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Why Would Blacks Become Republican?,

some ask in response to my post about the "I don't support conservatism ..., and I support black conservatives even less" article -- and especially to my cross-post at Huffington Post. They really do seem genuinely shocked at the prospect that any decent, intelligent black person would take such a ridiculous position.

How about the same reasons that anyone might become Republican? Imagine a black person who's pro-life, and who feels pretty alienated by the Democratic party as a result. Imagine that he's conservative on various other social issues, perhaps because he's deeply religious, and belongs to a denomination that takes such views. Imagine that he thinks we're doing the right thing in Iraq, even if he thinks we may have made many missteps there.

Imagine that he thinks government social programs tend to do more harm than good. Imagine that he believes in low taxes and low government spending, and thinks such an approach is ultimately better for the poor as well as for the rich (though he might be one of those Republicans who's not wild about the Bush Administration's spending record). Imagine that he thinks school choice programs, including those that would support parents who want to send their children to religious schools, are better than maintaining the government near-monopoly in education.

I'm not saying observers need to think this person is right. But is he really so implausible? And if those are his views, then even if he thinks that Republicans are wrong on some racial issues, it is really so implausible that his affinity with Republicans on the other matters (such as, for instance, abortion, which to many conservatives is a pretty important issue) would overcome his disapproval of the Republicans on racial ones?

Caring about moral or patriotic matters that go beyond one's own selfish interests, or one's identity group affiliations, is usually seen as a mark of nobility, not of folly, self-deception, or betrayal. Even if a black person supports a position or party that you think is bad for blacks, why not show him the same respect that you'd show anyone else? Why not assume that he must think that on balance some important consideration, perhaps an important moral principle that even rises to the level of life or death -- even if it's a consideration that you disagree with -- might outweigh what he sees as more parochial concerns?

James Lindgren (mail):
Eugene,

To your list I would add that, over the last 30 years, typical white Republicans in the general public have been significantly less traditionally racist than typical white Democrats.

For example, in the 1996-2004 General Social Surveys, 11.9% of white Democrats think that differences in black/white success are due to black inborn disability, compared to only 9.1% of white Republicans. Similarly, 14.5% of white Democrats favor laws against racial intermarriage, compared to 12.2% of white Republicans.

In the two decades before 1996, these differences tend to be much stronger. Republicans have traditionally been less traditionally racist.

So, although there is a shift in traditional racism toward members of the Republican Party, members of the Democratic Party have been still more racist over the last decade--though the Republican Party may overtake it soon. Only if one uses "modern racism" measures that conflate opposition to big government with racism do Republicans usually score as significantly more racist than Democrats.
3.21.2006 3:26am
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Prof. Lindgren,

Isn't this, however, a product of the fact that there are still many so-called registered Democrats in the deep South, though they vote Republican (see for instance, the election returns in small Florida panhandle counties which were heavily Democratic, going heavily for Bush). I am making no claim about whether Republicans or Democrats are more racist. Just that the survey you were looking at, if it based its D-R classifications on registrations rather than voting patterns, is possibly very flawed.
3.21.2006 4:16am
Bob Loblaw (www):
Gene is completely right in his statement(despite his love of the Pet Shop Boys), and I'm surprised that you (Prof. Lindgren) would make such a weak argument. In addition, I don't really think that the 11.9/9.1 and 14.5/12.2 percent differences really qualify (even remotely) as "significantly less," particularly considering the margins of error that would be incident to such surveys and survey results.
3.21.2006 4:30am
James Lindgren (mail):
Gene,

1. I haven't broken down the recent data by region, but in the full 1974-2004 period, I believe I recall that the differences show up in the North as well in the South (the higher education of Republicans drives some of this lower racism).

2. You wrote:

Just that the survey you were looking at, if it based its D-R classifications on registrations rather than voting patterns, is possibly very flawed.




It depends on what you want to count. I consider election data to be a poor measure of the general attitudes of Republicans and Democrats (as opposed to their preference for candidates). The election distorts underlying patterns of views and leads to wide swings in views not present when opinions are measured at less fevered times. In statistical terms, election-time views are "unreliable."

Further, the sample of voters is not representative of the general public.

BTW, in the GSS, party ID is self-identified (something like: "Do you usually think of yoursekf as . . .?" "Do you feel closer to ...?").
3.21.2006 4:33am
James Lindgren (mail):
Bob,

The sample sizes are huge, about 3800-5300 in just the combined 1996-2004 GSSs. Without rerunning the data (I'm just looking at the available output), the significance level for Dem/non-Dem differences is .002 for inborn disability and .0002 for racial intermarriage.
3.21.2006 4:44am
Bob Loblaw (www):
Prof. Lindgren - can you post a link to the data you are using? And, even if we were to assume zero sampling error in the data, the percentage differences you cite do not qualify as "significantly less" in common parlance; there may or may not be a "statistically significant" difference (I doubt it, but am willing to look at the same data you are looking at if you post it), but "significantly less" means something very different.
3.21.2006 5:05am
BU2L (mail):
I just clicked over to the post at Huffington. Wow, they are pretty vitriolic over there, without much substance. You wonder where the thinking liberals are, and I guess it's just Anderson, and to some extent Vovan, and noone else on the internet.
3.21.2006 6:04am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
> and I'm surprised that you (Prof. Lindgren) would make such a weak argument.

It seems to me, that your definition of "weak argument" is based entirely on weather you want to believe it's conclusion.

You have provided little reason for any observer to believe Lindgren's argument is weak, pointing merely to a POSSIBLE source of polling bias, based merely (and loosely, at that!) on your own preconceptions of southerners as racist.

The percentages difference seems low, until you consider how extreme those attitudes are from the mainstream. Even a handful more fanatics can make all the difference in the world. But even barring that, if a black republican had based his reasons for being republican on the above figures, who the heck are you to gainsay him?

Perhaps it's you who needs to be called to the carpet for sloppy thinking. After all, Lindgren has provided numbers and a theory. You've provided... a handful of popcorn thrown from the cheap seats.
3.21.2006 7:08am
Brett Bellmore (mail):
James, I suppose there's a shortage of black Republicans to compare them to, but how do the racial attitudes of black Democrats stack up? It's my casual impression that, despite definitions of 'racism' intended to make black racism logically contradictory, it's actually quite common.
3.21.2006 7:18am
llamasex (mail) (www):
It seems odd that the point that Allen didn't just work for a REPUBLICAN, that he worked for Jesse Helms doesn't even get mentioned. While I understand why a black person would vote/support/working for/etc for a Republican canidate, I don't think anyone can explain a black person voting/supporting/working for/etc for Jesse Helms.
3.21.2006 7:33am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Well, I can't imagine anyone in their right mind, black or white, working for Al Sharpton. I guess that proves that *gasp* people have differing opinions.

I guess maybe Allen believed in Helms. Obviously enough people do so to keep the man in office. Including black voters.
3.21.2006 7:41am
James Stephenson (mail):
I got one more reason for you Eugene. Gay Marriage.

Here in Georgia they had that stupid ammendment to our Constitution stating that Marriage should be woman and man only. Well I voted for Bush and against that stupid thing. My wife did the same. But surprisingly 70% of the people voted for it. 55% voted for Bush. Which means at least 15% of the people voting for Kerry voted for this ammendment. And if I am an exampe of a good bit of true conservatives, I would say 10% of them voted against this ammendment, which would raise the Kerry voters to 25%. I bet a good bit of that vote came from our African American population.

Anyway, the only numbers I am sure are true above are who voted for Bush and Voted for the Ammendment.
3.21.2006 7:43am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Hugo Black used to be a KKK member, and went on to being a staunch supporter of free speech, among other liberal values. I guess Allen is not holding Helms' past against him, and not knowing either personally, I don't think you ought to rush to judgment Llama.
3.21.2006 7:43am
Cornellian (mail):
I seem to recall once that Jesse Helms won an election in part through a television ad that depicted a couple of white hands crumpling up a piece of paper while sorrowful music played in the background. The voice over said "you needed that job, but they said it had to go to a minority . . ." Another popular tactic in southern elections is to run ads criticizing a number of the incumbent's appointments, who all just so happen to be black. So you get to run a TV ad showing a series of black faces (not the 80% non-black appointments he made) going by with a voice over saying something like "my opponent has made a series of questionable appointments." Everyone knows the code behind those ads even as you vigorously deny that race has anything to do with it. So let's say your're black and you agree with a candidate's positions on, let's say, trade policy, tort reform, and a variety other other issues but he runs ads like that. Sure you might vote for him, but there comes a point where personal dignity demands you not vote for someone who demonizes people like you in order to get elected, regardless of whether you agree with him on other issues. Would you vote for someone who agrees with you on 80% of the issues but who says people like you are a threat to American civilization and he's going to campaign on that position? Is it not a legitimate question to ask why such people might support that candidate anyway? You could call this the Log Cabin Republican question. There are arguments to be made both ways, and of course there's a huge diversity in viewpoints in both parties, neither is a monolithic bloc. It's more precise to ask that question on a candidate by candidate basis rather than a party by party basis but it's a legitimate question to ask.

I'm not saying I agree with the editorial, or that blacks can't be Republicans or conservatives, but when a black guy works for Jesse Helms, that raises a question that a white guy working for Jesse Helms does not, and it's not about whether it's legitimate for a black person to support conservative policies in general or Republican policies in general.
3.21.2006 7:55am
Cornellian (mail):
One point about the editorial I do agree with: I simply cannot grasp how someone goes from being the President's top domestic policy advisor to shoplifting from Target (assuming those allegations are found to be true). I mean, someone smart and ambitious enough to get that job, if he wants to turn to crime (and why would he need to?), can surely think of some criminal activity a lot more lucrative than shoplifting. If those allegations are true, then I suspect there's some story behind them that we haven't seen yet, some kind of unusual pressure or event in his personal life, a history of some kind of mental disorder, something out of the ordinary.
3.21.2006 8:00am
Cala:
Lindgren's poll data may be 100% accurate, but even so, I suspect it couldn't be a major factor in blacks choosing to become Republican. That is, I find the specific claim "Democrats are more racist than Republicans, so blacks join the GOP" unsupported by this poll.

Most people don't decide which party to pick based on polling data, but on a cocktail of life experiences and priorities. And the 2-3% difference in racist views between Democrats and Republicans strikes me as a rather unlikely ingredient in that cocktail, simply because it would be too small for the average person to notice daily while forming their political beliefs. More data would help; if all the racist Democrats hang around black populations while all the racist Repulicans don't, then it could be a factor.

But as it stands, it seems that religion, class background, and opposition to gay marriage are going to far outweigh a 2% polling variation.
3.21.2006 8:02am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
"
One point about the editorial I do agree with: I simply cannot grasp how someone goes from being the President's top domestic policy advisor to shoplifting from Target
"
Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous. If you read the comments at Huffington however, Cornellian, you will learn that he shoplifted not because of some personal trauma or mental condition, but because he is prone to theft like all Republicans.
3.21.2006 8:04am
Cornellian (mail):
Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous. If you read the comments at Huffington however, Cornellian, you will learn that he shoplifted not because of some personal trauma or mental condition, but because he is prone to theft like all Republicans.

Yeah, but the stereotype is that Republicans go for big time, Enron style corporate theft, not penny ante stuff. It's like Ken Lay stealing pens from the office supply room at Enron.
3.21.2006 8:20am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
I dunno. I'm a Republican (if only because I'm plainly not a Democrat), and so far I stole a coffee mug from my firm, and took advantage of the mail room a little bit. Then again, maybe it's a question of access. Sooner or later, I'm bound to raid a public trust of some sort. [Insidious, Mr. Burns-like Laughter]
3.21.2006 8:24am
Cornellian (mail):
I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat. What do I get to steal?
3.21.2006 8:31am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
If you are a Communist, you can steal absolutely everything, in the name of the greater good of course. If you are a Libertarian, you are pretty screwed. It's way better to be a Communist.
3.21.2006 8:34am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
If you are a Communist, you can steal absolutely everything, in the name of the greater good of course. If you are a Libertarian, you are pretty screwed. It's way better to be a Communist.
3.21.2006 8:34am
Cornellian (mail):
Hey we could come up a handy and useful guide of what you can steal:

Republican: Shareholder's equity
Democrat: Welfare benefits
Communist: Everything, except you don't call it theft because you don't believe in private property
Libertarian: You're screwed, too much respect for property rights
Theocrat: God wants me to take this property, so it's ok
Fascist: All property exists to serve the state, so you can take it provided it's for a state purpose
3.21.2006 8:52am
brian h (mail):
I found the website for the studies in question. There's alot of different variables to work with, not the least of which is how to define racism. Is it a belief in inborn disability of blacks? A desire to see a law against interracial marraiges? A belief that black people shouldn't push themselves where they aren't wanted?

The original poster is right that on the first question, the answers are close to parity between party, and by for whom respondents voted for in the 2000 election. For the latter two questions, they are also close but tend to weigh more heavily (slightly in the marraige question, and fairly heavy in the "push themselves question) to people who voted for Bush.

It's a great tool, I encourage everyone to check it out.

http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/GSS/
3.21.2006 9:03am
Public_Defender:
Cornellian has a good point. For decades, many Republicans have used racism to court racist White voters. (Remember Ronald Reagan appealing to "state's rights" in the town where Medgar Evers was murdered or telling white parents he opposed sending their kids to schools where they would rub elbows with black kids).

From an amoral Lee-Atwater perspective, this made sense--there are more white voter than black voters. But it means that black conservatives have to hold their noses to join the Republican party, and that doesn't make recruiting them easier.

One of the things that made Clinton so attractive was that he combined a disdain for the South's racist past with support for economic development in poorer communities. Democrats need to find another candidate with that balance if they want to keep black conservatives from drifting elsewhere.
3.21.2006 9:08am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Man, even in a facetitious theft guide, the libertarian is truly the nice guy who finishes last. Let's all thank Bednarik for being, umm, crazy and unelectable.
3.21.2006 9:11am
EricRasmusen (mail) (www):
The L.A. Times argument: a black Republican must be a knave, because Republicans are less supportive of affirmative action (not "opposed to", alas), and hence he is voting against the interests of his class of people.

The same argument says: a white Democrat must be a knave, because Democrats are more supportive of affirmative action, and hence he is voting against the interests of his class of people.

Since there are more white Democrats than black Republicans, this argument helps Republicans more, it seems.
3.21.2006 9:14am
sbw (mail) (www):
Racism is ignorant overgeneralization. "Why Would Blacks Become Republican?" is an ignorant overgeneralization that skin color and thought are or ought to be inextricably entwined -- that is anathema to anyone who values clear thought -- and it says more about the speaker than answering the question would say about Blacks.
3.21.2006 9:18am
Flatlander100 (mail):
Wrong question, Professor V. Black Americans being citizens, voters, workers, consumers, and taxpayers like everyone else, the real question is, why should [or would] anyone become a Republican. The answer to that escapes me, as it has since Eisenhower left the Oval Office.
3.21.2006 9:19am
davidbernstein (mail):
I don't think these arguments are based on logic, but on (some) Democrats self-image that they are champions of the oppressed, and thus anyone who is oppressed must like the Democrats.

I don't have a cite, but I remember reading years ago that as late as the 1960s, people, Jew and Gentile (but mostly Jews), would criticize Milton Friedman for being a Republican, and thus betraying "his people." And I still meet Jews, of all ages (though especially the elderly) who are shocked at the idea of a Jewish Republican. I'm sure, in fact that this comment will attract trolls who will argue that this attitude is not only correct, but obvious.
3.21.2006 9:22am
davidbernstein (mail):
Oh, and there's an EXCELLENT reason for a black conservative, especially a political activist, to be a Republican: if you want the GOP to pay attention to the interests of African Americans, it's very helpful if there are some blacks in the party who are in the room when important decisions are made.
3.21.2006 9:24am
Steve:
Imagine that he thinks we're doing the right thing in Iraq, even if he thinks we may have made many missteps there.

