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Last Friday, David Brooks wrote that it was a "slur" to say that Ronald Reagan's 1980 Philadelphia, Mississippi campaign speech about "states rights" was a piece of unbridled racism. Reagan, according to Brooks, was possibly insensitive, but not exploiting racism, and the people who say he was are wicked and naughty and overly partisan:

But still the slur spreads. It’s spread by people who, before making one of the most heinous charges imaginable, couldn’t even take 10 minutes to look at the evidence. It posits that there was a master conspiracy to play on the alleged Klan-like prejudices of American voters, when there is no evidence of that conspiracy. And, of course, in a partisan age there are always people eager to believe this stuff.

For this, Brooks has received a number of significant beat-downs from bloggers, which is nothing new for him. Then the Carpetbagger Report highlighted a response by Paul Krugman on his Times blog. It didn't name Brooks, of course, but it was unmistakable:

In 1982, when Reagan intervened on the side of Bob Jones University, which was on the verge of losing its tax-exempt status because of its ban on interracial dating, he had no idea that the issue was so racially charged. It was all an innocent mistake.

And the next year, when Reagan fired three members of the Civil Rights Commission, it wasn’t intended as a gesture of support to Southern whites. It was all an innocent mistake.

Poor Reagan. He just kept on making those innocent mistakes, again and again and again.

And yesterday, in the most direct and public volley yet, Bob Herbert used his column in the ink-and-paper Times to demolish Brooks. Herbert, politely, did not name Brooks. But we all know who he meant when he wrote:

Reagan apologists have every right to be ashamed of that appearance by their hero, but they have no right to change the meaning of it, which was unmistakable. Commentators have been trying of late to put this appearance by Reagan into a racially benign context.

That won’t wash. Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile and an avuncular delivery, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.


Throughout his career, Reagan was wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to black people. There is no way for the scribes of today to clean up that dismal record.

To see Reagan’s appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in its proper context, it has to be placed between the murders of the civil rights workers that preceded it and the acknowledgment by the Republican strategist Lee Atwater that the use of code words like "states’ rights" in place of blatantly bigoted rhetoric was crucial to the success of the G.O.P.’s Southern strategy. That acknowledgment came in the very first year of the Reagan presidency.


The suggestion that the Gipper didn’t know exactly what message he was telegraphing in Neshoba County in 1980 is woefully wrong-headed. Wishful thinking would be the kindest way to characterize it.

As the Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, recently wondered,

How does the august Times, which has long stood for dignified authority, come to terms with the fractious, democratic culture of the Internet, where readers expect to participate but sometimes do so in coarse, bullying and misinformed ways?

For attempting to cover up the Republican party's decades of using racial division to achieve electoral victories, for defending Reagan's participation in the "Southern strategy" and thereby seeking to cleanse Reagan of the fully-deserved taint of vicious racism, and possibly to resuscitate that racist strategy for future use, David Brooks deserves far, far worse than a few blog posts excoriating him. By defying convention and effectively calling out a fellow columnist, Bob Herbert moved a step closer to the level of humiliation Brooks deserves, but we're not there yet.

Heaven forbid we should be coarse or bullying in clearing up the racist misinformation of one of your columnists, Mr. Hoyt, but as long as your paper continues to publish scum like this, you're going to have to live with some of us being a little coarse every now and then.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bob Herbert tells the truth (17+ / 0-)

    about Reagan's attitude toward civil rights. David Brooks lied in his teeth and insulted the intelligence of his readers. It's as simple as that.

    I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

    by NogodsnomastersMary on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:56:43 AM PST

    •  So when did telling the truth... (6+ / 0-)
      Become a bad thing? 'Cuz so far, it seems like the NYT would rather stand with someone defending Reagan's implicit racebaiting than join some brave bloggers (and 2 of the NYT's own columnists) in condemning the racebaiting. Jeez, what happened to our media?

      Don't blame us... We're turning "The OC" (Yes, that one!) blue at The Liberal OC! : )

      by atdnext on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:03:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm totally with Herbert & Krugman (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, The Maven, DBunn

        But to your point, I don't see the Times itself, as an entity, defending Brooks.  Am I missing something that has happened in the past few days? They publish his column, yes, but they don't endorse it. In fact, Brooks is so idiotic that I sometimes think his presence on the op-ed page is an act of subtle sabotage by the editorial board (which is generally pretty progressive, and which is independent of those who do the news-gathering & reporting).

        You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

        by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:13:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I know the NYT... (3+ / 0-)
          Isn't defending Reagan's racebaiting. However, they seem to have a problem with bloggers who call out Brooks for his lame defense of Reagan. That's what I'm talking about. Why does the NYT have a problem with bloggers critiquing Brooks?

          Don't blame us... We're turning "The OC" (Yes, that one!) blue at The Liberal OC! : )

          by atdnext on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:27:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And Even More to the Point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          javelina, mcfly

          Hoyt's column as the source of this quote is being taken totally out of context, and was in fact published nearly a week before the Brooks-Krugman-Herbert brouhaha really got under way.

          What Hoyt was talking about was the debate between moderated versus unmoderated comments to articles and editorials in the web version of the paper.  Here at Daily Kos, we have trusted users who can help screen out the worst and most offensive comments by troll-rating them -- other blogs without this feature can often allow the most vile rantings remain in public view (and thus indirectly associated with the site).  The Times is attempting to find some sort of middle ground, since it is not prepared to turn over that moderation to outsiders, at least not yet.  That was the purpose of Hoyt's column, which had nothing whatsoever to do with one or more of their op-ed columnists arguing over Reagan's legacy.  It is disingenuous to conflate the two, as this story implies.

          •  look at the investing forum (3+ / 0-)

            I've been following the yahoo forum to discuss etrade stock, and there are more racist and anti-semitic posts on there than posts that actually discuss anything interesting.  Almost as many as posts shilling for shorting or going long on the stock.

            •  Further to That (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unterhausen, NogodsnomastersMary

              Several years ago, I was working on a lawsuit (disclaimer: not a lawyer) that had been brought by a privately-held Israeli company against a large American public corporation, involving primarily breach of contract and intellectual property issues.  Right after we initiated the suit, the Israeli CEO asked me to passively monitor the Yahoo discussion boards (and those of other investment sites) for the public company.

              Whereas prior to the lawsuit, our client's name came up only very rarely, in the immediate aftermath of the complaint, there was a flurry of posts containing some of the most vile stuff I'd ever directly encountered, along the lines of "Too bad Hitler didn't finish the job, and now the Jews are coming to destroy honest American companies," or "Hey xyz [addressing the CEO by name], I know where your kids live, so tell them I've got an oven warming up for them."

              At the time, there was basically no way to get rid of these posts on the Yahoo board, where they sat and festered.  For months, thousands of posts having nothing at all to do with the company went up, cluttering the boards and driving away almost all of the more "serious" voices.  That's why some kind of moderation of discussion boards really does have to exist at some level.  Here we have TUs who can troll-rate and front pagers who can remove items in their entirety, if need be.  What the Times is doing isn't really all that different.

