April 4, 2010

"On the eve of the health care vote, a group of black Democrat Congressmen (eschewing the private tunnels they usually use to cross from their offices to the Capitol) chose to walk en masse through a crowd of protesters..."

"... confident that the knuckledragging Tea Party goons they and their media pals have reviled for a year now would respond with racial epithets. And then, when the crowd didn't, the black Congressmen made it up anyway."

That's Mark Steyn, who notes that mainstream media, which spread the phony story (when it was most useful to spread), are showing no interest in correcting it.

By the way, I called bullshit on the story as soon as it was reported, in this blog post and here on Bloggingheads:

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
mesquito said...

And good on you, Althouse.

Chase said...

Thank you, Ann, for having the integrity to call BS when you saw it.

who notes that mainstream media, which spread the phony story (when it was most useful to spread), are showing no interest in correcting.

Anyone holding their breath?

somefeller said...

Well gee, if Mark Steyn says it didn't happen and there's no video of it, clearly all those Congressmen are lying about what they heard. Sorry, but I'll trust people who were on the scene who have some genuine credibility (like Congressman Lewis) rather than their critics, who by and large have no credibility on issues relating to civil rights, racial equality, and any number of other topics.

mesquito said...

Well, gee, if some race-hustling congressman says something happened, but the dozens of recording devices in a fifty-foot radius fail to record the alleged incident, I'm left suspecting that the race-hustling congressman is making shit up.

SMGalbraith said...

I believe Congressman Lewis.

But, contradicting myself (hey, it's my post), I'd like another source.

Sorry, Congressman, you're a great and courageous man but you're still just a man.

Ann Althouse said...

"Look at the false claims of racism at the tea party people on Sunday, the date the health care bill was signed. They faked an incident. They were trying to provoke an incident. There's no reason to walk above ground to get to the Capitol building from their offices. There are tunnels underneath with trains, subways and so forth. The Congressional Black Caucus and Pelosi walking over there with a big gavel trying to provoke an incident. When an incident didn't happen, they made it up. The media reported the incident without one shred of evidence. There still is no evidence that anybody shouted the N-word to anybody. There was video being taken by hundreds of people of these incidents. Not one of those videos shows the incident to have occurred."

That's from the same Rush Limbaugh monologue in the previous post.

I think it's well-established now that there was no racial incident, only a hope of provoking one and the generation of a fake one, which the media willingly propagated. It should be a huge scandal.

If I'm wrong, prove it. That place was loaded with video cameras. If the proof were there, we would have seen it. The media should have demanded it at the time.

And, somefeller, as I say in the clip, I want to see Lewis go before a camera and tell me straight out that it happened. Did he do that? No. Why not? Because it didn't happen.

mesquito said...

Somefeller just called me a "smelly Norwegian hillbilly."

John said...

This is really scary. What other kinds of incidents can they fake? How are the media anything but state run now?

somefeller said...

If I'm wrong, prove it.

Prove a negative, in other words? Lewis and others have gone on the record as to what they say has happened. In other words, eyewitness testimony. Somehow our society managed to use that sort of testimony to make judgments (again, in conjunction with factors like the credibility of the witness) before the advent of video cameras, and we can do so now. If you want to call him a liar, go ahead. I'll take Lewis over Steyn any day. And I suspect, history will take a similar view in the long run.

Ann Althouse said...

"I believe Congressman Lewis."

Link to a quote from him or to video showing him saying the thing you are believing. Are you thinking of the press release from his office that he subsequently contradicted?

***

And here's a great link showing how the story was passed along in the press.

traditionalguy said...

The leadership of the DemonRats is very arrogant to expect to win elections based upon media's memes that have no substance, also called the Big Lie methods of politics. Or do they have some knowledge that we don't have?

SMGalbraith said...

I want to see Lewis go before a camera and tell me straight out that it happened. Did he do that? No. Why not? Because it didn't happen.

Okay, fair point. I thought I had read that Lewis stated that he heard it.

I'll believe (future tense) Lewis when he states is.

Lewis went through too much - suffered to much - to, I believe, make it up.

SMGalbraith said...

Link to a quote from him or to video showing him saying the thing you are believing.

Yes, but I added that qualifier of needing another source.

Me confused about this? Well, yes, yes I am.

Ann Althouse said...

"Lewis and others have gone on the record as to what they say has happened."

Link to the record of believable assertions from the credible individuals.

Other than that, the lack of video evidence, under the circumstance, where many were there with cameras, is very weighty evidence. It is not susceptible to the stock point about proving a negative. That's especially so since the crowd is accused of doing something wrong. So you're saying they must prove they didn't do it. I'm saying the lack of evidence is proof.

Also, why did the Congressmen walk through the crowd they way they did instead of using the tunnels as they do normally? They chose to confront the crowd, why? Didn't they want an optic that they could claim looked like a scene from the 1960s?

rcocean said...

Somefeller logic,

If there's no evidence, how do you know it didn't happen?

Gee.

somefeller said...

Also, as far as them trying to "provoke an incident", they are US Congressmen doing their business. They don't have to take the service entrance or hide from a braying mob. In fact, if they had found another way into the building, we'd probably be hearing about how they snuck in because they were afraid to face the protesters and this was an example of their perfidy. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't with the Tea Party crowd and the conservative media machine, so good for them for walking in with their chins up.

rcocean said...

To lefties this goes in the category of "Fake - but accurate"

mesquito said...

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

somefeller said...

As far as the evidence is concerned, Lewis and others have made public statements on the topic. Whether or not they sat down with Charlie Rose for a long discussion of the incident is beside the point. They have made their descriptions of the incident well-known in public statements. Also, the so-called retraction of the spitting incident was no such thing, it was just a statement on the part of the person on the wrong end of the drool that he didn't know if it was intentional or not. Either way, he got a shower from a rabid Tea Partier. Not much charm either way.

Ann Althouse said...

Wait, when I said "Are you thinking of the press release from his office that he subsequently contradicted?" I was thinking of Congressman Cleaver, the one they said was spit on. He's clearly walked back.

I don't know what Lewis said. Link me to quotes/video.

Ann Althouse said...

@somefeller Do you have some problem producing links?

gk1 said...

I think the black congressmen are far too embarrassed to correct the record, frankly. Emanuel Cleaver is doing it oh so quietly about being spat upon. Only the very gullible like somefeller buy into this crap because it fits their narrative, but its not washing with the rest of us.

John said...

"Prove a negative, in other words?"

Jesus feller you are dumb even by liberal troll standards. Proving she is wrong does not require proving a negative. It requires proving a positive; that the event happened. You are asking Ann to prove the negative; that the event didn't happen.

I know liberals are not big on that whole thinking and logic thing. But that is pathetic.

somefeller said...

Here's one link.

Key quote: Asked if racial epithets were yelled at him, Lewis responded, "Yes, but it's OK. I've heard this before in the '60s. A lot of this is just downright hate."

If you want more, I'm sure you can find more.

somefeller said...

And I already addressed the "Cleaver walk-back".

SMGalbraith said...

This piece from the Washington Post I believe is the source of much of these claims (full story).

Protesters outside the Capitol hurled epithets at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as they left the building after President Obama delivered an 11th-hour speech on behalf of the health care bill. Carson told reporters that protesters yelled "kill the bill," then used a racial epithet to describe Carson and Lewis, who is a revered figure on both sides of the aisle.

Rep. Carson seems to be the main source.

And only.

Mark O said...

I do not recall any direct or percipient evidence of racial words or spitting. There were secondary reports. No one able to give what one might think as of evidence of any kind. An allegation must be backed by evidence and those making the allegation have the responsibility so to do. It is easy to make up an allegation.

These folks in power are demonstrable liars, so it should take more than their mere opinion to prove anything.

Isn't it time to call a liar a liar? Is there no redress for this systemic lying?

Ann Althouse said...

""Yes, but it's OK. I've heard this before in the '60s. A lot of this is just downright hate.""

Yes, but what's okay. That quote is reliant on the text of a question that is not quoted. What did he say was okay?!

That, from a willing press that wanted to disqualify the rally.

John said...

"Key quote: Asked if racial epithets were yelled at him, Lewis responded, "Yes, but it's OK. I've heard this before in the '60s. A lot of this is just downright hate."

And despite the presense of any number of cameras filming the incident not one of those alleged epitaths wound up on tape. Again, if Ann is lying, prove that this happened by producing more proof than this guy's word.

Maguro said...

Interesting timeline of the incident here. The media certainly was...unusually efficient at getting this important story out to the public.

somefeller said...

