The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget; The People’s Choice

National Debt Clock January 2011

Ever since the Republicans came into power in the House of Representatives in November of 2010 they’ve engaged in a lot of blustery posturing over social issues instead of addressing the thing that concerns most Americans; jobs. Instead of addressing core concerns, they’ve wasted a lot of time in the House trying to pass things they know will not pass the Senate much less the President’s desk. Perhaps this is a strategy designed to fire up the base and let them know they are fighting the good fight. Perhaps it’s a distraction because there is no Republican strategy to address the job situation. In fact, many of the recently proposed budget cuts are destined to cost jobs. Some estimate 700,000 jobs.

But there is one message that the Republican Party has latched on to and that’s the debt, deficit, and balancing the budget. They cite that we are in a budget crisis that requires drastic measures and austerity measures. This has unfolded at the state level in Wisconsin and other states with Republican Governors as well. If you recall, I have pointed out that there is a segment of politics that needs crises and the politics of fear in order to pass extreme legislation that would normally be laughable under normal circumstances. What better way to extract a political budgetary, government limiting advantage than from a financial crisis?

In Mao we trust?

Now I don’t mean to demean the message of fiscal responsibility. But I do call into question the foregone conclusion that Republicans hold a lock on that title. We are yet again at a point where we must raise the debt ceiling. We cannot continue to do that indefinitely without serious consequences. There are economists who actually estimate the exact year when China’s economy will eclipse ours as the dominant economy. It’s in 2016. And we happen to owe China several trillion dollars of debt. We are in a big hole due to a decade of reduced tax revenue, an artificial housing bubble, and a couple of unfunded wars. The deficit is a serious matter that we should address.

The Republican solution? Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending. They held the US Government hostage recently with a threat of a shutdown unless they got a number of ridiculous spending cuts to social programs. They are making noises again on the looming vote to raise the debt ceiling despite overwhelming warnings of wrecking not only the US economy but destabilizing the world economy as well. These aren’t flippant warnings from people who have political gains in mind. This could severely damage the world trust in American credit to a point from which we could possibly never recover.

Most recently, the Republican Party has put forth a plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS). The crux of his plan calls for continued tax cuts for the wealthy and guts Medicare. As filistro noted yesterday and I noted on Sunday, this is having a negative impact on the Republican party with their own constituency. Reporter Chris Hayes noted that if Democrats really wanted to make hay over this, Senator Harry Reid should let the Ryan budget come to a vote in the Senate as is. The bill won’t pass anyway so “let Senate Republicans walk the same plank as their House counterparts”, said Hayes on Rachel Maddow last night.

Now, I can’t let President Obama off the hook here either. The White House put forth a counter plan to the Republican ‘Path to Prosperity’. It appears to be just as bad as the Ryan plan if not worse. It just increases our deficit at a slightly higher rate without gutting some of the social programs. Matt Miller, a columnist for the Washington Post and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, says the Ryan plan runs up a six trillion dollar tab over next 10 years, while the Obama plan runs up seven trillion. Neither plan gets the job done adequately.

Rep. Grijalva and Ellison

Poll after poll show that the things in these plans are extremely unpopular. But there is another plan: The Congressional Progressive Caucus made up of around eighty members of Congress and headed up by Representative Keith Ellison and Representative Raul Grijalva (It should make some conservative heads explode that America’s sanest budget fix is courtesy of an African American Muslim and a Hispanic American). The plan does many things that are popular with the American people. Economist Paul Krugman explains:

The CPC plan essentially balances the budget through higher taxes and defense cuts (about 1.8 trillion), plus some tougher bargaining by Medicare (and a public option to reduce the costs of the Affordable Care Act). The proposed tax hikes would fall mainly on higher incomes, although not just on the top 2%: super-brackets for very high incomes, elimination of deductions, taxation of capital income as ordinary income, and — the part that would be most controversial — raising the cap on payroll taxes.

Here’s the official list:

The CPC proposal:

• Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus by 2021
• Puts America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program
• Protects the social safety net
• Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
• Is FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly)

What the proposal accomplishes:

• Primary budget balance by 2014.
Budget surplus by 2021.
• Reduces public debt as a share of GDP to 64.1% by 2021, down 16.5 percentage points
• Reduces deficits by $5.6 trillion over 2012-21, relative to this adjusted baseline.
• Outlays equal to 22.2% of GDP and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.

