Here's The Rope Boys

If You Give Them Enough Rope....They WILL Hang Themselves!

My friend Bob is a Republican. He has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and he teaches college students mathematics. Without Bob, I never would have graduated from college, because I would have failed the one algebra class I needed to graduate. So Bob is proof that not all Republicans are complete dunderheads!

I have often contended that if Republicans were smart, they would be Democrats. Another one of my favorite disparaging remarks about the political right is that, like all stupid people, if you give them enough rope they will, in fact, hang themselves!

But even I never considered that before the Republicans even take control of the House of Representatives in January 2011 that they would already be putting the noose around their collective fat cat head!

There were two things in today's news that made me shake my head and wonder what planet the Republican leaders live on. The first, and admittedly the one that inspired me to write this hub, came courtesy of an early Christmas gift from Senator John Kyl of the great state of Arizona.

Senator Kyl was speaking on a bill before Congress that would provide $8 billion to help fund healthcare costs of the first responders who risked their lives in the World Trade Center, following the 2001 September 11 attack.

Time was, when there was a good ol' boy from Texas in the White House, you could not find a Republican in either house of congress who would not do back flips to do something to help those great American Patriots who were on the front line of the War on Terror before it was even known as the War on Terror.

Now, when we have thousands of first responders who have become ill because of carcinogens to which they were exposed while sifting through the rubble at Ground Zero trying to find survivors of the greatest terrorist attack on American soil in the history of history, we have the likes of Senator Kyle questioning why the Federal Government should be paying the bills of such public servants. Leave it to the (liberal) state of New York (that we can't hope to win in 2012) to pay for the bills. It's a state issue! It's a local issue! Don't bother us with this! We've gotta catch a plane to get home before Christmas!

Give me a damned break!

I was in day two of a brand new job I had when the planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the cornfield in Pennsylvania. I remember very poignantly the outpouring of support that came from all corners of the United States. Cleaning up Ground Zero was a much bigger job than the city of New York could be asked to tackle. I know groups of firefighters who left their homes in New England and drove to New York asking what they could do to help. I know there had to be firefighters who came from all of these great 50 states, and I am sure as I write this that there must be public servants from around America whose health has suffered because of the contaminants they inhaled following this attack.

So Senator Kyl, are you really simply a dunderhead or are you one of the most tight-fisted Scrooges ever to serve in the Senate? Here's your rope Senator! Make sure it's secured good and tight, just like you.

Civil Rights Integration Wasn't So Bad

Gov. Haley Barbour, of that bastion of liberalism known as Mississippi, wants to be the next President of the United States. Problem is, there's a black man in the White House, so if you want to appear to be mainstream, you have to try to look, well, mainstream. So Gov. Barbour is clearly trying to position himself in the center, at least on the race issue, in hopes that he might appear to be a palatable alternative in the general election.

A few months ago, I remember hearing Gov. Barbour talking about how the desegregation of Mississippi wasn't all that painful, as he, himself, had been part of a desegregated high school. Well, turns out Gov. Barbour misspoke on that point, as the high school he attended was not desegregated until years after he graduated. Maybe it just felt like it was desegregated.

Now, this is the gist of the report I heard on MSNBC earlier, as Gov. Barbour attempts to rewrite history by saying that his recollection of the desegregation of the south wasn't all that bad.

Wasn't all that bad? Maybe for a good ol' boy from Mississippi, the civil rights era might not have been all that bad. I'm sure Martin Luther King would disagree Gov. Barbour!

So Haley, here's your rope. You won't have to tighten it much, since you've got so much flab under that dunderhead of yours!

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Comments 20 comments

Bob the Republican 5 years ago

So Haley Barbour is a racist?


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

You should read the article on which that MSBNC report was based.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/boy-yazoo-c...

The interviewer makes it clear that he did not go to a desegregated high school and Barbour says nothing to the contrary. He did go to Ole Miss for college which was desegregated.

Perhaps Democrats associate intelligence with good writers, which you obviously are, and Republicans with careful readers :-)


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

You know what Bob, you're right. That did not come out the way I intended. I do not know whether Haley Barbour is a racist. He certainly isn't a David Duke type of Republican, but I kinda doubt he has any African Americans on his Christmas Card list. (But then again, neither do I!)

The point I was trying to make is that the Republicans in the south have a long tradition of racism, and as a southern Republican, he cannot expect to get very many black votes. To make him more palatable to the African American community, it appears to me that he is trying to minimize the issue by effectively saying, "Oh, the Civil Rights Era? That was no big deal. And did I mention I went to a desegregated high school?"


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

The comments Haley Barbour made about attending a desegregated high school were made last summer, when he first began testing the waters for a presidential run. That fact was thoroughly debunked. Now, since he is not able to make that claim (without detail-oriented Democrats calling him out on it) it appears his new strategy is to make it seem the whole civil rights movement was no big deal.

