Scandal

Guilty by Association: An Internet Political Game That’s Fun for Everybody!

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The swirling mess surrounding the private racist comments by Clippers owner Donald Sterling prompted Nick Gillespie over the weekend to compare the calls for his ouster to what happened to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.

But for some folks, the most important question was: What political party does Sterling belong to? There's nothing about this scandal that suggests Sterling's political affiliation means anything whatsoever. Nevertheless somebody tried to tag him as a Republican, prompting former Reason editor and current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh to point out his very short history of political donations (two whole candidates) is to the Democrats. (Update: Mother Jones notes that he is nevertheless registered as a Republican)

That means the Democrats are racists unless they all take to the press and thoroughly disavow Sterling, right? No, no it doesn't. And it wouldn't say anything about the Republican Party had he donated to two Republicans.

Running alongside the constant engine of Internet outrage at the behavior of the political opposition is the rush toward guilty by association, even when it's not relevant to any sort of policy proposal or connected to the political platform by any party. The line of argument appears to just be "X did a bad thing and X is a [Republican/Democrat] and therefore his party is [racist/hypocritical/corrupt/et cetera]. Every major political figure of that party must publicly disavow him now! Right now!"

This is exactly what happened last week when it turned out Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who had been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing on public lands, had said racist things. It prompted some stupid musing about whether everybody who opposed government power was racist and political figures who otherwise supported Bundy's efforts to disavow his comments. J.D. Tuccille has previously responded to this sort of absurd, ahistorical argument; everybody should read what he had to say.

When Democratic Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested on suspicion of corruption and participation in an international gun-running operation, I saw outrage from the right over the fact that his political affiliation was not in the headline of the story and was buried further down, not mentioned in the lede. Tweets declared that if Yee had been a Republican, his political affiliation would be right up there. The outrage was further compounded when his story, an outrageous tale of a progressive gun control advocate's hypocritical double-life, failed to get much national attention. Would the same had been true had he been a Republican?

The analysis of Yee coverage is an important piece of media criticism, but watching these online debates makes me want to ask conservatives and libertarians: Is the problem that conservatives and libertarians are all being tarred by their worst adherents or is the problem that progressives aren't? Yee's alleged corruption and hypocrisy is outrageous; but does anybody really think there's any possible way to reflect his sins upon the entire Democratic Party? Of course not, because abuse of political power is not unique to either party, even with the sexy gun twist.

Republican congressman Michael Grimm of New York is facing criminal charges today that may be related to his own campaign finances. Over the weekend, I saw conservatives in my Twitter feed pointing out what a terrible score he has gotten from Club for Growth, disavowing him by pointing out what a terrible conservative he is anyway.

One of the more absurd manifestations with this effort to tie bad behavior to political affiliation I've experienced happened earlier in the month when I noted that the mayor of Peoria, Illinois, asked the police to investigate who was responsible for a Twitter account that parodied him, resulting in a raid and national embarrassment. Hit and Run commenters wanted to know his political party. I even received e-mails asking me if I knew whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. Peoria is a city of less than 125,000 whose name is famous as a part of a disdainful observation about entertaining the masses who live in flyover territory. It's ludicrous to think that his oversensitivity and egotistical abuse of authority could be assigned to represent any political party. There is nothing partisan about his behavior. It is a reflection of how politicians see their communities as their own personal fiefdoms and examples can be found in towns all across the country from people all across the conservative-liberal spectrum. The problem is that the power exists, not which party has control of it.

Perhaps it's because I'm such a "pox on both their houses" kind of guy, but I really don't see what conservatives and libertarians hope to gain by trying to fight fire with fire here. If you're opposed to communal responsibility or socialist groupthink, there's absolutely no value in falling into such an easy-to-avoid "guilt by association" fallacy other than to reinforce base attitudes toward the opposition. That may be the entire point, though, to rile up the Democrats against the Republicans, and vice-versa, which may well explain why more and more people are identifying themselves as independents.

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173 responses to “Guilty by Association: An Internet Political Game That’s Fun for Everybody!

  1. But for some folks, the most important question was: What political party does Sterling belong to?

    Sure, if you’re retarded.

    1. And he wore a hat
      And he had a job
      And he brought home the bacon
      So that no one knew

      1. I really want some bacon now.

        Then again, I always want bacon.

        1. Mmmmmmmmm………bacon.

          What were we talking about?

  2. That means the Democrats are racists unless they all take to the press and thoroughly disavow Sterling, right?

    No, they’re generally racist for other reasons.

    1. The saddest part is that it’s irrelevant whether the person happens to be racist or not; they still have terrible fucking ideas regardless of racism.

  3. You know, you’d think people who were supposedly more worldly would have heard of the old Continental folktale of the boy who cried wolf. If everything is an outrage, nothing will be an outrage. They want to spend their ammo on smoke and specters? Cool.

