November 24, 2013

"Centrists Should Mourn the Demise of the Filibuster: Only the extremists win—and in the end, mostly the Republicans."

A Slate headline, quoted in its entirety at Instapundit, as if he's not seeing the snark.

To see the snark, examine the logic

1. After the filibuster, only the extremists will win.

2. Most of the winners will be Republicans.

3. [Unstated.] Most of the extremists are Republicans. 

What counts as "extremism"? In this context, it has to do with how we think about judges. (And executive nominees, but I'll leave them to the side for simplicity's sake.) The "extreme" should be understood as the more ideologically slanted or threateningly powerful individuals that the President would otherwise have refrained from nominating. But even with the minority party disabled by the inability to filibuster, there are political constraints.

Obama can't just nominate, say, Bill Ayers.
He won't want the criticism, and there will be pressures on members of his own party to say no. The old game of letting the minority party do the dirty work has changed. The other party will still do what it can to trash the reputation of the nominee, but the President's own party will have to vote that nominee down or take the political heat for voting for this awful character.

I suspect that the political check will be more of a constraint on Democrats, because it seems that American voters perceive conservative judicial ideology as more conventional, proper, and neutral than liberal judicial ideology. And this is essentially the insight in the Slate article (which is written by Eric Posner). And by essentially, I mean subtract the subterfuge in the part I've boldfaced:
Next time Republicans control the presidency and the Senate, they will appoint ideologically extreme judges. True, Democrats could cancel out this effect by appointing extremely liberal judges when they are in power, but recent history suggests that Democrats do not care as much as the Republicans about appointing ideologically extreme judges. Unless this changes, picture a federal appellate bench composed of numerous Antonin Scalias and Clarence Thomases, not fully offset by Elena Kagans and Stephen Breyers.
Let me restate the boldfaced part to say what I think is true:  Democrats know that the vigorous left-liberals they'd like to see on the bench would be viewed by the American people as ideologically extreme and unsuited for judicial work.

The reason the Republicans seem to get away with leaning further toward conservatism than Democrats can lean toward liberalism is that conservatism better comports with the people's idea of the role of the judiciary.

Removal of the filibuster helps conservatives not because they are more "extremist" than Republicans, but because the political check on nominating strong judges operates more forcibly on liberals. 

93 comments:

John Lynch said...

I wouldn't count on it. Aren't we dealing with Obamacare, something that no one wanted but passed anyway? Didn't the Democrats pay a price for that, but are still supporting it? Why do we think that the public won't support very liberal justices? That's not how they've been voting lately.

Sometimes goals are more important than appearances.

Kelly said...

Could it be possible that the democrats will push through all the nominations they want and if it looks like the Republicans are going to retake the senate, they'll simply say they made a mistake and put the filibuster back in place?

RecChief said...

"Democrats do not care as much as the Republicans about appointing ideologically extreme judges. "

slack jawed at that statement. what they view as mainstream is in fact radical in the part of the country I live in. Not only that but it is a lie as well. They care just as much about ideology as anyone else. But then, they view anyone who doesn't believe that the constitution is a living document subject to minute by minute interpretation as an extremist.

Big Mike said...

I thought your post was very well reasoned, Professor, but I had the same reservation that John Lynch has. How well your analysis holds up depends on the how much of a sobering effect the 2014 elections have on the senators that rode Obama's coat tails into office back in 2008.

betamax3000 said...

This premise is based on the idea that the average American follows such things. They may indeed want a conservative-tilt to the courts if asked the question, but inevitably do not want to elect the evil conservative who would make this happen.

betamax3000 said...

The average Althouse reader is not the average American.

David said...

To enjoy this so called advantage in judicial appointments, Republicans must first elect a President. This filibuster vote shows the high level of confidence the Democrats have that a Republican will not be elected in 2016. If the Democrats are correct, and Hillary Clinton holds the presidency from 2016-2024, the liberal makeover of the Constitution will already be complete,

That is what they are counting on. Expect these stakes to make the 2016 election even more vicious than those of the recent past.

David said...

Betamax needs a new computer. His all caps key is broken.

Ann Althouse said...