Unlike the Ryan and Obama budget plans, poll after poll show that these are things the populace would like to see implemented; particularly that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. Economist Jeffrey Sachs sums it up thusly:

The Republicans often say that they want Congress to respect the voice of the people. The voice of the people is crystal clear. In one opinion survey after the next, the public says that the rich and the corporations should pay more taxes. The public says that we should tamp down runaway health care costs through a public option, one that would introduce competition to drive down bloated private health insurance costs. The public says that we should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce Pentagon spending.

It would be fairly simple to implement. In fact the easiest thing for the President to do would be…nothing. Let the Bush tax cuts expire to the levels in the Clinton era. This would raise revenue considerably although it would increase taxes on the middle class as well as the upper class. Some argue that the middle class needs the relief in a recession to increase discretionary spending in the economy thereby driving demand.

Other solutions are to cut Government subsides; in particular to oil companies who already enjoy record profits. But there is a danger of backlash here. The media surmises that the President’s approval ratings drop as gas prices rise. I’m not certain I completely buy that because why would that be his fault? But the perception exists and the oil companies might capitalize on that cut in subsides by punishing the public with excessively high gas prices as speculators are already doing in an attempt to turn political tides in their favour.

Obviously there are a lot of complicated issues to be addressed in the budget. Social security and Medicare have inherent flaws in them that need to be addressed, but shut them down in favour of a privatized voucher system? Best of luck with that. The tax code is in need of reform in order to give companies a competitive tax rate while closing loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes altogether. And PPACA still needs to be tweaked. Don’t give up on the public option yet.

Republicans believed they received a mandate in November of 2010 but I think they misinterpreted that mandate. They won because the economy had not recovered and the public was tired of the games in Washington DC.  But instead of governing in the interests of their constituencies, they mistakenly believed it was a ratification of their policies in general and ignored what the people really wanted and needed.

I think the more people look at the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget, the more they will continue to want it. Can Congress find a bi-partisan way to get behind it?


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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51 Responses to The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget; The People’s Choice

  1. shortchain says:

    Mr, U,

    Lots of data to digest there. Unlike the Ryan plan, which is basically constructed, like Ryan himself, of cardboard, and not the corrugated, filling, type, but the thin, inedible stuff they sell breakfast cereal in.

  2. parksie555 says:

    “People’s Budget” – Giggle, snort.

    I think this is a great budget.

    I implore all Democratic Senators, Representatives, and Presidential candidates to adopt this plan and make it a part of their platform immediately :).

  3. rgbact says:

    Holy tax increases! This budget can be summed up with “shakedown the rich till they scream”. Class warfare all the way. Glad they stepped up at least and offered an alternative.

    Pretty nondetailed defense cut beyond ending wars. And looks like the entitlement “crises” just get ignored. No problems….just need more money….from rich people.

  4. WA7th says:

    This argument shouldn’t go on forever in it’s current form. It might anyway, because we’ve grown so accustomed to demonizing each other, but it shouldn’t.

    The Republicans currently calling the shots in Congress think we should try to solve our recession woes through austerity, ie. severe spending decreases now, which is what the UK is basically doing already. On the other hand, Dems who were calling the shots in Congress in ’09 and late ’08 wanted to do stimuli, and they got it , more or less, from both Bush and from Obama.

    By the end of 2012, we should be able to compare the UK’s progress to our own to see which was the better method to climb out of a recession. Whether or not we will be able to debate honestly about it is another matter entirely, as is whether or not we choose to sabotage any progress just to make the opposition look culpable. But if we’re honest, or if we at least have some open-minded indies whose minds are capable of changing based on actual facts, I believe that one side or the other should have better ammo to bring to the fight later because different countries are trying vastly different solutions to solve similar problems today.

  5. rgbact says:

    And it’ll do more than make conservatives heads explode to see their racial makeup. Who do you think will seem more “mainstream” to suburban moderates….Paul Ryan or a Muslim dude and some guy named Raul who looks like he just crossed the border and wants to tax the hell out of whitey to pay for all his illegal brothers.

    The Dems are allin on getting almost no white votes in 2012.

  6. Mr. Universe says:

    @WA7th

    I was thinking the same thing re: Britain. People don’t seem to be happy about it but it will be interesting to see the results.