    1. Except that kids today are raised on the SuperWhy version of the boy who cried wolf – in which there actually was a wolf and nobody believed him.

      1. Wait, what? The whole fucking point was not that you should “speak your truth” or some stupid hippie bullshit. It seems like the cognitive dissonance of being told you’re a special flower and only achieving mediocrity is easier solved by just accepting that one is not, in fact, particularly gifted or talented. It doesn’t mean that person can’t contribute productively. Its no cause for shame. There is plenty to be proud of in an mediocre job done to one’s own best ability. I don’t see car mechanics crying about how they’re disrespected.

        1. We are all special snowflakes. You just need to take the snowflake analogy a bit further. We are all unique, as snowflakes are. But as with snowflakes, your uniqueness doesn’t mean that you are particularly interesting to anyone who doesn’t know you well or destined to have a special role in the world. Every shit I take is unique too.

        2. “No sir that is not, with all due respect, the lesson of the story. The lesson of story is that if you have reason to believe there is a dangerous predator in the area, you should not select as your sole means of defense a small child whom you have resolved to ignore.”

          1. No you’re the one who missed the whole point.

            The boy wasn’t defense, the boy was bait and he was chosen as the bait because he wasn an annoying little shit who liked to play pranks on the townsfolk like crying wolf when there wasn’t one

      2. Except that kids today are raised on the SuperWhy version of the boy who cried wolf – in which there actually was a wolf and nobody believed him.

        You sound like you could work for the NSA, CIA, FBI, DEA, ATF, DHS, NYPD, BPD, CPD, LAPD, LASD, TSA, BLM, DOE, or hell, just bang three random letters on your keyboard and I’m sure it represents an agency that thinks we’re not nearly scared enough and that we still have too many liberties for our own good.

  4. Fucks given: 0

    1. I’m with you – except for the lesson learned. If you are in the room with a cell phone, you are not in private.

  5. All I know is that Donald Sterling is extremely sexy.

    1. When 900 years you reach, look as good you will not.

    2. He looks like Mike Wallace’s goombah twin brother.

      1. Dead on.

        1. That’s Marsellus Wallace’s brother.

  6. current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh

    I stopped reading here. Didn’t care about the rest of the column. Cavanaugh is the editor of NR?!?! When did this happen?

    WE ARE SEIZING CONTROL

    1. He’s an editor there. Not THE editor.

      1. Obviously, given the Rand Paul hit pieces that KJL and Lowry are still running.

      2. Am I sensing some tension here, Scott? Perhaps some jealousy?

        1. I am jealous of his ability to spit out interesting movie quotes on demand.

          1. Well, the world needs ditch diggers too.

            1. well played

            2. It looks like what we have here is a failure to communicate.

      3. Ah, an editorial collective! An anarcho-syndicalist whatchamacallit where each editor takes turns as presiding officer of the week…

        1. Does that position come with a leather jacket?

      4. He’s an editor there. Not THE editor.

        Seems that in these sorts of publications, everybody and his sister can be an “editor.” Ann Coulter was an “editor” of some kind at National Review when they stopped running her syndicated column. They jumped through hoops telling everybody she was never a NR employee. Somehow you can be an editor without being an employee, which sounds like being a supervisor in a factory without working there.

    2. I always like Cavanaugh. Good for him.

      1. HM will be incensed.

        1. The rage is building, yes. All I need is a good dose of gamma rays.

          1. Remind me again, what’s the beef with Cavanaugh?

            1. He has a penchant for dismissive snark while bloviating on topics he knows absolutely nothing about (e.g. the economy of New England, the dangers of an EM pulse to our power grid infrastructure, and a whole bunch of other shit I’m too lazy to Google up. When confronted by various commenters who actually knew something about the topic he was being so dismissive about, he would invariable double-down on his uneducated opinion.

              Also, his fucking boring California public transit articles. If I were interested in that shit, I’d put on an anorak and go trainspotting.

              1. IIRC, his piece some years ago on the “Carmaggedon” story was the first time I was quoted in an actual story on H&R. Not hat-tipped like any slapdick can get, but actually cited with a statement I made about Kiewit to him.

                He also took me on a tour of the offices with my kids about 5 or 6 years ago and gave them free comic books by Peter Bagge and sat down for about a 45 minute chat with me.

                He’s a good guy.

                1. He’s a good guy.

                  Yeah? Well, Hitler was kind to his niece. You’re not saying Cavanaugh is not worse that Hitler, are you?

                  Nazi.

                  1. Wow, I go on a coffee run and get my questions answered. I wonder if I leave my real work out… Do you guys know the recommended leaving for the work fairies? The ones who do your work, not leave you work.

              2. But he knows how to close his parentheses.

              3. “If I were interested in that shit, I’d put on an anorak and go trainspotting.”

