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READER COMMENT REPLY FROM THE GOVERNOR

Robert Berger

07/31/2020 03:45 PM

Governor Huckabee, with all due respect, look who's talking. President Trump did not even have the decency to attend the funeral of the late, great John Lewis. Of course, this is typical of him.

And yes, despite what he and his defenders say, Trump IS a vicious racist. And do you have to bring up the irrelevant fact that Bull Connor was a Democrat? Such racist bigots are no longer found in this party. However, the racism of the Republicans is now much more subtle. Republican social and economic policies have done nothing but grievous harm to blacks and other minorities in America for decades; for example, making it extremely difficult for them to vote and suppressing so many of their votes by failing to count them.

Constantly eviscerating and abolishing essential government programs to help the poor.

GOP refusal to raise the minimum wage, thus keeping millions of Americans helplessly mired poverty. Refusing to make health care, college, food, and housing affordable. And so on.

And on top of this, GOP politicians have the sheer unmitigated gall to accuse the struggling poor of being "lazy bums " who want to "sponge off the government " while it allegedly takes hard-earned money form honest Americans who do work.

John Wilson spent his life fighting these destructive GOP policies. Trump is only making them worse.

* * *

Robert, I want to thank you for listing so many false Democratic political narratives in one post. During an election year, we’re going to be hearing all of this repeated ad nauseam, so it’s helpful to be able to shoot them all down in one spot. Everyone, please bookmark this post so you can refer back to it and save me having to repeat myself.

I don’t know who John Wilson is, but I’m going to assume that’s just a typo and you meant John Lewis. Also, I can only imagine the media meltdown if Trump had attended that funeral. He would’ve been accused of hijacking the funeral to score cheap political points (“Cough! Obama! Cough!”) His choice was between “How dare he show up there?!” and “How dare he not show up there?!” All things considered, I think he made the most respectful choice.

As to your other points, I’ll go through and reply to them one-by-one…

1. You say, “Yes, despite what he and his defenders say, Trump IS a vicious racist.” I notice that you immediately moved on without offering a single scrap of proof. This is par for the course. I consider racism to be a grievous sin, and “racist” is one of the worst things you can call someone. That word should never be thrown around lightly, which unfortunately is happening today. The Trump narrative is based on viciously fake news stories, like claiming he called all Mexicans rapists and murderers (he was talking about MS-13 gang members) or that there were "fine people" on the side of white supremacists (he was referring to some people who oppose removing Confederate statues, and he said neo-Nazies and white nationalists "should be condemned totally.")

As we’ve reported here before, a tabloid reporter whose job was to cover Trump before he entered politics said that while he was desperate for any dirt, he never heard any claims of Trump being a racist until the day he announced he was running for President as a Republican, and then he suddenly became the BIGGEST RACIST EVER!! He revealed that he did get a number of stories about Trump performing secret acts of generosity, like paying the bills of unfortunate people he saw in the media. But the tabloids weren’t interested in positive stories, and Trump didn’t publicize them. However, here’s one that made the news.

Note that the same Democrats who tell you Trump is a racist also claimed throughout the 2016 Convention that he had never done anything to help anyone else, another lie that also became Democrat/media conventional “wisdom.”

Here’s a list of awards presented to the pre-political Trump for his support of black, Jewish and youth organizations.

And here’s the Rev. Jesse Jackson praising Trump for his support of the Rainbow Coalition’s project to help minority businesses:  Jackson called Trump a “friend” who embraced “the under-served communities.”

He’s continued to be their friend by signing sentencing reform that Democrats promised for years and never delivered; creating opportunity zones to encourage businesses to bring jobs, goods and services to poor minority communities; and building an economy that resulted in rising wages and record-low minority unemployment, until the Chinese unleashed a virus on the world that Democrats want to blame him for. As I've said before, if he's a racist, he's really bad at it.

2. “And do you have to bring up the irrelevant fact that Bull Connor was a Democrat?” I mentioned that Bull Connor was a Democrat (and not just a Democrat, but a delegate to the 1948 Convention, where he led a walkout of the Alabama delegation over a proposed civil rights plank) because the Democrats would like modern Americans not to know that. It’s for the same reason they demanded everyone stop saying “China virus” or “Wuhan virus” – so that Nancy Pelosi could eventually start calling it the “Trump virus.” It’s a cynical attempt to rewrite history so that the misled can be manipulated for political purposes. We don’t allow that around these parts.

