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Socialist a "Code Word for 'black'":

Drudge links to this blog post, which states:

The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.

Those freedom fighters included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the Civil Rights Movement; W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1909 helped found the NAACP which is still the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization; Paul Robeson, a famous singer, actor and political activist who in the 1930s became involved in national and international movements for better labor relations, peace and racial justice; and A. Philip Randolph, who founded and was the longtime head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leading advocate for civil rights for African Americans.

The funny thing is that if indeed Hoover referred to Du Bois, Robeson, and Randolph as socialists, it was not because they were black,but because they were, well socialists. Robeson, in fact, was a Communist, as was Du Bois in his later years.

Mahan Atma (mail):
Question: Suppose Obama stood up in front of a crowd of black people and asked them to vote for him, stating "Only our side has a black on the ticket!"

Would that be racist?
10.21.2008 10:56pm
Bleepless:
I do not remember J. Edgar Hoover ever using the word "socialist" to describe any of those mentioned. Any citations?
10.21.2008 10:57pm
Ben P:
And in the 1920 Presidential Election the actual socialist party, with Eugene Debs campaigning from Prison (for draft protesting) got almost 4% of the popular vote.

The point?

There is in fact a socialist party in America and there are real socialists.

But as Professor Somin stated pretty concisely in the last post on this there's a lot of people who use the word "socialist" without any sort of clear meaning, and they've destroyed any actual meaning it may have had.
10.21.2008 11:00pm
William Oliver (mail) (www):
Get used to it. This kind of stuff we are going to hear for the next four years.
10.21.2008 11:02pm
therut (mail):
Somebody is lying and sees a racist under every bed in the USA. Those guys were socialists and communists. Who is the person trying to fool or should I say agitate.
10.21.2008 11:08pm
cboldt (mail):
Great comments following the blog post. This was my favorite:
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Tomorrow I think I will wear my socialist shoes and a socialist shirt. I will dye my hair socialist. I will eat socialistberries and play a game of socialistjack. I will watch the movie Socialist Sunday, and listen to the song Socialist Magic Woman. Perhaps I will treat myself to some socialist licorice. I will read about the physical properties of socialist holes. If the insanity of the world presses in too close, perhaps I will have a shot of Johnny Walker Socialist Label.

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I think the author, Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist (Democrat), deserves 200% of the ridicule that he will get.
10.21.2008 11:11pm
Oren:

And in the 1920 Presidential Election the actual socialist party, with Eugene Debs campaigning from Prison (for draft protesting) got almost 4% of the popular vote.

Well then obviously that 4% of the US electorate cannot be trusted to vote.
10.21.2008 11:13pm
Duncan D. Coffee:
Oh, I am SO SCARED! Someone might call me a racist. That term is just so absolutely full of meaning. It really really hurts us, Preciousssssss. Make them stop it. Fierce elves with bright eyes.

WE ARE SORRY WE EVER CALLED ANYONE WHO ADVOCATES SOCIALISM A "SOCIALIST". WE DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS WRONG. Please forgive us.
10.21.2008 11:16pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

The funny thing is that if indeed Hoover referred to Du Bois, Robeson, and Randolph as socialists, it was not because they were black,but because they were, well socialists. Robeson, in fact, was a Communist, as was Du Bois in his later years.


So what about Martin Luther King, Jr.?
10.21.2008 11:25pm
CJ2:
It's pretty easy to see how this happened, right? Originally, "socialist" meant (1) a very particular set of ideas involving government control of particular industries, their products, and their profits. Through over- and misuse, "socialist" has come to mean, in this country, (2) "general derogatory term for policies on the political left." Looking back, then, someone without a good sense of these two related-but-not-identical uses could confuse Hoover's use of (1) as him using (2).
10.21.2008 11:25pm
cboldt (mail):
-- So what about Martin Luther King, Jr.? --
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With emphasis on "so what."
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The subject is the defensibility of the argument that calling somebody a socialist (regardless of whether that charge has any merit) is a racist comment.
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I'd like for the defenders of "It is racist to call a black person a socialist" to step right up and and join Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist (Democrat).
10.21.2008 11:35pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I don't know enough about MLK's economic views to comment, beyond my impression that he would be comfortable among European Social Democrats. But the absurdity of "accusing" Hoover of calling two Communists and a socialist "socialists" because they were black is sufficient for me regardless of how apt it is MLK.
10.21.2008 11:36pm
Angus:
I can find any old ridiculous blog post from the right and point to it as if it means something. Part of the coarsening of culture caused by the internet.
10.21.2008 11:42pm
Kevin R (mail):
Though [MLK's] public language was guarded, so as to avoid being linked to communism by his political enemies, in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism. In one speech, he stated that "something is wrong with capitalism" and claimed, "There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism."


From Wikipedia; take it for what it's worth.
10.21.2008 11:43pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
CJ, but it was never, to my knowledge, a code word for "black." Segregationists did try to tar the entire civil rights movement as "Communist," but that's a different kettle of fish.
10.21.2008 11:46pm
Norman Bates (mail):
Of course it is not racism when over 90% of Black voters plan to vote for Senator Obama largely because his father was an African and Colin Powell has endorsed Senator Obama entirely for the same reason.
10.21.2008 11:52pm
Elmer Stoup (mail) (www):
Speaking as a long-suffering reader of Mr. Diuguid's column in the KC Star, I can only affirm Mr. Diuguid is a total chucklehead.
10.21.2008 11:53pm
Elmer Stoup (mail) (www):
Speaking as a long-suffering reader of Mr. Diuguid's column in the KC Star, I can only affirm Mr. Diuguid is a total chucklehead.
10.21.2008 11:53pm
Jim M (mail):
The cry of "racism" seems to be the new code word for "lets deflect this criticism without responding." Race has been the biggest red herring in this election.

Is there racism? Yes. Has it been a major factor in this election? Depends on how you want to define it. Has it been a major force emanating from the GOP side? No.
10.21.2008 11:54pm
Constantin:
Norman, I'll be anxious to see the post-election breakdown by race. I wonder what the largest percentage block vote of a recognized and exit polled racial group will be outside of the expected 95% black vote for Obama. My guess is nobody else will top 60% one way or the other.

But I'm the racist.
10.21.2008 11:56pm
LN (mail):

Of course it is not racism when over 90% of Black voters plan to vote for Senator Obama largely because his father was an African and Colin Powell has endorsed Senator Obama entirely for the same reason.


Of course over 90% of blacks voted for (white Democrats) Kerry, Gore, and Clinton, and other longtime (white) Republicans have endorsed Obama. But I wonder why Norman Bates thinks something noteworthy is going on with black voters and Colin Powell this election. Could it have something to do with race?
10.21.2008 11:57pm
Mark Rockwell (mail):
First its slavery.

Now it's Powell endorsing Obama.

WHAT NEXT?*?!?
10.22.2008 12:01am
cboldt (mail):
-- Looking back, then, someone without a good sense of these two related-but-not-identical uses could confuse Hoover's use of (1) as him using (2). --
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Substituting your definition #2 into Mr. Diuguid's argument results in "using a general derogatory term for policies on the political left is racist."
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I don't think the revision makes the contention any less worthy of the most hearty ridicule. What a way to get fame, Mr. Diuguid! "Here's your sign."
10.22.2008 12:03am
slammin' sammy (mail):
@Constantin:
prior to this election, blacks have consistently voted approx. 95% Democratic, and the candidates have ALL been white. All it says is that blacks have overwhelmingly supported the Democratic party. Now that the Democratic candidate is black, and blacks are following their historical voting trends, you choose to infer that it is because the candidate is the first black in the party's history. So yes, you are indeed the racist.
10.22.2008 12:07am
Syd Henderson (mail):

cboldt (mail):
-- So what about Martin Luther King, Jr.? --
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With emphasis on "so what."
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The subject is the defensibility of the argument that calling somebody a socialist (regardless of whether that charge has any merit) is a racist comment.


If you call black civil rights activists socialists regardless of whether the charge has any merit, yes it can be racist. Although if I remember, Hoover did that a lot with white activists as well.
10.22.2008 12:08am
DangerMouse:
We're all racists now. Next time someone pulls this, the correct response is to not act shocked. They want to use a nuke to silence you. But this attack is quickly losing its firepower.
10.22.2008 12:10am
cboldt (mail):
-- Of course over 90% of blacks voted for (white Democrats) Kerry, Gore, and Clinton --
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Yeah. The GOP/DEM variable plays very strongly there. The Obama/Clinton primary breakdown gets the party affiliation variable out of the mix.
10.22.2008 12:12am
cboldt (mail):
-- If you call black civil rights activists socialists regardless of whether the charge has any merit, yes it can be racist. --
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On what basis?
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If I call a skinny, honest black person a big fat liar, is the "big fat liar" part racist? Or are you imputing an anti-black motive based on the presence of a mere insult?
10.22.2008 12:17am
anoncom (mail):
Bush got around 12% of the African American vote in 2004. Obama will likely get 95%, leaving McCain with 5%. If so, it's fair to say that at least half of the blacks who voted for Bush will vote for Obama in part because he's black. I wouldn't call that racist voting, but it is race-conscious.
10.22.2008 12:22am
LN (mail):
anoncom -- black voters are hardly only the demographic in which Obama shows dramatic improvement over Kerry. For example, 93% of Republicans voted for Bush in 2004, but McCain seems to be on track for about 85%. Bush beat Kerry by 3 points nationwide, Obama is on track to beat McCain by 6 or more points.
10.22.2008 12:35am
slammin' sammy (mail):
@anoncom:

so if there is also a significant swing of the independent vote towards the Democratic candidate this election (which preliminary data suggests will occur) is that also because Obama is black?

And if you wish to discuss 'race-conscious' voting patterns, why leave out the whites who will not vote for Obama merely b/c he is black? I have no empirical data, but I believe this is significantly higher than the percentage of your alleged black Bush voters now supporting Obama. Anecdotally, I have at least three members in my immediate family (we are deep South), who have openly stated this is why they will not vote for Obama.

Here's my own theory about any black Bush voters going for Obama: It has nothing to do with Obama's blackness, but every bit to do with the wretched incompetence of the Bush administration and the deplorable descent of the GOP into racist fear-mongering not seen since the Civil Rights era as practiced by Deep South Democrats. (Many of whom switched to the GOP during the time of Ronald Reagan).
10.22.2008 12:37am
jeffk:
Socialist a "Code Word for 'black'"

Hmm. As the English say, "too clever by half:" code words for Jews?

Enjoys a drink: code words for Irishmen?

Lifelong bachelor: code words for homosexuals?

Ardent feminist: code words for lesbians?

Devout Muslim: code words for terrorists?

Public housing dweller: code name for leech on taxpayers?

Advocate for the homeless: code name for NIMBY?

Ccchhhanges: code name for ???
10.22.2008 12:54am
anoncom (mail):
Come on. Some blacks will vote for Obama because he's black. Some whites won't vote for Obama because he's black. A smaller number of whites will vote for Obama because he's black (they think "it's time" to have a black president, that it will help our international image, they have black grandchildren or children, it makes them feel progressive, whatever). These are rather uncontroversial statements.
10.22.2008 12:57am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mahan:

Question: Suppose Obama stood up in front of a crowd of black people and asked them to vote for him, stating "Only our side has a black on the ticket!"

Would that be racist?


Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian. See also here.
10.22.2008 1:00am
first history:
I have to laugh every time someone calls Obama a socialist, when more companies have been totally or partially nationalized in the past two months than any time in American history. In fact, I can't think of any time (outside of failed banks) that private companies have been taken over by the government (except United States Steel, Bethlehem Steel Republic Steel, Jones &Laughlin Steel, Youngstown Sheet &Tube, Armco Steel Corp., some of the steel companies seized by Truman).
10.22.2008 1:07am
LN (mail):
anoncom, sure. But the commenters here were responding to Norman Bates and Constantin, who were saying something considerably stronger than "Obama's race will affect his vote total."
10.22.2008 1:07am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian. See also here."


Well today Palin on a stage, flanked by other women, and urged women to vote for her because "Only our side has a woman on the ticket."

Replace "Palin" with "Obama" and "women" with "blacks" and every Republican commenter on this website would be screaming "RACISM!"

But when the Republicans practice "affirmative action", apparently that's just fine with them.
10.22.2008 1:15am
Mahan Atma (mail):
Oh, and they also don't mind it when Palin seizes property by eminent domain, and then decries Kelo.

Republicans - The Party of Double Standards!
10.22.2008 1:17am
LN (mail):
Mahan Atma:

Should America's top universities have affirmative action programs? Of course not, because we live in a meritocracy and everyone's abilities can be objectively judged by test scores and grades. But what should we think about Sarah Palin's 5 undergraduate institutions? Well in that case I think academia is run by pointy-headed out-of-touch liberals and anyone picked at random from the phone book would all make better executives than anyone with an Ivy League degree.
10.22.2008 1:27am
Dan M.:
Well, Obama doesn't have to say "Only our side has a black on the ticket!" because his side already gets an overwhelming majority of the black vote. He's hoping that ACORN will help him extend that advantage by motivating blacks who normally wouldn't vote to come out and vote. So if black voter turnout is a lot higher, then 95% of black voter support will help the Democrats a lot more this year than 88% black voter support helped them in 2004.

However, I agree that for Sarah Palin to say that on stage isn't tactful. I mean, maybe there's some subset of women that don't commonly vote that Sarah Palin thinks that she can help mobilize by making a direct appeal to them. Not sexist. If Barack Obama pointed out that he's black and appealed directly to blacks to put him in the White House because he is one of them and understands them and will serve them in the White House. No big deal. But the rampant accusations of racism are getting ridiculous. And I think some of the accusations of sexism are getting a little ridiculous, too. Some of the PUMAs and a small number of Republicans are seeing sexism in just about everything and damn it's just insane. There are a lot of things that I say and things that I believe that would probably be called sexist by some, so I'm not going to defend those who throw around the term lightly.
10.22.2008 1:52am
cboldt (mail):
-- Well today Palin on a stage, flanked by other women, and urged women to vote for her because "Only our side has a woman on the ticket."
Replace "Palin" with "Obama" and "women" with "blacks" and every Republican commenter on this website would be screaming "RACISM!"
--
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The parallel would be having Obama accuse Palin/McCain being socialists too, and in response, based on the justification that Palin is a woman, react that the Obama campaign is misogynist.
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I think you ought to explicitly complain about Palin using gender as a qualification, instead of drawing some equivalency to Obama saying he deserves votes because he's black.
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Although there is a radical difference between claiming a right to vote on account of race/sex; and claiming that a person who objects to your policies harbors racism/sexism.
.
I'm going to fact check your quote of Palin's comments today (for accuracy and context), and also your claim that Palin endorses the taking of private property for ostensibly private purposes (or whatever you want to use for shorthand for the fact pattern in Kelo). If I find you've materially misrepresented either situation, I am going to form an immutable opinion of your honesty in the role of blog poster.
10.22.2008 1:57am
Fub:
DavidBernstein wrote at 10.21.2008 10:46pm:
Segregationists did try to tar the entire civil rights movement as "Communist," but that's a different kettle of fish.
In the 1954 Arkansas gubernatorial primaries Orval Faubus was repeatedly called a communist by incumbent Francis Cherry.

Fact is, accusing political opponents of being communist or socialist has been routine in American politics since the early 20th century. Often there was some modicum of "evidence", often spurious or very weak, to back up the charge. But sometimes the accusation was correct.

A favorite, and almost impossible accusation to refute, was that someone was a Fabian Socialist. A Fabian, by definition was a secret Socialist, who had carefully hidden all connections to any Socialist political party or group. It was political equivalent of the playground "invisible cooties" slur.
10.22.2008 2:06am
DangerMouse:
Oh, and they also don't mind it when Palin seizes property by eminent domain, and then decries Kelo.

You do realize that Kelo is about using eminent domain to transfer property from one private party to another, while plain vanilla eminent domain is taking property to public use?

Honestly, people post here spewing talking points and they end up looking stupid. Kelo is not equal to classic, plain vanilla eminent domain. And anyone who disagrees with Kelo would know that. Since you don't, you must agree with Kelo.
10.22.2008 2:11am
cboldt (mail):
-- Although there is a radical difference between claiming a right to vote on account of race/sex ... --
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I need to restate/clarify that. I meant a right to get support, to have somebody vote FOR you. I did not mean the right to cast a ballot, although that is exactly what the phrase is naturally taken as.
10.22.2008 2:15am
Dan M.:
Of course, looking at the context, Palin wasn't really saying "Women should vote for John McCain because I'm a woman."

She was flanked by Hillary supporters, and her argument that day was that women should consider that Obama picked Joe Biden over a much more qualified Hillary Clinton whom he didn't even seriously consider. If Colin Powell, for example, had run on the Republican ticket in the primaries, garnered millions of votes in the Republican primaries, winning Democratic battleground states, and John McCain dissed him and picked a white man as his running mate, is it not implausible that Democrats would seize on that and accuse the Republicans of racism? Or if Hillary had pulled out the nomination and she had chosen Joe Biden as her running mate instead of Obama, I'm sure there would be a lot of people on both sides accusing Hillary of being a racist, since, you know, they were already accusing her of being racist during the primaries.
10.22.2008 2:19am
cboldt (mail):
-- You do realize that Kelo is about using eminent domain to transfer property from one private party to another, while plain vanilla eminent domain is taking property to public use? --
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The facts and evolution of the eminent domain case in Wasilla are really interesting. Check it out if you get a chance. The guy you are responding to is probably, as you've already noticed, holding an opinion on the matter that isn't amenable to adjustment via rational persuasion.
10.22.2008 2:21am
cboldt (mail):
-- Of course, looking at the context, Palin wasn't really saying "Women should vote for John McCain because I'm a woman." --
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Interpretation is a subjective matter. So, instead of crafting my impression, here is what the news reports reported:
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"Our opponents think that they have the women's vote all locked up, which is a little presumptuous," Palin said. "Little presumptuous, since only our side has a woman on the ticket."

"You've got to ask yourself, why was Senator Hillary Clinton not even vetted by the Obama campaign? Why did it take 24 years, an entire generation from the time Geraldine Ferraro made her pioneering bid, until the next time that a woman was asked to join a national ticket?"

"Women want the same opportunities as men," she said. "And they're entitled to the same rewards. See, the point here, the point here is that women would suffer just as much from the massive tax increase that Senator Obama proposes."

... Female staffers in Obama's Senate office earn 83 cents to every dollar earned by male staffers, while McCain's female Senate staffers, on average, earn more.

"Does he think that the women aren't working as hard?," Palin asked. "Does he think that they are 17 percent less productive?"
10.22.2008 2:30am
Dan M.:
Okay, cboldt, I suppose people can judge for themselves, sure. My interpretation was that it was more of a subtle charge of sexism because Obama didn't consider Hillary rather than a straight appeal to vote for a woman. That charge was then supplemented by a claim that he pays his female staffers less than he pays his male staffers, a claim that, even if true, lacks any analysis below the surface (which I would say of most "women make xx cents for every dollar a man makes" arguments).

I think some subtle charges of sexism or racism can be mildly justified. Some can't. Certainly if there were a credible black candidate that sought the Republican VP slot, I don't doubt Obama would at the very least subtly charge racism for McCain's failure to select a black running mate.

Of course, if McCain had chosen a black running mate, the Democrats would have called it a cynical ploy to attract black voters whose agenda is against blacks, and that black Republican would be an Uncle Tom, he'd have more in common with a white Republican than with a black person, he'd actually be white, etc.
10.22.2008 2:59am
cboldt (mail):
-- I suppose people can judge for themselves, sure. My interpretation was ... --
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I think your interpretations are very reasonable. I think the quotes of Palin's comments support your initial contention.
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I went looking for a report to compare with our correspondent Mahan Atma's report: "Palin on a stage, flanked by other women, and urged women to vote for her because 'Only our side has a woman on the ticket.'" It just happened that I used your comment as a launch pad.
10.22.2008 3:14am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Segregationists did try to tar the entire civil rights movement as "Communist," but that's a different kettle of fish.

Beginning early in the last century, Communists diabolically attempted to appeal to blacks by officially considering them equal to whites. There were many links among the labor movement, pacifism, and the civil rights movement: The Congress on Racial Equality was an outgrowth of the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, which had as one of many founders perennial Socialist Presidential candidate Norman Thomas.
10.22.2008 3:36am
Cro (mail):
To paraphrase, if "socialist" is code for "black," then what's the code word for "socialist?"
10.22.2008 4:29am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
In far too many cases, it is legitimate to interpret "columnist" as a code word for "idiot.""
10.22.2008 4:34am
TA:
It would be helpful if we could be provided, in advance, with a list of terms which were not racist.
10.22.2008 7:10am
pmorem (mail):
It seems like Republican is a treated as a synonym for racist.

Other synonnyms are "stupid", "evil" and "partisan".

I find this troubling.
10.22.2008 8:45am
Hoosier:
Stalin was a socialist.

(By which I surreptitiously mean to imply that he was a Negro.)
10.22.2008 8:49am
SirBillsalot (mail):

It's pretty easy to see how this happened, right? Originally, "socialist" meant (1) a very particular set of ideas involving government control of particular industries, their products, and their profits. Through over- and misuse, "socialist" has come to mean, in this country, (2) "general derogatory term for policies on the political left." Looking back, then, someone without a good sense of these two related-but-not-identical uses could confuse Hoover's use of (1) as him using (2).


The question is the one we ask the boy who cries "wolf" - what do you do when you have a real Socialist candidate for president who nevertheless would prefer for electoral reasons not to be called a Socialist? Do you call him on reality, or allow him to conveniently label himself?

Here, we have a candidate who openly advocates government wealth redistribution, which is a defining objective of Socialism under any definition. Regarding control of industries: his advocacy of increased regulation (Cf regulatory takings analysis used in takings jurisprudence suggests that enough regulation is functionally like a nationalization), unionization (card check bill), nationalized health care (via mandates), and regulation of media (fairness doctrine) all strike me as things an honest Socialist would be happy to claim as his own.
10.22.2008 8:59am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mahan:

"Only our side has a woman on the ticket."


If Palin was supposed to help McCain with women, it seems to not be working out that way:

Unfavorable Views of Palin

Palin’s image has declined sharply among women voters since mid-September and there is a growing gap in how men and women view the Alaska governor.

In the Sept. 9-14 survey, about as many women (53%) as men (56%) expressed positive opinions of Palin. In the current survey, far fewer women (38%) than men (50%) have a favorable impression of Palin.

Independent women, in particular, have an increasingly negative impression of the GOP vice presidential candidate. In mid-September, 59% of independent women expressed a favorable opinion of Palin, compared with 28% who felt unfavorably. Currently, a majority of independent women voters (56%) have a negative opinion of Palin, while just 35% express a positive view.

