southern strategy with the help of Lee Atwater and his protege Karl Rove. Atwater then helped Bush I who ran the infamous Willie Horton ads. Rove masterminded Bush II's campaign, winning the South Carolina primary by spreading rumors that John McCain had fathered a black child (actually, he had adopted a Bangladeshi orphan). In the 2004 election he adapted the racist southern strategy to gays. That's the history. You can deny facts if you want. Sure there were other issues that were exploited during these years as well, but the basic strategy of divide and conquer and winning based on a solid southern stronghold have their basis in racist appeals that extend up to the present day. The inordinate suffering of African Americans in Hurricane Katrina reinforced the idea that Bush and the Republicans don't really care about them.

When you say dismissive things like, "When some of my friends start using the n-word in private I'll report them. At this point in our history Jim Crow is a bad memory. I am not aware of any institutionally sanctioned bigotry. Can you provide an example?" you also reinforce this impression that you don't take blacks' concerns seriously. When you tell gays that you cannot even support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it somehow conflicts with the First Amendment (as if using the government to impose your religious views on others doesn't) then you reinforce the impression that you don't care about gays either and you don't even think they should be protected from being fired for being gay. (By the way ENDA includes an exception for religious groups.)

What you and Peggy "I'm Writing As Bad As I Can" Noonan fail to understand is that the problem with Coulter using the word "faggot" was not that it was not polite or "wince"-inducing. The problem is that it revealed at the very least a lack of compassion toward gays and even more an animosity to gays at the heart of conservatism, one that will not even allow many conservatives to concede that they oppose someone being fired from their job for no other reason than the fact that they are gay. If conservatives don't realize that they are on the wrong side of history on this issue, then they will continue to lose support and elections from the majority of Americans who abhor intolerance.

jacob said:

I see FDR's actions not as civil rights issues but the new deal. This was workfare, and support for mothers with orphans. Not civil rights. Recall on many of the work projects blacks got paid less for the same work a white man did. Or is that an inconvenient truth? Still, this was solid econonmic assistance. Furthermore since Hoover did not assist the flood victims along the Mississipi, and since the staes along that river only helped the white food vistims the death toll amoung the blacks in that region was appaling. This lack of help lead the blacks in this country see the Republicans neglect in a negative light. This opened the door for FDR to gain their allegance when the new deal came along. FDR did provide economic help, but he most certainly did not provide voting rights, or civil rights. Nice try.

As for Truman trying to integrate the military, I really thought that occured under Eisenhower. We still where fielding black regimnents in Korea.

Funny how you keep pointing at Goldwater. Great you found the penny, considering there where over 60 penny's in the house and 17 in the senate on the other side of the aisle, I guess that is just something to be brushed aside? Please note that Goldwater was rejected by the Republicans in his time.

As for the very first civil rights president was not his name Lincoln and was he not a Republican?

As for "Rove masterminded Bush II's campaign, winning the South Carolina primary by spreading rumors that John McCain had fathered a black child (actually, he had adopted a Bangladeshi orphan)" the 2nd half of that is right out of the Wiki, aside from conjecture do you have proof that Rove masterminded the whisper campaign aside from the fact that he benefited from it?

As for my tone regarding ENDA, it was flip, because it is the height of brazness to force a religious institution to openly flaunting its tenants. Your stance tells me you do not in the least bit have any respect for others faith, at all. This is akin to me demanding that a mosque hire me and I insist on eating pork BBQ while reading hustler in the front lobby. Save your outrage on this one, I am equally outraged at your position here. You obviously refuse to acknowledge any of the sensiblities of the Christian faith in this, so yes, I am flip, because this issue deserves it.

As for you statement that ENDA excuses religious institutions from hirig it is hollow. Foir if it were not hollow why did Catholic Charities in Boston and CA get out of the adoption business? No sir, people should not have to sacrifice their conscience and forsake there religious principles to placate the implacable. That is what is demanded by the left today, precisely because they think God is a joke and those who beleive in him are deluded. You want to argue that, please do.