"Could it be possible that the democrats will push through all the nominations they want and if it looks like the Republicans are going to retake the senate, they'll simply say they made a mistake and put the filibuster back in place?"

I could picture them doing this AFTER they lose the Senate, before the new Senate begins.

(Note the historical precedent, going back to the John Adams administration. Google "Midnight judges.")

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Removal of the filibuster helps conservatives not because they are more "extremist" than Republicans, but because the political check on nominating strong judges operates more forcibly on liberals.

Considering that 'political checks' by Democrats on Democrats appear to have been banished from the party for the duration of the hostile-partisan Obama-Reid-Pelosi "I won" regime, the above quote in italics looks like some greviously wishful thinking.

betamax3000 said...

Pick any ten commenters here, whose only connection is the desire to read the interests and thoughts of a particular law professor, and pick ten of your co-workers: remove agreement from the equation, and ask who is more likely to even know of this topic -- or even know what the filibuster issue is.

We are self-selecting, regardless of our stance.

Ann Althouse said...

As for voting the filibuster back in at this point, once they've broken the grand tradition of the Senate, the Republicans will have the cover they need to get rid of it again through their own majority vote.

The question will only be whether the Democratic Senators, on their way out, think they'll look good in the political theater of putting the filibuster back. They need to keep in mind that the Republicans will be out on the stage, making the most of that scene, and we'll see who gets the most applause.

traditionalguy said...

Kings rule through ministers by decrees and StarChambers without jury. Whig ideas are an American invention. Surprise, Obama is not an American

The Elder said...

For at least 25 years, the "game" of federal judicial confirmation by the Senate has become increasingly partisan and hostile. Each side has taken opportunities to deliver "pay-back" for perceived abuses and transgressions by the other side. Before that, the process had usually been an exercise in Senate civility, respect for one another, and consensus-building. The removal of the filibuster rule has the potential for escalating the partisanship and ideology of the confirmation process as well as the pay-back response.

Unless you think we can depend on Harry Reid to demonstrate some restraint, judgment, and responsible leadership, that is.

Yeah. I don't either.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought your post was very well reasoned, Professor, but I had the same reservation that John Lynch has. How well your analysis holds up depends on the how much of a sobering effect the 2014 elections have on the senators that rode Obama's coat tails into office back in 2008."

Focus on the question of who's in the judiciary and what political drama there would be around a truly lefty judicial candidate. My point is that the Democrats refrain from going as far as they'd like not merely because of the filibuster, but because when Americans hear about lefty-style judging, they think it sound wrong. Removing the filibuster will facilitate the appointment of conservative judges because they seem to be doing what judges are supposed to do and liberals do not.

Liberals will still try to get as close to their wishes as they can, and sometimes they have more clout than other times. They had a lot of political capital to spend when Obama got elected in 2008, and they blew it all (and more) on Obamacare, which wasn't even what they really wanted (they wanted single payer).

Now what are they going to do?

ddh said...

"Democrats do not care as much as the Republicans about appointing ideologically extreme judges."

Democrats probably care more than Republicans because so much of the Democratic Party's agenda has been implemented by judges--something that progressives celebrate. As for Posner's statement, it's hard to see pink if you look at the world through rose-colored glasses. His world view filters out what makes progressive views stand out as extreme.

Ann Althouse said...

"The removal of the filibuster rule has the potential for escalating the partisanship and ideology of the confirmation process as well as the pay-back response."

It's still done in front of the American people who will deliver payback at election time.

"Unless you think we can depend on Harry Reid to demonstrate some restraint, judgment, and responsible leadership, that is."

I expect him to demonstrate an awareness of what's likely to happen in the next election.

It's not about Senate tradition and comity and respect for each Senator anymore. There is only a political check. When these characters are able to show their ugliness, who are we going to like in the end?

I think holding the majority depends on some centrist characters who can't go home and tell the people of, say, Louisiana, that she voted for judges who seem to be activist left-wingers. The Landrieus of the Senate will need to say no.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "My point is that the Democrats refrain from going as far as they'd like not merely because of the filibuster, but because when Americans hear about lefty-style judging, they think it sound wrong."