I anxiously await the followup post, "Why would anyone think we're doing the right thing in Iraq?"
3.21.2006 9:26am
Xmas (mail) (www):
What happened to the Evil Twin storyline that was associated with this case?

Claude Allen has an identical twin brother that's always in trouble.
3.21.2006 9:40am
Robert Cote (mail) (www):
Anyone with a shred of moral decency reading the replies posted at huffington would at the very least run from the Democrat party possibly if they are of even higher ethical standing might swallow their doubts and turn a blind eye and join the Republican party just to oppose the vicious personal attacks seen there.

Perhaps when President Rice and her Vice President Watts take the oath in 2009 we can move past all this. Can't you just see the Dem nominees trying to attack that ticket?
3.21.2006 9:43am
Robert Cote (mail) (www):
Anyone with a shred of moral decency reading the replies posted at huffington would at the very least run from the Democrat party possibly if they are of even higher ethical standing might swallow their doubts and turn a blind eye and join the Republican party just to oppose the vicious personal attacks seen there.

Perhaps when President Rice and her Vice President Watts take the oath in 2009 we can move past all this. Can't you just see the Dem nominees trying to attack that ticket?
3.21.2006 9:43am
Cornellian (mail):
What happened to the Evil Twin storyline that was associated with this case?

Nah, the Evil Twin excuse was done to death in the 1980's and federal law now precludes it.
3.21.2006 9:57am
Guest2 (mail):

"Imagine that he thinks school choice programs, including those that would support parents who want to send their children to religious schools, are better than maintaining the government near-monopoly in education."


My (wholly impressionistic) sense is that quite a few African-American parents favor school choice.
3.21.2006 10:00am
Abe Delnore:
I haven't read the research Lindgren cites, but isn't it possible that those polled interpreted the question in a different way than is being assumed?

Everyone seems to be assuming that people who think "black innate disability" holds African-Americans back are really saying "blacks are born stupid and lazy." White people with such views might practice racial discrimination, avoid the company of blacks, burn crosses, etc.

But I wonder if some of the respondents interpreted the phrase "black innate disability" to include such features as being born into poverty or as part of a historically-mistreated ethnic group. Black Americans were thus dealt a bad hand at birth simply by being born black, even though they're as smart, hard-working, etc. as anyone else. White people who believe this sort of thing would tend to be the opposite of classical white racists inasmuch as at least some of them would support affirmative action, admire civil rights figures, give paid leave for Kwanzaa, etc.

So it may come down to what people perceive as "innate disability."

Maybe Lindgren will provide the exact questions.

—Abe Delnore
3.21.2006 10:02am
Justin (mail):
While I struggle to understand why anyone would be a Republican in the sense that Republican = supporting Bush's agenda (I know several Republicans who oppose Bush who I think I understand), I think Eugene's point otherwise makes sense, although....

....I can completely understand why a pro-wasteful spending, pro-expensive, meaningless war, pro-corruption, pro-life, pro-homophobia, pro-pushing their tax burden onto their children and the poor African American would still vote Democratic. After all, it wasn't Democrats who had a "well designed" and "strategic" (the "liberal" media is so useful at framing the issue in non-racist terms!) to go to exclusively African American districts and challenge voters and attempt to create long lines to disenfranchise them. Who go into inner city Baltimore and tell African Americans to vote on the wrong day, and that they can't vote if they have an outstanding parket ticket.

If the Republican party wants to attract African Americans despite being against their traditional platform, it's going to at least have to consider a strategy that isn't openly courting racists.
3.21.2006 10:03am
J Mann (mail):
I've never been sure why Republicans get so beaten up on the "code words" issue.

When Clinton dissed Sister Souljah in 92, everyone understood that he was signalling to white voters that he wasn't going to be unduly deferential to Jesse Jackson and the special interests he represented. However, I've never heard anyone (except me) suggest that Clinton was trading in racist "code words" or that thinking blacks should have voted for Perot.
3.21.2006 10:04am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Ditto. I suspect that black parents stand more to gain that any other group from widespread proliferation of school vouchers.
3.21.2006 10:05am
Justin (mail):
Anyone with a shred of moral decency reading the replies posted at (Free Republic/Little Green Footballs/RedState) would at the very least run from the (Republic? How do you butcher that exactly?) party possibly if they are of even higher ethical standing might swallow their doubts and turn a blind eye and join the (Democratic) party just to oppose the vicious personal attacks seen there.
3.21.2006 10:05am
Jeff the Baptist (mail) (www):
Libertarian: You're screwed, too much respect for property rights

Bah! You are so small minded.

Libertarian: Consider community/government property illegitimate, steal/abuse it liberally.

If you want the GOP to pay attention to the interests of African Americans, it's very helpful if there are some blacks in the party who are in the room when important decisions are made.

This is why Kweisi Mfume was kicked out of the NAACP. He actually thought there might be benefits to having Black Republicans.
3.21.2006 10:08am
Fede (mail):
Public_Defender wrote...

Remember Ronald Reagan telling white parents he opposed sending their kids to schools where they would rub elbows with black kids.

Cute. As the MAD Magazine feature used to go, "Only a Democrat could believe..." that the opposition to desegregation busing was racist. What the hell would you do if the district declared it was sending your kid to the worst school in the county for social engineering purposes? I keep hearing about 'racist code words' but they inevitably take a laughable conspiratorial air and usually boil down to that old chestnut 'disagreeing with me is racist'. Thankfully the courts have largely dismantled the practice, which was always a loser.
3.21.2006 10:11am
Cornellian (mail):
It seems to me that much of the argument on this point is really an argument about anything other than semantics.

Suppose one defines "conservative" in terms of a position on twenty issues. I won't try to list these 20 issues or what the conservative position on them is, since it doesn't matter for purposes of this illustration, but suppose if you take the conservative position on these 20 issues, then you're a conservative. Zero out of 20 and you're a liberal. Eighteen out of 20 and you're pretty conservative etc.

Now suppose you have a candidate who has a 20 out of 20 conservative score, and in addition to those 20 positions likes to boost his re-election chances through actively demonizing blacks. This could have been done overtly in the 1950's but has to be subtle today (you can still overtly demonize gays if you prefer them as targets over blacks). Now suppose you're a black voter who holds 18 out of 20 conservative positions.

Those who say "why wouldn't a black person be a conservative" are just asking why, if a black person agrees with 18 out of 20 positions of the candidate wouldn't it be legitimate for that person to call himself a conservative, a perfectly legitimate question. Those who say "how could a black person possibly be a conservative" are just asking "why would you support a candidate who gets elected by demonizing you?" Also a perfectly legitimate question. I doubt these are even contrary points rather than just looking at two aspects of the same thing.

All of these are oversimplifications since not every Republican is a conservative, nor is every Democrat a liberal, and the terms "conservative" and "liberal" are themselves very slippery and of no fixed meaning. Furthemore, race baiting is not automatically a conservative or liberal characteristic even if race baiting against blacks is currently more associated with Republicans than Democrats. Nevertheless this "argument" such as it is, seems to me nothing more than saying "why wouldn't I support a candidate who agrees with me on most issues" versus "why would you support a candidate who gets elected by demonizing people like you?" and those are not opposite sides of the same question but rather two different questions.
3.21.2006 10:12am
scepticalrepub:
I agree the broad brush ad hominums against black Republicans is racist and unfair. In this specific instance I think the critics have a fair point about someone with a peculiar mindset, i.e. someone wrapped too tight, that expressed their peculiar problems with some bizarre political choices. The comments above brought to mind an old Hunter S. Thompson artical about a fellow running something called the "Blacks for George Wallace" campaign while wearing a Pullman Porter uniform. I'd say the person Allen most resembles in recent history would be the FBI counter-terrorism chief Hansen, who turned out to be a KGB spy despite his fanatical conservative credentials, Opus Dei daily mass attendence, etc.
3.21.2006 10:14am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Justin,
"
Who go into inner city Baltimore and tell African Americans to vote on the wrong day, and that they can't vote if they have an outstanding parket ticket
"
Come on, are you seriously drinking that Codepink Kool-Aid? Institutional intimidation of black voters by Republicans is completely unsubstantiated, while incidents of voter intimidation exist on both sides. By painting this in equal terms, I'm being very generous to the Demcorats here.

Also, democratic AA and tax policy are profoundly harmful to African Americans. Both subsidize failure - and consequently encourage it. You are not going to have economic mobility in a group that the state falls over itself to babysit.
3.21.2006 10:16am
Cornellian (mail):
Scep that reminds me of some comedian (Franken?) who used to go around opening bank accounts with really odious organization names then writing political donations to politicians to see if they'd take the check. E.g. you send Ross Perot a political contribution from an organization called "Pedophiles for Perot" then see if anyone notices the name or just cashes the check and keeps the money.

Well I thought it was funny.
3.21.2006 10:19am
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Justin,

Let's not get started on inner city Baltimore. In 1998, then-governor Paris Glendening (Dem) ran ads against his Republican opponent, Ellen Sauerbrey, in which they discuss her stand on racial issues and just incidentally had an image of the KKK burning a cross in the background. Because you know, opposition to affirmative action and support of tax cuts is the same as being in the Klan!

Or, my personal favorite, it was uncovered that the local Democratic party would go to black churches on election day, take the people there on to buses, bus them to a city park where they were fed fried chicken, liquor (I seem to recall Colt 45 playing a role) and Watermellon (!!!!!!!) and then bring them to the polls to vote Dem. Sorry, but the white Dems in Maryland engage in plenty of racism and race-bating.
3.21.2006 10:25am
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
I think the surprise associated with the discovery that a black person or gay person is Republican has less to do with substantive policy positions of the parties (though that's not irrelevant) and more to do with the image the parties create for themselves. Regardless of whether you think affirmative action or welfare reform is good or bad for black people, the fact is that the Democrats have portrayed themselves publically as defenders of civil rights, whereas Republicans have downplayed the need for active means of eradicating racial inequality and exploited white voters' (both Dems and Reps) racism. The current Bush administration seems to be trying to get away from this history, but when GOP leaders like Trent Lott are publically whimsical about the possibility of a segregationist President Strom Thurmand, its clear that old habits die hard.

The same is true for gay issues. The national Democrats argue almost as forcefully as the Republicans to keep gays out of marriage, but the Democrats are much less likely to try to exploit anti-gay prejudices to their advantage whereas homophobic rhetoric has practically become a pillar of the Republican party.

So, I think people are surprised when blacks or gays say they vote Republican because the Republican party seems somewhat disinterested in getting their votes when they publically exploit racist and homophobic sentiments to win elections (though, as I said, I think they're trying to be more disciplined on the race front now).
3.21.2006 10:32am
Public_Defender:
Fede writes:
What the hell would you do if the district declared it was sending your kid to the worst school in the county for social engineering purposes?
In my town, the school district built a brand new school with fantastic teachers in the middle of a poor, almost entirely black neighborhood. White parents still didn't want to send their kids there. (Fortunately, my parents were different. They took advantage of the integration plan, so I was able to escape the mediocre school in my predominantly white neighborhood.)

And remember the parents in Boston? So yes, racism was a key motivation behind the anti-bussing movement that Reagan attached his name to. To use a double negative, no thoughtful person can say that racism had nothing to do with the anti-bussing movement (and the Republican anti-bussing message).

I am not saying that all Republicans are racist or that the Democratic party is free from racism. But Republicans will have trouble attracting African American voters as long as the party continues to deny its very recent history of appealing to white racists.
3.21.2006 10:34am
Fitz (mail) (www):
Question: Why would blacks become Republicans?
Answer: Because the black illegitimacy rate stands at 68% &the Democrats are the home of the cultural left. (&its nefarious campaign for gay "marriage")
3.21.2006 10:38am
Frank Drackman (mail):
I think Blacks don't vote republican just because theyre too stupid to recognize how bad the democrats screw them. Democrats haven't nominated a black supreme court justice since the 60's, the Tuskeegee experiment was begun under the democrats and ended unded the republicans, Bill Clinton makes a special flight back to Arkansas to ensure some mentally retarded Black prisoner is executed on time, yet most of them believe AIDS and crack cocaine was an invention of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms to keep blacks in their place. I'm glad they don't vote republican. They'll be replaced by the hispanics in short order anyway.
3.21.2006 10:39am
Justin (mail):
Gene, calling someone a member of the KKK, while probably slander, is hardly racist, and is neither here nor there. If all your point was, is that Maryland politics is so effed up that the GOP goes all out in its disenfranchising blacks thing, and the Democratic party goes all out in its "Republicans are racist thing", then I'd have to say the latter is well justified.

Mike, the instances I was referring to were well documented and highly reported. If those examples don't work, how about how the Republican-led Georgia Legislature passed a law that was TWICE struck down by the DOJ for violating the Voting Rights Act, and that decision was then TWICE overruled by the White House (and then THAT decision was ONCE overruled by the very conservative 11th Circuit). When I can't see through the smoke, there HAS to be fire.
3.21.2006 10:39am
Justin (mail):
Thanks Frank, for your illuminating commentary.
3.21.2006 10:40am
Kevin Lynch (mail):

But surprisingly 70% of the people voted for it. 55% voted for Bush. Which means at least 15% of the people voting for Kerry voted for this ammendment.


It's substantially higher than 15%. If 100% of the 55% who voted for Bush voted for the amendment, then at least 33% of the 45% who voted for Kerry also had to vote for it. (0.7 = 1.0 x 0.55 + D x 0.45 ... solve for D:-) 1 in 3 Kerry voters. And if your 10% of pro-Bush voters voted against the amendment, then a whopping 45% of the pro-Kerry voters would have had to support it.

I don't know who voted for or against the amendment, nor do I know whether it says anything at all about African American conservatism, but in any case, the pro amendment vote had to include a very sizeable fraction of the pro-Kerry vote.
3.21.2006 10:41am
Cornellian (mail):
I think Blacks don't vote republican just because theyre too stupid to recognize how bad the democrats screw them.



This might explain the lack of success of Republican outreach efforts.....
3.21.2006 10:43am
Opus (mail):
Though sometimes ambivelant and non-plussed with the Republican Party, baseball's Jackie Robinson supported Nixon and Goldwater, and worked on Nelson Rockefeller Republican Presidential bid.
3.21.2006 10:48am
Houston Lawyer:
While I don't have any statistics to support it, I believe that Blacks attend church at rates higher than the general population. Every Black preacher I have ever listened to preaches old time religion, no liberation theology from the pulpit. Consequently, I believe a large number of Blacks would agree with conservatives on most moral issues. I also believe that no group suffers more from the incompetence of our inner city school systems than Blacks.

When pressed, Blacks and Republicans can make common cause. They did so in Texas on the SSM constitutional amendment. It would be great if those two groups could work together to support school vouchers.
3.21.2006 10:48am
brian h (mail):
Abe--

The actual survey question was:

"On the average (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) have worse jobs, income, and housing than white people.

"On the average, do you think those differences are...

A. Mainly due to discrimination
B. Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) have less in-born ability to learn?
C. Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) don't have the chance for education that it takes to rise out of poverty?
D. Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) just don't have the motivation or will power to pull themselves up out of poverty?"

So, while there are still possible non-racist interpretations of a "yes" answer for 'B', it would seem that the poverty issue is mainly covered in a different option 'C'.
3.21.2006 10:49am
Richard Bellamy (mail):
Has a black person who was not an incumbent ever won a contested Republican primary in any statewide or federal primary election?

I believe the answer to that question is "No."

