26 3 mins 14 yrs

The American Democrats, a political party of few ideas and big tax plans, push identity politics to garner votes.

“Do Even Democrats Really Talk Like This?” asks Mark Steyn, citing New York Time’s writer Maureen Dowd:

“Surveying the Hillary-Barack death match, Maureen Dowd wrote: "People will have to choose which of America’s sins are greater, and which stain will have to be removed first. Is misogyny worse than racism, or is racism worse than misogyny?"

Do even Democrats really talk like this? Apparently so. As Ali Gallagher, a white female (sorry, this identity-politics labeling is contagious) from Texas, told the Washington Post: "A friend of mine, a black man, said to me, ‘My ancestors came to this country in chains; I’m voting for Barack.’ I told him, ‘Well, my sisters came here in chains and on their periods; I’m voting for Hillary.’"

When everybody’s a victim, nobody’s a victim. Poor Ms. Gallagher can’t appreciate the distinction between purely metaphorical chains and real ones, or even how offensive it might be to assume blithely that there’s no difference whatsoever.

On the other hand, Barack’s ancestors didn’t come here in chains, either: His mother was a white Kansan, so was presumably undergoing menstrual hell with the Gallagher gals, and his dad was a black man a long way away in colonial Kenya. Indeed, Obama would be the first son of a British subject to serve as president since those slaveholding types elected in the early days of the republic. As some aggrieved black activist sniffed snootily on TV, Barack isn’t really an "African American" – unless by "African American," you mean somebody whose parentage is half-American and half-African, and let’s face it, no one would come up with so cockamamie a definition as that. “…Surveying the Hillary-Barack death match, Maureen Dowd wrote: "People will have to choose which of America’s sins are greater, and which stain will have to be removed first. Is misogyny worse than racism, or is racism worse than misogyny?"

 

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

26 thoughts on “Just In Case You Thought The Issues Mattered

  1. My reaction to that Dowd article was similar but less eloquent than Steyn’s.

    If I understand it correctly in order to expunge the guilt of America’s past racism against black slaves and their descendants who were heavily discriminated against up until the 1960s, Americans should vote for a guy who was conceived by a middle class Kenyan father and a white mother in 1961 and then raised in one of the most racially tolerant societies on the planet, Hawaii.

    In order to expunge America’s sexist past they should vote for the woman whose career has essentially depended on her being married to Bill Clinton, and in order to do this has stayed with him even as he has conducted affairs with and sexually harassed his female subordinates. By Dowd’s logic Pakistan must have really put sexism behind it when they first elected Benazir Bhutto all those years ago.

  2. I would love to see America electing a black president or a woman president but it would have to be a by-product of electing the right person with the right policies.

    Voting for a woman because she is a woman just like voting against a woman because she is a woman is primitive politics. It’s the same with race.

    If Condi Rice was the Republican candidate would it solve Maureen Dowd’s dilemma? I don’t think so.

  3. Typical right-wing bigotry from neo-con Canadian Steyn. I wonder is he jewish, and if so does that shape his politics – surely a fair question given what he writes about the two Dem canidates.

    Nothing about their policies, just about the race of Obama and the gender of Hillary. So Steyn apears to be a racist misogonist. Well, maybe he is. If it walks like a duck and quacks…

    I agree it would have been interesting if Condi was running for the GOP. If so, I suspect Steyn would have been writing similar bilge, arguing that she was appealing for votes primarily on gender and race.

    Sad to see Steyn descend to this gutter level. I agree with much of his outlook about the islamist threat to the west, but he undermines that when he descends to the level of Rush Limbaugh.

  4. Peter: Steyn is commenting on Dowd. Dowd, the NYT’s columnist is specifically addressing RACE and GENDER. Not policies. You should be embarrassed, man, to interject your question as to whether or not Steyn is Jewish – it makes you seem like a bigot.