Where and when do these Americans actually hear about the process? They are not interested in the process as it happens, and only may complain after the fact in a vague way (it "sounds wrong") without any understanding of how it came to be, or what they could have done about it.

Inga said...

Every Democrat and liberal I know is well aware of the filibuster rule change in the Senate, Betamax. I think that some folks are hoping that more people are low information voters. In this politically ideologically polarized country most people follow politics much mor closely than they used to in years past.

Inga said...

Betamax,
CSpan. Many more watch it than you may think. Watching real debate on the Senate floor is far more entertaining and educational than watching any news channel. Internet blogs and news outlets are a fingertip away. People are far more informed today.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Every Democrat and liberal I know is well aware of the filibuster rule change in the Senate, Betamax."

Self-selecting: You are talking about people that have expressed political viewpoints (Every democrat and liberal I Know) -- yes, I believe they are aware. They are also not a random sample.

As for polarization causing people to follow politics more closely: the sports fans are cheering their teams louder, but most others are not watching the game.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Internet blogs and news outlets are a fingertip away."

But the clicks go to TMZ and the like.

Hagar said...

Althouse's proposition may hold true for those who care about the Democratic Party - but that does not necessarily incluse the "Alinskyites."

Hagar said...

"Incluse" sounds like it should be a word that would somehow be appropriate in this context, but I meant "include."

Bob Ellison said...

In marketing, whether for sales or for political office, the wise people know that most buyers are stupid and uninformed.

"Every Democrat" is dumb. It's a dumb concept on the part of the holder (Inga), and literally, most Democrats are dumb.

CSPAN? Inga, I watch that. You need to get out more. Nobody watches that.

Inga said...

Betamax, your premise may be correct, but I don't think so. Average people are political nowadays. Average people have an investment in seeing to it that their interests and if they are patriotic, those of the country, are met. Polls don't select only high information voters, do they? Polls sometimes have outliers, but most often reflect the populations opinions and awareness of issues.

It's those videos done by political groups from both sides that seem to be good at selecting the truly low info voter, lol.

Bob Boyd said...

It will be interesting to see if the general public even cares about the demise of the filibuster rule.
If Democrats aren't worried about fallout from that, they probably won't worry about fallout from individual judicial appointments.

Tom said...

He did nominate Jordan Barab to OSHA. read about him and his blog, Confined Space. Might as well nominated Saul Alinsky

Bob Ellison said...

Most voters don't even know what "filibuster" means. They don't know it's a Senate rule, and even if they do know how it rules, they think it's a law or a Constitutional provision. We're talking about <1% here. There will be no reaction to this in the electorate.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
betamax3000 said...

Bob Boyd @ 10:01:

Agreed. My guess is the general public may be vaguely aware of the word 'filibuster', but has no idea what a filibuster even is, or how it is used. The word sounds fusty and old, probably was time to get rid of it, anyway.

Inga said...

As for leftist judges, it's what those of us on the left have been waiting for. It's not accurate, IMO to think liberals, Democrats and leftists, progressives, what have you on the left, want conservative judges. Just being honest.

Inga said...

Generally people know that it is the filibuster that has helped Republicans OBSTRUCT. I'm pretty darn sure most people have heard that the game plan from day one was obstruction. Again I see folks here wishing that there were more low info voters than there actually are. Or they are projecting the numbers of low info voters from the right, onto the left, which is also not an accurate picture of what has been happening the last 15 years, roughly, IMO.

somefeller said...

The reason the Republicans seem to get away with leaning further toward conservatism than Democrats can lean toward liberalism is that conservatism better comports with the people's idea of the role of the judiciary.

This is a good insight, though it probably links up with the idea of conservatism as a prudential worldview that's skeptical of radical change more than more ideological versions of conservatism, like Randy Barnett-style libertarianism or the more purist strains of originalism one might hear discussed at a Federalist Society event. (Both of which are ideologies that law professors are more likely to be familiar with than most people.) In other words, Americans like their judges to be of a conservative temperament more than they want judges of a particular ideology.

Regarding Posner's point, I'm not sure the filibuster has historically been such a great tool for moderates or liberals. Some of the most famous filibusters or threats of filibusters have been from the Right, such as the filibusters that Southern Senators used against Civil Rights legislation in the 50s and 60s.