                Anorak?

                You aren’t English are you?

                1. No, but Trainspotting was a British film.

                  1. Americans don’t say “Anorak” as commonly, particularly in specific reference to ‘geeky fascination with niche subjects’

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorak_(slang)

                    So I guess that makes it an affectation.

            2. I have many, including his banning of me from H&R comments.

              1. banning of me from H&R comments

                Really? Did he give a reason why?

                1. No, he didn’t. I just tried logging in and got a message that I was banned. I’m 99.9% certain that it had to do with my (eventually proved accurate) comments about a war that was going on in Lebanon at the time. With TC, that was a bit too personal since he was (maybe is) married to a Lebanese woman.

                  The odd thing was that my biggest defender after the ban, despite my unabashedly pro-Israel view, was MNG, who’s not exactly a fan of Jews and Zionists.

            3. HM is a Shackford fan. By the transitive property, that means he automatically has beef with Cavanaugh.

              1. It’s true. You don’t mess with Scott “Love Shack” Shackford on my watch..

              2. “Brandon|4.28.14 @ 12:33PM|#

                HM is a Shackford fan. By the transitive property, that means he automatically has beef with Cavanaugh.”

                I think this is the same rule by which i always have to hate the Lakers.

                1. Living in Los Angeles, I have to hate the Lakers (I rather dislike basketball in all since there’s just too much scoring for it to be compelling to me for an entire game) due to the bandwagonness of L.A. fans.

                  The LULZ from seeing all these people that jumped on the Clippers bandwagon in the Lakers down year now jumping ship is epic though.

          2. We won’t like him when he is angry!

            1. I don’t particularly like him when he’s happy.

          3. Cavanaugh pissed me off when he worked for the LA times. They published a letter from me that was dismissive of something Cavanaugh wrote and he attacked me in is LA Times blog. Also, I suggested he was gay (NTTAWWT) because some of what he wrote here sounded like an opinion well-grounded in gay boilerplate. That was said to be impossible as he was married and had two kids. You know, Oscar Wilde was married too. So was Rock Hudson.

            1. Screenwriters can easily be confused for homosexuals I suppose. Might be due to the show tunes diet or such.

  7. “but watching these online debates makes me want to ask conservatives and libertarians: Is the problem that conservatives and libertarians are all being tarred by their worst adherents or is the problem that progressives aren’t?”

    I don’t know what *all* conservatives and libertarians think, but I know a lot of them are tired of the Democratic operatives and journalists who keep saying “racist! racist! racist!” like a retarded cuckoo clock, who fan the flames whenever a conservative or Republican somewhere does or says something stupid and cites it as what Republicans Really Believe, who demand that Obama’s opponents “face up to” their alleged association with John C. Calhoun, who say only racism can account for criticism of an attorney general who stonewalls a major scandal by refusing to produce information about what happened, who in short position themselves as racial-justice crusaders who are simply appalled at the fact that their opponents are all racists! racists! racists!

    Why not smack down these idiots by pointing out racist Dems and progressives? It probably won’t shame them into stopping their behavior, but it might make the public more willing to tune it out.

    Is it dirty pool to point out the consequences of Dems’ own “logic”? To show that the arguments they themselves use can make *them* racists? This is to expose a fallacy, not to endorse it.

    1. Happy to let you know that the first 4 callers to WEEI Boston Mutt & Lou’s show this morning jumped ugly on the two co-hosts for buying into the hypocritically premised progressive conception of, and rules about, race relations and racism.

      One, how about the anti-white rants and raves of Jay Z? He was a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets until very recently?

      How about Charles Barkley’s anti-white screeds? How about his asseveration the other night that “the NBA is a black league”?

      How about candidate Barack’s “typical white woman” description of his white grandma?

      How about Jessie “Hymietown” Jackson?

      1. Out of curiosity, when did Barkley go on an anti-white screed? I actually remember him saying that racism isn’t just from white people when the Martin verdict happened, which he agreed with. I heard him make the “black league” comments, but in context it just sounded to me like he was making the point that in a league where most players are black, having an owner who is racist against black people is not a good fit.

        1. I took Barkley’s comment to refer to the audience, not the players. And I think it’s a dangerous direction we’re heading if someone can’t make a comment on the demographics of an audience without immediately being accused of bigotry. It stems from this progressive notion that difference is something that must be excused or championed because, really, it’s something to be ashamed of. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of Kenny Chesney’s fans are white. I don’t subsequently say that because of this white people are better than black people, black people are bad, or anything else. Difference is quantitative, not qualitative.

          1. Barkley was not talking about the audience. The audience / the season ticket holders / the sponsors / the owners et al are, predominantly, white.

            Having said that, I agree with your overall point.

