Best of Morning Shots
Racists are 29% of the population.
Re: Clare Coffey's column titled "There Is No Mary Problem in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’" I don't know where to post this because there is no comment section for Ms. Coffey's column but I wanted to express my disagreement and why I strongly dislike - detest? - It's a Wonderful Life.
If you accept Ms. Coffey's logic about Mary's life in George's absence, you still have a "Violet Problem."
Are we really to believe that Violet would've become a dime dancer - or worse - simply because George never existed? Doesn't she have as much agency in her own life as Mary would? And what does it say about this film that of the two single women who are in George's life one becomes a buttoned up spinster and the other a tramp if George doesn't exist? Even accounting for the age of the film, that is one hot misogynistic mess. Blechh. (In truth, this can be said about everybody else in the film who goes "bad" just because our man George didn't exist - like their own character doesn't depend on THEMSELVES.)
But the most troubling scene of all is the scene at Mary's house when George, clearly angry and agitated, visits and they eventually kiss. He behaves very cruelly, making it clear he wants out - not only of Bedford Falls and the Savings and Loan but also marriage. She flirts with Sam over the phone and manages to "rope" George in. Just before they kiss he says - while violently shaking her - "Now you listen to me. I don't want any plastics (ed. the factory ), I don't want any ground floors (ed. opportunity) and I don't want to get married ever at anyone. You understand that? I want to do what I want to do and you're ..." And meanwhile she's crying. And we're supposed to believe that this is a relationship that will grow and survive? Uh, no.
IMHO (1) George will forever resent Mary for "roping him in" (like the moon drawing suggests) and he will forever treat her cruelly and probably cheat on her as she's sort of a madonna figure and (2) as a result of that - and his failure to pursue any advancement in his life - Mary will forever resent him for his inevitable cruelty, his lack of ambition and the fact that she could have married Sam. Twenty years on these two would be Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And to me that is a most depressing outcome not saved by his decision not to jump.
Has Charlie Sykes never read Stuart Stevens book? This idea that Dems were crying wolf all these years is completely refuted by an actual live Republican strategist.
Every now and then I'll listen to someone on the Bulwark talk about "off-ramps" for the GOP, bemoaning the fact that their former colleagues somehow still haven't figured what's obviously going on in the party. I think about all the times we called this stuff out, pointing to the obvious clues, but people like Charlie didn't take the off-ramp we could see plainly long before 2016.
Look, I'm thrilled they've left the GOP. I'm glad people like Charlie and Tim, JVL and Sarah all see now what we've seen for many years, but please don't lecture me on "crying wolf," it is very much like the projection today's MAGAs espouse and you should really think twice before throwing that stone.
I don't think calling racists or sexists as racists or sexists caused them to be more racist and sexist, they always were and always will be. When I was a younger woman working in a predominately male industry, the blatant and obnoxious sexist remarks were supposed to be tolerated if you wanted to be considered a good sport and "one of the boys". The few Blacks who worked with us were expected to accept funny racists jokes so they didn't appear uptight.
Rush Limbaugh was around before Carlson and he never pulled any punches. His show was all about white male grievance because they couldn't insist on being on top and in charge.
My point being, you cannot blame neo nazism on overly sensitive liberals.
T. "Swanson TV Diners" Carlson learned at the knee of his step-scions in San Diego that there is
"No embarrassment, no shame, no chagrin at being accused of..." after market chicken in the tin trays of convenience. The Swanson heirs had "...not even a lingering trace of anxiety that this might actually be bad for 'business', or status as a decent provider of 'wholesome food.'".
I remember watching the Repulican National Conventions prior to both of Nixon's "Southern Stategy" White House runs. They were clearly meant to send the barely subtle message (without the overt racism of the Wallace campaign, for example) that only Nixon could save the USA from degenerating into a non-White Supremacist society.
“Many on the Left seemed genuinely shocked that their charges of racism, sexism, and xenophobia did not seem to dent Trump’s popularity with conservatives. Only belatedly did some of them realize that this may have been, at least in part, the price they paid for crying wolf for decades.”
While I have no doubt that there are many conservatives who are not racist, sexist or xenophobic, Charlie is ignoring the use of racism by GOP presidential candidates at least as far back as Goldwater.
