Culture War

Suspicion of Government Isn't Racist, But People Suspicious of Government Are? What?

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Cliven Bundy
Bundy Ranch

Honestly, Jonathan Chait has me perplexed when he insists that I was wrong to characterize him as claiming that skepticism toward the state is all about internalized racism. To the contrary, says he, (keep in mind that, to him, any suspicion of government is "conservative") "while conservatism and racism may be historically, sociologically, and psychologically inseparable, it is absolutely necessary to debate conservative ideas on their own terms."

So far as I can tell, his argument is that anti-statism is like a unicorn: it can maintain its innocence only when unsullied by contact with people. Once it suffers a human embrace, though, it becomes tainted.

But it's true that people can bring bad associations to other, unrelated ideas. Chait triumphantly points to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy (pictured above right), of tussling with the Bureau of Land Management fame, for making hideous comments about African-Americans, including "they abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton."

That's contemptible stuff. It was also contemptible when progressives merged pseudo-scientific racist notions with their ideology and implemented them as policy to such a degree that Booker T. Washington wrote during Woodrow Wilson's presidency that he had, "never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time."

Indeed, the later New Deal, often touted as a pinnacle of progressive policy, was largely a raw deal for minorities.

But just as advocates of a large and forceful state aren't bound by the bigotry of a William Jennings Bryan or a Woodrow Wilson, so Cliven Bundy's moronic notions about race don't rope in those who are skeptical about just that sort of government.

Even before Bundy opened his mouth to reveal a yawning chasm of idiocy, I noted that his standoff with the feds was a sideshow to a more contemporary debate over the control of western lands.

"Why do all these people with strong antipathy toward the federal government turn out to be racists?" asks Chait. Maybe it's because the cameras and journalists focus on one loudmouth on horseback, even as representatives of nine state governments meet in Salt Lake City at the Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands.

If all skeptics of the state are tainted by racism, does that include the oft-cited (by libertarians) Lysander Spooner, who was an abolitionist as well as anarchist? He argued that natural law forbade slavery, offered free legal services to escaped slaves, and even supported guerrilla warfare to defeat the institution.

He also said that the laws of the state "have no color of authority or obligation."

Suspicion of state power has a history, and it's certainly not reliant on bigotry.

Chait's reliance on one research study to tie (presumably anti-government) political sentiments in the Old South to the legacy of slavery founders on the facts of history. Writing last year in Jacobin about the Tea Party movement, Seth Ackerman pointed out:

The notion that Southern Democrats in Congress during the middle third of the century were progenitors of ideological Tea Party-style anti-government extremism cannot withstand a glance at their actual voting records.

In the 1930s and afterwards, Southern members almost unanimously insisted on shielding the South's social system, based on labor-surplus agriculture and formalized racial hierarchy, from any federal policies that might erode it. But once those guarantees were granted, usually through quiet negotiations in committee or within the Democratic leadership, those legislators openly and overwhelmingly supported the New Deal.

He added, "there was simply no mass electoral base in the South for the kind of free-enterprise fundamentalism that could thrive in historically prosperous northern regions like rural upstate New York or small-town central Ohio."

If a legacy of slavery is responsible for southern opposition to Washington, D.C., today, was it also responsible for southern support for Social Security and other elements of the welfare state?

Or perhaps liberalism, like anti-statism, is also innocent only until touched by the people it attracts, and sullied by their support.

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  1. “Why do all these people with strong antipathy toward the federal government turn out to be racists?” asks Chait.

    I presume he’s asking this rhetorically, as he cackles and rubs his hands with glee.

    1. Chait is obviously unacquainted with elementary logic.

      Even leaving aside what I am sure is his crabbed, proggy definition of racism (a variation, I’m sure, on “only whites can be racists”),

      Its probably a safe bet that white racists (your KKK types) are anti-fed. However, saying that all X are Y, in way implies that all Y are X, where X is “racists” an Y is “not a fan of the feds.” Going from memory, I believe that this is the fallacy of the excluded middle.

      1. Affirming the consequent

      2. The great irony is that that particular logical fallacy is the exact same logical fallacy that racists engage in (a lot of criminals are black, therefore all black people are criminals, QED).

        The only thing that causes me any pause is wondering if Chait recognizes this fallacy himself and is just using sophistry for his master-chaiting, or if he really is this stupid.

        1. My money’s on “really is this stupid.”

    2. Only a racist would oppose policies of all the white people in government.

  2. I always get a good laugh when progressives who promote policies premised on the idea that blacks are inferior accuse opponents of those policies of racism.

    1. Yes, it’s time to go beyond saying, “it’s so unfair to call us racist,” and get into providing chapter and verse of progressivism’s racist history.

      1. Racist history? Hell, racist present.

        The entire affirmative action industry is based on the incredibly racist premise that minorities can’t get ahead unless some kindly white folk give them a hand up.

        1. Ironically, anyone who points that out is immediately accused of racism.

          1. RACIALIST!

  3. Lysander Spooner was morally equivalent to slave owners because he wanted to impose freedom on people!

    /Tonyderp

  4. I waste time on trolls, I can’t beat on J. D. T. for doing the same. But this sort of sophistry isn’t worth a lot of effort.

    1. Chait is not just a hack. He is a profoundly stupid man. He is not worthy of rational argument. What is the point of arguing with someone who is too stupid to understand your points?

      The only way to deal with Chait is ridicule.

      1. Pretty much. He is a serial liar.

    2. I assumed that to be the reason for the brevity of the article. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. OK, this Tucille vs Chiat battle is OK but for real entertainment look at the beatdown Jon Stewart gave the hamheaded Bundy supporter Sean Hannity last night:

    http://theweek.com/article/ind…..on-stewart

    1. I can’t even conceive of anything more insufferable than Jon Stewart debating Sean Hannity, but it’s telling that you would find such entertaining.

      1. The only thing I kind of like about Jon Stewart is that he happened to be a bartender at City Gardens in NJ for a couple of years, during which time some of my favorite bands played there.

        http://www.vulture.com/2014/02…..-club.html

  6. One of the many things Progs have sent down the memory hole is the fact that Johnson’s war on poverty was never directed at blacks. It was primarily a program of helping poor whites in Appalachia. There is no way in hell Johnson or any of the Southern Democrats in Congress would have voted to spend millions of dollars in welfare intended to benefit black people. Somehow this fact is always forgotten and anyone who thinks welfare might not be the best solution is immediately deemed a racist.

    1. But Appalachia is still poor. Ever been to a social security office in the hills of western PA? The horror.

      1. It is almost as if welfare doesn’t cure but in fact perpetuates poverty.

        1. When you are in the business of solving poverty, and damn that business pays good, you don’t have any incentive to make yourself unemployed.

    2. But it took Reagan and Bush 41 only a decade to build up the black welfare queen meme enough to take over the South for the GOP.

      1. It was all a myth. There is no cycle of dependence in the inner cities thanks to welfare.

        And shame on the God damned racist Clinton for signing welfare reform. You know, the law that said people had to get a job and couldn’t be welfare queens.

        God life must be hard for you being retarded and all.

        1. God life must be hard for you being retarded and all.

          Certainly not! That nice man buys shreeky ice cream and has him get in the van where they do all sorts of fun things!

          1. That nice man buys shreeky ice cream cake

            1. Where is Brimley when you need a quote from em, huh?

      2. Wow, that Reagan was some kinda stud, starting a meme without ever actually uttering the words.

        The term “welfare queen” is often incorrectly associated with Ronald Reagan, despite no record exists of his ever using the term

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_queen

        The original welfare queen:

        Her name was Linda Taylor, and it was the Chicago Tribune, not the GOP politician, who dubbed her the “welfare queen.” It was the Tribune, too, that lavished attention on Taylor’s jewelry, furs, and Cadillac?all of which were real.

        http://www.slate.com/articles/…..llain.html

        1. Since when has the left every let the truth get in the way of the narrative?

        2. Oh, come on.

          During his 1976 presidential campaign, Reagan would tell the story of a woman from Chicago’s South Side who was arrested for welfare fraud:

          That’s politickin! Lee Atwater made bank on that meme.

          1. Yes, Ronald Reagan would tell stories precisely about the womam (Linda Taylor) that the Chicago Tribune wrote about.

            Because of course any critiques of the welfare state or any highlighting of abuses by participants in welfare fraud is, ipso facto, RACIST! right shreeky-poo?

            Grow a fucking brain,

    3. maybe not, but LBJ was pretty sure that his Great Society would have those ni&&ers; voting Dem for a long time.

      1. He said that about the CRA not the great society.

        1. doesn’t make it better.

      2. What ’bout the sheep? I Think LBJ was big into comments aboout people & sheep…

    4. But no progtard has ever been in a rural environment. They occasionally go into the desert.

  7. But just as advocates of a a large and forceful state aren’t bound by the bigotry of a William Jennings Bryan or a Woodrow Wilson, so Cliven Bundy’s moronic notions about race don’t rope in those who are skeptical about just that sort of government.