3. “Such racist bigots are no longer found in the Party.” The modern Democratic Party is all about dividing and judging people by skin color, a complete repudiation of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s dream. And I don’t just mean reverse racism against white people. Watch some of the videos online of those white “peaceful protesters” supported by Democrat Mayors, screaming disgusting racist insults into the faces of black police officers and any black people who dare to express different opinions, and even physically assaulting them. Take a look at what this black Marine vet encountered in Portland and tell me how it differs from the angry bigots civil rights activists dealt with in the ‘60s.

4. “Republican social and economic policies have done nothing but grievous harm to blacks and other minorities in America for decades.” Odd, I thought that cities where the black and minority communities were suffering from crime, gangs, filthy and decaying neighborhoods and terrible schools, like Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore, have been run entirely by Democrats for decades. Chicago hasn’t had a Republican Mayor since 1931. In Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death kicked off all the protests, both the city and state are solidly Democrat. There’s not a single Republican even on the city council.

5. “…making it extremely difficult for them to vote and suppressing so many of their votes by failing to count them.” Again, an assertion with no proof. Republicans believe in voter ID because we want all elections to be honest and trustworthy. I’m all for everyone voting who is legally eligible. But every fake vote cast isn’t just a score in a political game. It cancels out a legitimate vote, denying that voter his or her most fundamental right to have a say in determining our government. When I see stories like this

…I don’t care what party the miscreants represent, I want the book thrown at them.

For the record, surveys show majorities of all demographics back voter ID laws (a 2016 Gallup poll found 80% support overall, including 77% of non-whites and even 63% of Democrats.) Where such laws have been instituted, measures have been taken to make it as easy as possible to comply, including offering free state IDs. The argument that black people are somehow incapable of obtaining a simple ID is one of the most condescendingly racist narratives in circulation today.

As for voter suppression, that’s a convenient excuse for barring even the most rudimentary efforts to insure a clean election, from voter to ID to purging dead people off the voting rolls. The queen of the narrative is Stacey Abrams, who’s claimed for the past two years that she’s the rightful Governor of Georgia, deprived of office by voter suppression. Yet 1.3 million more Georgians voted in that midterm election than in the previous midterm election. If Republicans suppressed the vote, they sure did a lousy job of it.

6. “Constantly eviscerating and abolishing essential government programs to help the poor.” Like what? As Ronald Reagan said, there’s nothing so permanent as a temporary government program. Democrats love to accuse Republicans of slashing one program or another (Social Security the prime example), yet spending always increases. Merely suggesting a reduction in the rate of increase gets you accused of “slashing” the budget, even if it would still rise more than the rate of inflation.

If you mean things like requiring able-bodied people with no family obligations to work in exchange for welfare, then “guilty.” The government shouldn’t make it easier and more lucrative to be on the dole than to work. Even the Scandinavian nations Bernie Sanders wants to emulate began cutting their cushy safety nets after they realized people had started feeling entitled, using them as hammocks and losing their work ethic.

7. “GOP refusal to raise the minimum wage, this keeping millions of Americans helplessly mired (in) poverty.” As someone who grew up poor, if I thought simply raising the minimum wage would end poverty, I’d be on the front lines demanding it. But it’s the sort of simplistic idea that comes from people who have never run a business, just studied “economics” from a liberal professor (Here’s how well that works: https://youtu.be/uSLscJ2cY04 ).

Simply ordering businesses that pay the minimum wage to raise or even double it violates the most basic law of supply and demand: forcibly pricing labor at more than it’s worth. Many of these employers are small businesses with tiny profit margins whose owners might put in 60 or 70 hours a week and make less than minimum wage themselves. If they raise prices enough to cover the new labor costs, they drive away their customers. Their only choice is to cut staff (thanks, Democrats!), and those who do keep their jobs soon discover the raise doesn’t help because prices go up all over to cover the new labor costs. Many businesses don’t survive at all.

After San Francisco voted to double the minimum wage, there was a story about a longtime liberal bookstore that went out of business. The patrons were shocked to learn there was a connection between their vote to raise the minimum wage and losing their favorite hangout. Liberal Seattle restaurant critics were baffled at why all the little bistros they loved were closing down. In New York, the place where AOC used to bartend went out of business because of the minimum wage hike she advocated and all her former co-workers lost their jobs. Too bad, I was hoping she’d return to work there soon.

Minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to support a family, they’re for young people just starting out who need experience more than pay or people who need a little extra part time income, or a starting job you’ll soon be promoted out of. If an experienced adult can’t find anything other than a minimum wage job, that’s a symptom of bad anti-business, low-growth policies, like high taxes, overregulation and illegal immigrant labor undercutting wages. The kind of Obama policies that Trump reversed, leading to record low unemployment and naturally rising wages for the first time in years. Biden wants to take us back to the days when the government thought it was helping you by destroying your job with a mandatory minimum wage hike. Again to quote Reagan, the nine scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

8. “Refusing to make health care, college, food and housing affordable.” The major reason most of those things cost what they do is government subsidies, mandates, taxes, regulations and interference in the marketplace, all Democratic hallmarks. Do you have any idea how much complying with Medicare costs doctors and how much time they spend dealing with paperwork instead of seeing patients? Before all the government, insurance and Medicare involvement, doctors never charged $50 for a Band-Aid.

The more money the government is willing to spend to subsidize college costs, (surprise!) the higher those costs go. And try comparing the prices of food, housing or fuel in California or New York to those in Texas or Florida. Liberal policies make everything more expensive, and then the politicians raise taxes to help people pay for the things they made more expensive that will now get even more expensive because of the high taxes and on and on in a never-ending vicious circle.

9. “GOP politicians have the sheer unmitigated gall to accuse the struggling poor of being ‘lazy bums’ who want to ‘sponge off the government.’” I don’t do that, and I don’t know anyone who does, but if anyone actually does, they’re wrong. I’ve been the “struggling poor,” and I know better. That sounds like the kind of creaky, old fake stereotype of Republicans you get from only watching liberal media outlets or reruns of "All In The Family." I suggest you broaden your news sources. I do believe, though, because I actually read and watch liberal news sources, that this sort of canard is repeated because the left hopes to fool the poor into voting against policies that would help lift them out of poverty and in favor of policies that will keep them struggling and dependent on government.

I might as well make it a hat trick and finish this off with a third Reagan quote: Republicans don’t measure compassion by how many people are getting a government handout. We measure it by how many people no longer need a government handout.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MISS MANNERS (Judith Martin)

Dear Miss Manners,

Please let me preface this letter by saying I am a longtime fan of your column, as I am distressed by the lack of courtesy in today’s society and always appreciate your witty replies. You may or may not be aware that I have even affectionately parodied your column with “Miss Mannerly,” here on this very website. That said, here is the original, very thoughtful letter you received and your answer ("Clarifying racism for a white man") that has prompted my missive to you:

I do agree with you that talking about what racism is (or is not) is a semantic discussion. We currently have two “working” definitions of racism being used simultaneously, and we also have many people far too willing to throw around the “r-word.” Under one (the “classic”) definition, anyone of any race can be racist; it means the notion that people of another race are inferior to you and don’t deserve the same treatment as people of your own race. Under the other (the “evolved”) definition, only a white person can be racist, and, in part because he has lived his entire life with racial privilege by virtue of being white, he cannot be considered the victim of racism, either. Add nuance to taste, and stir.

The man who wrote to you, a self-described white male, told you he’d been informed that he would be viewed as racist for bringing up examples of how he personally was abused, targeted with racial epithets, and even lightly hit by a car while living in a mostly non-white country where he was in a racial minority.

The man was obviously trying to show empathy for others who have been treated badly because of their race. But because he is white, his view was considered unwelcome. They told him that the treatment he received was not out of racism, but “rather out of resentment for white people’s history of cruelty and injustice towards others.”

In your answer, you essentially agreed with his friends, saying that even though the treatment he had experienced had been “horrid and unfair,” it was not the same as “the experience of most marginalized groups” because it never took away his basic rights and equality. (Not having been in whatever country this was and experienced what he went through, I don’t know if that is necessarily true. As a woman, I could easily name countries that would take away MY basic rights and equality.)

You made what you called the "key" distinction between “retaliatory” bias and “inherent” bias. With all due respect, being on the receiving end of “retaliatory” bias for something one’s ancestors, as opposed to oneself, did is, to me, as unacceptable as any other kind of bias. I would make the case that it is also extremely racist.

You said his argument makes this gentleman look naive. I am hardly naive, and I agree with him.

