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Old 01-15-2019, 02:55 AM
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Republicans remove Rep. Steve King (Racist-Iowa) from committees


The House Republicans surprised me by actually asking concrete action against habitual racist Rep. Steve King of Iowa

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/u...supremacy.html

Usually Republicans engage in empty platitudes when one of their fellow party members expresses racist views. But this is actually real action, if minor.

Let's see if they go along with censure.

To recap, King recently wondered out loud why white supremacy and white nationalism should be considered bad things.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:57 AM
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It says Minority Leader, not Speaker.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:58 AM
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Dammit, let's see if we can get that fixed.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:22 AM
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Long, long overdue. He's said many, many racist things, but here's one that stands out: in October he endorsed an open white nationalist, who appeared on an alt-right podcast and repeated the infamous white supremacist 14 words.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:51 AM
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I'm kinda trying to figure out the political calculus here from all sides. My read on it: https://twitter.com/ToymakerHypno/st...24784739434498

So the thing about Steve King.

Steve King has always been pretty racist. Like, he's always said horrendously racist things. It's just that they need a bit of parsing. It always offered some level of motivated deniability - people who didn't want to see it could shut it out.

"We can't repopulate our civilization with someone else's babies" - to anyone familiar with the great replacement conspiracy, it's about as racist as asking why we don't do public lynchings any more. But you need to make that context clear.

And while I'm 100% sure that King's friends in congress know full well what that context is, it's beneficial for them to ignore it, because their constituents don't. Isn't that right, @tedcruz?

But "Why is white supremacy a dirty word"? Jesus, you can't hide that. There's no deniability, try as hard as you like.

So the question isn't "why did it take you so long to turn on the obvious nazi" but rather "why did the figleafed nazi think he could make it this obvious?"

And I worry that says some bad things about where America is. Here's a nazi who isn't afraid that being a nazi will hurt his chances of reelection. Yikes.

If we cannot, as a society, band together to remove the guy who is openly a white supremacist from congress... Fuck, man.

That's really gonna be bad.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:59 AM
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A dollar short and a decade late. He's been like this for eons.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:16 AM
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Dammit, let's see if we can get that fixed.
Gotcha covered. No worries.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:23 AM
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Republicans, especially House Republicans, may have noticed that the room looks a lot different since the last election. Maybe it's s l o w l y dawning on them that racism is costing them.

Last edited by bobot; 01-15-2019 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:35 AM
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Republicans, especially House Republicans, may have noticed that the room looks a lot different since the last election. Maybe it's s l o w l y dawning on them that racism is costing them.
I don't think so.

They just like the use of racist appeals to have some elements of deniability, even if those elements strain credulity. He has gone so far beyond that deniability point so often that even they realize it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:47 AM
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I think it's elements of both. King was a little too obvious this time, and shot his mouth off just when the composition of the House took a dramatic shift away from old white men. The Republicans in the House had to do something or disappear completely from the legislative process.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:19 AM
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Republicans, especially House Republicans, may have noticed that the room looks a lot different since the last election. Maybe it's s l o w l y dawning on them that racism is costing them.
Isnít this the demographic problem thatís been obvious for a few decades, though? Having a motivated base of older white voters is ok for a while. But the problem begins to pile up when the percentage of non-white and younger voters begins to climb. With women breaking away from Republican circles an entrenched power base needs greater and greater non-democratic actions - gerrymandering, nerfing elected Democrats and so forth - as well as an ever greater engagement by their shrinking base to maintain their position.

They become like the Soviet military in the 80s; demanding a larger and larger share of the soviet economy to keep pace with the west until there was simply no more to give. The entire thing spiraled down. This is where the short term thinking about f republican leadership over the last forty years has led them: to having to embrace people like King to maintain their hold on power.

It canít last. Iíd like to think they know that and will adjust. Iíd like to but I donít know if they have the imagination for it or whether a new Conservative party with more inclusive ideals will replace them.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:36 AM
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Well, kicking King off of committees is an adjustment. It's not enough, and they may or may not follow it up with more adjustments, but it's a start.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:51 AM
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This is the exact same treatment the Democrats gave Jim Traficant. I think the political calculus is simple: I think top Republicans are pressuring King to either resign or be expelled from Congress just as Traficant was.