If I'm a black guy, and there's a party that never voted to elect a new black guy in a contested primary, that's probably a strike against that party as far as I'm concerned.
3.21.2006 10:52am
Fitz (mail) (www):
If the discussion has shifted from "why would blacks vote Republican?" to "why do black continue to support democrats?"

Well, I believe the answer to be multifold and innocuous. They see it in their interests. Both parties have done little to stem the establishment of a permanent underclass. The Democrats are better at supporting the few measures that remain, like the social safety net &affirmative action.

Furthermore: (and more importantly I think) they have a cultural legacy of voting Democrat. It took years for the Catholic vote to migrate to the Republicans. Party identity is seen as part &parcel of racial identity. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Look at the uniform Jewish vote.

I also believe this is smart politics. Blacks know that they are a minority. If they split their vote they dilute what power they have. What's the famous civil rights refrain: "a people united never be defeated".
3.21.2006 10:53am
brian h (mail):
Challenge: How many levels of irony can be found in Frank's last post?
3.21.2006 10:56am
Perry (mail):
I find it really entertaining while reading the responses over there at Huffington - that people can actually sit there and justify being so hateful about "Republicans" because they are hateful about black/brown/whatever people. Basically, they are trying to say, we blanketly hate X people because they blanketly hate Y people, but my hatred is better than their hatred because I am enlightened.
3.21.2006 10:57am
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Perry--I'm not defending any particular comments at Huffington, but I believe there is a big and important difference between expressing antipathy toward a political movement and expressing antipathy toward a race. And one is more "enlightened" that the other.
3.21.2006 11:02am
CJColucci (mail):
Here's a thought: if we want to know why blacks don't vote Republican despite all the reasons some white Republicans think they should, why don't we ask them? You do know some, don't you?
3.21.2006 11:10am
Frank Drackman (mail):
Irony is Blacks supporting Liberal Democrats, who support abortion, which has reduced the Black population by millions since 1973. Its also a traffic jam when youre already late, a no smoking sign on your cigerette break, 10,000 spoons when you just need a knife, and meeting the man of my dreams..then his beautiful wife.
3.21.2006 11:14am
Freder Frederson (mail):
Irony is Blacks supporting Liberal Democrats, who support abortion, which has reduced the Black population by millions since 1973.

So are you saying that evil, white, liberal Democrats are rounding up poor, innocent, pregnant black women and forcing them to get abortions. That these black women don't want abortions, but only get them because the the white liberal establihment has duped them into having them? That they are too stupid to make up their own minds?

How blatantly racist can you get? No wonder there aren't more Black Republicans. You think that Black people are mindless tools of the white, liberal establishment.
3.21.2006 11:36am
Nick (www):
One might even refer to such a person as a "maverick". Oh wait... only Democrats can be called that.
3.21.2006 11:48am
James Lindgren (mail):
Bob,

Here is the info you requested.

The GSS is the most widely used database in Sociology, except for the US Census.

The most useful GSS site is this one:

http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/GSS/

At that website, you can view the GSS codebook through 2000 (the "search" tab), and you can "analyze" some data from 1972-2004 yourself (though without the more precise recommended household sampling weights I use). Tom Smith and James A. Davis have a short paperback available at Amazon on how to use the GSS.

Also, recoding and combining categories is somewhat cumbersome at that site I linked.

Among the variables I used in my posts were RACE, PARTYID, POLVIEWS, RACMAR, RACDIF2, YEAR, and ADULTS. If you want to break down by region, use REGION.

You can also download data at that site (the "extract" tab), but you need to know which variables to ask for.

Or, from most universities, you can download the entire GSS 1972-2004 cumulative datafile from the ICPSR at Michigan.

Oh, Bob, on another of your points: By "significantly less," I mean statistically significantly less. Usually, I use something like "meaningful" or "not meaningful" to express your point (i.e., significant differences that are not large enough to be substantively meaningful). I would certainly agree that these are small differences, but that the direction of the differences is opposite to the ones assumed in the general public is the striking thing, not their size, which are indeed quite small.
3.21.2006 12:02pm
James Lindgren (mail):
Brett Bellmore wrote:

James, I suppose there's a shortage of black Republicans to compare them to, but how do the racial attitudes of black Democrats stack up? It's my casual impression that, despite definitions of 'racism' intended to make black racism logically contradictory, it's actually quite common.


Response:

What would be your test of black racism: thinking blacks have less inborn disability, having low opinions of the behavior or intelligence of whites, opposing racial intermarriage? Even assuming that black racism is possible as a theoretical matter (and I certainly do), how would you measure it?

In other words, which kind of black racism did you have in mind and think is present?
3.21.2006 12:08pm
Frank Drackman (mail):
Oh the Humanity! I'm just pointing out that when it comes to crapping in the AfricanAmericans punch bowl, no one does it like the Democrats. It wasn't racist republicans who let blacks walk around with untreated syphillis for 40 years.
3.21.2006 12:16pm
Commenterlein (mail):
James,

My intuitive guess is that the statistical correlation between racist attitutes and being a Democrat is caused by omitted controls for inccome and wealth.

My recollection is that poorer people are more likely to show racist attitudes, and that poorer people are more likely to register and vote Democratic.

The real question the becomes whether racial attitudes differ between Democracts and Republicans holding wealth and income levels constant. Has anyone looked into this question?
3.21.2006 12:28pm
Commenterlein (mail):
The question for Eugene would be whether he would consider voting for politicians or a party whch for fourty years has used anti-Jewish advertisements and codes in their election campaigns.

I suspect he wouldn't.
3.21.2006 12:30pm
Russ (mail):
Hey Justin,

Would you please cite evidence saying that Republicans were telling people that they needed to vote on a different day. First, I've heard that urban legend since the '80s, and no one can ever give me proof. Second, one would hope that people would be smart enough to realize that election day is always the first tuesday following the first monday in November...as it has been for over 200 years.

You sound like a true partisan when you bring unsubstantiated allegations. You say, "It has been well documented." Fine, show it to me. I can say, "It has been well documented that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster killed," but I sound like a fruitloop without proof(of which, of course, there is none).

Still, you have managed to illustrate the basic difference in the thinking of the two parties:
Republicans think Democrats are dumb or naive
Democrats tend to think Republicans are evil

It's hard to have a debate when that is the frame of reference, as yours appears to be.
3.21.2006 12:44pm
gasman (mail):
Become a black conservative because the liberals and democrats have held you back all these years. These groups pitch their wares to the poor and downtrodden. The modus operandi of these groups is to offer something free in exchange for continued loyalty. Only thing is that everything free in life has a cost. The cost of 'free' as it is proferred by the liberal and democratic method is that specific disincentives are built in to the financial aid. Welfare programs a designed to be ineffective at advancing people out of spiritual, emotional, educational and financial poverties.

By cripling the very base of poor that they seek to serve they preserve the voting base that they have.

The conservatives too need new members in their ranks. There is no need to give the uber rich a greater leg up to prevent them from defecting to the liberal side. But there is opportunity to recruit new members. Effective social programs, lifting people out of the poverty of spirit, education and material goods is a certain means of gaining a new voter.

Liberals gain new voters merely by waiting for the poor to reproduce at rates twice the conservatives, and promoting social programs that keep these new members well entrenched in the cycle of poverty.
3.21.2006 12:49pm
Jerome C. Austriaco (mail) (www):
As alluded to in a couple previous comments, the level of discourse in the Huffington Post's comments section is quite telling...
3.21.2006 12:51pm
Brett Bellmore (mail):

Even assuming that black racism is possible as a theoretical matter (and I certainly do), how would you measure it?


I suppose exactly the same way you'd measure white racism: Determining the extent to which people use race as a proxy for individual characteristics which aren't biologically correlated, "Oh, he's black? I bet he has dark skin!" isn't racist...) and a proper basis for differential treatment, both public and private.

And, yes, by this standard affirmative action is racist as can be. Because it just happens that it is racist to give a recent immigrant from Jamaca a leg up over the son of an Apalacian coal miner solely because of skin color.
3.21.2006 12:57pm
Frank Drackman (mail):
91 Democrats voted against the Civil Rights act of 1964, only 31 Republicans did. I'm still outraged at the execution of Mookie Williams in California, I don't care what crimes he was convicted of, he was one of the greatest centerfielders in NewYork Mets history. Arnold should have cut him some slack.
3.21.2006 1:05pm
Justin (mail):
Frank Drackman, looking the Civil Rights Act voting patterns to tell us about the post-Southern Strategy Republican and Democratic parties is a useless endeavor. I think you'll find many in agreement that the old Southern Democrats were racist, but most Democrats would argue that these vote Republican in aggregate these days.
3.21.2006 1:10pm
Bobbie:
What was the complete breakdown of the answers to the question? Several of the answers are "racist," and the 9 and 14 percent are a small portion of the groups. So, for example, if 80% of white republicans think blacks have less "success" than whites because they don't have the necessary will power, then I think it would be hard to claim that white republicans are less racist than white democrats. How did the rest of the sample size vote?
3.21.2006 1:13pm
RPS (mail):
Did anyone check out the comments to Volokh's Huffington Post piece? (I didn't wade through these comments so maybe someone already commented on it.) Who reads that thing? I thought the argument based on his being a "scumbag" was particularly insightful.
3.21.2006 1:15pm
Robert Cote (mail) (www):
Frank,
Being a NYMets centerfielder is considered a capital crime in more than just California. Thanks for the best laugh of the day.
3.21.2006 1:17pm
Visitor Again:
Here's a thought: if we want to know why blacks don't vote Republican despite all the reasons some white Republicans think they should, why don't we ask them? You do know some, don't you?

I've lived with a black woman for 17 years, and I've lived and/or worked among black people in South Los Angeles for a lot longer than that. I suppose anything that I have heard is anecdotal, but one thing might be worth mentioning even in the absence of a scientific survey of black folks.

In more recent political conversations, the black people I know have raised over and over again their perception that the Republican Party improperly disenfranchised large numbers of black voters in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. One might say well that's just some officials in Florida. But Florida is identified sith the Bushes and the Bushes with the Republican Party, and Florida was, of course, crucial in that election. Some said it was no different than the old days when the Democrats prevented blacks from registering to vote in the Deep South.

My impression is that among many black voters there is a threshold that even the most conservative views will not carry them across--and that is their perception that the Republican Party does not accord black people the basic respect of an equal right to vote. It's a nonstarter, so to speak, and trumps everything else. It's also the kind of thing that will be remembered for a long time; it's not easily undone. The same is true of any kind of disrespect to black people as black people; it's noticed and it has consequences.
3.21.2006 1:30pm
Frank Drackman (mail):
That old racist southern democrat John F. Kennedy voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which passed with a republican majority and was signed into law by a republican president.
3.21.2006 1:34pm
SenatorX (mail):
I just wish there were more black, atheist, libertarian members of any party...but hey that's just me.
3.21.2006 1:36pm
Frank Drackman (mail):
My bad, Mookie WILSON, the allstar Mets centerfielder who, with the Mets one pitch away from elimination, hit a groundball through Bill Buckners legs, was NOT executed in California. He is infact, alive and well and managing the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets farm team. In 12 seasons he hit .274 with 67 Homeruns, 438 RBI, and 327 stolen bases.
3.21.2006 1:51pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
I think the real reason that there are less black Republicans than white ones are that poor and middle class black folks are on the whole a whole lot smarter and less gullible than white ones. They have been promised so many things over the years (get on this boat and pick cotton for us and we will save your eternal soul; once you are free we will give you forty acres and a mule; separate but equal), they are less willing to buy the nonsense the Republicans are selling.

And it is nonsense. Over the last twenty five years the Republicans have recruited legions of middle class to poor whites by claiming to be the party of moral values. They have promised to return morality and God to the country. They have hardly succeeded and, in fact all the evils the Moral Majority complained about in 1980, from the breakdown of the family and pornography and homosexuality, are more accepted and mainstream, and making major corporations tons of money. And then there is economic policy, how dumb can you be to vote for people who keep delivering tax cuts to people who don't need them while at the same time cutting vital programs that benefit the middle classes and plunge the country deeper into debt. Then you see the very same people institute a reckless foreign policy where the only people required to make any real sacrifice are the very same people whose unions and job security have been destroyed.

Yeah, the real question is why are white people who make less than $100,000 a year so stupid that they vote Republican.
3.21.2006 1:51pm
rayabacus:
I actually do know several black Republicans and am currently dating a black woman. Since I am not a Republican (more of an Independent/Libertarian) you can imagine some of the conversations we have. She is the product of the black inner cities of Cleveland and Detroit and has related many stories of how she must defend herself as a Republican to family and friends.

What she relates to me (NOT WHAT I SAY) is that a majority of blacks she knows are basically ignorant of politics, per se. She says that "party affiliation" is 90% cultural. "It's how the family has always voted." She says that when she speaks of "The Party of Lincoln" and the "Civil Rights Act", that the common response is, "I didn't know that". She, and her family, are deeply religious. And they (her family) are conflicted by their party loyalties and the position the Democratic Party has on abortion and gay marriage. One item they tend to agree on - school vouchers. It sort of reaches across any cultural or Party divides.

As an aside, her personal anecdotes on racism encapsulates the entire spectrum. She encounters it daily from all sectors, including the racist blacks. Not institutional, just individual racists.
3.21.2006 2:13pm
Mikeyes (mail):
I have to agree that the reason identified ethnic or cultural groups vote as a block has more to do with family, church, and history than it does with the issues. My family, Irish Catholic to the core, were Yellow Dog Democrats until my parents generation and then, as the family income rose and the Irish became less identifiable as a cultural group, the family split into two political camps.

Other groups, including the majority of Blacks, are in the same boat of solidarity due to immigrant status, economic status, or religious affiliation. Just because you are identified with one or the other party doesn't mean you will vote that way if there are local factors.

Take the above mentioned George Wallace. To anyone who witnessed the stand at the University or Alabama or the Selma march, Wallace is evil incarnate and the symbol of segregation. Yet in his later runs for the governor's office he received a substantial number of black votes after he deliberatly went out and campaigned for them. The reason for this? Wallace was, at heart, a Jim Folsom moderate. He made sure that blacks were made part of the government, that teachers were paid better, and that social programs were well funded. It turns out that early in his career he was on the board of Tuskeegee institute at his request because he felt it was am important thing for him to do (and he was looking for black votes.) It was only after he made his Faustian deal with segregation after losing to the KKK backed candidate, that he changed.

I think that a lot of black voters in Alabama knew this (if not, Wallace made sure that they did) and decided to vote for him, even if he was the lesser of two evils.

Speaking of that, when I grew up in Nashville, no black person ran for city council in the black districts. I remember asking my dad why Gene "Little Evil" Jacobs (a white man) kept winning the seat. My dad told me that he won because the other white man that usually ran against him was so corrupt that Jacobs was the "lesser of two evils" hence his nickname (which he used on his campaign posters.) In the 60's things changed and the candidates were no longer the product of the Democrat machine.

There is power in solidarity and that power often controls the local politics. Why should someone give up that power just because they don't agree with everything that is being said on the national level?
3.21.2006 2:14pm
James Lindgren (mail):
Commenterlein wrote:

My intuitive guess is that the statistical correlation between racist attitutes and being a Democrat is caused by omitted controls for inccome and wealth.

My recollection is that poorer people are more likely to show racist attitudes, and that poorer people are more likely to register and vote Democratic.

The real question the[n] becomes whether racial attitudes differ between Democracts and Republicans holding wealth and income levels constant.


Response:

My recollection is that education does indeed acoount for a lot of this, as you speculate and as I think I mentioned somewhere in recent comments.