    Liberals do have the advantage of the fact that the people you’re talking about have been dead for the better part of a century. This Bundy guy is, like, alive and well and all over the news right now in 2014, being hailed as an antigovernment hero by FOX and assorted others who now have egg on their faces.

    It’s not like white Southerners 100 years ago were champions of racial progress. I happen to believe that American small-government conservatism and racism are inextricably linked, but that is a thesis I’d have to defend. But absolutely nothing is going on here except Mr. Bundy serving as Exhibit A in that thesis. Grasping at Woodrow Wilsons doesn’t do anything to absolve him or his defenders.

    1. There are multiple radical blacks who daily call for an all out race war against whites. Liberals clearly need to answer for these people and explain why they don’t support the mass genocide of white America.

      Conservatives really have an advantage in that they don’t have to answer for supporters calling for a race war.

      1. Except the far more numerous, outspoken, and Internet-present white racists calling for a race war.

        1. like who tony?

          1. Everyone who criticizes government! Duh! It’s code!

          2. I don’t think anyone in the mainstream on either side is calling for a no-shit race war. But if you venture into the fringes of the Internet, you’ll find white supremacists calling for such a thing (and they sometimes invade more mainstream outlets)

        2. Linky-loo?

          But, let’s be fair, Tony. We won’t ask you to prove your anti-race-war bona fides, if you don’t aske us the same.

          1. Stormfront. Or any article linked by Drudge with a comments section.

            1. so… all members of Stormfront are conservatives… and conservatives are libertarians… therefore all libertarians are members of Stormfront?

              Have I got that right?

              In the days of yore I’ve fought – fists, mind you – white power skinheads. This rancher in NV has nothing on those guys in terms of outright racism.

          1. That’s even better than “Old Folk’s Home”

        3. Like who, Tony?

    2. But it was a good thing when the ACLU defended the rights of actual neo-Nazis to assemble and speak, but this guy is beyond the pale for being a casual racist who doesn’t actually want to subjugate an untermenschen to anything? The ACLU was right. These guys may be assholes, but they still don’t deserve to be abused by the government.

      1. “but this guy is beyond the pale for being a casual racist who doesn’t actually want to subjugate an untermenschen to anything?”

        Uh, I don’t know if that’s the case. He doesn’t explicitly call for a return to slavery, but he does say that black people abort their children and go to jail because they never learned to pick cotton, and that they were better off under slavery.

        1. Even if he did, so what? It is entirely non-germane to his disagreement with the Federal government. This guy is an asshole so the government should take his shit and lock him up?

          1. This guy is an asshole so the government should take his shit and lock him up?

            To the Tonys of the world, yes. Exhibit A: the dude who produced the obscure youtube video that did not actually result in Benghazi.

          2. That’s not what I was saying. I agree with you that his views on race should have no impact on the case.

      2. He absolutely has a right to be a vocal racist moron. But he’s not being abused by the government, he’s been sucking the government’s teat for 20 years then complaining about the bill being due. Now you try and tell me he’d be Sean Hannity’s poster boy if his skin were any other shade.

        1. But he’s not being abused by the government,

          Except for the part where they are killing his cattle and pushing him off land his family was using before the feds even showed up in Nevada.

          If you had a job and a house, Tony, you might be a little more empathetic to those that do.

          1. Don’t forget the part where they bulldozed stock tanks and irrigation improvements he had made to the land without a court order before the case was settled. Which, in that land, is just a worse way of killing his cattle than shooting them.

          2. Same as George Washington did with the Whiskey Rebellion.

            (you really should watch the Stewart smackdown of Hannity)

            1. Tu quoque.

            2. The best part about having principles is it doesn’t matter who was wrong in the past.

              1. ^THIS

            3. The Whiskey Rebellion popped into my head the second I first heard the Bundy story. I don’t need to watch John Stewart to see the parallels. But I did watch the DS segment on this and all Stewart did was to keep repeating that this guy broke the law and is a moocher. SFW? I’m sure I can find all kinds of lawbreakers and moochers with whom Stewart would find sympathy.

        2. So, if I take your shit and then lease it back to you at below market rates, I’m doing you a favor.

    3. You don’t think anything, retard. You feel. And you can’t defend your thesis because it is based upon nothing but feelings and fallacies.

                  1. I love it when you flex your YouTube PhD.

      1. Are you some kind of race traitor? That’s racist.

        1. At least I’m not a gender traitor, too, like this Black woman who published a book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation”, critical of the welfare state. Doesn’t she know that a book like that is just the same as snatching food away from an innocent baby!

    4. How does the Bundy guy being a racist asshole have anything to do with his case against the government or anti-government sentiment in general? That is pure ad hominem. Fuck the Bundy guy. He sounds like an idiot and I’m not convinced he has a legitimate claim. He’s just some guy. But even stupid racists can do good things. If some guy pulled you out of a burning car wreck, would you ask him to put you back in if you found out that he once said that God hates fags?
      Contemporary progressives/liberals still love Bryan and Wilson and other disgusting bigots from the progressive era. Using some idiot as your poster child is nothing compared to celebrating evil, racist pieces of shit who actually had or came close to having real power.

      1. But even stupid racists can do good things.

        That former KKK honcho who seems to have built half of West Virginia comes to mind.

        1. Oh, he didn’t build that – Uncle Sam’s tax slaves did.

      2. I’m also an unapologetic fan of T.S. Eliot and he didn’t exactly have modern racial attitudes. Everybody was a racist 100 years ago. What’s embarrassing is being one in 2014.

        1. Eliot was an odd bird. He was such a strict traditionalist he might have well been a supporter of slavery.

          I don’t say this to disparage because I also think he was brilliant. ‘The Waste Land’ is the greatest poem ever written.

          1. Dulce Et Decorum Est would like a word with you.

            1. Are we only hunting in the 20th century?

        2. Calvin Coolidge begs to differ:

          My dear Sir:

          Your letter is received, accompanied by a newspaper clipping which discusses the possibility that a colored man may be the Republican nominee for Congress from one of the New York districts. Referring to this newspaper statement, you say:

          “It is of some concern whether a Negro is allowed to run for Congress anywhere, at any time, in any party, in this, a white man’s country. Repeated ignoring of the growing race problem does not excuse us for allowing encroachments. Temporizing with the Negro whether he will or will not vote either a Democratic or a Republican ticket, as evidenced by the recent turnover in Oklahoma, is contemptible.”

          1. (cont.)

            Leaving out of consideration the manifest impropriety of the President intruding himself in a local contest for nomination, I was amazed to receive such a letter. During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. ?They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. Th?e suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color, I have taken my oath to support that Constitution. It is the source of your rights and my rights. I propose to regard it, and administer it, as the source of the rights of all the people, whatever their belief or race. A colored man is precisely as much entitled to submit his candidacy in a party primary, as is any other citizen. ?The decision must be made by the constituents to whom he offers himself, and by nobody else. . . .

            1. That’s a good one. Not everyone was a white supremacist back then.

              A lot more people, even among those who favored full civil rights for blacks, certainly had what would today seem like backward views on race back then. But there is a big difference between that and actually implementing policies that roll back civil rights for blacks, as Wilson did.

            2. It is the source of your rights and my rights.

              Oops.

            3. But don’t you get it Scruffy? Coolidge and his predecessor Harding, who created the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, really didn’t mean it! They were simply trying to trick black people into voting for them instead of Big Government Progressives who would hand them free stuff!

              Just like the Radical Republicans after the Civil War adopted the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to trick the freed slaves into voting for them!

        3. I’m also an unapologetic fan of T.S. Eliot and he didn’t exactly have modern racial attitudes. Everybody was a racist 100 years ago. What’s embarrassing is being one in 2014.

          Really? A rural white rancher in a remote part of Nevada has backwards views baout race, and you’re surprised?

          Name a place, anywhere in the world, where the rural people have liberal and cosmopolitain attitudes.

          Bundy’s attitudes are neither particular surprising, nor particularly relevant. I would bet that if you went and interviewed a typical black southern resident of a housing project they might turn out to have embarassing views about politics, such as believing that the CIA created AIDs or something. But does that mean that we should discount all their greivances against the local police?

          1. By all means, make him your poster boy. Die on that hill. If you think this guy is doing the small-government movement any favors, you’re crazy. Even if he weren’t about as racist as a person can get these days, the principle isn’t even there. He’s a welfare queen.

            1. Nobody’s actually making him a poster boy. I’m not convinced he has a legit claim either.

              What interests me are two issues that the Bundy controversy raises. Independent of the merit of Bundy’s claim, one issue is local control over land, and the disparity between Eastern and Western states in that regard.

              The second is the relative justice or injustice of the property rights law in this respect, in which we have a guy whose family has been ranching this land since long before the feds showed up, getting disposessed.

              I think you can make a case that even progressives would be sympathetic with, if they could get over their knee-jerk reaction to the fact that he’s a white man with non-untypical views about race for a rural white guy.

              If Bundy was a Native American in Bolivia, your response would likely be 180 degrees opposite.