  7. Mr. Universe says:

    Paul Ryan or a Muslim dude and some guy named Raul who looks like he just crossed the border and wants to tax the hell out of whitey to pay for all his illegal brothers

    Wow, rgb, you realize that was fairly offensive, right?

  8. mostlyilurk says:

    “And it’ll do more than make conservatives heads explode to see their racial makeup. Who do you think will seem more “mainstream” to suburban moderates….Paul Ryan or a Muslim dude and some guy named Raul who looks like he just crossed the border and wants to tax the hell out of whitey to pay for all his illegal brothers.

    The Dems are allin on getting almost no white votes in 2012.”

    Wow, just when it seems you can’t sink any lower, you do.

  9. rgbact says:

    Mr U-

    Yeah, and if you said the GOP was being taken over by old racist uber-Christians–that’d be totally fine, huh? I’m telling you the honest optics. You can deny them or be offended as you like. I don’t deal in PC.

  10. mostlyilurk says:

    Actually rgbact, you’re doing a wonderful job of showing exactly the type of person who is taking over the GOP and the viewpoints they possess. It’s not even necessary for Mr. U or anyone else to comment. Your comments speak loudly and clearly for themselves and it’s helpful to know where you’re coming from when reading your thoughts on the issues discussed here.

  11. shortchain says:

    Well, I’m offended, for one, that someone would make the comment that the GOP is being taken over by “old racist uber-Christians”.

    Everybody knows it’s the base of the party that is composed of that type of person. The people actually running the party are merely empathy-less sociopathic plutocrats, and they’re just using the base as a means of obtaining and keeping power.

    So yes, they’re vile — but they’re not racist uber-Christians. As sociopaths, they’re not into that “my brother’s keeper” schtick.

  12. rgbact says:

    SC-

    Gee thanks for clueing me in that only some of the people I associate with are racists…..the rest are sociopaths. If it wasn’t for you and your ilk in the PC police–I might’ve been totally duped. Luckily we are mostly old and will be “dying off soon”.

    In summary, the GOP is filled with white Christian racists and sociopaths….that luckily are old and will be dead soon. And, this is not “offensive”…….because liberals own exclusive rights to being offended in America.

  13. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    This is going to shock you, but I occasionally indulge in satire. It’s usually when somebody comes out with something utterly outrageous, and I use satire to try and lighten the mood.

    Doesn’t always work, of course. I’m sure Jonathan Swift got some nasty letters for his suggestion about how to handle the potato famine, too.

  14. lind says:

    rgbact:

    Don’t forget that missing sarcasm detector.

    I agree with mostlyilurk–that comment was so offensive that I can’t see how you could do better (actually, worse) if you tried.

  15. WA7th says:

    Whoever they are, I’m thankful they taught me in the early 80’s not to associate with them in any way, shape, or form, because it’s true that there’s not a “brother’s keeper” anywhere in the lot, apparently. Trying to be a fiscal conservative without all the social baggage must have been a very lonely life for the past 25-30 years for anyone who’s tried it.

    One man in all those years trying to sell some hogwash about “a thousand points of light” just isn’t quite enough to get me to buy the “compassionate” part of what passes for conservatism these days. If one lame sales pitch is all we get, then it stands to reason that the compassion for others simply doesn’t exist and the sole lonesome sales pitch was contrived for other reasons.

    So, I can agree that the Repubs making the decisions for their party are socipaths who don’t even care about their own base. Those are some optics I can see , but there’s not a set of binoculars I know of that would make me see clearly that voting the sociopath ticket is a Christian thing to do, or a good idea for any reason, regardless of how bad their opposition appears.

    “I’m a vile sociopath, but I’m neither a Muslim nor Mexican, so voting for me is your only logical choice.” If I jam my fingers into the corners of my eyes really hard and leave them there for a few minutes, then I guess I can see the logic behind that set of optics, but my personal belief is that the folks who belong to that group will probably be voting in a 2012 primary and staying home for the general election.

  16. Mr. Universe says:

    Yeah, and if you said the GOP was being taken over by old racist uber-Christians–that’d be totally fine, huh?

    But I didn’t say that. However if you asked me to find a group of aging, intolerant, self-righteous white people, I can tell you one of the first places I would look.

