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  • Tourette Syndrome

    Posted by Shannon Love on August 26th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Incidents like this really reinforce the long held belief by non-leftist that leftist have long since stopped caring about racism and instead just reflexively use it as a thoughtless bludgeon to attack anyone who disagree with them. Watching the Clinton’s and their supporters being savaged as racist was darkly amusing as schadenfreude but given their track record as solid leftist it really just shows that few on the left actually care about real victims of racism. If they did, they wouldn’t trivialize the accusation of racism in this manner. 

    Years ago, I use to stammer and make denials when someone called me a racist. Now I don’t even blink. I’ve come to accept the accusation as merely part of conversation with leftist. It’s somewhat akin to expecting profanity or ticks when speaking to someone suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome. The wild accusations hurled at Clinton supporters fit this pattern all to well as they seem to arise from some analogous uncontrolled impulse. 

     Obama’s candidacy might change race relations in America in a way far different than many of his supporters suspect. 

     

    21 Responses to “Tourette Syndrome”

    1. fred lapides Says:

      It is good to know that conservatives and the GOP is free of such stuff…why talk to Leftists if you dislike their attitude?
      Let’s see: Obama is black and he is the candidate for president for the Dems; Hillary is white, a woman, and she nearly was the candidate…I guess that show the dislike Demorats (ie, leftists) have for women and people of color.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapides,

      It is good to know that conservatives and the GOP is free of such stuff…

      Not since the John Birch society dropped off the radar.

      why talk to Leftists if you dislike their attitude?

      It’s this whole consensual government business. Annoying I know but until the peoples of the world wise up and make me God-Emperor of Earth I am forced to engage in political debate with my fellow citizens.

      Obama is black and he is the candidate for president for the Dems; Hillary is white, a woman, and she nearly was the candidate…

      And absent the Left’s obsession with identity politics neither one of them would be. There have never been any white male candidates with similar records that got anywhere near this close. See John Edwards. Their elevation shows the lefts veneration of innate characteristics over individual accomplishment and competence.

    3. Boonton Says:

      Not since the John Birch society dropped off the radar.

      Ohhh really. Must of been the ghost of Birch that printed up all those bumper stickers that said the White House wouldn’t be White if Obama got in….Likewise what about the whole grade of C level pundits who seem to think “Obama’s name is funny” is an actual argument that merits serious consideration or the hysterical claims Obama is a closet Muslim absent any evidence at all.

      Let’s face it, there has been an undercurrent of racism against Obama because he is black (well actually half-black). There has been some against Hillary because she’s a woman….but to be honest I don’t think the two are equal. (My father-in-law’s brother embodied both at once when he decided his disdain for a woman running the armed forces outweighed his dislike of blacks and caused him to support Obama in the primaries….this isn’t typical of ‘elite opinion’ but you’ll find more than enough examples of reasoning like this out there)….

      And Hillary did as much as she could to capture the racially motivated white vote (remember ‘I’m winning more hard working white votes’? as opposed to what? welfare collecting black voters?) without actually coming out and saying she endorsed the uneasiness some whites have with a non-white president. I’m not making a big deal about it because it is a factor that is out there but it no longer dominates American life like it did in the past and that’s a good thing.

      Do I think the left has jumped at the racism charge too quickly in the past? Yes. Are there still examples of this? Sure. Are all the charges really unmerited? No. That being said I’ve yet to see anything Shannon wrote that I would call racism, take that for what you want.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      You’re comparing minor rightwing extremist against elite power figures of major leftist institutions. Its not the same thing. If the leftist people saying these things were communist deadenders or the like you would have a case but these leftist are major figures in the party, campaigns, journalism and activist groups. In this case Emil Jones is a member of Illinois state Senate, not some black redneck.

      Moreover, the accusations are being made against people with a long history of fighting for civil rights as leftist conceive of it. The idea that they are actually closet racist from leftist perspective is just silly. Clearly, this is just a reflexive accusation that leftist have conditioned themselves to make.

      Let’s face it, there has been an undercurrent of racism against Obama because he is black…

      Yes, of course. But the undercurrent comes from the grassroots not rightest elites who are scrupulous in watching what they say because they will destroy their careers if they make a mistake. Electorally, the grassroots con-racism and con-sexism are counterbalanced by pro-racism and pro-sexism. I think that the vast majority of people on the right with racist beliefs would not have voted for either if they had been rich white males (again see John Edwards). The only people for who this will make a difference is with con-racist and con-sexist who normally vote democrat.

