Down to slavery

Even at CPAC, you can’t actually get away with defending slavery.

So someone who claims descent from Jefferson Davis made a fool of himself at CPAC, asking why a slaveowner should apologize to a former slave “for giving him shelter and food.” (No, seriously. At least he didn’t point out that slaveowners were the first “job creators.”)

And of course all of Blue Blogistan is having a fine time pointing and laughing at the futility of Republican plans for “outreach.”

I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but I think everyone is missing the news here. Even at CPAC, the crowd mostly gasps in horror (the face of the girl in the first row [about 1:30] is priceless). No one applauds.

No, that shouldn’t count as progress in the Party of Lincoln. But even in the most neo-Confederate sector of what has become the Party of Calhoun, you can’t actually get away with defending slavery. Color me slightly cheered up.

Footnote When a white Southerner says “I’ve studied English literature an’ stuff” in the course of a rant on racial inferiority, I wonder whether he’s aware of what the rest of us are thinking.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

21 thoughts on “Down to slavery”

  1. Alternate proposed titles .. let’s see how many English prepositions I know.

    “Down On Slavery”
    This title has the additional advantage of corresponding to the post.

    “Down with Slavery” Slightly dated but IIRC once African American slang. Using African American slang to describe the views of a neoconfederate is all ironic an, stuff

    “Down from Slavery” Describes the guy’s view.

    Pup for Slavery. The first word rhymes with the original and gives the gentlement the proper level of respect.

  2. Strictly speaking, that doesn’t count as progress in the party of Lincoln, unless you can provide evidence that, at some time, the party of Lincoln actually approved of slavery.

    Now, if that happened in the party of McClellan and Byrd, there might be that crucial predicate for counting it as progress.

    1. The Republican party has far more raving racists, white supremacists, and kinists than the Democratic party by, let’s say, a thousand-fold. What the Democrats represented a hundred and fifty years ago (or even fifty years ago) has no bearing on what we are now. None. And you know it. 98% of African Americans vote Democratic, as do an overwhelming majority of Hispanics and Asians.

      But go ahead and keep trotting out McClellan and Byrd. It doesn’t matter. It’s YOUR party that is failing to attract minority voters because of both explicit and implicit racism, as demonstrated (in this case explicitly) at CPAC. That racism is happening now. Like, yesterday. At CPAC. We Democrats don’t have much of a problem, because we are in the business of helping ALL Americans to get ahead, not just white, straight males. Helping all Americans is an explicit part of our platform, and it’s something that the party works to do every day–despite the insane blockades and inaction of the GOP.

      Using twisted logic won’t actually help your party at all.

        1. Opening up a can of worms here, but that study only looked at WHITE Democrats and Republicans. White Democrats are several percentage points less racist than Republicans. But over 80% of minorities vote Democratic, and a good chunk of Democrats are minorities–which would skew these numbers drastically. I’d wager there are a smaller number of racists within minority groups, and a vanishingly small number of white supremacists who are black, latino, or asian.

          1. Well, white racism is the problem…so it makes sense to isolate whites. That’s implicit in your own argument, that repubs can’t attract minority voters in part because they have more “raving racists” and “white supremacists”. But if the major reason why republicans have a greater % of white supremacists in their party is simply because they don’t have minorities, then you can’t use the latter to explain the former. That would be a catch 22.

          2. “I’d wager there are a smaller number of racists within minority groups, and a vanishingly small number of white supremacists who are black, latino, or asian.”

            Interesting assumption built into that: That you have to be a white supremacist to be a “racist”.

    2. Perhaps Mr. Bellmore could remind us why Ronald Reagan chose Philadelphia, Mississippi, exactly, as the location to kick off a Presidential campaign emphasizing “states’ rights”.


      Or as the character in _Killer Angels_ put it, “States’ rats?!?”

    1. Oh, please, back at you. I know that it’s a stock liberal prejudice that Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans, are raving racists, and thus any sign of rejecting racism would be an improvement. But it’s the Democratic party with the history of rampant racism, and currently obsessed with maintaining a system of government mandated racial discrimination. You’re the ones who need to show some sign of improvement.

      1. Yes, yes, history stopped in 1960 and at the Mason-Dixon line. Please continue peddling this claptrap rather than engaging in any honesty or introspection, it ensures that your party will continue to lose every demographic group other than less-educated white Christians.

        1. brett is no more a repubican than he understands the history of the past 100 years. he’s an easily offended, argumentative libertarian wannabe who finds amusement in trying to make other people squirm by pointing out what he thinks are their hidden flaws. that actual democrats resemble his caricatures so little that most actual democrats would have a hard time recognizing that they’re even being lampooned matters to him not at all. that the actual history of the democratic party and how it became less racist is mostly the story of the racist elements therin abandoning the party to become republicans matters even less to him.

          1. Brett is actually a Republican, insofar as his peculiar brand of Libertarianism overlaps quite substantially with the libertarian wing of the Republican party. He cleverly uses his “libertarianism” to escape from being held responsible for arguments that are essentially Republican arguments.

          2. Somehow I’m betting Brett doesn’t expend a lot of time and effort on Republican-leaning blogs, explaining why the Republicans are terrible. For all intents and purposes he’s a Republican – it’s just that he’s smart enough that he doesn’t want to be held responsible for any identifiable Republicans.

          3. Even if Brett were to deny that he’s a de facto republican, there’s this little thing called “fusionism,” which promotes the idea that Republicans and libertarians are working toward the same ends. That libertarianism actually ends up servicing traditional conservatism (with all of its anti-libertarian implications) much more than the other way around.

            Most libertarians are only situational libertarians anyway. They actually do want to control what women do with their bodies, etc.

          4. A Libertarian is a Republican who wants to keep open the option of dating liberal women, and possibly occasionally smokes a joint. Otherwise, no difference.


    2. Whenever someone gets obtuse about the way the R & D teams have swapped roles on race, I’m reminded of this letter Lincoln wrote to Henry Pierce, who had invited him to speak at an event honoring Jefferson’s birthday:

      I remember once being much amused at seeing two partially intoxicated men engage in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after a long, and rather harmless contest, ended in each having fought himself out of his own coat, and into that of the other. If the two leading parties of this day are really identical with the two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have performed the same feat as the two drunken men.

  3. You express relief that the audience wasn’t openly receptive to the overt racism of Mr. Terry, but consider the epitaph: the professional Black Conservative who chaired the panel issued a statement afterwards about the panel, one that was really quite revealing:

    In the middle of my delivery .. I was rudely interrupted by a [Black] woman working for the Voice of Russia … [the] question was intentionally disruptive and coercive with no way of creating a positive dialogue.
    In addition, a young man who wasn’t a Tea Party Patriot, made some racially insensitive comments …. At the conclusion of the breakout session, I further explained to him the Frederick Douglass Republican Message which he embraced, bought a book, and we left as friends.

    So, for those keeping score at home: the Black Woman journalist who was a bit confrontational or at least skeptical is an unforgivable termagant, a likely commie, and (almost needless to say) a b!tch. The long-time dedicated advocate of racism and member of racist organizations is within minutes his buddy, and has totally undergone a complete, transformative change of outlook because of a warm handshake and a dumbass slogan. The fact that this guy finds it important to budy up to an out-and-out racist and to convey his desire to find common ground with those like the guy, but can be obnoxious about a Black Woman who might be a bit Liberal – that says everything.

  4. I think it should count as a positive thing, whether or not it’s “progress.” Good news.

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