  17. rgbact says:

    Lind-

    I’m sorry that your party is so far in leftfield that simply stating the truth is now offensive to you. Now please continue with your thoughtful discourse on the racist sociopathic GOP’s plans to kill old people. Looks like WA7 has just offered his latest bit of “sarcasm”. I simply do need to get a sense of humor about all these funny posts on here. ROFL.

  18. WA7th says:

    Now that Ron Paul appears to be throwing his hat in the ring, can anyone explain why he isn’t getting better support from Republicans? If the Tea Party was truly a grassroots fiscal conservative organization and nothing more, I would expect those folks, at least, to be in love with Ron Paul. Ignoring for the moment that the Tea Party might not be what it claims to be, because that argument never rises above finger-wagging at best, why don’t more Republicans love Ron Paul?

    Maybe because he’s already been a perennial also-ran for several POTUS election cycles and they don’t take kindly to past losers? Is it because fear-mongering is a requirement for the primaries, and he doesn’t do much of that, so that loses him the support of the non-establishment conservatives? Because he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, so that loses him the support of the establishment conservatives? Some combination of the above?

    In Nate’s 4/13 posting “Trump’s Rise Highlights a Flawed Field,” Paul was only mentioned once as the last of the factional five.

    So, what gives?

  19. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rb,

    in all honesty, please take a look at an electoral map of presidential elections since 1964, the year of the passage of the Civil Rights Act. You will note, please, the ONE CONSISTENT FACT of those elections is the the heart of the Old South, the home of Jim Crow, and it’s voting record. That voting record, with only a couple of exceptions of individual states from time to time, has been it’s pattern of voting GOP, or, in 1968, George Wallace, where even when Nixon won the state, beats Humphrey.

    Coincidence?

    Can you HONESTLY say “No”?

    As a born and raised Southerner, who knows well the pride, and prejudice, of the people, I KNOW I can’t.

  20. shortchain says:

    WA7th,

    What I’m hearing is that the true grass roots activists in the tea party movement are being shouldered aside, being replaced by GOP activists (it was always at most an even split between the two types). This is being done by funding which is funneled to the tame operations from the Republican financial backers, who have no interest in funding the grass roots. So they’re just starving the wild ones. If the tea party has to rely on grass roots funding, it’ll be about the size of the one in Alice In Wonderland, and the group at the table will be composed of the same psychological types.

    There’s a fair amount of bitterness on the part of the wild tea party out there at this, but, lacking in funding, they’ve got no organization or communication infrastructure.

  21. lind says:

    Wow! My first time to comment here and not only am I insulted by rgbact, but also he apparently reads my mind.

    I am honored.

  22. filistro says:

    lind… all the very best people have been insulted by rgb! Welcome to a select group 🙂

  23. rgbact says:

    WA-

    Ron Paul is only a lowly House member. I’ll have to look at the history books, but I don’t think a lowly House member has ever won high office. Maybe a Speaker. Not sure why he doesn’t instead try for the TX Senate seat.

    I also don’t think there’s much unique about the establishment harnessing the energy of grass roots for their benefit. John Kerry jumped on the energy/cash of the anti-war left, brushed Howard Dean aside, and rode to near election. Its the sad reality of politics. Heck, Hillary did it too–and she’s been for near every war I can remember. Meanwhile, wars are ongoing.

  24. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    John Kerry jumped on the energy/cash of the anti-war left, brushed Howard Dean aside, and rode to near election. Its the sad reality of politics. Heck, Hillary did it too

    Sorry, rg, but that’s plain WRONG!

    The anti-war left and their support for Hillary’s primary opponent is why she LOST the nomination, with the errors by her campaign strategist hammering the final nails in the coffin.

  25. rgbact says:

    Max-

    So Kerry didn’t coopt the anti-Iraq war energy? A war he voted for?

    Meh, barring Obama running, Hillary would’ve won the nomination going away.

    Just saying, establishment people are known to jump in front of grass roots movements.

  26. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    Howard Dean wasn’t “brushed aside” by John Kerry. The national press dumped on him after Iowa and the “scream”, and the national party thought Kerry would be more electable.

    Actually, John Kerry was an attempt by the king-makers of the Democratic party to take away what they perceived as the “war president” advantage of Bush in 2004. Due to his history as a “war hero”, you know. It wasn’t Kerry trying to coopt the “antiwar left” — at the time, there was only a small minority firmly opposed to the Iraq debacle. I know, I was anti-war, and it was pretty damned lonely.