      (remember ‘I’m winning more hard working white votes’? as opposed to what? welfare collecting black voters?)

      As opposed to upper class white urban professionals. I happened to have looked up the context of that particular quote because the supposition that it was racist seemed at odds with Clinton’s history. She was talking about the well recognized division in support between working class and upper class whites between Clinton and Obama. The fact that the quote was taken out of context and used against her in this manner just goes to underline my point.

      That being said I’ve yet to see anything Shannon wrote that I would call racism, take that for what you want.

      That’s probably because your a leftist yourself and usually toe the leftist line to a degree. Try the following experiment. Go onto some leftist blog or forum and pretend to be someone who believes in individual merit as opposed to identity politics. For example, argue for the historically anti-racist position of merit admission to colleges. It won’t take long for someone to call you a racist. It doesn’t even have to be a subject directly related to race. Global Warming, the war in Iraq, the housing crisis etc are all subjects in which I have been accused of racism, usually completely out of the blue.

      The treatment of Clinton et al should serve as a warning to you of the treatment you will receive should you deviate from the true faith as others see it.

    5. Lexington Green Says:

      Being accused of racism is the first move any Leftist makes in a conversation with anyone who has any disagreement with him. It is like pawn-to-king-4.

    6. Ginny Says:

      Or “McCarthyism”

    7. Lexington Green Says:

      Or being called a “fascist”. That one was tired 60 years ago.

      George Orwell said in 1946 that “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’.”

      Still, if you are in favor of school vouchers or tax cuts, the f-bomb will swiftly make its appearance.

    8. virgil xenophon Says:

      The Orwell quote is key. The unintended consequence of the left’s “liberal” slinging around such terms at the drop of a hat to forestall all debate is going to be, IMO, the hardening of the resolve of those in the middle to marginally on the center-right who previously have been on tender-hooks about voicing any criticism at all of the far left’s ideas, for fear of being tagged with just such appellations. Once these terms are devalued through mindless repetition they become far less feared. Indeed, after a while, being constantly showered with such labels only hardens one’s resolve rather than causes one to pull in one’s horns, as it were.

    9. Boonton Says:

      You’re comparing minor rightwing extremist against elite power figures of major leftist institutions. Its not the same thing.

      Elite power figures? The head of Illinois NOW who made the racism charge or Illinois Senate President Emil Jones who supposedly made the comment but denies it? Who are the minor power figures?

      BTW, it seems like a legitimate grip to me. If he did call the delgate an ‘Uncle Tom’ it’s fair to call that out as a racist comment is it not?

      Electorally, the grassroots con-racism and con-sexism are counterbalanced by pro-racism and pro-sexism.

      Amazing how every always balances itself out so evenly so that it nets to zero. There’s a phd in it for anyone who can explain what mechanism achieves such perfect balance. You mean there’s never even a little bit more racism than sexism at work?

      As opposed to upper class white urban professionals. I happened to have looked up the context of that particular quote because the supposition that it was racist seemed at odds with Clinton’s history. She was talking about the well recognized division in support between working class and upper class whites between Clinton and Obama.

      Remember what you said about right wing outlets being extra careful? You think it only works in one direction? There was a lot of racism directed from the ‘grassroots’ at Obama, especially in the WV primary and it did appear Clinton was willing to exploit it as much as possible rather than directly reject it. (Recall also the “not that I know of” answer to the Muslims meme…). I’m not saying she personally agreed with these ideas, but I do think she was happy to exploit it.

      That’s probably because your a leftist yourself and usually toe the leftist line to a degree.

      Are you sure you read what I wrote correctly? I said I haven’t seen anything of yours that I would call racist.

      Try the following experiment. Go onto some leftist blog or forum and pretend to be someone who believes in individual merit as opposed to identity politics.

      Yea or I can be called a tyrant, a communist, or some other type of evil dooer on a right wing blog like this. We all get our kinks in different ways :)

      Lexington
      Being accused of racism is the first move any Leftist makes in a conversation with anyone who has any disagreement with him.

