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Bloggingheads 02-23-2009 07:05 PM

Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 

claymisher 02-23-2009 07:45 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Must ... fight ... sarcasm ...

http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_62/...20_1811025.jpg

Nate 02-23-2009 08:03 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 104713)
Must ... fight ... sarcasm ...

Oh, be nice. ;)

sugarkang 02-23-2009 09:12 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Cool. I like both of these guys.

jr565 02-23-2009 09:33 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Re: Conversations about race
Beinart parses holders' statement as friends or people extremely close to one another having the meaningful dialog in private. How does Holder know that such conversations are not taking place already, since they are private conversations among friends?
And if people are close enough to be extremely close friends despite the racial barrier, why does one need to have the conversation in the first place, since race has already proven to not be an impediment on the relationship?

And I'm getting sick and tired of hearing how we need to have conversations about race, considering since the sixties there has been nothing BUT conversations about race over and over and over (and over).

As for the cartoon about the monkey and the stimulus. It was not an racial attack on Obama. And anyone arguing for it being a racist attack is simply trying to stoke racial tension by creating a non issue. First off, Obama didn't write the stimulus package. Second the only reason the chimp was mentioned was because in the news that day cops had to kill a chimp who had rampaged and attacked someone. So it was clearly linking the chimp who went insane to the writing of the stimulus package which could have according to critics been written by monkeys. It is not a racist attack and forcing people to bend over backwards to find some racist intent that clearly isn't there is pandering to the race mongers, and I refuse to follow that line.

But more importantly, I thought libs liked jokes about monkeys considering they made so many about Chimpy McHaliburton.

Jyminee 02-23-2009 10:42 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
This is at least the third time on bhtv that Jonah has brought up that anecdote about The Nation making fun of hicks in the 1920's. You'd think someone who works for National Review, which published the following about Martin Luther King in 1965, would at least consider coming up with a new anecdote:

Quote:

For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the “cake of custom” that holds us together. With their doctrine of “civil disobedience,” they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes — particularly the adolescents and the children — that it is perfectly alright to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted “school strikes,” sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed — and, no doubt, with the best of intentions — and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.
More on NR's racist past here.

Now I don't honestly think this says much about the present-day NR or conservatives in general, but this is the kind of intellectual history Jonah seems to like, so it seems appropriate.

claymisher 02-23-2009 11:21 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Well played Jyminee.

It's not fair to these guys to have them on right after Loury and McWhorter.

danham95 02-24-2009 12:03 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Love these guys. Good follow up to Loury and McWhorter.

p.s. - Peter, please control the ehems while JG is talking. Drives me nuts...

danham95 02-24-2009 12:05 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
i guess they're really uh-huhs.

JoeK 02-24-2009 12:45 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 104713)

Kudos to Jonah, his book is a real sign of the times.


Good discussion from both. Jonah was great and Peter was surprisingly good, considering his role was to defend indefensible.

harkin 02-24-2009 01:36 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Bill Cosby asked 'honest, difficult' questions regarding race and he was evicerated. And he is part of the AA community. Please forgive me if I just treat everyone the same and refrain from seeking out people of different races to find out our differences and agreements.


Peter says: "If you can't talk honestly with someone about race, you don't have an honest friendship with them"

Using this logic, if you just refuse to give a person's color any importance at all, and just treat them as a human being, you are not a true friend.

Amazing. Does this also apply to mixed race persons? To Asians? To Latinos and Native Americans?


Jonah nails it, by saying that people who insist that everyone must think of a black person when they see an ape is just insane.

Peter misses the point by insisting that white conservatives who want to get past racism want to wipe the slate clean of history. I disagree, but the rub is that racial stereotypes are insidious whether their uttered by racist whites (or blacks) or excavated by knee-jerk liberals or race hucksters in dishonest attempts to condemn or marginalize.

And Peter, it isn't only some whites who exhibit certain preferences for light-skinned as opposed to dark skinned-blacks, blacks themselves do it and do it in both directions. I'm not arguing that it's right, but your implying that it is a white-only problem is dishonest.

And again, Peter is dead wrong in his assertion that talk radio conservatives 'seek out' blacks to demonize with racist motives. They seek out liberals to criticize with political motives. If some of them happen to be black, Peter's logic says that it's racism that prompted the critique. He couldn't be more wrong.

I would respect Peter if he had the guts to visit college campuses and insisted that we needed to have an 'honest conversation' on conservatism. Liberals have gone out of their way to silence free speech on campus for conservatives (anti-illegal immigration advocates have been driven off the stage and certain conservatives have had protests demanding they be uninvited to speak).

