August 19, 2008

Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on McCain and Obama at the Saddleback Civil Forum.

How the 2 candidates' styles vary:



Also, Loury really objects to the way Obama talked about Clarence Thomas:



ADDED: Some equal time for McWhorter:

99 comments:

Simon said...

I don't know why Loury is so optimistic that this "won't go away"; or perhaps I should say, it might not go away, but it won't stick. It may persist as a charge thrown at Obama, but I feel confident in saying it won't stick to him because nothing seems to stick to his teflon-coated hide. It's terribly depressing. Besides, how many people who are voting for Obama who -- I mean, is there really anyone who's likely to vote for Obama who doesn't share that view of Justice Thomas?

Trumpit said...

I don't think it's a grave error to tell the truth and state the obvious. Clarence Thomas is the black Harriet Miers is what I would have said.

Outis said...

"Why do you want to be leader of the free world? What are you gonna do with all that power?"

My answer: Kick ass and chew bubble gum.

Trumpit said...

I retract what I said. It's a grave error to compare Harriet Miers to Clarence Thomas. He should be considered the dimwitted sidekick of Scalia and Scalito. I'm thinking of Of Mice and Men.

MadisonMan said...

I mean, is there really anyone who's likely to vote for Obama who doesn't share that view of Justice Thomas?

Am I likely to vote for Obama? Some days.

I don't share that view of Thomas. I think he was qualified when nominated. He certainly was not the most-qualified man -- in a legal sense -- to be nominated at the time -- but is the most-qualified man ever the one nominated?

(man in the gender neutral sense, of course)

bleeper said...

Of Mice and Men? You do realize that it was just George and Lennie, not three migrant workers, and the small dark one was the more intelligent one. Just sayin'...

Trumpit said...

Madison Man,

No, he was unqualified then as he is now. He is not intellectually capable of improving or growing into the job. Simon is totally wrong as usual. All you have to do is read a couple of his personal, ludicrous dissents and you will have to come to the same conclusion.

Middle Class Guy said...

It looked more like blogginghead.tv, as only Loury was talking. McWhorter was just nodding and going yeah, yes, and, uh uh, hm hm.

Loury made many good points, but his calling Obama’s remarks about Thomas a disaster and a grave error were right on the mark.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trumpit said...
All you have to do is read a couple of his personal, ludicrous dissents and you will have to come to the same conclusion.


One could say that about any Supreme Court Justice, as many over the years have made ludicrous dissents. What is the qualification for a Supreme Court Justice? Whatever the President and the legislature decide it is.

Henry said...

Does John McWhorter every get to talk?

The Clarence Thomas example used by Obama is odd because whatever his qualificiations at the time of his nomination, his performance since then can be evaluated on its own merits. Obama is therefore critiquing Thomas on the relatively unimportant issue of resume, not judicial philosophy or intellect, which is what anyone who cares about the Supreme Court actually cares about.

I believe it was John Danforth who lauded Clarence Thomas' love for knowledge, his ability to throw himself whole-heartedly into a project. If there's any question to be asked now of Thomas it is whether or not he has fulfilled this expectation.

Trumpit steps into the breach where Obama fears to tread.

Richard Dolan said...

The attacks on Justice Thomas must be coming from people who have never read anything he's written. It's beside the point whether one agrees with his take on any particular issue. The obvious fact is that he's a very able fellow, and quite good at his job. He's a much better writer, I would say, than Stevens, Souter or Kennedy, for example.

As for the "qualified" stuff, by background and prior experience, he was quite typical among nominees for the S Ct. Loury is right that O's smear against Justice Thomas was a gross mistake, and in its way tarnished O (to say nothing of other blacks who have achieved high office) much more than it did Thomas. O knows better than anyone that the attacks on Justice Thomas's "qualifications" all play on some old and disgusting racial stereotypes. Astonishing that O would sink so low, and all just to throw some red meat to the worst of his supporters.

SteveR said...

Great comment Trumpit, did Junior High get out early today?

Ann Althouse said...

I should add a more McWhorter-favoring clip. It was my choice to highlight Loury.

Middle Class Guy said...

Ann Althouse said...
I should add a more McWhorter-favoring clip. It was my choice to highlight Loury.

I was just kidding. Sorry.

Richard said...

Ann said: "I should add a more McWhorter-favoring clip. It was my choice to highlight Loury."

Please do. I would love to hear what McWhorter had to say about all this.

Ann Althouse said...

"Please do. I would love to hear what McWhorter had to say about all this."

Click over to listen to the whole diavlog. You can identify segments that you like and link to them.

Simon said...

Richard Dolan said...
"[Thomas is] a much better writer, I would say, than Stevens, Souter or Kennedy, for example."

I'd have to rate Souter as the third best writer on the court after Scalia and Roberts, a little ahead of Thomas. I think he's very readable. Kennedy is dead last - he's just awful, almost unreadable at times.

Of course, this is only to address style not content.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"All you have to do is read a couple of his [Thomas'] personal, ludicrous dissents...."

Perhaps you could cite some of the dissents you regard as particularly egregious or typical?

UWS guy said...

Loury makes a damning point. One that Obama himself realized as the words were (half) leaving his mouth.

ricpic said...

Whatever Loury says Titus told me he can't stomach Loury's looks.

Trumpit said...

Morse v. Frederick, 127 S. Ct. 2618 (2007)

The BONG HITS 4 JESUS case.

From Wikipedia:
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurrence that argued that students in public schools do not have a right to free speech and that Tinker should be overturned. Justice Clarence Thomas writes, "In my view, the history of public education suggests that the First Amendment, as originally understood, does not protect student speech in public schools."