    Of course, Kerry failed totally to inspire the base of the Democratic party, didn’t impress the independents, and that was that.

    That he didn’t thrill the anti-war left wasn’t one of Kerry’s biggest problems — it was well behind the Swift Boat idiocy, and the fact that Kerry was made out of wood and talked like a ventriloquist’s dummy whose ventriloquist had a particularly debilitating case of logorrhea.

  27. Mainer says:

    rgb that is an interesting question about Paul. I have a good friend in Texas that recently opined that the reason Paul has not gone in that direction is because he stands about a snowballs chance in West Texas to carry the day in a Senate run even in Texas which makes one wonder why he would think he should even think about another presidential run. Max is Paul in a really safe district for him or the GOP?

  28. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    They love him in the District. He turned back a couple of TeaParty challengers in ’10 and dominated the general.

    You are right about the rest of Texas. Just as in the rest of the country, Paul’s libertarian stance has pockets of favor. You see Paul for President signs here and there as you drive about.

  29. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Meh, barring Obama running, Hillary would’ve won the nomination going away.

    And except for not having wings, a frog would’t bump his ass every time he landed.

    Counterfactuals are fun, but that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

  30. rgbact says:

    Mainer-

    If someone can’t even win a TX senate seat–am I gonna support him for Prez? I guess he feels he does more for libertarianism by running for prez than actually proving his wider electability. Personally, I’d rather have a Senate seat than have a once every 4 year platform in the debates. He makes a good debate sparring partner though.

  31. dcpetterson says:

    I think Paul gets into the Presidential primaries mostly for two purposes – 1) to raise some issues that matter to him, and 2) to prove that not all Republicans these days are batshit crazy.

    The fact that he is an actual real live libertarian is embarrassing to the GOP because so many of its current members like the word but are really far-right religious zealots whose only knowledge of economics is “Taxez iz BAD!” and “Keep yur gubmint outta my Medicare!”

    Paul disapproves of laws limiting abortion, disapproves of the “war on drugs,” and disapproves of DOMA. He would be entirely unelectable, and could not get the Republican establishment or the Teapers behind him

  32. WA7th says:

    Ron Paul’s district is a work of pure Gerrymandering Genius. It looks so much like three separate completely unconnected places that even the people who live in it would have to zoom ALL the way in on Mapquest to prove that it’s legal. His constituents are Hurricane Ike, murky saltwater and lots of mud, some Great Blue Herons, a few crabs, Spring Break, possibly Nolan Ryan but just barely, and not much else in between all the beautiful-but-impossible-to-get-to places, with the lucky City of Victoria thrown in because they needed some, y’know, actual people in the district, so best to get the City No One Else in Texas Cares About. If it wasn’t obvious enough that they wanted to flip him the bird in a very personal way during re-districting, it looks like they actually tried to shape the district to look like someone getting a prostate exam.

    But, I wasn’t there when they made it that way, so maybe Max can ‘splain it better’n I can.

  33. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    yes, sometimes Paul makes too much good sense to get elected President.! 🙂

    Did you get a chance to look at those electoral maps? Hard theory to overlook!

  34. WA7th says:

    Okay, so Ron Paul’s district didn’t make the Top 10 Most-Gerrymandered list, but it did make the The Top Ten Most Blatantly Illegal Noncontiguous Districts
    list.

  35. rgbact says:

    Max-

    I don’t get your point. Your telling me Southerners are racist because they didn’t vote for a senator from MA, a governor from MA, a couple senators from MN and a senator from SD? But somehow they put aside their racism for a governor from GA and a governor fron AR? Or are you telling me that people vote based on a law passed 45 years ago that noone remembers? Or are you telling me that Detroit voters are racist because there has been a black Democrat as mayor for 50 years?

    The South has been more agrarian, anti-elitist, nativist since about 1800. I don’t think that suddenly changed in 1964. Only change was the party that represented those views.

  36. Mr. Universe says:

    @WA7th

    We’re going to do Ron Paul next week for the Contender series. Trump is tomorrow.

  37. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    Are you blind, or did you NOT look at those maps. The heart of the South DID NOT vote for Carter or Clinton, GA and AR excluded, with only a couple of exceptions! The heart of the South DID NOT vote for Johnson even during his landslide victory!