On the continuing fake controversy over the NY Post toon, apparently the Washington Post is now apologizing for the small drawing in this article. Does Peter think that everyone should have known that this harmless cartoon would dredge up old stereotypes?


And once again, the best article I read in a while on race.


And you needn't go back to The Nation in the 20s. The witch hunt of Sarah Palin is a much more recent phenomena.

The best article on Palin that I've seen so far, which not only exposes the dishonesty of her critics, but also the problems with her candidacy:

"The reaction of the intellectual elite to Sarah Palin was far more provincial than Palin herself ever has been, and those who reacted so viscerally against her evinced little or no appreciation for an essential premise of democracy: that practical wisdom matters at least as much as formal education, and that leadership can emerge from utterly unexpected places. The presumption that the only road to power passes through the Ivy League and its tributaries is neither democratic nor sensible, and is, moreover, a sharp and wrongheaded break from the American tradition of citizen governance."

JonIrenicus 02-24-2009 01:44 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
I thought the mug plug was a nice touch Jonah.

uncle ebeneezer 02-24-2009 02:06 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Shorter Jonah: Conservatives pretend that monkey/black comparisons aren't racist...hooray, look at the progress we've made. God bless Red State America.

Francoamerican 02-24-2009 03:28 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Jonah Goldberg struggled mightily to say something significant and, as usual, merely blustered on about snotty elites and their contempt for the unalloyed virtues of hoi polloi. American "conservatives" would love nothing more than to revive the "cultural wars" of yesteryear, and what better way to do so than to suggest that if it were not for "liberal" snobbery, all would be well in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

To flaunt a flagpin or not to flaunt a flagpin
That is a question fit for pinheads.

bjkeefe 02-24-2009 07:47 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
It's been at least four diavlogs, I think, since I last watched these two all the way through, but for whatever reason, I decided to give them yet another chance. I am going to try to give a reasoned and detailed critique, rather than succumbing to the temptation of saying something quick and dismissive.

I was happy to see Peter pushing back a little more aggressively than I remember him doing in the past when Jonah said something exaggerated or flatly not true, but he still dropped the ball a couple of times here. The worst was when Jonah went on and on, making up things Obama did not say during the infamous "Bittergate" affair. I can't just excuse this as Jonah kidding or being purposely hyperbolic, because this is exactly a familiar tactic of the right-wing noise machine -- to keep stretching the truth a little more each time they don't get called on it -- with the end result being a bunch of their target audience really believing things like Saddam was involved in 9/11, Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, George Soros secretly funds Media Matters as a hit squad (when he's not crashing the global economy to prevent McCain from being elected), the stimulus bill means the government is going to prevent your doctor from giving you treatment, global warming is a hoax, etc., etc., etc.

Peter: you have to find the energy to jump on things like that every single time. Just murmuring politely won't cut it. I don't care what you think you know about Jonah when he says this sort of thing; the fact is, the effects of such statements are corrosive and long-lasting. You have a responsibility when sharing the platform when they're said, and if you don't speak up, you've failed in your responsibility.

I thought Jonah made some decent points, at least as far as representing the standard conservative mindset on the standard hot button topics, and there were even a few times when I thought, "That actually was pretty well put." But, as always, I found him impossible to take seriously when he went on for more than a couple of sentences.

Jonah still has the habit of making pronouncements about "[all] liberals" no matter what the issue at hand is, as though everyone more than one step to his left is only a molecule in a monolith. He still loves to play the victim, on behalf of all conservatives, who of course can do no wrong. He still flip-flops constantly between using perceived liberal contempt for religion or patriotism as a club, including as a way to attack Obama, and then running away from being associated with the religious wing or the yahoo branch of the conservative movement and the GOP. He still flip-flops between dissing all things academic, and pseudo-professorially name-dropping and pontificating. And following Francoamerican's observation above, he wants on one hand to pretend that the lapel pin nonsense is something he's above, but then he just won't shut up about it, especially, it appears, when he's thought of another way to use it to score some more points.

Jonah still seems bent on tying liberals to fascism whenever possible. He still, as Jyminee noted, loves to cherry-pick history for things to hurl at today's liberals, and pretend that nothing has changed for hundreds millions of people nearly a century later.

And speaking of cherry-picking history, not to mention affecting that irritating ersatz intellectualism, the person by far the best associated with the making the phrase culture wars omnipresent in today's discourse in this country is Pat Buchanan (cf. GOP convention, 1992). I'm not saying the phrase is original to him, but I am saying that he's the primary source for it being said every day. Either you don't know that, Jonah, in which case my point about your intellectual manner being a sham stands, or you do know it, and you're being disingenuous.