Views of Palin among Democrats and independents overall have become much more negative since last month. Nearly half (49%) of Democrats now have a very unfavorable impression of her, up from 33% in September. Similarly, 27% of independents now have a very unfavorable view of the Alaska governor, nearly triple the 10% who felt this way in mid-September. However, Palin remains very popular among the GOP base. More than eight-in-ten Republican voters (83%) – including virtually identical percentages of men (82%) and women (83%) – express positive opinions of Palin, which is largely unchanged from the mid-September survey.


Palin is a polarizing figure. With any luck, the GOP will put her on the ticket in 2012, and that will produce the same result as 2008.
10.22.2008 9:04am
Hoosier:
Hoover used the word "socialist" to describe non-black "troublemakers" as well. How does this square with the claim that "socialist" is code for "black"?
10.22.2008 9:05am
Hoosier:
TA:
It would be helpful if we could be provided, in advance, with a list of terms which were not racist.


"Python"

"Echo-Location"

"Soup"

"Electric Waffle"

That exhausts the possibilities.
10.22.2008 9:07am
Hoosier:
My mistake: I was looking at last year's list.

Strike "soup."
10.22.2008 9:09am
Mad Max:
I have to laugh every time someone calls Obama a socialist, when more companies have been totally or partially nationalized in the past two months than any time in American history.

So it seems Obama is not the only socialist, but that hardly establishes that he is not a socialist...
10.22.2008 9:32am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Hoosier,

Echolocation may not be racist, but it clearly demonstrates your hatred of the differently sighted. Why do you hate blind people?
10.22.2008 10:06am
cboldt (mail):
jukeboxgrad asserted: -- Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian. --
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Thanks for the links. I'd need to see more evidence to accept the allegation you make. The Stein quote in the NYT may result from misrecollection as to timing; and there may be a complete error in attribution. IOW, a TV station making a false claim being attributed to Palin, and that attribution being "off" as a temporal matter, coming after the election instead of before it.
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Palins Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual - Jim Wilson/The New York Times
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Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. ...
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"Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, 'Whoa,'" said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. "But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: 'We will have our first Christian mayor.'"


Sarah Palin had turbulent first year as mayor of Alaska town - Seattle Times
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In October 1996, about a third of Wasilla's registered voters went to the polls. Palin collected 616 votes — 58 percent of the total. "It's a new direction," she told the Frontiersman, the local newspaper.
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Afterward, a TV station called her Wasilla's "first Christian mayor."

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If Stein's beef is before the election, that Palin saying "look at my church work" is foul play as electioneering, Stein can rebut at the time with 1) it's foul play, 2) it's irrelevant, but if it was, 3) I'm a Lutheran.
10.22.2008 10:23am
cboldt (mail):
-- If Stein's beef is before the election, that Palin saying "look at my church work" is foul play as electioneering, Stein can rebut at the time .... --
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And directly to your contention (Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian), if Stein's beef is that Palin or a surrogate or a news reporter is suggesting that he wasn't Christian, he can rebut that at the time. Raising it as a "Palin fights dirty" charge, years later, put me in a "Stein and his supporters are assholes" frame of mind.
10.22.2008 10:33am
Constantin:
"@Constantin:
prior to this election, blacks have consistently voted approx. 95% Democratic, and the candidates have ALL been white. All it says is that blacks have overwhelmingly supported the Democratic party. Now that the Democratic candidate is black, and blacks are following their historical voting trends, you choose to infer that it is because the candidate is the first black in the party's history. So yes, you are indeed the racist."

Nope. Go back and check the Dem primary, and aim your fire elsewhere.
10.22.2008 10:35am
byomtov (mail):
Let's review:

JBG says Palin's mayoral campaign included charges that her opponent wasn't a Christian.

cboldt demands a link.

JBG provides a link.

cboldt says "not good enough. The reporter may have made a mistake or something." In other words, there's no evidence he would accept, short of an outright admission by Palin.

Then he claims that even if it's true Stein could have rebutted it, so it didn't matter.

But the problem is that Palin raised the issue to begin with. What if Stein really were Jewish? Why would she think that mattered?
10.22.2008 10:43am
Sarcastro (www):
I take this kansas blog to represent all liberal thought!
10.22.2008 10:45am
Adam J:
LN - Our society is in part a meritocracy, but I wouldn't exactly call acceptance to ivy league schools entirely merit based. Besides affirmative action, there's also a number of (incredibly expensive) elite private schools that are basically feeder schools for the ivys, and getting into them requires little to no merit whatsoever- just money. Also, legacies get preferential treatment (even more preferential when accompanied by large donations), which isn't related to merit either.
10.22.2008 10:51am
Sarcastro (www):
This thread has also taught me that when it comes to race, proving correlation is the same as proving causation!
10.22.2008 10:53am
RPT (mail):
The recent history of this blog, which appears to reflect that of the McCain campaign as well, is the search for the appropriate epithet to use to characterize Obama which will resonate with the undecided voters. This is the meaning of the Wright-Ayers-Socialist-Terrorist-Communist, etc. weekly changing narratives. None of the efforts yet seem successful. It is not necessary that any of the labels have an agreed upon meaning within the relevant disciplines of theology, law, political science, economics, sociology, and so on. The most absurd part for me is the characterization of Wright's theology as somehow outside the Pentecostal/Evangelical mainstream. Those who make this assertion are just not familiar with the mainstream dialog of this religious world. The examples are many.

Whether this effort tp put a non-racial toxic label on Obama reflects actual racism is an individual issue for each participant in the discussion, and it does little good to attribute such motives to any of the anti-Obama posters here. However, there is a larger racial history and dialog in the U.S. which cannot be disregarded in the analysis of this current collective effort. Put another way, I do not believe that those who are against Obama will regret the outcome if a racial campaign against him is successful.
10.22.2008 10:59am
cboldt (mail):
Let's review:
JBG says Palin's mayoral campaign included charges that her opponent wasn't a Christian.
cboldt demands a link.
JBG provides a link.

.
Hells bells, right off the bat you get the sequence screwed up. Not that it matters substantively, but it illuminates your observation and recapitulation skills. JBG made a charge, and provided links. I never demanded links. I compared the charge with the contents of the links, and they don't match. If you think the charge and the reports linked are a match, then it's because you are imagining a link that wasn't reported. Perhaps in the same fashion that you imagined a demand that wasn't made.
.
-- In other words, there's no evidence he would accept, short of an outright admission by Palin. --
.
Now you are engaging in making an unsubstantiated and false (and frankly, stupid) accusation against me personally. There are many things that I would accept as evidence of the initial charge. Something other than Stein's self-serving whining that shows a suggestion that Stein's church affiliation was made an issue by Palin or her campaign. Maybe some campaign propaganda that insinuates, "Stein is not a Christian, but I am" for example. Or a news report, "Today, the Palin campaign contrasted it's Christianity with it's opponents lack thereof." I don't mean to say it has to be that blatant (should be obvious nothing that blatant will surface), but at least something that substantiates the "Palin camp made the accusation" and "before the election" points.
.
-- But the problem is that Palin raised the issue to begin with. --
.
That's the point that's coming up short on evidence. Now it's your turn in the barrel. Put up or shut up.
10.22.2008 11:04am
Triangle_Man:
In this case socialist is a code-word for communist, not black. More accurately, it should be considered a euphemism for "commie", "pinko", or "commie bastard".


His blackness is not what is supposed to be questioned, his commitment to America or "American values" is. By calling Obama a socialist, we are supposed to think that electing him is the first step on a slippery slope toward an inevitable rise of a totalitarian communist state.
10.22.2008 11:08am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Why is "not Christian" a synonym for "Jewish?" Stein himself said "I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue," in other words, the allegation is that Palin portrayed herself as a churchgoing Christian and Stein as, at best, a nonpracticing nominal Christian. If true, that means that Palin injected religion into politics, not that she "accused" Stein of being Jewish. Assumedly, in fact, in a small town like Wasilla, anyone who cared already knew Stein wasn't Jewish.
10.22.2008 11:14am
cboldt (mail):
-- The most absurd part for me is the characterization of Wright's theology as somehow outside the Pentecostal/Evangelical mainstream. --
.
So Obama shouldn't have thrown Reverend Wright under the bus and taken him off the "most trusted advisors" Rolodex.
.
In effect then, he's sacrificed/disavowed what you see as a mainstream religion, for personal election advantage.
10.22.2008 11:14am
SeaDrive:
I suspect that the work "socialist" was used to stir up memories of radical leftists of all colors, including, say, William Kunstler and Gus Hall, but it's not worth worrying about. It's way, way, way too subtle. Can you imagine Joe the Plumber or one of his ilk saying "Gee, I was on the fence until I heard that word "socialist" and thought about how similar Obama is to DuBois" ?

For what it's worth, I think the Ayers business has the same problem. For most Americans, if the guy isn't in jail, and is considered respectable enough by the community to hold a job and hold leadership positions in civic organizations, then what's the big deal.
10.22.2008 11:18am
cboldt (mail):
-- That's the point [she started it] that's coming up short on evidence. --
.
And her saying "I go to church" is not evidence of her making an accusation that her opponent isn't Christian.
.
Anybody who makes that sort of connection really is an asshole in my book. FWIW, YMMV, etc.
10.22.2008 11:22am
SirBillsalot (mail):
RPT:

I think it is interesting that you think being described as a socialist as an epithet. It's just a description for a strand of political theory, rather like calling someone a social democrat, conservative, libertarian, etc. Like those other strands, it's one with a rich history in western democracies. To take just one recent example, Neil Kinnock, the British Labour leader who's genuinely working class life Joe Biden appropriated along with his speeches back in 88, used to proudly call himself a Socialist. He certainly wasn't ashamed or defensive about his political beliefs.

The fact that you think that such a mainstream political tradition is an epithet, suggests to me that you know that socialist policies have always failed when tried. So why support something so rotten under another name?
10.22.2008 11:24am
Ben P:

Why is "not Christian" a synonym for "Jewish?" Stein himself said "I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue," in other words, the allegation is that Palin portrayed herself as a churchgoing Christian and Stein as, at best, a nonpracticing nominal Christian. If true, that means that Palin injected religion into politics, not that she "accused" Stein of being Jewish. Assumedly, in fact, in a small town like Wasilla, anyone who cared already knew Stein wasn't Jewish.



I think you're reading a bit too much into the use of the word Jewish there. He really just meant it as "another religion."

The relevant difference is between christian and "Christian."

The article mentions that Stein was raised Lutheran. Of course I'm speculating, but I'll wager that he is still one of the vast majority of Americans that self identify as christian when polled about it. He said "not a Churchgoing guy" but I'd wager he probably has gone a few times in the past few years. Namely, Christmas Easter etc. He certainly doesn't sound as if he's "anti-religious."

But along comes Palin and says he's not a "Christian." His first reaction is confusion. "Of course I'm a christian, what else would I be?" It takes some time to realize that an Evangelical's definition of "Christian" is drastically different than a non-evangelical's definition.
10.22.2008 11:26am
Joseph Weisenthal (mail) (www):
I've been seeing everyone link to this silly piece on the Kansas City Star. The post makes plum no sense, and it's obvious the author is out to lunch.

That being said, what's the big deal about it? Did it get linked to from somewhere? Does everyone read the Kansas City Star? Why don't we just ignore this moron. It seems like a total non-issue.
10.22.2008 11:32am
Bad (mail) (www):
Just to bring it full circle: Du Bois wasn't just a socialist, he was also a racist (or, at least, a racialist).
10.22.2008 11:35am
cboldt (mail):
-- The relevant difference is between christian and "Christian." --
.
Thanks for that observation. A parallel to JFK being the first Catholic president, with Catholics being one branch of Christianity. Interdenominational warfare!
.
Imagine all the fun to be had when we get a candidate who subscribes to Scientology!
10.22.2008 11:40am
RPT (mail):
"The fact that you think that such a mainstream political tradition is an epithet, suggests to me that you know that socialist policies have always failed when tried. So why support something so rotten under another name?"