    Besides, the Democrat’s have few policy differences, anyway. That is why the Democrats have to pander to RACE and GENDER to garner votes….and what policy ideas they have are, for the most part, socialist; Democrats never like to directly talk about their big government policies for fear that they, the politicians, will be exposed for the socialists they are. For example, for the Democrats, it’s better to dress up government-run healthcare as "universal health care" than to call it "socialist health-care."

  5. And Peter, regarding Condi — Condi Rice is a Republican. The Republicans are the party of ideas; by and large, the Republican Party in the US is not interested in identity politics. So, for Republicans Condi’s skin color and gender is irrelevant.

  6. Patty,

    "For example, for the Democrats it’s better to dress up government-run healthcare as "universal health care" than to call it "socialist health-care.""

    And it’s better for you to dress up health insurance as healthcare I suppose, so you can call it ‘socialist healthcare’ when it’s actually about insurance.

    Of course on such definitions, you’re a socialist yourself. After all you demand government-funded defence. If the government can pay to defend everyone against terrorists then why can’t it pay to defend everyone against disease.

    For that matter if it can pay to build schools and hospitals and infrastructure in Iraq then why not at home.

  7. Peter

    Nothing about their policies, just about the race of Obama and the gender of Hillary

    I wonder is he jewish

    I feel genuinely embarrassed for you.

  8. Peter. No he is not Jewish. He is of Belgium/English/Canadian heritage. And from a Catholic background.

  9. You should be embarrassed, man, to interject your question as to whether or not Steyn is Jewish – it makes you seem like a bigot.

    So lemme get this. It’s just fine to attribute political views to religion, just as long as they are leftist views, and certainly if the proponent happens to be a muslim. But if the proponent happens to be jewish, that’s just gotta be anti-semitism, right?

    Rightworld has tried hard to nail Obama as as closet muslim / jihadist. The Kenyan photo was enthusiastlcally reproduced last week throughought the Rightworld blogosphere, including ATW.

    If Steyn was a mulsim endorsing Obama, you guys would be screaming against islamism. I have no idea whether Steyn is jewish or not.

    Mote and beam?

  10. Peter

    Rightworld has tried hard to nail Obama as as closet muslim / jihadist. The Kenyan photo was enthusiastlcally reproduced last week throughought the Rightworld blogosphere, including ATW.

    It was reproduced everywhere but it started on The Drudge Report and according to them it came from the Clinton campaign.

    It was the Clintons who by common consent have made an issue of race in the election. The clear point of Steyn’s article (which you have missed by a country mile) was that identity politics is an obsession of the left. You countered by wondering if he was Jewish.

  11. Peter: regarding concerns about Islam and Muslims — Islamic terrorism self-defines — what is it they like to cry out as they blow themselves up? "Allah Akbar" – "Allah is Great," — or something like that — Go ask a radical islamist yourself, if you don’t believe me — "is it about religion?"and the answer will be "yes!"

    Steyn’s article about Dowd citing identity politics (race and gender) has NOTHING to do with Judaism. Hence, you should be embarrassed for seeing "the evil joooh" behind Steyn’s comment. (and for that matter, behind Dowd’s as well.)

    Frank: Government-run military works because "totalitarian" is what government does best — uniforms, salutes, etc.

    Government-run civilian agencies like education, health-care etc. is inefficient, unfair, and ineffective.

    It’s the nature of Government.

  12. Patty,

    "Government-run military works because "totalitarian" is what government does best — uniforms, salutes, etc.

    Government-run civilian agencies like education, health-care etc. is inefficient, unfair, and ineffective. "

    I see, so the best thing to do with totalitarians is to give them an army?

    You have failed to address the point which is that if government works to defend you against terrorist agents, and you claim it does, then there is no reason to suppose that it cannot work to defend against disease.

    If you believe that government is always inefficient, unfair, and inneffective, always the worst solution, then prove it: turn something that you care about, the military, over to the free market and the kindness of strangers. You won’t do it because you’re terrified, and you have absolutely no faith in the market to provide you with the military defence that you insist you need.