      •  Mr. Hoyt needs to call Brooksie on his lies (4+ / 0-)

        Brooks looks like a nice, likable intellectual, but when he lies about things, he needs to be publicly called on it by the newspaper he writes for. If he does it again, he needs to be fired. Hoyt is the first person responsible for clearing up the flaming bag of dog dung that Brooks has left at the front door.

      •  Telling the truth (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext, DBunn

        if it showed Republicans in a bad light became a bad thing in just about 1979, if memory serves, at least for overpaid pundits of the corporate media.

        I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

        by NogodsnomastersMary on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:23:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What Southern Strategy? (0+ / 0-)

      It doesn't appear that racism plays any part in the GOP's mindset. Well, since the 1964 election, no Democrat in a presidential election has received a majority of the white vote. The last northern Democrat elected president was JFK in 1960-a mere 47-yrs. ago. Lastly, just because a map of the Confederacy of 1862 is the same map of today for the Red States of the South, no big deal.

  •  Reagun may have had scum working (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    horowitz, atdnext

    for him however I have it on information and belief that he may have been diagnosed with Alzheimers as early as 1983 which means he could have had the disease as early as 1980. Why didn't we notice? With Alzheimers plaintiff's the last thing that often goes is a repetitive job skill such as reading a teleprompter. So please don't go after the disabled. For those of you who hadn't notice the tone of this post is cynical sarcasm. Thank you.

  •  I for one need the Times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, NogodsnomastersMary

    for my fish wrapping business.

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for Democrats to do nothing. You listening, Reid, Pelosi, huh?

    by usedmeat on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:57:44 AM PST

  •  They Still Stand for Authority (5+ / 0-)

    Believe me, nobody in the blogosphere will ever question that.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:59:26 AM PST

  •  anyone else want me to get this up on wikipedia? (4+ / 0-)

    If we work together, we can ensure that people remember just how racist the 1980s were.

    Hillary is running against Bush. Compared to Bush, we all look like Gandhi. We should expect more than just "not Bush".

    by danthrax on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:00:05 AM PST

  •  Sorry for the OT, but... (7+ / 0-)

    Great piece by Bob Herbert. Reserved, factual and it kicked Bo-Bo's ass without him even knowing it.

    Just saw this on ThinkProgress:

    Homophobic Surgeon General Nominee Reveals Bush Plans To Recess Appoint Him

    Doesn't Harry Reid have an 'agreement' with Bush about not making any more recess appointments? Or was that just for the summer recess?

    The one thing I can't help but notice about the past seven years is how bad George W. Bush makes EVERYONE, including his OPPONENTS, look.

  •  Poor My Hoyt (7+ / 0-)

    He's getting the vapors from having the real riot act read to him. For too long in this country the vicious violence of institutionalized racism has been given cover by mealy mouthed politicians like Reagan and their phalanx of apologists.

    Good on Bob Herbert for attacking this head on, and putting the blame squarely where it belongs, firstly on Reagan and secondarily on Bobo brains who persist in spreading a false legend.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:00:37 AM PST

    •  Hoyt is a mixed bag (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope, DBunn

      I don't know quite what to make of him. He has taken a couple of commendable positions in the past. In a story that questioned the media's reporting on the source of threats in Iraq, Hoyt said:

      "Why Bush and the military are emphasizing Al Qaeda to the virtual exclusion of other sources of violence in Iraq is an important story. So is the question of how well their version of events squares with the facts of a murky and rapidly changing situation on the ground.

      But these are stories you haven’t been reading in The Times in recent weeks as the newspaper has slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda’s role in Iraq — and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution."


      "While a president running out of time and policy options may want to talk about a single enemy that Americans hate and fear in the hope of uniting the country behind him, journalists have the obligation to ask tough questions about the accuracy of his statements."

      Rubutting a News Corp PR flack's criticism about the Times' coverage of Murdoch in the run-up to the Dow Jones acquisition, Hoyt said:

      "Murdoch is going to extraordinary lengths to reassure The Journal’s newsroom that he will not interfere with its independence, as a long and well-documented record indicates he has elsewhere."

      But in a column addressing the MoveOn Petraeus ad, Hoyt essentially took the position that a publisher could force a private advocacy group to alter the message they wished to convey, and that a general, who is being used as a political prop by the White House, cannot be called to account for abandoning the American people in favor of his boss, the President. Hoyt said:

      "...I’d have demanded changes to eliminate ‘Betray Us,’ a particularly low blow when aimed at a soldier."

      A mixed record, to say the least.

      • Blog This: News Corpse
      • The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay.

      by KingOneEye on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:17:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Baby steps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fat chance of anyone disciplining Brooks for supporting Reagan against characterizations of him as racist.

      Regardless of what we think around here, 25+ years of GOP idol-worship has left Reagan a saint among their 30% base and a well-liked President among much of another 30%.  

      I think that WE are currently more out of the mainstream than Brooks on this issue.  We're right (of course), but it's going to take many years to turn this around.

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

      by gsbadj on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:49:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wonder if he never read any comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcfly, grog, NogodsnomastersMary

      by Lee Atwater? Lee not only helped with the beginning of the Republican Revolution but he helped them develop the code they needed to reach the "Confederate Democrats" so that national leaders could speak to them in terms they understood without having the rest of the country understand.

      •  And let's not forget Atwater 2.0 (0+ / 0-)

        Karl Rove.

        Nothing's changed.  Party of bigots.

        "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

        by grog on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:53:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the purpose of Brooks (12+ / 0-)

    is to sell the GOP to those rich and influential people who love the capital gains tax cuts but are somewhat put off by the dog whistle appeals to racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc.  In his own way, he is just as much a part of the propaganda machine as Ann Coulter.  Glad people in the SCLM are finally pointing out his numerous factual errors.

  •  The road not travelled by (17+ / 0-)

    the difference between me being moderately interesting and mildly amusing here and one of your worst detractors on the other side of the aisle, is most likely racism.

    I couldnt. effing. stand it.

    I had no use for Jim Crow as a Dem, even less for him as a Pub.

    I saw the switch happen as a child, but I knew one thing.

    The badge "party of slavery" follows the slaveholders and those who wish they still had some.

    And it went red.

    And my fate as a future Democrat was sealed.

    I would never, in a thousand years, stand shoulder to shoulder with such creatures.

    And I have never regretted not doing so.

    Only Americans are having a torture debate.

    by cskendrick on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:00:45 AM PST

  •  The NYT books section roughed up Krugman (5+ / 0-)

    when it reviewed his new book.  IIRC, Peter Beinart did the review, and, whoever did it, it was pretty harsh.  When a paper does that to one of its own, what's the point of worrying about those undignified bloggers in their pajamas?

    I'm kind of enjoying the little dignified food fight between Krugman and Herbert on one side and Brooks on the other.  I like even more that 2 NYT columnists are taking their shots at St. Ronald The Fair-minded.  I'm beyond tired of the fact that the country seems to be showing as much amnesia about Reagan's record as Reagan showed in his Iran/contra testimony.