Too many assumptions in one paragraph....The term "Socialist" is used by others as a hyperbolic epithet. Single payer health care is called "socialist". That is just silly. European parties using that name are not comparable to the US Democratic party, nor are Obama's proposed policies socialist in any analytical way. The term only has real meaning if it includes something beyond executive branch government control.

Has it been tried anywhere? Another silly question, just like the ideal free market question. There are no ideal systems with imperfect people.
10.22.2008 11:50am
Mhoram:

TA:
It would be helpful if we could be provided, in advance, with a list of terms which were not racist.

"Python"

"Echo-Location"

"Soup"

"Electric Waffle"

That exhausts the possibilities.



Soup is clearly anti-semitic (Soup Nazi, anyone?)

Python is a racist code word for Hispanic since some pythons come from South America and Hispanics are (according to the right wing nuts) squeezing the life out of America

Echo-location is a slam against the blind as noted above

I think Electric Waffle is still safe.

I would add Picture Frame, Infantry and File Cabinet as acceptable non-racist words.
10.22.2008 11:53am
byomtov (mail):
cboldt,

You yourself admit that no "blatant evidence" is likely to surface. True. The Wasilla mayoral race did not attract nationwide press coverage, so you're not going to find a tape of her saying it (or anything else) on Meet the Press.

What we have is a statement by her opponent, which you simply assert is false - "Stein's self-serving whining that shows a suggestion that Stein's church affiliation was made an issue by Palin or her campaign."
10.22.2008 11:54am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Ben P, you must have misunderstood my comment, because we agree.
10.22.2008 11:58am
cboldt (mail):
-- I would add Picture Frame, Infantry and File Cabinet as acceptable non-racist words. --
.
Close call. "Picture Frame" includes "frame," the making of unsubstantiated allegations based on race. See "Driving while black" for example.
.
"Infantry" is obviously racist, because ground troops come disproportionally from the poor inner city demographic.
.
"File cabinet" appears safe, but keep in mind that I flunked sensitivity training.
10.22.2008 11:59am
Ben P:

Thanks for that observation. A parallel to JFK being the first Catholic president, with Catholics being one branch of Christianity. Interdenominational warfare!


It may suprise some, but I personally know a significant number of people (that could be described as evangelical Christians) who are of the firm belief that Catholics are not Christians.
10.22.2008 12:00pm
Brian Mac:

Stalin was a socialist.

(By which I surreptitiously mean to imply that he was a Negro.)


No need to be surreptitious!
10.22.2008 12:03pm
RPT (mail):
This morning brings a new definition of "socialism": using $150,000 in public campaign money for a Neiman Marcus/Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree. No word yet on whether the kids also go new "back to school" outfits along with mom and dad.
10.22.2008 12:04pm
Mhoram:

"File cabinet" appears safe, but keep in mind that I flunked sensitivity training



Thus, the phrase "Obama keeps an electric waffle in his file cabinet" is not racist. It is merely non-sensical.
10.22.2008 12:05pm
Hoosier:
It may suprise some, but I personally know a significant number of people (that could be described as evangelical Christians) who are of the firm belief that Catholics are not Christians.

Yes. There are plenty of "Bible Christians" who make that claim. It's an interesting argument. Since it means that there were no Christians for almost 1500 years after Jesus's death. (Orthodox Christians are also "not Christians" in this view.) Then a monk in central Germany came up with Christianity. How fortunate!

It also means that the source that they claim as the inerrant font of all Christianity is a collection of book compiled by the Catholic Church.

I know I'm a partisan in this debate. But the claim doesn't make any sense ot me.
10.22.2008 12:06pm
Donny:
Podunk editorial is incorrect. News at 11.


Seriously? Why did this hit such a nerve with people? Why are you so afraid of erroneously being called a racist?
10.22.2008 12:07pm
Kevin R (mail):
I think Electric Waffle is still safe.


I would avoid it in the context of a phrase such as "the electric waffle iron calling the griddle black", though.
10.22.2008 12:09pm
Hoosier:
"Infantry" is obviously racist, because ground troops come disproportionally from the poor inner city demographic.

I'm more concerned about the 'ageism" issue:

(infant)ry

Brian Mac:

THANK YOU!

Dancing Stalin is the coolest thing on the web that doesn't involve zombies or dinosaurs!

You made my day.

ELECTRIC WAFFLES FOR ALL! ON ME!
10.22.2008 12:11pm
Hoosier:
Seriously? Why did this hit such a nerve with people? Why are you so afraid of erroneously being called a racist?

It's an attempt at what Orwell called "intellectual bullying." An attempt to prevent debate on an issue by stigmatizing the other side before it can express its position.

But I'd expect that from a communist nun-molesting drug pusher like you.
10.22.2008 12:14pm
Sarcastro (www):
electric slide: mostly a black dance
waffle: A dish esp. served in the South

Electric waffle is nonsense, why would anyone say it? Unless they wanted our subconscious to make the above connection!

I've searched the internet and wasn't proved wrong.

In fact, I found clear mockery of "black" music.

Most damning of all was the book club at Redlands East Valley High School, "Electric waffle book club." What, blacks can't read?
10.22.2008 12:26pm
cboldt (mail):
What we have is a statement by her opponent, which you simply assert is false - "Stein's self-serving whining that shows a suggestion that Stein's church affiliation was made an issue by Palin or her campaign."
.
Stein is a partisan. It's perfectly reasonable to require corroborating evidence before accepting the contention. You don't believe what the Republican partisans say without independent evidence (neither do I), and this is no different. What he says may be true, it may be false, or it may have a meaning other than the impression either one of us has taken away.
.
There is evidence that he may have an error in recollection. The TV station's utterance of "1st Christian mayor" came after the election for example.
.
At this point, I'm open to the charge you've leveled, but the evidence that's been produced is insufficient to support "Palin (and I'll grant "or her campaign") suggested that Stein was not a Christian."
.
One statement attributed to Stein was:
.
"But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: 'We will have our first Christian mayor.'"

.
This allegation implies the presence of an issue, but does not make the contention that Palin suggested that he wasn't Christian (see possibility of comments made by partisan hack supporters, or some enthusiastic voter who has no role beyond voting and responding to reporter inquiries).
.
Somebody else noted that the issue may be one of denominational affiliation, "Lutheran" v "Episcopalian" just to pull an example out of the hat, with "Christian" perhaps being a denominational reference in Mr. Stein's mind. If that's that case, the accusation loses all of it's power, because in fact, Stein is not in the "Christian" denomination, he is in the "Lutheran" denomination. If "not a churchgoing guy" is, in local vernacular tantamount to "not a Christian," then he's describing a charge that he accepts as "true" (in the local vernacular).
10.22.2008 12:26pm
Hoosier:
Electric waffle is nonsense, why would anyone say it? Unless they wanted our subconscious to make the above connection!

It would be a pretty good name for a post-punk band, though.
10.22.2008 12:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cbolt:

I'd need to see more evidence to accept the allegation you make.


One of the most endearing things about the GOP is the way it applies highly elastic standards of evidence. Example: incessantly calling Ayers "unrepentant," despite certain obvious problems with that claim. Or incessantly claiming that the event at Ayers' house was Obama's inaugural campaign event, despite certain obvious problems with that claim (see here and here). Needless to say, I could show a bunch of other examples.

I see lots of skepticism being applied very selectively.

Anyway, there is other reporting that is more specific than the articles I cited previously. Like this:

Even though Palin knew that Stein is a Protestant Christian, from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Some of Stein's supporters interpreted this as an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish in the heavily evangelical community. Stein himself, an eminently reasonable and reflective man, thinks "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."

The Palin campaign also started another vicious whisper campaign, spreading the word that Stein and his wife -- who had chosen to keep her own last name when they were married -- were not legally wed. Again, Palin knew the truth, Stein said, but chose to muddy the waters. "We actually had to produce our marriage certificate," recalled Stein, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2005 without ever reconciling with Palin.


And this:

[Palin] dwelled on how Stein's wife used her maiden name, going so far as to demand a marriage certificate as proof of their nuptials.


You said this:

at least something that substantiates the "Palin camp made the accusation" and "before the election" points.


I think these articles I'm citing are based on multiple witnesses who are addressing the two questions you raised.

her saying "I go to church" is not evidence of her making an accusation that her opponent isn't Christian


She didn't just say "I go to church." She said she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Not the same thing.

Interdenominational warfare! Imagine all the fun to be had when we get a candidate who subscribes to Scientology!


There's no need to even stretch that far. There'll be lots of "fun" when Romney runs again. Anti-Mormonism is real.
10.22.2008 12:38pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
db:

Why is "not Christian" a synonym for "Jewish?"


The name (Stein) has a lot to do with it. Aside from that, it's just not that simple. "Not Christian" could be code for Jewish, or it could also be code for "not Evangelical." Or "not Christian enough."

If true, that means that Palin injected religion into politics, not that she "accused" Stein of being Jewish.


Even if all she did is the former, that's bad enough.

Assumedly, in fact, in a small town like Wasilla, anyone who cared already knew Stein wasn't Jewish.


By the same logic, "anyone who cared" also knew Stein was married. But Palin still demanded his marriage certificate.

Similarly, lots of people could have thought he was a Jew trying to pass (after all, lots of the same kind of people are making a very similar claim about Obama). If Palin had been a bit bolder, she might have demanded a public display of Stein's foreskin.
10.22.2008 12:38pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
byomtov:

But the problem is that Palin raised the issue to begin with. What if Stein really were Jewish? Why would she think that mattered?


This is similar to the issue that Colin Powell just raised. So what if Obama was Muslim?
10.22.2008 12:38pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

the claim doesn't make any sense ot me


I think that more or less by definition, claims regarding religion have nothing to do with making "sense."
10.22.2008 12:38pm
cboldt (mail):
-- You yourself admit that no "blatant evidence" is likely to surface. True. The Wasilla mayoral race did not attract nationwide press coverage, so you're not going to find a tape of her saying it (or anything else) on Meet the Press. --
.
What I said was that there wouldn't be evidence of a blatant statement by Palin or her campaign. I even gave examples: "Stein is not a Christian, but I am" for example. Or a news report, "Today, the Palin campaign contrasted it's Christianity with it's opponents lack thereof."
.
But if Palin or the Palin campaign accused Stein of not being a Christian, and that accusation was an element of her campaign, then there is campaign propaganda or a news report of some sort that evidences her initiation of a charge against Stein. I'd call that "blatant evidence." If the charge is true, then there will be blatant evidence of it.
.
In your mind, if one of the candidates is a regular church-goer (and says so in the context of the campaign), and the other is not, is that sufficient to level the charge "I was accused of not being a Christian."?
10.22.2008 12:41pm
LN (mail):
$150,000 for 2 months of clothing expenses?
SPREAD THE WEALTH, baby.
10.22.2008 12:43pm
Hoosier:
jukeboxgrad
hoosier:


the claim doesn't make any sense ot me


I think that more or less by definition, claims regarding religion have nothing to do with making "sense."


You are aware that Obama was a regular congregant of a church, n'est-ce pas? How irrational of him, huh?

Besides, we can look for internal consistency in religious thought, even if we dismiss the though itself as nonsense. (E.g, Scientology or Protestantism.)
10.22.2008 12:48pm
Hoosier:
Since African Americans are disproportionately "churched," and since jbg considers religion illogical, I must conclude that he is an intolerant bigot.