Congressman James Clyburn also saying he heard racial slurs here.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry, I want to see Lewis spell it out. Put his honor and credibility behind it. If he doesn't do it, I will not change my presumption that the accusation is false.

John said...

"Key quote: Asked if racial epithets were yelled at him, Lewis responded, "Yes, but it's OK. I've heard this before in the '60s. A lot of this is just downright hate."

Why doesn't he come out and say "they called me this"? He never does that. What has he heard before in the 60s? What exactly was said to him? He never says. Sorry, but even by its own terms that doesn't cut it.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, the quote from Clyburn is "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus." Yeah? What things have you heard? I smell bullshit.

Give me a real quote that spells it out, that can be called a lie if it is a lie.

Ann Althouse said...

Look at that built-in deniability!

somefeller said...

Sorry, Althouse, you are either playing a language game, being disingenuous or being naive. It didn't take me long to come up with quotes from the sources on this topic. The Congressmen in question have made it clear what they said they heard. If you don't want to believe them, fine, but don't claim they haven't made statements on the record about this incident.

John said...

"Democratic leaders and their aides said they were outraged by the day's behavior. "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus," said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black official in Congress."

No he doesn't there Feller. Clyburn pulls the same dodge and weave. No one is this stupid. You are just lying. Stop lying and wasting people's time. You troll.

John said...

"It didn't take me long to come up with quotes from the sources on this topic. The Congressmen in question have made it clear what they said they heard."

No they didn't. Read the quotes. They say "things" but they never come out and say anyone used a racial epitath. Unless and until they are willing to put their credibility on the line and say exactly what they heard, their allegations are meaningless. And you know it. You are just trolling. And trolling badly at that.

somefeller said...

Sorry, I want to see Lewis spell it out. Put his honor and credibility behind it. If he doesn't do it, I will not change my presumption that the accusation is false.

Maybe Congressman Lewis and his fellow Congressmen don't want to give their opponents the satisfaction of repeating the slurs, particularly if the slurs included a word that starts with the letter "n" that a lot of people won't say even if it's repeating someone else's words. Sorry, people like Congressman Lewis don't have to dance for the Mark Steyns of the world, and that's one the things that drives people like him nuts.

dbp said...

From the videos which were available on YouTube, the congressional entourage (aids, security or whatnot), you could see that they were filming the scene.

If the N-word was thrown 15 times, they'd have caught it on tape. So, why wouldn't they have given this footage to the media? To normal people, seeing something is intrinsically more believable than just hearing someone claim it.

avwh said...

Andrew Breitbart has offered $100,000 to anyone if they can come up with audio proof of these epithets -- and there have been no takers.

Must be nice to have MSM as your lapdogs....

mesquito said...

I think the Democrats worked out a strategy to divert the subject from their deeply unpopular health care reform the moment it passed. That is why we saw the provocations.

Happily, Tea Partiers are wise to their tactics, and as a rule don't allow themselves to be baited into acting stupidly.

Unhappily, in the media universe in which they must operate, the mere accusation of bad behavior is reported credulously.

SMGalbraith said...

The claim that the Tea Partyers are motivated largely or predominantly by race is an absurd smear.

But it's certainly not inconceivable to me that one or a handful of assholes (to be charitable) in a crowd would use racial epithets.

Whether a crowd of political protesters or sports fans or dog lovers or any hobby or devotion. We've all been in enough groups to know there's always a handful.

Are they indicative of the entire group? Of course not.

One can acknowledge (consider?) that some sort of racial language was used by an element of the crowd and still argue that the movement itself is not driven by racial animosity.

John said...

"Maybe Congressman Lewis and his fellow Congressmen don't want to give their opponents the satisfaction of repeating the slurs, particularly if the slurs included a word that starts with the letter "n" that a lot of people won't say even if it's repeating someone else's words"

Or maybe you are an idiot hack who will say anything to support your team?

And of course saying "someone called me the "N" word" would be so difficult to do if it were actually true. And since there were who knows how many tapes running at the time, it would have never shown up on a tape.

Stop insulting people's intelligence.

somefeller said...

And nice try at changing the subject from claiming Lewis, et al, didn't say that anything happened or that I had problems producing links. The trolling here isn't coming from me, and once again, I'm confident where the judgment of history will go on this one.

Ann Althouse said...

I've seen video of the walk through the crowd, and what there was was booing, followed by a chant (of "Kill the Bill"). None of that was racial, but sure, it seemed in some way like back in the civil rights era when they had to walk through a hostile crowd and might have heard booing and chanting. So the quotes you've come up with so far are literally true, but the racial charge is still bullshit.

If you think I'm playing a language game, it's because you're avoiding facing an incredibly important language game that was played by powerful govt officials and the mainstream press. I'm just one voice crying out for the truth. If I'm wrong I'll concede. I have no reason not to. If I'm right, it is an immense scandal.

Ann Althouse said...

somefeller said..."And nice try at changing the subject from claiming Lewis, et al, didn't say that anything happened or that I had problems producing links. The trolling here isn't coming from me, and once again, I'm confident where the judgment of history will go on this one."

This is just evasion, and it's really lame. Get to the actual subject and deal with it. This retreat to your confidence that you are one of the good people is embarrassing, maudlin, and the very mechanism of deceit that pushed the story through in the first place.

You have plainly failed to establish your point and now you'd like to say you don't have to. But you do. A terrible accusation was made. Was it true? It matters!

traditionalguy said...

The political hit always asserts that protection is needed for society from a wrongdoer. It becomes nearly impossible for a man to prove that he is not a danger when all fingers are being pointed at him. The "no crime, no punishment" motto enforced by jurys has been our answer to this skullduggery by the Government since 1642. When Jesus was brought before Pontus Pilate at 5:00 AM for Judgement, the Roman asked the Sanhedrin guys, " what has he done?" They had no answer, so they asserted that "If he wasn't guilty of a crime, we would not have brought him before you." This same begging of the question to prove a crime before imposing penalty is imposed is where the Demonrats are now. It is a raw show of force to condemn known innocent men.

SMGalbraith said...

I'm just one voice crying out for the truth.

You seem to be surprised that in a group of thousands of people in a heated environment that a handful (three? four? ten?) of them would engage in ugly behavior.

The "behavior of crowds" anyone?

Again, the claim that the movement is driven by race is an outrageous smear.

But the claim that no one in the movement possibly could have racial animosity in them I find hard to believe.

As to the specifics, yes, the devil, God and the truth are in the details.

somefeller said...

Congressman Cleaver stating explicitly he heard the n-word.

John said...

"It is a raw show of force to condemn known innocent men."

It is worse than that. It is a form of mass dellusion. People like somefeller have convinced themselves that the people in question are guilty. And no amount of logic or evidence will convince them otherwise. If it were just brute force, it would imply that they were sentient enough to know they were pushing a lie. This is much worse. They have convinced themselves that a lie is the truth.

Ah Pooh said...

It's a shame no one has claimed the $100,000. offered for proof of shouted racial insults - think of all the charities that could benefit from the tea party hate.

John said...

No feller. You fail again


"They were shouting, sort of harassing," Lewis said. "But, it's okay, I've faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean."

Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building to walk to the Capitol to vote when protesters shouted "Kill the bill, kill the bill," Lewis said.

"I said 'I'm for the bill, I support the bill, I'm voting for the bill'," Lewis said.

A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying "Kill the bill, then the n-word."



Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/20/90772/rep-john-lewis-charges-protesters.html#ixzz0kATX9NqI

An unnamed collegue makes the accusation not Lewis. Again, who is the collegue? And why did they quote him and not Lewis if Lewis said the same thing.

Quayle said...

These congressmen had aids walking with them carrying video cameras, and yet they haven't produced one video of any such racial epithet.

Question 1: why were their own aids carrying videos except they hoped to catch a conservative say something damning to the conservative cause?

And with that motive of having their own camera rolling, if they indeed hear someone say such things - if it was within earshot of any of them - don't you think they would have pounced on it and honed the cameras in on the speaker, and his or her picture would how be on youtube with 1M hits?

Under these circumstances, with their own cameras rolling, how do you explain that there is zero evidence of a racial slur?

AprilApple said...

The elite liberals in congress never wanted to debate HCR.

So, this is what we got instead of debate.

No proof? No problem!

Cameras and recorders were running from all sides and all angles. If the N-word revealed its ugly head, there would be something, somewhere as proof.

somefeller said...

This is just evasion, and it's really lame. Get to the actual subject and deal with it.