But Republicans are better educated and (by most measures) less racist. Using education as a control might tell us WHY Republicans are less racist, but it wouldn't make actual Republicans any less or more racist. It would be interesting to understand why Republicans and Democrats are the way they are, but it doesn't change what they are.

In essence, using controls are a form of counterfactual: If Democrats were as well educated as Republicans, would they be as tolerant? Perhaps; it wouldn't surprise me if that were true. But Democrats aren't as well educated as Republicans and (perhaps accordingly) aren't as tolerant.

I would keep these questions conceptually distinct: whether Dems & Reps think differently, and why they think differently.
3.21.2006 2:28pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
The only pro athlete that I know to have been executed, was Colombian defender (Soccer) Andres Escobar, who scored an own goal, following which he was accosted in the parking lot by some dudes, and umm, shot. The only reason I'm reminded of this now, is that you mentioned Buckner. If anyone had it coming...
3.21.2006 2:28pm
Kazinski:
The reason liberals like to label Black Republicans as race traitors is because liberals have a need to see themselves as do-gooders fighting evil. Therefore if you are on the other side then you must be evil. And since the typical evil Republican is white middle aged, and blacks are presumably the good guys being oppressed by evil then those blacks that have crossed over to the dark side are traitors as well.

It is the same mechanism at work as with Eugene's excellent post about the "dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe." http://volokh.com/posts/1139878045.shtml (for some reason it didn't like it as a link)
3.21.2006 2:45pm
Commenterlein (mail):
James,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply. I essentially agree with what you are saying, but want to add a thought to the following statement of yours:

"In essence, using controls are a form of counterfactual: If Democrats were as well educated as Republicans, would they be as tolerant? Perhaps; it wouldn't surprise me if that were true. But Democrats aren't as well educated as Republicans and (perhaps accordingly) aren't as tolerant."

I don't want to start a discussion on semantics, but using controls is somewhat different from discussing a counterfactual: The reason is that there are many Democrats and Republicans at any level of wealth, income, or education. Hence controlling for these other determinants when correlating racist attitudes with party affiliation does not amount to some out-of-sample projection of the attitudes of actually non-existent well-educated Democrats.

Instead, the question you are able to ask using the other controls is the following: Take two individuals with the same level of wealth, income, and education, but different party affiliation. Who is more likely to be racist - the Democrat or the Republican?

I believe that this is the most interesting question to ask (and I understand that you disagree), and it is clear that the data you have cited does not answer that question. My semi-educated guess is that, based on the known correlations between the mentioned controls and racist attitudes, the answer is likely to show that Democrats are ceteris paribus less racist than Republicans.
3.21.2006 2:48pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
But Republicans are better educated and (by most measures) less racist.

But Republicans, by definition, must be racist. It is an indisputable fact that blacks are more likely to be poor, incarcerated, poorly educated, and dependent on social welfare programs. According to the Republicans, this state of affairs cannot be due to a lack of opportunity. The Republicans are always telling us that this is a land of opportunity and those who don't succeed have no one to blame but themselves. Everyone in this country has the same opportunity to excel and go to Yale and become President no matter what their background. If they don't succeed, it is not because of their circumstances, it is because they are lazy, stupid, or relied too much on welfare and handouts. Therefore, black people must be, by their very nature lazy, stupid and too ready to rely on welfare and handouts.

Or do I misunderstand the Republican message?
3.21.2006 2:56pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
Freder -


[Republicans] keep delivering tax cuts to people who don't need them while at the same time cutting vital programs that benefit the middle classes and plunge the country deeper into debt.


Come again? I'm hard pressed to think of a single "vital program" that's been cut (and even harder pressed to imagine why cutting such programs would plunge us further into debt).

- Alaska Jack
3.21.2006 2:56pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
My family, Irish Catholic to the core, were Yellow Dog Democrats until my parents generation and then, as the family income rose and the Irish became less identifiable as a cultural group, the family split into two political camps.

Catholics are a particularly interesting group of converts, as it were, to Republicanism. Except for the sole issue of abortion (and possibly issues dealing with homosexuality), almost every other social, economic, and foreign policy issue the Catholich Church is much closer to the Democrats than the Republicans.
3.21.2006 3:06pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Come again? I'm hard pressed to think of a single "vital program" that's been cut (and even harder pressed to imagine why cutting such programs would plunge us further into debt).

Medicaid and Student loans most recently. Environmental protection, OSHA enforcement, FEMA---I could go on and on. And it is not the programs but the tax cuts that are plunging us into debt. And don't give me the fairy tale about how lower taxes lead to increased revenue. The simple fact is that no reasonable, sane, person can make the budget numbers add up. Any budget projection that uses realistic numbers shows that while the short term deficit may shrink (although never by the 50% the president promises), after 2009 it will explode. That is reckless, irresponsible economic policy, instituted by people who simply don't care about this country's future.
3.21.2006 3:15pm
Paul McKaskle (mail):
When I looked at Eugene Volokh's post on the Huffington blog and looked at the comments which followed, I was shocked at the number of bigoted ad hominum attacks that were posted. If that is typical of the Huffington audience, they are a pretty sad bunch of people.

As to the crime that Allen is alleged to have committed, it seems somewhat analagous to the crime of shoplifting. While some shoplifters do it for economic gain, there are a fair number--usually middle-class and (possibly) predominately women--who do so because of unresolved psychological problems. When I practiced law many years ago I became aware of this when I had a couple of clients in this precise situation. The resolution of the "crime" came in psychological counselling, not jail time. Whether this would explain what Allen is alleged to have done, I don't know, but given the paltry gain and the huge loss of status involved, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be the case. (However, I don't think the psychological problem would have been caused by trying to be a conservative while being a black.)
3.21.2006 3:15pm
Adam (mail):
I think the obvious answer to Prof. Volokh's query is that many liberals do not believe that Republicans hold the views that Volokh suggests in good faith. They believe that it's a conscious rationalization for screwing over the working and middle classes.
3.21.2006 3:24pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
While some shoplifters do it for economic gain, there are a fair number--usually middle-class and (possibly) predominately women--who do so because of unresolved psychological problems.

Well, there you go, if a poor black kid steals a coat from Target because he is cold, he is a thief who deserves jail time. If a desperate housewife steals the very same coat she merely has "unresolved psychological problems" and deserves our sympathy, support, and counseling and no jail time or criminal record. Sounds like racism to me.
3.21.2006 3:24pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
They believe that it's a conscious rationalization for screwing over the working and middle classes.

More than a rationalization. We (or I at least) believe Republicans are deliberately lying to the middle and working classes to get them to vote for Republicans so they can implement policies that are directly detrimental to the working and middle classes.
3.21.2006 3:28pm
Parker (mail) (www):
Frank -

There is a new law in your district - you need to cancel your voter registration, and get newly registered by filling out an employment application form at the nearest 7-11 store.

It's a little known part of the Motor-Voter legislation. Don't ask the clerks about it - the kids behind the counter aren't briefed on in, being mostly dope smoking hippies and foreigners, anyway.
3.21.2006 4:03pm
Taimyoboi:
"...almost every other social, economic, and foreign policy issue the Catholich Church is much closer to the Democrats than the Republicans."

Far from it Mr. Frederson. The Catholic Church's positions don't really cut so neatly along political divides. However, this quote from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, would suggests something contrary to your belief:

"Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."

Or if you consider his views to be too conservative to represent the Catholic Church, then from the USCC:

"...We encourage and will continue to work with those in both parties who seek to act on these essential principles in defense of the poor and vulnerable.

At the same time, we also need to reaffirm the Catholic Church's constant teaching that abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right * the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess."

While the Democratic party may be more in line with the Catholic Church's teachings regarding a number of issues, its not simply the count that matters, but the weight of those issues. The Church considers issues like abortion or euthanasia to be far more grave and fundamental than prudential judgments regarding the proper structuring of welfare.
3.21.2006 4:04pm
Houston Lawyer:
It appears to be lost on many posting here that not all poor and middle class people believe that the government owes them benefits. These people know people who receive said benefits and they have seen the often detrimental effects thereof. Many of the poor and middle class don't revel in the class hatred espoused by the left either. They aspire to live the good life as well and don't like the idea of people being told what to do with their money.

The seething resentment against Republicans espoused on this string seems to rival that of the Islamists in both its intensity and logic. All government programs (except defense) are sacred and your money belongs to the government, except what the government allows you to keep.

One of the most beneficial things done in the last two decades for the poor was the welfare reform bill signed by President Clinton.
3.21.2006 4:10pm
Justin (mail):
JL,

I think that there's a missing dimension from this discussion, one that involves power coalitions and interest groups.

We're currently discussing Republicans and Democrats like they're a diverse but still relevantly homogoneous bunch. But what Republicans and Democrats are in real life are coalitions of voting groups.

For example/hypo, let's assume there are 3 or 4 "interests" that make up the Republican party: Tax Cutters, Moral Enforcers, Property Righters, and NeoCons. Let's say there are 3 or Democratic interests: Social Liberals, Unionists, Welfarists, and Greens. (Note also that individuals can be part of multiple identities, and, indeed, can be part of multiple identities across party lines - swing voters, as sort.

Clearly its somewhat more complex, but this is good for now. The Tax Cutters, Propery Righters, Social Liberals, and Greens may be less racist than the Moral Enforcers, NeoCons, Unionists, and Welfarists. And there may br more Property Righters and Tax Cutters than Social Liberals and Greens, meaning that racists make up less of a share of the party. But that doesn't make the party less racist, because what matters here is the margins, the 51%. Republicans have to attract a coalition made up of people with ranging sympathies - people who have one foot in the Moral Enforcer camp and another in the Unionist Camp (See Ohio). If Republicans' ties to that camp involve tolerance or even encouragement of racism, they should rightfully be declared the more racist party and criticized for such behavior, even if their ultimate coalition has less racists in it.

One reason the math here seems to be "wait a minute" is because, up until now, I've left out one critical voting block: African Americans themselves. Because (for good reason) Republicans don't consider them a swing vote, and because, outside race, African Americans have demographic characteristics that favor the Democratic party, generally, Republicans rely on a supermajority of White Voters. In doing so, they're much more willing to appeal to the racism of swing voters and to their get out the vote efforts. Democrats don't, indeed they cannot, because in order to win they need a substantial minority of white voters plus a quorum of black voters. This is the Southern Strategy personafied.

The result is that Republicans are left with a choice. They can abandon the racists in an appeal to get a larger percentage of black voters, which may be an effective long term strategy but is disasterous short term, since they're destabilizing a successful coalition in order to work over an unappealable subgroup that is already suspicious and hostile - or they can continue to court the racists. While some black conservatives understand the "strategic" nature of the second decision, and are willing to vote for Republicans anyway, most understandably do not - which is why the Republican party continues to do atrociously with Republicans despite the somewhat better financial situation of Blacks, and why the Republican party, the party that to this day is the party of Trent Lott, Strom Thurmand, Jesse Helms, that Louisiana Congressman whose name I can't think of, etc. - correctly and accurately gets the racist logo.

In another way - Ann Coulter often says horrible things. Jesse Jackson often says horrible things (I'm Jewish). Most would love to say, when hearing some of the things they say, "Oh, she's just a looney, she doesn't speak for the party." The problem becomes that these people become core to their political strategies. And the Ann Coulters of the world are more anti-black than the Jesse Jacksons, even if neither are representative of the rank and files.
3.21.2006 4:23pm
Proud to be a liberal :

What I found most amazing in this whole blog is that no one has mentioned the fact that according to polls African Americans' negative views of President Bush have dramatically increased since Hurricane Katrina. The fact that the President (and the leadership of the US government) did not know of the suffering by African Americans at the convention center was amazing. The story that Bush had to be shown a cd-rom of evening news casts so that he could get what was going on is amazing.

The Republican party has been known to appeal to racists even in this century, by raising issues like the Confederate flag --when of course the greatest American Republican President was Abraham Lincoln.
3.21.2006 4:42pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
Reading through this thread has left me depressed.

I guess I thought that the "Republican/Conservative = Evil/Racist" theme had pretty much lost traction; and, while one can of course oppose conservative or libertarian ideas on a wide range of grounds, it was now accepted that one can hold those ideas simply because one legitimately believes they are the best way to order a society for the benefit of all.

Frankly, it's dismaying to see a bunch of readers of this blog -- who I generally consider a pretty smart bunch -- chiming in to announce otherwise. It would make me feel better to hear from a few of you who *don't* hear racist code words in every Republican campaign commercial, or who understand why a parent might want their kids to attend their local community school for reasons unrelated to a fear of other skin colors. Or am I mistaken, and is the pendulum truly swinging back to that sort of crude, mid-1980s perception of conservatism?

- Alaska Jack
3.21.2006 4:43pm
R. Gould-Saltman (mail):
I'm staying out of this one, except in regard to the "Republicans steal from rate-payers/investors, not from K-Mart" sub-thread: my recollection is that a certain Republican Vice-President resigned in part due to evidence that he'd taken bribes/pay-offs which came to less than $30,000. Even in 1960's dollars, that's chump change in exchange for your soul, and the chance to run the U.S. (if he'd out-stayed Tricky D, he'd have been President!)


rfgs
3.21.2006 4:44pm
Wrigley:
Houston Lawyer,


The seething resentment against Republicans espoused on this string seems to rival that of the Islamists in both its intensity and logic.


How could I have missed the parallels before? Oh wait, maybe because resentment against republicans hasn't caused me to crash a plane into a building. That might be it.
3.21.2006 4:57pm
Stan Peterson (mail):
I find it amazing that the Democrats are so successful in propaganda that they can sell snowballs to Eskimos. Wirtness the reality:

Why would any Black Person support a Party of the Black Slaveholders?

A Party that fought Abolition?

A Party that promoted Civil War in defense of Black Slavery?

A Party that precipated 600,000 deaths in a nation of 25 millions in defesne of Balck subjugation?

A Party that fought Reconstruction and extinquished Blacks right to vote after fighting the adoption of the XIII Amendment eliminating Slavery?

A Party that passed the "Jim Crow Laws" in the first place?

A Party that advanced the proposition of Plessey Ferguson, and lawful American Apartheid?

A Party that sureptitiously supported the Klu Klux Klan and had many members nas officeholders? (A remaining remnant is Democrat Senator Byrd of West Virginia? But there were many others too, including Democrat Supreme Court Justices.)

A party that opposed Civil rights for Blacks?

A Party that opposed integration of the Armed Forces?

A Party that filibustered civil rights laws?

A Party that finally had a bare majority join the overwhelming majority of Republicans to extinquish the Democrat-led filibuster?

A Party that finally had a bare majority join the overwhelming majority of Republicans and pass the Civil rights and Voting rights laws of the '60s?

A Party that finally had a Black elected to the Senate after numerous Republican Black Senators the last of which was Ed Brooke of Massachusetts?

A Party that has no real Blacks in positions of power except as tokens?

A Party who actively supports racism and division as way to get political power?

Frankly I'm ammazed that the Democrats get more than one percent of the Black vote!
3.21.2006 4:59pm
Kazinski:
Freder:

We (or I at least) believe Republicans are deliberately lying to the middle and working classes to get them to vote for Republicans so they can implement policies that are directly detrimental to the working and middle classes.


If you are right then that is a scathing indictment of Republicans. To think we could be so incompetent as to leave blacks better off, and actually gaining on whites. We are so pathetic that we let real median household income (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104552.html) rise 38% for blacks between 1972 and 2001, while it rose only 22% for whites and hispanics. Now I realize that there were democratic administrations 40% of that time but that isn't much of an excuse.