Which I condemn, because intolerance is totally gay.
10.22.2008 12:57pm
cboldt (mail):
there is other reporting that is more specific than the articles I cited previously
.
Thanks again. More evidence is good. Now to refresh your accusation ...
.
She said she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor."
.
And compare it with some of the new evidence ...
.
Even though Palin knew that Stein is a Protestant Christian, from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Some of Stein's supporters interpreted this as an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish in the heavily evangelical community. Stein himself, an eminently reasonable and reflective man, thinks "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."

.
Ahh, the whispering campaign. At any rate, with the new evidence you've cited, the Palin/Stein dust up appears to be in the nature of interdenominational or degree of participation in organized religious activities; and not in the nature of "Stein does not have a Bible-based religious conviction."
.
That evidence clarifies what your accusation meant in the first place. To me, your accusation came off as "Palin accused Stein of not having a Bible-based religious conviction."
.
One of the most endearing things about the GOP is the way it applies highly elastic standards of evidence. ... I see lots of skepticism being applied very selectively.
.
So many falsehoods, so little time. Of course research and debate are selective.
10.22.2008 1:06pm
RPT (mail):
"$150,000 for 2 months of clothing expenses?
SPREAD THE WEALTH, baby."

This is called the "trickle up" redistribution theory. Wait for the restaurant bills to come in.
10.22.2008 1:18pm
cboldt (mail):
-- But Palin still demanded his marriage certificate. --
.
I'm seeing a pattern here. But I'd expect that from a communist nun-molesting drug pusher like you. (h/t/ Hoosier - that line had me LOL)
.
-- So what if Obama was Muslim? --
.
After having publicly claimed to have always been a Christian? It would put his honesty into question, for one thing.
10.22.2008 1:22pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

You are aware that Obama was a regular congregant of a church, n'est-ce pas? How irrational of him, huh?


I didn't say that I have a problem with people who practice religion. I do, but only sometimes. It depends. I also didn't say that being irrational is always bad. There are places where it can be rational to be irrational (like in the worlds of religion, art and emotion).

All I'm saying is that it generally doesn't make sense to talk about religious claims in terms of making sense.

we can look for internal consistency in religious thought


Yes, fair enough.

intolerance is totally gay


I've always thought that "tolerance" is a very strange word. It seems feeble to me that we should aspire to merely "tolerate" people who are different. It means "endure." That's weaker than 'accept,' which, in turn, is weaker than 'welcome,' 'embrace' and 'celebrate.'
10.22.2008 1:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cbolt:

with the new evidence you've cited, the Palin/Stein dust up appears to be in the nature of interdenominational or degree of participation in organized religious activities; and not in the nature of "Stein does not have a Bible-based religious conviction."


The distinction you're raising seems to be a kind of hair-splitting. I don't see a big difference. And they both look bad to me. "Degree of participation in organized religious activities" should not be part of politics. Maybe you should read what the Constitution says about a "religious test."

And aside from that, I don't see how the evidence supports your distinction. The relevant words are these: "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Those words do indeed imply that "Stein does not have a Bible-based religious conviction." Especially since the target audience sees 'Bible' as 'Christian Bible.'

That evidence clarifies what your accusation meant in the first place. To me, your accusation came off as "Palin accused Stein of not having a Bible-based religious conviction."


Then you should pay more attention to what I actually said, and less attention to your fantasy of what you think I meant. I said this:

Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian


That statement is exactly consistent with the relevant words: "Wasilla's first Christian mayor."

After having publicly claimed to have always been a Christian? It would put his honesty into question, for one thing.


Obviously. I think you understand that I mean aside from that.
10.22.2008 1:24pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
The Salon article is not what we call "evidence" even in lay terms.

Stein, the main "source" points to no actual Palin statement. Neither does one of Stein's friends, the only other "source" on this issue. It is all what he, the defeated candidate, says Palin said or did. Salon calls him a "eminently reasonable and reflective man" so takes his assertions 100%. There are no flyers produced or even alleged quotes asserted.

Palin may or may not have campaigned that way but Salon is no proof one way or another.
10.22.2008 1:32pm
cboldt (mail):
-- The distinction you're raising seems to be a kind of hair-splitting. I don't see a big difference. --
.
One accusation is false (Stein does not draw his faith from a Bible-based religion), the other one is true (Stein doesn't go to the same church I go to). A true/false distinction may not make an impression on your mind, but it makes one on mine.
.
-- "Degree of participation in organized religious activities" should not be part of politics. --
.
Why not? It's an aspect of one's life that informs the public about the character of the candidates.
.
-- The relevant words are these: "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Those words do indeed imply that "Stein does not have a Bible-based religious conviction." Especially since the target audience sees 'Bible' as 'Christian Bible.' --
.
Okay. So you choose to level the false accusation, even misrepresenting Stein. That's a real piece of work.
10.22.2008 1:34pm
LN (mail):
How about this slogan: "Alaska: America's most socialist state."
10.22.2008 1:36pm
wfjag:

Besides, we can look for internal consistency in religious thought, even if we dismiss the though itself as nonsense. (E.g, Scientology or Protestantism.)

Since African Americans are disproportionately "churched," and since jbg considers religion illogical, I must conclude that he is an intolerant bigot.


Hoosier, you overlooked the fact that most African Americans are Protestants. Please revise your comment accordingly.

For bonus points you may also comment on the racism of Stephen Hawking and other physicists who have popularized the notion of "Black Holes" which sucks even the light out of the universe. www.psyclops.com/hawking/resources/


What all this means, is that going through a black hole, is unlikely to prove a popular and reliable method of space travel. First of all, you would have to get there by travelling in imaginary time, and not care that your history in real time came to a sticky end. Second, you couldn't really choose your destination. It would be a bit like travelling on some airlines I could name, but won't, because I would be sued.


However, points will be deducted if you compare Black Holes to Congress, since that's too easy an example.
10.22.2008 1:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
Good point, LN. EVeryone keeps saying that Obama has done nothing in his career, whereas Palin has done lots of things, like being gov. of a large state.

Few can dispute the fact that Alaska is far more socialist than any other -- it gets more funding from the lower 48 than most other states, and they actually get checks from the oil companies. Why? Because, in part, Palin strong armed the oil companies to 'distribute the wealth" The very thing that she is accusing Obama of wanting to do!

So, if we are going on past record, then Palin is far more a socialist than any other candidate.

Now, let's see how you are all going to spin that one....
10.22.2008 1:47pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cbolt:

A true/false distinction may not make an impression on your mind, but it makes one on mine.


Even though the statement is technically true, I still find it inappropriate, because it amounts to saying 'my religion is better than his.' Both statements amount to that, and that's why I object to both of them, and that why I see them as not terribly different from each other (even though one is technically true and one is technically false).

Why not? It's an aspect of one's life that informs the public about the character of the candidates.


Then find another way to tell us about your character. The constitution prohibits a religious test. Why does that seemingly mean nothing to you?

you choose to level the false accusation, even misrepresenting Stein


It would be nice if you could show what about my statement was "false." It would also be nice if you could show in what way I was "misrepresenting Stein."
10.22.2008 1:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bob:

Neither does one of Stein's friends, the only other "source" on this issue.


You don't know how many sources the reporter had. You only know how many he named. The reporter used this phrase: "some of Stein's supporters." I interpret that to mean that the reporter talked to other people, who may not have wanted to be named or quoted, for fairly obvious reasons.

As I said, I have a feeling that your skepticism about sourcing is highly elastic.
10.22.2008 1:59pm
gallileo:
Jukeboxgrad:

"There are places where it can be rational to be irrational (like in the worlds of religion, art and emotion)."

I think the word you want is "arational"--we aren't talking about ignoring what rational thought would suggest; we are talking about situations where rational thought has nothing to say.
10.22.2008 2:00pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Then find another way to tell us about your character. The constitution prohibits a religious test. Why does that seemingly mean nothing to you? --
.
I reject the contention that "the constitution forbids a religious test" to mean that the candidates and the public shouldn't air religion in an election dialog." It's a ridiculous contention.
.
Not unexpected from a person who is hostile to religion, and who advocates suppression of religious expression via unreasonable expansion of "the constitution prohibits a religious test."
.
I also think you are a fairly skilled propagandist, which in blunt terms is "I think you are a liar." If and when the mood strikes me, I'll challenge you to defend other of your lies. Readers can take in the exchange and reach their own independent opinion of both of us in the "intellectual honesty" department.
.
-- It would also be nice if you could show in what way I was "misrepresenting Stein." --
.
You construe Stein's statement ('We will have our first Christian mayor') as meaning that Palin accused Stein of not subscribing to a Bible-based religion. But Stein himself says "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."
10.22.2008 2:17pm
wfjag:

Few can dispute the fact that Alaska is far more socialist than any other -- it gets more funding from the lower 48 than most other states, and they actually get checks from the oil companies. Why?

Answer to the first question: Ted Stevens.

Answer to the second question: Those are severance taxes. The "socialist" thing to do would be to send that money to the federal government to "re-distribute." Other states that (used to) have large oil &gas severance taxes also used them to keep state and local taxes down. Louisiana is a prime example. A "socialist" response? No. A "populist" response? There's certainly a historical argument.

Huey Long promised "Every man a King." So, Randy, what would you have Palin promise? "Every man a . . ."?
10.22.2008 2:19pm
dr:

It's an attempt at what Orwell called "intellectual bullying." An attempt to prevent debate on an issue by stigmatizing the other side before it can express its position.

But I'd expect that from a communist nun-molesting drug pusher like you.



This made me do a spit-take. Since John McCain has fairly recently abdicated his position as my favorite conservative, I hereby name Hoosier to be his successor. Congratulations, Hoosier, you can pick up coupon for a free steak dinner on your way out of this thread.


Ah, that's very kind of you, but I'm a vegetarian.*



Yeah, I know. So am I. Yet another reason!



*Response anticipated, not actual.
10.22.2008 2:31pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

As I said, I have a feeling that your skepticism about sourcing is highly elastic.


No more than yours the other way. You don't like Palin so all anti-Palin sources are always right.

I doubt all anon sources all the time. No way to check for bias.

I doubt political enemies testifying as to facts.
Especially when there is no attempt to get the other side's view out.

Goes both ways. If Alan Keyes made a fact statement about Obama, I would not believe it without other evidence.

Stein could be correct, of course, but you can't tell from the Salon article.
10.22.2008 2:40pm
Bill2:

Yes. There are plenty of "Bible Christians" who make that claim. It's an interesting argument. Since it means that there were no Christians for almost 1500 years after Jesus's death. (Orthodox Christians are also "not Christians" in this view.) Then a monk in central Germany came up with Christianity. How fortunate!

...snip...

I know I'm a partisan in this debate. But the claim doesn't make any sense ot me.


Actually it makes a lot of sense in context. Fundamentalists of anything often make the claim that others, nominally in the same movement as broadly defined, are not "really" members. For example, there are libertarian fundamentalists who deny that anyone else is a libertarian unless they subscribe to the non-aggression principle. There are quite a few self-described libertarians who fail this test, and are rejected accordingly by the libertarian fundamentalists.

The "Christian" thing works the same way. One way to define "Christian" (from the standpoint of the faithful) is someone who is saved. Therefore, from the perspective of any given Christian sect, other sects whose beliefs or practices do not meet the requirements of their own doctrine of salvation may be viewed as non-Christian. Some sects have very rigid doctrines of salvation, for example requiring "believer baptism" for salvation (and thus denying the salvation of sects such as Catholics or Lutherans who practice infant baptism). Some sects believe in Calvin's "Perseverance of the saints", which would deny the possibility that someone who was truely saved could live a non-churchgoing or otherwise sinful lifestyle.