Jim


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

Wow, Crash, your ignorance of history is stunning. It is the Democrats that have a long history of racism in the South. Slavery, white separatism/supremacy, Jim Crow, and the KKK were all Democratic party institutions.

"David Duke Republican"? Please check his biography on Wikipedia and then tell me why I should consider this fool a Republican any more than I consider Linden Larouche a Democrat. Can you name a mainstream "David Duke Republican?" I can name several mainstream "David Duke Democrats."

Do you have a source for the Barbour quote? And how many African Americans do you have on your Christmas card list?


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Oh Bob, give me more credit than that! Of course I know that it was the Lincoln-led Republicans who were the first champions of the African American race. The problem is that the two major parties have shifted, so they are now polar opposites of the way they were historically.

The Republican Party made a conscious decision to write off the African American vote with their vaunted Southern Strategy. They looked at the situation and decided it was in their electoral interest to align with the white majority, and since then the African Americans have flocked to the Democrats. I trust you know that, too.

David Duke was a Presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 1992. To my recollection, that was the only time he ran for President. Linden LaRouche has run for President many times, as a Democrat occasionally and as an Independent more frequently.

You want some examples of David Duke Republicans? Well, first, of course, there is David Duke. Next, let's talk about James Strom Thurmond. Or how about Jesse Helms?

My source for the Barbour quote is MSNBC. However, you can bet that I will be digging up a link to verify that information.

And Benny, if you go back and pay a little closer attention to detail, you'll see that I did say that I don't have many African Americans on my Christmas Card list, though that is mostly because I usually send out greetings to my family. Being predominantly French Canadian, there aren't any African Americans I can recall in our family.

Jim


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

Polar opposites? Not at all. Democrats build shaky coalitions by making different promises of entitlements and special statuses to certain demographics. They are happy to turn their backs on any demographic that becomes unpopular. In fact, if I buy what Democrats fought the KKK during the 60's. Fortunately, I am a student of history, and I know that the KKK's biggest support and membership at that time, by far, came from white unionized Democrats in the Rust Belt. Ted Kennedy (and Dodd, Kerry, Leahy, and Cuomo) was staunchly pro life in the 80's. But the unborn do not vote!!!

What happened was that television and improved literacy spoiled the Democrats' strategy of saying one thing to (then largely illiterate) urban ethnics in the North and another to white Southerners. Things came to a head in the 50's and 60's and there was a battle for the Democratic party which the Northerners won. Nixon's Southern strategy was a response, not a cause.

Read the Wikipedia article. Duke ran for president as a Democrat in 1988. It's not clear that even Duke qualifies as a Duke Republican.

I'll give you Helms, but Strom did his Duke imitation as a Dem, right? Duke Dems: Robert Byrd, George Wallace, Al Gore (Sr), Bull Connor. I could keep going and I suspect that you are tapped out.

You really shouldn't have mentioned the Christmas cards at all. I will bet you $10 that Barbour does have African Americans on his Christmas card list. The politicians that you hate are better friends with the politicians that I hate than either of them want us to believe. Think about it.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Bob - If you are an astute student of history you should know that citing a source as weak as Wikipedia is a great way to get a failing grade on a research project. Anyone can log into Wikipedia and make changes to their profiles, rendering all their posts to be not much better than gee whiz information.

David Duke may have run for President in 1988. I do not recall him being there then, but he did run in 1992 as a Republican. I know because I was still young and foolish in 1992 and arrived at the primary, hoping to cast my vote for Paul Tsongas. Turns out I was still registered Republican, and the choices I had for president were:

Pat Buchanan

George H.W. Bush

David Duke

None of the Above

I chose None of the Above, because Buchanan is about as right-wing as they come. George H.W. Bush was a man of principle but a lousy president (not unlike Jimmy Carter on the Democratic side), David Duke was a racist. It was the most pointless vote I have ever cast, but it was the only choice I could make, honestly.

I will give you that Strom Thurmond was once a Democrat, but he became a Republican and spent decades on that side of the aisle.

Are you trying to suggest that Ted Kennedy was pro-life? I have read and re-read that line. That, my friend, is something I would want to see some proof. And I should mention that on a philosophical level I am pro-life, but I recognize that God gives all of us the freedom to choose, and so I pray for those who make the choice to abort a pregnancy.

Unless you have access to Haley Barbour's Christmas Card list, I would suggest that wager is un-provable. But your last point is well-taken. I have heard of Liberal Dems and Ultra Conservative Republicans being close friends. Go figure....

Oh and by the way....Merry Christmas!

Jim


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Pursuant to my friend Bob's request, here is a link to an article where the Mississippi Governor claimed to have gone to an integrated high school.

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/com...