Republicans have got to realize that with King still a loose cannon, the Democratic campaign ads are going to write themselves. And, they’re going to be real tired of answering questions about endorsing King or previous support for him. There’s a very good chance that November 2020 could see Democratic wins for the President and Senate but there’s no reason for Republicans to give the Democrats more ammo because of a loony Congressman from Iowa.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 AM
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Odd that this was a priority now that Paul Ryan is gone. Why wasn't it a priority when Paul Ryan was the actual Speaker? It's not as if Steve King, on 1-31-2018, said "Damn, now I can make America racist again!" No... he's been saying the same shit for years.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:53 AM
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Well, kicking King off of committees is an adjustment. It's not enough, and they may or may not follow it up with more adjustments, but it's a start.
I'm 99% sure that, 2 weeks into the new Congress, King already has a primary challenger.

Losing the Ag committee hurt. People work years to get on those things, and here King just fucked it all up for his state.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:12 AM
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Note that he's the only Republican elected to the House from Iowa. That's got to be scaring reality into some of his party.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:59 AM
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He's off the committees, but he's still in the party caucus, right?
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:14 AM
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Interesting take from RawStory:

Quote:
King is much less important to the GOPís political power than Trump is, and apparently, he has now crossed the line from plain bigotry into indefensible bigotry. So some Republicans are making a show of distancing themselves from him, out of the likely rational decision that risking an Iowa House seat is better than failing to address Kingís comments.

But itís not a principled stand. They donít object to his bigotry. They just wish heíd be quieter about it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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Really kind of an obvious take; it's not like he hasn't consistently said shit that's this bad (just slightly less blatant) in the recent past.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:50 AM
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Interesting take from RawStory:
And yet, that seat is pretty safe Republican with a normal candidate, I donít think itíll be remotely competitive if King resigns or is expelled from Congress.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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Dahleen Glanton's column in today's Chicago Tribune mentioned Sen. Tim Scott's op-ed in the Washington Post about King's comments that said, "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism -- it is because of our silence when things like this are said."

[QUOTE]No, Sen. Scott, that's not why many African-Americans think the Republican Party is racist. It's because of the racist policies the GOP espouses.
/QUOTE]

She goes on to enumerate some of those policies, including passing statewide voter identification laws; giving big tax breaks to the wealthy while proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other safety nets for the poor; looking at Pell Grants, student loans and Head Start programs as handouts, rather than steppingstones to a better left.

The column is behind a paywall, or I'd give a link to it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:39 PM
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I'm 99% sure that, 2 weeks into the new Congress, King already has a primary challenger.

Losing the Ag committee hurt. People work years to get on those things, and here King just fucked it all up for his state.
I thought I saw something yesterday saying he already has 2 primary challengers but I could have misunderstood. I think it's pretty clear the sudden GOP spinal growth on this issue is related to timing. If they had taken this action before the election it could have lost them another seat. Now they can run someone else and be pretty well guaranteed they will retain it.

I was surprised McConnell suggested King should consider another line of work. Much more of a harsh position than I would expect. Why his sudden change on the topic when he has been perfectly happy to ignore it in the past? Maybe again it is all about getting past the election. Then again I wonder if it has something to do with having a more moderate voice join the Senate in the person of Mitt Romney. I'm not a fan but Romney has been one of the few in the GOP willing to speak up about some of the more vile things Trump and his cronies like King have done over the last couple of years. And his denunciation of King was pretty much the strongest I saw and the only one directly calling for him to resign that I'm aware of on the GOP side. I'm curious if he will influence the Senate leadership to put more distance between them and the White House over the next couple of years.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:43 PM
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Not distributing resources to poor people is “racist”?

When has the GOP tried to cut SS or Medicare? They had control of govt for two years and never came near it. I’m sorry but that post is out to lunch and reeks of party operative.