How can the history of public education suggest anything about the 1st Amendment? That is a dumb, ludicrous statement on its face. Then in his concurrence he compounds his nonsense by discussing all the primitive things that went on public schools like corporal punishhment. No doubt he longs for the good old days when kids had their mouths washed out with soap for uttering a profanity. I suspect he's into that sadistic sort of perverse behavior and would like to see in again in our schools.

I can cite more of his dumb arguments in other cases, but it will all be revealed in my forthcoming book: Clarence Thomas: Supreme Ct. Jester.

jeff said...

What Simon said. Trot out one of them and tell us why they are "personal, ludicrous" and where you determined his lack of intellect.

See if you can do better than our Senate majority leader. I am betting not.

jeff said...

Possibly due to the fact that "he history of public education suggests that the First Amendment, as originally understood, does not protect student speech in public schools." Which it has not. Ask any kid who worked on the school newspaper. Or wore a t-shirt the Principal thought inappropriate.

I like the part where you read his mind. Does that work with lotto?

P. Rich said...

Simon

Yes. For some point to be "sticky", it must have persistence in the press. As most of the press is pro-Obama, of course he will appear to be teflon coated. That says little about him and a great deal about the degenerate fourth estate in this country, and the large numbers of uncritical citizens who will unquestioningly accept the pseudointellectual droppings as a basis for their shallow worldview.

Some people read the NYT and WaPo and Andrew Sullivan. Some people view CNN and MSNBC and Keith Olberman. Some people go to the zoo and watch the monkeys masturbate. These people share a common attribute, as do the objects of their interest.

dick said...

trumpit,

If you think the 1st amendment does hold in school, then why are the LLL dems and the teachers' unions so adamantly against letting the kids say grace at lunch or pray in school.

Zeb Quinn said...

Leftist sheep have been blindly bleating back and forth to each other the Thomas was unqualified meme for so long that it has become something they now take as an article of faith in leftist orthodoxy. In truth Thomas was more than sufficiently qualified, professionally and academically. What they did to him in 1991 and have perpetuated ever since solely because a black conservative must be destroyed is a good example of where the term unconscionable applies.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh, I do look forward to your upcoming book Clarence Thomas: Supreme Ct. Jester. Not to read, of course, but to use as a coaster. It's thinness will be perfect. Is that to follow your next book, How I Trolled the Internet and Won the Acrimony of Everyone Foolish Enough to Actually Consider Seriously What I Wrote as I Was Actually Just Seeking Attention? A far heftier tome, no doubt.

I like these two guys. I would like to invite them over for a couple of beers and some experimental hummus.

Loury mentioned the cone of silence again. I firmly believe a cone of silence must be an actual cone -- a sound-proof plasticine cone. Emphasis on cone. Not a bubble, not a room, a cone. This allows me to mention once again my depiction of a cone of silence, that erases all ambiguity regarding sound-proofiness and coneage.

Meade said...

Now THAT was a good Bloggingheads. I watched the whole thing on fast speed. Insightful, intelligent, and unselfconscious. Very entertaining, very informative.

Sy said...

I would say Clarence Thomas was much more qualified being on the Supreme Court than Barack Obama being in the White House. Clarence Thomas was actually a federal judge for a year before he got nominated. Has Obama ever held an executive position in private or public office?

Meade said...

Chip, you've outdone even yourself. Fantastic!

Ann Althouse said...

On the Thomas opinion in Morse v. Frederick, here I discuss the Stanley Fish op-ed saying Thomas was right (and should have gone farther):

"Fish won't accept the Supreme Court's idea of free speech rights weighed against disruption (which meant that, for example, the students in Tinker had a right to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War). Like Thomas, he says students should have no rights other than "the right to be instructed by well-trained, responsible teachers who know their subjects and stick to them and don’t believe that it is their right to pronounce on anything and everything.""

And here is an excerpt from Thomas's opinion, which you may disagree with, but you should not say is stupid:

"Because public schools were initially created as substitutes for private schools, when States developed public education systems in the early 1800’s, no one doubted the government’s ability to educate and discipline children as private schools did. Like their private counterparts, early public schools were not places for freewheeling debates or exploration of competing ideas. Rather, teachers instilled “a core of common values” in students and taught them self-control. Reese 23; A. Potter & G. Emerson, The School and the Schoolmaster: A Manual 125 (1843) (“By its discipline it contributes, insensibly, to generate a spirit of subordination to lawful authority, a power of self-control, and a habit of postponing present indulgence to a greater future good …”); D. Parkerson & J. Parkerson, The Emergence of the Common School in the U. S. Countryside 6 (1998) (hereinafter Parkerson) (noting that early education activists, such as Benjamin Rush, believed public schools “help[ed] control the innate selfishness of the individual”).

"Teachers instilled these values not only by presenting ideas but also through strict discipline. Butts 274–275. Schools punished students for behavior the school considered disrespectful or wrong. Parkerson 65 (noting that children were punished for idleness, talking, profanity, and slovenliness). Rules of etiquette were enforced, and courteous behavior was demanded. Reese 40. To meet their educational objectives, schools required absolute obedience. C. Northend, The Teacher’s Assistant or Hints and Methods in School Discipline and Instruction 44, 52 (1865) (“I consider a school judiciously governed, where order prevails; where the strictest sense of propriety is manifested by the pupils towards the teacher, and towards each other . . .” (internal quotation marks omitted)).2

"In short, in the earliest public schools, teachers taught, and students listened. Teachers commanded, and students obeyed. Teachers did not rely solely on the power of ideas to persuade; they relied on discipline to maintain order."

Simon said...

Trumpit,
Interesting example. It's by no means "dumb, [or] ludicrous" to suggest that "the history of public education [can] suggest anything about the 1st Amendment." History can often shed light on what the Constitution was thought to mean. If there is a longstanding tradition of government doing something without anyone thinking that the activity violates the Constitution by doing so, that is evidence that the Constitution was not then thought to prohibit those activities. Cf. Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983) (legislative chaplains don't violate the establishment clause); SF: Line of Succession, redux (7/28/08) (inclusion of Speaker of the House in the line of succession doesn't violate the succession clause).