        2. Don’t you remember his tirades regarding the use of the word nigger? He asserted that “white America” does not have the right to dictate to him whether, and if so, under what circumstances, he can utter the word nigger.

          Don’t you remember him saying that he “allows his white friends” to employ the word nigger; however, he insisted that, as a general rule, “white people don’t have the right” to use the word.

          Yes, you are right about the opinions he expressed with respect to the Zimmerman matter.

          If you have listened to Barkley like I have for years, you will find a veritable plethora of examples to support the proposition that he is a hypocrite about race – not always, just often.

          1. I don’t consider his comments regarding the n-word to be an “anti-white screed,” or particularly controversial even.

            1. I find the whole “Only black folk can say the n-word” comical because it effectively says, “You know what? That’s all you got. One fucking word.”

            2. Telling certain people they can’t use certain words is libertarian as fuuuuuuck

      2. Happy to let you know that the first 4 callers to WEEI Boston Mutt & Lou’s show this morning jumped ugly on the two co-hosts for buying into the hypocritically premised progressive conception of, and rules about, race relations and racism.

        You know what irritates me more than the fact that a couple of sports radio dopes in Boston buy into it?

        The fact that most of Reason magazine, and particularly Nick Gillespie, buys into it.

        1. Agreed.

    2. When it’s considered racist to oppose programs that are by design racist (i.e. affirmative action) and policies that explcitly discriminate based on race, you are going to have a hard time making sensible arguments about the racism that exists among progressives.

      I’m obviously no political strategist and would never want to be, but I like to keep the higher ground and not use the dishonest tactics that other people use. I think that with race in particular, the continued hypersensitivity about the subject and the use of it as a convenient stick to beat your opponents with, is a big reason why racism is still a problem to the extent that it is today.

      1. I’m not a strategist either, but you can’t ignore someone with a big public platform calling your a racist.

        It’s not enough to just say “no, we aren’t!” That simply generates headlines like “Senator Quimby denies racism charge.”

        You want to go on the offensive and generate headlines like “Quimby calls racism attitudes ‘false’ and ‘a desperation move. Says his opponents are willing to stoop to demagoguery to divert attention from [mention some scandal of the other side]. ‘I think voters can see through this,’ Quimby says.”

        1. racism accusations, not attitudes

        2. Sure. And I do try to explain to people how libertarian individualism is inherently anti-racist and how many progressive policies are either overtly racist or have bad and racially disparate outcomes.

          For candidates, I agree that they would do better if they called people out for their false charges of racism instead of going into damage control mode.

        3. that’s Mayor Quimby! /Mayor Quimby

        4. The thing to remember about “racism” is that the accusation of it inevitably reduces even the richest and most powerful palefaces to curl up in a fetal ball and whimper to be forgiven for stuff that other, unrelated, palefaces did centuries or at least decades ago.

          A powerful weapon like that will be used as long as the palefaces respond to it so cravenly.

    3. “”I don’t know what *all* conservatives and libertarians think…”

      Bo Knows

  8. What some octogenarian I’ve never heard of said to his girlfriend over the phone was the number two story on all the media outlets I surveyed this morning, right after a story about deadly tornadoes hitting the south.

    1. “Rich old guy shaken down by trophy girlfriend–is your family safe?”

      1. “Trophy”?? Good god, that word just lost all meaning.

  9. And apparently Jim Ardis is Republican. Thanks, Google!

  10. From V. Stiviano’s instagram:
    “Artist,Lover,Writer,Chef,Poet, Stylist, Philanthropist”

    She’s missing one.

    1. She’s missing one

      Nope…if you make an acronym from those pursuits and some others she omitted you get a really filthy word.

      1. Golddigger?

        1. Now, now, I ain’t saying she’s a golddigger …

        2. Golddigger?

          No….she’s quite the renaissance woman. When properly arranged the letters spell out:

          You bet your ass I’m getting paid for going down on the flaccid, wrinkled, liver spotted old cock!

          Like I said…..she has many talents and interests!

    2. Whore? (Of the attention and money kinds)

      1. How dare you. She could be with him for his personality! Uhh….hmm

    3. I just read that as:

      “Unemployed”

  11. The analysis of Yee coverage is an important piece of media criticism

    Kind of glossing over an important part of this I think.

    I think that the internet has finally given voice those disgruntled with the fact that, for the most part, major media definitely has it’s thumb on one side of the scale and has for quite a long time.

    When you have been helplessly beaten for so long and a club finally passes into your reach it is a strange person that does not grasp for it.

    Guilt by association in these sort of outrageous stories is pretty lame, but I think a key point is that the whitewashing do in service to a favored side in the political arena by the media is very much at issue here, as well as the same media’s participation in that sort of treatment when it suits their ideological goals.

    I don’t think any fair examination of this trend can not include modern media culture and it’s handling of elites and it’s favorites as a causative factor.