      Just to be clear the article Shannon cited involved a Clinton delegate who was allegedly called an Uncle Tom (the accused says he called the person a ‘doubting Thomas’). In my book calling a black person an Uncle Tom (or a white person for that matter) is pretty inflamatory. If you wanted to cite this as an example of possible racism on the left then that might make some sense but it seems to me it’s pretty fair for a person to take offense at being called an “Uncle Tom” and not chalk that up to just a ‘disagreement’.

    10. Lexington Green Says:

      Just to be clear Shannon said “Years ago, I use to stammer and make denials when someone called me a racist.” That is what I was responding to.

    11. Boonton Says:

      My apologies, but don’t you think it’s odd that a post whose assertion can be summed up in your statement as “Being accused of racism is the first move any Leftist makes in a conversation with anyone who has any disagreement with him.” can’t even seem to get an example of this correct?

    12. Boonton Says:

      And absent the Left’s obsession with identity politics neither one of them would be. There have never been any white male candidates with similar records that got anywhere near this close. See John Edwards.

      It’s folly to try to figure out the spread in politics by looking at records. Clinton, unlike Edwards, built two powerful machines to bring her within a hair of nomination. The first was the public group of supporters who were promoting her as an eventual candidate even before Bill left the Whitehouse. The second was the ‘Clinton machine’ built behind the scenes both by Hillary and Bill as they formed alliances with the movers and shakers in the party as well as establishing themselves as capable of getting big money donations. Obama, likewise, was able to build a massive grassroots organization that outraised both Hillary and McCain in numerous small scale donations. Likewise he built a network of volunteers who demonstrated considerable motivation to spend the hours necessary to participate in the caucauses (much more involved than simply casting a ballot). From the POV of a party seeking to field the best possible candidate both these cases would rate very highly since to win an election you need to get lots of people to vote for you and at the same time get lots of money donated to you. Here John Edwards simply failed to inspire as much even though a supposedly objective reading of the record might make him appear to be an equal candidate.

    13. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      Elite power figures?

      Elected officials, senior party members, officers of major activist organizations. The contretemps involved here is between a state senator and a state officer of NOW. I offered this in counterpoint to your argument that rightwingers were equally vitriolic based on the evidence of a bumper sticker.

      Amazing how every always balances itself out so evenly so that it nets to zero

      It doesn’t. I expect the people who vote for Obama just because he is black to swamp the people who vote against him just because he black. I don’t buy the idea that their are vast numbers of racist who reliably vote Democrat in presidential elections who will suddenly jump ship just because the candidate is black.

      Are you sure you read what I wrote correctly? I said I haven’t seen anything of yours that I would call racist.

      My mistake. I thought you’d meant you’d never seen a leftist call a non-leftist a racist when they simply disagreed.

      Yea or I can be called a tyrant, a communist, or some other type of evil dooer on a right wing blog like this. We all get our kinks in different ways

      Once, just he accusation of being a communist could destroy people. The reckless use of the accusation eventually led to being called communist being considered a badge of honor. A similar evolution is occurring with accusations of racism and for the same reason. Accusations of communism lost their punch when those making the accusations went after targets whose non-communist credentials where above reproach. The left turning on the Clinton’s is just that sort of action and will have the same results.

      The next time someone on the left calls someone a racist they’ll just say something like, “yea that’s what they said about the Clintons.”

      My apologies, but don’t you think it’s odd that a post whose assertion can be summed up in your statement as “Being accused of racism is the first move any Leftist makes in a conversation with anyone who has any disagreement with him.” can’t even seem to get an example of this correct?

      Here is a google search on the phrase “says that Clinton is a racist”. You could do the same search for Bush, McCain or anyone you wanted. Perhaps you recall the widespread accusation that that McCain’s “Celebrity” ad was racist.

      It’s folly to try to figure out the spread in politics by looking at records.

      It’s the only metric we have. We take politicians of similar characteristics but differ by race and see how their fortunes fair. Far from perfect but it is the only semi-objective means. Otherwise, your just basing it on a hunch informed by your own biases.

    14. Shannon Love Says:

      Whoops, the link mentioned above.

    15. Boonton Says:

      Here is a google search on the phrase “says that Clinton is a racist”. You could do the same search for Bush, McCain or anyone you wanted. Perhaps you recall the widespread accusation that that McCain’s “Celebrity” ad was racist.