If you won't take it from me, take it from the icon of judicial liberalism. Justice Brennan, no conservative he, said that "[t]he existence from the beginning of the Nation's life of a practice ... is not conclusive of its constitutionality. But such practice is a fact of considerable import in the interpretation of abstract constitutional language. ... [If a clause] is reasonably susceptible of different interpretations regarding the exemptions[, t]his Court's interpretation of the clause, accordingly, is appropriately influenced by the reading it has received in the practices of the Nation. As Mr. Justice Holmes observed in an analogous context, in resolving such questions of interpretation 'a page of history is worth a volume of logic.' The more longstanding and widely accepted a practice, the greater its impact upon constitutional interpretation." Walz v. Tax Comm'n of N.Y., 397 U.S. 664, 681 (1970) (Brennan, J., concurring) (citation omitted) (quoting New York Trust Co. v. Eisner, 256 U.S. 345, 349 , 507 (1921)).

For those of us who (like Justice Thomas) believe in a Constitution that endures rather than evolves, evidence of what the Constitution meant then is evidence of what the Constitution means now. In Morse, Justice Thomas argued that the history of public schooling prior to Tinker provides no indication that the First Amendment protected a right to free speech in the classroom by students. Quite the contrary, he argued: the prevalent legal understanding of schools was that they acted in loco parentis, which could reasonably be thought to give children no more First Amendment rights against their teachers than against their parents. If that is persuasive as to the original meaning of the First Amendment, and if we feel free to discard Tinker and its progeny (as Justice Thomas does), that seems an intelligent, well-reasoned position, regardless of whether you or I might disagree.

(For the record, I haven't studied it carefully enough to have a considered opinion, so my presumption is that Tinker stays on the basis of stare decisis.)

Simon said...

Ann, I think you forgot the link in your comment above - you meant to link to this post, one assumes.

Meade said...

Something tells me Glenn Loury has taught his own children those values Thomas cited in his opinion in Morse v. Frederick.

Simon said...

So, Trumpit: next example, please.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Simon. That is the right link.

vbspurs said...

OT (a heads up, since people might want an alternative to the Olympics):

Last night, Fox News started a series on US Presidential Character and Conduct, with Senator Barack Obama going first.

Tonight, during the usual Bill O'Reilly hour, it's Senator John McCain's turn.

They did a fair job on Obama last night. Let's see McCain.

Oh oh. Matt Welch is being interviewed. It's the equivalent of Jerome Corsi being interviewed for Obama (he wasn't).

Simon said...

MCG - you know, one example that's often wheeled out is Hudson v. McMillian, but I have an enduring suspecion that a lot of the heat Thomas got for that dissent outside of the academy came from misreading "tortious" as "tortuorous" ("a use of force that causes only insignificant harm to a prisoner may be immoral, it may be tortious, it may be criminal, and it may even be remediable under other provisions of the Federal Constitution, but it is not 'cruel and unusual punishment'" (503 U.S. at 18)).

UWS guy said...

If minors have the 1st amendment right while in a school then wouldn't the also have the right of whatever amendment would say that you can't imprison them (in a school) without due process of law?

Mandatory education is obviously unconstitutional. (although we might be better off educationally if this were so...)

Mandatory education should end at 8th grade anyway for a myriad of reasons but that's a whole 'nother blogging heads (as Robert Wright would put it).


Back on topic....if Justice Thomas weren't qualified wouldn't his opponents have used this fact against him rather than trying to sink his nomination with a sex scandal?


It's not as if Harriet Meyers was, or needed, to be derailed by a cunt hair on a coke bottle now was she?

Kirby Olson said...

I liked it.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

I love Thomas, I'm distressed to see that McWhorter has gone from an endearing faith in what Obama could represent to a full out case of Obamamania/insanity, and I am tremendously amused by the way Glenn Loury -- a lefty, whom I disagree with on almost everything -- is coming across as the one sane man in the room on this diavlog.

These two are my second-favourite Bloggingheads pair (with Bob and Mickey keeping their place as the fave).

Thomas dealt with that "most qualified" question at the end of his memoir, incidentally, in a lovely scene in which he asks Bush(41)'s chief of staff about it.

Anyway. I always enjoy watching this pair go at it.

Meade said...

The issue isn't Clarence Thomas, who has proven his qualifications, the issue is whether or not Obama is qualified for the office he is seeking. Not only do Loury and McWhorter not believe he truly is, but Obama, himself, does not believe it. That's why McWhorter is getting depressed and worried and Loury can't shake his cynicism.

Maggie45 said...

I just watched the whole thing on normal speed. I can't believe that both of these guys basically agree that Obama is an empty suit, but still want him as President. In McWhorter's case so he can hear his first State of the Union speech, which will be special and charismatic. Yikes. Holy Mother.

blake said...

These guys are good.

Trumpit, not so much.

UWS guy said...

the real question is: at min 14:23

Is Loury drinking scotch/beer or apple juice out of that tumbler!?

vbspurs said...

In McWhorter's case so he can hear his first State of the Union speech, which will be special and charismatic. Yikes. Holy Mother.

Maggie, do you remember when those American pilots were shot down a few years ago? Then when they were released, they emerged from the plane to a hero's welcome.

A good friend of mine, who is black, and I were discussing race one day, and she told me hauntingly:

"I kept looking for the black person to emerge."

I prodded a little more, gently. Why? Because, she said, she is always more engaged with an issue when she sees a black person involved.