As for my not taking the issues of black America seriously. If my spending the time I did writing responces to you much appreciated laundry list does not indicate that I have spent considerable time thinking this through, I recommned you reconsider this. I do not see eye to eye with you? So what? That is not an indication that I am disparaging them. I really think you are reaching for straws here if you want to say that. I seek soltion to urban poverty as you do, the differnce is that the philosophical bent I have on this differs form yours.

Furthemore, I am convinced there is a connection between the great society programs and the current state of affairs in the inner city. That sir, is debatable, but not dismissable.

Economically things are way better today for black America today, than they were in the 60's 70's or 80's and certainly anytime before. I did not forget that you refused to answer this simple question. Why? Because it may change what to you is an unchangeable tenent. White America, unless it is liberal democrat hates blacks. Go ahead and clutch that bitter pill. It only consumes your energy, not mine.

zimzo said:

You write: "Furthermore since Hoover did not assist the flood victims along the Mississipi, and since the staes along that river only helped the white food vistims the death toll amoung the blacks in that region was appaling. This lack of help lead the blacks in this country see the Republicans neglect in a negative light."

Gee, Jacob, remind you of anything? What was it Satayana said? Something about those not learning history being condemned to repeat it? How could you write a sentence like that and not even think of Katrina?

Even if your notion that Republicans were responsible for Civil Rights were true (and no matter how many times you try to twist the facts, it never will be), apparently they didn't do a good job of convincing 1)Blacks and 2) Southern whites.

On Rove, seeing as this is not a court of law, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that he was behind the McCain smears since it fits his modus operandi. See the book "Bush's Brain," the Frontline special and any number of newspapaper articles on the web noting the uncanny similarities.

Again, the point I was making is that the southern strategy is alive and well in the person of Karl Rove.

You write: "Your stance tells me you do not in the least bit have any respect for others faith, at all." Because I support a bill that protects gay people from losing their jobs for being gay but that exempts religious organizations, I am anti-religious? Huh? But your opposition to such a bill does not make you anti-gay? Okaaaaay.

You write: "As for you statement that ENDA excuses religious institutions from hirig it is hollow. Foir if it were not hollow why did Catholic Charities in Boston and CA get out of the adoption business?"

Huh? ENDA is not law because conservatives have stopped it, so how does that have anything to do with Catholic Charities' actions? This Catholic Charities example comes up all the time and it is completely false. The Archbishop in Boston took it upon himself to stop gay adoptions after his own board unanimously voted in favor of them without any pressure whatsoever from any court or government agency whatsoever. The Archbishop then threatened to stop adopting altogether if a new law specifically exempting them was not passed. When that didn't happen he then claimed he was force to stop adoptions even though not a single person, government agency or court pressured him to do so in any way. In the end by this grandstanding, the Catholic Church proved that it felt it valued making an empty gesture in opposition to homosexuality over the lives of children. It's a complicated story so maybe you should read up on it before you falsely invoke it again.

You write: "No sir, people should not have to sacrifice their conscience and forsake there religious principles to placate the implacable. That is what is demanded by the left today, precisely because they think God is a joke and those who beleive in him are deluded." What? Please provide me examples of major liberal politicians (not commenters at Daily Kos) who believe 1) that people should be forced to sacrifice their consciences and 2)think God is a joke and those who beleive in him are deluded. This statement says more about the paranoid delusional state of Christian conservatives than it does about liberals. I certainly don't believe these things.

You write: "As for my not taking the issues of black America seriously. If my spending the time I did writing responces to you much appreciated laundry list does not indicate that I have spent considerable time thinking this through, I recommned you reconsider this. I do not see eye to eye with you? So what?"