Michael K said...

"Before that, the process had usually been an exercise in Senate civility, respect for one another, and consensus-building. "

Civility ended with Robert Bork. That scene was unprecedented, at least since the Civil War. Biden showed himself to be a liar with the Clarence Thomas hearings.

betamax3000 said...

RE: "Again I see folks here wishing that there were more low info voters than there actually are."

Pew Survey: 41% Can't ID Biden as Vice President. Poll is from 2010: I don't have reason to believe that much has changed.

Agree to disagree.

Bob Ellison said...

Inga said "Generally people know that it is the filibuster that has helped Republicans OBSTRUCT."


That's a nice fantasy for lefties. We have fewer trees, the globe is warming, a right-wing crazy killed Kennedy, etc.

I don't plan to teach you about how wrong you are. I'm just trying to tell you that people are not as politically informed as you think. "Generally people" don't know what the filibuster is, and don't know who uses it. You fool yourself if you think otherwise.

Inga said...

A conservative temperament, EXACTLY, not a conservative ideology. I'm sure some folks think judges with conservative temperaments cannot be left liberals.

Inga said...

Thank you Bob, don't need any mansplainin today.

Bob Ellison said...

Don't need any womanspainin' today either Inga. Oh, is that chauvinist? Let me know if you need a mansplanation.

betamax3000 said...

Insert string of Betamax3000 riffing-on-the-general-public comments here.

cubanbob said...

In politics a year is a lifetime and three years an eternity. That said if things continue as they are and if the Republicans do well in next years election the Democrats may well rue the day the ended the filibuster. Not just for the obvious payback in the future but rather this gives the conservatives and libertarian wing of the Republican Party further cause to get rid of RINO's alltogether. Whether or not the Republicans win the next presidential election-who has a crystal ball?- it a very good bet that the next Republican candidate won't be a moderate or a RINO. A RINO or squishy moderate just isn't going to make it in the primaries. And if a conservative or libertarian leaning Republican gets elected president with a Republican Congress then the question becomes how much of the progressive project get repealed and or rolled back?

Sayyid said...

"Democrats do not care as much as the Republicans about appointing ideologically extreme judges."

If that is true, please tell me the last time a Democrat nominated a judge who thought anything about Roe v. Wade was wrong. Ones that think Roe is too "pro-life" or "bad politics" excluded. I mean the actual legal so-called reasoning that was applied.

somefeller said...

And if a conservative or libertarian leaning Republican gets elected president with a Republican Congress then the question becomes how much of the progressive project get repealed and or rolled back?

It's also a question as to whether there would be an attempt to actually do such rolling back when it isn't just an exercise in rhetoric, as well as how that might be received if actually attempted. Eisenhower's famous comments about the fate of any party that actually tried to reverse the New Deal come to mind.

But anything that makes politicians step up rather than rely on procedure to keep them from actually governing based on their boilerplate is fine with me.

Annie said...

"Generally people know that it is the filibuster that has helped Republicans OBSTRUCT."...

And you being happy to ignorantly parrot the talking points.

As if the democrats didn't do the same and worse? Or it's only wrong if your 'side' gets checked - the reason why the rules were there - to slow things down, to restrain, to help prevent foolish overreaches.
But, like a good little lefty, you welcome control, out of spite, over others. Ideology over rule of law.

rcocean said...

An interesting analysis. I'd say something different. The Republican Caucus has a large moderate component that is absolutely uninterested in fighting for conservative judicial nominees or fighting liberal ones. McCain is the perfect example. He was delighted to vote for Ginsberg, Kagan, etc. but moaned and quacked about Alito being "too extreme". And of course, led the gang-of-eight sellout.

So the getting rid of the filibuster won't really help the Republicans unless they can get 50+ Conservatives in the Senate.

Inga said...

Annie, that you are ignorant of the factual nature of my statement, identifies you as a low information voter. How many times was the filibuster used since 2009 as compared to before 2009?

Michael said...