I'll add that calling the historic efforts of working for equal rights part of "the culture wars" is just jaw-droppingly stupid. Or, as with "liberalism=fascism," is so broad a definition as to be useless.

The same choice applies concerning the "secret Muslim" belief. An argument from incredulity -- that the three NRO people you go to lunch with don't believe this about Obama -- does not rebut the reality that it has been shown time and again that 10-15% of people surveyed throughout 2008, especially in red states, consistently claimed this to be something they "knew." Uninformed or disingenuous, Mr. Goldberg. Take your pick.

And as to Jonah on the issue of race ... Man. Talk about a perfect proof of how correct Eric Holder was, that we sorely need to talk a lot more about this. I couldn't write a parody that would sound as head-in-the-sand as Jonah (seriously) came across. Look, Jonah, and everyone else who doesn't want to have these conversations: You don't want to, you don't have to. But don't try to move from there to conclude that there is nothing left for anyone to say.

I'm sorry that some people will hear this as a call to "ban" Jonah, because it's not, but I do have to say that he continues to bring nothing new, interesting, or challenging. I really wish we could get some different conservative voices instead of having him on heavy rotation. I note from the comments above that Jonah is not without his fan base, so I guess I'm not going to press that hard on this, but I will say that I'm not going to waste another hour listening to him for a good long while. If preaching to the choir is what others want, so be it.

Finally, I really do have to wonder why many of the conservative commenters here stick up for him. I cannot imagine that if I shared those views that I wouldn't want someone better to represent them. In the end, Jonah Goldberg offers nothing more than a way to sound sort of smart when arguing for the superiority of playing dumb.

bjkeefe 02-24-2009 09:15 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 104743)
Bill Cosby asked 'honest, difficult' questions regarding race and he was evicerated. And he is part of the AA community. Please forgive me if I just treat everyone the same and refrain from seeking out people of different races to find out our differences and agreements.

As I said elsewhere in this thread, anyone who doesn't want to have these conversations doesn't have to. But it does not follow from that, or that because they're hard, or because they can go awry, that no one should make the effort.

Quote:

Peter says: "If you can't talk honestly with someone about race, you don't have an honest friendship with them"

Using this logic, if you just refuse to give a person's color any importance at all, and just treat them as a human being, you are not a true friend.

Amazing. Does this also apply to mixed race persons? To Asians? To Latinos and Native Americans?
Your middle paragraph borders on being a false dichotomy. If you have a black friend, you can of course be friends without skin color being any part of it. But that doesn't mean it couldn't possibly be both instructive to you, and considerate of you, to hear what he or she might want to say on the topic in general. And same for him or her, regarding you. This is not to say you must, or that everyone cares to, just that there is likely something of worth there if you both want to.

And yes, it does apply to people of other ethnicities. For example, I learned a great deal about ongoing problems Asians deal with, that never would have occurred to me to imagine, from a boss who later became a close friend who came from Hong Kong. Ditto, in other work environments, from Latino friends. And if people like Sherman Alexie and Tony Hillerman are to be believed, ditto for Indians (who, as I understand it, mostly do not like to be called "Native Americans." Here, political correctness: fail.)

Quote:

Jonah nails it, by saying that people who insist that everyone must think of a black person when they see an ape is just insane.
There's a lot of truth to that, yes. However, it goes too far to say "everyone." There are still a lot of people who use monkey/ape/gorilla as coded references, and there are lots more who are aware that this sad aspect of our history persists. It's wrong to pretend that there are all these innocents running around who have no idea.

Quote:

Peter misses the point by insisting that white conservatives who want to get past racism want to wipe the slate clean of history. I disagree, but the rub is that racial stereotypes are insidious whether their uttered by racist whites (or blacks) or excavated by knee-jerk liberals or race hucksters in dishonest attempts to condemn or marginalize.
Agreed.

Quote:

And Peter, it isn't only some whites who exhibit certain preferences for light-skinned as opposed to dark skinned-blacks, blacks themselves do it and do it in both directions. I'm not arguing that it's right, but your implying that it is a white-only problem is dishonest.
Agreed. One thing I always think of is that in every Spike Lee movie I've seen, the women are invariably noticeably lighter in skin color than the men. To the extent that I watch TV commercials, the same is often true.

Quote:

And again, Peter is dead wrong in his assertion that talk radio conservatives 'seek out' blacks to demonize with racist motives. They seek out liberals to criticize with political motives. If some of them happen to be black, Peter's logic says that it's racism that prompted the critique. He couldn't be more wrong.
This is not something that's universally true (remember "bring me more ice tea, MFer?"), although I certainly agree that hate radio people have more than one demonic icon to hold up.