  12. I just read where Magic is totally willing to buy the Clippers at a discount if the NBA decides Sterling is no longer worthy of owning a team. Jesus. Why don’t they just stone Sterling as part of the half-time show?

    1. I don’t think the NBA can actually force Sterling out, though they can apply pressure. Regardless of how you think people should react to this, I think it’s definitely in the best interest of the league and the Clippers as an organization if Sterling sells the team.

      1. The hilarious thing is that Sterling will now have to sell the team, if only because the public outrage is at crescendo levels now and they will be unable to sell tickets for the coming season if Sterling remains the owner.

        Of course, the double edged sword here is that Sterling is going to make a lot of money on that sale. Not that the guy is struggling for cash at all, but it’ll be interesting to see how all these outraged people react to the fact that he will walk away with a pretty chunk of money as his consolation prize for this whole incident.

        1. The guy’s 80 years old and already a billionaire, I don’t think the people who want him to sell care more if he’s worth $5.5 billion instead of $5 billion (I just made those numbers up to illustrate the point), rather than getting him out of the league.

    2. Considering his record of being an owner, I don’t think Sterling was ever actually “worthy” of owning a team. Then again, I don’t think James Dolan, among a few others, really wants to open that particular pandora’s box…

      1. If you can write the check for the team, and the previous owner accepts, then you are worthy. Especially in something like a pro sports team where even if you can buy 10 teams, the other owners can still stop you from being in their club.

        Also, he is paying his head coach more than any other team pays them.

    3. At a discount, eh?

    4. The good news is there’s still basketball being played, and NY Post style headlines to write:

      Clippers Meet Warriors With Series Lead, Go Apart Tied

      Warriors Tie Series, Deem Clippers Separate But Equal

      1. Yes! Wait, were those actual headlines? If they were, I am going to subscribe to the papers that did them.

      2. “Clippers Meet Warriors With Series Lead, Go Apart Tied”

        That is GOLDEN.

        1. Thank you. Those were both mine. My last one for now:

          Warriors Enforce Equality, Series Bussed Back to LA

      3. “Portland takes 3-1 Series Lead, Reveal chink in Rockets’ armor”

  13. Why address your opponents in good faiths when you can dismiss them through ad hominem and guilt by association?

    1. *faith

      1. Don’t “other” me you monotheistic bastard!

        1. I thought it was more of a British affectation, like “maths”.

  14. The full court press trying to tie Jared Loughner around Sarah Palin’s neck was disgusting, as are any scenarios with the political parties reversed. But you can’t blame people for wanting to retaliate with a “dose of your own medicine” particularly when it appears the initial offenders faced little consequences for their actions.

    That of course leads to an endless, meaningless, unproductive cycle, but completely understandable behavior nonetheless.

  15. I’ll once again mention the Haidt research that conservatives and moderates can understand the prog position better than the progs can understand the conservative position.

    That doesn’t mean *all* conservatives and progs. You have some conservatives saying the reason progs are the way they are is because they’re un-American or whatever. But many other conservatives bend over backwards to talk about progs sincere but misguided “good intentions” (which is actually too generous, I think, because people should be presumed to intent the forseeable consequences of their actions, even if motivated by a general feeling of smug benevolence).

    And you have some progs who acknowledge the sincerity of some or all conservatives, although sometimes they mix this with condescending talk about fear of modernity, etc.

    But since a disproportionate number of progs just can’t understand why conservatives disagree with them, they are frustrated. Since nobody REALLY believes those stupid things, there must be an ulterior motive!

    1. On this point, I think that Websters (or Wikipedia, or whoever decides these things) needs to clarify exactly what a conservative is vs a progressive vs a liberal, and then we ALL have to stick to this definition… forever.

      Because, I will never…EVER…call myself a libertarian if it simply means “A conservative that’s ok with Pot and Gays”. I fucking hate conservatives as much as progressives. Do you know why? Because both groups don’t understand the concept of negative rights. Both are equally as bad at trying to force their bullshit on the rest of us, and both (if given Congress and the Executive) would do so.

      And thus I read through this commentariat regularly agreeing with much of what people think, but feeling disconcerted that I’m stuck in some sort of Team Red mind-fuck because the vitriol is so one-sided.

      1. What you, and people like Bo, need to understand is that the Dems/Libs are currently in control of the Fed Gov’t, and they also control the media, Education and Hollywood.

        That is why you see more bashing of Libs than conservs on here. It’s that simple.

        1. It also doesn’t help that the hardcore troll population in these parts is 3-1 lib/con. And even the con trolls can hold a conversation about most things, whereas the libs are just gibbering howler monkeys jacking off on their own turds and throwing them at us.