              1. Just to clarify. the property rights law is essentially, is it JUST for a remote government to be dispossessing people who have been living on and working the land, simply because they don’t have legal title to it.

                Titling and absentee landownership is a major issue for poor people all over the world.

              2. You said it Hazel.

              3. There’s a reason that the views would be flipped.

                A Native American in Bolivia has been systematically oppressed by a huge variety of systemic problems and many of them continue to suffer hugely.

                Bundy, however, has had a tremendous amount of privilege afforded to him, and is quite capable of being totally okay if he didn’t have access to that land.

                1. So, opposition to government overreach/bullying should be contingent upon how much the citizen in question suffers.

                  Got it.

                2. Bundy, however, has had a tremendous amount of privilege afforded to him, and is quite capable of being totally okay if he didn’t have access to that land.

                  Really? How is he priviledged?
                  And how easy is it to move a ranch?
                  You’re talking about abandoning buildings and improvements from the past 100 years his family has lived there.
                  And he can’t sell any of those things because the land is off-limits for ranching, so nobody else would buy them. They have zero resale value.

                  His cattle are the only thing he actually owns that has any value.

                  1. I’m absolutely fine with having a political debate about all of this.

                    Mr. Bundy chose to have armed militia members do the talking for him instead.

                    1. I don’t think the feds went out there to have a discussion.

                    2. Sometimes the only thing that initiates a debate is civil disobedience.

                      What, pray tell is the difference between what Bundy and his supporters did, and what, say, a group of Black Panthers would do when holding one of their demonstrations?

                    3. I don’t know of any armed Black Panther demonstrations, but maybe I’m reading the wrong newspapers. No doubt these supposed events would draw the live-free-or-die cheers of the militia groups, who aren’t like 98% white supremacist at all.

                      If we’re going to talk about civil disobedience, then what’s all important is the cause itself. And the cause is $1 million in welfare for cows. ?Viva la revoluci?n libertaria!

                    4. I’m pretty sure those weren’t squirt guns they’re holding in the iconic picture from Seattle. Google is tough to use though, isn’t it?

          2. I would bet that if you went and interviewed a typical black southern resident of a housing project they might turn out to have embarassing views about politics, such as believing that the CIA created AIDs or something.

            The dumbest claims I have ever heard honestly made came while I was stuck in court in Elizabeth, NJ.

            Sample: George Bush gave Johnny Cochran cancer as a warning to other blacks not to get too rich.

            1. There is some crazy shit. But I can excuse some racial paranoia on the part of African Americans given that for hundreds of years there actually was a large conspiracy to deny them rights and full citizenship and things like the Tuskeegee syphilis experiment did happen.

        4. But Elliot was a poet. Wilson was actually putting his vile racism into national policy. He wasn’t just carrying on tradition either. He actually imposed new racists policies in the federal government. Big difference.

    5. I happen to believe that American small-government conservatism and racism are inextricably linked

      You also happen to have proven yourself to be incredibly fucking stupid time and again. Those two things are probably not coincidences.

    6. What do white Southerners from 100 years ago have to do with this conversation?

      1. The concept of inherited sin is at least as popular among progtards as it is among most other religious folk.

        1. My point was that, but also that it makes no sense to equate Southern with conservative. American conservatism is not and has never been exclusively Southern, and there were many racist Southern segregationists who supported some or many aspects of political Progressivism (like Wilson)

          1. It’s simple progressive logic: There used to be slaves in the south (there were slaves in the north too, but we’re conveniently ignoring that), therefore all southerners were racist and we can just dismiss them. Southerners back then didn’t want the federal government to mess with their stuff, and neither do southerners today so they’re obviously all racist and we can dismiss them. Cliven Bundy doesn’t want the feds messing with his stuff, and he said some actual racist things, so this just proves all southern (Nevadans) are racists and we can just dismiss them.

      2. First, it is the duty of black men to judge the South discriminatingly. The present generation of Southerners are not responsible for the past, and they should not be blindly hated or blamed for it. Furthermore, to no class is the indiscriminate endorsement of the recent course of the South toward Negroes more nauseating than to the best thought of the South. The South is not “solid”; it is a land in the ferment of social change, wherein forces of all kinds are fighting for supremacy; and to praise the ill the South is today perpetrating is just as wrong as to condemn the good. Discriminating and broad-minded criticism is what the South needs, — needs it for the sake of her own white sons and daughters, and for the insurance of robust, healthy mental and moral development.

        1. Today even the attitude of the Southern whites toward the blacks is not, as so many assume, in all cases the same; the ignorant Southerner hates the Negro, the workingmen fear his competition, the money-makers wish to use him as a laborer, some of the educated see a menace in his upward development, while others — usually the sons of the masters — wish to help him to rise. National opinion has enabled this last class to maintain the Negro common schools, and to protect the Negro partially in property, life, and limb. Through the pressure of the money-makers, the Negro is in danger of being reduced to semi-slavery, especially in the country districts; the workingmen, and those of the educated who fear the Negro, have united to disfranchise him, and some have urged his deportation; while the passions of the ignorant are easily aroused to lynch and abuse any black man. To praise this intricate whirl of thought and prejudice is nonsense; to in-veigh indiscriminately against “the South” is unjust; but to use the same breath in praising Governor Aycock, exposing Senator Morgan, arguing with Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, and denouncing Senator Ben Tillman, is not only sane, but the imperative duty of thinking black men.

          1. From that RACIST!!! author W.E.B Du Bois

    7. I happen to believe that American small-government conservatism and racism are inextricably linked,

      and this is a small part of what makes you mendacious. Unable to defend your thesis, you use it as a personal attack in hopes of putting people on the defensive.

      Racism is and always has been part and parcel of progressivism, from support for eugenics to programs that reek of condescension toward minorities to defending the indefensible results of those policies.

      1. Bringing up eugenics is a sign of desperation. Progressives, by definition, were also behind the civil rights movement while white southerners, states righters, and various other Republican and Dixicrat scum fought tooth and nail every advancement on behalf of minorities, and still do to this day. The fact is, you can’t explain why all minorities vote heavily for Democrats without making some bullshit and obviously racist claim about how easily duped those people are.

        1. The fact is, you can’t explain why all minorities vote heavily for Democrats without making some bullshit and obviously racist claim about how easily duped those people are.

          Argumentum ad populum.

          1. Well done sir!

        2. Republicans overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights acts. And while you can holler about the Southern switch (though it’s grossly inaccurate to say that most Southern politicians of the time switched to being Republicans – they didn’t), but the fact is that even before that, the Republican party had been the more conservative party for decades. Even 40 years earlier, Harding followed Wilson, and supported an anti-lynching law that was ultimately blocked by Southern senators.

          Defining the civil rights movement and the history of American racism as progressive vs. conservative is grossly inaccurate.

        3. Civil Rights Act of 1968 – Votes by Party

          The original House version:[19]

          Democratic Party: 152?96 (61?39%)
          Republican Party: 138?34 (80?20%)

          Cloture in the Senate:[20]

          Democratic Party: 44?23 (66?34%)
          Republican Party: 27?6 (82?18%)

          The Senate version:[19]

          Democratic Party: 46?21 (69?31%)
          Republican Party: 27?6 (82?18%)

          The Senate version, voted on by the House:[19]

          Democratic Party: 153?91 (63?37%)
          Republican Party: 136?35 (80?20%)

          Try again, shithead.

          1. Not only does this vote discount his premise, but his claims of this being rooted in progressivism are utterly false. Prior to the CRA of 1964, there were already two other CRAs in 1957 and 1960. The 1957 CRA was proposed by Herbert Brownell, Eisenhower’s AG. the 1960 CRA was proposed by Eisenhower, himself. There would have been no CRA of 1964 without those precedents. Additionally, the CRA of 1964 and the VRA of 1965 worked to fulfill the seven goals suggested by President Eisenhower in 1959:
            1. Strengthen the laws that would root out threats to obstruct court orders in school desegregation cases
            2. Provide more investigative authority to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in crimes involving the destruction of schools/churches
            3. Grant Attorney General power to investigate Federal election records
            4. Provide temporary program for aid to agencies to assist changes necessary for school desegregation decisions
            5. Authorize provision of education for children of the armed forces
            6. Consider establishing a statutory Commission on Equal Job Opportunity Under Government Contracts (later mandated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to create the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
            7. Extend the Civil Rights Commission an additional two years.

            I know of no progressive who claims Eisenhower, do you, sir?

            1. Eisenhower was sort of above politics but he’d be considered to the left of Elizabeth Warren today.

              1. Wow, that is perhaps the most risible statement in this thread. You do realize that one of the planks of his platform was defeating the New Deal platform that had been in effect for 20 years under FDR and Truman?

        4. Orval Faubus
          Benjamin Travis Laney
          John Stennis
          James Eastland
          Allen Ellender
          Russell Long
          John Sparkman
          John McClellan
          Richard Russell
          Herman Talmadge
          George Wallace
          Lester Maddox
          John Rarick
          Robert Byrd
          Al Gore, Sr.
          Bull Connor

          Kill yourself Tony.