Quote:

I would respect Peter if he had the guts to visit college campuses and insisted that we needed to have an 'honest conversation' on conservatism. Liberals have gone out of their way to silence free speech on campus for conservatives (anti-illegal immigration advocates have been driven off the stage and certain conservatives have had protests demanding they be uninvited to speak).
Again, I think you're over-generalizing. Ann Coulter has made bank giving talks on college campuses, for example. And I don't see how you can complain about free speech being suppressed if you're against protests.

Quote:

On the continuing fake controversy over the NY Post toon ...
If it's fake, let's all stop talking about it.

Quote:

And once again, the best article I read in a while on race.
Again, I think it's a mistake (for Graham, here) to try to move from an attitude of "I don't want to talk about racial issues" to "there's nothing remaining for anyone to talk about."

Quote:

And you needn't go back to The Nation in the 20s. The witch hunt of Sarah Palin is a much more recent phenomena.
Preface: I'll stipulate that there were unpleasant and untrue things said about her that were particular to her being a woman. These were unfortunate and uncalled for, but I don't think this is really what you mean by "witch hunt." (If you did, then I'd agree with this part, but I'd also say there was and is a big counterweight given to her by virtue of her gender, too. But going back to my original supposition, l'll leave that aside for now.)

I can accept that there were strong attacks made on her. I'd say to these: (a) welcome to politics, and (b) while some stuff was crazy, as it is for all politicians, most of the questions and criticisms raised were entirely legitimate. She was running to be one step away from being the most powerful person on the planet, with a running mate who was the oldest (major) presidential candidate ever. Questions about her competence, her intelligence, her awareness of issues, her history of cronyism and meddling in bureaucratic affairs, the dubious things she said during stump speeches, and how much her fundamentalist religious beliefs affect her views on matters of state are not only legitimate, they are required to be asked. Not to do so is to give her a pass that is unmerited and indeed dangerous, as was unequivocally demonstrated by the Villagers summing up GWB as "the guy you want to have a beer with; vote for him over that lying stiff Gore; the end."

Was there some stupidity and pettiness? Sure. Again, welcome to politics and the MSM. I thought Wardrobegate, for example, was about the most moronic thing I heard all campaign. On the other hand, the McCain people or GOP or whomever made this into a problem. They should have just said, "Look, we're spending upwards of $100 million on this campaign. Our VP candidate has to be on stage and on camera nearly every moment she's awake. Damn right we want her to look good, so we spent two-tenths of one percent of our budget to that end. Next question."

Probably the thing that bothers me the most, though, is this whole "witch hunt" whine really comes down to this reality: Most of what people held up as arguments against her was, literally, what she had said. I'm sorry, but thinking that a question like "What newspapers do you read?" is "gotcha journalism" is beyond weak sauce; it is either demanding unreasonable deference or downright paranoid. Ditto other questions she was asked in the few interviews she gave and in the VP debate. She fumbled or completely avoided way too many of them. It does no good to say, "No one knows what the Bush Doctrine is!" Even if it weren't untrue, that one rebuttal doesn't negate everything else she said.

Finally, I don't buy the argument you quoted from Commentary, either. For every person in the media who disparaged Palin for being a hick, there was another one gushing about her authenticity, or her connection with "real America," or saying how wonderful it was that she was a self-made success and was therefore in touch with "the people," or whatever. As I recall it, she got near unanimous rave reviews from the media after her speech at the convention, and what caused the MSM love to fade was due almost entirely to her own failings as a candidate.

In any case, I don't get how you, or anyone else, can say with a straight face that it's unfair that some in the media didn't like her and said so, while ignoring what Fox, talk radio, NRO, the Weekly Standard, the rightosphere, the WSJ, the Washington Times, and any number of other newspapers were saying about Barack Obama every single day. Ditto anything to do with elitism, Ivy Leagues, urban or coastal mentalities, and so on.

Ultimately, I cannot help but think that you're asking that Palin be given special treatment.

osmium 02-24-2009 09:58 AM

Liberal Snobbery
 
It is time for the "Liberal Snobbery" thing to die. Jonah (and lots of other people) confidently talk about how "liberals" do all these things to look down on religion and patriotism (listed in the segment titled something like that).

If I may get all Megan McArdle for a moment and extrapolate from a personal anecdote (which is fine, right?):

I was taught, as a wee tot, to look down upon religious institutions by my hyper-Republican, Goldwater-loving parents.

Jonah, I don't disagree that there is an elite. But the intimation that they occupy one quadrant of the political spectrum is disingenuous on your part. If you start calling Goldwater-type George-Bush-the-first Republicans "liberals" then I will accept your argument. Do you mean that? You might, it's true...