    I wish I could've been a fly on the wall in the Brooks home as he read Herbert's column yesterday.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:00:58 AM PST

    •  They assign reviews then reviewer is independent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RFK Lives, DBunn

      Mind you, I don't think they should have assigned the Sunday review to Peter Beinart in the first place, but once he wrote it, they had to publish it or all hell would've broken loose.  So it's not exactly that the paper "did that to one of their own."

      But, like you, I was very displeased. The review in the daily Arts section was positive, luckily.

      You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

      by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:17:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They did it to their own by their choice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        javelina, NogodsnomastersMary

        of reviewer.  They knew exactly what they'd get out of Beinart.  Given his track record, everything he wrote was entirely predictable.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:35:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not arguing - see my first sentence (0+ / 0-)

          You're right on the Beinart choice.

          They need to rethink the whole damn thing - look how much better the London Review of Books and (UK) Times Book Review are. It's not THAT hard to put together a decent weekly review.

          Also, there are a lot of books they're just ignoring.

          You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

          by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:47:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  PS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I too wish I could have been a fly on the wall in Brooks's home - or in the office later that day!

      You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

      by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:18:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so tired of the deification of St. Ronnie. (14+ / 0-)

    The man was a racist, and he knew exactly what he was doing by starting his campaign in Mississippi.

  •  And Those Oversensitive Jews - (10+ / 0-)

    I mean -
    Who would have thought anybody would get upset over a little visit to Bitberg?
    Ronnie didn't mean any harm.


  •  Bob Jones (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    I almost hate to ask (because I anticipate the answer), but did Bob Jones U eventually come into compliance with the law (and basic human decency)?

  •  I only wish dailykos had been around. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    During Reagan's Presidency! We would have taken him down with our bug eyed enthusiasm and fact-driven information as to his disregard to the LGBT community. He was 20 years before OUR time. We would have unleashed our full fury of fighting for LGBT rights on Reagan!

  •  Brooks and his masters at the Weekly Standard (5+ / 0-)

    know that because of Bush the conservative brand is getting a drubbing that may last for decades.  This is a preemptive attempt to preserve one of the last vestiges of legitimacy they can hope to cling to, the fairy-tale nostalgia for all things Reagan.  They're horrified of the possibility that his legacy will be equally tainted by the Bush Horror.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:04:10 AM PST

  •  Herbert (7+ / 0-)

    made it simple:

    And Reagan meant it. He was opposed to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the same year that Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were slaughtered. As president, he actually tried to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He tried to get rid of the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination. And in 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation.

    Congress overrode the veto.

    Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.

    Think Brooks can explain away those actions, too?

    "Success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives." --George W Bush, May 2, 2007

    by mspicata on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:04:12 AM PST

  •  There he goes again....; ) (10+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:04:18 AM PST

  •  Course good when appropriate but I don't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, mcfly, Cartoon Peril

    know about "bullying."  What is that anyway.  More coded language to undermine and distract from the merits of an argument.  That's what I think it is.  Now that the "conservative ideology" is on the defensive the first thing they resort to is the "victim" card.  Ironic since they are the quintessential victimizers not victims.  These pathetic clowns will stop at nothing to preserve their class status.  Lie, obfuscate, deny reality, attempt to rewrite history . . . if there is any real threat to America it is the cancer that is conservativism . . . which is really code for maintaining the power relationships in society at 17th & 18th century levels.

    "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

    by rrheard on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:04:33 AM PST

  •  Ironically, I believe it was J.C. Watts (4+ / 0-)

    (one of the few, black Republicans, an ex Oklahmoa Congressman) recounted a great statement by his very own father - and I'm paraphrasing:

    A black person voting Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

    Too bad that wisdom didn't rub off on J.C.

    Congressman Watts was once asked on Hannity & Colmes about his refusal to join the Congressional Black Caucus. His reply:

    They said that I had sold out and (was an) Uncle Tom. And I said well, they deserve to have that view. But I have my thoughts. And I think they're race-hustling poverty pimps

    More evidence of Republicans voting for - and in this case joining - a political party that, to put it mildly, doesn't have their best interests at heart.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:06:34 AM PST

  •  a lynching is a lynching just the same (4+ / 0-)

    no matter if the crowd watching is made up of angry white farmers and shop keepers or fancy shooed movie stars and op-ed piece writers from the times. and reagan was making his appeal to lynchers and church bombers and those who thought slavery was a great way to run a country.

    fuck brooks and his apologist nonsense.

    •  I am glad Democrats REAL Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Politicians and voters in Mississippi do not attend the Neshboa County Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi. We as kossacks and supporters of the LGBT Community know our history, Repugs and their supports probably do to, but are too bigoted, homophobic and racist to care.

  •  All part of the Sainthood for Ronnie (5+ / 0-)

    conservatudism.  Soon a shining statute of St. Ronnie will be perched on the Capitol Dome, where Freedom used to be.  First, got to airbrush out a few pimples however, hence the efforts of Mr. Pimple-Brusher Brooks.

    Well, the best defense is a good OF-fense. You know who said that? Mel, the cook on "Alice."

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:07:49 AM PST

  •  Republicans should be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, Little Lulu, kevinspa

    beaten with this issue every time they bring up Reagan.  In that sense, Brooks deserves a medal for bringing it up in the Times.

    •  Yep! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Continue to beat them about Reagan's insensivitiy towards the LGBT community and add in the point about the Neshboa County Fair. The populace is already furious with him about his insensitivity towards people powered LGBT rights, this issue will only add to their anger.

  •  Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" (4+ / 0-)

    how would Brooksie interpret that song?

    would he know the meaning?
    or would he re-interpret it as apple trees in Alalbama?

  •  Reagan's racism: Native Americans (9+ / 0-)

    In a speech to students at Moscow State University, President Reagan explains the American Indian situation: the US has "provided millions of acres" for "preservations - or the reservations, I should say" so the Indians could "maintain their way of life," though he now wonders, "Maybe we should not have humored them in that, wanting to stay in that kind of primitive lifestyle. Maybe we should have said, 'No, come join us. Be citizens along with the rest of us.'" For the record, Indians have been citizens since 1924.

    Take the fight to them. Don't let them bring it to you. - Harry S. Truman

    by jgoodfri on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:09:40 AM PST

    •  Ronnie - (3+ / 0-)

      Was everything that traditional "Country Club" Republicans were not.
      It's no accident that the trajectory of modern Republicanism began with Reagan.

      Prior to the "Reagan Revolution" Republicans had been identified with women's rights, trust-busting, safer foods and drugs, conservation - even civil rights.  The Republicans paid a dear price for their so-called "Southern Strategy".

    •  Wow, blast from the past (4+ / 0-)

      I did the typing for the guy who translated that speech into Russian (he dictated the translation to me, I typed it), and we gnashed our teeth and yelled the entire time.  I didn't particularly remember those lines from it, but I do remember that there were a bunch of references to movies... the realm of make-believe where Reagan was most comfortable.