      Ironically I did McCain first and google found nothing with quote marks. Without the quote marks the first links is “Obama: McCain camp not racist, but ‘cynical’ in raising doubts …” The first actual site with a direct claim that McCain is a racist is http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/10086 ….which seems to be more right leaning (based on its motto which is “Because nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session or the White House is occupied”.

      First site for “says that Clinton is a racist” is http://www.geocities.com/republican_strategist/clinton-racist.html whose argument is that J. William Fulbright was a segregationist and Bill Clinton was wrong to honor him on Oct 22, 2002. But point granted that search does result in Obama supporters accusing Hillary Clinton of racism (second result is theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com who sounds both angry and black).

      Searching for “says that Obama is a racist” results in two hits from what appear to be right wing message boards. Remove the quotes and the first hit is a youtube of Sean Hannity asserting Obama is a racist.

      The point here, though, is not to assert that no left wing person has accused Hillary of racism. Clearly some have but it hardly seems like it is the first thing said about her and it doesn’t seem to be the result of simple political disagreement but what many, rightly or wrongly, perceive to be her wink, wink nudge nudge demeanor when it seemed like grassroots racism might have been politically useful to her. Even now I think she seems to be giving her supporters a wink wink when it comes to voting for the nominee, essentially harming her party in the short term in exchange for long term gain for herself. Does that make her racist? No but then again I’m not seeing a charge of racism from the ‘elite’. That charge seems to bubble around the grassroots which as you acknowledge gets more passionate about these things on both sides of the spectrum.

      Also you still haven’t addressed the odd point that the article you referenced had nothing to do with an unmerited charge of racism by a leftist. Either the Senator called the NOW person an Uncle Tom or he didn’t. If he did it seems the NOW person is perfectly within bounds to call him out on that. Are you saying that accusations of “Uncle Tom” should become a regular part of our discourse without any judgement by more civil folks that such things are out of bounds?

      It’s the only metric we have. We take politicians of similar characteristics but differ by race and see how their fortunes fair. Far from perfect but it is the only semi-objective means. Otherwise, your just basing it on a hunch informed by your own biases.

      I gave you plenty of other metrics. Ability to raise large amounts of donations; ability to raise money from large amounts of small donars, ability to organize a large portion of volunteers accross the country, even ability to run a well organized campaign. Despite personal biases these characteristics are either as objective as tallying up years in the Senate or can be judged somewhat fairly by even biased observers who are willing to try to take an honest look at the candidates…for example even Hillary supporters acknowledge her campaign was plagued by infighting, leaks and other management problems. On that scale Edwards was not the same type of candidate either Hillary or Clinton was.

    16. Mitch Says:

      A racist is someone who’s winning an argument with a liberal. It’s sort of a corollary Godwin’s Law.

    17. Shannon Love Says:

      Boonton,

      Also you still haven’t addressed the odd point that the article you referenced had nothing to do with an unmerited charge of racism by a leftist.

      I had in mind that specific link as an example of leftist fratricide.

      Try this search

      I gave you plenty of other metrics.

      Unfortunately, most of the metrics you propose are themselves functions of popularity due to race or sex. A popular candidate can raise more money. They raise more money from small donors. Running a successful campaign rather begs the question. An innately popular candidate can make far more mistakes than an unpopular one. In short, the metrics you propose do not control for popularity based on innate characteristics.

    18. Boonton Says:

      On the black side, I suspect Obama is simply a better, smarter campaigner than Clinton was. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both attempted to run on the Democratic ticket before and they didn’t get much in terms of votes on account of being black…Sharpton I believe even had trouble carrying some black communities. Many notable blacks were Hillary supporters until near the end (for example, Charles Rangal of NY). It’s very clear now that Hillary’s campaign was suffering from major management problems while Obama’s wasn’t, which is not a function of popularity.

      I’ll grant you the point that many of these factors are difficult or impossible to reduce to a number, which makes using them as a metric difficult. That does not mean, however, that they didn’t play deciding roles in who won the nomination and don’t carry a lot of explanation for why others like Edwards or Richardson did nowhere near as good. Your use of only metrics you ‘can see’ is a bit like the old story about the drunk looking for his keys under the street light.

    19. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      Your use of only metrics you ‘can see’ is a bit like the old story about the drunk looking for his keys under the street light.