Tara Davis 02-24-2009 10:23 AM

Re: Liberal Snobbery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by osmium (Post 104761)
Jonah, I don't disagree that there is an elite. But the intimation that they occupy one quadrant of the political spectrum is disingenuous on your part. If you start calling Goldwater-type George-Bush-the-first Republicans "liberals" then I will accept your argument. Do you mean that? You might, it's true...

There's no such thing as a "Goldwater-type George-Bush-the-first Republican."

Goldwater and Bush the Elder held mutually exclusive philosophies. Bush knuckled under when he was Reagan's VP, but some of us still remember that he was the one who invented the term "voodoo economics." As President, he raised taxes, expanded state power and spending, bailed out the S&Ls, fought a foreign war, and kicked off most of what today is known as "The War on Drugs" (including the appointment of our first "Drug Czar".) He was a neo-con before there were neo-cons.

Would I call a Goldwater-esque Republican a liberal? No. Libertarian, maybe.

Would I call a Poppa-Bush Republican a liberal? Actually, in many cases, yes.

Tara Davis 02-24-2009 10:48 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
I love both of these guys, but the meta-argument about the flag pins was even sillier than the actual argument they are discussing. Come on, guys. We're in the middle of two wars and a recession, with lots of bills of huge consequence passing between your last discussion and this one. Do we really need to talk about the old flag-pin dust-up from last year's Democratic primaries?

PaulL 02-24-2009 10:59 AM

Peter: Obama working at making abortion rarer.
 
What he is doing Peter? By overturning Bush's executive orders on the second day?
Democrats are pushing for public funding of Abortion and dropped "safe, legal and rare" language from abortion position.
I am willing to bet that Abortions will go up under Obama unlike the Democrat's false claim that abortion went up under Bush.

Salt 02-24-2009 11:02 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Nicely put, Harkin.

Salt 02-24-2009 11:14 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Seems pretty obvious, but in my experience, two real friends of different race, the one and only thing they never want to discuss is race or racial inequality. Kinda makes you wonder if Holder ever actually tried. Maybe he confuses political fellow-travellers with friends. BTW, a shout out to my lib buddies down at NYU last weekend. Nice work.

pampl 02-24-2009 11:17 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jyminee (Post 104726)
This is at least the third time on bhtv that Jonah has brought up that anecdote about The Nation making fun of hicks in the 1920's. You'd think someone who works for National Review, which published the following about Martin Luther King in 1965, would at least consider coming up with a new anecdote:

More on NR's racist past here.

Now I don't honestly think this says much about the present-day NR or conservatives in general, but this is the kind of intellectual history Jonah seems to like, so it seems appropriate.

He actually pretty much brought that up himself when he identified civil rights as part of the culture war. It doesn't say much (if anything) about present-day POLICIES, but the attitude of skepticism towards cultural change is the same. That's the kind of consistency Goldberg is claiming exists in elite attitudes. He may be right; it's tough to tell due to the largely successful efforts on the right to play grievance politics and censor anything that might portray them negatively. I hope that reached its apex with the Palin fiasco and Republicans screaming about media elites daring to ask their snow princess questions. We'll find out soon enough, I guess!

bjkeefe 02-24-2009 11:34 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 104767)
Seems pretty obvious, but in my experience, two real friends of different race, the one and only thing they never want to discuss is race or racial inequality. Kinda makes you wonder if Holder ever actually tried. Maybe he confuses political fellow-travellers with friends. BTW, a shout out to my lib buddies down at NYU last weekend. Nice work.

Don't know if you read my reply to harkin, specifically the part that addressed this very question. If not, please do. If so, are you therefore asserting that those were not my real friends?

(I'll add that the examples I gave there are not exhaustive, in my own experience.)

I think you're making the same mistake as I've observed elsewhere in this thread in others: saying "I don't do it" to suggest "therefore, nobody else {does|should}, either."

Francoamerican 02-24-2009 11:46 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104757)
In the end, Jonah Goldberg offers nothing more than a way to sound sort of smart when arguing for the superiority of playing dumb.

Bingo. The final sentence sums up your excellent critique of Goldberg and his ilk. Like all intellectuals who play dumb for the sake of the good, honest and unsophisticated folk (VOLK), he is in a direct line of descent from the fascist ideologues he condemns in his book. For there is a right populism as well as a left populism. And it is every bit as moronic as the left populism that Goldberg attributes, with an utter disregard of historical fact and linguistic usage, to "liberals" and "liberalism."