I revealed a lot about myself in another thread, about my background. But nothing in my varied, cosmopolitan experience ever has floored me as much as that admission. I cannot imagine what it is to feel such a way.

I'm guessing it doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but just once perhaps a black person wants to have a face that looks like him or her reflected from that podium.

Is that so wrong?

(Sure, it's not reason enough to elect a person...for me)

Meade said...

Loury says that Obama does not himself believe he is as good as whites. That is a fascinating insight.

Simon said...

Victoria said...
"she is always more engaged with an issue when she sees a black person involved. ... [J]ust once perhaps a black person wants to have a face that looks like him or her reflected from that podium. Is that so wrong?"

Yes. It's not only racist, it's childish - unbelievably immature. It's deeply worrying that anyone out there thinks this way, and you should ask your friend why she doesn't believe in Dr. King's dream.

What are people who see the world this way -- people who think in terms of race rather than individuals, but a fortiori people who we have sen from Saddleback are primed to see their candidate's defeat as evidence that the other guy cheated -- going to do if Obama wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college? Are we going to see riots?

UWS guy said...

So easy for someone from the 86% majority to call a minority a silly racist for wishing that there were heroes who looked like them.

Meade said...

"Is that so wrong?"

No it is not wrong and it isn't racism. Racism would be wanting to NOT see the other faces.

Meade said...

And no, there will not be riots. Come on, Simon, get real. The election is in November. Riot season will be over.

UWS guy said...

McWharter and Loury make this same wish in the last section of this diavlog.

"Wishing to see the state of the union played in a black barbershop."

"I can only see this impossible dream and I can't help but smile"

Meade said...

That's right, and there is not a thing wrong with that. But you can tell that even they know that that alone would not be enough. Loury, especially, knows Obama doesn't have the chops for the job. And it worries them both.

Meade said...

In fact, most Democrats are having buyer's remorse and that includes Obama himself. If Obama doesn't win, as Loury points out, the D Party is going to come apart. It will be ugly.

Maggie45 said...

Victoria, I can see it if they believe he's qualified to be President, but they as much as agreed he is not, and yet they still want him to win. Yes, I'm white and I have absolutely no idea how it FEELS to be black in a mostly white country, but I do like to believe that I wouldn't let race govern important decisions like voting for the leader of the free world in this day and age. Having said that, I know from experience that I really don't know what I would do until faced with whatever situation. It's just that I lived through the Jimmy Carter years, and I really at this point in my life, don't want to go through that again.

Middle Class Guy said...

Meade said...
And no, there will not be riots. Come on, Simon, get real. The election is in November. Riot season will be over.



Riots have no season. The chance to get free stuff by looting under the guise of political, social, or any other kind of anger is not seasonal. Plus, November is the Christmas shopping season.

UWS guy said...

I think his point is that he's afraid Obama doesn't have the chops to win the campaign, which is different from chops for doing the job. I think if you re-watch that section it's the former point he's making.

At least that's how I heard it, (albeit at 1x4 speed while surfing other websites while talking on the phone...)

Maggie45 said...

Chip, you're a character!!! LOL I'm sitting here on the wi-fi in the library, trying to stifle my laughter.

Meade said...

Guy, if riots worry you, worry that the Cubs win the Series.

UWS guy said...

"Riots have no season. The chance to get free stuff by looting under the guise of political, social, or any other kind of anger is not seasonal. Plus, November is the Christmas shopping season."

learn how to use italics and quote marks folks! When I read this thread I keep thinking I'm seeing double posts!!!

UWS guy said...

Chip, you're a character!!! LOL I'm sitting here on the wi-fi in the library, trying to stifle my laughter.


....looks like someone has a secret admirer...

Meade said...

You're right, UWS, but listen toward the end to how McWhorter lowers his expectations for Obama's presidency to being just "okay." I think that was telling.

Trumpit said...

From Wikipedia (P.S. I heart you):
Appeal to tradition, also known as proof from tradition,[1] appeal to common practice, argumentum ad antiquitatem, false induction, or the "is/ought" fallacy,[2] is a common logical fallacy in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it correlates with some past or present tradition. The appeal takes the form of "this is right because we've always done it this way."[3]

This is just one of the fallacies that illogical Clarence (not the nice angelic one from It's a Wonderful Life) makes. He also makes faulty comparisons of corporal punishiment for some offence in the past with carrying a billboard in the present. The dude is in some kind of funky time warp; Startrek fans wouldn't approve.

It's vary difficult to discuss legal matters with Simon because he inevitably puts up a barrage of legalist notations, puntuations and quotations that are difficult to follow for the layperson and, I would guess, even for the legally initiated. Most of it, I would guess, is sincere, although to my jaded view of things it comes off as a geeky barrage of obfuscation and a confused jumble of ideas. He would lose most debates because his public audience would get a glazed look in their eyes and wish they had gone to the movies instead. They'd even prefer to watch a rerun of any of Jimmy Stewart's classic films than die a thousand deaths by elliptical cuts and caustic, concealed and congealed legal citations.

P. Rich said...

Neither Loury nor McWhorter can get away from being "Black" as, say, Tiger Woods made a point of doing. Both are intelligent and accomplished, but McWhorter especially is in Obamalove. He even admits Obamalove wears off after a while and nothing much may remain, but he's enamoured of his vision of the brief shining moment and its glorious aftermath. (Sounds much like a political orgasm, in fact.) Somewhere along the line both of these guys lost sight of the need for someone to function effectively as President for a minimum of four years, and I don't think that is a concern. Pretty canned speeches won't ever equate to competence in high office. Ugh. Bright men, mostly stupid discussion.

Meade said...

Yeah but that's what we love about Simon.

Meade said...

(my reply was to Trumpit)

Henry said...

Trumpit wrote: It's vary difficult to discuss legal matters with Simon because he inevitably puts up a barrage of legalist notations, puntuations and quotations that are difficult to follow for the layperson....