    Yes, many people vote on a law passed 45 years ago and THEY DO REMEMBER IT!

    “Only change was the party that represented those views.

    Yes. My point exactly. Prior to the “Southern Strategy” of Nixon and Thurmond, the Southern Democrat backed Jim Crow (slight time discrepancy, but South voted Goldwater in ’64) and the national party closed eyes to keep it’s strength in the preceding 60 years. After the “Southern Strategy”, the South has moved to the party that more met it’s basest racial needs.

    Please study more than Canada. You’ve missed a lot about your OWN country.

  38. drfunguy says:

    Apparently the Trumpet is also peddling the Obama is the mulsim manchurian candidate fantasy promoted by this screed: “President Obama’s unwillingness to allow the American public to see his records at Harvard Law School prevents resolution of a continuing controversy over whether radical Islamic influences promoted his admission and financed his legal education there.
    Read more: Did radical Muslims help send Obama to Harvard? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=104684
    Another sinister accusation came yesterday from Ezra Klein, who claim that Obama is actually a moderate Republican from the early ’90’s: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-shocking-truth-about-the-birthplace-of-obamas-policies/2011/04/15/AF6qINpE_blog.html
    Unlike other Obama conspiracies, this one has actually evidence. Obama’s positions on the individual mandate in healthcare reform, cap and trade to combat climate change and a mix of budget cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit all mirror those of Bush the elder…

  39. drfunguy says:

    oops I meant that to go to the Trump thread you can delete it here

  40. rgbact says:

    Max-

    I’m over 40, yet don’t remember laws you’re saying are crucial to the voting patterns of every Southerner to this day. I do remember the AZ immgration law and how AZ was villified as being utterly racist by most libs for its law. Would I be surprised if many in AZ hold a long standing grudge against Democrats for calling them a racist state and even having a trade war and allowing foreign leaders to come disparage them? Not really. Demonizing a state or a community has its downside–whether its the South, AZ, Muslims, etc.

    I have never voted for a Democrat in my life–yet don’t live in the South, and know little about Jim Crow or CR Act. Either I’m a racist or there are other issues that make people never want to vote for a Democrat.

  41. shortchain says:

    “Low Information Voter”: someone who votes on only a tiny subset of the available information, such as, for example, whether the candidate is a Democrat.

  42. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    I’m well over 40. My high school class was the last all-white at my high school. I remember FIRST-HAND: white and colored drinking fountains, waiting rooms, restrooms etc.. I observed the end of Jim Crow and I continue to see and hear white southerners exhibit racist behavior. I’ve heard an otherwise fine gentleman, a retired 2-star general, one who professes to be Christian, call our sitting president a nigger. Is he, in spite of his other qualities, a racist?

    If you pretend the world is otherwise, either you are ignorant of fact, perhaps because of no, or limited exposure, regretfully stupid (which I can’t believe), or intellectually dishonest in the extreme.

    Will I EVER expect to be asked for citizenship proof while visiting AZ? Will ANY red-haired, green-eyed, freckled Caucasian EVER expect to be asked for citizenship proof while visiting AZ? I seriously doubt it! If that is the case, then racism is at the gist of the AZ SB 1070.

    You conflate two separate issues when you state: “I do remember the AZ immgration law and how AZ was villified as being utterly racist by most libs for its law.”. There is a wider universe of reasons why one would have voted GOP exclusively, and racism is only a subset of that universe. You must recognize that as you then posed an “either-or” statement. Actually, you COULD be BOTH as the two are NOT mutually exclusive. Only you can make an answer if you posit that as a question.

    But, in this whole issue, if the shoe fits . . .!

  43. mclever says:

    I grew up in a comfortably white upper Midwest town where I thought racism was a problem of generations past. My folks still live in that town. They say all the right things about treating people equally, but every time I’ve seen those words put to the test, they’ve failed without even realizing their bias. Call it lack of exposure; they mostly are just uncomfortable with differences.

    I’ve seen things that opened my eyes. I moved.