          1. The problem I’ve found is that most nominally politically educated people, both left and right, don’t understand the principles driving classical liberal thought. When someone says something like “Libertarians side with the Democrats on social issues and with the Republicans on economic issues” I immediately know that they don’t get it.

            So someone from the right or left attempting to engage the classical liberal on a like minded topic, will generally be perplexed when the classical liberal rejects their logic even while advocating for the same issue.

            I still feel that Team Red bullshit gets a pass too often here. But would rather not have to suffer through a Christie administration just to see more balance.

            1. Yes. There is entirely too much Team Red crap here, both in the staff and the commentariat. Didn’t use to be that way either.

      2. I will never…EVER…call myself a libertarian if it simply means “A conservative that’s ok with Pot and Gays”

        I wouldn’t worry about that; libertarianism is clearly different in many ways from conservatism.

        both groups don’t understand the concept of negative rights

        Not entirely true in the context of American conservatism, which started as an anti-New Deal impulse. It is an atrophied, inconsistent version of the classical liberalism which took this country from colony to superpower.

  16. I have it on good authority that anyone who is not a Democrat is a RACIST!

  17. Here’s the thing, what Sterling has said concerning race is, by all metrics, objectively worse than what Bundy said. However, the media portray Bundy as Hitler lite, and Sterling as merely an eccentric old pervert.

    Bundy put his foot in his mouth when he observed that the modern welfare state had the effect of destroying traditional family values in the Black community, replacing them with an ethic of dependence and instant gratification, a form of mental slavery that was, in its own way, worse than the physical slavery of the past where Black folk at least learned a skill that they used in the Reconstructionist era to farm and attempt to advance in society before Jim Crow put a stop to that. It was stunningly uneloquent, but it was nothing like Sterling’s unadulterated hate. In justifying his housing discrimination, Sterling said that “blacks ‘smell, they’re not clean,’ and that Mexicans ‘just sit around and smoke and drink all day.’. Not to mention his bizarre interracial cuckold fetish, shared by a certain equally racist troll of whom we all know, that dehumanizes his lovers into some kind of living, breathing sex doll.

    Yet, Bundy committed the sin of standing up to the Federal government… and that makes all the difference.

    1. That was incredibly well put, HM.

      One question, though – can a non-Mexican “just sit around and smoke and drink all day”? That sounds pretty fun.

      I am part Italian, if that helps.

      1. can a non-Mexican “just sit around and smoke and drink all day”?

        Yes.

        1. And we know non-Mexicans can SF links, too.

          1. What about non-diabetics?

            1. Are you sweet on them?

        2. “Hell, you don’t a million dollars to do nothin’! Look at my cousin, he ain’t got shit, and he does nothin’ all day.”

      2. just sit around and smoke and drink all day

        Where do I sign up?

    2. While I agree that what Bundy said was less bad than what Sterling said (insofar as Bundy was trying to give voice, rather artlessly, to his dismay at how the black community has fallen and how govt actions have led directly to that).

      That said, I don’t know that I consider Sterling’s words to be so firebreathingly racist. The story gained a lot of legs because TMZ headlined it with the quote “don’t bring black people to my games.”

      Of course, context here matters. He wasn’t saying that as a general rule. He was asking his gf not to bring black people and post photos with them on her IG page, in part because he’s been thought of as a cuckold since Elgin Baylor’s lawsuit in 2011 (and that thought gets rather substantiated when he essentially gives her permission to bang Magic Johnson).

      Sterling has said and done far more racist things in the past. This whole incident seemed less over the top racist (he went through pains a number of time to say he likes black people, albeit given the obviousness of her trolling, I think there was a point where he knew the sting was on), as much as it seems a deep lack of sexual confidence on Sterling’s part. Not that I have any particular mercy for the guy since he’s been known to be a complete douche long before this, just that this incident being the sort of point of no return seems a bit odd to me.

      1. this incident being the sort of point of no return seems a bit odd to me.

        I agree; however, I just think the timing was right in this particular incidence for it to get a lot of attention by the media. Still, there is something distasteful about Sterling’s “y’all good enough to fuck, but I hate everything else about you and your menfolk” that brings to mind memories of the “paramour rights” culture of Jim Crow.

      2. I think it’s because he got caught on tape saying it. And I don’t think the fact that he said it’s ok to associate with black people in private makes it any better.

        1. Again, I think most people haven’t listened to the whole thing or really thought more critically about it than a sort of manufactured outrage over anything uncouth said about black people.

          In the context, he was specifically asking his gf not to, and that appears to be motivated at least in part, if not in whole, to a underlying insecurity that his friends will call him and ask him about that since he’s suspected to get his jollies off from that sort of thing.

          1. I don’t think it’s that people don’t understand that. I think they just don’t think it matters if he only said it cause he’s a insecure and conflicted. I don’t. On most basketball forums I’ve read the last few days, where people actually did read or listen to the actual comments, very few people thought that was relevant.