I did, several times. You tried to move from there are no quotes to the quotes aren't clear (which isn't true) to they need to come up with an example of a specific insult. And I've responded with links to all those moves.

A terrible accusation was made. Was it true? It matters!

Agreed, it does matter. So let's look at the evidence at hand. If you want to dismiss it or claim it isn't strong enough to support the accusation, feel free to do so. But don't claim that the evidence, in the form of public statements from the Congressmen in question, doesn't exist.

David said...

This is but a small part of a major and concerted effort to demonize and marginalize Obama's opposition. Now marginalization is not a new technique, but having the President lead the pack is very unusual.

I initially gave this story some credence because John Lewis was involved. Then I learned that the "statement" attributed to Lewis was put out by some staffer, and that Lewis is not really willing to back it up with a personal statement under questioning.

That was all I needed to know.

(John Lewis was a genuine hero--a brave and idealistic man. Perhaps even 20 years in Congress have not extinguished his integrity completely.)

John said...

"But don't claim that the evidence, in the form of public statements from the Congressmen in question, doesn't exist."

You have yet to produce one public statement by a Congressman alledging that he was called a racial epitath. You have only produced vague accusations that allow the Congressman to deny any accusation that is implied but later disproven.

That is the entire point. If Lewis hear epitaths, he should come out publically and say what epitaths and put his credibility behind it. The fact that he is not willing to do that strongly indicates that he is lying.

John Stodder said...

and there's no video of it, clearly all those Congressmen are lying about what they heard.

Well, what are we to make of the fact that literally dozens of cameras recorded the moment, and not one managed to pick up the epithet, not even once, that Lewis and others said they heard not once, but multiple times?

Just explain to me, logically, how that could have happened, and I'll stop thinking these congressmembers are liars. I don't like the thought that a man of Lewis' history could be induced to lie by his political handlers, but again, I'm waiting for an alternative explanation to the absence of any recorded evidence.

Please keep in mind how important it is to this story that the n-word be documented. Keep in mind that the balance of power in Congress is possibly at stake, and that the side making the accusation would not leave a stone unturned in search of real documentary evidence. Do you really think that if such evidence existed, it would not have turned up by now.

I'm not appealing to your political passions, just your logic. How did this loudly proclaimed epithet manage to avoid all nearby microphones and video cameras?

somefeller said...

Hey John, from the article you (and I) linked: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard "[Word banned on this blog, but you can click the link to see it]." Statement on the record. No failure here, chief.

Ann Althouse said...

"Congressman Cleaver stating explicitly he heard the n-word."

Thanks for that quote from Cleaver, the one whose office put out the spitting story and who subsequently took that back. Is he still standing behind the n-word part of his story? I don't find him very credible. But I'll give you that there is a quote from him that appears to say that he heard the word. I say "appears" because the article says:

"Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard "nigger."

"It was a chorus," Cleaver said. "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they're being whipped up. I decided I wouldn't be angry with any of them."


The quote is only "It was a chorus." Was "it" the n-word or did the reporter get it wrong? There was obviously a chorus of booing and "kill the bill."

eve said...

Look, the evil right wingers have wave blocker things that remove the insults from all audio. Only black Democrat Congressmen can hear it. Like very special dog whistles. That is why there is no record even though hundreds of cameras were on hand with pretty sophisticated recording equipment. It is the wave blockers.

somefeller said...

I'm not appealing to your political passions, just your logic. How did this loudly proclaimed epithet manage to avoid all nearby microphones and video cameras?

All I can say to that is all sorts of stuff manages to happen without being recorded on microphones and video cameras, much to the chagrin of journalists, polemicists and police officers (depending on the context). While one must look at all relevant factors regarding an accusation, absence of evidence (in this case, video evidence as opposed to witness statements - which exist) does not necessarily equal evidence of absence.

mariner said...

Thank you, Althouse.

I'm pleased to see that your bullshit detector has improved since Fall 2008.

Quayle said...

And even if someone said the n-word, the next issue is to find out who said it. Was it a plant? Who was it? Who are they? What is their history?

And even if you find that someone said it and find that they have a history of racism or racist opinions: just because one jerk shows up at a gathering or assembly of citizens, it doesn't logically follow that the assembly holds the same view or would act in the same despicable way. It is a logical fallacy to cherry pick a data point, and draw a broad conclusion of the whole.

So, you've got your work cut out for you, somefeller. Better get going on it.

John said...

Feller,

Look at the date of your article. Cleaver later backed down from the allegation and now won't talk about it. Yes, you failed.

http://www.fox4kc.com/videobeta/02fd4aca-e23f-4bb6-bbbc-30c8b6a6215a/News/Cleaver-Not-Discussing-Spitting-Incident

somefeller said...

The quote is only "It was a chorus." Was "it" the n-word or did the reporter get it wrong? There was obviously a chorus of booing and "kill the bill."

Language game. The prior sentence stated that he went on the record about the use of a particular slur. Are you now going to say that in addition to video evidence of the incident, you'll need to see the reporter's notes of Cleaver's statement and an unredacted video of his interview? Sorry, he made it clear that he is saying he heard the word.

mariner said...

somefeller:
Prove a negative, in other words?

No, dumbshit.

Prove a positive. If it happened, prove it.

Quayle said...

Look, the evil right wingers have wave blocker things that remove the insults from all audio. Only black Democrat Congressmen can hear it. Like very special dog whistles. That is why there is no record even though hundreds of cameras were on hand with pretty sophisticated recording equipment. It is the wave blockers.

The fact that there isn't any evidence that such a thing happened is all the proof you need of how diabolical and conniving the American right is.

mariner said...

somefeller:
Also, as far as them trying to "provoke an incident", they are US Congressmen doing their business.

Unfortunately they're doing their business all over us.

mesquito said...

As for the spitting, anyone who spat on a Congressman would have been immediately hauled of to Congressjail by a Congresscop.

eve said...

Oh, another component of the story, unquestioned and taken as a given is that if the N word was in fact hurled that the entire crowd was supportive of its use. No one called the offender a racist, a foul mouthed asshole. Nothing.

This is 2010, not 1963. It is a gross insult to conservatives to imply that not a single person would have objected to the use of the word.

Only someone living in a very tight academic or lefty environment could or would believe that.

somefeller said...

And even if someone said the n-word, the next issue is to find out who said it. Was it a plant? Who was it? Who are they? What is their history?...So, you've got your work cut out for you, somefeller. Better get going on it.


No, I'll leave the conspiracy theories to you, Quayle. But I guess since you're now talking about agents provocateur, you're not wanting to claim that no one is on the record on this. Good move.

John - I already addressed the so-called walk-back regarding the spitting story, which doesn't deal with the n-word claim anyway. And like I said - claims regarding the credibility of the witnesses are one thing, but claims that no one has made a statement on the record on this are another, and the latter are clearly false.

somefeller said...

At any rate, I'm off to my third Easter Egg hunt of the day. Or maybe the fourth, if one counts my finding and listing of links here (asked for and provided!) as an Easter Egg hunt of their own. Carry on.

Old Dad said...

It would be nice to pin these racial smears incontrovertibly on the progs. They seem, obviously, to be fabricated. What the progs did was reprehensible, but not the worst of their offenses.

They rammed a bill down our throats that they hadn't read. Speaker Pelosi famously advised us to lay back and enjoy it so that we can find out what's in it after it's passed.

What's wrong with this picture?

For what it's worth, the corruption in Congress is deep on both sides of the aisle. We made the mess. Fix it in November.

Ann Althouse said...

"Language game. The prior sentence stated that he went on the record about the use of a particular slur. Are you now going to say that in addition to video evidence of the incident, you'll need to see the reporter's notes of Cleaver's statement and an unredacted video of his interview? Sorry, he made it clear that he is saying he heard the word."

I note that the reporter framed the quote and I don't trust the reporter. This story was used to help pass monumentally important legislation, to discredit and smear thousands of ordinary citizens who came to Washington to express their free speech rights. It's immensely important and not a game at all.

edutcher said...

As I've said before, Mark Steyn really had the stuffing knocked out of him when he went up against the Canadian Human Rights Commission, but this is one of the few times since then that he shows his old form. Good for him.

somefeller said...

Well gee, if Mark Steyn says it didn't happen and there's no video of it, clearly all those Congressmen are lying about what they heard. Sorry, but I'll trust people who were on the scene who have some genuine credibility (like Congressman Lewis) rather than their critics, who by and large have no credibility on issues relating to civil rights, racial equality, and any number of other topics.