(Re: Anny Middon)

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 01-15-2019 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:49 PM
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Usually Republicans engage in empty platitudes when one of their fellow party members expresses racist views. But this is actually real action, if minor.

Let's see if they go along with censure.
I disagree that being kicked off committees is minor. That's a major hit on his ability to influence things for his district. Especially in the House where his one vote out of 435 is less important for any potential dealmaking. I'd rank censure as being about as useful as empty platitudes. Sure it's a formal platitude but it's still toothless.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:53 PM
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My daughter had been one of those Millennials too apathetic to vote. But shortly before November's election, she told me, "I can't wait to vote!" She was spurred to action specifically by learning about the vileness of Steve King. We're not in Iowa, but the election in her district did flip a longtime Republican seat to Democratic, so her vote went to good effect.

At first I misread her text and thought she had been motivated by a certain horror fiction writer from Maine, but then found out what she meant and became equally outraged.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:58 PM
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The column is behind a paywall, or I'd give a link to it.
Why not give the link anyway, in case someone has a subscription or decides to buy one?
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:08 PM
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Not distributing resources to poor people is ďracistĒ?

When has the GOP tried to cut SS or Medicare? They had control of govt for two years and never came near it. Iím sorry but that post is out to lunch and reeks of party operative.

(Re: Anny Middon)
It was not claimed to be racist per se, but mentioned policies that target mainly blacks. Those policies are attempts to uplift blacks. How much of American prosperity was built on the backs of slavery? How bed was the federal policy of redlining for the chances of blacks to uplift themselves? How much poorer that white-majority schools than black-majority ones? Are the voter restriction laws racially neutral? Are you just blind to these effects?
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:15 PM
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Republicans, especially House Republicans, may have noticed that the room looks a lot different since the last election. Maybe it's s l o w l y dawning on them that racism is costing them.
Well Steve King certainly noticed:
Quote:
In the interview with The Times, Mr. King also reflected on the record number of minorities and women in the new Democratic-controlled House. ďYou could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men,Ē he said.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have had the effect we might have hoped for.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:30 PM
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I disagree that being kicked off committees is minor. That's a major hit on his ability to influence things for his district. Especially in the House where his one vote out of 435 is less important for any potential dealmaking. I'd rank censure as being about as useful as empty platitudes. Sure it's a formal platitude but it's still toothless.


Agreed, losing his committee assignments is major. It’s also a clear signal to voters in his district that the party leadership is done with King and they want him gone.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:41 PM
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I was surprised McConnell suggested King should consider another line of work. Much more of a harsh position than I would expect. Why his sudden change on the topic when he has been perfectly happy to ignore it in the past? Maybe again it is all about getting past the election. Then again I wonder if it has something to do with having a more moderate voice join the Senate in the person of Mitt Romney. I'm not a fan but Romney has been one of the few in the GOP willing to speak up about some of the more vile things Trump and his cronies like King have done over the last couple of years. And his denunciation of King was pretty much the strongest I saw and the only one directly calling for him to resign that I'm aware of on the GOP side. I'm curious if he will influence the Senate leadership to put more distance between them and the White House over the next couple of years.
Romney is going to challenge unindicted co-conspirator Donald John Trump in the Republican presidential primary. His senate seat is basically his for life, so he can aggravate Trumpists with impunity. His recent remarks are signals to the donor class that he represents the not-Trump wing of the party.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:04 PM
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Why not give the link anyway, in case someone has a subscription or decides to buy one?
Sorry.
Here you go.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:11 PM
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Exactly, losing committee assignments is a HUGE deal, the Democrats did that to Jim Traficant because they were sick of his corruption and his vote for the republicans for Speaker was the final straw.