            1. *there’s an extra “a” in that second sentence.

    3. Much of Bundy’s (unedited) spiel was extracts Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “The Negro Family: a Case For National Action” translated into Redneckspeak.

      1. Guilt by association?

  18. former Reason editor and current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh

    I wondered what happened to Cavanaugh. Unlike some of the more rabid purity testers around here, I liked his stuff.

    I was hoping he made so much money on that movie (whatever it was) he bought an island and retired.

  19. I gotta correct something. If you saw Cliven Bundy’s FULL statement (not the New York Times’ edited version), you would know that he never said anything racist (though, admittedly, he could have used some more politically correct words in saying it). I really wish that reason, among others, would help correct the record.

    Onward and upward,
    airforce

    1. See Heroic Mulatto’s comment above.

    2. Seriously, the guy lamented the fact that black people have abortions. I don’t know many hardcore white supremacists that would consider black fetuses being killed and discarded before being brought into the world as a bad thing.

      Albeit I don’t really know any white supremacists at all.

    3. He was racist in a sort of neutral, collectivist sort of way. If you think that you can say anything general about “the Negro”, that’s in some sense racist. But certainly no worse than the soft racism of much of the left. Everything he said about blacks applies to plenty of poor white people as well.

      1. The fact that he used the singular speaks to that. Had he pluralized it, I would’ve considered it more akin to a recognition of a damaging aspect that has impacted large swaths of the culture. I think there is nothing wrong with recognizing the statistics of a population group, the danger is going from that recognition of such trends to a belief that all members of that population group are then like (fallacy of affirming the consequent).

        1. I don’t think there is anything wrong, per se, about looking at statistics about particular groups of people. But I think that there are big problems with doing so too much, especially when categorizing by race. When you are talking about things like the damage done by welfare dependence and loss of traditional family structure, there are factors besides race that are far more relevant. People need to spend less time thinking about who their ancestors are and whose ancestors did what to whom and more about how to make things better in the future. Talking about everything in terms of race doesn’t help with that.

      2. You can make a point about the failings of the welfare state without generalizing all black people as lazy welfare bums who get abortions and go to jail, while implying that they were better off as chattel slaves. That’s a bit more than uneloquently making a point.

    4. Nope, it was incredibly racist.

      Just because you guys get your politics from the same impulses, bad history, and stupid, racist assumptions as Mr. Bundy doesn’t mean you get to call something that is just about the most racist thing you can say “not racist in context.”

      Treating blacks, collectively, as victims of their own stupidity is racist. That is what he’s doing. Because there isn’t a blacks-only welfare state.

      1. Oh joy I love how Tony claims to be from the side of the aisle so steeped in nuance and contextual understanding but fails to recognize gradients of racism.

        And add in a reading comp fail to top it all off, as Bundy didn’t treat blacks as collectively the victims of their own stupidity as much as collectively victims of perverse govt incentives.

        We being libertarians realize that the “collectively” part is the operative portion that makes its underlying assumptions racist. You of course fail to see how collectivism is itself the operative prejudice being espoused.

        1. Jeez Sudden I understand the impulse but Epi is right…don’t respond to it…..it’s not sentient.

      2. Treating blacks, collectively, as victims of their own stupidity is racist.

        Which is why Tony is so vehemently opposed to affirmative action and the welfare state.

  20. “that movie (whatever it was)”

    Libertarian Slumber Party II?

    1. Oh, you mean The Devil’s Rejects?

      1. Dude, Where’s my Freedom?

  21. That of course leads to an endless, meaningless, unproductive cycle, but completely understandable behavior nonetheless.

    A circle jerk, in other words.

    A guy I worked for a long time ago, a road racer, once said to me, “You know what my mother says about drag racing: ‘It’s kinda like masturbatin’. A lot more fun to do than it is to watch’.”

  22. What sane man would tell his girlfriend that it’s ok to have sex with someone that has AIDS but it’s not ok to bring them to a game?

    I guess it’s safe to assume he has nit, in fact, consummated his relationship with this woman.

    1. “he has *nit,* in fact, consummated…”

      Well, it looks like he consummated a relationship with *someone!*

    2. including former Clipper GM Elgin Baylor’s allegations in a wrongful termination suit that Sterling brought women into the shower area of the locker room and told them to “look at those beautiful black bodies,”

      I think it’s also safe to assume that Ms. Stiviano merely serves as bait to attract some “beautiful black” dicks for Mr. Sterling’s prune-like, decrepit lips.

      1. C’mon HM, you know a white chick with booty would serve that function better.

  23. Also lost here is the outrage those on the left showed, and the demands for criminal prosecution, when James O’Keefe surreptitiously recorded ACORN operatives explicitly telling people how to break the law and game our benefits systems, even going so far as to help him get government money to open a brothel. Contrast that to the silence they have shown when a woman records a private conversation where an expectation of privacy actually does exist and then sends it to TMZ in hopes that it will likely land her a spot on the next installment of “Celebrity Big Brother” or “Who Wants To Sell Their Body To A Millionaire”.