1964 GOP convention:
“Indeed, the “Party of Lincoln” was ripping apart before our eyes. Arizona senator Barry Goldwater … had tapped into a mother lode of voter anxiety about Communism, crime and especially civil rights….
Although ample evidence exists to show that Goldwater personally was not racist, he had allied himself with those who were….His campaign, however, set in motion an electoral realignment ….” (MS Magazine)
“By the next presidential election, in 1968, Richard Nixon smoothly adopted the southern strategy – he dropped the crude racism and replaced it with winks and whistles. The Republicans morphed into the white people’s party.” (History News Network)
Then came Ronald Reagan:
“When he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1980, the town where the civil rights workers had been murdered, and declared that “I believe in states’ rights,” he didn’t mean to signal support for white racists….
When he went on about the welfare queen driving her Cadillac, and kept repeating the story years after it had been debunked…it was all just an innocent mistake.
When, in 1976, he talked about working people angry about the “strapping young buck” using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks at the grocery store…the appearance that Reagan was playing to Southern prejudice was just an innocent mistake….
When Reagan declared in 1980 that the Voting Rights Act had been “humiliating to the South”…when Reagan intervened on the side of Bob Jones University, which was on the verge of losing its tax-exempt status because of its ban on interracial dating…when Reagan fired three members of the Civil Rights Commission…it was all an innocent mistake.“ (Paul Krugman)
Followed by George H.W. Bush:
“Lee Atwater, Bush’s campaign manager, heard the story and thought that Bush … should raise the (Willie) Horton case so often that voters would think of Horton as Dukakis’ virtual running mate, Atwater later said.
Bush delivered. On the campaign trail, he frequently brought up Horton and the specter of uncontrolled violent crime. He made references that Atwater had intentionally crafted to sow fear of black Americans while not sounding overtly racist to white voters.” (NBC News)
And finally Jeb Bush’s voter suppression in Florida in 2000:
“Thousands of black electors in Florida were disenfranchised in last November's election by an electoral system tainted by "injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency" a leaked report by the US civil rights commission says.
It accuses Governor Jeb Bush, the president's brother, and his secretary of state, Katherine Harris, of "gross dereliction" of duty, saying they "chose to ignore mounting evidence" of the problems.
The eight-strong commission … found that black voters were "10 times more likely than white voters to have their ballots rejected", and pointed to the use of a flawed list of felons and ex-felons to purge the voting rolls.
‘It is not a question of a recount or even an accurate count, but more pointedly the issue is those whose exclusion from the right to vote amounted to a 'No Count'," the report says’.”(The Guardian)
I am a fan of Charlie and of the Bulwark. It is hard to overstate the good they have done for the country (and for my sanity) these last few years. But for Charlie to characterize Democrats/liberals’ charges of racism as “crying wolf” is grossly inaccurate. At a minimum, the GOP has a decades long history of using racism as a political weapon.
Yes, Charlie, it's the fault of liberals that Trump was elected.
Because when we warned you that the Bush campaign spread lies about McCain having a black child to win the South Carolina primary was racist, we "overreacted."
When we pointed out how many mainstream Republicans gave quiet cover to birthers, we "overreacted."
When we pointed out Mitt Romney's good standing in the LDS Church -- a church that did not accept black men as priests until 1978 and one with questionable practices about women - we were "overreacting," not pointing out the canary in the coal mine.
Yes, yes, it's our fault that Republicans decided to go from bad to worse.
And Tucker Carlson leads the pack of racists every night, broadcasting
to millions of Americans. Is he Hitler's best friend and propagandist minister Gobels reincarnated? The Third Reich didn't
happen overnight. It was a well thought out plan, that destroyed the
German republic from within and
abolished free news, thought and
discussions like these. We must keep the lights of freedom and
The Southern Strategy was born in 1964. In 1960 Kennedy carried the South. The Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation in public accommodations, was passed and signed in July, 1964.
Disaffected voters in the South gave their electoral votes to Barry Goldwater in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The first time all of those states voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1880.
The 1964 election showed Republicans the path back to power... by appealing to disaffected Southern white men.