    And again, the dems are not proposing that the government runs healthcare, it is about health insurance, which is simply the funding.

  13. Frank

    You can’t privatise the army because their can only be one customer, the state and one supplier, the armed forces. So there is no basis for a market.

    Health is completely different because we are almost all customers at some stage and there can be many suppliers. The conditions exist for a market and insurance is the best way to supply it.

    Even paying for everything through the tax system is a kind of insurance. We pay in in the hope of having care when we need it. The problem with it is a monopolistic state supplier.

    I think there is an emerging consensus that an insurance market is the way forward but that everybody must be covered. It will still be a huge political task to bring it about.

  14. Henry,

    "You can’t privatise the army because their can only be one customer, the state and one supplier, the armed forces. "

    Well you can privatise the army – private armies do exist – it’s just a stupid and scary idea so nobody really contemplates it. Patty could go pay for her own defence against Al Queda and those of us who are less worried could buy ourselves nice presents, or spend the money on health insurance instead and let Patty take up the slack. After all disease is killing and torturing more people than Al Queda. We all have something like a 1 in 3 chance of cancer, but more chance of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning than being killed by Al Q.

    Of course terrorists could gain a biological weapon like smallpox, but in that case Republicans would probably die quicker from the cognitive dissonance of having to provide a form of universal healthcare to defeat terrorism.

    Anyway the proper comparison is with the payments. Patty says that universal healthcare a la the dems (which is really universal and regulated health insurance, plus I think some regulation of provision) is socialism. Well then so is her preferred method of funding the military.

    "I think there is an emerging consensus that an insurance market is the way forward but that everybody must be covered. It will still be a huge political task to bring it about."

    I think Switzerland has a model like that, and it seems to work. However it is regulated like crazy.

  15. — turn… the military, over to the free market —

    Uh? Believe it or not, the members of the military by and large are extremely patriotic and, are willing to sacrifice everything for their country. No one on the face of the earth would sacrifice their life for a corporation.

    The military already buys most all of its supplies from private vendors, and it has subcontracted out many functions to private vendors. But will private managers command men in the field? You kidding me?

    Very few enlisted men are in the military for the money. A lot of doctors and surgeons are in their field for the money. The analogy does not work.

    I do not want an American version of the NHS or the Canadian health service. All the Brits with good jobs tend to not use NHS and the Canadian plan can involve really, really long wait times.

    We had a fund raiser in Brooklyn for a minor league baseball player whose mother was dying of cancer–her part of Quebec chose not to buy the specialized equipment that was needed, nor would they pay to have her treated in the US, where the equipment was available. So we passed the hat.

    I don’t want that. Single payer is out.

  16. Phantom,

    "Uh? Believe it or not, the members of the military by and large are extremely patriotic and, are willing to sacrifice everything for their country. No one on the face of the earth would sacrifice their life for a corporation."

    There aren’t mercenaries?

    And I never said it was a good idea. Take it up with Patty who says govt is always useless.

    "Very few enlisted men are in the military for the money. A lot of doctors and surgeons are in their field for the money. The analogy does not work."

    I doubt that many nurses are in it for the money and mercenaries are in it for the money. I don’t really see the relevance.

    "I do not want an American version of the NHS or the Canadian health service. All the Brits with good jobs tend to not use NHS and the Canadian plan can involve really, really long wait times."

    The NHS is an unusual case because it is direct provision although it still comes out very well in a comparison with America’s results, and not even that bad compared to other European systems results (all of which get better results for less money than the US).

  17. Frank: My point – and it is an exceptionally good one so do pay attention — is that government is by its very nature a top down and centralized organization.

    Therefore, it works best in a situation where there is strict hierarchical control and specific objectives managed with an autocratic style. Military has a pyramid structure. The bottom of the pyramid obeys orders from the top of the pyramid.

    Hierarchies and top-down management works perfectly for the military. But not for things like shcools, health care.