    8. I support small government and I am not racist. Exhibit B disproves your thesis.

      1. Sorry, those are mutually exclusive. You are too racist! ADMIT IT!

        /progtard

  8. One big stupid thing that Chait assumes is that states’ rights people are necessarily anti-government or anti-state. They are just against the federal government assuming certain powers. The Civil war didn’t happen because southerners were anti-government. They just wanted a government that would make it easy for them to maintain the slave economy and the established, racist, social order. Institutional slavery and later institutional racism and segregation required a strong government to survive.

  9. Yay, Marcotte has weighed in too!

    Something to remember when looking back over all this. Most conservatives who rushed to support Bundy knew that he probably was this odious of a racist?anti-government cranks almost always are?but they also knew they could coast on the benefit of the doubt that is extended as a matter of course to angry white right wing nuts on this issue, even when they’re spouting barely coded racist arguments. And he blew it by opening his big mouth and confirming what everyone, and I mean everyone, already knew was likely true.

    1. Uh, so if were, say, a Communist, that would make anything the BLM did to him OK?

      1. No, silly. Communists are pro-government, and therefore not at all racist.

    2. So, they definitely knew what was probably true?

      already knew was likely true

      Is that how you hedge, Mandy? Hell’s bells, you’d better pray that you can get a lot smarter than that. You don’t possess anything else that would be marketable.

    3. The fact that Amanduh still has the slightest credibility shows that progs don’t care about intellectual honesty.

      1. The fact that Amanduh still has the slightest credibility a paying job shows that progs don’t care about intellectual honesty.

        Maybe splitting hairs on my part, but you are most certainly correct.

      2. Yeah, just read the comments ๐Ÿ™

        1. I will not! Nothing’s gonna sucker me into doing that.

          Oh, you poor dear. You did, didn’t you…? I’m so, so sorry.

          1. I can’t help myself.

            1. Don’t touch it!

              Still, the first step on the road to recovery is recognizing you have the problem!

  10. I’ve never seen the New Deal compared to a sailing ship before. But had I thought to make the analogy, I would have gone more towards a first rate ship-of-the-line: big, unwieldy, and built to stand there and take a beating while dishing out destruction.

    1. That implies good construction and a sound plan. I think a mutant whale leviathan with more teeth than the osmond family and thousands of grasping, crushing tentrils sprouting at ungainly angles from it’s bloated, diseased flesh would be a more apt nautical analogue.

      1. So Cthulhu?

        1. A lesser eldritch abomination, maybe. But certainly something that could be used as evidence against the argument that there is a kind and loving God.

          1. The Old Testament is the only evidence you need.

    2. The USS DEBTSLAVERYLIBERTYREDUCER?

  11. “they abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.”

    I get what he was *trying* to say, that inner city blacks aren’t really better off with a complete dependency on the state, but he basically chose the stupidest and most tone-deaf way of saying it.

    1. The horrible fact is that for many black Americans life isn’t much better today than it was under slavery. That is as they say a very uncomfortable truth for white liberals. So rather than deal with it, they twist the statement’s meaning to make it seem like pointing out this fact is somehow saying that slavery was good rather than what it really says which is the current condition of the black under class is just that horrible.

      1. The horrible fact is that for many black Americans life isn’t much better today than it was under slavery.

        John channels his inner Bundy.

      2. “The horrible fact is that for many black Americans life isn’t much better today than it was under slavery.”

        If by “fact” you mean “idiotic hyperbole that only someone completely ignorant of history would say” then yes.

        1. There is nothing idiotic about it. How is someone sitting in federal prison with a two or three decade sentence in front of them that much better off than a slave?

          How are children born into complete dependency without any sort of functioning family life much better off than they were under slavery?

          In the slave owning south it was illegal to teach a black person to read. In 21st Century America we send millions of black children to schools that ensure that they are illiterate and charge their parents tax money for our trouble.

          If there is anything idiotic going on, it is people like you total refusal to face up to just how bad things are in parts of this country.

          1. “There is nothing idiotic about it. How is someone sitting in federal prison with a two or three decade sentence in front of them that much better off than a slave?”

            If you, or Bundy, wanted to make an argument strictly about people in prison, then you can at least have a rational debate about that. However, 1) neither one of you are doing that 2) The vast majority of black people do not go to prison for 2-3 decades 3) Not all people in prison are black 4) As I pointed out below, prison isn’t an automatic life sentence like slavery was (unless you got lucky), and it’s not automatically hereditary either. Those are pretty huge differences

            “How are children born into complete dependency without any sort of functioning family life much better off than they were under slavery?”

            Do I really have to explain how that situation, while tragic and awful, is not comparable to life under slavery?

            “If there is anything idiotic going on, it is people like you total refusal to face up to just how bad things are in parts of this country.”

            I live right in the middle of “one of those parts of this country.” I’m well aware that life is far from great for people here in South LA. That doesn’t mean it’s as bad, or nearly as bad as slavery.

            1. Calidisisent

              Maybe you don’t understand but “much better off” means they are better off but still pretty bad off. IT DOES NOT MEAN that they are in the same condition.

              Please do me a favor and stop basing all of your responses on the assumption that I said they were in the same condition. That is not what I said.

              1. What is your definition of “much better off?” Are you seriously arguing that one has to make $50,000 a year and live in a middle-class neighborhood before one is “much better off” than someone in chattel slavery in the 1800s?

                1. Calidissident, I understand John’s point, and it’s not the straw man you keep pummeling. Are you daft, or deliberately obtuse?

                2. Are you seriously arguing that one has to make $50,000 a year and live in a middle-class neighborhood before one is “much better off” than someone in chattel slavery in the 1800s?

                  No. Are you seriously incapable of understanding that the seriously poor in this country, and there are many of them, have a quality of life much better than that of a slave?

                  We can debate differences all day. In the end though, we are arguing degrees of horror. That doesn’t defend slavery. It massively indicts the current situation by even being able to have the discussion.

                  1. “No. Are you seriously incapable of understanding that the seriously poor in this country, and there are many of them, have a quality of life much better than that of a slave?”

                    I think you’re missing a word there. I don’t have a problem realizing what that literally says I do. You do in fact.

                    “We can debate differences all day. In the end though, we are arguing degrees of horror. That doesn’t defend slavery.”

                    I never accused you of defending slavery. And I never said lower-class black people have it great in this country.

                    It’s odd that, normally, you are one of the people chiding progressives for exaggerating how bad people in poverty in the modern US have it, and yet you’er seriously arguing that poor blacks have it “not much better” than black people did under slavery 150+ years ago.

                    1. and yet you’er seriously arguing that poor blacks have it “not much better” than black people did under slavery 150+ years ago.

                      Like I asked before, are you being daft or deliberately obtuse? Because that is not John’s argument.

                    2. sarcasmic, before you jump into an argument, maybe you should make sure you actually read what the fuck people wrote.

                      This is John’s first comment I responded to:

                      “The horrible fact is that for many black Americans life isn’t much better today than it was under slavery.”

                      That is almost exactly the same as what I said – the only difference is that he says “many” instead of “poor” – but who exactly are the “many?”

                      He made it clear in the next comment (and elsewhere) that he wasn’t specifically referring to black prisoners, because he also said this:

                      “How are children born into complete dependency without any sort of functioning family life much better off than they were under slavery?

                      In the slave owning south it was illegal to teach a black person to read. In 21st Century America we send millions of black children to schools that ensure that they are illiterate and charge their parents tax money for our trouble.”

                    3. In principle I agree with John. In principle. Sure, there is no comparison when you get down to the nitty-gritty, but in principle there is a comparison to be made. It’s not the greatest analogy in the world, but in some ways it fits.

                      As a thought experiment, imagine slavery still existed. Slaves were not cheap. Tens of thousands of today’s dollars apiece. There would likely be an entire industry based around keeping that investment in good working order.
                      Who gives a shit about poor blacks? Nobody.

                      Granted, it’s not the best analogy or comparison, but in principle there’s something there.

                    4. I think if John changed his argument to “the quality of life ratio between whites/blacks today is not much different than it was during slavery” it’d come across better. Life pretty much sucked for everybody back then, but more for blacks than whites. Today, life is pretty good for just about everybody, but still better for whites.

                    5. This is right. Life has improved for everybody, but less for blacks.

                      But why is this? Not because Woodrow Wilson was a eugenicist or whatever the fuck. It’s because the laws (especially drug laws) that have been shoveling them into prison by the millions were explicitly racist. If whites were doing crack in the 80s, there would have been no war on it. Prior to that there was that little period where blacks had no rights in large parts of the country. Poverty doesn’t magically cure itself with time, it can sustain itself over generations without active mitigation efforts. Efforts conservatives and libertarians see it as their raison d’etre to oppose.

                    6. Since when do libertarians not oppose the WOD? Or are you just non-sequitur’ing your way to a half-ass argument?

                    7. Does he ever do anything else?

                    8. You get credit for that, and it’s a very important domestic policy area libertarians and liberals (and increasingly everyone else) agree on.