Trumpit, that's the funniest thing on this post, despite Chip's best efforts.

God knows, it's hard to discuss law with people that know something about law. I cry in my beer about the unfairness of it all the time.

You might find that discussing engineering with engineers is also vary difficult. They might expect you to know math.

vbspurs said...

Yes. It's not only racist, it's childish - unbelievably immature.

Perhaps, but isn't also deeply human?

Also, think of our exchange like this:

You know how difficult it is to get people to open up -- really and truly -- about racial matters.

Both sides are scared of being misunderstood.

The white side is usually scared to death of being thought a racist by the black person, whereas the black person, I feel, doesn't want to really hear what the white person thinks, because it might confirm what they think white folks think, or to reveal some even more hurtful fact that they weren't aware of before.

Can you imagine if I said what you did -- calling her irresponsible and stuff?

Our friendship would've survived, but I doubt she ever would've opened up to me again. And that I would've considered a tragedy.

It's deeply worrying that anyone out there thinks this way, and you should ask your friend why she doesn't believe in Dr. King's dream.

Alas, she's now a jobbing actress in LA and we've lost touch.

I don't have any black friends as close as she was, currently.

I really miss that. Though I don't share black people's happiness about the Obama candidacy, ironically, I can intellectualise how happy she must be today.

P.S.: I love Simon, too. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Maggie, I don't remember Carter, but I can imagine the frustration. I don't want to live through that either. ;(

Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Sirs,

Mr. McWhorter articulated a concern that if Obama loses we will be inundated with the claim that it was racism. This, too, is one of my concerns. It will be 2000 all over again - the stolen election.

I have voted Republican for over 40 years. I believe that for a healthy Republic we need a strong Democratic Party - the great party of my younger days. The Republicans have effectively kept the radical right in check - witness McCain. The Democrats have succumbed to the radical left.

I think that McCain will win going away. Just a feeling after watching with great interest every election since 1952.

A real bonus would be to shatter the grip of the left on the Democratic Party. The left will fight this with the charge of racism.

How about Michael Steele for VP? (h/t AJ Strata).

Regards,
Roy

vbspurs said...

I would personally LOVE Michael Steele, Roy. What a classy, American guy. But it isn't going to happen this time.

ricpic said...

According to Vicky black folks are incapable of racism. That's the proper thing to say no matter how mendacious it is to say it and sure 'nuf, Vickums done say it. Good little hypocrite gel, Vickers.

Simon said...

Thanks, victoria and Meade. :) Roy, I floated Steele's name last February, but I think Victoria's right that he's not in contention this season. National Review is running a poll on who it should be, and at time of writing, Sarah Palin - who I voted for - is running away with it.

Trumpit, let me try to answer that staying within the confines of Wikipedia. The article you refer to gives an exmaple of the appeal to tradition as a fallacy: "[t]hese rules were written 100 years ago and we have always followed them. Therefore, there is no need to change them." In that context, the appeal to tradition is a fallacy. But that's not a good fit for using tradition to give content to the Constitution. You would have to modify the statement above: "[t]hese rules were written 100 years ago and they have always been thought to mean X. Therefore they mean X." It's far less clear that that proposition is wrong, when the positive point to be ascertained is stated precisely.

Moreover, using logical fallacies to justify normative premises fares no better. "These rules were written 100 years ago and we have always followed them, therefore, there is no need to change them" is a fallacy; "these rules were written 100 years ago and we have always followed them, and I think we should keep them" is not a logical fallacy (indeed, it would be a category error, another kind of fallacy, to suggest it).

Logic is useful within its realm, but taken out of its realm... Have you ever seen Stardust? Take logic beyond its natural habitat and you'll quickly find that a shining light turns to worthless dust.

"It's vary difficult to discuss legal matters with Simon because he inevitably puts up a barrage of legalist notations, puntuations and quotations that are difficult to follow for the layperson and, I would guess, even for the legally initiated...."

I think Henry said it best - "You might find that discussing engineering with engineers is also vary difficult. They might expect you to know math." It turns out that it's very difficult to discuss a technical subject if you're not willing to familiarize yourself with its argot. Lookit, I know legal notation can be a litle intimidating at first. But I promise you, the culture shock doesn't last long once you start studying it, even informally, and once you get used to it, you'll find that it's so incredibly useful that it's very difficult not to use it, because every other way of accomplishing the same result seems woefully inefficient. I suppose I could have said "compare" instead of "cf.," but "cf." isn't legal jargon. I suppose I could have said "as Justice Brennan said in Walz instead of just giving the quote and the citation, but that's inefficient and it makes it harder for you to look up the citation. I could truncate the citation, but that would be inacccurate.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Isn't it more that she's saying it's understandable racism?

***

I too think that McCain's got this one on a path to victory, unless he does something incredibly bone-headed.

But we'll see.

Simon said...

Ricpic, you have to keep in mind that Victoria and I were both originally steeped in a different culture, where white guilt is this ute thing that American liberals are trying to get over. It doesn't work on us, and it shouldn't work on Italian-Americans (or descendents of any other post-civil war migratory wave), either.

Meade said...

pic, man, why the troll hard on for Victoria? What's the point?

Peter V. Bella said...

Trumpit said...
"It's vary difficult to discuss legal matters with Simon because he inevitably puts up a barrage of legalist notations, puntuations and quotations..."


Translation: He uses real sources instead of Wikipedia. You have just proven to the whole world that you are incapable of thinking.

Spread Eagle said...

A real bonus would be to shatter the grip of the left on the Democratic Party. The left will fight this with the charge of racism.

There's nobody else there to run the place. They're all from the radical left, varying only according to which special interest group they favor.

1jpb said...