By all means, let's take the unsubstantiated word of a group of Congressmen who have a vested interest in discrediting their opposition. In a court of law, that wouldn't last 2 seconds.

The irony, of course, is that the Establishment Media boycotted the event because it might damage The Zero's narrative. Then we would have a record which, I'm sure, somephonyfolksyfellow would be using to beat in the heads of any who might deny it happened.

SMGalbraith said...

The claim that the Tea Partyers are motivated largely or predominantly by race is an absurd smear.

This is an orchestrated campaign created for the Demos by the people who gave you the politics of personal destruction. For all those who miss the last "popular and effective", "moderate", "pragmatic" Democrat administration.

Quayle said...

But I guess since you're now talking about agents provocateur, you're not wanting to claim that no one is on the record on this. Good move.

No, I already made the point that, as of yet, we don't have it on record.

Then I continued to point out the two other significant hurdles you have ahead of you, if you are ever able to get past the first issue, in your undying attempt to smear the right.

Pointing out that you have two other issues you have the burden to prove does not in any way lessen your burden on issue 1.

Ann Althouse said...

"I already addressed the so-called walk-back regarding the spitting story, which doesn't deal with the n-word claim anyway."

If a man tells a story that has 2 elements and later, upon seeing proof that one element of the story couldn't have happened, and he retracts that element, is there any effect on the believability of the other element?

Kirby Olson said...

How many of our politicians are sociopaths who can lie about simply anything and still sleep at night? Obama himself said he would put Stealthcare on C-Span. Then he didn't. Did he lose ANY sleep over this?

Not one wink.

Who on earth could do this?

That's just one example.

If these guys can lie about one thing, they can lie and pander about anything.

They're just manipulative sociopaths.

I think that that's probably the norm by now with our politicians, esp. those on the left who have to pander to so many different coalitions and constituencies, killing babies with one hand while pretending to care about healthcare on the other.

None of these people add up to anything but a sociopath.

Even the deliberate walking through the crowd in an attempt to hopefully incite something is pure sociopathic personality trait. Then when it doesn't happen to say it did.

Did Sharpton ever apologize about Tawana Brawley?

Does Edwards feel even a TRACE of guilt over what he did to his wife?

I think these guys will do anything, anything, to expand and consolidate their power.

mariner said...

The next time they try this, they'll be sure to plant some SEIU or ACORN asshole in the crowd, to be recorded using racial slurs.

You heard it here.

rcocean said...

Can we all just agree "Somefeller" is a C-r-a-z-y leftist who will defend any left-wing smear no matter what & leave it at that?

His talking in circles is getting tiresome.

MamaM said...

I still want to know how "the judgment of history" is formed.

Meade said...

somefeller said...
Also, as far as them trying to "provoke an incident", they are US Congressmen doing their business. They don't have to take the service entrance or hide from a braying mob. In fact, if they had found another way into the building, we'd probably be hearing about how they snuck in because they were afraid to face the protesters and this was an example of their perfidy.

somefeller is right - they didn't have to take the tunnel entrance. It was a beautiful spring day, warm and sunny. Trees were blooming.

But it seems odd to me that of all the 445 congressmen and women who walked to the Capitol to vote that Saturday afternoon, only this group, with their video cameras and voice recorders, decided to walk through the crowds.

Why, somefeller? With your high confidence in how history will judge this incident, why would this particular group of congressmen have walked through that particular crowd?

SMGalbraith said...

This is an orchestrated campaign created for the Demos by the people who gave you the politics of personal destruction.

Yes, but that doesn't mean that, Rashomon-like (i.e., subjectivity of perception), something ugly happened that day.

E.g., "Kill the bill" shouted at someone can sound like the "n" word to them.

PWS said...

Listen-I think it's ridiculous to say that all tea-partiers, or even the majority are racist-I think the great majority are ignorant, confused, (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pilG7PCV448-Note that most of the people at Leftist protests are going to be pretty damn ignorant too...) but not racist.

But still-you are being naive if you think this shit is accidental or just a "few nuts!" There are a lot of these people at just about every tea party.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/teapartysign1sm.jpg

madawaskan said...

somefeller-

Watch this video again-

Link

There are about three different people walking with the members of Congress who seem to be holding phones with cameras to record the historic event of their walk to vote for Health Care.

None of that video has been produced yet as evidence of the ugliness they allegedly endured-

why is that the case?

Why doesn't the press ask them for whatever they captured?

Howard said...

As much as I deplore the whining crybaby weak-knee sob sister teabaggers, Althouse is spot on here.

Politics is street theater and the race-card is a superstar. It was a nice win (icing on the cake) for the democrats. They got the big press report and no one is listening to this debate deep in the weeds. The scramble to defend just repeats the lie and is a huge time-waster for the teabaggers.

You fools got punked and now you are punking yourselves.

John Stodder said...

All I can say to that is all sorts of stuff manages to happen without being recorded on microphones and video cameras,

Oh, that's just nonsense. You know damn well you would never accept it if the accused were people for whom you felt political affinity.

This discussion is stupid and disingenuous. What proves your insincerity is that the lack of recorded evidence does not even shake your faith in the accusation even slightly. That's the sign of a zealot -- or a liar. Which are you?

John Stodder said...

Politics is street theater and the race-card is a superstar. It was a nice win (icing on the cake) for the democrats. They got the big press report and no one is listening to this debate deep in the weeds. The scramble to defend just repeats the lie and is a huge time-waster for the teabaggers.

You fools got punked and now you are punking yourselves.


You must be so fucking proud of this "win." White people accused of saying the n-word and it sticks, with zero evidence! Woo hoo.

I bet you can't wait for your kids to grow up so you can tell them of this famous victory.

mesquito said...

I know how the "tea party" people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their "Obama Plan White Slavery" signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads.

Courtland Milloy
The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/23/AR2010032304018.html

madawaskan said...

All I can say to that is all sorts of stuff manages to happen without being recorded on microphones and video cameras, much to the chagrin of journalists, polemicists and police officers (depending on the context). While one must look at all relevant factors regarding an accusation, absence of evidence (in this case, video evidence as opposed to witness statements - which exist) does not necessarily equal evidence of absence.

That might hold up in a case that involves one individual's account vs. another individual.

In this incident given the political mileage they got out of this to smear a whole group of people and the resulting mass media publicity that effects the opinion of the general American audience-in that case there should be a much higher standard.

Craig said...

If I'm wrong, prove it.

somefeller replied:

Prove a negative, in other words?

If somefeller doesn't even understand the most basic rules of logic, then there's really no reason to argue with him is there.

Ann is asking for proof that the name-calling really did happen. With that documentation, she'd be proven wrong. That is not attempting to prove a negative.

She is not asking for proof that the incident did not happen. Though, in this case, that would be possible.

JAL said...

As for the spitting, anyone who spat on a Congressman would have been immediately hauled of to Congressjail by a Congresscop.

And of course, the original press statement from the congressman's office said just that. That the spitter was arrested.

Only that was not true.

(Question: Does that make the statement that the spitter was arrested a lie? If the person making that statement to the press knew it wasn't true, it was a LIE. If the reporter added that "news" on his/her own, without evidence (name? hometown? party affiliation? mug shot?) he/she is guilty of gross journalistic malpractice and should lose his/her job or sent over to the wedding page.

If the person making the statement was told by someone else in the congressman's office that that was what happened, perhaps THAT person is the liar. Someone lied or fabricated for evil purposes about that point alone.

As for the N word ... Unbleiveable that with all the cameras rolling the lefties don't have the alleged incident all over the news -- what 2 WEEKS ago. (Doncha just love the internets? And Flip cameras, and camera phones?)

Evidence does not appear to have much value in the Reality Based Camp of things.

As for the somefeller guy -- he claims to be in the law profession ....

So he is either a terrible lawyer or a disengenuos

Howard said...

John Studder:

Thanks for your over the top emotional reply. It is the perfect example of the wimpy feminized rightwing teabagger.

I never said if I agreed with any of the politics. My comment was on the realpolitik victory of the democrats.

Alcuria said...

Somefeller, consider what a reasonable person may think upon reading about this incident.

The link you provided upthread notes as follows:

"A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying "Kill the bill, then the n-word..'"

So it was not just one person according to the colleague, but more than one person ("people") who used the n-word.

And then Congressman Cleaver is quoted:

"Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard 'nigger.'"