It's not me you have to convince. Once again for the umpteenth time, I said that blacks and gays are suspicious of conservatives for the positions they take and that some of their rhetoric exacerbates these suspicions. I then pointed out that your attitude toward these issues is a perfect example of why conservatives have made few inroads at convincing blacks and gays that they have their best interests at heart. When you tell black people that racism is not such a big deal anymore and gay people that you can't give them equal rights because it would require people to sacrifice their consciences and violate the First Amendment, I think it's pretty evident why blacks and gays are not running in droves to become conservatives. If you can't see this, it's really no skin off my nose.

You write: "Economically things are way better today for black America today, than they were in the 60's 70's or 80's and certainly anytime before. I did not forget that you refused to answer this simple question. Why? Because it may change what to you is an unchangeable tenent. White America, unless it is liberal democrat hates blacks. Go ahead and clutch that bitter pill. It only consumes your energy, not mine."

I have no idea what that paragraph means. Of course, things are better economically for blacks on average now than they were 40 years ago. But the aftermath of Katrina demonstrated that we still have a long way to go. Forty years later blacks still have the highest poverty rate and the lowest median income of any racial group in America. You can argue why that is all you want but the fact remains that it exists.

The poverty rate for blacks and Hispanics decreased to its lowest rate in 2000(21.2 % and 22.1%). During the Bush administration it increased (to more than 24%). In fact the poverty rate overall has had dramatic decreases during two periods in our history since the 1950s: from 1959-1969 when Democrats were largely in power and from 1993 to 2000 when Clinton was in power.

http://www.irp.wisc.edu/faqs/faq3.htm

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/002484.html

People tend to vote on their pocketbooks. African-Americans are no exception.

Jack said:

Boy, that's a lot to absorb. Anyway, there are a few issues that need to be addressed.

Zimzo, conservatives really do beliueve that our positions on affirmative action are better for Blacks. Some Black economists, such as Walter Williams, agree. Furthermore, it is in the Democrat Party's interest to keep Blacks dependent on the government. In general, those who are dependent on the government vote for Democrats, while those who are not tend to vote for Republicans.

I favor the death penalty. I agree that government should not have that power, but in the U.S. it does not. That power is solely in the hands of the jury, and that decision must be unanimous.

The crime rate amoung Blacks is far higher than amoung Whites. The Black murder rate is 18 per 100,000, but the White rate is less than 2 per 100,000.

Lastly, it may interest you to know that African immigrants have the HIGHEST standard of living of all ethnic groups, including Asians and Whites.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I don't thing referring to coulter as a "nutty aunt in the right wing attic" would be accurate. She IS nutty, but the way she's always popping up in the media as a "conservative voice" and the was conservative types insist on taking her seriously/drooling over her means that she's hardly being kept "in the attic," but has been elevated by conservatives as a voice that represents their collective political attitudes. See?

But no, I don't think you're personally responsible, and I never implied that you were. If you'd stop being so defensive, maybe you'd see that what I've been saying makes sense.

and while you tell an interesting history, I'm afraid you're incorrect about the political realignment of the south!

check out this chart from the "national atlas" courtesy of U Texas:

It shows electoral results of pres. elections from 1798-1968. The South, esp. the "deep south" was solidly Democratic right up to the 1964 election, when, just months after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act into law, the whole country voted for him EXCEPT for the Deep South and Arizona, which voted for AgH2O.

in 1968, you can see on the chart that those southern states again broke rank with their traditional party and voted for George Wallace, who ran as in independent on a segregationist platform.

now look at these charts:

election results, 1972-1984:

http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/elections/elect12.pdf

results, 1988-2000:
http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/elections/elect13.pdf

now I know you're a "true believer" in American Conservatism, but I hope you can notice the pattern here:

the political realignment in which the traditionally Democratic Southern States switched to the Republican party began in 1964, shortly after the Democrats started talking about civil rights and the ending segregation.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

oops, here's the link for election results, 1798-1968:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/national_atlas_1970/ca000105.jpg

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