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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Even after he suggested that black people were better off under slavery, Cliven Bundy probably could still be elected to the House of Representatives in certain districts, if he were the Republican nominee.

Safe House districts, a generous Senate map that forces Democrats to defend seven seats in states Mitt Romney won, and a president with sagging popularity mean that Republicans would need a meltdown of Bundy proportions to have a bad 2014. And even given their advantages, they have no better than a 50/50 shot of taking the Senate majority, which they would likely lose again in 2016.

Some Republicans understand that their near-bulletproof status in 2014 isn’t helping them. In fact, it’s making them feel comfortable doing very dumb things, like making a hero of Bundy — as the right-wing media did for more than a week, with conservative politicians rushing in to suck up some sweet airtime.

Men in cowboy hats aiming guns at federal officials appeals to a certain demographic — and it’s not a demographic Republicans are struggling with.

“The rush to stand with Mr. Bundy against the Bureau of Land Management is the latest incarnation of conservative antigovernment messaging,” Josh Barro wrote in The New York Times’ Upshot. “And nonwhites are not interested, because a gut-level aversion to the government is almost exclusively a white phenomenon.”

Some conservatives are rushing to condemn Bundy’s outlandishly awful comments, without noting that his basic premise — government assistance is an evil that maims the souls of black folks in particular — underlies conservative philosophy.

That’s why when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) seemed to express a similar sentiment in coded language, he found himself in the middle of a small uproar that he’ll still be trying to defuse in a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus scheduled for next week.

Republicans argue that there is no racism in their philosophy. Rather, they’re trying to live up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of judging people not by the “color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” as if Dr. King said nothing else. Chief Justice John Roberts’ assertion that the Voting Rights Act’s enforcement formula is no longer relevant, even though it was renewed in 2006, speaks to a “colorblindness” that denies we live in a world where Cliven Bundys still exist.

Republicans have sold themselves on the logic that the only way to get over racism is to get the government out of the business of ensuring equality of opportunity and everything else — except marriage, reproduction and people saying bad words on the radio.

But they haven’t really sold anyone else.

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  • docb

    Fux, Ailes, hanratty, and many conservative repubs , Senators and Congresspeople…. Bought, Promoted as Hero, and stood for his ’cause’….THEY NOW OWN HIM….!

  • Mortalc01l

    These “conservative” types, really, REALLY are begging to show us just how stupid they are. Anyone with half a brain, would not rush headlong into blindly supporting this Man, without checking him out fairly thoroughly, no?

    Would it not be prudent to research him a little bit? Would it not be a good idea to figure out what his history is, so your support of him doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass?

    Republicans USED to be relatively bright; they understood science and math and the difference between a belief and a fact…. No longer… they really have become the party of stupid on so many levels; they can’t even think strategically enough to realize that this Bundy character might come with some warts and skeletons in his closet…

    Mind-boggling stupidity seems to be rampant in the GOP these days.

    • Joseph

      I don’t remember when republicans were relatively bright. I do remember them being civilized but atht sort of went south with Nixon.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        Back in the 50’s (the golden age according to Reagan Republicans), the Republicans made a point of being anti-intellectual. They appeared cured of this malady until 1994 when they decided being “ignerent” was the most important qualification to run under the banner of the intellectual (Newt Gingrich) that was steering them to victory!

  • Peter Van Derick

    When a white guy says that Blacks were better off as slaves, they really mean that the white guy was better off as a slave-OWNER!!!

    • KDJ54

      Which then allowed the white guys to sit on their verandas and sip mint juleps while somebody else, the slaves, did all the work. so we probably should ask: who were the lazy ones?

      • holyreality

        Or who were the job creators?

  • Lynda Groom

    The easy answer is NO. They made that creature a poster boy of the anti-government cabal and now they are partners for life.

  • sigrid28

    “We won’t be the party of fact-checkers,” declared Reins Preibus in the run-up to the 2012 election. It’s not even a plan, and they’re stickin’ to it. It’s just a tantrum about a way of life that no longer fits inside an outdated world-view. Put another way, the GOP insists on being small minded.

    How long can they succeed in denying reality? We live in such a huge country that political dichotomies and counter-intuitive sociological data are to be expected, and smart people welcome the opportunity to interpret them before the course of history sweeps us along willy nilly. The problem for Republicans and the Bundies in America is that there is almost nothing you can take for granted any more. Contradictions are a way of life that most adults commit to sorting out as a rite of passage, that most adults understand will take a long time to be resolved.

    Take the conservative Roberts’s court and its rush to declare racism over in America, by gutting the 14th Amendment and supporting Michigan’s law denying opportunity for minorities in college admissions, at a time when racial animus against a black president permeates every topic Republicans take up in the national dialog. White men with guns want to stop the CDC from even accumulating data on gun violence, while unarmed black teenagers have become fair game. It could be argued that inequality among the races in the United States has never been greater, but if Republicans had their way, argument as a form of discourse would be silenced along with the fact-checkers.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Yes, and their constant talk about “small” gov’t. George Washington had a country of 13 states and 4 million people. Our country has the world’s largest economy and military and a wide variety of the world’s people and cultures living here. Not to mention 315+ million of them, all exercising their rights to free yakking, truthful or not. Tell me—how do you do small government and still have a civilized society? Oh–I know—put all the rich people in charge!!! That worked so well throughout history.