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Boy, the more I look into this guy, the less I like him. Bob started this interchange by asking me if Haley Barbour is a racist. Here is an excerpt about Haley Barbour, source information to follow:

Barbour has sparked various controversies during his time in politics, particularly around race and class issues. In 1982, while running a race for U.S. Senate that he eventually lost, a press aide complained to him that "coons" were going to be at a campaign stop at the state fair. In front of reporters, Barbour warned the aide to stop using racist language or he would be "reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks."

http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/05/haley-barbo...

Some could say that it appears Barbour was taking his staff member to task for the coon remark. But his comment about being turned into a water melon suggests to me that Barbour was certainly aware that making such bold statements would not play well with the general public. So I don't think Barbour's reprimand of his staff member is evidence of Barbour not being a racist, but it certainly is evidence he knows such views can hurt him politically.

Jim


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

Here's the excerpt:

"My generation, who went to integrated schools. I went to an integrated college. Never thought twice about it. It was the old Democrats who had fought for segregation so hard. By my time, people realized that was the past. It was indefensible, wasn't going to be that way anymore."

And how do you or anyone else conclude that by "schools" he did not mean "colleges?" Rachel Maddow never asked him to clarify. Sorry, but this is not enough. Just because every lefty blog wants to interpret things this way does not make it so.


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Bob:

I assume, being a math professor, that you understand the concept of singular versus plural, am I correct? Let's assume you do. The quote you have selected refers to "My generation, who went to integrated schools." Schools implies more than one. So it is counter-intuitive to suggest he was referring to a single school.

You could also make a case that he was not simply referring to his own schools, but also to the schools that those in his generation attended. Yet I would assume that even you could not dispute that there were plenty of schools in Governor Barbour's generation that were not desegregated.

The truth is that Governor Barbour's generation was a product of segregation, and this is a political reality that obviously bothers him, or he would not be trying so hard to spin this in a direction that benefits him.

I also note that you have chosen not to address the water melon quote above. Probably because there is no defense of a comment like that, so it is best to simply ignore it?

Jim


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great Hub Crash. I totally agree. The Republicans holding up the aid for sick 9/11 workers is unconscionable and frankly politically stupid. I also would like to know why they are holding up the START treaty. It cuts levels of warheads albeit modestly and strengthens verification. We also need to retain Russian support for pressure on Iran to try to keep them from acquiring nuclear weapons. All the top Republican statesmen agree. The Republicans led by Sen. Mitch McConnell are just opposing anything President Obama does. It will bite them in the butt good in 2012.


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

I under stand plural versus singular. I also understand that "generation" is a singular noun but refers to multiple people who are free to attend other colleges besides Ole Miss. Hence, "integrated schools" can just as well refer to the "integrated colleges" attended by the peers of his generation. Right?


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

The fact is that he does not clearly state that he went to an integrated high school as you claim. You have to draw an inference to reach that conclusion. This is not a smoking gun.

Apropos the watermelon remark, how does the following talk compare on your bigotrometer?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG8RUP31oIY

Note that I gave you the longer version in which he also says some politically correct things about Indians, as well.


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

However, to deal with the watermelon issue head on... I was waiting for you to do something with it. You found a report of an incident that, to paraphrase your conclusion, does not necessarily suggest to you that he is not a racist. This is not the same as finding a quote that suggests that he is racist.

I do not equate every politically incorrect statement with racism. Were you expecting me to do so?


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

OK Bob, so you have no response to the watermelon remark, right? Last time I checked, we were discussing Haley Barbour, and you are trying to redirect the discussion away from Mr. Barbour to our illustrious vice president. There is a good reason why Joe Biden is Vice President and Obama is the President. It is because Biden is prone to making "what was he thinking" comments like that on Youtube. Presidents have a habit of choosing Vice Presidents who cannot measure up to them. Reagan did it with Bush, and Bush proved he was no Reagan. Bush really had to dig deep to unearth someone beneath him, so we were blessed with Dan Quayle.

To return to the subject at hand, Haley Barbour did state last summer that his high school had been desegregated. That was one of the first "facts" that Rachel Maddow debunked. I am sure that I will find that clip, and when I do I will embed it in this hub (at which time I suspect this debate will end).

I will end this note with one thought....It is interesting to me that you are busily defending Haley Barbour with such vim and vigor, when Mr. Barbour is already back-pedaling from the comments he made that inspired this hub in the first place.

Jim


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

HSchneider - Don't look now, but the latest news I have heard about the START Treaty is that the Democrats now have enough votes to pass the bill, and it is expected to have that vote tomorrow. Also, the subject of the top half of this hub is likely to be approved tomorrow as well. So let's hold our fingers and hope that this time tomorrow night Americans will be safer and our heroes will be rewarded for their heroism.

Thanks for the note.

Jim


Bob the Republican 5 years ago

Watermelon comments do not a racist make. How's that?


crashcromwell profile image

crashcromwell 5 years ago from Florida Author

Watermelon comments may not make a racist, but comments like being placed at the mercy of blacks do.

Jim

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