                      On the other hand you blame poverty on poor people and oppose any attempt to address it that doesn’t involve lecturing people about bootstraps. Liberals understand that racism, poverty, and high incarceration rates for minorities are all completely interconnected. And that you can’t solve any of it without solving the root issue of poverty, which means transferring down some of the wealth that has been denied the underprivilaged. The lecturing route hasn’t seemed to work so far.

                    9. Nice strawman you’ve got there Tony.

                    10. Yeah, liberals have done a bang up job on ending that war everytime they’ve controlled congress in the last 30 years.

                    11. Poverty doesn’t magically cure itself with time

                      There is a magical cure for poverty: Economic liberty.

                      Free enterprise is an amazing thing. It allows people to create wealth and lift themselves out of poverty rather than having to depend on transfers of wealth from people who already created it. The former makes everyone wealthier, the latter makes everyone poorer.

                      When there are so many rules and regulations that one must follow before engaging in economic activity, it is no longer free enterprise. It’s asking permission and obeying orders.

                      Third world nations are not in poverty because of a lack of rules. They often have more rules than we do. The purpose of the rules is to prevent economic activity and keep the poor down.

                      Yet you support every restriction on business that comes down the pike. Why do you hate poor people? Why do you want to keep them poor?

                    12. Prove it. Peer-reviewed study with statistically significant results, please.
                      If you could find a meta-analysis of several studies, that would be even better.

                      Unless you can do that, your opinions are just based in abstract thought and philosophy.

                    13. Third world nations are not in poverty because of a lack of rules.

                      Yes and no. For 3rd world countries it’s about the lack of rule of law. In those places it doesn’t matter what the words on paper say. It matters who showed up at your door, what they demand of you, and what threats they make.

                    14. Except that once again, you’re wrong, historically speaking. One of the largest supporters of disparate sentencing for crack cocaine was the Congressional Black Caucus, which is very much to the left of center. They even pushed for harsher penalties.

                      Additionally, legislation for the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was introduced by Jim Wright, a Democrat. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which continued the sentencing disparities was introduced by Tom Foley, who, you guessed it was a Democrat.

                      While Wright and Foley may not be died in the wool progressives, they at least hail from the same party. I will even give them that their intentions were good, and perhaps not overtly racist. However, we all know what road is paved with good intentions…

                    15. Good old Unlce Joe Biden had a big hand in harsh drug penalties and asset forfeiture.

                    16. Except whites did do crack in the 80’s. I had neighbors down the block whose daughter was into it. And we have had tenants of our rental property who smoked crack as well. I still occasionally find crack pipes when I go for walks. I live out in what used to be the boonies – crack was everywhere…just as meth later was.

                    17. That was in response to Tony.

                    18. That was in response to Tony.

      3. Not for the black people in prison, certainly. It would take quite a bit of convincing to get me to believe that it’s true for free blacks.

        1. Thaddeus Russell makes a compelling argument.

        2. “Not for the black people in prison, certainly.”

          Even then, there are still some pretty big differences, like the fact that prison isn’t an automatic life sentence for most people, while slavery was (unless you got lucky and had a master kind enough to free you), and the children of prisoners aren’t born into the prison system.

          1. More slaves ran away and made it to Canada than people have ever escaped from federal or state prison.

            Sure the kind of mutli decade sentences we hand out for drug offenses are not “life” but that is pretty cold comfort for the people serving them.

            Again, I never said the same. I said not much better.

            1. “More slaves ran away and made it to Canada than people have ever escaped from federal or state prison.

              Sure the kind of mutli decade sentences we hand out for drug offenses are not “life” but that is pretty cold comfort for the people serving them”

              Again, if you wanted to strictly make a comparison between prisoners (regardless of race) serving multi-decade prison sentences, then we could at least make a somewhat reasonable comparison. That’s not what you are doing, however.

              Another pretty huge difference is that, in theory, you have to do something to go to prison. Many people in prison are innocent, and far more shouldn’t be there even if they are guilty, but that’s not like slavery, where you were born into it as a baby and died a slave as well.

              1. Another pretty huge difference is that, in theory, you have to do something to go to prison.

                Sure and in practice you have to sell or someway be connected with the drug trade. Yeah, people choose to do that and it is something but that doesn’t make it anymore just. I suppose you could say “well you had to be born black to be a slave”. That is true but it is still immoral.

                Enslaving people by race is morally worse than locking up hundreds of thousands of people for years and decades for victimless crimes. I am not seeing how that distinction is very meaningful.

                1. “Sure and in practice you have to sell or someway be connected with the drug trade. Yeah, people choose to do that and it is something but that doesn’t make it anymore just. I suppose you could say “well you had to be born black to be a slave”. That is true but it is still immoral.”

                  I wasn’t saying it isn’t immoral. I’m saying that going to prison for drugs, while reprehensible, is not as bad, nor is it close to as bad, as the system of chattel slavery that existed in the United States for 250 years (including colonial times), where most people of a certain race were enslaved from birth till death. Saying that something isn’t comparable to the Holocaust doesn’t mean you thing that other thing isn’t bad. This is the same principle at work. And in any case, my original comment was critiquing primarily the take by you and Bundy that life on welfare is “not much better” than life under slavery.

                  1. I didn’t say you said it was immoral. You saying slavery is a different degree of immoral than what we are doing now. I disagree. I think you way under estimate the immorality of what is happening now.

        3. I didn’t say it was the same. I said it wasn’t much better. It seems to me being a young black male in the inner city who went to schools that left him functionally illiterate and who probably has some kind of bullshit criminal record sounds pretty bad. Slavery bad? No. But not far up the scale. And sure as hell worse off than many blacks who lived under the worst of Jim Crow. You tell me how the NYPD or any other big city police department is any different or better than the worst racist southern Sheriff under Jim Crow. I sure don’t see it.

          1. Different, yes. The worst Southern Sheriffs could get away with having explicitly racist policies and practices. Now they at least have to pretend.
            Better is harder to say. It’s better in that you can’t get away with being explicitly and overtly racist. But it’s also worse in lots of other ways.

            1. 100 years ago we had lynch mobs. Now we have SWAT teams and stop-and-frisk. If it’s better today, it’s not by a huge amount.

      4. It should be intuitively obvious to any ration person that we have freed blacks from private slavery and turned many of them into wards of the state.

        Saying that out loud makes one a vicious racist.

    2. That is because you are a racist! I bet you post on Reason.com and have one of those concrete lawn jockeys in your yard!

      1. Hey now, I hire Beaners to take care of my lawn. But you gotta watch ’em.

        It’s metaphorical at best, the slavery vs welfare state argument, and it falls flat on its face when agency and freedom of movement are brought into it, but the total dependency on the state is a difference without much distinction, in terms of results.

  12. “while conservatism and racism may be historically, sociologically, and psychologically inseparable, it is absolutely necessary to debate conservative ideas on their own terms.”

    Que?

    1. “Now that I’ve got the high-ground and my artillery dug in, let’s have a battle!”

    2. Dude! It’s true because it feels true! Just like the rich are getting rich and the poor are getting poorer! It feels true so it must be true!

    3. Conservatism only means anything in context. Why do so many people fail to grasp this?
      If your traditional way of life is racism and slavery, then conservative is tied to all those bad things. If your traditional way of life is hard work and self reliance, then conservative means something quite different.

      So while it is certainly true that wanting to preserve Jim Crow was a conservative viewpoint in a certain place and time, that is no basis to say anything about conservatism today or in general.

    4. Remember, the word “may” and the phrase “may or may not” are semantically equivalent. Anytime some says “may”, you may substitute the phrase. It generally shows that their argument is utter horseshit when you do.

      conservatism and racism may or may not be historically, sociologically, and psychologically inseparable,

      Kind of a yawner, no? But he hangs an indictment of millions of people off of it.

      1. I think “may” has a slightly different function in that context. There it is used effectively to say “let us assume for the sake of argument” rather than to address the actual truth of the statement.

  13. Idiotic premise is idiotic.

    Argument fails.

  14. It’s the magic word. If you call someone a racist, that means you’re morally superior to them, and since you’re morally superior, you win the argument. QED.

    1. Jon Chait is racist.

      I feel like a winner already.

      1. Jon Chait is a stupid, blathering shitstain.

        I feel much better.

  15. Honestly, Jonathan Chait has me perplexed…

    He’s a Leftist. What’s the surprise? Consider the source.

  16. This is just playing to an audience. Ho hum. Easiest/Laziest form of “journalism” there is. You take the extreme example and tell people already predisposed to believe it’s common on the “other side” that they’re right. I used to play a game just to amuse myself that kind of mirrors this. I would fall in with a group I knew to be firmly in the GOP camp and agree with them on many fiscal positions. When they thought I was “one of them,” I’d casually bring up my anti-death penalty and anti-drug criminalization stances and watch their jaws drop. Then I’d do the same with Dem friends. I’d go all in as a pro-choice defender, then hit them with my position on abolishing federal income taxation entirely and cutting fed spending by drastic amounts. Good times!