Perhaps we can make up for it by increasing racial quotas(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147493,00.html). That would be much more effective at holding minorities down than what we've been doing.
3.21.2006 5:06pm
Wrigley:
Stan,

To repeat the gist of many posts above, you, of course, ignore the fact that the Southern democrats who fillibustered civil rights legislation were conservative democrats whose constituents (after the implementation of the Southern Strategy) now vote Republican.

A more apt litany, would be to take your list and substitute the words, "A Party" with "An ideological movement," or more specifically, "Conservatism, an ideological movement that . . .


fought Abolition?

promoted Civil War in defense of Black Slavery?

precipated 600,000 deaths in a nation of 25 millions in defesne of Balck subjugation?

fought Reconstruction and extinquished Blacks right to vote after fighting the adoption of the XIII Amendment eliminating Slavery?

passed the "Jim Crow Laws" in the first place?

advanced the proposition of Plessey Ferguson, and lawful American Apartheid?

sureptitiously supported the Klu Klux Klan and had many members nas officeholders? (A remaining remnant is Democrat Senator Byrd of West Virginia? But there were many others too, including Democrat Supreme Court Justices.)

opposed Civil rights for Blacks?

opposed integration of the Armed Forces?

filibustered civil rights laws?

finally had a bare majority join the overwhelming majority of Republicans to extinquish the Democrat-led filibuster?

finally had a bare majority join the overwhelming majority of Republicans and pass the Civil rights and Voting rights laws of the '60s?

finally had a Black elected to the Senate after numerous Republican Black Senators the last of which was Ed Brooke of Massachusetts?

has no real Blacks in positions of power except as tokens?

actively supports racism and division as way to get political power?



Or were those things done by liberals?
3.21.2006 5:07pm
Elliot123 (mail):
One of the amusing things about discussions like this is how it reveals there is no widely accepted definition of racism. The term is bandied about all the time, and we all sagely nod our heads like we understand. Many will insist there is such a definition, but it's usually theirs.
3.21.2006 5:14pm
therut:
Fender-----------as a white person who makes less than 100,000 a year I can tell you the main reason is taxes. You must be kidding. You must be one of the rich liberals. Well please quit trying to give all us poor little white people who make less than 100,000 anything. I beg you. Leave us alone. Taxes paid by the middle class is a killer. Now I realize to a liberal the middle class is really the lower class. Liberals do nothing but tax the middle class to death and then tell us how they take care of us. Please realize we don't need or want you pity. This from one angry poor white woman. Liberals are like an ex that won't leave you alone cause they keep thinking you need them while you know you got rid of them because of THEIR need to feel needed.
3.21.2006 5:19pm
Brett Bellmore (mail):
The problem, Justin, is this Republicans racist, Democrats not racist, theme, depends on a bizzare definition of "racist", where advocating policies which explicitly discriminate on the basis of race somehow isn't "racist", while favoring policies which are racially neutral IS somehow racist, depending solely on whose racial ox is gored.

In reality, the Democratic party is dependent on getting a "supermajority" of blacks which makes a Stalinist show election look close, and in order to keep getting those ultra-super majorities, has to humor racial hate mongers like Al Sharpton, and constantly fight to keep the fires of racism roaring.
3.21.2006 5:19pm
Wrigley:
Stan,

Let's explore one more part,


has no real Blacks in positions of power except as tokens?


Neither party has nominated a black for either the Pres. or VP. Bush had a black Sec of State (2), a black Nat'l sec. advisor (but that's sort of double counting the sec. of state stat). Both parties have nominated one black to the Supreme Court. I can think of many black Democratic mayors (Tom Bradley in LA, Dinkins in NY, and whole slue in Atlanta). Clinton's beginning cabinet had four blacks (Ron Brown, Mike Espy, Jesse Brown and Hazel O'Leary). Hillary had the first black chief of staff to a first lady.

The point is they seem about equal, if not partly titled towards democrats (if only because the Dems were earlier). So what is the basis for implying that democrats have no blacks in positions of power, "except as tokens." How is the GOP different in a significant way?
3.21.2006 5:21pm
Houston Lawyer:
Wrigley

We've increased airline security since 9/11, maybe that explains it. I do recall a little incident in Ukraine back in the '30s, where such sentiment was put into effect against the well-to-do.
3.21.2006 5:27pm
Wrigley:
Paging Sen. McCarthy. I'm glad you've now openly equated the scare-tactics of this administration over "The War on Terror" with the red-baiting.

Not equal? Nor are anti-GOP sentiments equal to Radical Islamism. Nor are violent marxist uprisings analogous "in intensity and logic" to Huffington Post.
3.21.2006 5:32pm
Paul McKaskle (mail):
I don't know where Freder Fredrickson is coming from, but when I posted about shoplifting sometimes being a psychological crime, I said nothing about a poor black kid shoplifting a coat because he was cold nor did I opine what should be done to such a person if caught. All I observed is some shoplifters do it for economic reasons simply to make it clear that the "psychological" category did not encompass all shoplifting. It may well be that Mr or Ms Fredrickson believes that those who shoplift for "economic reasons" are blacks (and do so only because they are in need) but it certainly is not my belief. I have no data but my presumption is that shoplifting is not a race specific crime (as crack cocaine might have been, at least in the past).
3.21.2006 5:36pm
Wrigley:
Houston Lawyer,

As I read it, your argument is, "Because liberal redistributionist policies are intellectually akin to an extreme form of a similar idea, then they are 'equal in intensity and logic.'"

So, the push for a narrower interpretation of the establishment clause is equal in intensity and logic to the Taliban's interpretation and implementation of Sharia law.
3.21.2006 5:36pm
TDPerkins (mail):
part Cornellian wrote:


I seem to recall once that Jesse Helms won an election in part through a television ad that depicted a couple of white hands crumpling up a piece of paper while sorrowful music played in the background. The voice over said "you needed that job, but they said it had to go to a minority . . ."


Considering the utter moral bankruptcy of affirmative action as it is unconsitutionally but legally mandated--by Democrats I have to add--that seems like a perfectly legitimate ad.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl &pfpp
3.21.2006 5:38pm
Josh_Jasper (mail):
The Repblican party has a known game plan to maneuver black churches into voting Republican by using intolerance of gays as a tactic. I'm not just talking about same sex marriage. Same sex adoption, civil unions, AIDS, and general hatred are used.

It's not like there's actual outreach to any other issues facing the black community, all there is to lure people in is hatred.
3.21.2006 5:44pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Cornellian also wrote:


(Remember Ronald Reagan appealing to "state's rights" in the town where Medgar Evers was murdered or telling white parents he opposed sending their kids to schools where they would rub elbows with black kids).


Where was that "only mandates an american free trade zone commerce clause" anyway. Oh yeah, Democrats killed it.

Also, a far better way than busing to get "black" kids good eductations is vouchers, and who opposes that--Democrats.

Geez, Democrats hate the constitution and they hate black people.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 5:46pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Justin wrote:


After all, it wasn't Democrats who had a "well designed" and "strategic" (the "liberal" media is so useful at framing the issue in non-racist terms!) to go to exclusively African American districts and challenge voters and attempt to create long lines to disenfranchise them.


Meanwhile, the Democrats are the ones who want to make sure their voters can go to the polls early and often, by opposing 100% no charge visual voter identification, it's Democrats who are going to jail for knifing Republican tires, and Democrats going to jail for vote fraud in--I believe--St Louis.

The reason is all the actual evidence of vote fraud is against the Democrats. Possibly in accusing Republicans of vote fraud, Justin is projecting?
Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 5:52pm
bluecollarguy:
Why Would Blacks Become Republican?

"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value," Belafonte said in an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service.

"[If] a black is a tyrant, he is first and foremost a tyrant, then he incidentally is black. Bush is a tyrant and if he gathers around him black tyrants, they all have to be treated as they are being treated," he added.



"They (black conservatives) have a right to exist, but why would I want to walk around with a swastika on my shirt after the way Hitler done messed it (the swastika symbol) up?" Gregory said in an interview with Cybercast News Service. (The swastika was an ancient symbol generally regarded an emblem of strength and luck before the Nazi Party adopted it in 1920.)

"So why would I want to call myself a conservative after the way them white racists thugs have used that word to hide behind? They call themselves new Republicans," Gregory said.


Why indeed?
3.21.2006 5:54pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Visitor Again mentioned that what comes quickly--if anecdotally--to the lips of an African American he knows as a reason for not voting Republican, is the allegations that there was anti African American voter intimidation in the 2000 Florida elections.

Does it never cross their minds there is not one shred of actual evidence this happened, or that the quietly underplayed--by the liberal papers that funded them--recounts showed GWB won fair and square?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:02pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Belafonte (presumably Harry), is quoted as saying:


"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value," Belafonte said in an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service."


I've never smoked pot, but what he had must have been awesome.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:05pm
BU2L (mail):
To anyone with a brain, this amounts to point out the obvious, but judging by the quality of this thread, I feel that it should be said:

Jews who worked for Hitler, participated in a government best known for the terrifying, whole-sale murder of Jews. Blacks who work for Bush are participating in a government that advocates and pursues different means for economic advancement than the Democrats.

So before Godwin turns over in his grave, (and I know he is not dead), let's drop the Belafonte thing... it's a bit of a stretch.
3.21.2006 6:16pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Freder Drederson wrote:

But Republicans, by definition, must be racist.


Well, it's, admirable you start out by admitting your biases.

It is an indisputable fact that blacks are more likely to be poor, incarcerated, poorly educated, and dependent on social welfare programs.


Just the way the Democrats like it, I have to opine. It keeps them on the plantation.

According to the Republicans, this state of affairs cannot be due to a lack of opportunity.


Actually, whether is do to lack of opportunity or other factors or a combination thereof, it has no bearing on whether the affirmative action programs foisted onto the country by the Democrats are just or constitutional. They aren't. Next.

The Republicans are always telling us that this is a land of opportunity and those who don't succeed have no one to blame but themselves.


Not exactly, it's that it isn't the proper role of governemnt to ensure equal outcomes in theory, and it is outside the power of governemnt in fact.

Everyone in this country has the same opportunity to excel and go to Yale and become President no matter what their background.


The last time I was in a big new house with a high ceilings, big lawn, and a columned porch it was a white guy who'd never gone to college--might not have finished highschool--and decided after getting out of prison to become a contractor and work his a$$ off. He spent his first 19 years screwing up his opportunities, no one gave him any after that, and then he made his own. It is an emotional--essentially racist, Romanticized, and mystical--argument to say that every black American works under worse conditions than that man, and so needs more help from government.

If they don't succeed, it is not because of their circumstances, it is because they are lazy, stupid, or relied too much on welfare and handouts.


It can be a great many things, and probably only very rarely any of those things. It does not equate to state reverse racism being wise, effecacious, or just.

Therefore, black people must be, by their very nature lazy, stupid and too ready to rely on welfare and handouts.

Or do I misunderstand the Republican message?


You do. In fact, it is just as fair to say that as to say the Democratic Party argument is that they are too lazy, too stupid, and too needy to do without welfare and AA for them to vote for us without it...although I wonder how many would vote Dem if not for those handouts.

The one thing I can say for sure, it's just fine to the Democrats for a black child to get through high school being unable to read, as long as the teacher's unions get what they want.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:24pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Paul McKaskle wrote:

When I looked at Eugene Volokh's post on the Huffington blog and looked at the comments which followed, I was shocked at the number of bigoted ad hominum attacks that were posted. If that is typical of the Huffington audience, they are a pretty sad bunch of people.


Yes, the extant Left in America, the empty people.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:29pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Proud to be a liberal Wrote:

What I found most amazing in this whole blog is that no one has mentioned the fact that according to polls African Americans' negative views of President Bush have dramatically increased since Hurricane Katrina. The fact that the President (and the leadership of the US government) did not know of the suffering by African Americans at the convention center was amazing. The story that Bush had to be shown a cd-rom of evening news casts so that he could get what was going on is amazing.


So the fact that what little suffering there really was--compared to what was reported--was caused by the Democratic and African American mayor and the Democratc governor of LA failing to implement the plan hasn't penetrated? Also the fact that wealthy and white people died at disporportionately higher rates? None of those absolutely true things have gotten into their noggins?

Must be that publik edumacation the Democrats are so keen on keeping on.

Proud, you are announcing they vote Democratic out of ignorance. This implies the only way for your party to keep their votes is for your party to keep them ognorant. I wish you all the success you deserve.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:34pm
Cornellian (mail):

I seem to recall once that Jesse Helms won an election in part through a television ad that depicted a couple of white hands crumpling up a piece of paper while sorrowful music played in the background. The voice over said "you needed that job, but they said it had to go to a minority . . ."


Considering the utter moral bankruptcy of affirmative action as it is unconsitutionally but legally mandated--by Democrats I have to add--that seems like a perfectly legitimate ad.


There's plenty of room for criticism of affirmative action in its various forms, but you can't run a "black people are stealing your jobs" ad (which is what that amounted to) and then wonder why blacks don't vote for the Republican party.
3.21.2006 6:34pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Wrigley wrote:

In repsonse to Houston Lawyer who wrote:
The seething resentment against Republicans espoused on this string seems to rival that of the Islamists in both its intensity and logic.

How could I have missed the parallels before? Oh wait, maybe because resentment against republicans hasn't caused me to crash a plane into a building. That might be it.


Wait 'til you flame out in few more elections. Heh. You speak before the fat lady sings.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl,&pfpp
3.21.2006 6:36pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
I don't know where Freder Fredrickson is coming from, but when I posted about shoplifting sometimes being a psychological crime, I said nothing about a poor black kid shoplifting a coat because he was cold nor did I opine what should be done to such a person if caught.

I did not mean to judge you harshly, but my point was that although Republicans like to talk about personal responsibilty and accepting the consequences of one's actions and that everyone should be treated equally, the harsh reality of life is that the two situations will be treated differently.

The poor black kid will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The rich middle class housewife will get counseling and no criminal record. Is this fair? Is this a racist society? Is it the black kid's fault? Society's? Why are we willing to cut the well-off woman a break but not the poor black kid? All important questions.

You must be one of the rich liberals.

I'm not a rich liberal. But how does my call for burdening the rich more mean you will pay more taxes. We (the middle classes) pay more taxes because the rich aren't paying their fair share. We have to pay a higher rate on the money we earn from wages because unearned income is treated as though it is somehow a "better" way to earn money than actually working for it. Now the Republicans are trying to convince us that just because Paris Hilton has a stinking rich father she deserves not to ever have to pay taxes. What kind of insanity is that. And to add insult to injury, only our children are asked to die in this president's misguided war in Iraq.
3.21.2006 6:38pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Josh Jaspers wrote:

The Repblican party has a known game plan to maneuver black churches into voting Republican by using intolerance of gays as a tactic. I'm not just talking about same sex marriage. Same sex adoption, civil unions, AIDS, and general hatred are used.

It's not like there's actual outreach to any other issues facing the black community, all there is to lure people in is hatred.


A) Re legal recognition of homosexuals and homosexuals acts as being the fully morally and legally valid acts as heterosexual acts and heterosexuals, the Republican's aren't manuevering Afircan American's anywhere, they are already in the gays-bad camp.

B) And I almost have to add, you blind idiot, school vouchers!? Ever heard of those?

Geez, where you been?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:42pm
Commenterlein (mail):
I think it would be a good idea for the more thoughtfull commenters to simply ignore the Freepers.

Otherwise they'll be encouraged to come back and the comment section of this blog will become entirely unreadable.

Thank you.
3.21.2006 6:44pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Freder Frederson wrote:

Paul Mckaskle- I don't know where Freder Fredrickson is coming from, but when I posted about shoplifting sometimes being a psychological crime, I said nothing about a poor black kid shoplifting a coat because he was cold nor did I opine what should be done to such a person if caught.