Would a filibuster help a Democrat minority in the senate stop the Republican war on women? Would it help to curtail the elimination of rhe corporate income tax, the permanent lowering of the capital gains tax, the removal of EPA regulations, the dismantling of the Dept. of Education?

Just curious about how the filibuster might come in handy for OBSTRUCTIONISTS of a different stripe.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

The democrat KKK member from West Virginia famously used the filibuster to OBSTRUCT the Civil Rights Act.

David said...

Inga said...
"Annie, that you are ignorant of the factual nature of my statement, identifies you as a low information voter. How many times was the filibuster used since 2009 as compared to before 2009?"

And how does this matter?

If you used the filibuster 10 times and I only used it 8, am I therefore less dependent on filibuster to get what I want? Or are there other circumstances that might be relevant?

And if the filibuster is indeed contrary to the principles of democracy, am I more principled because I use it less?

Inga, better to make no argument than such a weak one.

Both parties have used the filibuster as it suited their needs. The argument about who is less filibusterish is stupid.

Which is why the point made in the article was stupid. And why it sounds stupid to defend it.

cubanbob said...

It's also a question as to whether there would be an attempt to actually do such rolling back when it isn't just an exercise in rhetoric, as well as how that might be received if actually attempted. Eisenhower's famous comments about the fate of any party that actually tried to reverse the New Deal come to mind. "

Good observation but that was a different era. When you have a 13-1 ratio of workers to retired it can work but not a today's ratios. Plus back the there wasn't The Great Society programs to fund as well. ObamaCare is highlighting the limits of the entitlement state.

Gahrie said...

Some of the most famous filibusters or threats of filibusters have been from the Right, such as the filibusters that Southern Senators used against Civil Rights legislation in the 50s and 60s.

It was Democrats performing those filibusters. Just like every other racist act or injury in our history was either done by, or vigorously defended by, or both, Democrats.

Lydia said...

Every Democrat and liberal I know...

A tired, very old sentiment, and no one put it better than Pauline Kael:

“I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

Inga said...

David, what you gloss over is that the difference in the use of the filibuster is HUGE between Democrats and Republicans, an Inconvenient fact.

somefeller said...

It was Democrats performing those filibusters.

Yes, that's true. Back in the day, there were conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. And in the South throughout much of the middle of the 20th century, where you stood on racial issues was the main determinant of whether you were described as liberal or conservative.

Just like every other racist act or injury in our history was either done by, or vigorously defended by, or both, Democrats.

False, but that line is popular these days among racists or Republicans who are okay with allying with them. I'll be generous and assume you are in the second category.

Gahrie said...

Just like every other racist act or injury in our history was either done by, or vigorously defended by, or both, Democrats.

False, but that line is popular these days among racists or Republicans who are okay with allying with them.


Name a major racist policy or incident from a Republican? Name one not from a Democrat.

Slavery
Jim Crow
segregation
lynching
KKK
trail of tears
Japanese internment

That's without including arguably the two Democratic policies most destructive to American minorities, illegal immigration and abortion.

Hagar said...

Anti-federalist > Republican > Democratic-Republican > Democratic Party.

So, yeah, but under whatever name, up to 1968 the mainstay of this party was "the Solid South," that was catered to from the 3/5ths provision in the Constitution to Woodrow Wilson segregating the armed forces in WWI.

Hagar said...

Not to mention Strom Thurmond and the "Dixie-crats."
Thurmond was a Democrat when he did his celebrated filibuster against desegregation.

Joe said...

Wanting judges to rule based on the law, not on intentions or what the law should be, is conservative extremism.

Hagar said...

The first mention of a federal government as opposed to a confederation was made in the proposed Constitution of the United States in 1787.
The term "anti-federalist" was applied to those against adopting the constitution, of which Thomas Jefferson was a prominent leader. Ostensibly from the highest motives, but did the tenor of the proposed Constitution with respect to slavery, what was not said as much as what was, have nothing to do with it?

Michael said...

Somefeller. Eager to throw around the racism charge by redefining Democrats as Republicans and vice versa. Live with the fact that Democrats were the opponents of equal rights. The guy who shot Kennedy was a lefty. I expect that your own racism troubles you and that could supply the reason you are quick to want to change history.
Democrats are the architects of the ruin of the black family and the degredation of their culture. You should be ashamed.