    Innovation and quality in these segments result from competition and free market forces. "Bottom up" supply and demand result in superior education, and superior medecine.

  18. Patty,

    "Frank: My point – and it is an exceptionally good one so do pay attention — is that government is by its very nature a top down and centralized organization.

    Therefore, it works best in a situation where there is strict hierarchical control and specific objectives managed with an autocratic style. Military has a pyramid structure. The bottom of the pyramid obeys orders from the top of the pyramid."

    I hope you’re sitting down because many private corporations are run like that, and many governments are not.

    Some companies have even been run by ex-military in exactly that style. EDS springs to mind. Hell, at one point EDS even invaded Iran! LOL

  19. Frank,

    Who d’you think will win the election today?

    I mean the more pressing one: that of Spain. I rather fancy the Socialists’ chances but it’s hard to call.

  20. Frank

    You’ve put yourself on very thin ice here. How many mercenaries are in the US Marine Corps? The Navy? The Army? The Air Force?

    And who does the fighting?

    C’mon. The point is beyond silly, if we’re speaking about the US. I can get statistics, but what in the world is the point? Do you need to be convinced about the composition of the US military and who it is that is doing the fighting?

    Its not mercenaries who are manning the tanks and flying the planes. Trust me on this one.

    Health care is quite different. Again, doctors are very well paid here, and I think it is absolutely the reason why a very large number of them go into it.

    But nurses ( I speak only of America ) . The average registered nurse with 5-9 years experience gets
    $53,000 a year without overtime. And there is always overtime.

    That is not a bad salary, when averaged out over the USA–and these jobs would nearly always come with a good benefits package. RNs in New York and other high cost areas make signficantly more.

    I’ve spoken to those who ultimately became RNs who went into the career precisely because of the pay, and because it was one job where there would almost never be any worry over layoffs.

    Doesn’t make them bad people and it doesn’t mean they don’t care–they do. But lots of them do go into it for the money and benefits

    See US enlisted Military payscales.

    The majority of the US military earn less than nurses– and nurses, though I love ’em for everything that they are and everything that the do–nurses (unless they are military nurses ) do not face being sent to a dangerous tour of Iraq.

  21. Phantom,

    You’ve misunderstood my point and you’re arguing against points I haven’t made. I didn’t claim the army was made up of mercenaries today, only that it could be in principle, and only in answer to your objection that people won’t die for money or a corporation. Stats on the current composition of the US military are not relevant to that point. I could used many other examples – EDS’s rescue mission in Iran (where people were apparently ready to die for a corporation), and for that matter crack dealers or the mafia. People have been willing to die for money and for causes for as long as there’s been money and causes.

    But apparently you think I’m arguing this because I think it’d be a good idea. I don’t. The question is if privatising the army would be stupid idea. I’d say yes. That’s the point. It means that the market is not always the best solution to every problem and government is not always the worst.

    Now I do believe that markets are very useful. However unlike Patty I do not believe in the Free Market Fairy.

  22. I get the larger point…but would only differ in the case of EDS. They put their lives in danger to liberate fellow Americans who happened to be EDS employees.

    Lots of people would put their lives in danger to protect their country. I don’t think anyone would endanger their lives to protect the corporation itself.

  23. Frank: I was having a lousy Monday until I read your exposing Patty’s point that totalitarians should be given armies. Thanks you for the chuckle.

    The truth of the matter is that both parties in the States have played race and gender cards when it suits them. In this particular race, I would have to say both spouses of the two Democratic candidates have miplayed the race card and the gender card. To his credit, McCain has broken with the Republican past use of the race and gender card. I am not sure his campaign will be able to resist in the end, but he has run pretty clean thus far.

  24. Gov. Spitzer of New York just didn’t resign after being linked to a prostitution ring. Lots more to come.

  25. Alan – I think I might post on the phenomenon (politicians who seem self-destructive and the women who stand by them).

Comments are closed.