I think most of us in professional jobs know what steps happen when it’s clear the company wants you gone and it’s up to you to do it the easy way by resigning or do it the hard way by being fired.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:23 PM
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The House vote on the lesser resolution of disapproval was 424-1. Even King voted against himself. Only Bobby Rush (D-IL) voted against it...because he wants censure.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:34 PM
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Why not give the link anyway, in case someone has a subscription or decides to buy one?
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Thanks. No paywall or even "turn off your adblocker" IME; the page loaded just fine.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:39 PM
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I'm glad to hear the result of the vote. That's pretty awesome. I would also like to say that Bobby Rush is a straight up badass.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:04 PM
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Romney is going to challenge unindicted co-conspirator Donald John Trump in the Republican presidential primary. His senate seat is basically his for life, so he can aggravate Trumpists with impunity. His recent remarks are signals to the donor class that he represents the not-Trump wing of the party.
I would like to think this is true, but will believe it when I see it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:47 PM
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Romney is going to challenge unindicted co-conspirator Donald John Trump in the Republican presidential primary. His senate seat is basically his for life, so he can aggravate Trumpists with impunity. His recent remarks are signals to the donor class that he represents the not-Trump wing of the party.
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I would like to think this is true, but will believe it when I see it.
It all checks out except for Romney's recent bootlicking. Utahns won't turn out Romney for turning especially given the large never-trumpist element there. I just don't think he has it in him to challenge.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:11 PM
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Romney is going to challenge unindicted co-conspirator Donald John Trump in the Republican presidential primary. His senate seat is basically his for life, so he can aggravate Trumpists with impunity. His recent remarks are signals to the donor class that he represents the not-Trump wing of the party.
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I would like to think this is true, but will believe it when I see it.
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It all checks out except for Romney's recent bootlicking. Utahns won't turn out Romney for turning especially given the large never-trumpist element there. I just don't think he has it in him to challenge.
Pleonast, you pretty much read my mind. I considered saying the same thing but left it out at the last minute.

I can see how this seems hard to believe but Romney does appear to be positioning himself as the reasonable GOP voice. As more shit hits the fan over the next six months/year Mitt's reaction to events will be very telling.

Romney/Flake 2020? Up against Biden/Harris?

At the least, Romney v Biden in 2020 would be an interesting contest.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:48 PM
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Since I'm in a mood to make predictions tonight, I predict that King will decide to retire after his current term expires, but that he's not going to resign early. He will then end up becoming part to the right wing media, maybe even taking a job on Fox News.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:36 PM
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In the interview with The Times, Mr. King also reflected on the record number of minorities and women in the new Democratic-controlled House. “You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men,” he said.
What's particularly irritating about this whine from the racist wankstain is that the House's Democratic majority is still 38% non-Hispanic white men. That's well over one-third, in a country whose population is barely 30% non-Hispanic white men.

Newsflash, Steve King: Non-Hispanic white men are not a demographic majority in this country, and they should not expect to be a majority of governing bodies and other important and/or representative groups! If you think that not having non-Hispanic white men massively overrepresented in such groups is somehow being "unwelcoming" or "exclusionary" towards them, you are not only a racist but a snivelling little over-entitled special snowflake.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:49 PM
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[QUOTE=Anny Middon;21431939]Dahleen Glanton's column in today's Chicago Tribune mentioned Sen. Tim Scott's op-ed in the Washington Post about King's comments that said, "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism -- it is because of our silence when things like this are said."

Quote:
No, Sen. Scott, that's not why many African-Americans think the Republican Party is racist. It's because of the racist policies the GOP espouses.
/QUOTE]

She goes on to enumerate some of those policies, including passing statewide voter identification laws; giving big tax breaks to the wealthy while proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other safety nets for the poor; looking at Pell Grants, student loans and Head Start programs as handouts, rather than steppingstones to a better left.

The column is behind a paywall, or I'd give a link to it.
Gagging as I write this, but I actually sort of agree with Farnaby here. Cutting aid to the poor isn't by definition racist. The impact of these actions -- which, I must add, I universally and vehemently oppose -- has a disproportionate effect on minorities because minorities are disproportionately poor. But you can favor those policies for many reasons other than outright racism.

What's more, labeling them as racist policies (when they can just as easily impact poor whites) plays into the GOP's accusations of identity politics. It's better to oppose them on their merits than label them as racist.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:51 PM
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But you can favor those policies for many reasons other than outright racism.
Okay, like what?