Yet, with all the video and audio coverage of their walk through/in the protestors, there has not been one piece of video or one snippet of audio corroborating the use of the n-word, a word that a colleague of Congressman Lewis stated was said by more than one person in the crowd.

A reasonable person can easily come to the conclusion that the use of the n-word has made up. Such a conclusion should not surprise you.

damikesc said...

Some, how does Lewis have credibility here? Because he was the victim of a crime 40 or so years ago?

There were lots of cameras there and none recorded it...but we can trust partisans who don't have a sliver of proof.

Irene said...

Hi Howard!

Howard said, "I never said if I agreed with any of the politics."

So then maybe it's best not to use the phrase "wimpy feminized rightwing teabagger."

John said...

"Thanks for your over the top emotional reply. It is the perfect example of the wimpy feminized rightwing teabagger"

Yeah nothing wimpy, pathetic or feminized about throwing out anonomous gay slurs on the internet. Project much there Howard? Your skirt is showing there buddy. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

John said...

And Howard, it is only a real politik victory insofar as it convinces dipshits like you and Feller, which is another way of saying it is not much of one.

pm317 said...

Don't see this link in the thread.. look at the timeline for the MacClatchy reporter to have filed his story:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/how_quickly_spread_the_tea_par.html

Just Lurking said...

My comment was on the realpolitik victory of the democrats.

Victory? What did they win? They got bigoted liberals to think tea partiers are racist. Wow.

That's like shooting fish in a barrel.

You're too funny.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I call bullshit on the entire Black Trash entitlement mentality always blaming others for their problems. These are the folks who hassle, as "too white," kids trying to do well in school.

I'll say it here: to hell with the entire leftist Afro-American social pathology that blames others for their problems and thinks anybody else owes them.

If you want to call it "white" to study hard, take responsibility for your own situation, delay gratification, and otherwise behave as a mature individual ... well then, yes, African-Americans, get your shit together and act white. I call it being a grown up, and in the majority politically y'all aren't anything close to being a grown-up.

People far blacker than you, from all over the world, do not have your social pathologies. Many of them were also slaves, so I don't give a rat's ass about that dysfunctional chip on your shoulder.

Commonwealth blacks figured it out quite awhile ago -- so don't you Afro-Americans try to ruin my country just because you can't.

It ain't the 'black' that's a problem ... it's the red.

John Stodder said...

Thanks for your over the top emotional reply.

Emotion? Huh?

Howard, read what I said. I was displaying contempt for your shriveled soul and trivial thought processes. However, emotion didn't enter into it. Yes, I feel sorry for you. But not that sorry.

Howard said...

John:

You are the person throwing out the gay slur. I don't pre-judge homosexual men to be cowards or wimps like you just did.

I'm not convinced of anything other than the democrats won the health care bill fight and successfully smeared the teabag movement with the race card. You are too far in the rightwing echo chamber to see it.

Irene:

My daughters name, so I'll be nice. I actually agree with much of the teabagger political views but abhor the the whining and fear-mongering that has consumed the right of center political voice.

Politics and attitude are two different things.

damikesc said...

Is "saliva" now Althouse's most odd tag? A tag for saliva? Odd.

madawaskan said...

Althouse-

If you follow pm317's link and watch the video that accompanies that story at the end you are going to be in for a revelation.

I was always wondering about that sign you highlighted from the veteran that served his country for twenty two years.

Didn't you wonder why they didn't show you the guy holding that sign?

Why that photo where they make fun of the tea partiers was only a close up of the sign?

Anyways these people are creeps.

madawaskan said...

I hate irony.

John said...

"You are the person throwing out the gay slur."

You are calling people teabaggers on every post, but I am the one throwing out the "gay slur". Yeah that makes sense.

Seriously, why are all liberals who post on the internet stupid and incapable of rational thought? Are they a representative sample of liberals as a whole?

Howard said...

Strodder:

I love it. Now you play the faux sympathy/pity card: a sure sign of weakness and stupidity.

Try looking at events objectively and with a historical perspective.

Blue@9 said...

So somefeller's only evidence is the word of the politician-victims themselves? That's it? Is there any other independent corroboration? Out of the dozens of video cameras, press cameras, and records, there's not one verifiable clip of a racist epithet being used?

I see now; somefeller's problem isn't dishonesty--it's that he's part of that rare group that will take the word of a politician over digital records.

And that, my friends, explains why democracy is such a touch-and-go thing--it'd work great if we didn't have so many fucking retards messing things up for us.

knox said...

This whole thing saddens me. But it doesn't surprise me. I made a the transition from liberal to conservative/libertarian in my late 20s. I was acutely aware that most people on the left would now consider me to be racist.

Because: "How else could you agree with those horrible policies??" That's the logic. It's a disgusting and brutal mindset, that makes no effort to understand the other side's arguments.

Look how , in this instance, the lack of evidence, despite the presence of many cameras, despite a huge reward ... makes no difference. Teapartier = Racist.

And if you speak up and say, "there was never actually any evidence... " you sound like a racist idiot. The template has been very cleverly crafted.

In the Mood said...

Ann Althouse, you have turned into a world class race hustler.

Congressmen Lewis and Clyburn tried not to make this a central narrative of the health care vote. They down played the significance of the ugliness that they faced that weekend. They know that at this point this is all the right wing crazies who have taken over the Republican party have to go on. They can only win by spliting the country along racial lines.

But, the American people saw with their own eyes how ugly the right can be and did not like it. Instead, they appreciated the political courage shown by Nancy Pelosi and her caucus.

I know that makes you and your hubby red-faced raging mad, but you are just going to have to deal with it.

P.S., it should be noted that Annie has not written one word about how the video and audio tapes that were used to smear ACORN were fraudulently edited.

In Ann's world it is OK to smear people who are helping poor people, but don't you dare tell the truth about her husband's angry white friends!

Ann, stop being such a despicable race baiter.

John said...

"Try looking at events objectively and with a historical perspective."

What a completely artless way of saying absolutely nothing there Howard.

madawaskan said...

Here I found a still-love this guy.

That's one brave fellow.

Photo of Vet who served America for 22 years

Cedarford said...

somefeller - "Sorry, but I'll trust people who were on the scene who have some genuine credibility (like Congressman Lewis)"

And why John Lewis? What exactly gives him "genuine credibility". Liberals licking his feet and worshipping him as a civil rights hero? That movement was full of people that lied repeatedly and often, from Jesse Jackson right up to plagarizing Saint Martin himself.
Same stupid credence is given to war heroes as some sort of speciman of mankind incapable of lying. Like John Kerry, or some guy who won two Iron Crosses, or "war hero John McCain".

Ex Mrs McCain:

"John, if you weren't such a war hero, I'd question you about all those times you said you were out at the Base until 3AM with "the boys". Why you don't seem interested in sleeping with me, those rumors about that girl Cindy. But Everyone knows what a hero you were at the Hanoi Hilton therefore someone incapable of lying about things"

Just Lurking said...

Seriously, why are all liberals who post on the internet stupid and incapable of rational thought? Are they a representative sample of liberals as a whole?

It's more likely that the intelligent ones don't waste their valuable time trolling conservative leaning blogs.

MadisonMan said...

This is how weather controls the political debate. Would they have crossed outside in a rainstorm? I think not. But on a beautiful Spring day after a long winter? What an easy choice to make! Let's walk outside! In may even have been central to their decision.

John said...

"Congressmen Lewis and Clyburn tried not to make this a central narrative of the health care vote. They down played the significance of the ugliness that they faced that weekend."

No they lied about it and backed away from the story after the videos showing nothing happened were posted.

"But, the American people saw with their own eyes how ugly the right can be and did not like it."


Oh dream on. The Healthcare bill is less popular now than it was two weeks ago.

Again, there is no proof this is anything but a lie and a smear. So just take it elsewhere.

Dangerous Dreamer said...

No evidence...the fact that none of the congressman react with shock or anger at being called the n-word 15 times says it all. Meaning why do none of them stop and glance back at the crowd looking for the culprits? I'll tell you why. It never happened. That's why! So are we to believe that they were keeping count while the n-word was yelled 15 times and they continued to walk calmly through the crowd? Give me a break!

Irene said...

@madawaskan Thanks for the link to the still photo.

That should make people think twice before saying "Teabonics."

John said...

"It's more likely that the intelligent ones don't waste their valuable time trolling conservative leaning blogs."

I hope so. I fear for America if such a large percentage of the population is that stupid. But I suspect they may be more representative than I want to believe.

Anita said...

somefeller@ 3:33
"Also, as far as them trying to "provoke an incident", they are US Congressmen doing their business. They don't have to take the service entrance or hide from a braying mob."