I listened to this whole thing, so I don't know if your clips include the stuff about Herbert.

That was the most interesting thing. Loury really goes nuts here. He's visibly angry because Herbert attacked HRC for using right wing attacks against BHO. Loury says that the HRC attacks should be acceptable because the Republicans would eventually use them in the general election. Well, OK, that's an opinion I've heard before (although I disagree; it is worse when family members kill each other than it is when enemies kill each other--obviously this is the most extreme analogy.)

It's funny that Loury is also super angry because Herbert used right wing attacks against HRC. Beautiful irony.

Also, Loury repeatedly conflates columnists with the BHO campaign. And, he latches on to BHO errors and then wildly extrapolates, while remaining willfully oblivious to worse flaws in McCain (or HRC, since she seems dominate a lot of Loury's commentary.) This guy is serious PUMA material. McWhorter mentions that he likes to try and imagine what motivates folks. I wonder what he thinks about Loury's mind?

For the record, I very rarely read Herbert. He is the liberal version of all y'all who claim certain knowledge of BHO's mind.

I'll demonstrate how to properly read a mind: "I think that Herbert may see himself as a counterweight to the right wing attack columnists. He may feel that he can't be a liberal naval gazer, like Loury, because there's already too many of those."

And, the wrong way: "Herbert is trying to be the liberal Kristol. And, Herbert wants to bring defeat to America and he supports infanticide. Supporting BHO is his vehicle to promote such beliefs."

vbspurs said...

Simon wrote:

Sarah Palin - who I voted for - is running away with it.

I want her to be the VP nominee so badly, that I actually am starting to question my motives.

I'd be interested in hearing your own motives for choosing her, Simon.

BTW, I was Googling Senator Joe Biden and his story is interesting. You can see immediately what he would bring to the Democratic table.

- Born in Scranton, PA (puts that State in play)

- Irish-Catholic (Obama DESPERATElY needs this demographic)

- Father was a car salesman (I always thought Biden had the smarmy demeanour of an used car salesman...)

- Widowered after his wife was in a tragic car accident, which also took his baby daughter's life

- Foreign policy experience

- Son captain in the Delaware Army National Guard, where he's in the JAG Corps. More importantly, he's also Attorney-General of Delaware

Negatives:

- He's the ne plus ultra of a Washington insider

- He may come from a blue-collar background, but he doesn't give off blue-collar vibes (he won't help in the South, or even Ohio/Michigan)

- He's glib to the point of being ridiculous (he gives off a lawyer double-talk vibe)

- Further to that, he has often been accused of plagiarising, e.g. a Law Review article at 'Cuse (maybe he needs to be glib to hide a certain lack of intellectual gifts)

- He supported the war in Iraq, voting "yes"

If he doesn't get the Veep spot, he must be a shoo-in for Secretary of State.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

One NYT commenter mentioned why an "Obama-Biden" ticket might prove to be unintended:

Comedy Gold

Trumpit said...

Translation: He uses real sources instead of Wikipedia. You have just proven to the whole world that you are incapable of thinking.


You, Mr. Bella, are incapable of thinking because you use ad hominem attacks and are guilty of the bandwagon fallacy (argumentum ad populum). If you don't know what I'm talking about, you have to just look it up on Wikipedia, a useful, and readily accessible resourse. I would call you a troll, but that's name calling as well. I won't fall into the same trap as you have. Middle Class Guy doesn't like Wikipedia either. Well he's a notorious idiot around here; do you want to join him in seeking the lowest level of mentation? You are known by the company that you keep, you know.

As far as Sir Clarence goes, it is obvious that the emperor has no clothes, intellectual or moral, to speak of. Never mind what his grandpappy did or didn't do for or to him as a child growing up. Furthermore, he perjured himself regarding Anita Hill and that he had no prior views on abortion. Lying reached new heights of audacity with him. History and intellectually honest observers will be the final judge of him. His incompetence as a jurist is and will be ridiculed and deemed infamous. And if there is a hell, he'll fit in fine there, too.

Simon said...

Victoria - I think that of all the possible veep picks, she brings the most plus while contributing the least minus (the thrust:drag ratio I was talking about the other day). She's evidently doing a great job in Alaska, she ticks more or less all the right boxes ideologically (albeit more populist than I'd like), she's young, and I think there's a great deal of cachet in this election cycle in not picking a white guy. I think some disaffected Hillary supporters might be willing to cross over, and I think it would to some extent ameliorate the tendency of some people to see the other ticket as "historic."

The criticism that it's too soon and that she'd be better-placed to run in 2012 hits the mark, but the fact is, we face (so to speak) the fierce urgency of now. We need a veep for this election, she's good, she may be the best option of those options available, so let's pick her and let's have picked her last week. This idea of waiting for Obama to pick is a mistake, IMO. He should have already announced by now.

bearbee said...

For several days been reading about the Palin ethics flap.

Do you select someone for VP while that person's office is newly undergoing an investigation for alleged ethics breach?

Salamandyr said...

Look, I've got no brief with Trumpit, but can we can the Wikipedia hate? It's as accurate as any other encyclopedia out there, and guess what? If you find something wrong, you can fix it.

Those citations Trumpit mentioned; well, were they inaccurate? No, they weren't, not within the limited description required for a precis. You wouldn't get anything better out of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not deleting anything, but I will say that I think all the Wikipedia bashing is dumb. We all understand what Wikipedia is, and it actually is a good starting place. If there's something in the cited article that you know is wrong or inaccurate, go over and edit it. If you don't want to do that, just cite other, better authority. If it's an argument about a Supreme Court case, quote the case! That way the argument can advance. Let's stop all the wheelspinning about Wikipedia.

Ann Althouse said...