The Godfather said...

This is all inside baseball. Most people do not care at all about judicial nominations to lower courts, and only a tiny bit about Supreme Court nominations. The only way you could get a significant number of liberal voters exercised about a conservative nominee is to accuse him or her of threatening to reverse Roe v Wade. The only way you could get a significant number of conservative voters exercised about a liberal nominee is to accuse him or her of threatening to reverse Heller.

somefeller said...

Wow, Gahrie, you managed to do a conservative rant about how Democrats are the real racists (as evidenced by their nomination of an African-American as their Presidentual nominee in 2008 and 2012, natch) without mentioning the cruel oppression of white males under affirmative action. That deserves a golf clap.

Anyway, if you look at politics in 2013, as opposed to 1863 or 1953, it's pretty obvious which party is the party that's more inclusive of minorities. Voter suppression, I mean, voter ID laws and the general tone of many modern conservatives (gotten a good Obama is a secret Muslim from Kenya email recently?) help prove that point. But thankfully, due to the hard work of liberals in the past and present, the policy damage caused by such attitudes is limited.

The Godfather said...

This is all inside baseball. Most people do not care at all about judicial nominations to lower courts, and only a tiny bit about Supreme Court nominations. The only way you could get a significant number of liberal voters exercised about a conservative nominee is to accuse him or her of threatening to reverse Roe v Wade. The only way you could get a significant number of conservative voters exercised about a liberal nominee is to accuse him or her of threatening to reverse Heller.

somefeller said...

Not to mention Strom Thurmond and the "Dixie-crats."
Thurmond was a Democrat when he did his celebrated filibuster against desegregation.


Already addressed. And when the Democrats went in for civil rights, the conservatives on race (isn't that a nice euphemism?) became Republicans. Like Thurmond and Jesse Helms. Politics 101 in the Soufh in the latter half of the 20th century.

Broomhandle said...

It's pretty obvious which party has kept urban African-Americans trapped in a meat grinder of dependency, crime, drugs, abortion, fatherless families, unemployment , contempt for education, and an endless assortment of other pathologies. But the grotesque tokenism of nominating a half-black manikin makes up for all that so it's all good in the 'hood.

southcentralpa said...

Maybe he will, maybe he won't ... you know he's at least considered it. (Ayers, of course) This is the man who wished to number among his Kaisers (Tsars) one Van Jones, after all.

YoungHegelian said...

@somefeller,

Anyway, if you look at politics in 2013, ..... it's pretty obvious which party is the party that's more inclusive of minorities

Actually, that's not true. Which party has 2 Indian-Americans as state governors? Black republicans are greeted like rock stars by the Republican rank & file. No, the blacks vote has historically been monolithic, and it just flipped from one party to the other over time. Racism has replaced class consciousness as the organizing principle du jour, so the Republicans must be racist.

Tell me, somefeller, do you really believe that the northeastern & midwestern ethnics, all solid Democrats, like black people? You know, the same ethnics who in Chicago brained MLK with a brick, and in the '70s in the Boston busing riots burned the school buses? I mean, go to NYC, and see just how the Irish, Italians, & Jews love their black & Puerto Rican compatriots. I don't mean get together periodically & split the graft. I mean actually like each other.

And let's not even get started on the black racists that the Democrats give carte blanche (pun intended) to.

Rusty said...

v Inga said...
David, what you gloss over is that the difference in the use of the filibuster is HUGE between Democrats and Republicans, an Inconvenient fact.

Which ignores the fact that democrats have been the majority in the senate for most of the last 50 years.
Care to try again?

wwww said...


Yeah- I agree with those who say pretty much nobody cares about lower court appointments.

ok - maybe .00005% of the population cares.

And if you say "regulatory capture through appointments" most people have no idea what you're talking about.

Can't say I blame people. Most people have too much going on their lives to pay attention to this sort of inside baseball.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

Tell me, somefeller, do you really believe that the northeastern & midwestern ethnics, all solid Democrats, like black people?