No they don't have to use the tunnel, but, they almost always do. They did this to provoke a response, which, given their bigotry against the Tea Partiers, they assumed would be racist.

They went out among the crowd with no real security because they felt safe doing so. All they had were video cameras to record the response to their deliberate provocation. There are numerous photos of them walking through the crowd with many people, including their own, shooting video of the event.

NO ONE has come forward and shown ANY video of these folks walking through the crowd with people shouting the N word at them. NOTHING. Including their own video which THEY WERE SHOOTING.

You know darn good and well that if they had video of these horrid "teabaggers" shouting the N word, it would be on every evening news report in the country. After all, it's part of the narrative that "teabaggers" are racists.

It didn't happen. I don't care what Congressman Lewis went through during the fight for civil rights. By participating in this fraud, he's tarnished his reputation.

And the folks making the charges that this word was shouted at the Congressmen have to prove it. The crowd, who were accused as a group by the congressmen, the media and lefty bloggers, do not have to prove that it didn't happen.

In the complete and utter lack of proof (even with evidence that cameras were rolling during the entire walk through the crowd), that anyone yelled the N word once, much less 15 times, the only conclusion you can come to is that it didn't happen.

The media knew it didn't happen. The congressmen knew it didn't happen. And they said it did anyway.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Politics and attitude are two different things.

More of the former and less of the latter, please.

madawaskan said...

Irene-

It's damn depressing isn't it?

I think just a couple of weeks ago someone was nagging me about the fact that I never give them the benefit of the doubt.

They have almost all three branches and the media but ya...I'm evil like that.

It's maddening.

And to think I didn't believe that they actually made that shirt we were talking about inthe other thread as a fundraiser...ugh.

So thank you-that was an eye opener for me and I'm about as jaded as they get.

MadisonMan said...

I hope all you in SoCal and AZ are okay after the quake. Fascinating to see the twitter feed on it.

Michael Hasenstab said...

A group of liberal congresspersons (accompanied by some aides with a/v equipment) deliberately walked past of group of Tea Partiers, fully convinced that their doing so would eliciting racial and other slurs which would be recorded and used against the Tea Partiers, and conservatives in general.

They got nothing, which so infuriated their supporters whose biases run bottom-of-ocean deep that they are compelled to make up things that didn't happen, just to further the meme.

Liberals have become the new reactionaries, abetted by a fawning MSM and mind-numbed sycophants.

The real racism here is the liberals' belief that the Tea Partiers are racist.

Cedarford said...

In the Mood - "Congressmen Lewis and Clyburn tried not to make this a central narrative of the health care vote. They down played the significance of the ugliness that they faced that weekend."
--------------------------

No, it is pretty clear that both "great black men" did nothing to disabuse people. Nothing to distance themselves from the more zealous young congressmen, Pelosi minions and their media enablers all pumping up the race card and making up bigotry smears to hurt a group whose beliefs they disagreed with.

And - what is it exactly that makes someone so noble and sainted and therefore incapable of lying? Simply marching or fighting to demand to get something they don't have? Or get it so to better safeguard the future for their kids?

Does that make Israeli Settlers marching and taking risks and demanding more for their people "noble and incapable of lying"..true icons?

All of the past American union movement, when their demands for "more stuff and rights for us!!!! Or else!" when such activities also entailed risks and possibility of physical violence?

Irene said...

@madawaskan Thanks.

There's this, too, but, oh wait, it's from "Faux News," so it can't be true.

Stan25 said...

They don't have to take the service entrance or hide from a braying mob. In fact, if they had found another way into the building, we'd probably be hearing about how they snuck in because they were afraid to face the protesters and this was an example of their perfidy.

They were egging the crowd on. Pure and simple. They wanted an incident to prove that what they have been saying about the tea party group being a bunch of racists. The lamestream media got a heads up to what was going to take place. That is why they were there in full force with their video and still cameras going all out. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the scenario was when a horde of media types and the Congress critters decided to stage that little stunt.

kentuckyliz said...

If this is Democrat politics, media wars sliming ordinary people with the race card and false allegations of the N word, well, I'm never voting for a N word ever again.

^ Law of Unintended Consequences, bitches!

Chase said...

Thanks Madison Man - it shook a bit out here in the Inland Empire, all right.

Just another fun day in So Cal!

Pogo said...

"In other words, Douglas, with an attributed assist from James Rosen, managed to interview representatives John Lewis, Emanuel Cleaver, and Barney Frank, compose an 800-word article, and have it edited and formatted for posting within a 90-minute window.

During that same 90 minutes, Douglas would have received and incorporated a press release from Emanuel Cleaver, making the easily disproved claim that he had "been spat upon and that Capitol Police had arrested his assailant.
"


Not just a lie, then, but propaganda.
We are living in the dangerous times Thucydides described, "when words lose their meaning".

michaele said...

So, just wrote a letter to the editor today in response to a column by a liberal, Bonnie Erbe. She stated as fact that the N word was hurled at a member of the Black Caucus and that the tea party movement was fraught with violent sentiment. I brought up the $100,000 reward for video proof. We have to push back. Not to be over dramatic but it really matters.

edutcher said...

Cedarford said...

somefeller - "Sorry, but I'll trust people who were on the scene who have some genuine credibility (like Congressman Lewis)"

And why John Lewis? What exactly gives him "genuine credibility". Liberals licking his feet and worshipping him as a civil rights hero? That movement was full of people that lied repeatedly and often, from Jesse Jackson right up to plagarizing Saint Martin himself.
Same stupid credence is given to war heroes as some sort of speciman of mankind incapable of lying. Like John Kerry, or some guy who won two Iron Crosses, or "war hero John McCain".


Not McCain's biggest admirer, but he spent 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton getting the living daylights kicked out of him on a regular basis. I don't know what decorations he earned. Most people figure somebody with that kind of courage has other worthwhile attributes of character.

Lurch, on the other hand, has a couple of Purple Owies and a few war stories the men who served with him say are bogus. That he is, in all other respects, a pompous, self-serving phony tends to bear this out. And only the people in MA are dumb enough to elect him to office.

Yeah, we all know, "Show me a hero, I'll show you a bum". True in some cases, but not to the level you'd like it to be, Just because you like a gutter view of history doesn't make it valid.

In the end, it's what an arithmetic teacher told me when I was about 10. Respect is earned, not demanded. People look at the ones making these statements and judge who is lying. Some people in Congress, like Tom Coburn, I would tend to believe, most I wouldn't. When someone makes an accusation to discredit political foes, you tend to want corroboration.

Almost Ali said...

Isn't it possible that Congressman Lewis heard the word even though no one actually said it?

Ann Althouse said...

"Congressmen Lewis and Clyburn tried not to make this a central narrative of the health care vote. They down played the significance of the ugliness that they faced that weekend."

Which supports the inference that it didn't happen.

I wish they would just come forward and say they made a mistake. It wouldn't be that hard to find a graceful way to say that now that they've reviewed the video/audio they realize that it did not happen the way it seemed to them, subjectively, at the time.

These are courageous men, I understand.

Fen said...

Isn't it possible that Congressman Lewis heard the word even though no one actually said it?

Racebaiting Congressman Lewis hears the n-word in his sleep.

He's a diversity hire, just like Obama.

Fen said...

These guys are supposed to be servants of the people. I'm so tired of these corrupt weasels playing the "dont you know who I am?" game.

They should be tarred and feathered. The lot of them. Every Democrat, Republican and Independent. We deserve better.

Ah Pooh said...

To cry racism at the drop of the hat reminds me of the the fable of the fellow who cried "wolf", and we all know how that turned out. The moral as stated: "Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie once, twice, and then perish when he tells the truth".

LYNNDH said...

One of the gentlemen following Lewis was Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. He was the person holding up the cell phone taking video ( or stills?) of the crowd. He certainly was close enough to hear a "chorus" of people shouting the N word. He has not come forth with his pictures now a statement, to my knowledge, about what went on during the walk to the Capitol Building.

Eric said...

There were far too many cameras for bad behavior not to be caught on tape. Steyn is right - they put out some bait and nobody took it. Well, so far so good. That's politics.

Then when they didn't get the reaction they wanted they lied. Well, that's politics too.

My issue here is the way the press reprinted the lies without doing even the most basic journalism. Tell me again what makes these people more reliable than blogs?

mesquito said...