    I’ve lived and/or worked in places like Chicago, Atlanta, DFW/Austin, Los Angeles/Orange County, Cleveland/Columbus, and now in Iowa. The issues of race and discrimination are VERY different in each of those locations, but those issues do exist. Pretending that racism doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. Now, I certainly won’t say that all Republicans are racists, because they aren’t. But if I meet an older Caucasian (especially a southerner) who expresses racist views, then I can almost guarantee they vote Republican.

    And most minorities see that same pattern, which is undoubtedly why so many (especially blacks) feel unwelcome in the Republican Party.

  44. rgbact says:

    Max-

    I’m sure there are German Jews that remember the Holocaust and Japanese that remember Hiroshima. Somehow, they’ve gotten over tragic events in the past and taugtht their kids to move on. I doubt many Japanese young people look at America as the country that nuked their family. Reliving past wounds doesn’t help the healing.

    Some people resort to racial name calling when they don’t like someone they differ with. I guess you’re telling me that only happens in the white South. Gotta be depressing living in a country with so many racists though. Not sure why you don’t pray for seccesion. Maybe you figure all the racists will be dead soon?

  45. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Just curious, rg.

    Where did you grow up? What college did you attend? What states have you lived in? Where do you live now?

    (In fairness, me: South Carolina. U of South Carolina (2). SC, GA, NC, TN, NY, CA. TX. I am Scots-Irish, with some German, Welsh and Irish. I can trace ancestors back to before 1735 in the States and lost relatives in the Civil War.)

    Unless you are simply being disingenuous, you display a certain naivety in these last few posts.

    Jews the world over remember the Holocaust! (“Never Forget!”) Even a cursory study demonstrates that Japanese and Chinese historically have been extremely racist. It is not “depressing living in a country with so many racists” because there is MUCH MORE than that one factor in most people. (As I described the General, certainly a friend, but as most friends, with flaws. Doesn’t mean you chunk the friendship!)

    You obviously have not read many of my postings by posing the question of succession!

    I believe racism will be with us as long a the human race exists. There exists is a certain portion of the population, to varying degrees, a distinct desire to judge between “us” and “them”, whether by skin color, nationality, religion, gender or a slew of other differences. It is of such strength that laws have been passed to suppress it.

    Only by pretending it doesn’t exist, or exists at some minimalist level, does one delude oneself and, worse, allow racism to flourish in those dark recesses with occasional flair-ups.

  46. shortchain says:

    Max,

    I don’t believe racism will be with us always. People are slowly being dragged into the reality that, when it comes to being worthy humans race is a non-issue.

    Of course, bigotry will be with us until there is some fundamental change in the nature of humanity which eliminates the development of authoritarian followers. Bigotry on the part of authoritarian followers can be based on the perception of some group of people as the “other”, whether the discriminator is skin color, shape of eye, accent, or political party affiliation.

  47. rgbact says:

    Who’s pretending it doesn’t exist? All I’m saying is that I reject that its onesided. Most people are “biased” to people that aren’t “like them”. As you mentioned, its really human nature. Good luck with your wonderful laws to suppress human nature. Can you make one mandating happiness too?

    Btw, grew up in “whitey” Detroit suburb, lived in “blue collar” Detroit suburb in college, live in downtown Chicago now. Can’t say my mind has changed much through all of it.

    And if I display naivety, its probably because alot of Americans are naive to these old war stories and we’ve simply moved beyond them. Old timers bringing up the “bad’ ol days” has no meaning for us. And heck, I’m not young. Dredging up stories of the 60’s reads like ancient history to most us naive people who think America is a pretty good place and inspite of faults, most people succeed/fail on their merits.

  48. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I’m not young. Dredging up stories of the 60′s reads like ancient history to most us naive people who think America is a pretty good place and inspite of faults, most people succeed/fail on their merits.

    We agree 99.9%.

    We just cannot forget or ignore history, or think that it cannot repeat itself.

  49. dcpetterson says:

    William Falkner said, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” If you don’t believe that, study some history. But you won’t, because you don’t believe it.

    This bit about “America is a pretty good place and inspite of faults, most people succeed/fail on their merits” is the same bit people were saying in the 60s to deny racism. Yes, America is a pretty good place. But yes, racism still exists.

    By the way, the Japanese don’t hold Hiroshima and Nagasake against us, because they’re a very different culture, and they accept that they lost WW2. But they do not forget these events, and they will never build nuclear weapons. They drew different lessons from these events than, I think, most Americans would. But they do not forget. Not ever.

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