  •  However, today's New York Sun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinspa, NogodsnomastersMary

    Has a front-page story arguing that Brooks is right and that Reagan, in Headlinese, "Deserves Benefit of Doubt."

    The Sun is a newish right-wing daily that is far more literate than Murdoch's New York Post and I fear its potential to influence the discourse in New York for the worse. Several of my neighbors (on the Upper West Side!) subscribe, and I doubt it's because of the paper's quite decent arts coverage. I loathe seeing it in my lobby every morning - but that's how I know about this article.

    You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

    by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:09:41 AM PST

    •  Have you talked to your neighbors? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina, NogodsnomastersMary

      You may want to kindly inform them that their choice of reading material is offensive and bigoted. I had a co-worker who once subscribed to The National Review and I brought my concerns to him as a kossack and supporter of the LGBT community.

      •  New York real estate weirdness (3+ / 0-)

        Thanks to changes made in the rent-stabilization laws during the Pataki administration, there are two factions in every rental building in the city now: the old tenants who are rent-stabilized (and in a few cases rent-controlled). Then there are the newer "market rate" tenants who pay obscene prices (think $4,000 per month) for apartments that have been sketchily renovated and are therefore somehow "superior." They make a lot of money - they have to! - and they hate the old tenants because they think we're getting a "free ride" by paying 1/2 or more of our monthly incomes for our apartments. We are not Wall Streeters or corporate lawyers and therefore should, I gather, move to the outer boroughs or Cleveland or something. And no, I'm not exaggerating, you should read the comments on the local real estate blogs (see Curbed).

        Meanwhile, they have literally NO legal rights - can't get redress in court if they don't get services, can't assume their leases will be renewed. We do have those rights still.

        So no, we don't really talk. They get the Sun and the Post, the long-time tenants get the Times, which is still the progressive daily, in spite of all its flaws and blind spots.

        Really, Manhattan is going to just turn into a mall. Goodbye, locally owned businesses, goodbye artists, goodbye teachers. And on and on.

        (Re the landlords, cry me a river - my building's owner was swanning around in head-to-toe Chanel outfits and driving expensive cars and buying Florida condos long before the rent laws shifted in her favor. Now she's trying to evict elderly people so she can make even more money.)

        Sorry, that response got a little long - can you tell you hit a nerve? :)

        You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

        by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:30:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Get It For Free (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I get the Sun, and trust me, I never asked for it and certainly never paid for it.  They seem to be giving it out for free, I guess hoping people will like it and start paying for it.  I do find it useful reading material to keep up on what the neo-cons are up to.  At the risk of being accused of anti-Semitism, the paper has a strong AIPAC-type bias, which largely accounts for its ideological slant.

      •  Ah, thank you, that explains a lot! (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe I shouldn't be so cranky about my neighbors after all.

        You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

        by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:38:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also get it for free (0+ / 0-)

          It just started appearing on my doorstep with the Times 6 months ago. I don't complain, because it actually has pretty good arts coverage and has some interesting opinions in their sports pages.

          I thought the Sun article about Reagan was interesting because the Sun basically said that Reagan was not a racist in a personal sense (had some black friends growing up, didn't use the "N" word, etc.), thereby skipping by what this discussion is actually about -- whether Reagan used race-baiting strategies in his political campaign and in making further policy decisions.

  •  Why Read or Pay for Newspapers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    Practically every day, after reading the Chicago Tribune and the NYT which are delivered to the back door, I gag at the untruths and unsupported crap that pass for opinion pieces.  There is practically no information content to justify the spin. Frankly I breeze through the rest of the paper because for the most part I have received the information it contains - weather, local and international news, even entertainment reviews - via radio or the internet.  Once I finally pull the plug on reading the editorial pages, I will stop subscribing.  And why would I pull the plug?  Because I am tired of being lied to and patronized.

    Mr. Hoyt, your readers are abandoning the NYT because your product increasingly sucks because your editors don't do their jobs.  Your content is either stale or uninformative or worse.  The bloggers are the least of your concerns; at least they seem to care what is printed in your papers.

  •  Bittburg (4+ / 0-)

    Ah, and St Ronnie going to Bittburg was also just a coincidence--a misinterpretation.  Every Congressmen/women who voted to rename the airport after this racist is guilty of enabling the underground railway of fucking bigotry.

  •  This frontpage Diary is Dkos at its best. Kudos (5+ / 0-)

    MissLaura. Very well stated.

  •  Whenever a Rethuglican speaks or writes, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, ezdidit, NogodsnomastersMary

    that's when you know you're hearing or reading LIES.

    Rethuglicans are like vampires, sucking the blood of truth out of our discourse.

    And the truth must be held up like a cross to chase these Rethuglican vampires away.

  •  "States' Rights" (5+ / 0-)

    The extent to which the authoritarian right uses code words for its brand of dog whistle politics is fascinating to me. They know the majority of Americans aren't going to buy what they are selling unless it's repackaged in more palatable language.

    I'm surprised someone hasn't done a piece today on the NOVA special that aired last night, Intelligent Design on Trial. It's another example of this same tactic. The ID advocates get caught red handed during the Dover School board trial changing the language from "creationism" to "intelligent design" in a rather humorous way.

    It's all so completely dishonest. But that's the way these folks operate. They are so certain of their righteousness they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their way, lie, break the law, undermine democracy. We've seen this played out in so many ways these last seven years but obviously it has its roots way back during Reagan's era and beyond.

  •  These guys never apologize.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tracker, NogodsnomastersMary

    It is always the Democrats who apologize for "misinterpreted" statements that, when taken in context, didn't say what Republicans are spinning.
    It would be so sweet to get one of them to apologize publically, it might even start a landslide. They have so much to apologize for, Mt. Everest would be dwarfed...or should I have used Kilamanjaro since it is a "player" in the Global Warming debate?

    All I want from Congress is...IMPEACHMENT!

    by Temmoku on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:19:00 AM PST

  •  Conservative darling Reagan (3+ / 0-)

    Every time there's some peoples' poll involving the greatest President Reagan ends up coming second behind Licoln because of the Republican morons who concider him a great president. He got lucky being there when the Cold War ended. He supported death squads in central american countries. The Iran-Contra scandal, and using racism to woo votes. I would say was a racist, but if he wasn't he didn't do a bad job making other racists believe he was one of them. Other than GW Bush I would call Reagan the worst president of the last 30 years, easily.

  •  BOTH parties do it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The evidence is overwhelming that both parties have played to that emotion.  

  •  LTEs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, NogodsnomastersMary

    I am sure there were numerous LTEs referrring to the famous Lee Atwater interview, which directly referred to Reagan as someone who used code words to communicate to racists.

    But the one they ran was very coy. It was written sarcastically, in a way that could have been misinterpreted--and suggested readers google "Southern Strategy" and "Atwater."