I'm 44. Racism and racial epithets have been completely taboo my entire adult life. I've also heard:

Ronald Reagan: racist
George HW Bush: racist
Newt Gingrich: racist
Bob Dole: racist
Rush Limbaugh: racist
George W Bush: racist
John McCain: racist
Sarah Palin: racist
Geraldine Ferraro?

Oh hell yeah. She's a racist too.

Now I could not care less what John Lewis was doing in the decades before my birth. As for his record during my lifetime, he can kiss my ass. The civil rights movement has no moral claims on me. They squandered that when I was a boy.

cf said...

Good for you , Ann. This is this year's National Guard Memo.

Blue@9 said...

What would have been truly amusing is if the Tea Partiers had pelted Pelosi and her assistant clowns with a blizzard of shoes. At the very least the Left would then be forced to praise this noble group speaking truth to power.

Blue@9 said...

C'mon, where is somefeller? I want him to repeat this statement emphatically for the whole board:

"I, somefeller, trust the word of politicians over digital recordings."

Penny said...

HEADLINE in my local NJ paper today..."State Brews its own flavor of Tea Party".

I was curious and read on...

"Tea Party member -- that description alone can conjure images of radical members carrying signs with racist slogans and protesting loudly on national television.

But, in New Jersey, a Tea Party member is not as easily defined.

The more radical Tea Partiers tend not to be found here, political experts say, because of the state's famously moderate electorate.

"We have the most diverse population of any state in the country in terms of culture," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "In order for all of us to get along, extreme views just rarely get a foothold across the state.""

First my eyes BULGED. Then the spittle started forming at the sides of my mouth...

I had to step back and take a deep breath...

Democrat "machine" politicians in NJ were giving it up for a WIDER selection of "tea"?

Darjeeling! This could be the start of something NEW!

Penny said...

Quick! Fill up the sugar bowl. Do we have enough cream?

Über said...

In the Mood said...
[blah blah blah]


//

The key problem you face is one of logic, In the Mood.

So the right wing Tea Party nutcases are so dangerous and volatile.... that Pelosi and her cadre gleefully pranced through these seething hatemongers with no security?

A chorus of the n-word was heard by these folks, but no A/V device picked anything up... not even from their own operatives... and none of their heads turned to the sound of these jeers?

You said, "They down played the significance of the ugliness that they faced that weekend." How exactly did they down play it? Think about this for a moment, if you dare.

Let's say you're among group of people who are walking through a massive crowd of folks who are energized. Someone thinks they heard something extremely negative. The natural reaction would be to turn your head to the sound of that really bad thing...or at the very least, nudge a friend and ask if they heard it too, no?

And because this issue...the n-word...is SO loaded, wouldn't you want to make absolutely certain that you really heard what you thought you heard? Since video cameras were everywhere, wouldn't you go back and check...or have your staff check and confirm that this word was spoken before making the charge against the crowd?

These congressmen know exactly how incendiary even the accusation is and one would think that they'd have documentation at the ready before telling the press that they heard what they said they heard.

I think they employed a very cynical tactic here. By using monolithic figures such as Lewis and Clyburn, they've set it up so the media presumes it must be true for two such honorable figures to make this claim.

Who needs proof? Clyburn and Lewis said it happened...thus it must be so. Who would dare call them out as liars?

I think this was their calculation...to use their history and their prestige to forward the narrative that the Tea Party is based on nothing more than a hatred for black people.

And I think Clyburn and Lewis willingly went along with this...because nothing is more important than moving this extremely leftward agenda. Smearing political adversaries is par for the course to true believers and using the most incendiary smear to do so is necessary to meet their objectives.

Decrying "racism" is a powerful weapon and the left is not shy in deploying it when there's no basis for such a claim. There's no shame in deploying statemanlike figures with a long history in the movement to deliver the ordnance because their stamp of approval lends automatic credence to the attack.

These congressman are willing and happy to play their part because nothing is more important to them than accruing power for themselves and moving their sweeping agenda...regardless of what the people think.

The fact that there's no video evidence at all of their claims only cements in my mind the notion that they were willing to prostitute their legacy and their honor to lob a toxic rhetorical bomb at their political foes because they knew the charge alone would be enough to distract from what they were doing and smear those who dare oppose them.

If they really were honorable, they wouldn't have said anything since they knew there was no documentation to their claims.

Lastly... just look at this timeline. Look at the time stamps here. Is there really anyone who still honestly doubts this was not intended as a setup? Really?

Timeline: Anatomy of a Tea Party Smear by the Democrat-Media Complex

Alex said...

Oh, that's just nonsense. You know damn well you would never accept it if the accused were people for whom you felt political affinity.

That's the biggest truth that's ever been said. somefeller is a Democrat astroturfer.

Alex said...

Howard:

Politics is street theater and the race-card is a superstar. It was a nice win (icing on the cake) for the democrats. They got the big press report and no one is listening to this debate deep in the weeds. The scramble to defend just repeats the lie and is a huge time-waster for the teabaggers.

This makes a BIG assumption that all those white cracker swing voters who appreciate drummed-up charges of racism w/o any evidence provided. You assume they are that dumb and will vote for the Democrats because they suddenly believe Republicans are vicious racists.

That's your narrative right? If it helps you sleep better at night, idiot.

eleminopea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

BTW, because the possibility of a Democrat plant shouting racist epithets, I won't attend nay tea party rally. Too dangerous to be associated with anything that controversial. I wish I had more courage, but these are trying times.

eleminopea said...

No time to read all comments, so sorry for any redundancy. [edit: I see Uber beat me to it, even so...]

How would anyone, teapartier or oppo plant, saying the ugly n word discredit people protesting massive federal healthcare restructuring and obscene deficit spending?

Why would an incident of ugly name-calling by someone in a crowd delegitimize a "smaller, less intrusive government now, please"
movement?

I don't believe the n thing happened, only that the Dems WISHED it had. But what a sad predicament this movement finds itself in, either being hostage to someone's execrable behavior or having to prove negatives so as not to lose its voice,

thanks to a complicit MSM, their Messiah's "Steam" Media.

E Buzz said...

Anyone ever expect any honesty from a lefty lib?

I don't. They lie when it suits them, without remorse.

A person with no morals will not care about lying. But you see, it eventually catches up to them, lying ain't really easy.

Alex said...

Uber - all these smears and lies are predicated on the idea that the MSM propagates the BIG LIE and the swing voters will somehow buy it. Who knows, it might have steadied Obama's declining approval rating. If you notice, the last 2 weeks it's held.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: If a man tells a story that has 2 elements and later, upon seeing proof that one element of the story couldn't have happened, and he retracts that element, is there any effect on the believability of the other element?

Only if you actually understand Probability Theory.

mesquito said...

Meanwhile:

"We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work."

http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/04/will_the_real_climategate_plea_1.html

Alex said...

Bottom line if the swing voters can't see through an obvious MSM lie, our republic is really doomed. If the Democrats can plant purely fabricated stories in the press and no one questions it - our republic over.

bagoh20 said...

I've only been reading this blog about 18 months. Did it used to have better lefties. They seem quite lame lately. Very little logic or honest debate - just flinging poo and repeating the same over and over. I mean if you banned the words "racist", "stupid", "spit" and "duh" and "Bush" there would be silence from that side. If you insisted on innocent until proven guilt, then there would be nothing to talk about with them anyway.

All threads here about the Tea Party have zero intellectual challenge to the ideas of the Tea Party.

Rather thousands of words of attacks for people just having these ideas or wanting to promote them or how they promote them or what they might do, or claiming there are no ideas or the spelling on the signs, and on and on.

It's just lame, dudes.

Tell us why the government should take over more and more of the functions of our society.

The TPs say no because:

1) The government has a very poor track record of effectiveness and efficiency. Not only here but throughout the world and it's history.

2) Excessive government reduces the vitality of a society and makes it's people more dependent and less productive and innovative.

3) Our government is spending at a rate that is economically unsustainable.

4) Our country is based on a philosophy and directly on a Constitution that limits and restricts government to essential functions impossible for the private sector to perform.

5) Congress is rife with corruption, motivated by influences not constructive to the peoples welfare and is populated by individuals who do not value the supremacy of the people and their freedom.

6) Substantial reform is needed primarily through electing new representatives less connected to these influences and who respect founding principles of small, effective government which leaves as much as possible to the people through private enterprise.

These are just a few of the Tea Party principles. There are more, but these are well known yet rarely disputed with honest argument. All we hear is charges of racism, hatred, spitting, violence, stupidity, etc, etc. Argue the ideas, for god sake. This other crap is worn out.