If the treatment this man received was “...out of resentment for white people’s history of cruelty and injustice towards others,” I’m sorry, but that was still racism. The man himself had done nothing to anyone; he was being judged –- judged –- by the color of his skin. The argument being used to defend that, which you helped further, is a rationalization for racist behavior. One may agree with that rationalization or disagree as I do, but a rationalization it is.

One problem we have right now is that we’re all encouraged to be having “conversations” about race, but these “conversations” all have to be very carefully articulated in certain ways in order to avoid charges of racism. The man who wrote you obviously is not a racist, but he must speak in exactly the "right" way in order to avoid a minefield. The slightest deviation is heresy. I’m sorry, but that is not real conversation, Miss Manners. It is control. A real conversation is a two-way street, with give and take, and people try to understand each other. I don’t see that happening with this subject. To create a “safe space” for others --- even his own partner --- this person’s thoughtful view is being shut down.

Thank you, Miss Manners, for your attention. Though you are correct in saying this gentleman risks alienating some people –- that they might challenge his point and perhaps call him naive and even racist –- simply telling him to “stop” is to inhibit honest, heartfelt conversation. I, for one, am willing to (very politely) have that conversation, and if someone wants to wrongly accuse me of racism, that is the person who needs to learn some common courtesy –- and some common sense.

There’s this small little gang of people who once made lots of money in DC as Republican political consultants, pollsters, party insiders and commentators who really hate President Trump. They have always been tied to the establishment of DC, or the swamp as some like to call it. They once were the toast of the town because they were joined at the hip with the well-established elites who really didn’t have deep convictions about issues, but rather just enjoyed playing for the Republican team because the pay was good and they got invited to all the cool parties in Georgetown, Manhattan and Hollywood. They were also the reason nothing ever changed or was even challenged in Washington. They worked for candidates and elected officials who pretended to care about issues like the sanctity of life, our alliance with Israel, the middle class, jobs leaving the US for China or Mexico, and health care. In reality, neither they nor the candidates or elected officials they worked for really cared at all. We voted for them, because our alternatives were candidates with far-left positions that threatened free enterprise, the lives of unborn babies, small businesses, factory jobs, important court appointments and more. But the election of Donald Trump messed up their legalized looting of the political donor class. Donald Trump didn’t become President because he was bought and owned by the political class. He mostly used his own money to become President and hasn’t had to do the bidding of the typical political hacks and they aren’t happy! In fact, he’s called on very few of them for anything and they aren’t going away quietly. They don’t hate him because he failed to do what he said-they hate him because he did exactly what he said he would do. The so-called Lincoln Project is about as true to Abraham Lincoln as I am to Weight Watchers. They loved the power and money and when Donald Trump became President, they just didn’t matter that much.

I do have friends who claim to be conservative but say they will vote for Joe Biden because they think President Trump is vain and vulgar. The same Joe Biden caught on a hot microphone uttering a truly vulgar term when talking to President Obama about signing Obamacare and who has cursed at the very people who attended his lightly attended events? But are elections even about a candidate’s tone, Tweets, or temperance? Sure, I’d love for all the people I vote for to be near perfect in personality, piety, and personal manners. But I care even more about whether the performance matches the promises on issues that really matter.

Believing in the intrinsic worth and value of every human life from conception is sacred to me. A candidate right about everything else and wrong in respecting the God-given worth of every human life is a candidate I can’t support. No candidate—not even Ronald Reagan, has taken the number of bold concrete steps to protect innocent human life as has President Trump. Donald Trump has done more for preserving religious liberty than ANY President in my lifetime. I believe strongly in the 1st amendment and with it, untouchable religious liberty. Other Presidents have claimed to be champions for churches, synagogues, and mosques to be free from government control, but President Trump has delivered. Most all Presidents promise to create jobs, and preserve middle class jobs, but until the shut-down of the economy because of the Chinese Virus, President Trump had delivered, marking record jobs for blacks, Hispanics, women and youth with record pay increases. And while the previous administration said our manufacturing jobs would never return, they actually have come back under President Trump. He has unflinchingly stood for the 2nd amendment. He’s insisted that America stop being the chump for China and its cheating. He’s stood for our border security while his opponent believes in open borders. Instead of folding like a cheap ten in a windstorm in the face of violent riots and mass looting, he’s called for protection of private and public property and the arrests of anarchists who have turned streets of major cities into war zones. And he has cut 7 regulations from the backs of Americans for every new one enacted.