    It is inexplicable to me why their "standards" prevent a very clear refutation to Brooks' claims from running as is.

    The fetus is the property of the entire society-- Nicolae Ceausescu

    by JayAckroyd on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:20:05 AM PST

  •  Brooks dug up the coffin for this little (5+ / 0-)

    incident, opened the grave, and tried to put some make up on a very ugly corpse, knowing that at best he could only do crappy job of making it look life-like.


    Well, the best defense is a good OF-fense. You know who said that? Mel, the cook on "Alice."

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:20:39 AM PST

  •  Outrage at full volume (6+ / 0-)

    The race-baiting strategies of the Republican Party, both subtle and blatant, has been an outright scandal for 30 years at least.

    It's about damn time that they get called on it. We need to make that label stick. Think of it as consumer product safety information.

    Further, the reverent regard for Ronald Reagan needs to be deconstructed and dumped in the trash. This is the man who made a secret deal with Iranian theocrats to PREVENT the release of American embassy hostages, to help him get elected in 1980. Then he directed a terror war against the people of Nicaragua, funding it by secretly selling weapons to Iran and cocaine to American inner cities, after Congress explicitly banned it. He is the original sponsor of the basket of fantasy-land economic ideas known as the "supply side theory". I could go on.

    Ronald Reagan and the Republican party traded the economic vitality and moral legitimacy of this nation for a generation of shameful election wins. Their cynical use of racist code words to manipulate the ignorant and the anxious is beyond dispute. It is a dangling thread which, when pulled, will reveal the utter moral bankruptcy of the Republican party.

    •  In SC, Buddy Witherspoon may run (0+ / 0-)

      against Graham Lindsey. Witherspoon is a Rightwing Christian/Moral Majority type who is most famous for his defense of his membership in the Concerned Citizens Committee. It appears in Red States, the GOP wants to move even farther to the right.

  •  The 12th Commandment (6+ / 0-)

    "Thou shalt not disparage the Shining Legacy of Ronald Reagan."

    And y'know, I've never understood Reagan worship. Terrible president, legacy of bumbling mis-steps, left us with a huge deficit, Iran-Contra, Ollie North, "I don't know..."

    Spent his last term battling Alzeimer's fer gawdsakes. It's not like you can point to his term and rattle off all these great things he did. He laid the groundwork for BushCo: Government exists to transfer cash from the Treasury into the pockets of the richest 1 percent.

    But anyway, for some weird reason, he is a Saint, and every republick has to run on a platform of being exactly like him. Horrible man. And yeah, a stone racist, too, who didn't think twice about sending a Huey military chopper to teargas students at Berkeley.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:24:15 AM PST

    •  Never could stand him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, NogodsnomastersMary

      But I was always in the minority ...

      You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

      by javelina on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:32:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Called Tap-Dancing Away From Bush, and Dixie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope, The Raven

         Putting Ronnie on a pedestal is a back-handed way of saying that Bush isn't a "true" conservative but has somehow betrayed or strayed from the Real Thing when it was Morning Again In America.
          Which in turn is a way of denying that Bush has only done his level best to carry out the sort of policies that conservatives wanted to implement during the Reagan years but couldn't.
          Also, it seems that after nearly 40 years of using the Southern Strategy, the GOP finds that it's painted itself into a geographical corner. Besides maybe Utah and Idaho, the Deep South is virtually the only place in the country where the Republicans can count on sure electoral votes in the near future. So naturally, they have to try to Gaslight any reference to the Southern Strategy: "Southern Strategy? What Southern Strategy? We never had a Southern Strategy! More liberal paranoia!"
          And so on...

      `Il bene commune è quello che fa grandi le città' -- Machiavelli

      by angry blue planet on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:37:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sure miss Steve Gilliard (4+ / 0-)

    In the midst of the media's outpouring of sobbing, adoring farewells to Saint Ronald in 2004, Steve reminded us that Reagan's policies continually and deliberately played on and promoted racism.

  •  Saw Krugman on C-Span (5+ / 0-)

    I was flippin' through channels last weekend and came across Krugman giving a talk at a book expo in Miami on C-Span.  I think it was live.  He was talking extensively about this very point.  His argument was that the only white males that have left the Democratic party in the past 40 years are southern white males who left as a direct result of the backlash against the civil rights movement.  His stats indicate that white southerners aside, male voters vote about the same percentage Democratic now that they did when FDR was in office.

    His argument was that it was not only Nixon who employed the southern strategy, but also Reagan and he cites numerous examples of coded race bating language used by Reagan.  The example of the Philadelphia, MS speach being the most overt example.

    I have never read much of Krugman's stuff to be quite honest, but after hearing him talk, I was very impressed.  His new book apparently goes into a lot of depth about these issues and looks to be an interesting read.

    •  It is an interesting read. (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, Krugman traces back the Republican reliance on racism to the National Review, and its deep admiration in the 1950s for the policies of General Francisco Franco of Spain.  Never mind that Franco ousted a democracy.

      And then to the first "Movement Repubican" (in comparison with Eisenhower Republicans, who had come to peace with the New Deal), Barry Goldwater.  Goldwater was the first of the new racist Republicans, voting against the Voting Rights Act, and opposing then entrenched New Deal laws.  Reversing New Deal / Great Society legislation is the goal of all current day Republicans.

      At the same time, a young Ronald Reagan supported Goldwater, and RR ran around talking about his infamous, and nonexistent, "welfare queen".  And we all know what color the "welfare queen" was.  Wink, wink, nod, nod.  RR never gave up his lie about the "welfare queen", although she never existed, but RR was just so dang funny, how could you call Reagan on a lie with a personality like his?

      RR used the "welfare queen" in 1966 in his gubernatorial run in CA, while also taking advantage of "law and order" (read: race riots).  RR pulled out the "welfare queen" in the 1970s and 1980s from time-to-time because he loved the meme so very very much.

      Ronald Reagan has a long history of racism, all right.  The man is, if he is to be judged from his words, from what came out of his mouth, a racist.

      And racism is exactly how the Rs have won elections since the 1970s.  Today, as black racism becomes somewhat less tolerant (though not eradicated by a long shot), the Republicans today are trying to keep election-winning racism alive with their new mantra about "immigration."  Racism today is subtly moving from black to brown.  Though R's are content to beat up on blacks today too, if they think it will get them elected.  Anything to destroy social security, medicare, etc.

  •  CBS commentary on 1980 pres. election (4+ / 0-)

    After Ronald Reagan's smashing victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980, Lesley Stahl gave an analysis of the election which included a statement about a return of the "solid South."  In her commentary she said nothing about race when she described the solid South as having shifted from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican.  I called CBS and got someone to actually speak to me.  I asked them why they refused to say the word "race" when describing southern voting patterns.  Everyone knows that the solid South became solidly Democratic because of Lincoln's freeing of the slaves, and everyone who is not sleep walking knows that it switched to Republican after the desegregation battles of the 60's and 70's painted the Democratic party as a bunch of hippies and anti-war zealots who pander to blacks.  The man I spoke to would not answer my question, but instead he asked me what I thought, so I told him that it was all about race. His response was that I must be right, but why did CBS refuse to mention race?  The first time I heard anyone mention race in this context was when Paul Krugman spoke at the Miami bookfair this past Sunday.  If anyone missed that great day in the history of C-Span, try to catch it if it's repeated or maybe you can watch it on C-Span's website.  The entire day seemed to be devoted to discussing ways to defeat the policies of the current "administration" in D.C.