I did not mean to judge you harshly, but my point was that although Republicans like to talk about personal responsibilty and accepting the consequences of one's actions and that everyone should be treated equally, the harsh reality of life is that the two situations will be treated differently.

The poor black kid will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The rich middle class housewife will get counseling and no criminal record. Is this fair? Is this a racist society? Is it the black kid's fault? Society's? Why are we willing to cut the well-off woman a break but not the poor black kid? All important questions.


When did the Democrats throw the mentally ill under the bus? Aren't they still an approved oppressed constituency? Oh wait, when Republicans treat crime caused by psychological reasons as crimes first and foremost--like they do--they'll be called heartless and cruel. I remember now.

Paul Mckaskle- You must be one of the rich liberals.

I'm not a rich liberal. But how does my call for burdening the rich more mean you will pay more taxes. We (the middle classes) pay more taxes because the rich aren't paying their fair share. We have to pay a higher rate on the money we earn from wages because unearned income is treated as though it is somehow a "better" way to earn money than actually working for it. Now the Republicans are trying to convince us that just because Paris Hilton has a stinking rich father she deserves not to ever have to pay taxes. What kind of insanity is that. And to add insult to injury, only our children are asked to die in this president's misguided war in Iraq.


You want the draft back? Oh wait, the Democrats did want the draftback.

The "rich liberals" comment comes from the fact that given their druthers, the Democrats seem to want anyone who doesn't need government assistance to be taxed into needing it. It's a perfectly fair hit.

A flat rate is a fair share. If we have to be idiot socialists, then have one single per wage earner exemption.

Money earned by taking the risk to decide that investments should stay where they are is still earned, neither should good fortune be penalized--it can't be done any more fairly by political means than free floating ill-luck can be mended by the same.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:54pm
Alan H.:
Justin,

I need to correct a substantial error in what you have stated. While the general thinking is that southerners who were a part of the Democratic "racist" bloc are now republicans. That has been shown to be substantially incorrect by Gerard Alexander's research at the University of Virginia. As George Will reported in a column of 2/5/2005, "Beginning in the 1950s, millions of Midwesterners and Northeasterners moved to the South. But, Alexander says, instead of voting Democratic, they voted Republican ``at higher rates than native whites.'' Even today, ``identification with the GOP is stronger among the South's younger rather than older white voters.'' Republican strength has been highest among persons young, suburban, middle class, educated, non-Southern in origin and concentrated in the least ``Southern'' high-growth areas."

While it is convenient for Democrats to peddle that lie, it isn't true, and you shouldn't repeat it without having the facts to back it up.

--Alan...
3.21.2006 6:56pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Comenterlien, there hasn't been one thoughful comment by the left made here today.

You can start. Tell me why African American's should put up with the public school system and it's unions the Democrat's are beholden to when the Republican's will give them vouchers.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
3.21.2006 6:57pm
bluecollarguy:
BUTL:
"So before Godwin turns over in his grave, (and I know he is not dead), let's drop the Belafonte thing... it's a bit of a stretch."


OK, so you think Belafonte is a "bit of a stretch". How about the chairman of the NAACP, Julian Bond? To wit:
"There is a right-wing conspiracy," said Bond, " . . . an interlocking network of funders, groups, and activists, who coordinate their methods and their message. . . . They are . . . the movement behind vouchers, the legal assault on affirmative action and other remedies for discrimination, attempts to reapportion us [blacks] out of office, and attacks on equity everywhere. They've had a collection of black hustlers and hucksters on their payrolls for more than twenty years, promoting them as the new generation of black leaders. They can't deal with the leaders we choose for ourselves, so they manufacture, promote, and hire new ones. Like ventriloquists' dummies, [these blacks] speak in their puppet-master's voice."



The point here is that it very difficult for black folk whose ideology is conservative to self identify as Republicans. But it is getting less so as courageous Americans, who happen to be black, speak out on issues such as the abortion rates of blacks compared to whites and hispanics, the complete and utter failure of the Great Society, school "choice" and a myriad of social issues that unite socially conservative people of all shades of gray. And it is beginning to resonate a bit which is why the moonbats are howling hysterically when there isn't even a moon.
3.21.2006 7:09pm
Grand CRU (mail):
1. Why would a black person have a problem "using race" to win elections? Black nationalists propose to do just that. Balance-of-power theory, which relies on blacks swing-voting in a bloc, is exactly that. Black politics has always relied on using race to win elections. The problem isn't using race, it's promoting stereotypes that are harmful to social progress for blacks, and Democrats do that more often with their condescending political correctness than Republicans do by appointing blacks to positions of power.

2. Why would you assume that blacks are religious? The church is not the unifying center of social protest and community that it once was within black communities. And more than one philosopher professor can attest that black students tend to be attracted to philosophers who are radically individualistic (i.e., reject limited social roles imposed by outside authorities). There is no reason to believe that educated, middle-class blackfolk (those most likely to vote) are any more likely to be religious than any other segment of the population.

3. Many blacks are skeptical of big government. While many blacks have a traditional preference for the federal government over state government, because state government used to be populated with virulent racists (i.e., just go ask your black friend's father what his adolscence was like), that doesn't mean that blacks, especially younger ones, have any great appreciation of, say, Social Security, which they believe won't be fiscally secure when they turn 65, if they reach 65. There is simply no reason to believe that blacks would not support privitization of certain government programs if it were marketed correctly and produced actual benefits for them.

4. The Democratic Party is killing itself with abortion and gay rights. Abortion offends middleclass white voters; gay rights really pisses off black people. The mere fact that the analogy is made and legitimated by prominent public officials offends many black people. Bush garnered 16% of the black vote in Ohio in great part because of the specter of the Federal Marriage Amendment, and that isn't necessarily because blacks believe homosexuality is sinful. Much of it has to do with racial pride. Black = gay is offensive to many blacks; it's just one more nasty degradation among a history of degradations.

5. The question is not whether there are black conservatives, as there are many. The question is why most don't flip over to the Republican Party. That isn't so much of a controversial thing, if you think about it: there are plenty of Democrats in Florida who have voted Republican for years. They simply don't flip over because it's a matter of habit. If all the blacks who registered as Democrats were reliable votes for liberals, Al Gore wouldn't have done so much rhyming, John Kerry would be President, and Hillary Clinton wouldn't be making speeches in black churches on MLK day in which she utters the word "plantation".
3.21.2006 7:14pm
Justin (mail):
Alan H, you're going to have to do more than assert some researcher I've never heard of with no link for me to believe you. I'm sticking by the facts that seem most relevant and most correct until I have some concrete argument to the contrary. Regardless, the CURRENT South is clearly not the Democratic base - its the Midwest and East, the guys you're referring to who used to vote Republican and now vote Democrat.

Brett, that's neither here nor there, but I'm not sure African Americans not being put off by pro-African American "racism" is something that we should show any surprise at. So while your point may fit nicely on a bumper sticker, I don't think its relevant to this discussion.

Also, to whoever commented (I'm in a rush) - while its all nice and good to make allegations that democrats are crooked, it seems like conservatives tend to want African Americans, whose history with voting rights is already frayed, to bear the cost - for instance, Republicans tried to make those who lived in Atlanta without a car have to go across the state to get a voter's ID in order to vote in state and federal elections until a Judge struck it down as in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and conservatives were challenging "every" vote only in minority districts in Ohio and Florida - even if you can validate these actions, you shouldn't be surprised if the African American community remains skeptical.

Its also off point, but I'm also tired of "fraud" including people who voted but forgot to fill in all the right dots on their voting registration, or people who signed a provisional ballot but voted at the wrong Election Precinct by accident. Whether those votes are legitimately counted or not is another story, but that's only fraud in a world where state and federal election laws are the new Poll Test. That Eddie T. George is called Edward George on his social security card is not, under any useful definition of the word, fraud.
3.21.2006 7:15pm
Grand CRU (mail):
I don't think anyone can explain a black person voting/supporting/working for/etc for Jesse Helms.

Jesse Helms ran and won many terms in a majority black district. Obviously someone was voting for him. Why is it so strange that a black person would work for him? Black people were voting for him. Allen was one of his constituents.
3.21.2006 7:17pm
Dustin R. Ridgeway (mail):
One of the biggest prevailing myths among Conservatives is the myth of Black conservatism. The idea that Blacks are largely just like them, their socially conservative &oppose gays too, but they've been captivated &held hostage by the evil Democratic party.

The reality is not only is The Myth of black conservatism, really a myth, but Blacks are most consistently liberal-progressive constituency in the country. It reminds me of how Democrats think they can lure people in Kansas to vote for them because they support economic populism, but are supposedly held hostage to social issues.

Conservatives think they can convert a population deeply cynical of the Military extremely supportive of social insurance programs &antipoverty measures, adamant about increased school funding &nearly universal belief that the criminal justice system is bigoted &that racism daily affects their lives because they don't like gays &believe in traditional gender roles.

Good luck with that.

Conservatives might be able to use immigration as a wedge issue to pull some blacks into the fold by demagoguing about dirty wetbacks stealing jobs from blacks, but such a reactionary measure might alienate the libertarian pro-business wing of the party.
3.21.2006 7:23pm
Bezuhov (mail):
So much heat; so little light.

"She says that "party affiliation" is 90% cultural"

Bingo. We might as well discuss why people who go\row up in Boston tend to be Sox fans...
3.21.2006 7:32pm
Bezuhov (mail):
If you came to this country in chains, you're unlikely to share the basic values of those who came to escape them.
3.21.2006 7:34pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Bezuhov,
Any empirical basis for that claim? Do you even know any black people?

Dustin,
Do you know any black people? Older black people support social insurance programs and prefer the federal government to state governments for reasons I have already supplied. Younger black people think that ALL government is b.s. They would much rather have their own stuff and do not care about liberalism. They care about that cash paper. Do you KNOW any black people under age 35?
3.21.2006 7:40pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Blacks are most consistently liberal-progressive constituency in the country

Hmm. Yes, but both Nelson Rockefeller and JFK count as liberal-progressive, one was Republican and the other Democrat, and both are to the right of most liberals running the Democratic Party today. So your argument is full of holes.
3.21.2006 7:45pm
Dad:
Interesting topic. The other side of the equation would be: Why wouldn't Blacks vote Republican? Afterall, lifes choices are full of pros and cons, we make choices depending on which side benefits us the most.

So why don't blacks vote GOP? I don't even know where to start. An easy point would be that GOP endorses racism. Now people can post all kinds of statistical evidence they want about how Democrats are more "racist", but the fact of the matter is that politics is about perceptions than actual numbers, and many if not most blacks feel GOP is racist. With popular conservative talkheads/borderline bigots such as Rush and Coulter calling the shots, GOP probably won't change that perception any time soon.

Second, blacks are not going to vote for a party where their race has little chances of getting elected. There are plenty of prominent GOP African Americans but they were mostly if not all appointed. Someone like Rice if running for the President will definitely get more black voters, but will GOP accept some like Rice running as their leader? I would bet that GOP will lose more white votes than gaining black votes if that were the case.

Third, popular black leaders (and I don't mean Jesse Jackson) are against the GOP. Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, the same people who conservatives love to discredit along with their music as "trash", have more influence on blacks than the likes of Volokh. Kanye West's phrase "Bush does not care black people" has done more damage to the GOP black recruitment efforts than Volokh's analysis here will ever help the effort. I can picture Democrats getting friendly with popular rappers: Black Eyed Peas performed at the DNC. Now if GOP hire popular rappers in an effort to draw young black voters, would that help or erode their overall base? Popular rapper 50 cent have made pro-Bush statements, but will GOP feather 50 Cent at their conventions?

There many reasons why blacks should be voting GOP just as there are also many reasons why Arab Americans should support racial profiling. However, until GOP manage to change its image towards the black community, there is very little chance that it will grab more black votes even if there were many valid reasons for the change.
3.21.2006 7:49pm
bluecollarguy:
Dustin: Black folk, like Kansas folk are not monolithic. Nor do they monolitically hate the dreaded military. In fact rates of service among blacks are higher than their percentage of the population.
3.21.2006 7:50pm
Grand CRU (mail):
With popular conservative talkheads/borderline bigots such as Rush and Coulter calling the shots, GOP probably won't change that perception any time soon.

Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter do not call any shots in the Republican Party. If you believe that, then Phil Donahue and Randi Rhodes are running the Democratic Party. That would explain why they lose so many Presidential elections.

the fact of the matter is that politics is about perceptions than actual numbers, and many if not most blacks feel GOP is racist.

Perceptions can change very quickly. For instance, the homeless man who is cursing at you starts dancing and singing your praises once you hand him some cash. If you can't see the analogy to politics, then you aren't just a Dad, you're senile.

Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, the same people who conservatives love to discredit along with their music as "trash", have more influence on blacks than the likes of Volokh. Kanye West's phrase "Bush does not care black people" has done more damage to the GOP black recruitment efforts than Volokh's analysis here will ever help the effort.

More influence on young blacks who are unlikely to vote. The black vote the GOP is interested in courting consists of likely voters. Which is younger than the traditional black vote, but old enough to own a home and have attended college. So, your point is off.

Second, blacks are not going to vote for a party where their race has little chances of getting elected. There are plenty of prominent GOP African Americans but they were mostly if not all appointed.

Your criticism here should be directed toward Colin Powell's wife, Alma, who vetoed his decision to run for President in 1996, when Clinton was weak. Not only did Powell have an 80% approval rate, he had every Republican campaign staffer and fundraiser willing to essentially hand him the primary. If you don't think Colin Powell could have beated Bill Clinton in an election in 1996, then you have never seen jizz on a blue dress.
3.21.2006 7:57pm
Grand CRU (mail):
beaten, that is
3.21.2006 7:58pm
Alan H.:
Justin,

You stated, "Alan H, you're going to have to do more than assert some researcher I've never heard of with no link for me to believe you. I'm sticking by the facts that seem most relevant and most correct until I have some concrete argument to the contrary." I supplied the date of the article by George Will and the name of the researcher. That seems a lot more substantial than you assertation. I guess the fact that you asserted it makes it seem, "most relevant and most correct".

Anyway, I'll save you the arduous effort of typing a name into google by his original listing the article below:

Alexander Article

An interesting quote from the article, "In sum, the GOP's Southern electorate was not rural, nativist, less educated, afraid of change, or concentrated in the most stagnant parts of the Deep South. It was disproportionately suburban, middle-class, educated, younger, non-native-Southern, and concentrated in the growth-points that were, so to speak, the least "Southern" parts of the South. This is a very strange way to reincarnate George Wallace's movement."

The George Will Article is here:

George Will Article

Ok, I've listed my sources. Do you have anything to back up what you've said?

--Alan
3.21.2006 8:02pm
dick thompson (mail):
Flatlander 100,

The reason one would become a republican and not a democrat is really very easy to answer. That person believes that the individual should be responsible. That makes him a republican. If he just wanted to let someone else make all his decisions then he would become a democrat.
3.21.2006 8:46pm
Dustin R. Ridgeway (mail):
Grand CRU,

"Do you know any black people? Older black people support social insurance programs and prefer the federal government to state governments for reasons I have already supplied. Younger black people think that ALL government is b.s. They would much rather have their own stuff and do not care about liberalism. They care about that cash paper. Do you KNOW any black people under age 35?"

I don't know many black people OVER age 35.

Younger black people do not have a high opinion of the government (which makes them little different from older black people) but this is in a different context that white conservatives are antigovernment. They believe the government doesen't do enough to help them rather than the government shouldn't help them (what white conservatives believe)

You ask any young black person whether they think urban schools are underfunded compared to schools in wealthier districts? Whether they support legislation that sets aside revenues collected from tolls to help blacks start businesses. Whether the government should spend more money to keep blacks out of poverty, whether they think Banks discriminate against blacks when giving out loans, whether they think penalties for anti-black hate crimes should be stiffer, whether they think the criminal justice system is racist &the war on drugs is prejudiced towards blacks. I promise you'll get 99 yeses before you get one "As a young black male, I oppose robbing hardworking wealthy white families of their hard earned cash through taxes so that the state may subsidize my people."