You know, we are approaching 200 comments, at which point, the comments become hard to see, so I am going to go back and prune out everything here that is mainly bickering about the value of Wikipedia. Let's get back to talking about what Loury and McWhorter said! This post just got an Instapundit link, and I don't want newcomers to see a bad comments thread.

bleeper said...

Excellent call, Ann, I was out of line, and am glad to see my comments gone.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

Strange, but interesting.

1. I'm Asian. When I watch a line of American POWs exit a plane I'm very happy for them. I'm not looking for an Asian face.

Frankly the idea that somehow I need someone of my general ethnicity to be involved is rather strange and a little crazy.

2. Politics is a hard game and you need to be both the best and on your best. IMO I'd suggest the proposition that a lack of proper investigative journalism by the MSM is what has caused the failure of modern Democrats to take control of the White House. Simply because the candidates that emerge aren't as well vetted as they should be or as strong in political skills as they must be.

Clearly Obama is unsuitable in many ways. He has decades long relationships with unrepentant domestic terrorists during a time where people fear terrorism. He has decades long associations with radical preachers who espouse bigoted, racists and severely anti-American spew that can't help but aggravate the American public. He has legislative bombshells in his history such as the newly discovered No Child Born Act where he had cast himself as the **defender** of a public policy of infanticide by neglect of infants that survive abortions.

All of these associations, and there will be more discovered, are show stoppers. Consider that Obama publicly called his *grandmother* a racist to defend Rev. Wright. Yet at the Saddleback debate he named his grandmother as one of his advisors!!

WTF?

Then there is the issue of Obama's lack of grace under any situation that doesn't involve prepared speeches, adoring crowds and a teleprompter. If you think Saddleback was a fluke, wait until they debate head to head. Sure the "moderators" will make things as easy as possible for Obama. But that's dangerous itself.

People like to sugarcoat things but JFK was a complete disaster as a President. He looked good. But he was a total screw up. It was only his untimely assassination that helped put a glow on his Presidency.

What kinds of disasters would an Obama Presidency be like? And would it poison entire generations of Americans to even the idea of a Democrat in the White House?

*shrug* for this conservative. It's one seriously crazy election year.

Grapp said...

It's a racist mindset that says 'I must see somebody that looks like me' in order to value something. He who says that is not focused on the humanity of the individual but only on his color. That means that that person is incapable of entering into the sentiments, the hopes, dreams, and fears of another person simply because he lacks a common color/ancestry/ethnicity/class. It is sad. It is immature. Such a statement contains within it the kernel of what becomes genocide.

1jpb said...

Grapp does know immature.

It has been proven with scientific testing procedures that the population does inadvertently use racial biases when internalizing the world around us. And, by the way, these biases don't favor black folks (even black folks' biases don't favor black folks, although they're more favorable, on average.) Though the influence (or lack of influence) of such unconscious biases is untestable and unknowable.

In Grapp's imaginary world anti-black biases don't exist at all. Acknowledging that they do exist would automatically justify and morally require searching for concrete ways counter these biases. Simply telling folks that blacks and whites are equal, as Grapp does, hasn't worked.

McWhorter was correct that symbols and precedents do matter. The only way to prove equality is to have folks be equal. Until then it's just empty talk that we know hasn't penetrated the unconscious thoughts of our population.

And, McWhorter wasn't immature, he clearly notes that a BHO loss wouldn't prove that racial bias caused his loss. In other words, white folks lose too. Such a loss by itself wouldn't prove anti-black bias caused BHO to lose. But, a BHO win would prove that black folks can be president. Proof of equality in the highest position in the land is meaningful. It's not the seed of genocide as Grapp presumes.

Grapp, you're thinking in one dimension, McWhorter is working in three.

Happy said...


His incompetence as a jurist is and will be ridiculed and deemed infamous. And if there is a hell, he'll fit in fine there, too.


Trumpit, I'm not going to cite a reference to Wikipedia or use a fancy Latin phrase pertaining to logic, but your hyperbole here speaks volumes. You start out to say that Clarence Thomas is "dimwitted" and then conclude with a post stating that Thomas will fit in fine in "hell" supposedly for being a “dimwitted” Supreme Court Justice.

Simply opposing a "band wagon fallacy" doesn't make you any more logically correct. And just because most (sane) people don’t subscribe to your inane theories, throwing a turd in the punch bowl is not a way to win the war of ideas. Take your defeat by Simon in stride and with a little more class than stating your least favorite Supreme Court Justice is also in your opinion the most likely to go to hell (if there is one).

Grapp said...

1jpb, stop being a parrot and think for yourself. Here, have an Aleve in case your head hurts.

I said this: "It's a racist mindset that says 'I must see somebody that looks like me' in order to value something. He who says that is not focused on the humanity of the individual but only on his color. That means that that person is incapable of entering into the sentiments, the hopes, dreams, and fears of another person simply because he lacks a common color/ancestry/ethnicity/class. It is sad. It is immature. Such a statement contains within it the kernel of what becomes genocide."

My comment was in response to this from vbspurs: "Maggie, do you remember when ... American pilots were shot down a few years ago? Then when they were released, they emerged from the plane to a hero's welcome.
...
A good friend of mine, who is black, and I were discussing race one day, and she told me hauntingly:

"I kept looking for the black person to emerge."

I prodded a little more, gently. Why? Because, she said, she is always more engaged with an issue when she sees a black person involved."

VBSPURS's *black* female friend proved herself to be a moral midget. My goodness, they were AMERICAN pilots whose planes had been SHOT down. What does the color of the person's skin have to do with that? They were serving America, were held prisoner, were released. Why could not that black woman express joy in the release of those pilots?

I'll tell you why—they were white, she was black. She couldn't see past her pigmentation long enough to experience joy at the release of her fellow man from captivity. That is a genuine poverty of spirit and a powerfully racist mind.