I'm sure they don't all do so (I lived for awhile in Boston after all) but one shouldn't assume all or most white ethnic voters in 2013 are racists. (Particularly if they are Democrats, the Southern Strategy did its work up north, too, and the examples you cite are old ones.) The new Italian-American mayor of New York is a good example of modern Democratic politics, for example. But it is clear which party is the one that minority voters generally see as being the more welcoming one. And yes, black Republicans are often heartily cheered at conservative conclaves, even if they are complete buffoons. Call it the Alan Keyes / Herman Cain effect. Desperation can lead one to a bad place.

Michael said...

Somefeller. How middle brow! The Uncle Tom foil. Bourgeois thinking, dude. Racist at the margin.

Broomhandle said...

It is clear which party provides more free stuff to it's hostage constituency. As I observed elsewhere, LBJ was a political genius.

somefeller said...

I didn't call anyone an Uncle Tom, Michael. I merely suggested certain individuals were buffoons, and that conservatives are so desperate to get minority votes that they will applause for said buffoons. But you may be on to something. Conservatives applaud buffoons all the time, so maybe in the Keyes/Cain case, it isn't a ham-handed form of voter outreach.

And of course I think like a member of the bourgeoisie. What's wrong with that? Are you a commie or something?

Michael said...

Somefeller. You made your point. You can view conservative blacks as Uncle Toms and probably use the N word privately to describe them. That is the Democrat way. Racist at the margin. But you have a saddled high horse. And you will ride it over the Sanctimony Plain.

YoungHegelian said...

@somefeller,

See, somefeller, here's the thing: lefties know that this business about racism being a matter of will & intention, that whites just don't like black people, is really a non-starter in the 21st century. So, they've switched now to systemic racism.

There's just one big problem with systemic racism. Once racism is moved from being a question of individual will to a systemic political question, it's not only the white Republicans who no longer can absolve themselves by saying their consciences are clean -- no one can, because individual will no longer matters. Thus, the Republican critique that Democratic policies hurt black people must be taken seriously, because 1) Most Democratic voters are not black & 2) it's simply empirically true that there are large numbers of hurting black people under Democratic control.

Racial politics aren't born-again Christianity, somefeller. You can't be born again by an act of grace or will outside of white privilege. Before you start pointing the finger of racism at large numbers of your fellow citizens, you need to understand that you, too, have no way of jumping over your own shadow.

somefeller said...

So now conservatives are bandying about lefty terms like "bourgeois" and "white privilege" in attempts to shift attention from or explain their rather poor current relationship with minorities in America? Clever! Any port in a storm, I guess.

Hagar said...

Already addressed. And when the Democrats went in for civil rights, the conservatives on race (isn't that a nice euphemism?) became Republicans. Like Thurmond and Jesse Helms.

They were not "conservatives on race," but "Democrats on race." They always were conservatives on economics`and thus reluctantly held their noses and voted for the "Northern Invaders" when Lyndon Johnson (remember him? He was a Democrat president in the mid-1960's) finally drove a stake through the heart of the "Lost Cause."

Bob Ellison said...

somefeller, try to think from your opponent's point of view.

Inga said...

Isn't it racist to give buffoons a pass, just beacuse they are black and conservative? Hmmm, what about the soft bigotry of low expectations, Rush Limbaugh seems to like to bandy that one about.

Broomhandle said...

So the Democratic Party is racist since it gives Sharpton and Maxine Waters a pass? Actually considerably more than a pass.

Hagar said...

You did not pay attention when the Corps of Engineers was trying to grab regulatory powers over just about all development by claiming that any land that might shed water that might eventually wind up in a navigable stream was subject to CoE regulation as "Waters of the United States." The Corps was slapped down big-time by the Supreme Court, though you did not notice.

You have not been noticing since that the EPA have been trying to grab even more extensive powers under the "Clean Water Act," but you may well come to notice when they claim jurisdiction over the landscaping around your house, and these now nominated judges for the DC District Court uphold their claim.

Marshal said...

Republicans are often heartily cheered at conservative conclaves, even if they are complete buffoons. Call it the Alan Keyes / Herman Cain effect. Desperation can lead one to a bad place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3I-PVVowFY

Maxine Waters threatens to nationalize the oil industry during a house hearing. The left leads in protecting buffoons by a wide margin.