As social issues go, Black men under 40 are among the strongrest supporters for the decriminalization of marijuana.

Beyond a distate for homosexuals, an adherence to traditional gender roles &a respect for enterprise, Blacks have little that Republicans can really work with.
3.21.2006 9:09pm
Dustin R. Ridgeway (mail):
Grand CRU,

"Hmm. Yes, but both Nelson Rockefeller and JFK count as liberal-progressive, one was Republican and the other Democrat, and both are to the right of most liberals running the Democratic Party today. So your argument is full of holes."

I have zero idea what you are trying to say here.
3.21.2006 9:10pm
Anon7:

Jesse Helms ran and won many terms in a majority black district. Obviously someone was voting for him. Why is it so strange that a black person would work for him? Black people were voting for him. Allen was one of his constituents.


Jesse Helms was a Senator. He had no district, and North Carolina was not majority black.

Helms changed from Democrat to Republican in 1970 because the Democrats had become too pro-Civil Rights and the Republicans were goint the opposite direction.
3.21.2006 9:19pm
Anon7:


Anyway, I'll save you the arduous effort of typing a name into google by his original listing the article below:

Alexander Article



Wow, an editorial comment on the website of a conservative think-tank. I'll have to accept that as gospel truth.
3.21.2006 9:27pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
Grand CRU tries to establish how much black people love Republicans and hate gays and lesbians with this statistic: "Bush garnered 16% of the black vote in Ohio in great part because of the specter of the Federal Marriage Amendment."

I think that speaks for itself. We shouldn't assume that black people aren't Republican any more than we should assume black people are offended by gay rights. But if we're going to assume one or the other, that statistic tells me where to put my money.
3.21.2006 9:30pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
That person believes that the individual should be responsible. That makes him a republican. If he just wanted to let someone else make all his decisions then he would become a democrat.

Well, no, a Democrat believes in Social responsibility. That we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone really does have the opportunity to excel and at least have a fair chance to experience the American Dream. That just because you are born on third base you really don't deserve that triple. It's fine to talk about personal responsibility and blame anyone who doesn't make it as shirking that responsibility.
3.21.2006 9:37pm
Grand CRU (mail):
But if we're going to assume one or the other, that statistic tells me where to put my money.

Why is it an either/or proposition?
3.21.2006 9:45pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Jesse Helms was a Senator. He had no district, and North Carolina was not majority black.

A statewide electorate is still referred to as a district....
3.21.2006 9:46pm
Grand CRU (mail):
Jesse Helms has carried a majority of the black vote in his [voting population] in more than one election. (You can insert "district" if you understand what the term means.)
3.21.2006 9:47pm
Clara (www):
The GOP is going to have an awfully tough time convincing more black voters to change over (despite the fact that Republicans have more to offer blacks educationally, economically and culturally, in my opinion).

Why?

Because the black vote is the life supply of the Democratic Party. Dems will do all they can to hang on to minority support. If they lose it, they'll never win a national public office again.
3.21.2006 9:54pm
Grand CRU (mail):
They believe the government doesen't do enough to help them rather than the government shouldn't help them (what white conservatives believe)

1. That isn't what all "white conservatives" believe, but thanks for the stereotyping. That is what libertarians believe. Not all self-identified conservatives are libertarians, e.g., President Bush, who has been called a Big-Government Conservative. Does Bush not have hardcore conservative supporters or does he not?

2. This only proves my point. The question is what "do enough to help" means. There is no reason why black people would necessarily think that partial privitaization of government programs that is geared to benefit them and does so is bad. There is no reason why black people would oppose helpful government programs that are not configured according to liberal precepts. That's the point. Either party can give out the goodies, and it doesn't require liberalism or liberals.



You ask any young black person whether they think urban schools are underfunded compared to schools in wealthier districts?

Ask a young black single-mother whether she would like a school voucher, and the answer is yes.

I have zero idea what you are trying to say here.

The point is obvious. Many Democrats running today are too liberal for the average black voter and many Republicans running are too conservative. Sure, the average black voter is "liberal/progressive," but what that actually means is Republicans could run a liberal Republican candidate and an unusually high number of blacks would vote for him/her. You can call blacks "liberal/progressive" all you want, but that doesn't mean blacks wouldn't vote for a Republican. You're dealing in static absolutes, not fluid reality, probably because you are prejudicially fixed to blurry stereotypes and crude generalizations.
3.21.2006 9:58pm
Grand CRU (mail):
whether they think penalties for anti-black hate crimes should be stiffer,

Please. This is a pandering non-issue. It means nothing. This is an issue the Democratic Party uses to keep blacks on the voting plantation. Do you really think such a pittance of issue would be a major political issue if blacks had true power in the Democrat Party? That issue is table scraps. If the Democratic Party were responsive to the black vote, this would be issue 8,996,768,998,877 on the list of Important Things To Get Done.
3.21.2006 10:03pm
Challenge:
"Anyone with a shred of moral decency reading the replies posted at (Free Republic/Little Green Footballs/RedState) would at the very least run from the (Republic? How do you butcher that exactly?) party possibly if they are of even higher ethical standing might swallow their doubts and turn a blind eye and join the (Democratic) party just to oppose the vicious personal attacks seen there."

LOL. Have you ever been to the Democratic Underground? Better register Republican right away!
3.21.2006 10:13pm
Grand CRU (mail):
As social issues go, Black men under 40 are among the strongrest supporters for the decriminalization of marijuana.

Then maybe they should join the Libertarian Party and start surfing the Cato Institute's website and reading Reason magazine. But that doesn't mean they should vote for Mark Warner in 2008.
3.21.2006 10:15pm
Grand CRU (mail):
I promise you'll get 99 yeses before you get one "As a young black male, I oppose robbing hardworking wealthy white families of their hard earned cash through taxes so that the state may subsidize my people."

Sure, liberals can pander. But all politicians can pander. And pandering = $$$. It doesn't really matter who is doing the pandering. Blacks have no great love for white liberals. Maybe you do. I'll refrain from bringing up the "race traitor" appellation.
3.21.2006 10:21pm
Justin (mail):
A book review in a conservative political rag repeating your claims without explaining them or providing their numbers or methodology is not exactly what I was hoping for when I asked if you could back up your information. I didn't mean that you were making up the name out of thin air, I just didn't believe your sources credible. A book report is not a study, and as such I stand by my earlier point. Thanks for the lecture, though.
3.21.2006 11:31pm
Dustin R. Ridgeway (mail):
Grand CRU,


1. That isn't what all "white conservatives" believe, but thanks for the stereotyping. That is what libertarians believe. Not all self-identified conservatives are libertarians, e.g., President Bush, who has been called a Big-Government Conservative. Does Bush not have hardcore conservative supporters or does he not?


Does conservative support for a politician who supposedly favors big government liberal policies, make big government liberal policies conservative? How is the belief of libertarians that the state shouldn't maintain large scale social programs funded through taxation different from conservatives?


2. This only proves my point. The question is what "do enough to help" means. There is no reason why black people would necessarily think that partial privitaization of government programs that is geared to benefit them and does so is bad. There is no reason why black people would oppose helpful government programs that are not configured according to liberal precepts. That's the point. Either party can give out the goodies, and it doesn't require liberalism or liberals.


I don't think blacks much care either whether government programs used to help the poor are organized according to "liberal precepts" either. But as to the core of whether they are for government programs in general, the answer is overwhelmingly yes, and that puts them in contrast to most conservatives.


Ask a young black single-mother whether she would like a school voucher, and the answer is yes.


You didn't answer my question. If you asked the average black person whether they think urban schools in poor areas are underfunded at the expense of schools in wealthy areas? what would their answer be? If their answer is yes (and I'd wager it is more often tha not) is such an answer compatible with the views of modern American conservative opinion on public education?


The point is obvious. Many Democrats running today are too liberal for the average black voter and many Republicans running are too conservative.


I would fundamentally object to this assertion as blacks are the most reliably liberal-progressive, pro big government spending constituency in the country. Blacks serving in congress (usually Democrats) are among the most fiercely &unyieldingly liberal among Democratic delegations. Even on social issues like gay marriage &abortion. Who knows, maybe Democrats are too liberal for blacks, but if they are, they aren't too liberal for blacks to the degree that the GOP is apparantly too conservative for blacks, seeing as how Democrats have routinely cleaned up the black vote for 40 years.



Please. This is a pandering non-issue.


It may very well be, the question is, would it be something large amounts of blacks would support?, if so, would such a view be consistent with modern american conservatism? and it's belief that no special category for hate crimes need exist?
3.21.2006 11:44pm
Grand CRU (mail):
big government liberal policies conservative

Who says that all big government policies are liberal? You're conflating "big government" with "liberal" just like you conflated "conservative" with "libertarian" and "white" with "conservative" and "white" with "middle-class". You might want to cover up your prejudices better the next time you set pen to paper, so to speak. The prescription drug program Bush is being blamed for by libertarians includes a huge private element, and the programs costs have dramatically dropped as a result. Yet liberals still complain the program is too small and underfunded. It isn't a liberal program, but it is a big government program.

Bush's plan to reform Social Security, his Health Savings accounts, his planned reforms of the Tax Code and his faith-based initiatives are likewise not liberal, but are big government programs. If anything, they more resemble ideas found in Catholic Social Theory. You really need to get out more if you think all big government programs are by defintion "liberal".

I don't think blacks much care either whether government programs used to help the poor are organized according to "liberal precepts" either. But as to the core of whether they are for government programs in general

This is premised on another fallacy. Conservatives aren't anti-government: please explain how you can fight the War on Terror without a government. In any event, you agree with my point! The argument between "liberals" and "conservatives" that you envision is one over how resources will be doled out by government, not whether government will dole out resources: a tax cut for me is a tax raise for you; a tax raise on me is a tax cut for you; there is no reason why blacks would have a problem with getting their distribution in one form as opposed to another so long as it worked. "Liberal"-style social programs are not the only way to buy votes from black people. Cash is cash.

If their answer is yes (and I'd wager it is more often tha not) is such an answer compatible with the views of modern American conservative opinion on public education?

Sure, because most "conservatives" (which by your definition means "libertarians") support school vouchers, just like most black people fed up with underfunded schools. Oh, look, it appears I already answered your question!

I would fundamentally object to this assertion as blacks are the most reliably liberal-progressive, pro big government spending constituency in the country


Ok, but you're the one who made it in the first place; I just assumed it for argument's sake. I could ignore your claims, if you like....?


Who knows, maybe Democrats are too liberal for blacks, but if they are, they aren't too liberal for blacks to the degree that the GOP is apparantly too conservative for blacks, seeing as how Democrats have routinely cleaned up the black vote for 40 years.


That's neither here not there. First, you have no idea what you mean by "conservative". For all I know, you're saying that the Republican Party is too white and middle-class for black people. Second, most black politicians, even the "liberal" ones you refer to, have said that the Democratic Party takes the black vote for granted and that change needs to come about. The mere fact that blacks who vote have tended to vote more for Democrats than Republicans over the past few decades could be nothing more than a matter of habit: I don't drink Pepsi, but that isn't because Coca-Cola is so great; I just happened to grow up in a Coke-drinking household. That isn't saying much for Democrats, which was my point in the first place. Thanks for agreeing with me.
3.22.2006 12:50am
Grand CRU (mail):
if so, would such a view be consistent with modern american conservatism? and it's belief that no special category for hate crimes need exist?

No, most black people recognize this issue for what it is: cheap pandering by the Democratic Party. You also mis-state the "conservative" argument. Hate crimes laws violate the First Amendment. They are unconstitutional whether you are a conservative, a libertarian, a Marxist, a fascist, or a Martian visiting for the delish chili-cheese hot dogs. There is the modern conservative view that hate crimes laws are permissible, for example the view of the late Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter; there is the view shared by many now living conservatives who agree that the concerns are of great social import but such laws violate the First Amendment. Neither view is the view that killing black people is good. You should be ashamed for insinuating as much. You forfeit your integrity by doing so.
3.22.2006 12:57am
Pendulum (mail):
Dustin Ridgeway, according to what measures are blacks a socially progressive demographic? All the statistics I have seen show blacks as decidedly pro-life and very strongly anti gay rights. Here in Ohio, our state "marriage amendment" won overwhelming black support.



Amusingly, Justin's comment examining different voting coalitions is probably the best comment in this thread; naturally, no one has so much as mentioned it.
3.22.2006 1:00am
Grand CRU (mail):
Why don't you explain what is so great about it, Pendulum? Because I don't see it.
3.22.2006 1:15am
Alan H.:
Fair enough Justin,

At least I bothered to give some evidence for my side. All I've seen from you is an unfounded attack on Republicans that has no substantiation other than that you wish it to be so.

--Alan...
3.22.2006 1:43am
Public_Defender:
Perhaps professor Volokh answers his own question when he says some blacks who "think[] that Republicans are wrong on some racial issues" might care "about moral or patriotic matters that go beyond [their] own selfish interests, or [their] identity group affiliations. . . ."

Opposition to some of the racist Republican rhetoric, policy positions and affiliations is not "selfish." It's not "selfish" to avoid a party that lionizes Reagan while turning a blind eye to his conscious race-baiting. It's not "selfish" to avoid a party that can't even admit that it has consciously appealed to white racism over the last 40 years. (Lee Atwater, in his dying days, put the lie to Republican claims to the contrary.)

Yes, many Democrats opposed the 1964 Civil Right Act. And yes, Lincoln was a Republican. But it's telling that Republicans still have to pull out examples from 40 and 140 years ago to try to dispel the perception of racism.

I may have missed it in all of the comments, but I don't see that a single self-identified Republican in this thread has admitted any history of Republican race-baiting.

Of course, there are racist Democrats. And of course, Democrats can't appeal to black voters merely by saying, "Republicans have a racist history." But until Republicans come to terms with that history, Democrats will continue to have a major advantage in courting black voters. Democrats will certainly keep the advantage as long as Republicans argue that it is "selfish" for blacks to oppose racism.
3.22.2006 7:28am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
The two ethnic groups that give the Democratic party the most support are the Blacks and the Jews. I am suggesting that this solidarity is from pretty much the same source in both cases.

Jews maintained their identity as an ethnic group without a country of their own for almost 2,000 years through sticking together. The oppression of Blacks, as well as their sticking together to survive, goes back almost 400 years in this country. So, no real surprise that the Condi Rices and Clarence Thomases are considered racial traitors. They have joined whitey at the big house to get ahead. Never mind that Dr. Rice may be the next president.

It is that racial solidarity and sticking together as a group that has allowed African-Americans to survive for much of that last 400 years of legal and virtual enslavement. Bush stealing Florida in 2000 or Bush killing Blacks in NOLa this year are a result of cognitive dissonance - essentially making up a group fiction to justify this group solidarity in the face of ever increasing evidence that in many respects the despised Republicans are closer to many Blacks on any number of issues, including: vouchers, faith, single sex marriage, and abortion. So, I expect that the stronger the cognitive dissonance gets, the louder the screams of Republican racism are going to get, and the more egregious the fabrications used to justify these claims of racism.
3.22.2006 9:45am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Public_Defender

Let me suggest that going back 40 years is most likely because things have gotten a lot more murky since then. I think that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was fairly easy to support for most Republicans, as were the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amdts. But affirmative action? School bussing?