  17. I think I get what they’re trying to say. Much like roads are necessary in order for roving gangs of bloodthirsty libertarian pillagers to get to the next village and have their way with the poor innocent liberals’ womenfolk, a powerful central government is necessary to operate the death camps so fervently desired by the howling mobs of “leave me the fuck alone” libertarians.

    1. howling mobs of “leave me the fuck alone” libertarians.

      You, sirrah! I do not howl. Sure I may be part of a bloodthirsty gang of pillagers and often part of a mob, granted.

  18. So… I’m wrapping my head around Chait’s comments, and so, if skepticism of state power of government is to be conservative, what did that make Hitler?

    1. I need to quit working while I post. ‘skepticism of state power of government […]’

    2. “Excellent question…tell you what, I’m just gong to remove all memory of that question out of my mind and go back to my talking points.”

  19. wait, isn’t this just “the _fill in the blank_ shooter is a tea party/republican/libertarian, thereby all members are violent thing” all over again?

    The media says jump – and everyone rushes in to say “how high?”

  20. Let me see if I understand Chait’s argument (I try not to read the inane ramblings of retards if I can help it).

    Cliven Bundy is a racist.
    Cliven Bundy is suspicious of government.
    Therefore everyone who’s suspicious of government is a racist.

    What a dipshit.

    1. He took the same informal logic class that Shriek did.

  21. #1) Not all people with a strong antipathy towards the federal government turn out to be racist. Not even a majority of them do.

    #2) It is NOT AT ALL surprising that a rural rancher in a remote part of Nevada turns out to have backwards social views. This is like being shocked, SHOCKED, that the people of Afghanistan, or rural pakistan, have fairly conservative views about women. Does this mean that there is no value in protecting the rights of Afghani or Pakistani villiagers?

    #3) Cliven Bundy’s views about race really ought to have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on the outcome of his conflict with the federal government. In this country, we treat people equally under the law, even racists are entitled to EQUAL TREATMENT by the government.

    #4) Even if Bundy’s case has no legal merit, the reason it is a flashpoint is due to related issues that have medit, independent of whether Bundy’s claim, in particular is right or wrong. And that is the injustice of the federal government’s control of large amounts of land in Western states, and the consequent inability of the people who live there to exercise local control over their land. This is a separate issue that deserves to be considered on it’s own merits.

  22. Even before Bundy opened his mouth to reveal a yawning chasm of idiocy, I noted that his standoff with the feds was a sideshow to a more contemporary debate over the control of western lands.

    And yet the ding-dong brigade wants to make him Libertarian hero of the week. Perhaps the better question is why libertarians are so stupid that people like Bundy routinely con them into supporting cause celebs that aren’t actually in their interests and then why, after it’s thoroughly obvious they should have done more research before jumping in, they insist on doubling down.

    1. My sentiments as well. As much as I would like to see the BLM neutered, Bundy is a highly suspect hero.

    2. You mean he didn’t deserve any support when the feds were taking and destroying his property because he made some racist statements?

      One has nothing to do with the other.

      1. It doesn’t have to do with that. Bundy evaded court orders for 15 years prior to the 2013 judgement. His stonewalling has included moving his cattle off the contested area onto land that was obviously not being contested by him and instead owned by the National Park Service.

        In fact, Bundy’s whole case rests on the assertion that the federal government does not have rights to the land. But he is not claiming ownership. He is claiming that the State of Nevada and the local government have ownership instead.

    3. it’s thoroughly obvious they should have done more research before jumping in

      Is it? Have his ownership claims been proven to be bullshit? Plus, there’s the fact that many libertarians believe the BLM’s very existence is illegitimate.

      1. Bundy is not claiming ownership. He is claiming that Nevada’s Open Range Law is in effect on the lands in question.

        In 1893, Nevada law “exempted owners of
        “livestock running at large on the ranges or
        commons” from civil liability for trespass
        pursuant to NRS 568.300″ (Nevada Attorney
        General, 1965). Open Range is defined by
        Nevada Statute in NRS 568.355 as used in
        NRS 568.360 and 568.370 as “all unenclosed
        land outside of cities and towns upon which
        cattle, sheep or other domestic animals by
        custom, license, lease or permit are grazed or
        permitted to roam” (NRS 568.360 and 568.370)

    4. Let’s say there is a member of the Black Panther Party. The city government wants to take over his house via eminent domain so a new stadium can be built.

      People rally around the unfairness of the situation, decrying the power of the government.

      The person in question then says something like “We Need to Kill White Babies by Bombing Nurseries”
      http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..of-whites/

      Should that change the morality of the city’s decision?

      1. Racist!

  23. This is yet again a progressive pushing this election cycle’s meme that the GOP is racist. Even Holder is doing it. So expect to here this shit ad nauseam from now until November. That and the “war on women” is all they’ve got.

  24. Who gives a shit if this Bundy guy is a racist? It is completely irrelevant to his problems with the federal government, or to the underlying issue of the feds controlling 80 percent of Nevada.

    At this point, I tune out immediately whenever the word “racist” pops up. It’s become nothing more than a reflexive insult wielded by prog shitheads.

    1. I thoroughly endorse this position. Ignore his racist rant, focus on the principle. Keep him in the news. Make him the next Joe the Plumber. Please.

      1. Why it’s as if the words “prog shithead” acted like the Bat Signal.

      2. We all know that you would wholly endorse the BLM killing the man and his entire family if you thought them doing so would swing the polls a tenth of a point in the Democrats’ favor, so I’m surprised merely typing out the word “principle” didn’t give you some sort of seizure.

        1. I do not support escalation because this country is full of paranoid morons who would jump at the chance to blow up another federal building. They’re acting awfully itchy as it is.

          1. So just to be clear: You don’t disagree with the feds pulling another Ruby Ridge because it would be wrong, you disagree with it because you’re afraid of possible public reactions?

            1. The only person in the wrong here is Mr. Bundy, who has defied court orders and the law and has decided that he is entitled to do so at the point of a gun. He is the aggressor, he is the initiator of force, and he is stealing from me. Oh, and turns out he’s an extreme racist. You guys sure know how to pick your battles, don’t you?

              I’d prefer the resolution with the least bloodshed, and unfortunately in this country that means paying attention to the vast network of heavily armed white supremacists and other anti-federal groups who are making no secret of their desire to become martyrs for the cause over this bullshit.

              1. He is the aggressor, he is the initiator of force, and he is stealing from me.

                Such solipstic nonsense. He’s not stealing shit from you, unless you think he’s keeping you from hooking up with one of the Cirque du Soleil dancers in Vegas.

                1. Yeah, I love how they say he’s stealing from you and me (or the American People-TM) as if truly we all collectively own 87% of Nevada.

                  1. I want to take out a bank loan on my share of it. I wonder if that would fly with the bank?

          2. I do not support escalation because this country is full of paranoid morons who would jump at the chance to blow up another federal building.

            Yes, the dynamic changes quite a bit when there’s a chance the government might recieve blowback from murdering people, doesn’t it?

            1. I know this may sound completely ridiculous to you, but I’d rather have the federal government making rules than random bands of self-appointed freedom defenders I didn’t get to vote for and who are mostly white supremacists, violence fetishists, and extremely dumb.

              1. I’d rather have the federal government making rules than random bands of self-appointed freedom defenders I didn’t get to vote for and who are mostly white supremacists, violence fetishists, and extremely dumb.

                Way to hit all the urban SWPL boogeymen stereotypes there, goon.

              2. But you’re totally cool with mostly white supremacists, violence fetishists, and extremely dumb people when you voted for them.

      3. Of course you do. For you, everything is about how it will play out in the media and whether or not it will save the Dems from getting slaughtered in November. Nothing is about principle. It never is.

        1. It’s about what’s best for human beings, actually, and that’s about a million times more respectable a motive as your so-called principles.

          I just think it’s bad for human beings to put people in charge who don’t even acknowledge the existence of the single biggest threat human beings face, and a few other big threats besides that one. Call me crazy. Democrats are the lucky beneficiaries of the fact that Republicans are batshit crazy and apocalyptically dangerous, that’s all.

          1. Principals, not principles.

            1. You get one or the other, skippy. I didn’t make the rules.

          2. “single biggest threat human beings face” President Jeb Bush?

    2. There is just one thing to understand about Chait; he is certain all of his opponents, who aren’t progressives, are arguing in bad faith. If you don’t realize that, his arguments make no sense. If you do, his arguments have an internal logic.

  25. And yet the ding-dong brigade wants to make him Libertarian hero of the week.

    Merely as a response to the left wing authoritarian belief that “trespassing” is a heinous offense punishable by death when perpetrated against the state.

    1. A damn funny position coming from people for whom property rights are sacrosanct and defensible with deadly force.

      1. Who are these people you speak of, Tony? Are any of them on here? Can you point them out to me?

      2. This issue is who has the real property right.

        And even if Bundy doesn’t, the reason people are pissed off is because the BLM is making decisions that benefit outside interests, not the people who live in Nevada who are directly affected by those decisions.