Could this be a case of unconscious projection? Or perhaps Goldberg is really just an ordinary "(classical) liberal fascist."

bjkeefe 02-24-2009 11:51 AM

Re: Peter: Obama working at making abortion rarer.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulL (Post 104765)
What he is doing Peter? By overturning Bush's executive orders on the second day?
Democrats are pushing for public funding of Abortion and dropped "safe, legal and rare" language from abortion position.
I am willing to bet that Abortions will go up under Obama unlike the Democrat's false claim that abortion went up under Bush.

You're right about the false claim, it appears.

However, it also appears that abortion rates have been declining for the past twenty years, and if the very mild uptick from about 1987-1991 is smoothed, the overall downward trend is thirty years long.

http://factcheck.asc.upenn.edu/image...ion%20Rate.jpg

Note that this is considerably longer than "safe, legal, and rare" has been bandied about -- if I'm not mistaken, that originated as platform language in 1992. Therefore, I don't think you have any basis for concluding that the abortion rate will increase.

I'd add that I believe it is true that the incidences of unprotected sex and unplanned pregnancies have gone up recently, due at least in part to factors like abstinence-only programs and reduction in funding for family planning. Since I would expect an Obama Administration and a Dem-controlled Congress to favor more effective sex education and more funding and other better policies for family planning, this should work against the total number of unwanted pregnancies, and hence, against abortion rates.

I'd also say there's no reason why you have to let the Dems dropping that as an official phrase in their party platform cause you to abandon it as a guiding philosophy, assuming you actively participate in anything related to the effort to reduce abortions.

nikkibong 02-24-2009 11:54 AM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
I resent the continually made claim that "black people aren't friends with white people." This specious 'observation' is accepted as gospel truth by conservative and liberal commentators alike. However, a whole generation (my generation!) is being brought up that sees 'race' as simply not an 'issue.' Our public university system, for example, is very integrated. And, not to toot my own horn, but I've had lovers and friends that cut across races. Perhaps Jonah and Peter are friends only with, say, other Jews: but it's unfair to claim that the rest of us live like that, as well.

This isn't only occuring in the United States. My generation in say, France, a country that is often caricatured as a racist hellhole by ignorant Americans, is undergoing a similar shift. I remember going to my (alas, now former) French girlfriend's university classes and marveling at the fact that such a slight majority of the class was Gallic in ethnicity. 'Color' is simply not a factor.

nikkibong 02-24-2009 12:05 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
diversity, TNR style:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/179...1:09&out=21:19

PaulL 02-24-2009 12:39 PM

Re: Peter: Obama working at making abortion rarer.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104771)
You're right about the false claim, ... Since I would expect an Obama Administration and a Dem-controlled Congress to favor more effective sex education and more funding and other better policies for family planning, this should work against the total number of unwanted pregnancies, and hence, against abortion rates.

Don't Forget Obama used the same claim.
Quote:

The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down and that is something we have to address.
At the risk of weaseling on my bet, I should have used the Caveat if the Democrats pass Public funding for Abortions and the "mythical" Freedom of Choice Act.

osmium 02-24-2009 12:40 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 104772)
I resent the continually made claim that "black people aren't friends with white people." This specious 'observation' is accepted as gospel truth by conservative and liberal commentators alike. However, a whole generation (my generation!) is being brought up that sees 'race' as simply not an 'issue.' Our public university system, for example, is very integrated. And, not to toot my own horn, but I've had lovers and friends that cut across races. Perhaps Jonah and Peter are friends only with, say, other Jews: but it's unfair to claim that the rest of us live like that, as well.

This isn't only occuring in the United States. My generation in say, France, a country that is often caricatured as a racist hellhole by ignorant Americans, is undergoing a similar shift. I remember going to my (alas, now former) French girlfriend's university classes and marveling at the fact that such a slight majority of the class was Gallic in ethnicity. 'Color' is simply not a factor.

I liked this post.

popcorn_karate 02-24-2009 12:47 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
1) Jonah Goldberg just stated that Liberals are the "aggressors" in the culture wars - and then tosses civil rights into the mix of issues in the "culture wars".

Does he thinks sitting in the front of the bus is more aggressive than a mob beating a man and hanging him until dead while having a party, as happened all over the south for many many years?

does he think marching is more aggressive than tear gas, fire hoses, dogs, and beating people's heads in with batons?

the lack of aggression in combating the evil of oppression perpetrated against african americans is one of the things that really blows my mind. The amazing self-control on the part of both blacks and whites in support of the civil rights movement amazes me. And that Oppression did not simply exist - it was an active act of aggression by millions of people every single day for decades.

seriously, Jonah, can you defend what you said with a straight face?