      Yes, but using the factors we can see beats using the factors we imagine exist. There is no way, even in principle to measure whether a campaign is “well run” or not. For example, consider a campaign with a high degree of internal arguments. If the candidate wins, those argument will be called “vigorous internal debate” and a sign that candidate encouraged his people to look at every option. If the candidate loses, those arguments will be taken as a sign that the campaign was “riven by internal discord” and as a sign that the candidate could not organize or lead.

      Assessing the effect of popularity based on innate characteristics on political fortunes by looking at the political fortunes commits the logical fallacy of begging the question. If a candidate wins due to popularity, his campaign choices seem wise because he won. We may have a hunch that factors such as those you list played a part but we have no means of knowing if our hunches are wrong.

      It might help if you look at the problem form the direction of the negative effects of Obama’s race on his campaign. If in fact, enough democrat racist do exist to deny him the elections, does that fact tell us anything about the quality of the campaign that Obama will run? Obviously not.

      We can only assess the factor of race by restricting our inputs to objective factors unrelated to the outcome of the current contest. Time in office, political achievements (bills sponsored, hearing held, compromises reached etc) education, non-political accomplishments etc allow us to somewhat control for factors such as race and sex. After all, this is the same technique we use to look for discrimination in the workplace and education.

    20. Boonton Says:

      Yes, but using the factors we can see beats using the factors we imagine exist. There is no way, even in principle to measure whether a campaign is “well run” or not.

      It’s not about imagination. I remember reading that one of Hillary’s top managers didn’t even realize until late in the game that California and many other big states awarded their delegates proportionately rather than winner-take-all. While I can’t assing a number to stupidity like that in an organization whose job it is to raise and wisely spend tens of millions of dollars in a few months it certainly carries a real impact on the election. Likewise it carries real impact that Hillary’s husband was president for 8 years and spent years afterwards solidfying alliances in the Democratic party. It’s a little silly to say that someone who happened to rack up an equal amount of time in the Senate should be expected to perform equally as well.

      I could just as easily observe that most successful GOP nominees in the past have been Governors (Bush II, Reagan) or held Executive Office (Ford, Bush I, Nixon) while unsuccessful ones held leglislative office (Goldwater, Dole). Therefore McCain’s trumping of two Executive Office holders (Romney and Huckabee) is strange. What I can’t do, though, is make a leap and assume the explanation is some type of bias based on some objective characteristic (a penchant for old people on the part of the GOP or people wounded in war).

      For example, consider a campaign with a high degree of internal arguments. If the candidate wins, those argument will be called “vigorous internal debate” and a sign that candidate encouraged his people to look at every option. If the candidate loses, those arguments will be taken as a sign that the campaign was “riven by internal discord” and as a sign that the candidate could not organize or lead.

      I get what you’re saying, history is written in hindsight. The campaign that wastes a lot of money may win and the wasters will argue that proves they were wise spenders….victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan and all. It doesn’t follow though that wasting money is actuall the mark of a good candidate or campaign. It simply means the other strengths of the candidate happened to overcome that weakness.

      In this respect you’re still taking the easy to measure metric (how many years in Senate) and raising it above all others simply because it’s easy to measure. “Ability to give an inspiring speech” is hardly so easy to measure but it seems hard to imagine how simply adding a few decades to one’s Senate tenure overcomes an poor speaking skills. Your argument, IMO comes down to “I can measure how long Obama, Clinton and Edwards were in the Senate, I can measure what color they are, I can measure their gender. The first they all pretty much come in even at therefore the success of two and failure of the third can only be explained by people voting for or aganst gender and color”.

      This kind of begs the question, if you can reduce things to just an objective metric contest then why do the parties have primaries at all? While they do generate some coverage for the eventual nominee they cost a huge amount of time and money which I’m sure the parties would be happy to use in the general election….the one that actually counts. Competition would seem to favor the party that ‘objectively’ chooses its nominees.

      The answer, IMO, is that the best nominee is based on a huge array of difficult to measure variables, hence the expensive and time consuming contest which not only can juggle those measurable variables that the candidates bring to the race (including things like race, gender, voting record, etc.) but also ones that are only revealed by the race like how quickly and effectively they respond to attacks, raise money, form volunteer organizations on the fly etc.

    21. Max Says:

      When the only card in their deck is the race card, you know you are dealing with someone who is not playing with a full deck.

      Obama/Biden supporters are doing only a little better; They have the race card and two jokers.