JAL said...

*Thank you* !!!11!1!! bagoh20

garage mahal said...

If you don't want to get spat upon, don't provoke us by walking by!

bagoh20 said...

Just an update from the So.CA pacific theater Tea Party command post:

Yea, we felt the Mexican earthquake here in L.A. Slow rolling one, as is it's fashion when it comes from 300 miles away. Some buildings swayed very slowly causing some elevators to stop and a few reports of nausea, but both could be a result of locals overindulging in Easter ham.

reader_iam said...

I've only been reading this blog about 18 months.

Wow. You really are a newbie. (Assuming you're talking globally, of course, as opposed to just as a current incarnation.)

I'd append a : ) or a ; ) ... except for the fact that, well, who the hell knows, really?

wv: insee

Heh.

bagoh20 said...

"If you don't want to get spat upon, don't provoke us by walking by!"

Good argument Garage. Well reasoned, based on facts, unbiased, insightful and entirely novel. I admire your mind.

Alex said...

bagoh - it's like spitting into a hurricane. Don't you get it - we're all KKK/Nazi/Birchers. Nothing more to say.

garage mahal said...

Why would simply walking by some tea partiers be "provoking" them? They are protesting against taxes and earmarks only I thought.

bagoh20 said...

reader iam,
I started reading Althouse shortly after creating my one and only profile in Sept. 2008. I do wonder about those who repeatedly create new identities. I'm not sure what that propensity indicates, but I don't see the need...yet.

Pogo said...

If you want to fake getting spat upon, don't forget to write the story beforehand!

bagoh20 said...

I do change my Avatar to show off my incredible skills on the internets.

Alex said...

garage does have a point - is it easy to provoke the tea partiers into doing something stupid? Obv that one guy who not controlling his spittle, could have easily been arrested. Basically if even one tea partier is a racist/loon it tars ALL tea partiers. Guilt by association to the MAX.

garage mahal said...

I'm sure it was all just a great big moist misunderstanding.

Alex said...

garage - yeah but does one guy being a douche-bag tar ALL tea partiers? Heck I've had people unknowingly project spittle in my face, I didn't think they were evil for it.

Or is that the new standard. Spittle flies while hurling invective at a politician = racism. And not only that, but if the rest of the crowd does not immediately tear the offender to pieces, they are also racist.

bagoh20 said...

I would like to have seen G.W. walk through a Code Pink rally. He would look like he just left the front row of a Gallagher show.

Alex said...

Also I really would love to know what I have to do in order to not be a racist anymore. I pray the liberals on this blog can enlighten me.

Michael McNeil said...

P.S., it should be noted that Annie has not written one word about how the video and audio tapes that were used to smear ACORN were fraudulently edited.

No they weren't. The entirety of those tapes is available for perusing, and they don't change the story of what happened in the slightest.

Irene said...

I do change my Avatar to show off my incredible skills on the internets.

LOL!

bagoh20 said...

"Why would simply walking by some tea partiers be "provoking" them? They are protesting against taxes and earmarks only I thought."

Oh, make no mistake, these very congressman are some of the most antithetical to the Tea Party. They were some of the most reviled by them, and had just passed a deeply hated piece of legislation. Yet this "wild, unhinged mob, did nothing to them. Let's see a lefty group maintain that kind of respect and dignity. You know the kind of people who chase SPEAKERS off of the stage at universities and throw pies, even at those on their own side for not being radical enough.

reader_iam said...

my thoughts I confess verge

bagoh20 said...

Irene, I hope that's fake fur in your avatar. I'm in a spitting mood.

LoafingOaf said...

While Althouse goes on with her claim that no hate speech was spewed at anyone at the Tea Party rally because Mark Steyn and Rush Limbaugh say so, she expects us to completely forget that Barney Frank did nothing to provoke anyone and yet several people hurled homophobic slurs at him and a crowd laughed. Barney Frank also appeared on MSNBC and stated that not only did the homophobic attack occur, but that he was hit by more than one that day.

Is it the position of this blog that Barney Frank is fabricating the incident he talked about on MSNBC?

And if Althouse is so confident that no racial or homophobic attacks occur at Tea Party events, why did she have to urge Tea Partiers to restrain themselves from making such attacks before the so-called "Conservative Woodstock"? Is it because Althouse, too, has seen stuff like the Obama witchdoctor photos on display but wants Tea Partiers to conceal this stuff from the public so she doesn't look bad for being down with them?

bagoh20 said...

"The entirety of those tapes is available for perusing, and they don't change the story of what happened in the slightest."

They do make the whole scenario depicted less egregious, but in no way was the edited portion exculpatory.

reader_iam said...

Editorial discretion is an old and longstanding standard, not a new one. With it comes strengths AND vulnerabilities--repeat: strengths AND vulnerabilities. "Side" really, truly doesn't change that, and nor should it--repeat: doesn't and nor should it.

Kirby Olson said...

I wonder if this is just the Obama Crowley Gates thing all over again.

Gates probably really did think Crowley was roughing him up just because he was black. I think Obama thought it, too.

I think that paradigm can determine perception?

Maguro said...

Barney Frank did nothing to provoke anyone and yet several people hurled homophobic slurs at him and a crowd laughed.

Oh dear, you mean homophobic slurs like teabagger? How distressing.

How will poor Barney ever recover?

bagoh20 said...

LoafingOaf said: "...Barney Frank did nothing to provoke anyone..."

This is impossible. Even Barney himself would find that insulting. He gets pissed when he is NOT called homophobic slurs. The guy loves a fight. I can't stand his politics, but he is one feisty little ... fella.

edutcher said...

LoafingOaf said...

While Althouse goes on with her claim that no hate speech was spewed at anyone at the Tea Party rally because Mark Steyn and Rush Limbaugh say so, she expects us to completely forget that Barney Frank did nothing to provoke anyone and yet several people hurled homophobic slurs at him and a crowd laughed. Barney Frank also appeared on MSNBC and stated that not only did the homophobic attack occur, but that he was hit by more than one that day.

Yes, Barney's record personally and politically is so unblemished that we may take him at his unsupported say-so.

WV "weduc" What wedo when shot at.

William said...

During the Spanish Civil War, a liberal journalist was caught fabricating a story about a Fascist atrocity that never happened. When found out, he simply shrugged and said that any cause worth dying for was worth lying for.... I don't have any hope that this argument will cause any liberal to rethink his position, but here goes: If liberals wish to brand a crowd of demonstrators as bigoted, they need to show the crowd or a significant portion of the crowd as acting in a bigoted way. It simply didn't happen. The crowd was clearly hostile, but clearly not hostile in a racist way. If you find an outlier who acted in a bigoted way, you will have found just that: an outlier who acted in a bigoted way. It will in no way prove that the crowd was bigoted.....The health care debate was not a racially charged debate during Hillary's go at it. Why is it now?

Irene said...

@bagoh20 It's not fake; it's just an exquisite grooming job! So no spitting, I might get matted.

reader_iam said...

Another hundred people...

rhhardin said...

I remember reading in the late 80s an AP story that said that a native American racial slur had been hurled.

I couldn't think of a native American racial slur offhand.

Wampum nose.

I knew some Indian jokes.

"I wonder if she'd come across for two bucks."

Gary Rosen said...

Funny how C-fudd manages to juxtapose Jews with black leftists whose Mideast policy is identical to his.

dick said...

What I find strange is that the congressmen had Capitol cops right there with them. If they were spat upon, the cops should have arrested the perp right then. The cops made no move to arrest anyone for anything and in fact announced later than they had not arrested anyone. That to me puts the lie to the claims of the congressmen right there. Why would you have the cops with you for protection of your person and not use them. The whole thing smells to high heaven.

sharon said...

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Methadras said...

It doesn't matter if it's real or not. Once the marxist stream media puts it out there, then it must be true and asking for a retraction or a correction is like asking them to lift their skirts to show off what they truly are.

John said...

These so-called "honorable" congressmen can say anything they want about the Tea Partiers, the Tea Partiers are going to the polls in November and we will remember their words and actions. WE. WILL. REMEMBER.

LarsPorsena said...

Obviously the Left has not learned from Chrystal Mangum and the Duke faculty.

A parable for our time.

Skipper50 said...

Never disbelieve a politician. They're always so honest and accurate.

MadisonMan said...

Bagoh20: Love the Avatar -- do you watch Idolatry?

Parker Smith said...

Trying to have a reasoned argument with someone who rejects the rules of logic is like giving medicine to the dead.

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