2) Peter, you think this whole black/white conversation thing is a good idea, and you state that whites like me need to be "educated" by our interlocutors. This really seems little ridiculous to me, and it points out the problem with this idea. my thoughts and ideas are just as as valuable as anybody else's. If someone wants to have a conversation as equals - great. if some one wants to tell me why "white males" are all evil oppressors - no thanks.

that conversation just can't be had unless both parties respect the other's point of view. if you try to privilege one side of the conversation, it won't be a conversation, it will be a lecture.

harkin 02-24-2009 12:53 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104758)
Again, I think you're over-generalizing. Ann Coulter has made bank giving talks on college campuses, for example. And I don't see how you can complain about free speech being suppressed if you're against protests.

Read my post again, the only protesters I criticized were those seeking to stop someone from speaking. That is suppression of free speech.


Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104758)
Preface: I'll stipulate that there were unpleasant and untrue things said about her that were particular to her being a woman. These were unfortunate and uncalled for, but I don't think this is really what you mean by "witch hunt." (If you did, then I'd agree with this part, but I'd also say there was and is a big counterweight given to her by virtue of her gender, too. But going back to my original supposition, l'll leave that aside for now.)

I can accept that there were strong attacks made on her. I'd say to these: (a) welcome to politics, and (b) while some stuff was crazy, as it is for all politicians, most of the questions and criticisms raised were entirely legitimate. She was running to be one step away from being the most powerful person on the planet, with a running mate who was the oldest (major) presidential candidate ever. Questions about her competence, her intelligence, her awareness of issues, her history of cronyism and meddling in bureaucratic affairs, the dubious things she said during stump speeches, and how much her fundamentalist religious beliefs affect her views on matters of state are not only legitimate, they are required to be asked. Not to do so is to give her a pass that is unmerited and indeed dangerous, as was unequivocally demonstrated by the Villagers summing up GWB as "the guy you want to have a beer with; vote for him over that lying stiff Gore; the end."

Was there some stupidity and pettiness? Sure. Again, welcome to politics and the MSM. I thought Wardrobegate, for example, was about the most moronic thing I heard all campaign. On the other hand, the McCain people or GOP or whomever made this into a problem. They should have just said, "Look, we're spending upwards of $100 million on this campaign. Our VP candidate has to be on stage and on camera nearly every moment she's awake. Damn right we want her to look good, so we spent two-tenths of one percent of our budget to that end. Next question."

Finally, I don't buy the argument you quoted from Commentary, either. For every person in the media who disparaged Palin for being a hick, there was another one gushing about her authenticity, or her connection with "real America," or saying how wonderful it was that she was a self-made success and was therefore in touch with "the people," or whatever. As I recall it, she got near unanimous rave reviews from the media after her speech at the convention, and what caused the MSM love to fade was due almost entirely to her own failings as a candidate.

Couldn't disagree more. The msm's campaign of concentrated hate for Palin was a new low.



Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104758)
In any case, I don't get how you, or anyone else, can say with a straight face that it's unfair that some in the media didn't like her and said so, while ignoring what Fox, talk radio, NRO, the Weekly Standard, the rightosphere, the WSJ, the Washington Times, and any number of other newspapers were saying about Barack Obama every single day.

Think about the collective audience of those outlets and compare it to CBS, NBC (both news division and entertainment), ABC, PBS, NYTimes, Wash Post, CNN, MSNBC, LATimes, etc etc etc........not even a contest. The most amazing thing of all is that liberals wish to stamp out talk radio because they deem it 'unfair'.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 104758)
Ultimately, I cannot help but think that you're asking that Palin be given special treatment.

Actually, and you never said if you read the article or not, I'm not saying that and I think you missed the writer's point entirely that being a well-read intellectual does not necessarily translate into being a good leader. The article pointed out Palin's failings rather well (I did not support either ticket as I did not deem either fit for office). I'm not arguing for a better treatment of Palin because I wanted McCain to win, I'm arguing for it because it's the best way to get consistantly better representation.

Think what the msm would have further done to Palin had she uttered some of the ridiculous things Joe Biden said on the campaign trail, but which were washed over because he was on the 'right' side of the msm.

I didn't ask that Palin be given special treatment, I asked that she be given fair treatment. To say she was is to be delusional. Hopefully the next great leader that comes from a relatively simple, rural background won't be automatically dismissed as a backwoods animal-killing hick.


oh yeah, and Peter's ahems were very annoying.

bjkeefe 02-24-2009 01:02 PM

Re: Peter: Obama working at making abortion rarer.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulL (Post 104774)

So what? So one of his aides dug up a bad talking point for him for one campaign appearance. That doesn't address anything I said in my response to you about what I think his Administration and Congress are likely to do that would plausibly contribute to keeping the abortion rate from climbing.