BTW, a number of fundamentalist sects claim to have existed all along, since the First Century, more or less underground during the era of Catholic legal monopoly. They deny having anything to do with that German monk or his movement. I was raised in such a sect (in which I did not persevere, now being affiliated with one of the sects named after said German monk).
10.22.2008 2:40pm
David Warner:
Galileo,

"I think the word you want is "arational"--we aren't talking about ignoring what rational thought would suggest; we are talking about situations where rational thought has nothing to say."

That's closer. I'd say situations where reason is not the only voice.
10.22.2008 3:12pm
Hoosier:
dr:

Well, as I was reading your post, the first thing to come to mind was the vegetarianism. So you know me remarkably well! (Mom?)

Thanks for the kind words: This is a good day for people to send those my way.

Bill2:

Just to clarify, we're talking about the 16th Century monk who said this, right?:

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? . . . I shall give you my sincere advice:


First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians . . .
Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them . . .

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb . . .

Fifth, I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home . . .

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess . .

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.


(I know it's not relevant to the debate. But, hell, we Papists are like that. Because the Jesuits taught us subterfuge.)
10.22.2008 3:13pm
dr:

Well, as I was reading your post, the first thing to come to mind was the vegetarianism. So you know me remarkably well! (Mom?)


You caught me, Sweetheart. Please make sure you're getting enough protein.
10.22.2008 3:21pm
libertarian soldier (mail):
cbolt: "Infantry" is obviously racist, because ground troops come disproportionally from the poor inner city demographic.
True for the Army but not for the Infantry; a quick googling:
Only 9 percent of the new infantry is black, compared with 11.8 percent of the civilian population aged 18-44. In 1995, 79 percent of the new troopers were white, compared
with 74.3 percent of civilians.
And:
Declining African-American recruitment during the Iraq War has been significantly influenced by opposition to the war and active community efforts to discourage enlistment. Historically, African-Americans have been overrepresented in support specialties relative to their total numbers in the force, and have done so to further post-service careers, while whites have been overrepresentated relative to their total numbers in the force, in combat specialties.
10.22.2008 3:33pm
Bill2:

Just to clarify, we're talking about the 16th Century monk who said this, right?:


I'll answer that with this resolution adopted by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in 1983:


WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and

WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and

WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for those statements, if not complicity in them); but also

WHEREAS, It is plain from scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people--that is, to Jews also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and

WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it

Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it further

Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further

Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther's negative statements about the Jewish people, and, by the same token, we deplore the use today of such sentiments by Luther to incite ant-Christian and/or anti-Lutheran sentiment; and be it further

Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about "Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it further

Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic efforts; and be it finally

Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p. 195).


(I'm sure the "Christian love" thing would apply to Jesuits &other Papists, too ;-) )
10.22.2008 3:37pm
Hoosier:
Bill2:

1983? Wow. What was the rush?

You are LCMS? My best friend/grad school roomate always called you guys "The Bad Lutherans." He is gay and ELCA, so I took that with a grain of salt. My uncle converted to LCMS, and I also stood up at a friend's wedding at a service in Minnesota.

What struck me was the liturgy, which was hard to distinguish from ours. The prayerbook even had a section on face-to-face confession. (I am assuming that it still does.)

I wish your synod would adopt the RC-ELCA Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. Then you might not be excommunicated (anymore). Though you probably still would be. Trent weighs heavy on my mind when I think of my Lutheran friends and associates.

The wonderful irony is that the denomination that bears Luther's name-- or at least its largest synod in the US--it the denomination stemming from the Continental Reformation that has reconciled most with Rome. I share Erasmus's dream of reunifying the western church.

(Admission: While I don't want to be ordained--Ever!--some men that I know are rather frustrated that your ministers can change rites and become Catholic priests, even if they are married. Whereas a cradle Catholic man cannot ever do so, under any circumstances. Not even if he switches to the Greek rite. Alas!)
10.22.2008 4:19pm
lucia (mail) (www):
The waffles part of "Electric Waffles" makes this racist.

"Obama Waffles" have been created with the clear intention of reminding us that Obama shares Aunt Jemima's African American heritage.

I not yet uncovered racist overtones to "electric".
10.22.2008 4:20pm
Hoosier:
(I'm sure the "Christian love" thing would apply to Jesuits &other Papists, too ;-) )

Jesuits count as Catholics?

At my alma mater, the ND-BC football games used to be billed by the students as "Catholics vs. Jesuits." (I even have a shirt.) Now, with ND's rise in the rankings, to USNWR Top 20 status, the shirts are done in BC colors with the BC logo. Only they say Backup College." Which isn't as funny as the originals. But then BC keeps beating ND, which isn't funny at all . . .
10.22.2008 4:23pm
A.C.:
Socialists are black? Who knew? I thought socialists were red, or sometimes pink.

It's the Native Americans, albinos, very pale people from the British Isles, and heavy drinkers who should be up in arms. "Socialist" is clearly a coded insult aimed at them.
10.22.2008 4:23pm
Melancton Smith:

Few can dispute the fact that Alaska is far more socialist than any other -- it gets more funding from the lower 48 than most other states, and they actually get checks from the oil companies. Why? Because, in part, Palin strong armed the oil companies to 'distribute the wealth" The very thing that she is accusing Obama of wanting to do!


I think there is a difference between distributing money to all inhabitants of the state (a payment for their share of the oil being taken) and taking money from some of the inhabitants and giving it to others.

I'm not conversant with this in detail, but it sounds like the oil companies are charged a fee to withdraw the oil and that fee is distributed (evenly?) to each and every AK resident.

This is a far cry different from taking money from 'rich' AK residents and giving it to poorer residents.

No?
10.22.2008 4:28pm
MarkField (mail):

Trent weighs heavy on my mind when I think of my Lutheran friends and associates.


Not as heavy as it weighed on Lutherans for the 100 years or so thereafter.
10.22.2008 4:39pm
Hoosier:
I'm not conversant with this in detail, but it sounds like the oil companies are charged a fee to withdraw the oil and that fee is distributed (evenly?) to each and every AK resident.

Not to mention the fact that there are oil companies operating in AK. Not a Ministry of Petroleum Affairs. If a government has not nationalized extractive resources, how "socialist" can it be?
10.22.2008 4:42pm
EricOConnell (www):
It is a scary thing, but the guy really is a socialist trying to take over this country. Like something out of a cheesy movie. There is a site the friends and associates of Barack Obama that goes over all this stuff and provides sources for everything from the mainstream media (links you directly to the source). Definitely worth a read in my opinion.
10.22.2008 4:44pm
LN (mail):
Not to mention the fact that there are oil companies operating in AK. Not a Ministry of Petroleum Affairs.

Well wait until January 2009.
10.22.2008 4:54pm
Bill2:

1983? Wow. What was the rush?


Beats me - perhaps there had been a recent incident of somebody throwing that quote in their face in some high profile way. I had never set foot in a Lutheran church at that time, and as a 20-something enlisted sailor on a submarine I wasn't following religious issues very closely.


You are LCMS? My best friend/grad school roomate always called you guys "The Bad Lutherans." He is gay and ELCA, so I took that with a grain of salt.


Again I'm fairly new to Lutheranism, but I suspect the mirror opinion about the ELCA exists in the LCMS. When looking at churches several years ago, one of the things I liked about the LCMS is that it is as apolitical as they come. That is not at all true of the ELCA. I don't like the thought that money I put in the collection plate will be used in part to lobby the government for policies I abhor.


What struck me was the liturgy, which was hard to distinguish from ours. The prayerbook even had a section on face-to-face confession. (I am assuming that it still does.)


Yeh, not much difference. I've had long-time LCMS members tell me something to the effect that we are catholic, just not Roman Catholic. Having grown up in a "4 bare walls &a sermon" sect that even rejected instrumental music, it took some getting used to but now I strongly prefer it (but still feel weird about crossing myself, which fortunately seems optional).


I wish your synod would adopt the RC-ELCA Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. Then you might not be excommunicated (anymore). Though you probably still would be. Trent weighs heavy on my mind when I think of my Lutheran friends and associates.


Not likely, unless one or both sides make some pretty big concessions

Not sure of the theological implications of being excommunicated in Roman Catholic Church. The LCMS holds that communion (among other things) implies doctrinal agreement, so that we don't commune people of other churches (that we're not formally in communion with) and are not supposed to take communion at other churches. However, the LCMS teaches that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior is saved, regardless of the church body to which they belong. So, from the LCMS perspective just because we don't commune down here doesn't mean we won't be sharing a cloud up there. In fact, that belief was another thing I was looking for when church-shopping. Again, I'm not sure what the Vatican says about it.
10.22.2008 5:04pm
Jim Touhey (mail):
Did anyone else notice that the last name of the author of the blog entry in question is a PALINdrome?
10.22.2008 5:36pm
Hoosier:
However, the LCMS teaches that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior is saved, regardless of the church body to which they belong . . . Again, I'm not sure what the Vatican says about it.

A lot of Americans assume they know the RC position on salvation, because they know the position of Calvinists on salvation, and they are very confused.

OK, here it goes: In a nutshell, and merely as I undertsand it:

The Vatican position is that the Church was established by Christ for the salvation of souls, and so the "ordinary" (this is the word used for the concept, not my word. I forget the Latin) route to Heaven is through communion with the Church.

But taking the sacraments doesn't guarantee salvation to any individual. Nor does being outside of the Roman communion mean damnation.

The Church's position of the salvation of any individual is "We don't know." It is up to God to decide each case, and the Church has no way of knowing how he will judge any specific individual.

In that sense, it must be nice being LCMS, or one of the other denominations that teach members that they are saved; and I don't mean "it must be nice" in a sarcastic sense at all. Luther's personal crisis in his younger years stemmed from the his understanding that Catholics can never be sure. And he was a good Medieval Catholic, who really, really thought that Hell was a real place of eternal torment. He very much wanted to avoid going there. But the Church taught that being a monk, taking the Eucharist, and confessing regularly was no more than "the best you can do." It doesn't come with a warrantee.

So it's stressful being us, really. And that's why we drink.
10.22.2008 5:55pm
Hoosier:
Or a "warranty". Thus there are no "warrantees," by definition. So you can't have one.

(So "warantee" was not a result of hasty typing, but a very insightful and incisive use of terminology on my part. Not a mistake at all, in fact.)
10.22.2008 6:00pm
Lucius Cornelius:
I'm sorry, but I thought everyone knew that calling someone a "socialist" was code for saying they were Jewish.

So, I knew those rumors about Obama being a Muslim were crazy. I never suspected he was Jewish!
10.22.2008 6:11pm
Hoosier:
But is Barack a "Bocialist"?

And what about his proposal to set up "boncentration bamps"?
10.22.2008 6:26pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
What label does a black member of Congress deserve when she labels herself a socialist?

Maxine Waters on YouTube
10.22.2008 6:32pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"I'm not conversant with this in detail, but it sounds like the oil companies are charged a fee to withdraw the oil and that fee is distributed (evenly?) to each and every AK resident."

That's the royalty payment. The state gets a cut of the production from the oil leases.

Way back when oil was fist discovered, the Alaska State Legislature had a moment of brilliance unmatched by anything else they have ever done. They set up a Permanant Fund which was funded by the oil royalties so the state would have something left when the oil ran out. A portion of the annual earnings of the fund is distributed to residents.
10.22.2008 7:27pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Let's review:

JBG says Palin's mayoral campaign included charges that her opponent wasn't a Christian.

cboldt demands a link.

JBG provides a link.

cboldt says "not good enough. The reporter may have made a mistake or something." In other words, there's no evidence he would accept, short of an outright admission by Palin.

Then he claims that even if it's true Stein could have rebutted it, so it didn't matter.