So I understand why the ruling class of elitist snobs who run the DC Swamp would vote for Biden to restore their control. But it means the not-so-connected American being abandoned, so I don’t understand those who call themselves conservatives or even moderates voting for Biden, a candidate 180 degrees from what they claim they believe, and 100% a return to a government for the elites and the swells. Donald Trump went to Washington to shake things up. His problem wasn’t that he failed at that. It was that he succeeded.

When I heard the sad news that my friend Herman Cain had lost his fight with coronavirus, it was the same day, Thursday, as Rep. John Lewis’ funeral. Lewis, a strong partisan with whom I disagreed on most issues, had indeed been a brave leader for civil rights since he was a very young man and deserves recognition for that.

President Obama shared many positive words of tribute to the man and his fight for civil rights, and that was all fine. But he somehow...just...couldn’t...resist...getting political. What is it about Democrats and funerals that they just can’t avoid politics long enough to honor the dead person?

Here’s a link to the transcript of his entire speech, but I’d like to call attention to the brazenly political part, which he led into by saying we have to “keep vigilant” for the “darker currents”…

Obama:

"...Bull Connor may be gone, but today, we witnessed with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans. George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. We may no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in the jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power who will do their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining our Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s gonna be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.

"I know this is a celebration of John’s life. There are some who might say we shouldn’t dwell on such things. But that’s why I’m talking about it. John Lewis devoted his time on this earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best for America that we’re seeing right now.”

ME:

Okay, Mr. Obama, you couldn’t have planned your words to be more divisive. The segregationist BULL CONNOR (a Democrat, by the way) was the city official in Birmingham, Alabama, who in the 1960s directed that fire hoses and attack dogs (!) be turned on civil rights protesters, even children, who were peacefully protesting. To bring up that kind of ugly and truly “systemic” racism of old now in light of what is happening today is as divisive and inflammatory as it gets. You should be ashamed.

By the way, since you mentioned George Wallace, I will add that this old-time segregationist actually helps exemplify the progress we’ve made in our society, in that in his later years, after being paralyzed by an attempted assassin’s bullet, he came to denounce his earlier views. But no, we have to ignore progress and dwell on the ugly past.

We aren’t seeing, as you described it, “police officers” kneeling on the “necks” of black Americans. We saw one very bad cop with his knee on the neck of a black man, and that bad cop, along with others who were complicit, have rightly been charged with MURDER. And our government did not send officers to use tear gas and batons on “peaceful” protesters. This is hardly a “peaceful” protest, and black lives are being destroyed. The neighborhoods being destroyed are largely black neighborhoods. Many of the cops are black, too, and I’m sure the last place they want to be is in the middle of that mess, having to deal not just with the violence but with racist abuse being hurled at THEM just for trying to keep the peace.

But you just had to say those things, didn't you? Thanks, Obama!

Then you went on to talk about “those in power” who will “do their darnedest” to keep people from voting. You didn’t have to get specific; we know and your cheering audience knew you meant my party, Republicans, led by President Trump, trying to stop blacks from voting…”with surgical precision,” as you put it. And in the most laughable comment you made, you said we’re “even undermining our Postal Service” when we warn against problems with mail-in ballots.

Undermining our great Postal Service? The problems with mail-in voting are real and well-documented; thousands of ballots can be “lost” at a time. THIS can be carried out with "surgical precision," as can other types of voter fraud. Imagine this in 2020 on a massive, nationwide scale.

What we want is a clean election. Most of all, we have to be able to trust the results. We want everyone to be able to vote safely --- either with distancing and masks, or with a documented absentee ballot --- and for every vote to count. EVERY vote. That’s it.

Yes, as you said, we are seeing attacks on democracy now. But I see them coming from organizations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, largely run and funded by white people on the left. The left, where you reside.

Oh, something else: You said that if making changes to the Voting Rights Act means getting rid of the filibuster, “another Jim Crow relic,” then we should. You also likened this summer’s protests to the ones led by Dr. King. I certainly can’t speak for Dr. King, but it seems to me that he would be sickened by the violence.

As for the filibuster, yes, it was used by senators (mostly southern Democrats) to hold off passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But it has been used many times for many reasons; mostly it’s a tool to keep a bare majority from running roughshod over the minority. But the ends justify the means, right?

How I wish I could ask Herman Cain what he thought about this. On second thought, it would probably just tick him off (along with all the leftists blaming him for his own death), and he's in a much better place now.