Since the voting Rights Act was not passed until 1965 it is probable that very few black voters were able to vote in 1964 because they were still living under state laws designed to disenfranchise as many blacks as possible. The 1964 election returns were a wake up call for the Republicans
The Republican Party made this, the Southern strategy their chief election strategy in 1968 and thereafter. The racist Democratic politicians migrated to the GOP as well over time. There they found open arms and were rewarded by letting them keep their seniority and committee assignments.
So the tacit agreement between the disaffected (racist) South was that the GOP was to pursue states rights policies as a cover for their racist policies.
So it is perfectly true the Republican Party became fellow travelers with racists and bigots of every sort. Individuals like Bush and Romney may not have been personally racist but they did nothing to suppress the enthusiasms of the racists and bigot upon whom they had become dependent for power.
Racism and bigotry made the "Solid South" for the Democrats before 1964 and they have made the "Solid South" for Republicans ever since.
I guess Republicans decided that racists and bigots need someplace to go--- so it might as well be with them.
So it’s the Dems fault that the Rs are predominantly a racist party, if you believe what Charlie is selling today?
“ But this does not let conservatives off the hook.”
Off the hook? The Rs have been a racist org for decades in their platforms. When your only goal is to feed the white rich class, divide the classes further and devise ways to steal elections they OWN their moniker of Racists and Bigots. It’s even worse now having exposed themselves as Fascists too.
So Charlie AGAIN must blame the Dems (in a weak fashion) for what the Rs have always been. Having voted R for many many elections, I can now look back and see how blinded I was. And so was Charlie. And Charlie helped his senator Johnson get re-elected by trashing Johnson’s opponent just as much as trashing Johnson - really bad bothsideism. And Charlie failed to take any responsibility for how he used his platform to do so.
Carlson likes to refer to white people as "legacy " Americans. Here is an anecdote from a fascinating book, "African Founders", by David Fischer.
In the early 1700s, a young African boy was enslaved by Africans and whites, and eventually owned by a Quaker named Slocum, who let Kofi buy his freedom. He married a Wampanoag Indian.
Kofi became a prosperous whaler and trader. Yankees called him Mister Coffe Slocum. Coffe learned to read and write, keeping a journal that incorporated his African tribe's sense of right and wrong and duty to others.
The large family took the surname Cuffe. Some sons were farmers or store owners. Grandson Paul Cuffe owned a shipyard and expanded the family's trade. In 1811 a Cuffe brig became the first ship built and navigated by blacks to land in England. Paul Cuffe became a world leader in the effort to end slavery.
So my point is these black and Indian people are actually among the legacy Americans. We were always muliti-racial in fact, if not in governance.
Interesting and thought-provoking as always. Thank you Charlie.
The problem is that the Dems/Left weren't actually calling wolf.... and the GoP just kept getting more and more openly racist until today we have what we have.
It isn't about getting numb to be called something, it is about playing the situation so that (while you are what you are called and you are quite fine with being what you are) all the people who might actually DO something get numb.. and so they don't.
"“By 2000,” RealClearPolitics.com’s Carl Cannon wrote, “Calling George W. Bush a racist was the liberals’ standard operating procedure"
Remember that time the Bush campaign implied that John McCain fathered an illegitimate Black child in order to win the South Carolina primary? Somewhere along the way, Conservatives got this idea that only bad people can do racist things. It enabled a hell of a lot of amnesia when it comes to who benefited from letting the white nationalists do their dirty tricks on behalf of the movement.
There's additional faces to the alliances that contributed to modern movement conservatives, for instance, the alliance of Christians & corporations (see Kevin Kruse's 'One Nation Under God'), and it's proof of concept, Billy Graham. Slight turn of the face and it's those resentful of Jim Crow's loss and those opposed to the New Deal, essentially, they're just libertarians and theocrats.
The GOP must keep the votes of both radicalized and not to stay in power. Where they meet is in the numbness to racism.
If the Left caused the modern Right to go numb by calling them names, then it's true that the Right (or, the author of this piece) needs a much deeper understanding of racism. No one can make you racist, but they can encourage you to stop pretending not to be. That's Trumpism, the bouncing baby boy of movement conservatism.