The problem for me with affirmative action is that it is state imposed racism - this time in favor of preferred minorities, but state imposed racism, nevertheless. I sign on to MLK's Dream Speech, where he said:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I will admit that the Rev. King may well have changed his mind by now as far as this, if he were alive today. Nevertheless I quote it to point at two very different views of race in this country. On the one hand, many Blacks, as well as Democrats, sign on to Affirmative Action. On the other, many of us on the right consider that to be racism, little different from what was banned by the CRA of 1964, etc. Rather than a system of racial spoils, we believe in a color-blind society.

So, maybe the place you should be looking is at how each party treats its minorities. In keeping with this color-blind vision, Republicans have had two consecutive Blacks as Secretary of State, a Hispanic as Attorney General, etc. As for the Democrats, Clinton did appoint Ron Brown as Sec. of Commerce, but other than that, the big Black position in his administration was Surgeon General. Needless to say, there is a big difference in the amount of power given to the Secretary of State or the Attorney
General, versus the Surgeon General.
3.22.2006 10:04am
Freder Frederson (mail):
essentially making up a group fiction to justify this group solidarity in the face of ever increasing evidence that in many respects the despised Republicans are closer to many Blacks on any number of issues, including: vouchers, faith, single sex marriage, and abortion. So, I expect that the stronger the cognitive dissonance gets, the louder the screams of Republican racism are going to get, and the more egregious the fabrications used to justify these claims of racism.

But the fact remains, that on economic issues, Republicans are getting further and further away from the middle and working classes, both black and white, than ever. Their policies are getting more and more reckless and divorced from reality as they advocate fanciful economic policies that will bankrupt the country, further widen the gap between rich and poor, destroy job, income and retirement security, and increase the tax burden on the middle classes while decreasing it on the rich.

The Republicans often accuse the Democrats of class warfare when the Republicans are the ones who have been waging it for 25 years while much of the Democratic establishment has stood by or even joined the Republicans.
3.22.2006 10:47am
Aaron:
Clinton's closest friend and advisor was Vernon Jordan. Bush's is Karl Rove. Don't look at the appointments--look to see who has access. It's very well to trot out JC Watts and Armstrong Williams (clown. A well-paid clown, but a clown nonetheless) to put a Black face on the Republican Party; however, what I (and other Black people) noticed was that while Bush surrounded himself with White power brokers during his campaign, Gore relied upon Donna Brazile. Neither party is exactly a beacon of hope for Blacks, but at least we see the effort that the Democrats put into giving us a seat at the table.

Not to disparage the enormous accomplishments of Gen. Powell or Dr. Rice, but until I see more Black people get REAL power broker status in the Republican Party, I, and many (most?) others like me will continue to vote Dem.

Oh, and F*** Rudy Giuliani.
3.22.2006 10:54am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Wow, so what this bols down to is picking names out of a hat, then saying that black guy X has access, while black guy Y doesn't, a completely arbitrary judgment? Ugh. "A beacon of hope for blacks?" How about blacks being their own beacon of hope? If your premise is that some guy in a red tie is coming to your rescue, you are f$$cked ab initio.

Oh, and Giuliani is beating McCain and HIllary in polls, so you might have to get used to him.
3.22.2006 11:07am
Public_Defender:
Bruce,

I never argued that opposing affirmative action was racist. In fact, I didn't mention affirmative action in my posts.

I cited bussing because it was one of those issues that told me something about the character of the Republican party. There were legitimate, non-racist reasons to oppose bussing, but as someone who lived through it, it was clear that many white people did not want white kids to have to go to school with black kids, even at a superior school.

Ronald Reagan shamelessly tapped into that well of racism to support his campaign, just like he did when he advocated for "state's rights" in the deep South.

There will be fewer and fewer people over time with memories of Reagan's reliance on racism, but it's hard to deny its impact.

I agree with you that as more prominent Republicans are black, that perception could change. (It would be a disaster for Republicans if Colin Powell actually ran for something, because he'd go down in flames in a Republican primary due to his pro-choice positions.) But it will take more than a few appointments to make up for decades of abuse.
3.22.2006 11:11am
Freder Frederson (mail):
So, maybe the place you should be looking is at how each party treats its minorities.

Well, maybe we should. Let's compare elected black democrats to elected black republicans. Exactly how many people are in the Republican Congressional Black Caucus right now? A quadruple amputee can count them on all his fingers.
3.22.2006 12:20pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):

A quadruple amputee can count them on all his fingers.

Zzing!

Seriously though, FReder, stating that the problem exists is not the same as attributing it to a particular cause. The whole point of this thread is to ask why do blacks' political views follow a particular pattern - not to have an ideological pissing contest.
3.22.2006 12:25pm
Aaron:
MikeBUSL07:

One possible answer to your question, as I tried to explain earlier, is this: a picture is worth a thousand words. Republicans claim to be reaching out to Blacks, but when the chips are down, who do they keep in the leadership? Who is guiding the president? Who is the most powerful man in the country taking his advice from?

It sure isn't Black folks. And that is the perception (real or not) that keeps Blacks from identifying with the Republican Party; why be a member of a party that relegates us to the back benches? Even if there is progress, it is not at the highest levels.

BTW, Rudy Giuliani is another reason that Blacks can't stand the Republican Party. He stood for law, order, and making NYC a decent place to live--and he did it by antagonizing the Black community by unleashing the worst elements of the NYPD to indiscriminately rampage through Black neighborhoods. Any polls that have Giuliani ahead, I can guarantee that he's not getting any Black voters from NYC.
3.22.2006 1:22pm
Aaron:
I was a little unclear: Black folks like law, order, and keeping NYC a decent place to live, so on the surface, we should have supported Giuliani. However, Giuliani went out of his way to antagonize the Black community; he followed the Dinkins administration, and wanted to show that unlike Dinkins, he wasn't going to "pander" to the Black community for support. This tactic gained him white voters who felt alienated by Dinkins, but cost him, and more importantly, the party, in a place where there could have been huge inroads made in a populace that was feeling increasingly frustrated by Rev. Al and his ilk. Instead, al Rudy did was drive the Black vote further into the pockets of Sharpton, Fulani, etc.

Finally, 41 bullets has done more to drive Blacks away from the Republican party than any picture of Condi or Powell could possibly ameliorate.
3.22.2006 1:28pm
Aaron:
So if the Republicans plan on supporting Giuliani in '08, kiss any burgeoning Black membership good-bye--Blacks will see the move as just another way that Republicans want to put their foot up...er, flaunt their insensativity towards Black voters.
3.22.2006 1:31pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
The whole point of this thread is to ask why do blacks' political views follow a particular pattern - not to have an ideological pissing contest.

Well, from reading the posts of all the Republicans on this thread, I think the consensus goes something like this: "Since Republican programs are so obviously morally and economically superior to those of Democrats, anyone who is not a Republican is either stupid, an ignorant tool of Democrats, or an immoral,corrupt layabout who wants government handouts". Therefore, Republicans must think that the vast majority of black people are stupid, ignorant tools, or immoral, corrupt layabouts. Is it any wonder there aren't more black Republicans.

Personally, I think that rich Republicans think this about all non-wealthy people, but many non-wealthy white people are too stupid and gullible to realize they are being made fools of and condescended to and eagerly vote for Republican candidates because they think that by voting Republican they will get the moral society or prosperiety they are promised but is never delivered (at least not to them). Again, I think this is a phenomenon of the last thirty years or so. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Republicans really did care about the prosperity of the entire country and not just the priveleged class. I think Eisenhower was one of our best presidents.
3.22.2006 1:57pm
Grover Gardner (mail):
"The whole point of this thread is to ask why do blacks' political views follow a particular pattern - not to have an ideological pissing contest."

So, Mike, when you're given reasons by a self-identified black voter, all you do is dismiss the argument, to wit:

"Wow, so what this boils down to is picking names out of a hat, then saying that black guy X has access, while black guy Y doesn't, a completely arbitrary judgment?"

That seems to be the whole pattern of this thread. Someone suggests why blacks vote the way they do, and the conservatives respond, "That's stupid," or "They've been brainwashed by the Democratic candy machine." I don't see one single comment above that contains any hint of acknowledgement of the way blacks perceive the GOP, much less suggesting any remedy. TDPerkins has knocked himself out dissing the Dems while ignoring the whole purpose of some of the comments, which is to try to identify what the problem is.

A few specific responses: TD, in my area blacks by and large do not support vouchers—they want the public schools fixed. Bluecollar, I suspect that black enlistment in the armed forces is more likely driven by the social and economic opportunities presented than by sheer patriotism. But the numbers are dropping drastically due to opposition to the war in black communities.
3.22.2006 4:40pm
Gekkobear (mail):
Well Freder, in answer to:
"Yeah, the real question is why are white people who make less than $100,000 a year so stupid that they vote Republican."

Umm, that'd be me in some elections. I'm trying to vote in a way that the Government doesn't take over 50% of my earnings in various tax &spend boondoggles (total tax, not just income tax).

The Republican track record here (especially under Bush) is awful. Almost as bad as the Democrat track record... Still, when you think Tax &Spend, you think Democrat (and Bush currently). Somehow I've missed the Democrat plan for shrinking the scope &cost of the Federal Government, and watched the Republican plan fail. Well, a failed plan or no plan isn't much of a choice, but its still pretty easy to make...

My thought is, if maybe the Government quit trying to "manage" the economy, by taking money out of it, and p*ssing it away, the economy might do better; my job might pay more; and I might BE one of those people making MORE than 100,000 a year.

I do suppose your thought of "Well, I don't make more than 100,000 a year, so screw them" is more common than hoping to one day BE one of those people. But I'm wondering if you slander success and praise failure, what do you get more of; and what do you get less of?
3.22.2006 5:30pm
Bezuhov (mail):
"Bezuhov,
Any empirical basis for that claim? Do you even know any black people?"

What a strange question. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't.

My point on the difference between coming to this country in chains and coming to escape them is that African-American culture is the least likely to value American Exceptionalism, and the Republican Party is far and away more likely than the Dems to celebrate it.
3.22.2006 8:59pm
Grand CRU (mail):
If Colin Powell ran in the primary now he would lose. That would not have been true in 1996.
3.22.2006 10:45pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
The Republican track record here (especially under Bush) is awful. Almost as bad as the Democrat track record... Still, when you think Tax &Spend, you think Democrat (and Bush currently).

You see, this is what I don't get. Let's look at the last twenty-five years and compare the objective budget, economic and government growth numbers. The only time we had a budget surplus, constrained growth in government, and a booming economy was under a Democratic administration. Republican administrations have been characterized by reliance on dubious economic theories (I believe George H.W. Bush called it "voodoo economics") that you can cut taxes to get yourself out of deficits. So far this hasn't worked, and there is no reasonable evidence that the current round of tax cuts will ever return the budget to solvency.

As for your mythical 50% tax rate. There is nothing in the Republican platform that is going to relieve you or anyone of modest means of that burden. We still have to pay for roads, defense, police, schools, health care, sewers and all the other things we demand of a modern society. If the government doesn't provide it, you are going to have to pay for it out of your own pocket. All the schemes to make up for the lost revenue from the rich (which is what eliminating taxes on unearned income and inheretences and progressive income taxation amount to) means a heavier burden on those of more modest means. If all your income is from wages and only earned income is taxed you are going to pay a much greater percentage of your income in taxes than someone who's primary source of income is stock dividends. A national sales taxes most heavily burdens those who spend most of their income on consumables.
3.23.2006 9:52am
Gekkobear (mail):
"The only time we had a budget surplus, constrained growth in government, and a booming economy was under a Democratic administration."

All spending bills are created where? At the Presidency? Nope, if you said "All spending bills must be started in teh House of Reprsentatives" then move to the head of the class.

When is the last time the Dems were in charge of the House again? Oh, you mean a Democrat President caused the Republican House to lower spending. True, but more a product of deadlocking than working to do so...

Whats wrong with the current economy? Sustained growth with under 5% unemployment ain't bad. The French would really love to trade right now...

"As for your mythical 50% tax rate." Well, its not "mythical", and its not "mine", its real, and based on the total amount the Governmant takes (sales, income, property, etc.) in taxes. Why is reality "mythical" to you?

"If the government doesn't provide it, you are going to have to pay for it out of your own pocket." Ok, so your claim is that the Government is more efficient and cheaper than non-Government options. My claim is the opposite. Lets compare Administrative costs of say the American Red Cross and Government run Welfare... 10% vs 40-50% with more corruption and waste with over 40% administration costs.

Oh, also. If the Government doesn't provide it, I'll have to pay for ME out of my own pocket. If you think thats all I'm paying now, you're delusional.

Anyone who believes the Government is the best option isn't looking at options. The Government is the best option if its the only option (hence treaties, rule of law, power of war, i.e. the powers granted it by the Constitution).

On the other hand, Government Schools are by and large worse the private ones. Canada's Government Health Care seems to be a "put you on a waiting list until it gets better or you die" kind of system. Roads &Sewers either are paid for by local Government, or are earmarked into spending bills by Federal Government in return for kickbacks generally in the form of campaign contributions. I can't see the corrupt methodology being the preferable one there...

"A national sales taxes most heavily burdens those who spend most of their income on consumables." Odd, every single plan I've seen for a national sales tax either exempt "necessities", or have a refund covering the poverty level taxes (so at poverty level, you're refunded 100%). Maybe I miss how paying 0 in Federal sales tax becomes a heavy burden... Could I get that heavy tax burden instead?
3.23.2006 12:38pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
As for your mythical 50% tax rate." Well, its not "mythical", and its not "mine", its real, and based on the total amount the Governmant takes (sales, income, property, etc.) in taxes. Why is reality "mythical" to you?

I doubt you pay 50% of your gross income in taxes. You may want to added up all your maximum tax rates ("I'm in the 35% Fed. Income Tax Rate, my state income tax is 8%, I pay 8000 in property taxes, etc.", and on and on), and come up with that magical 50% rate, but then of course you're really not paying 35% of your income in Federal income taxes at all.

A national sales taxes most heavily burdens those who spend most of their income on consumables." Odd, every single plan I've seen for a national sales tax either exempt "necessities", or have a refund covering the poverty level taxes (so at poverty level, you're refunded 100%).

Of course the poverty level is set so low, it is not going to help many people as they would actually end up losing their EITC anyway. You and I would probably end up with a heavier tax burden (especially in those years we bought a house or a car--or like me are making major repairs to my house because of storm damage from Katrina) and would lose all those tax breaks (like the mortgage interest credit) that benefit the middle class the most.
3.23.2006 5:52pm
BU2L (mail):

I doubt you pay 50% of your gross income in taxes.

Thankfully, so do I. I don't think we are talking about the gross income, since you are not taxed on that. Are you sure you paid taxes before?
3.23.2006 8:02pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Thankfully, so do I. I don't think we are talking about the gross income, since you are not taxed on that. Are you sure you paid taxes before?

Oh, yeah, when you boast about how much you made last year, you tell everyone your taxable income--Who are you, Tony Soprano?
3.23.2006 8:13pm
Bilwick (mail):
"A Democrat believes in Social Responsibility. . . ." Does a Democrat also believe in the Easter Bunny, or that a black cat crossing one's path brings bad luck? Because, looked at logically, all these concepts are about as equally defensible. In itself the lack of logic doesn't bother me (people having the right to believe any irrational nonsense they choose); but unlike believers in Social Responsibility, believers in the Easter Bunny and in the bad-luck-bringing-ability of black cats aren't using the State to force submission to their fairy tales and superstitions. If you believe you have a responsibility to share your wealth with others, by all means do so. I'm part of the "working poor," so be sure to throw a little dinero my way. But don't go around forcing that belief on others. And if you do, please don't be hypocritical by denouncing the Religious Right for doing the same thing.
3.24.2006 1:33pm