    • Sand_Cat

      This clown has obviously been quite successful in denying reality for some time. Why weren’t his cattle, his land, and everything else he owns seized long ago to cover his debts?

      • sigrid28

        As I understand it, from the cable news and little research, Bundy has been sued many times by the government over the last twenty years that he has refused to pay for grazing rights on federal land. The government can seize everything you mention but it has to go through many procedures on each year’s debt–I’ll bet–to do so. If the debts just accumulate, penalties are added and legal costs for collection, etc. Any tax refund can be taken and bank accounts and wages garnished. Your answer is in court documents that can be made public. Did he also refuse to pay taxes? I don’t know, but the documents may be obtained, I believe, through freedom of information requests.

        In addition, each state has its own laws and jurisdiction regarding bankruptcy and what can be claimed and what is exempt in bankruptcy. Bundy appears not to have declared bankruptcy: he refused to pay taxes (perhaps) and grazing fees because he did not recognize the government, no matter whether he could have afforded to pay or not.

        It suggests the same difference we elsewhere in our legal system. Wealthy scofflaws get away with murder. A poor person behind on his low rent can be evicted over far less debt. If this is the case in Bundy’s situation, what a sad comment on our society.

  • Bambi

    Can the People sue Congress for failing to do their Constitutional duty? Even the House Speaker told a crowd this weekend: “We get elected to solve problems… (right wing)colleagues just don’t want to.” To me, that’s a confirmation of dereliction of duty. So is immunity from the act of governing fair to the citizens? Should we have to tolerate these acts of selfishness and lack of accomplishments we’re paying them not to do?

    Have any of these Congressmen acted as an accessory (one who aids, abets, assists, incites or encourages), to this Bundy anti-government clown show and other “alleged” federal crimes with armed and ignorant players? Granted, these politicians may never be duly judged by our law for their dereliction of Congressional duties, but there is no immunity if they commit treason, a felony or a breach of the peace while serving in Congress. There is no ‘shield’ for those who violate the law, no matter who they are. So my question is….. who are the accomplices? How many were in that “get-away car?”

    • Joseph

      No, you cannot sue them. But I think most would respond to well swung five iron when they come home to the district.

  • WhutHeSaid

    With all of the Goober Only Party (GOP) incessantly ranting about building more fences at the border to keep out people who they hate (because they hate just about everyone) — couldn’t we spare a few dollars to build fences around these nut-bags? I suggest fencing the goobers in their trailer parks making them stay there, offering free Fox News and Duck Dynasty cable subscriptions as a sign of appreciation for relieving the rest of us from their nonsense. The cattle could be allowed to come and go as they please, since they seem to mostly behave themselves.

  • mikem42

    Why is gerrymandering even legal, and why do we tolerate it? Districts are drawn up to ensure certain results, and they are nearly impossible to change. Between that and the obscene amount of money allowed to buy voter, we won’t have real democracy, or even a representative republic as was envisioned by the Founders. The game is rigged, and with the right wing (not)Supreme Court running interference, it has only got worse.

    • Joseph

      You just listed most of the reasons it is legal.

  • Nicholas Jacob Underwood

    I’d like to disagree with the idea that young people in the south are as conservative as our elders, I’ve lived in Georgia all my life and I’m a freaking eco-socialist. Most of the people my age I’ve interacted with are less conservative than their parents are, and even the ones that identify as fiscally conservative disagree with the GOP on social issues.

    That being said, I am a 90s kid and I do think that 90s kids (and kids of the late 80s) are more liberal than early and mids 80s kids, as the pop culture that those 80s kids were raised on is mostly conservative (think the EPA guy in ghost busters and how his sup plot didn’t really serve any purpose in the story other than making the EPA look bad). Us 90s and late 80s kids, on the other hand, were raised on very liberal pop culture especially when it comes to environmentalism (Captain planet, Final fantasy 7, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, the Wild Thornberrys and many other franchises aimed at kids and teens of the 90s all had strong environmentalist themes), though multiculturalism was also a major componets of 90s youth culture.

    so I think that us 90s kids will turn the south blue as soon as the boomers die off

    • HellOnWheelz

      Some of us “boomers” marched on Selma and started the first Earth Day… were progressive before there even was such a term (we were called subversive radicals). Please don’t further the PayMasters’ agenda by tarring us all with the same brush.

      Having said that: you are spot-on about the differences within the “boomer” generation. We were born from the mid 1940s thru mid 1960s. The ones who came of age in the early 80s were “greed is good” …

      • Nicholas Jacob Underwood

        my apologizes, I get that there were progressive boomers and you guys did pretty well.

  • Rob Erta

    If those who worship at collectivism’s altar were not selfish, they would not defend the superstitions, illusions, and utopian fantasies conjured up to justify collectivism and the plunder upon which it depends.

    • Sand_Cat

      If those who worship at conservatism’s altar were not absolutely without moral or ethical scruple, how could they – and likely, you – defend the malicious and paranoid superstitions, illusions, and fantasies conjured up to justify whatever the latest GOP outrage happens to be at the moment?
      And you forgot the question mark, idiot!