    1. I think the biggest takeaway from this whole episode is: Trust no bitch.

        1. And a George H W Bush donor.

          See: WAR ON WIMMINZ!!!1!!!1!!!

    2. Or their recent moral panic: revenge porn.

    3. Obviously angling for the next season of “Couples Therapy”

    4. Well, O’Keefe wasn’t really on the level about it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…..ontroversy

      Independent investigations were made by state attorneys general of Massachusetts and California, and the U.S. Attorney of Brooklyn, New York; their reports were released beginning in December 2009 and extending through April 2010. The attorney general’s office in Massachusetts and the U.S. Attorney for Brooklyn concluded that the ACORN workers had committed no criminal activity and that the videos were “heavily edited” to present material out of context and create a misleading impression of activities.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

      The California Attorney General granted immunity to O’Keefe and Giles in exchange for their raw videos shot at three California ACORN offices. Its comparison of the raw videos with the released versions found that the published videos had been heavily edited to misrepresent the workers and the situations so as to suggest criminal intent and activity.[10][11][12][13] The AG’s Report noted that “O’Keefe stated he was out to make a point and to damage ACORN and therefore did not act as a journalist objectively reporting a story”, and because the Giles-O’Keefe criminal plans were a ruse, the ACORN workers could not be complicit in them. It found no evidence of intent by the employees to aid the couple.

  24. It was a trick H&R post: You’re all racist.

    1. Paul Begala is trying to connect Sterling to Rand Paul.

      ….and Hitler to Rand Paul…..and the KKK to Rand Paul….etc.

      It’s what Paul Begala…he of the giant forehead does!

  25. Every time I see that picture of Sterling my first thought is “Wow, Mike Wallace has really let himself go.”

  26. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy, but I really don’t see what conservatives and libertarians hope to gain by trying to fight fire with fire here.

    I suspect some of it is a desire to see how they like the taste of their own medicine. Perhaps even the futile hope that proggies will learn something from it.

    I say futile because they never learn anything. They’ll scream and yell and froth at the mouth about “GILT BIE ASSOSHEEAYSHUNZ!!11!!!” while simultaneously wondering which party Sterling belongs to and casting meaningful glances at each other long after his donations to Dems has been pointed out. The narrative has been set: Donald Sterling is a racist, Rethuglikkkanz are racists (as all “Right Thinking” people know), therefore Donald Sterling is a Rethuglikkkan.

  27. Nevertheless somebody tried to tag him as a Republican, prompting former Reason editor and current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh to point out his very short history of political donations (two whole candidates) is to the Democrats.

    The Politico shows a lot more than two.

  28. I agree that a racist donating to the Democratic party does not make the Democratic party racist by association. Giving a pass to racist old white men like Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden on the other hand might.

  29. I could not agree more. I am proud moderate who is getting wore out on the mindless dialogue from both sides of the extreme political isle (though progressive liberals do bother more than any other). Having spent 24 yrs in the service, a large chunk of it overseas in a variety of countries and social setting with different ways at looking at things, I understand while there are definite “rights/wrongs” there are a great many things which are relative. In any case this article is spot on.

  30. If the Democrat Party did not have such a long and sordid history of racism in this country, then items like this would seem to be an aberration. However, given their racist past (and present) it bears repeating that despite their silly efforts to smear all Republicans as the real racists, the party of slavery and Jim Crow and the KKK and literacy tests and lynchings and race quotas and internment camps and race baiting still has a problem,

  31. At least we’ll see (I hope) his Stasi-ratbitch spread her legs soon in some form of medium.

  32. “I really don’t see what conservatives and libertarians hope to gain by trying to fight fire with fire here.”
    Would you rather we just stand there and get burned?

    1. If the objective is to avoid getting burned, I’m pretty sure fire extinguishers are better than, well, more fire.

  33. Let’s face it the public is thoroughly dumbed down to the point of worthlessness as far as voting for a decent candidate in elections is concerned. This incidents have the intellectual level of the voters.

  34. Yee’s alleged corruption and hypocrisy is outrageous; but does anybody really think there’s any possible way to reflect his sins upon the entire Democratic Party?

    Yes it goddamn is when the Democrats are hell-bent on restricting my right to self-defense. Sorry, but this is not Gentleman’s Rules or some other bullshit where you can decry ‘playing dirty’. I’m sick and goddamn tired of getting kicked in the balls by asswipes at MSDNC, Salon, DailyKostard and other mouth-breather outlets who have this idea that libertarianism is the modern equivalent of Baal worship.

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