But the problem is that Palin raised the issue to begin with. What if Stein really were Jewish? Why would she think that mattered?
Now, let's review accurately: JBG falsely says that Palin's mayoral campaign included charges that her opponent wasn't a Christian. cboldt demands a link. JBG provides a link which says that a television station -- not Palin -- claimed that she was the "first Christian mayor." He also provides a story where the New York Times quotes Stein as paraphrasing Palin a dozen years later, but seems to be actually be quoting the television station.
10.22.2008 7:29pm
Bill2:

In that sense, it must be nice being LCMS, or one of the other denominations that teach members that they are saved; and I don't mean "it must be nice" in a sarcastic sense at all.


Yes, in all the ways that I think are important, it is comfortable like your favorite pair of jeans.


So it's stressful being us, really. And that's why we drink.


...but so do we - wonder why? Maybe because we can. That's one of those comfort factors, too. The sect I grew up in had a rather Islamic attitude toward alcohol. My parents were not and are not teetotalers, but the official position of the church was, so for example my sister's wedding was in the church but none of the church people were invited to the reception lest they have a cow over the bubbly. That was one stress I was glad to leave behind.
10.22.2008 8:29pm
Toby:

To paraphrase, if "socialist" is code for "black," then what's the code word for "socialist?"

Well, a while back, in the US, Socialists apropriated the term Liberal, a fine old term that predominately described the Republicans of the time. After that, Liberalism became a slur even while the national Republicans themselves became socialist.

More recently, Socialists have grown dissatisfied with the poor cover their misapropriation of "Liberal" was currently giving them, so they have reached out to a term created by reform-minded Republicans a century ago, i.e., "Progressive". When the public figures it out, I expect the term for Socialist to change again.
10.22.2008 9:19pm
Swede:
I'm LCMS. Even as a kid in Sunday School we were taught that while Luther had the right approach (faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone) we knew Marty wasn't a saint. You can drink from a broken cup.

And ELCA are a bunch of milquetoasts. What a windsock that branch turned out to be.
10.22.2008 9:20pm
pst314 (mail):
It seems unlikely that Obama could put the budget back in the socialist.
10.22.2008 9:20pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
Hoosier wins the thread.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.22.2008 9:51pm
cboldt (mail):
Swede: -I'm LCMS. -
This is like an LCMS "out of the closet" thread! Anyway, "me too." It's tough here in New England. LCMS runs in the family - grandad was a LCMS pastor, brother too.
10.22.2008 9:54pm
Hoosier:
(I thought I was the only gentile who read VC . . . )
10.22.2008 10:09pm
byomtov (mail):
David Nieporent,

cboldt has already pointed out my mistaken chronology.

Still, I tend to believe Stein when he says that Palin intjected religion into the mayoral race. Maybe my experience of the attitudes of religious fundamentalists differs from yours and cboldt's, but it's based on spending a lot of time in Bible Belt areas.
10.22.2008 10:31pm
cboldt (mail):
-- cboldt has already pointed out my mistaken chronology. --
.
David Nieporent made the same erroneous chronology assumption you did, then he went on to explain why you were wrong on the substance.
.
Maybe your reading comprehension skills suck. That's would be a charitable explanation for your glib approach to imputing responsibility to bystanders.
.
You have some imagination too. You not only believe Stein, you are able to take what Stein says and transmogrify it into something else entirely.
10.22.2008 10:38pm
byomtov (mail):
cboldt,

I've already expressed my profound gratitude to you for pointing out my intellectual failings. Be that as it may, yes, I believe Stein. You don't? OK, don't. I doubt you'd believe anything negative about St. Sarah of the Bridge regardless of the evidence.

Now STFU.
10.22.2008 11:37pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I believe Stein. You don't? OK, don't. --
.
There you go with that imagination of yours again. Either that or it's another demonstration of your reading comprehension skills.
.
What I said was that you and JBG misrepresented what Stein said. I even explained it over the course of a few sentences.
.
-- Now STFU. --
.
Playing the part of forceful censor! Tut tut. That's a demonstration of intolerance.
10.22.2008 11:46pm
Anonymous for now (mail):
I've heard of that Luther chap.

But who is this Saint Fu person?
10.23.2008 12:32am
David Warner:
Hoosier,

"(I thought I was the only gentile who read VC . . . )"

We're the fruits of the Goy Affirmative Action program.

No one tell Ward Connerly...

byomtov,

"Still, I tend to believe Stein when he says that Palin intjected religion into the mayoral race. Maybe my experience of the attitudes of religious fundamentalists differs from yours and cboldt's, but it's based on spending a lot of time in Bible Belt areas."

Judging individuals based on perceived group characteristics. Is that liberal these days?

My experiences with Pentecostal churches (not the same thing as fundamentalist churches) consist largely of African and African-American ones. Lot's of wacky stuff going on, and lots of good stuff too.

Palin left her Pentecostal Church in 2002 due to the wackiness and now attends a "Bible church" (which can mean all kinds of things, not all of them fundie). If you're curious, take Google for a spin. Even fundies actually are human. They can learn, and change.

Prejudice probably won't cut it.
10.23.2008 12:46am
Hoosier:
Anonymous for now
I've heard of that Luther chap.

But who is this Saint Fu person?


Personal Confessor to Tsar Malcolm the Tenth (Or, Old Style, Malcolm X.)
10.23.2008 12:54am
Largo:
Hoosier:

The Acoustic Waffles -- top of the Belgian pop charts. :-)
10.23.2008 9:50am
Francis Marion (mail):
Heaven forbid if freedom loving Americans call out the Socialists in our society. Whatever happened to freedom in this country. Sometimes I wonder if the United States is turning into the USSR where cult of personality was cultivated and all dissenting voices were quashed by those in power.
10.23.2008 10:30am
Cris Urich (mail):
So what if they do call him a Socialist? That's noting compared to the ridiculous smears the libs are making against SP! Have you seen this Palin-gram thing:
http://3d.justleapin.com/palingram?i=3uo79

I mean, good grief! Haven't you idiots got a election to run?
10.23.2008 6:32pm
Byzantine:
Hoosier -

When you say


Whereas a cradle Catholic man cannot ever do so, under any circumstances. Not even if he switches to the Greek rite. Alas


you are assuming, of course, that the "cradle Catholic" is a cradle Western/Roman/Latin Catholic. If one starts out as a cradle Melkite Catholic, or cradle Ruthenian, etc., then the married priesthood may be for you. :-) Too late for you to have your parents transfer pre-birth, eh?

(Hoosier probably knows the rest, but for the rest of you, not all Catholics are "Roman Catholics;" there are many constituent "churches" (once called "rites") within the Catholic Communion. Many allow married priests, at least outside the U.S.. It's trickier here; long story. Also, you have to marry and THEN get ordained; once ordained, it's too late to marry. And you can't be a bishop if married. All in all, the rules are quite Byzantine.)
10.23.2008 6:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

Now, let's review accurately … JBG provides a link which says that a television station -- not Palin -- claimed that she was the "first Christian mayor."


Reviewing "accurately" would entail looking at all the sources I cited, and not just one. For some strange reason you're pretending I didn't already cite this:

Even though Palin knew that Stein is a Protestant Christian, from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Some of Stein's supporters interpreted this as an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish in the heavily evangelical community. Stein himself, an eminently reasonable and reflective man, thinks "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."


That reporting is not talking about a statement issued by "a television station." It's about a statement circulated by the Palin campaign.

He also provides a story where the New York Times quotes Stein as paraphrasing Palin a dozen years later, but seems to be actually be quoting the television station.


The report I just cited is talking about statements circulated during the campaign. It's not talking about the statement made by the TV station after the campaign.
10.23.2008 10:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

I reject the contention that "the constitution forbids a religious test" to mean that the candidates and the public shouldn't air religion in an election dialog.


If I tell voters they should pick me because my religion is better than yours, I'm encouraging them to apply a "religious test." That's a violation of the constitution.

who advocates suppression of religious expression


I'm not advocating "suppression of religious expression." Candidate X is perfectly free to indulge in all sorts of "religious expression." In church, and in lots of other places. But that "religious expression" should be separate from his political life. In particular, he needs to avoid the argument that his "religious expression" makes him a better candidate than Candidate Y.

If the Founding Fathers thought it was a good idea for us to evaluate candidates based on their religion, they would not have outlawed a "religious test."

You construe Stein's statement ('We will have our first Christian mayor') as meaning that Palin accused Stein of not subscribing to a Bible-based religion. But Stein himself says "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."


First of all, I didn't "construe Stein's statement." The idea that Palin would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor" was not "Stein's statement." It was a message that was put out by Palin. According to Stein, and according to "some of Stein's supporters." And while Stein is entitled to his interpretation ("they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains"), that's not the only reasonable interpretation. "Some of Stein's supporters" had a different interpretation: that this was "an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish."

I'm not obliged to accept Stein's interpretation, and what I said wasn't "misrepresenting" him or anyone else.

If and when the mood strikes me, I'll challenge you to defend other of your lies.


If and when the mood strikes you, I hope you'll show proof that I've told a lie. So far you've proven this many: zero.
10.23.2008 10:17pm
byomtov (mail):
Judging individuals based on perceived group characteristics. Is that liberal these days?

When membership in the group is completely voluntary it is.
10.23.2008 10:26pm
byomtov (mail):
The funny thing is that if indeed Hoover referred to Du Bois, Robeson, and Randolph as socialists, it was not because they were black,but because they were, well socialists. Robeson, in fact, was a Communist, as was Du Bois in his later years.

BFD. If you intend to condemn these men for their views you're off your rocker.

There is no reason to criticize American blacks for holding Communist or socialist or whatever views at the relevant time. I mean, it's not like they were participating in the Great American Dream.

Isn't it perfectly reasonable for an oppressed minority to reject majority views? Isn't that, in fact, what accounts for widespread Jewish sympathy for Russian revolutionaries in 1917 and earlier?
10.23.2008 10:38pm
David Warner:
byomtov,

"When membership in the group is completely voluntary it is."

So the Wasilla Bible Church should renounce Christianity? Become nice, respectable Episcopalians? I don't follow.
10.24.2008 1:48am
byomtov (mail):
David Warner,

No. First of all, I wasn't aware that Episcopalians are not Christians. Nor do I understand your 12:48 comment. So I don't follow what you are saying either.

More to the point, I have found that fundamentalist Christians are very intense about their religious beliefs and tend to raise and publicize them in lots of areas, including politics, where they may not belong.

Further, I think that when someone is voluntarily a member of some group, like a church, it's reasonable to infer that they have certain things in common with other members. If you belong to the American Numismatic Society I'm going to assume you're interested in coins. If you belong to a church I'm going to presume you have religious attitudes and beliefs common to members of that church.