  •  June! I'n ho-ome! (3+ / 0-)

    Brooks looks sort of like Ward Cleaver. He talks like him, too.

    "Well, Beaver, I know it was probably upsetting to see those men in those hoods, but sometimes people do have to take a stand for what they believe is right. Just don't YOU take the law into your own hands."

    "You mean you're not mad at me, Dad?"

    "Well, you do have to pay for Clem's sheet. That's a lot of allowances."

  •  RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman apoligized for it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    A couple of years ago he apologized to (the NAACP, I think) for the Southern Strategy from Nixon through the 90's.   Here's a link, and I hope I'm not being too redundant.

    There's no question about it.   I don't know where David Brooks gets the idea (well, I can guess), but history is history, and when the players have acknowledged their role ... well, Brooks can't wish it away.

    Something that clearly around Reagan's time was this Orwellian ploy of firmly and calmly denying the obvious.  "No, that's not a cookie in my hand.  You must be mistaken."   Reagan's claim, for instance, that he never dyed his hair.  Here's Larry Craig's version:  "I am not gay.  ... I just have a wide stance."  

  •  Of course Reagan was a racist (3+ / 0-)

    He was truly a horrible person but he cultivated a media image that gives him a godlike status.  People worship him and you're not allowed to say anything that's true about Reagan unless you want the wrath of ignorant people everywhere.  Remember the orgy that took place after he died?  Simply dreadful.

    Build the Wilshire Subway!

    by SoCalLiberal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:33:52 AM PST

    •  I blame the media for omitting race (3+ / 0-)

      when it supposedly analyzed the shift in southern voting patterns.  I guess they preferred the deregulation of the media and the rewriting of the tax code that Reagan gave them to anything resembling racial equality or honesty in journalism.  Of yes, it was all about abortion and gays and "values."  Is that why Republicans are so enthusiastic about Giuliani? Come on, please, I think we know that the biggest issue on the conservative agenda is getting rid of affirmative action.

      •  I often see the southern shift from Dem to Repub (2+ / 0-)

        attributed to the domestic battles about Vietnam war.  And I yell was Civil Rights.  Brooks is just another Republican trying to make contemporary Republican values seem like something they are not and hide what they are.

        'how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died?' Bob Dylan

        by St Louis Woman on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:55:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm (2+ / 0-)

          I think the Vietnam War played a role in ushering in Republican dominance but I think that was a national phenomenon, not just a southern one.  I think the south went because of civil rights.  As for the Vietnam War, it's kind of confusing because we had Democratic presidents who escalated and fully supported the war.  

          The recent Republican successes in the south have also been due to simply much better organization and the retirement of old Dems.  For years southern legislatures and congressional delegations were dominated by Democrats.  Even after Republicans began sweeping the south, many of these Democrats remained vestigially.  And conservative Democrats found some success but slowly Republicans have ousted Democrats.  Georgia is a prime example of this.

          Build the Wilshire Subway!

          by SoCalLiberal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:11:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act (3+ / 0-)

          he stated that he had just handed the country to the GOP for generations to come. Hate LBJ all you want but he was a political realist. The Democrats have struggled since the 60s due to the GOP's success in cracking the racial code and being able to address the concerns of conservative Dixiecrats, unfortunately.

      •  Ironically (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch, NogodsnomastersMary

        I used to be completely against affirmative action.  It was one the few issues like universal healthcare where I'd ignore the Democratic position even though I virulently disagreed with it.  I find affirmative action (Nixon affirmative action as opposed to Johnson affirmative action) to be on principle racist and discriminatory.  As I've gotten older, however, I have become more in favor of affirmative action even though I'm now at an age where affirmative action is more likely to negatively affect me.  But here is where I've become something of a supporter.  So much in life that we apply for: jobs, educational programs, colleges, law school, internships, scholarships, grad programs, etc is not actually based 100% on merit.  It'd be nice if everyone was given an equal opportunity in everything that one had to apply for (and sometimes that's the case) but most often things are uneven.  Connections play a massive role in getting students into schools and getting people hired.  Why shouldn't minorities get an extra boost?

        Is affirmative action the biggest issue?  I'm not sure.  I think there are bigger issues for the conservatives like enshrining discrimination into the constitution and outlawing abortion and divorce and institutionalizing religion into our government and society.  And of course, conservatives really want to turn back the clock to the Gilded Age in terms of labor laws and laws regulating corporations.  So take your pick but either way, most of the conservative positions sicken me.

        Build the Wilshire Subway!

        by SoCalLiberal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:05:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many opponents of affirmative action (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trinite, NogodsnomastersMary

          though not all and maybe just in my neck of the woods, had a racial agenda which they would not admit. However, for the racial supremacists, my question was always, if African Americans are naturally inferior so that affirmative action denies you a job and gives the African American the advantage, why aren't you superior enough to offset any advantage?
          After all, in a ballgame, referee bias may affect the outcome but it rarely allows a clearly inferior team to triumph consistently over a superior team.

          •  It's not that (0+ / 0-)

            It's just that with affirmative action, you're giving a benefit based on race or ethnicity, something which really in a perfect world should not be allowed.  We don't live in a perfect world though and we're forced to make adjustments.

            A lot of people aren't thinking about team when they oppose affirmative action.  They're thinking about themselves.  They get denied a job or denied a school spot, what do they blame?  Affirmative action.  The likelihood is that they would have been rejected anyway but they feel that their spot was denied so that someone of color could take it and that's where a lot of the opposition comes from.  It's not even a racial supremacy for most, it's a frustration.  

            Build the Wilshire Subway!

            by SoCalLiberal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:29:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In medical school years ago (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a male medical student lambasted a female for taking his buddy's spot. She asked him his MCATs, GPA, class rank, etc.  Every variable came up with her having the superior education and experience. When she finished the laundry list, she told him "See, I don't have his spot; you do. So do the right thing and drop out"
              Since the male had connections with the school's faculty and administration, it always seemed a little ludicrous to me to have him complain about affirmative action.

              •  Yeah, I pretty much steer clear of that (0+ / 0-)

                That male is an idiot and that female was right to handle him in the way that she did btw.  She was rough but she had to be.  I remember I had an art teacher in elementary school who complained bitterly about affirmative action.  Apparently her son had wanted to become a firefighter.  Well as it turned out, the son didn't get denied because he was white, he was denied because he was very underqualified for the position.  But generally, I find it best not to talk about why certain people are in certain programs or affirmative action.  It's just a bad place to go and I avoid it.  Policy wise, it's a neccesary evil.

