Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maureen Dowd vs. South Carolina

Over the past few days I have been more than a little disturbed at the number of people who are accusing Republicans of racism. According to such intellectual giants as Maureen Dowd, President Jimmy Carter, or Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson, if you disagree with the President, you are a racist. These are the same people who told us it was Patriotic to question President George Bush. President Carter has had his own problems with race in his past and should probably focus on cleaning those up before he attacks others. These attacks are from the same party that has given us Klu Klux Klan member Robert Byrd, Democrat Senator from West Virginia. One of Byrd's claims to fame is to be the only sitting member of the Senate who was once an admitted Klan member. The President's Attorney General accused Americans of being cowards when it comes to race. Maybe he was referring to his own party…

I thought I would start my research for this column by reading Maureen Dowd's column for myself. Maybe she had been widely misquoted in the press. Surely no one would accuse another person of racism based on something Ms. Dowd imagined. She points out that,"…fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!" That's right. Maureen Dowd says Joe Wilson is a racist not because of what he said, but because of what she imagined. In a sane world, Ms. Dowd would be laughed at as she was run out of town.

While this has been heavily covered, what I hadn't realized was that Ms. Dowd goes on a rant against the entire state of South Carolina. She slanders Mr. Wilson's involvement in the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, while not mentioning any problem with Byrd's involvement with the actual KKK. She draws on the history of South Carolina to accuse Joe Wilson of racism. Why is Joe Wilson a racist? Because South Carolina fired the first shot in the Civil War. Because Jim DeMint wanted conservatives to "break" the President (Democrats were the model of civility and bipartisanship under President Bush). Because Mark Sanford refused stimulus funds when he felt the state couldn't afford the price tag that came with the stimulus bribes.

In perhaps the most bizarre section, she quotes a Democrat from South Carolina who attacked Bill Clinton in the Palmetto State for alleged racial attacks against then candidate Obama (again, Democrat racial attacks). Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said that a resolution must be passed against Joe Wilson because:

"In South Carolina politics, I learned that the olive branch works very seldom," he said. "You have to come at these things from a position of strength. My father used to say, 'Son, always remember that silence gives consent.' {emphasis mine}

Keeping in mind that the Congressional Research Service says that HR 3200 would allow legal and illegal immigrants to buy health insurance, and that Joe Wilson knew these aspects of HR 3200, does the Democrat from South Carolina really believe Wilson should have kept quiet and given his "consent" to a falsehood?

Perhaps the next time Ms. Dowd wants to accuse a state of being populated by racist, she should do a little homework.

Ms. Dowd, just because you included a racist statement in your mind doesn't mean the rest of us did too. If you want to throw heinous terms around based on what you imagined, listen to the late Michael Jackson, and start with the Man in the Mirror.


Tricia said...

I wonder if all of my name calling is because 2010 is an election year?
Let's stop the mud slinging and get down to the real business of getting out of our "unofficial" depression! Let's get our priorities in order.

Kevin said...

I have no idea what to is just so unbelievable

saint said...

Clyburn is just upset that Wilson held a townhall meeting in Clyburn's district without telling him. Another thing about Clyburn, he is not concerned about what is in the best interest of the country, or his voters. At a meeting with healthcare companies, they pointed out to him the problems with the planned healthcare and what it would do to them, and how it would make things bad for "the people". His reply, even if he was inclined to believe them, he wouldn't vote against it because it's going to pass anyway.

Andy D said...

I think the name calling is because those yelling "racist" the loudest can't actually defend their position. They want to shift the argument.

Interesting about Clyburn. I guess that is the action of a career politiciain

familyman said...

Andy, I couldn't even get all the way through your post. The second sentence is wrong. I'm not going to read an entire post if it is predicated on that kind of simplification/exaggeration.

No one ever said if you disagree with the President then you are racist.

The charge HAS been leveled by some that there is quite a bit of opposition to the president that is motivated by racism.

That is very different than saying all opposition to the President is racially motivated.

Andy D said...

Welcome back Familyman. I hope you are able to stay around and throw your two cents in.

My second sentence isn't incorrect. Those three have all accused people of being racist simply because they disagree with the President. Joe Wilson said two words based on a claim the President made about a health care bill. You may disagree with Joe Wilson. You may think he was wrong to yell at the President in front of the Congress and Senate. However, nothing Joe Wilson said makes him racists and those who are now claiming such should be ashamed of themselves.

Seattle Dave said...

Keeping in mind that the Congressional Research Service says that HR 3200 would allow legal and illegal immigrants to buy health insurance, and that Joe Wilson knew these aspects of HR 3200, does the Democrat from South Carolina really believe Wilson should have kept quiet and given his "consent" to a falsehood?


Their is a fundamental difference between people being allowed to purchase health care, and the government giving them health care for free.

Joe Wilson has said all along that under the proposed bill, illegal immigrants would be covered by the government. That, is in fact, false.

As far as the racisim stuff. I liken it to the same drabble that came from conservative republicans back in '02/'03 and up until Bush left office. Remember, democrats and/or anyone who disagreed with going to war were largly maligned as "un-american, un-patriotic," etc. You know, the basis of most republican and convervative republican arguments when it came to dissenting opinion.

This is just the same drabble, but on the other foot.

Doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. As adults (making an assumption here), we should all be able to see the politics in any such charge that is levied.

Andy D said...

If illegal immigrants are allowed to buy into the government run public option, is it false?

We are debating the points of a 1,000 page plus bill. Also keep in mind that the President has never actually pointed to a specific bill as "his" bill even though he continually refers to such a thing. We are all assuming HR 3200 is the bill he supports.

Either way, we are debating what a bill will or won't do. This has nothing to do with race. It is the political process. For Dowd, Carter, and others to accuse Wilson of racism is simply disgusting.

Is it the same as the "un-American" label some through around early on in the Bush administration? I don't think so. Un-American isn't nearly as heinous a claim as racism in today's society. In most cases, the un-American charge was stupid, and not supported by the majority of conservatives. Like you said, two wrongs don't make a right. If Dowd and Carter can't defend their views, they shouldn't throw such terrible labels at others.

Rebecca said...

I agree with Tricia. All the racist name calling is incredibly tiring. Instead of dealing with the real issues in our country, both sides are paralyzing any progress that could be made.

Seattle Dave said...

My understanding has been the Joe Wilson was accusing the Bill of allowing free health care for illegal immigrants under the umbrellas of the "50million" people un-insured. Or, whatever the number is these days.

If that's false or misunderstood, well, it's not really my fault considering all the mis information and crap that is on the airwaves these days.

However, if that is infact what Joe Wilson was saying initially, then yes, it is a false premise. They'd be given nothing free. It would cost the same as anyone else who buys into a public option. Which in the end, would be a very small % of Americans on the whole.

Andy D said...


There are a number of groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Docs 4 Patient Care that have come up with some good alternatives. Any honest debate on Health Care has to start with some of these ideas.


Joe Wilson has studied HR 3200 and he believed it would cover illegal aliens, and that it would cover them for free. Up until Joe Wilson's comments, the Democrats were using illegal aliens in the number of people that need coverage by the government. Whether that is 100% free or not will depend on what subsidies the government offers them.