National Center for Policy Analysis, "a free-market think tank" which subsists on hand-outs from the Koch Brothers.
He's also smarter than the average bearish actor, because his official think tank bio shyly reveals that Dr. Goodman was Student Body Vice President, and "is a crossword puzzle aficionado, and most days he is able to conquer the puzzles in The New York Times in ink."
"I'll show you the life of the mind...!"
So rather than our usual -- and frankly, impertinent -- habit of snarking at the subsidized opinions of right wing rent-a-scholars, today we will fold our hands in our laps and listen attentively, because it seems that while black people will be black people, Dr. Goodman's unique perspective -- as a man who was not only a heartbeat away from the Student Council presidency, but who is now only a single initial away from being a celebrated character actor -- allows him to see and pinpoint exactly how they're doing it wrong.
USA Today Columnist DeWayne Wickham took presidential candidate Herman Cain to task the other day on the issue of race. His complaints: (a) Cain is vying for white votes rather than black votes, (b) Cain’s claim that blacks tend to mindlessly vote for Democrats is insulting and insensitive and (c) Cain is insufficiently critical of Republicans for pursing a racist southern strategy over the past 40 years.But this is one columnist who's willing to take up the Non-Black Man's Burden.
Now since Cain and Wickham are both black, I’m sure that most non-black columnists will choose to sit this one out and let it be just an intramural squabble.
I think that’s wrong. All Americans, regardless of color, should find Wickham’s comments offensive for two reasons.Here's where the sort of free market perspective in which Dr. Goodman specializes proves so illuminating. The party of Nixon, of the Southern Strategy, of Reagan's "states rights" speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi, of a DOJ Civil Rights Department focused on "voter fraud," is trying to make voting more difficult only because that would make voting more special. And the rarer a thing is, the more valuable is. Scarcity creates demand, and by allowing fewer people to vote, more people would want to vote, thereby increasing the perceived value of the ballot for those who can cast one. It's like the difference between common and preferred shares of stock.
First, it takes a lot of chutzpah for a pro-Democratic writer to criticize a Republican for being insufficiently critical of his own party on matters of race. For all its sins, I don’t believe the party of Lincoln has anything to apologize for to the party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow and a party that even today routinely uses the NAACP to run election eve, race-baiting radio commercials in order to fan the flames of racial hatred and get out the black vote.
Or to put it another way: making voting an easy, casual thing would encourage people to vote promiscuously, and some day you'll would look back and regret it, feeling that you cheapened your franchise by casting ballots only because you were drunk, or gave in to peer pressure. And then suddenly you meet that special someone, perhaps when your Hoverounds collide at a Tea Party rally and comically lock bumpers, and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, you're sitting in a Denny's at 4:00 in the afternoon, exchanging life stories over a slice of coconut meringue pie and a cup of Sanka, and you'll look across that table and see his face fall when you confess how many times you voted, and for how many different candidates.
Because the problem is, Americans of the black persuasion don't value voting, otherwise they wouldn't require race-baiting radio commercials to get them to the polls. Naturally, this principle applies to all radio advertising, which is why I consider the commercials for Sit 'N' Sleep, a local discount mattress chain, to be the moral equivalent of The Turner Diaries.
But more is involved here than misplaced chutzpah. Wickham is simply wrong about the two parties’ roles in modern politics. I know. I was there. I grew up in Waco, Texas, in the 1950s and early 1960s. At that time, virtually all the elected officials in Waco were (a) racist, (b) segregationist and (c) Democrats.Now they're only two out of three.
Whether mindlessly or not, the black voters in my city did tend to vote for the entire Democratic ticket in election after election.I don't want to accuse Dr. Goodman of "tolerance," because I know where he comes that's regarded as little more than a liberal euphemism for "pussy," but I do think it's nice of him to give his black neighbors the benefit of the doubt and allow as how they might have minds, albeit stupid ones.
As in many places today, the black church was the principal institution through which the party organized the black vote. Think about the incongruity of that. Racist politicians and black Baptist ministers delivered votes in election after election to candidates who did little or nothing to help blacks and who went around assuring whites of their dedication to segregation!I don't want to commit a brazen act of intellectual lése-majesté, Doctor, but I don't think civil rights activists risked prison, injury, or death just to secure the right of Black people to vote for White supremacists. I suspect that the Southern Democrats who did attract support in Black communities were the ones who weren't bigots -- in other words, the ones who didn't become Republicans after Goldwater -- if only because it doesn't make a lot of sense that segregationist Democrats would work so hard to preserve Jim Crow, just to keep black folks from voting for them.
How did the national Democratic Party respond to their Southern comrades? They welcomed them at the national Democratic conventions with open arms. By “they” I mean the Kennedys, the Byrds, the Gores and other mainstays of the Democratic Party. Further, a lot of people are unaware of the fact that the 1964 Civil Rights Act received more Republican than Democratic votes in Congress.I share the Doctor's outrage. Personally, I find it shocking how many people in this country remain ignorant of the basic made-up facts about our own history. True, government schools and liberal textbooks go out of their way to suppress untruths like this, and people who actually lived through the Civil Rights Era (many of whom now spend their days sucking vampirically from the Socialist Security Trust Fund like it was some kind of blood money bank) may offer argumentative "memories" about how "things" actually "were," but still, there is no excuse in the age of Fox News and AM radio for anyone with half a brain to remain uninformed about bullshit of such historic significance.
But just for the record: In the House, Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act 153-91 (63%–37%), while Republicans voted 136-35 (80%–20%), so while a higher percentage of the fewer Republicans in the house voted yea, it's not true that the bill"received more Republican than Democratic votes."
Now a lot of Southern Democrats switched parties and became Republicans through the years. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina is an example. But the behavior of these politicians as Republicans differed markedly from their behavior as Democrats. The difference was not merely a difference of degree. It was a difference of kind.Yes, they began acting more like the existing Southern Republicans, as we see from the regional breakdown of the vote tallies of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:
By party and region
Note: "Southern", as used in this section, refers to members of Congress from the eleven states that made up the Confederate States of America ... "Northern" refers to members from the other 39 states, regardless of the geographic location of those states.
Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7%–93%)
Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0%–100%)
Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%–6%)
Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%–15%)
The Senate version:
Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5%–95%)
Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%–100%)
Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%–2%)
Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%–16%)
Dr. Goodman then dares us to find "a single Republican candidate openly endorsing racial segregation." He then mumbles an aside about David Duke, hastily adding that he doesn't count, nor do all the Dixiecrats who joined the Republican party after 1964.
Most Americans today are anxious to put party aside and race too, for that matter.
What we should want to know from Herman Cain is what he wants to do for the future, not what he thinks about politics of the past.And especially not what he thinks about certain large rocks that may, in the past, have sat beside the entrance to a hunting ranch which was, many years ago, leased by Rick Perry's family, and which was previously, at some point in the forgotten mists of yesteryear, emblazoned with a word which was, in the past, commonly used to describe the heads of people who were stupid enough to vote Democratic had they actually been allowed to vote. Nobody cares about excavating all that ancient history, Herman. We're not frigging archaeologists over here, man.
And on that score, Herman Cain looks really good — especially if you are black and out of work. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan (9% personal income tax, 9% corporate income tax and 9% sales tax) would do much more to get the economy moving than anything being proposed by the Obama administration.People who are better educated than I have pointed out that this sounds less like a cogent economic policy and more like a Meal Deal, so I'll just say this: what little I've seen of Cain's plan suggests that it's not the bread that's crazy.