                Though I am now writing diversity statements for law school and it's kind of weird because I've never done that before.  

                Build the Wilshire Subway!

                by SoCalLiberal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:59:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  At the time (0+ / 0-)

        I mentioned this TIME magazine quote on another thread about this issue yesterday. It's from a 1980 piece on courting black voters, here discussing GOP attempts to court them and problems they had reconciling that with their base and philosophy:

        The attacks on Reagan reflected the Democrats' growing apprehensions about a change in Republican campaign strategy. For the first time in twelve years Reagan is courting black votes. He and his strategists hardly believe he is the Republican who will bring blacks back to the party of Lincoln, but they are nonetheless going to work hard to attract them. More important, Reagan's aides feel that by visibly reaching out to blacks, Reagan will soften his image with white moderate Republicans, independents and disaffected Democrats, who regard him as an uncaring conservative.

        But Reagan has no intention of abandoning his hard-core supporters. Before going to New York, he defended "states' rights" at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., where three young civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. Some 10,000 people, nearly all of them white, cheered lustily in response.

        Two days later, Reagan had a sharply different message for the Urban League. He asked his listeners to set aside their misconceptions of him as "anti-poor, anti-black and anti-disadvantaged . . . a caricatured conservative." But Reagan's carefully crafted speech touched on virtually no black concerns other than economics. Indeed, to the amusement of some participants, he inadvertently picked up Kennedy's refrain that the answers to black Americans' problems are "jobs, jobs, jobs." Reagan's way of creating these jobs, of course, is far different from Kennedy's. Rather than Government programs, he would expand private employment by stimulating the economy with tax cuts. His speech drew applause but not the ovations accorded Kennedy and Carter as they stepped from the podium.

        Once upon a time, Reagan's pandering to racists wasn't entirely ignored by the major media.

        I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

        by darrelplant on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 02:15:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  David Brooks took the Wide Stance (TM). (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, whippoorwill


    He did it to himself. If he does not want people tarring and feathering him over the Internets, then he should not engage in the enabling of the recycled racism that is at the heart of modern Republicanism.

  •  This is the first time (3+ / 0-)

    I've read Brooks' column, since I've never seen a Brooks screed worth reading.  Even within the column itself, there are appalling logic and factual gaps.

    For starters:

    Reagan’s pollster Richard Wirthlin urged him not to go, but Reagan angrily countered that once the commitment had been made, he couldn’t back out.


    Oh, really?  And what reason would Wirthlin possibly have for objecting?  The patently obvious one would be that the appearance would be perceived as race-bainting, unless Brooks thinks Wirthlin was an imbecile.

    Then there's this:

    It’s callous, at least, to use the phrase "states’ rights" in any context in Philadelphia. Reagan could have done something wonderful if he’d mentioned civil rights at the fair. He didn’t. And it’s obviously true that race played a role in the G.O.P.’s ascent.

    There is apparently a bright line between callousness and outright racism -- a line only David Brooks can draw, and that no one in Reagan's camp was capable of identifying in 1980, despite full awareness of the "Southern Strategy:"

    Some inside the campaign wanted to move away from the Southern strategy used by Nixon, believing there were more votes available in the northern suburbs and among working-class urban voters.

    And why would Reagan champion states' rights in Mississippi?  Might he remember Carter and George Wallace slugging the question out in 1976?  IIRC, he was campaigning against Ford the same year.  One would think he'd be perfectly aware of the charged nature of the term -- and one would be right.

    Brooks is at best disingenuous, and at worst a howling liar.  Take your pick.  I've chosen mine.

    "Success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives." --George W Bush, May 2, 2007

    by mspicata on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:35:06 AM PST

  •  Herbert was right to call out Brooks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freelunch, Eternal Hope, Fabian

    IMO, once Brooks dissed Krugman and others, there was no decorum prohibiting Herbert from replying in kind.

    I took the Brooks column personally and blogged about on DKOS. Imagine being black and hearing a white columist revisionist bullshit about how Reagan wasn't racist and this is some sort of calumny by liberals.

    Pardon my French, but what the fuck are we supposed to do you stupid moron (apologies to Doug Kinney in Animal House)?  

    If Herbert didn't call out Brooks, he would be a cariciture of the spineless, wussy that MSM has frequently called liberals.

  •  scum, you say?...SCUM?... in the New York Times?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, trinite

    It's the f**king genocide, stupid:

    In simple intellectual terms, I would say to Mr.Hoyt that any editorialist that rewrites history to lend credibility and authority to a vicious criminal conspiracy like the Republican National Committee and its Party loyalists, supports genocide or national fratricide, i.e., murder of my fellow citizens, my "brothers and sisters."

    One who does not support a populist progressive agenda, redistributing the burden of taxes and the wealth of our national resources, giving everyman the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is merely encouraging genocide under cover of a disingenuous claim to compassionate, kinder and gentler authority-- read: "We don't have the votes."

    But I would be coarse about it, if I were bothering to address almost anyone at the New York Times at all. (I might say something like, f**k you, drop dead you a**hole!! I am outraged!!)

    But then, a Daily Kos Front Pager shouldn't say that  because it might misrepresent some civil libruls and moderates here who actually think that we are fighting something less than officially sanctioned grand theft and murder at the highest level of our government.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:37:19 AM PST

    •  Dignified vs. coarse. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's what makes the NYT superior to anything on the internet.  At least that's how the Times' public editor sees it.  Why must the Times continue to reinforce its image as elitist? Oh, for a return to the days of the Pentagon papers.

      •  They had to publish the Pentagon Papers. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch, trinite

        They had absolutely no choice in the matter.

        One reason: Punch Sulzberger.

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

        by ezdidit on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:22:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better Reason: Kate Graham (0+ / 0-)

          The Washington Post also had a fearless publisher who had made the paper into a real competitor to the New York Times in government and national news. If the Times had not published the Pentagon Papers, they would have lost a lot of respect and their role as the newspaper of record. The Post now seems to be satisfied with the best advice columnist in the land and doesn't want to upset David Broder's dream world. The Wall Street Journal doesn't compete in this area, so no one is forcing the Times to stay honest any more.

  •  "possibly to resuscitate that racist strategy for (3+ / 0-)

    future use."  Your analysis is right.  I wondered why Brooks would have gone to the trouble to write such a column when he knew it was not defensible.  Then I realized that he was providing cover for the field operatives of the Republican Party to fan the flames in the 2008 elections.  They now have another talking point to use: "the godless liberals are attacking poor, noble Ronny -- those dirty bastards."

    If you don't have an earth-shaking idea, get one, you'll love building a better world.

    by hestal on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:39:19 AM PST

  •  well said, Laura (4+ / 0-)

    It's taken all of us (especially me) way too long to take the gloves off.  