That black woman could only experience joy over the release of another black person. That is sick and sad. Did not the men who were released have families, mothers, siblings, wives, kids?

I would tell vbspurs that that black woman is not her friend because she does not see her. The BW sees only vbspurs's race.

As for your scientific codswallop, save it. Human compassion should and MUST transcend race and bias. When it does not, we have lynchings; we have Dachau; we have suicide bombers; we have "death to America! death to Israel!" We will ultimately have genocide is that BW's attitude flowers and grows. Her concern is only for those who "look like her."

So, 1jpb, on the basis of the entailments you devised, you made an interesting number of assumptions about me. Worse yet, you demonstrated the poverty of your comprehension skills. How you could construe "Simply telling folks that blacks and whites are equal, as Grapp does, hasn't worked" from my remark is a mathematical problem for Nobel laureates to calculate. You also provide an insight into your own racist thinking about blacks—I don't care if you are black yourself.

The underlying assumption of your remark is that blacks are inferior. Thus, an assertion of equality is insufficient. The common equality of man is just that, a fact of our shared humanity. However, we are not all equal in terms of ability, environment, nature, nurture, and other factors that are intrinsic and extrinsic to man. What a man does with his natural gifts determines the extent to which he will be superior to other men who have expended less effort. Yes, some men are superior to lesser men.

The man who sits around waiting for another to tell him he's equal and provide him with "benefits" that would, in some mysterious form or fashion, equalize him with other men on all levels ... that man is a fool.

Your assumption that men are equal down the line is juvenile. In my own wonderful little world, I don't much care what the next person thinks about me. I have something to do, I'll do it.

If you make the mistake of letting me know you even think I'm your inferior, I'll enjoying doing what I have to and rubbing your face in it. I don't need the success of your little ground god BHO to prove anything about me and my abilities. I don't need your little ground god BHO being first anything to prove anything about black people.

In hitching your star to BHO's wagon, you demonstrate the poverty of your expectations from black people. BHO is an empty suit. He's an ignorant Marxist who went to some good schools and has traded on that forever—even though he has done nothing of note since he left those schools.

The astonishing thing is that black America believes that this insubstantial flim-flam man is the only black man qualified to be president! What is his record of achievement? Nothing. Who and what he is he hides from us. Without a teleprompter he lacks the wit and knowledge to articulate clearly and sensibly. Yet this lackwit popinjay is supposed to prove that black folks can be president? I guess in your view the presidency is not a full time job but a Jet or Ebony mag cover.

I don't want politically correct affirmative action nonsense to be a determinant of who holds the highest office in the land. Let BHO go back to elementary school and learn something about America before he ventures to raise his hand to the office of the POTUS.

As for this: "Grapp, you're thinking in one dimension,..." You, 1jpb, haven't yet begun to think.

Quixotic said...

Trumpit,

You've never read a single opinion of Justice Thomas, and you're simply repeating the false group-think of the Left, which speaks poorly of your character. It's a virtue to think, and it's a vice to blather borrowed non-thoughts, in the manner of Trumpit.

(It's clear that after Trumpit repeated the slander of Thomas, he panicked and then tried - and failed - to Wikipedia his way out of it.)

Quixotic said...

OK, OK..I know that "slander" applies to the spoken word, "libel" to the written word.

I tend to use "slander" because, I guess, it packs a kind of emotional punch that "libel" does not.

Ed Brenegar said...

Interesting discussion.
If the point was to elect a black president, is Obama, then, the best candidate that the Democrat Party has to offer? I doubt it.
If race was the central and over-riding issue in this election, I wonder who would be the best minority candidate from each of the party's?
Any thoughts?

vbspurs said...

Why could not that black woman express joy in the release of those pilots?

Grapp, SHE DID. Her dad is a Colonel, FFS.

There is a whole mess of stuff I didn't relay in this one anecdote, to highlight that particular passage.

My God, no wonder black people don't like to open up to white people about race. Why bother if all you will be is crucified for your thoughts?

Sometimes I just don't get what we are aiming for -- do we really want honesty in our civilisation, or just say the "right" things so no one walks away morally appalled at the other?

Cheers,
Victoria

1jpb said...

Grapp,

Get a gripp.

This comment:

"It's a racist mindset that says 'I must see somebody that looks like me' in order to value something."

matches a comment made by McWhorter (in the complete bloggingheads) much more than it matches the vbspurs comment. For one thing your rant after the excerpt above is addressed to a man, but vbspurs was describing a woman. And, your rant was based on your imagination of what vbspurs said, rather than her actual comment, as she states in her response to you. Unlike the person vbspurs described, McWhorter (a black man) did say that seeing BHO as a black president would be valuable from his perspective.

The rest of your comment is very intriguing, everything you wrote is 100% true, your insights are flawless, your brilliance is unmatched. Now, I must follow your advice by joining BHO in elementary school so that both of us can learn about America. Perhaps we could hire you for tutoring. How about $450,000 a year? That's probably too low, I don't have experience with the appropriate compensation levels for folks with your genius, you'll need to let me know what it'll take.

Simon said...

vbspurs said...
"My God, no wonder black people don't like to open up to white people about race. Why bother if all you will be is crucified for your thoughts? [¶] Sometimes I just don't get what we are aiming for -- do we really want honesty in our civilisation, or just say the 'right' things so no one walks away morally appalled at the other?"

That's a false dichotomy. I don't want someone to lie about what's really in their hearts - I want their hearts to not contain such nonsense. It's like the argument over citing foreign law. They say "well, Hart & Sacks said that we should be honest about what's actually influencing our conclusions, and I was actually influenced by this, so don't you want me to be honest about it and cite what influences me?" Of course we want you to cite what influences you. We just think that you should understand that the materials you're citing shouldn't be influencing you.