        1. That issue has been settled. All of his claims to the property have been presented before courts and rejected. By what other means than the court system do you propose to re-settle it?

          1. There is such a thing as an appeal to a higher court.

        2. Because the means he has chosen is to initiate an armed standoff.

  26. Ooh, ya got me that time, Tony.

    Except a thing which belongs to “everyone” belongs to no one.

    1. So can I go claim it then? What about the descendants of the Indians who had it first, if there are any? At any rate you don’t get to believe in strong property law if you don’t believe in law in the first place. The guy’s a nut who will only do damage to your causes, and the slower it takes you to realize that the better as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Any decent libertarian would admit that the treatment of the Native Americans was unjust.

        By all means keep implying that the guy doesn’t have any rights because he has disagreeable opinions.

        1. He has the same right to think the federal government doesn’t exist as a child has to think the Easter Bunny does. He also has the right to think that black people would be better off back on the plantation. Doesn’t change the fact that he’s in the wrong legally and he would be definitely in the wrong by libertarian standards if you weren’t so blinded by your anti-federal-government dogma that you’ll jump on any crazy fucknut who gets a camera pointed at him as he says anti-federal-government stuff.

          1. he would be definitely in the wrong by libertarian standards

            I don’t think that’s really true.
            How property rights are defined and enforced is a topic of acute interests to libertarians, who are, actually not entirely of one mind about it. For instance some people dislike the adverse possession doctrine, some don’t. Some people think adverse possession should apply to grazing lands, some don’t.

            These topics are interesting things to discuss. Bundy’s case is interesting to libertarians because there are good arguments on both sides.

            Sometimes people pay attention to something not because they think someone is a folk hero, but because it’s a case that provides unusual angles and nuances on a topic of interest to those people.

            For instance, does Bundy have a legit moral claim, even if not a legal claim? SHOULD the law recognize a legit claim? Is so, why? If not, why not?

            1. Honestly, I really wish we could have tHAT discussion, instead of talking about Cliven Bundy’s views on race. But of course, your side thinks it’s more interesting to run around screaming “racism” and giggling about how you’ve got a chance to paint your enemies in a bad light, than in actual debating the moral or legal merits of the case.

              1. Political debate is good. I might even see myself jumping on board to some of your property rights theories that counter the law as it stands.

                But the only reason anyone’s talking about his views on race is because he got in front of a microphone and talked about them, in, to use Jon Stewart’s words “a surprising turn of events.”

                We also can’t have THAT discussion because instead of having a discussion this guy decided to defend his position–which had lost in our legal system–with freelance armed white supremacists. This guy has validated every standard of modern democratic decency I can think of, and whether he has a good point is, I think understandably, no longer even an interesting question.

                1. Bad typo, validation = violated

  27. “Galileo was racist.
    Therefore, Heliocentrism is a a lie”
    Chaitlogic

  28. “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids ? and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch ? they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

    “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

    Sounds to me like Cliven Bundy is saying (artlessly) that the Welfare State has done more harm to black people than slavery. It has destabilized the black family, sapped welfare recipient’s incentive or desire to work, replacing it with the incentive to commit crimes and breed, both of which result in more subsidies.

    And when did the word “Negro” become racist?

    1. The word “Negro” isn’t racist. But saying that you know things about “the Negro” as if you can say anything about an individual based on their race is racist. Poor people of any race are affected in the same way by generations of welfare. A larger proportion of blacks are affected for historical reasons, but that doesn’t allow you to reasonably draw conclusions about “the Negro”.

      As for it being as bad or nearly as bad as slavery, I say bullshit. Agency is important. People on welfare are responding to incentives. Slaves didn’t have the initial choice. People can choose to improve themselves and get on the path to a better life for their decedents at least. And while some slaves may have had good family lives, there was always the possibility that that family could be torn apart at the whim of its owners.

      1. But saying that you know things about “the Negro” as if you can say anything about an individual based on their race is racist.

        Why then isn’t Media Matters up in arms when “black leaders” to get on TV and go on tirades about “the White Man”(TM) (or “The Jew”)?

        that doesn’t allow you to reasonably draw conclusions about “the Negro”.

        So, you’re not allowed to draw the conclusion at all, irrespective of any evidence? Or is there some threshhold number that must be crossed before you are allowed to draw the conclusion?

        Slaves didn’t have the initial choice.

        True. Some black people tried to give their children better lives by escaping to freedom (no thanks to the FedGov and its Fugitive Slave Clause or Fugitive Slave Law). Others tried to improve their position in the slave hierarchy by learning a trade, or buying their freedom (when and where that was an option).

        that family could be torn apart at the whim of its owners.

        And this is entirely distinguishable from the current system endorsed by FedGov, which says that a black man may be ripped from his home and/or family if he is in arrears for child support payments (which he may or may not owe, Family Court is kind of capricious like that). The children, of course, may be removed from the home at any time if one of the state’s overseers, I mean, case workers, determines that you aren’t doing a good enough job with the children.

    2. Legally barred from getting married, raped at will, forced to breed like livestock and then having their children sold off == Ideal family life

      1. Legally barred from getting married, raped at will, forced to breed like livestock and then having their children sold off == Ideal family life

        Pardon me, but when did you see me defend the “peculiar institution”, especially since you deployed that argument that proves too much?

        Please show your work.

        1. The only way the welfare state could have “destabilized the black family” is if it was stable before hand.

          1. You know, there was kind of a period of time between Lincoln and LBJ, like, nearly a century?

            1. Ah, I remember when the Duck Dynasty guy was arguing that the segregation era was preferable for blacks than today. I guess Bundy is just taking things to their logical conclusion.

              Of course it’s sheer coincidence that every new right-wing poster boy to come along ends up being a giant racist.

              1. It seems the only time anyone is labeled a poster boy is when they say stupid or racist shit. He said some stupid, racist shit, so obviously he is the standard bearer of an entire ideology. It’s called the Fallacy of Composition, btw.

                1. Take it up with Sean Hannity and his “news” network. If it were liberals what foisted this idiot onto the Right as a folk hero, why are they all cowering under embarrassed press releases?

                  1. Curious how you feel about Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and, yes, Eric Holder. Are they cool because only whites can be racist and liberals most certainly can’t be?

          2. Here, you fail.

            ? In 1950, 72 percent of all black men and 81 percent of black women had been married.
            ? Before 1960, the number of teenage pregnancies had been decreasing; both poverty and dependency were declining, and black income was rising in both absolute and relative terms to white income.
            ? In 1965, 76.4 percent of black children were born to married women.
            ? In 1980, 31 percent of all black first-born children were born to teenage mothers.
            ? By 1992, 54 percent-of all black children were living only with their mothers.
            ? From 1990 to 1994, 77 percent of first births to black women were premarital.
            ? In 2009, 73% of black children were born to unmarried mothers.

  29. Racism is historically inseparable from the “party of Lincoln”? Pardon me. There seems to be some confusion over which side of the isle the southern Democrats sat. Yes, Reagan welcomed them into the Republican Party in the 1980s – but you find them quite historically separated from conservatism before Reagan redefined the concept to mean expanding government power and centralizing power in the federal government faster than the Democrats could ever dream; in the name of morality. Yep! Those types have been around for quite a while, but historically they weren’t linked to political conservatism. They still aren’t. These are the socially (not politically) conservative Reagan RINOs.

  30. Bringing up Bundy’s opinons on ANYTHING other than the topic at hand – which is having his property stolen – is a sociopathic passive-aggressive tactic and should be ignored for the irrelevancy it is.

    1. He’s the one stealing property! He has no legal claim, and the issue has been well litigated. What the fuck are you talking about?

      1. Tony said it… shit’s settled!

  31. Cliven Bundy was asking if blacks are better off now, after nearly 50 years of the “War on Poverty,” than they were under slavery. I think it’s a pretty fair question. Certainly under slavery, fewer children were being aborted. Most children had a father. They had no access to schools back then, which might actually be an improvement over the schools they have now. It’s an interesting question.

    1. The people supporting Cliven Bundy may not all be racists, but if you think the question of whether black people were better off under slavery is “fair”, then you are one of his racist supporters.

  32. It would be a fascinating exercise in “social science” to test the hypothesis.

  33. Chait’s flip comment about Bundy’s putatively typical racism obscures a key feature of the argument he and others are advancing which seems worth explicitly addressing. Johnny Cochran, of all people, nailed it way back in the O.J. Simpson trial, when he said, “You can be a racist. It’s when you’re a racist with power that you’re dangerous.” For political purposes, flinging accusations at individuals is not enough, even when you luck into a demonstrable racist like Bundy. You must conjure up the specter of institutionalized racism, no matter how tenuous or ahistorical that connection might be.

    In that respect, the historic invocation of states rights as a basis for actual segregationist policy is particularly useful. When folks respond by pointing out that Democrats are responsible for a large share of past abuses, it’s like countering with a footnote, instead of the substantive arguments, both practical and constitutional, we need to be making if we are ever to rehabilitate states rights as a vehicle for limiting federal overreach. Taking the Bundy bait derails the larger confrontation pretty effectively too.