Quote:

At the risk of weaseling on my bet, I should have used the Caveat if the Democrats pass Public funding for Abortions and the "mythical" Freedom of Choice Act.
I don't know the details of this so-far non-existent bill, but let's just say I'm disinclined to treat "Party of Death"-man as an objective source. I'd also say that Amy Sullivan has always seemed, here on BH.tv, as about as even-handed a reporter on the abortion issue as I've ever heard, so I am also disinclined to think that she's getting things as wrong as Ramesh suggests. Especially since her article shows no corrections, five days after Ramesh's post.

However, your hedging on our non-existent bet is noted.

Final thought: I know we're on opposite poles on this, but for the record, I would rather have a woman get an abortion, if she wants to have one, than have an unwanted child. That there might someday be additional monies available to help her if she needs the support strikes me as an unmitigated good. Ditto legislation to ensure that her right to choose is protected.

Exeus99 02-24-2009 01:02 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Popcorn:

When you object to Jonah's use of the word aggression here:
Quote:

) Jonah Goldberg just stated that Liberals are the "aggressors" in the culture wars - and then tosses civil rights into the mix of issues in the "culture wars".

Does he thinks sitting in the front of the bus is more aggressive than a mob beating a man and hanging him until dead while having a party, as happened all over the south for many many years?

does he think marching is more aggressive than tear gas, fire hoses, dogs, and beating people's heads in with batons?

the lack of aggression in combating the evil of oppression perpetrated against african americans is one of the things that really blows my mind. The amazing self-control on the part of both blacks and whites in support of the civil rights movement amazes me. And that Oppression did not simply exist - it was an active act of aggression by millions of people every single day for decades.

seriously, Jonah, can you defend what you said with a straight face?
you're assuming that "aggresssion" in this sense should carry negative connotations. Goldberg's pretty clearly NOT saying this--he includes an example where the "aggression" was correct and good as a way to bolster his case that "culture war" battles are generally instigated by the political left. Instigation may be a better term here, if you've some objection to aggression as a metaphor (within the larger culture war metaphor!).

harkin 02-24-2009 01:07 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
One last word on this thread regarding Palin:

Camille Paglia said it much better than I ever could:

"......reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee -- what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry's nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama's pick and who was on everyone's short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin's."

Exeus99 02-24-2009 01:12 PM

Goldberg's Great Save
 
Check out Jonah ALMOST saying "step off the plantation" here, then realizing this probably isn't the time for that particular phrase, and letting it go.
Nice save, Jonah.

Tara Davis 02-24-2009 01:22 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 104779)
Popcorn:

When you object to Jonah's use of the word aggression here:
you're assuming that "aggresssion" in this sense should carry negative connotations. Goldberg's pretty clearly NOT saying this--he includes an example where the "aggression" was correct and good as a way to bolster his case that "culture war" battles are generally instigated by the political left. Instigation may be a better term here, if you've some objection to aggression as a metaphor (within the larger culture war metaphor!).

To be fair to Jonah's detractors, in many cases the "instigator" is merely reacting to provocation. Would there have been such a rapidly-building black civil rights movement in the post-war era if there had not been so many lynchings in the first half of the 20th Century? If there had not been segregation laws?

More often than not, the demand for social change begins with the observation that the current order results in somebody getting unfairly screwed over. Gays want to marry, some cancer patients want to smoke weed, property owners don't want to be forced to sell their homes & shops just because some "urban renewal" developer greased the right palms. These are people who are only "instigators" in the sense that they are standing up against tyranny.

sirfith 02-24-2009 01:25 PM

Re: Peter: Obama working at making abortion rarer.
 
I am going by the right-wing trope that if the Government funds something you will get more of it. The Welfare reform argument.
Quote:

Amy Sullivan has always seemed, here on BH.tv, as about as even-handed a reporter on the abortion issue as I've ever heard
Maybe Bob can arrange a Diavlog between Ramesh and Amy.

Exeus99 02-24-2009 01:26 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
That's probably not how you want to talk about it, though, 'cause then we're back to calling something (the status quo, say) tyranny, and of course no right thinking person supports tyranny.

The point is that Goldberg wasn't making a VALUE judgement when he said that the political left acts as the aggressor/insitigates/starts the culture war--he's agreeing that (at least in some cases) it's a GOOD THING that they do.

Salt 02-24-2009 01:31 PM

Re: Let's Talk About Talking About Race
 
Quoting BJ: Don't know if you read my reply to harkin, specifically the part that addressed this very question. If not, please do. If so, are you therefore asserting that those were not my real friends?

Suddenly I am reminded of Dave Gray and Hospital Food. If there are people out there who are physically detained, on thorazine, or possess super-human empathy and listening skills, they could in theory be your real friends.


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