Michael said...

Inga. They are buffons because they do not share your beliefs on a number of topics, notably the disaster of decades of Democrat programs which have undermined black culture. But go ahead and equate "voter suppression" with the Democrat's Jim Crow and ignore the results of your party's impact on the black community. . Whole generations of black children have never once seen a father or any person get up and go to work. Because voter ID is the same to you as Bull Connor and sanctimony serves in place of real empathy for the victims of a tragedy of your party's making. But call them names. Because you can neither name nor refute their beliefs.

damikesc said...

Already addressed. And when the Democrats went in for civil rights, the conservatives on race (isn't that a nice euphemism?) became Republicans.

Byrd didn't.
Fulbright didn't.
Gore didn't.
Ervin didn't.
Eastland didn't.
Ellender didn't.
Hill didn't.
Johnson Jr didn't.
Jordan didn't.
Long didn't.
McClellan didn't.
Stennis didn't.

And that's just in the Senate.

In the House,
Alford didn't.
Boggs didn't.
Brooks didn't.
Long didn't.
Smith didn't.
Waggoner didn't.
Willis didn't.

But they don't count, I guess. Because Helms and Lott joined the GOP and Thurmond did after going independent for a while.

Generally people know that it is the filibuster that has helped Republicans OBSTRUCT

Basically. And it allowed Dems to do it before then. That's the Senate for you.

As for leftist judges, it's what those of us on the left have been waiting for

Because Democrat judges nominated to the SCOTUS often tend to "evolve" their views. They always are such wildcards in major cases...

Anyway, if you look at politics in 2013, as opposed to 1863 or 1953, it's pretty obvious which party is the party that's more inclusive of minorities.

Yes, Democrats are quite open-minded about minorities --- who know their role and stay on the plantation where they are told to stay.

Otherwise, they are still virulent racists.

The new Italian-American mayor of New York is a good example of modern Democratic politics, for example.

Modern Democrats are morons? Well, no argument.

I didn't call anyone an Uncle Tom, Michael. I merely suggested certain individuals were buffoons, and that conservatives are so desperate to get minority votes that they will applause for said buffoons

But when Democrats call the intellectual wasteland that is the CBC the "moral" of the Senate...THAT is peachy.

Alex said...

Inga - I have a hard time believing that average people are more politically aware than they used to be. These are the same people that watch reality TV after all.

Alex said...

what somefeller is really saying is the GOP has nothing to appeal to blacks. What he's not saying is that blacks apparently want massive welfare state promised to them and the GOP isn't willing to even pay lip-service to it. However the GOP is doing better among st other minority groups like East and South Asians, and Eastern Europeans.

Alex said...

Inga - that's rich coming from your party that welcomes the likes of Al Sharpton and Rev Wright.

SGT Ted said...

"Democrats do not care as much as the Republicans about appointing ideologically extreme judges."

Complete and utter Bullshit.

My lawn got greener right after I read that, it's such good bullshit.

SGT Ted said...

"False, but that line is popular these days among racists or Republicans who are okay with allying with them."

Name them.

SGT Ted said...

Voter ID laws are not racist and the accusation itself is idiotic from the get go, if you even bother to think it through.

All those minorities you claim can't get ID already have one, because they otherwise would not be able to function. One can't buy booze, get a bank card, get food stamps, get welfare, get Social Security, get section 8 housing, get ANY housing, get WIC, get a job without an ID and minorities do all those things, especially the poorest of them.

But, the ultimate evidence is this:

EVERY PERSON TROTTED OUT AS NOT BEING ABLE TO VOTE AT ANY RECENT ELECTION HAS TURNED OUT TO HAVE ACTUALLY HAD ID AND ALSO HAVE BEEN AN ACTIVIST DEMOCRAT. IT WAS ALL BULLSHIT POLITICAL THEATER.

So, fuck off for calling those of us racists that can see through the attempt to keep voter fraud viable for the ACORN election stealing operations.

Even leftwing European countries are shocked that we don't have Voter ID laws. I suppose they are racists too.

So, fuck off with your "racism" lies. I consider that shit fighting words.