    1. The only plausible argument in favor of states rights is that governments closer to the people will govern more accordingly with their wishes. But with few exceptions states are often capable of being much more oppressive of individuals. That is precisely why the movement is so inextricably linked with racism–people got angry when the feds intervened to try to integrate their communities. Before that, people got angry when the feds tried to tell them they couldn’t have slaves. States rights claims underpinned it all.

      But there is no natural connection between more local control and more individual freedom. Some states may do better than the US Constitution in guaranteeing liberties, but some would do worse if given the option. Once you eliminate the faulty connection between local control and individual rights, you’re left with a kind of technocratic and pragmatic question of means that has nothing to do with any principle of liberty.

      1. You’re left with a kind of technocratic and pragmatic question of means that has nothing to do with any principle of liberty.

        This is just managerialist gobbledygook that begs the question. There’s no natural connection between more centralized control and more individual freedom, either, and history is rife with examples of this over thousands of years.

        The “principle of liberty” you deride as irrelevant is the critical piece, as established in the Bill of Rights. Everything comes down to whether laws align with those basic liberties.

        1. WTF? The Bill of Rights found in the federal constitution? So you completely agree with me that states’ inability to violate the federal Bill of Rights is both a good thing and contrary to the claims behind states’ rights?

          1. So you completely agree with me that states’ inability to violate the federal Bill of Rights is both a good thing and contrary to the claims behind states’ rights?

            The federal government has no more claim to be able to violate the Bill of Rights than the states do, regardless of whether it would be “pragmatic” for them to do so, because the Constitution is considered to be the ultimate law of the land that binds both state and federal governments alike. Just because people might be willing to give up or suffer debilitations to these rights doesn’t mean that the principle of those rights hasn’t been violated.

            I’m sure you think you have a right to collect Social Security checks, but if the Supreme Court has declared that you aren’t entitled to recieve back a penny of what you put in to the system, does that mean your rights have been violated if Congress suddenly ended or modified the system to provide smaller payments than what you expect to receive?

            1. The federal constitution both imposes restrictions on the federal government while creating it in the first place.

              I’m all for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a basic income for the elderly, or everyone, but at the moment it’s just a law and subject to mere democracy.

              1. The federal constitution both imposes restrictions on the federal government while creating it in the first place

                Which is entirely beside the point. The point is that the Bill of Rights is a set of principles that binds both state and federal government, irrespective of whether you believe that low-scale communities are a greater threat to individual liberty than a massive, hyper-scale central bureaucracy, which seems to be your particular fetish.

          2. I absolutely support having a bill of rights that completely overrides the states power, and I’m pretty sure all libertarians do.

            I’d be happy to have state-level bills of rights that override local governments as well.

            The whole point of a bill of rights is to deny power to governments at all levels. Which is awesome.

            1. But you can’t deny that in many cases the federal government has done a better job at coming up with those rights. Even if we are generous and say the ratio of states that do better than the Constitution to those who do worse is 50/50, we’re all glad that those 25 states’ wills have been overridden, aren’t we?

              1. But you can’t deny that in many cases the federal government has done a better job at coming up with those rights.

                Sure you can. It wasn’t the federal government that began the process of ending slavery, it was the states. It wasn’t the federal government that began granting women the right to vote–the states were already in the process of doing so when the 19th Amendment finally passed.

                The federal government is not the be-all and end-all of where our rights exist. By arguing that it is, you’re arguing that the federal government can limit those rights any time it pleases for any reason.

      2. You confirm my point about the knee-jerk association of states rights and rear view mirror racism which partisans like Chait rely on. Fast forward to the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision on the takings clause, for a more relevant 21st century instance. If you own any property, you should be more than a little grateful for the states rights also embedded in the Constitution, by virtue of which your state can grant you its own constitutional protection against so-called government seizures in which the title to your property is actually just transferred to someone else.

        You probably have a lot more vested in the balance between federal and state jurisdiction than you think you do. To anyone who likes one-size-fits all solutions designed by bureaucratic actuaries and Congressmen who worry about Guam tipping over, the concept of states rights will obviously have zero appeal.

        1. I think, in general, governments should handle the issues that affect their respective jurisdictions. City issues should be handled by city governments. National issues by the federal government. (Naturally this means I think there should be stronger global governance to handle global issues, which do exist.)

          No doubt larger governments can overreach, but so can smaller governments, and in the case of the feds helping the South along into the 20th century with respect to its apartheid regime, they can seriously underreach too.

          1. How are the feds doing in Detroit with their current apartheid regime? The answer to the ruination visited on that city by progressive garbage politics is more government, right?

      3. Your vote counts for more in a local election than it does in a federal election. Yes, local governments can be just as oppressive as federal ones, but they can only oppress people *within their jursidiction*. If you are oppressed in a small town, it is much easier to move to a different small town a few miles away full of like-minded people, than it is to move to another state or another country. Local control allows for greater granularity, greater variation in policies that can be tuned to suit the tastes of each local group of people more closely.

        1. I completely think this is a valid point. So what are the benefits of the less granular federal government? Much more resources and scope–it can do big things that states and cities can’t, like fight wars and invest in expensive scientific research. It can make sure states don’t abuse certain important individual rights by enshrining them in a supreme constitution. It can do the things that can only be done on an interstate scale, and those things do exist and should exist.

          But what are fundamentally at odds are the claims that individual rights should be universal and that states are the best caretakers of citizens. You’d have to agree with the consensus that advances in civil rights law at the federal level have been a good thing, but if you do you must realize that it comes at the expense of the will of the people of some states, which I’m told is perfectly fine given the terrors of mob rule.

          1. Much more resources and scope–it can do big things that states and cities can’t, like fight wars and invest in expensive scientific research. It can make sure states don’t abuse certain important individual rights by enshrining them in a supreme constitution. It can do the things that can only be done on an interstate scale, and those things do exist and should exist.

            And if this was all it did, believe it or not most libertarians would be fine with it. But this argument deliberately ignores the fact that the federal government can and does overreach its authority into areas where, Constitutionally speaking, it has no authority whatsoever.

          2. You are framing this as an all/nothing choice, but in addition to tripartite checks and balances, the Constitution balanced distributed state powers against centralized federal control. We have rights that no one is to abridge, but without judicial and legislative state powers, individuals have little defense against federal abuses — if they even have standing to sue in federal court. No news reader could possibly assume such abuses are minor or rare.

            Alas, the term “states rights” has been so exploited for racist purposes — in the past — that bringing up state vs federal power now inevitably means wading through the muck of racist accusations and analogies, which have zero relevance to the actual issues conservatives are trying to address. Can you talk about the Bill of Rights without mentioning the Bill of Rights? Ironically, that’s where you’ll find the 10th Amendment too; yet the left has assiduously promoted the idea that anyone who brings it up must be a secessionist, militia type — and a closet racist too. “Tenthers” have even made Homeland Security’s list of potential domestic terrorists!

            What seems at odds to me is the idea that same people who believe there should be stringent limits on federal power would turn around and endorse granting unlimited authority to the states. I understand the downsides of local control, but again, it’s about balance, and states rights are the platform on which that balance rests.

  34. Again, I’m left to wonder at the priorities of “libertarians” who can get themselves worked up into a frothing rage at the idea of taxes being slightly raised and yet want to dispassionately speculate about whether, all things being considered, people were really more free as slaves.

    1. And which libertarians are these?

  35. I haven’t read all of the comments, but has anyone else wondered if this means that all the lefties who ripped on the fed gov’t from 2001-2008 were racists?

    1. Depends, did any of them say blacks were better off in slavery?

      1. It doesn’t matter if they said it. Anyone who criticizes the government must be thinking it.

        1. This is not my PR problem dude.

  36. I wish the writer of this piece didn’t have to go so far back in history to make his point. Woodrow Wilson? Really? Is that even relevant today, after so much has changed? I do think a weakness of modern Libertarianism is racism. I think to some racists it does serve as an intellectual haven. Which is very ironic because there is no ideology less tolerant of racism than true Libertarianism.

    1. +++++

    2. Nope, still racist.

      1. Yeah, that’s what I think about you, Tony, every time I read one of your dishonest little diatribes.

  37. In a Progressive’s mouth, racism means standing in the way of the Progressive Theocracy. Same with sexism, homophobia, etc.

  38. But African Americans *do* abort their children at high rates and *do* send their young men to prison.

    Cotton is obviously a bone headed example, but if you correct for the fact that Bundy is a 112 year old white guy living in the desert, what he’s saying is that African Americans might do better if they considered an alternative set of cultural preferences that included less abortion, less jail time, and more work hours.

    But it’s much easier to point and laugh at the old man who doesn’t have a PhD in politically correct navel gazing.

    What Chait says is infinitely dumber.

  39. Bundy seemed really upset that people were leaving after the show was over, it seems like a game to him. It’s a shame that we put a spotlight on people doing good things, and they only turn out to be like this.

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