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It's better to oppose them on their merits than label them as racist.
We do. We can do both.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:14 PM
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Okay, like what?
You can oppose all those policies because you oppose "handouts," or because you think they distort free markets, or because you oppose public education in general, or because you're a big believer in supply-side economics.

Beats me, I disagree with all that. But I can see where someone could say, "This is what I believe, and I'd believe the same thing even if it only affected white people."
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:19 PM
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You can oppose all those policies because you oppose "handouts," or because you think they distort free markets, or because you oppose public education in general, or because you're a big believer in supply-side economics.

Beats me, I disagree with all that. But I can see where someone could say, "This is what I believe, and I'd believe the same thing even if it only affected white people."
Sure. But some people oppose them because they think those programs mostly benefit black people and it just grinds their gears to see black people getting shit they don't "deserve".

It's problematic that those people get a pass--and that politicians benefit from sending out dog whistles to them--because the others give them protective cover. It's what lets them fester, and believe that everyone else in their party agrees with them, you just "can't say it out loud".
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:39 PM
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Sure. But some people oppose them because they think those programs mostly benefit black people and it just grinds their gears to see black people getting shit they don't "deserve".

It's problematic that those people get a pass--and that politicians benefit from sending out dog whistles to them--because the others give them protective cover. It's what lets them fester, and believe that everyone else in their party agrees with them, you just "can't say it out loud".
Agreed. There are lots of racist shitbags out there, and Steve King is one of them. And there's no doubt that GOP lawmakers are adept at blowing those dogwhistles to drum up support for their policies.

Still, just because some people champion policies for racist reasons doesn't make those policies inherently racist. Millions of people voted against Obama, and they didn't all do it because he was black.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:46 PM
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Cutting aid to the poor isn't by definition racist.
Without context, support for the idea of lower aid to the poor is possibly not racist. In America, in 2019, support for cutting aid to the poor is racist.

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But you can favor those policies for many reasons other than outright racism.
"Racism" isn't fully encompassed by "outright racism." Much of our racism problem today--possibly the majority--is non-outright racism.

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What's more, labeling them as racist policies (when they can just as easily impact poor whites) plays into the GOP's accusations of identity politics. It's better to oppose them on their merits than label them as racist.
That they're racist is part of the merits.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kolak of Twilo View Post
Agreed, losing his committee assignments is major. Itís also a clear signal to voters in his district that the party leadership is done with King and they want him gone.
But is his hold on the GOP base in his district strong enough that he can survive a primary challenge? I know he came somewhat close to losing his seat, but that was when independents and Democrats could also vote. In a primary, I can see those cranky Iowa farmers voting for him just to spite the Washington establishment.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:59 PM
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Without context, support for the idea of lower aid to the poor is possibly not racist. In America, in 2019, support for cutting aid to the poor is racist.

"Racism" isn't fully encompassed by "outright racism." Much of our racism problem today--possibly the majority--is non-outright racism.
I agree with you on context. It's damn near impossible these days to separate merit-based arguments for GOP policies (if they even exist) from the racist, xenophobic hurricane winds swirling around them.

I'm curious what you mean when you distinguish "racism" from "outright racism."

And I still maintain it hurts our cause when we, for example, defend Head Start funding by labeling opposition to it racist. Questioning the motives of those we disagree with instead of the merits of their argument is the right's game, and we suck at it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:12 PM
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The House Republicans surprised me by actually asking concrete action against habitual racist Rep. Steve King of Iowa
But those same Republicans, and those in the Senate, surprised no one by their continued support of habitual racist, misogynist, congenital liar, and national embarrassment Donald Trump. The difference is only that King doesn't have the national base that Trump does, so there's no political downside and potential upsides to disowning King. It's not like Congressional Republicans have suddenly acquired morals or integrity or anything. Or have we already forgotten the Kavanaugh hearings?
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:32 PM
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The difficulty is that, while there are some forms of aid or "handouts" which disproportionately go to blacks, there are other forms that disproportionately go to whites. And the same people who generally favor cutting the former, are all in favor of keeping or even increasing the latter.

Which still might not necessarily be racist. There's also generally an urban-rural divide here, too. But it sure looks suggestive.
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