    For attempting to cover up the Republican party's decades of using racial division to achieve electoral victories, for defending Reagan's participation in the "Southern strategy" and thereby seeking to cleanse Reagan of the fully-deserved taint of vicious racism, and possibly to resuscitate that racist strategy for future use, David Brooks deserves far, far worse than a few blog posts excoriating him. By defying convention and effectively calling out a fellow columnist, Bob Herbert moved a step closer to the level of humiliation Brooks deserves, but we're not there yet.

    Brooks and his ilk allow wingers to believe their positions aren't immoral.  It's enabling of the worst sort.

    'how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died?' Bob Dylan

    by St Louis Woman on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:44:19 AM PST

  •  Ask Nancy Reagan (3+ / 0-)

    If Lincoln Perry (aka Stepin Fetchit) was one of her husband's running buddies during their Hollywood years.

    ::crickets chirping::

    Thought so.  Ray Charles could see that Reagan's kick off in Philadelphia, Mississippi was nothing more than the Southern Strategy racist plot it really is.

    BoBo's fast becoming irrelevant to the political discourse, and the best thing he can do is try to deify the second worst President there was.

    "Washington, DC: Where Corrupt Officials are discovered daily."

    by The Truth on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:50:57 AM PST

  •  Truth is relevant [ if your a wingnut] (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The handy dandy wingnut re-truther machine is set on high by Brooks [mr. fidget] and others, in efforts to scrub and rinse the Reagan Legacy. Problem is, too many of us who witnessed his cold hearted policies are still around to set the record straight.

  •  Nancy Reagan. (0+ / 0-)

    I believe it was Nancy Reagan who got her husband to talk to Gorbachev.  She was the real President.  I can't imagine what he would have done to this nation if she hadn't been around to tell him what to do.  As it was, he did enough damage to the tax code, economic and media deregulation, unions, Social Security, racial issues, national debt, foreign policy in the Middle East and Latin America, power of the Executive Branch, etc., etc.  And Reagan did not end the Cold War.  That's a long story connected to nationalism and the history of Russia and Eastern Europe.

  •  Reagan Revisionism (6+ / 0-)

    There is a long and dishonorable history of Reagan apologists changing the facts in order to misrepresent Reagan's record on civil rights.  For example, Michael Deaver in his book "A Different Drummer" recounts how Deaver arranged for Reagan to meet with black members of the White House staff to understand why the black community was opposed to the Reagan Administration's position in the Bob Jones University case.  According to Deaver, Reagan was so moved by the personal stories of these black staffers, that he supposedly got on the phone to AG William French Smith and Ed Meese and told them to change their position in the case.

    Great story, except for the fact that it never happened.  The Reagan Administration never changed its position in the Bob Jones case.  In fact, when the case came to the Supreme Court, there was no lawyer defending the IRS position (IRS regulations deny tax exempt status to organizations such as BJU that practice racial discrimination) because the Reagan Justice Department refused to support it.  The Supreme Court actually had to appoint special counsel (former Transportation Secretary William Coleman) to argue the case for the IRS.  Of course, the IRS won the case, but it was an incredible blot on the history of the US Justice Department (Republican trashing of the Justice Department also has a long history).

    Kudos for Bob Herbert for calling out the historical lies of Reagan apologists like Brooks.

  •  Bullying and misinformed? (4+ / 0-)

    It kind of reminds me of an argument I had with a fellow quite some time back about a minor event which had happened before his time. I not only was a witness to the event but also a participant.
    When I pointed out some of his assertions were just plain wrong, he looked at me and asked, "How much have you studied the event? You were just there."

    It seems the Times, the Grand Dame, has decided the Internet is much too unruly and filthy for such as her stable of pundits. Pity that the editors still expect the Great Unwashed to simply buy the rag and be quiet.

  •  I'm tempted to send Brooks a nastygram... (0+ / 0-)

    ...via the U.S. Mail.  But, from the looks of Bobo's mailbox, somebody must have sent him something stronger:

    "If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll see you in the next world...and don't be late!" (Jimi Hendrix)

    by Faheyman on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:42:58 AM PST

  •  What we need is a catalogue . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . of Ronald Reagan's numerous incidents where he played the race card.

    So that when these fascist revisionists come along, we can publish the whole dang list of racism is one fell swoop.

    Because Ronald Reagan may have been a happy go lucky morning in America dude, but he was also a racist dude as well.

    As is all of Movement Republicanism.

  •  Reagan opposed MLK holiday, right? (0+ / 0-)

    As I recall Reagan  oppossed a federal holiday to recognize Dr King's birthday and said something like "if black people get their own holiday then others will want their holiday too- where does it stop"

    I do remember thinking it totally remarkable and sad that a President of this Country would view the incredible courage, heroism,  and sacrifice of Dr King as "a black thing"

    Brooks is a revisionist of the first order.

  •  Of course not a conspiracy (0+ / 0-)

    It was right out in the open, called the "Southern Strategy."  The GOP is so explicit and proud of it, there is one conservative political consulting firm named "The Southern Strategy Group."

    Along those lines, I'm thinking of starting a Brooksian non-racist organization called "The Final Solution!"


  •  Why else would he kick off a campaign there? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, Philadelphia, Mississippi, isn't exactly a common campaign stop.

  •  Victors' History (0+ / 0-)

    Brooks backhanded hagiography of Reagan, just a few short years after his Ascension, makes a fine exhibit on how to build a cult. It ought to make one wonder, at this late date, if there was anything at all to that Jesus (Moses Buddha et al.) fella beyond his political usefulness. (Of course Jesus apparently left us some fine moral precepts, but anyway....)

    The more interesting question might be, why do these cults always seem to coalesce around scapegoating, sociopathic males?

  •  Brooks knows the (0+ / 0-)

    entire republican party is built on a wink-and-nod racism and he's trying to muddy the waters, pure and simple.

  •  Coarse? how bout 2 grit? (0+ / 0-)

    Im so coarse, sandpaper on my arse feels like cola.

    Why does anyone bother with what these opinionated blowfarts have to say?

  •  Would that be the same (0+ / 0-)

    Reagan that unleashed a Justice Dept with the goal of wiping out any civil rights gains dating back to the Emancipation Proclamation? You bet I remember the wrecking crew of Meese, Reynolds and Pendleton.

    Funny how they keep trying to pretend Reagan was not what he obviously was. Just an innocent mistake he would up on the Birchers mailing list in the 60's. An innocent mistake Reagan becoming Governor of California. Had nothing to do with the Watts riot and speaking in code (After he signed the CRA of '64, LBJ said "watch Reagan in California." This was a year BEFORE the Watts riot).

    And those other oops moments. Like when Donald Regan, Robert McFarlane and Larry Speakes all wrote books about working for the Gipper. Strange how each one of them talked about those happy times at the cabinet meetings when silent Sam Pierce was absent (how could they tell?) and the n-word was bandied about liberally to the point of communism.

    Oh that Reagan. He was such a scamp. And to think we could have been spared all of those hijinks if only NBC had bought the pilot.  

    Btw Loving v. Virginia 1967? Ronnie was rooting for Virginia.  

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