By the way, I'd like to see evidence that she left the previous church because of its "wackiness," rather than for some other reason. She has spoken there since, and I have seen no criticism of it coming from her.
10.24.2008 8:45am
cboldt (mail):
-- In particular, he needs to avoid the argument that his "religious expression" makes him a better candidate than Candidate Y. --
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That is suppression, and you advocate it. In the easily-offended-in-order-to-get-power player's game, the move will be that merely stating ones religion is an assertion of superiority. That schtick reeks of suppression.
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-- what I said wasn't "misrepresenting" him or anyone else. --
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Your opening contention, the one that started this exchange, was, "Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian." The accusation was leveled with no context or citation that accurately construed the meaning.
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You can concoct whatever back-story you want to excuse that as "not a misrepresentation of fact," and I'm sure somebody will buy it. The cites you offered initially were void of reporting vital points that cause the accusation to lose nearly all it's force. An accurate summary of the most damaging accusation (perhaps false itself) would be that Palin's camp started a whispering campaign that Stein wasn't a "born-again" Christian. You either knew (see later citation offered by you) or should have known, before leveling the accusation, that it would lead to making an erroneous impression on the mind of a reader unfamiliar with the context.
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-- If and when the mood strikes you, I hope you'll show proof that I've told a lie. So far you've proven this many: zero. --
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Readers will decide for themselves, which side of the argument probing your initial accusation has demonstrated honesty.
10.24.2008 9:24am
cboldt (mail):
-- There is no reason to criticize American blacks for holding Communist or socialist or whatever views at the relevant time --
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What? Criticism of socialism and communism is now verbotten?
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ROTFL.
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-- Isn't it perfectly reasonable for an oppressed minority to reject majority views? --
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It's perfectly reasonable to allow them to express themselves; but that doesn't mean their views are perfectly reasonable. Mind you, I'm emphatically not saying that the minority is always wrong. See e.g., SCOTUS and the Heller decision, where 9 of 9 Justices misconstrued Miller, and (probably) a minority of observers "get it."
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I'll give you an example that's closer to home. I think your beliefs are unreasonable. But I encourage you to express them with vigor. But be you part of an oppressed minority, or part of an overwhelming majority does not result in being out of bounds for criticism.
10.24.2008 9:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

That is suppression, and you advocate it


I didn't come up with the idea of keeping religion and politics separate. It's in the constitution. I realize you don't like that, but you need to put up with it.

Your opening contention, the one that started this exchange, was, "Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian." The accusation was leveled with no context or citation that accurately construed the meaning.


When I said that, I did indeed provide two citations. And my statement is exactly congruent with the underlying report, that Palin's campaign spread the message that Palin would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor."

An accurate summary of the most damaging accusation (perhaps false itself) would be that Palin's camp started a whispering campaign that Stein wasn't a "born-again" Christian.


You are latching onto Stein's interpretation, as if it's the only possible interpretation, or the only interpretation that was mentioned in the various articles I've cited. Trouble is, it's not. The sources don't indicate that Palin said she would be 'Wasilla's first born-again Christian mayor' (although that in itself would indeed be offensive). The sources indicate that Palin said she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." You need to deal with what was actually reported, and not just your preferred interpretation of what Palin might have intended to mean.
10.24.2008 10:37am
Hoosier:
Byzantine:

Yes. I was actually a member of a sui iuris Church for a couple years (Melkite). The Greek Rite has never surrendered the idea that the liturgy should be directed toward God, and not the congregation. Our priest was married and had a couple children.

Yet I fall into the habit of saying "Catholic" when I mean Roman Catholic. Given the demographics in the US, it's a pretty common way of speaking. But you are absolutely right about the issue of marriage and the Catholic priesthood, whatever the rite.

The same rule applies to the Roman permanent diaconante, by the way: If you want to get married, you'd better do so before ordination. Also, the Chruch won't ordain ment with young children, since the mom could die, and the father needs to be able to remarry if he perceives that his children need a (step-)mom.

I appreciated your ironic use of the adjective "Byzantine." Though as terms of disapprobation go, it isn't nearly as bad as "Jesuitical."
10.24.2008 10:48am
cboldt (mail):
-- I didn't come up with the idea of keeping religion and politics separate. It's in the constitution. I realize you don't like that, but you need to put up with it. --
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LOL. Actually, you are the one who has to put up with certain expressions that you personally object to, that are perfectly constitutional. There is nothing at all unconstitutional about a candidate expressing the fact that they go to church, that they are active in church, and that they subscribe to the teaching of their church. In short, you are making up a rule that flat out doesn't exist.
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-- When I said that, I did indeed provide two citations. --
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You did. And I read them. And they did NOT support the construction of "Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian." that you know most readers will leap to. At the moment (then) I didn't say your assertion wasn't congruent with the citations, I said the citations were inadequate support for your assertion.
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-- You need to deal with what was actually reported, and not just your preferred interpretation of what Palin might have intended to mean. --
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You need to deal with what was actually reported too, and not just your preferred interpretation. NOTHING in the reports indicate what Palin (the person) intended. There is ZERO in the way of attribution in that regard, so you just make shit up to suit your message.
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A person would have to be a fool to take anything you report here at face value.
10.24.2008 11:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the citations were inadequate support for your assertion


I cited an article which reported that Palin said this:

We will have our first Christian mayor


That's effectively saying that Stein wasn't Christian.

NOTHING in the reports indicate what Palin (the person) intended


I never claimed that I knew "what Palin (the person) intended." What I said was this:

Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn't Christian


That statement is a perfectly accurate summary of the reporting I've cited on this subject.
10.24.2008 12:13pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I cited an article which reported that Palin said this: "We will have our first Christian mayor" --
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Your link to article where you claim to see "Palin said, 'We will have our first Christian mayor.'"
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Maybe you are delusional. A certifiable nut. A person would have to be a fool to accept anything you say at face value.
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-- That statement is a perfectly accurate summary of the reporting I've cited on this subject. --
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You might, by accident, say something that is accurate. And you probably believe everything you say is accurate.
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We've beat your false "Palin said she would be the first Christian mayor" contention to death. You are target rich when it comes to spewing falsehood, and as I noted earlier, if and when the mood strikes me, I'll reply to a comment of yours. Who knows, it might be kudos for getting one right.
10.24.2008 12:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Your link to article where you claim to see "Palin said, 'We will have our first Christian mayor.'"


Indeed. Here's the full paragraph:

“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”


Do you notice the quotes inside the quotes? They contain the following words:

We will have our first Christian mayor


I guess you refuse to believe your lying eyes when they see those words. I am citing NYT. They are quoting Stein, who is quoting Palin (or at least her campaign, which amounts to the same thing).

We've beat your false "Palin said she would be the first Christian mayor" contention to death.


You can say you don't believe the words you're reading. But you can't claim that the words aren't there. Because they are.

But it's pretty funny to notice you claiming that words don't exist which actually exist. Palin does exactly the same thing.
10.24.2008 1:05pm
cboldt (mail):
-- But you can't claim that the words aren't there. --
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I never did. You are the nutcase who attributed those words to Palin. Your claim was "Palin said," and you have to fabricate linkage from Stein to Palin in order to make your claim come true; plus there is the non-trivial issue of the meaning of the word "Christian" in Stein's vernacular.
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I'm not at all surprised that you believe you've made an accurate presentation of "truth." But you are just another partisan hack whose representations deserve out of hand dismissal.
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A person would have to be a fool to accept anything you present, as being truthful.
10.24.2008 1:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

you have to fabricate linkage from Stein to Palin


The one who linked those words to Palin was Stein. You're free to claim (based on no evidence at all) that what he did was "fabricate linkage," but you're not free to claim that I did so, because I'm just citing Stein.

plus there is the non-trivial issue of the meaning of the word "Christian" in Stein's vernacular


I used the exact same word he did, in quoting Palin: "Christian." So you can say whatever you like about "the meaning of the word," but you have no basis to claim that I was misrepresenting him, because I used the same word he used.
10.24.2008 1:29pm
cboldt (mail):
-- The one who linked those words to Palin was Stein ... you're not free to claim that I did so, because I'm just citing Stein. --
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said Mr. Stein, "... and that was another issue: "We will have our first Christian mayor.'"

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Said jukeboxgrad, "Stein, who is quoting Palin (or at least her campaign, which amounts to the same thing."
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Says a sane person who can operate the levers of simple logic, "presence of an issue" is not the same as "Stein is quoting Palin or her campaign."
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You cite, then you misrepresent. You do it chronically. Your representations are not trustworthy. When called on it, you mount weak, in some cases ridiculous defenses.
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-- you have no basis to claim that I was misrepresenting him, because I used the same word he used. --
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ROTFL. Used the same word, so there is no basis to charge misrepresentation. Duh - that's what misrepresentation is in this case, redefinition of the very word "Christian." You misrepresent fact. You make things up. You claim certain cites have support for your contentions, but when examined, those cites lack the support that you assert is there.
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Flip, flop, tell another lie. Knock yourself out. I think you are a partisan idiot.
10.24.2008 1:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
"presence of an issue" is not the same as "Stein is quoting Palin or her campaign."


But Stein does not just claim the "presence of an issue." The words "We will have our first Christian mayor" appear inside quotes. That means that Stein is indeed "quoting Palin or her campaign." That's why the quote marks are there. Reading is fundamental.
10.24.2008 1:48pm
cboldt (mail):
-- That's why the quote marks are there. Reading is fundamental. --
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In the context of Mr. Stein's statement, quote marks, without more, cannot reasonably be taken to be attribution. Ever hear of "scare quotes"?
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A person can twist any set of words to mean whatever outcome he desires. I don't aim to persuade you to abandon your delusions, I was convinced long ago (before we entered into this exchange) that you are wired to argue your point of view even if it's demonstrably false. My point is to leave enough tracks so an uncertain reader will view your comments with a heapin' helping of suspicion, and perform independent research instead of blindly accepting any of your contentions relating to fact, theory or analysis as truthful. You fudge the facts, you twist the analysis, whatever it takes to suit your narrative.
10.24.2008 2:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

A person can twist any set of words to mean whatever outcome he desires.


You're giving us a nice demonstration.

In the context of Mr. Stein's statement, quote marks, without more, cannot reasonably be taken to be attribution. Ever hear of "scare quotes"?


Yes. Trouble is, there's nothing about the passage to indicate that those are scare quotes.
10.24.2008 9:48pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

"If I tell voters they should pick me because my religion is better than yours, I'm encouraging them to apply a "religious test." That's a violation of the constitution."

and:

"If the Founding Fathers thought it was a good idea for us to evaluate candidates based on their religion, they would not have outlawed a "religious test."

This is incorrect and I believe you are mischaracterizing the Religious Test Clause. The Constitution states:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

It's not a violation of the Constitution for politicians to ask voters to vote /not vote for them because of a religious based issue. The Religious Test Clause prohibits a religious test being use to qualify one for office, not voters evaluating those running for office. If you have case law to cite your assertion, that would be appreciated.

Religion is certainly one factor that voters use to decide who they may vote for, depending on the office and the situation. If a Presidential candidate would claim to use the Bible as a day-to-day reference on running the country or that Sharia law should be a law that the US uses to adjudicate various matters, those would be considered legitimate issues that not only voters but politicians would discuss.
10.25.2008 2:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

The Religious Test Clause prohibits a religious test being use to qualify one for office, not voters evaluating those running for office.


You're treating those two things as quite different, but they're much too close for comfort. Please pay attention to what Romney said (the odds are high that this issue is going to pop up again in about three years):

There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines … To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution.


A very similar claim was made by someone defending Romney:

Whatever issues voters might have with Mormonism, it is wrong to reject Romney because of his faith … This is not an endorsement of Romney — we leave it to the voters to decide whether he deserves to be president. Rather, we endorse the spirit of Article VI in the Constitution, which states that there should be no religious test for public office.


Romney and his supporters were basically saying this: 'you're violating the spirit of the constitution if you vote against me because I'm a Mormon.' And this perspective makes no sense unless it's applied in both directions: both positively and negatively. In other words, there is no meaningful difference (with regard to the issue we're discussing) among these various statements:

- Vote for Candidate A because he is Religion X
- Vote against Candidate B because he is not Religion X
- Vote for Candidate C because he is not Religion Y
- Vote against Candidate D because he is Religion Y

All those statements amount to a kind of "religious test." Romney is correctly pointing out that the constitution is telling us to keep statements like that out of our politics. Trouble is, Palin didn't respect that rule.
10.26.2008 9:51pm