The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, January 28, 2008

Are ALL ex-Arkansas Governors Racist?

What a "tradition". We learned about Orval Faubus in our history books. There's a real icon. And recently we've also had a chance to see beneath the surface of Mike Huckabee's many contradictions. And perhaps it would be wrong to mention Clinton's self-described "mentor" while in Arkansas, one J. William Fulbright, since technically he was a Senator from Arkansas, not a Governor.

But you have to admit, identifying one's self as an ex-Arkansas Governor seems lately to be taking on a whole new dimension--a legacy of shame. And it would not be nearly as apparent (other than Hitchens' take linked above), had not the first Arkansas ex-President and (we were told) "the first black President", blown the lid off of that charade by what seemed by many to be a planned "planted remark" to Wolf Blitzer. Clinton's subtlety has certainly seen better days.

Obviously, you would have to be living in a vacuum not to have heard about Bill Clinton's remarks over the weekend, because BIG media is suddenly interested--after all when it comes to stirring up the pot of identity politics, the media takes second place to no one. But the irony here is heavy: Republicans have been talking about the scorched earth tactics of the Clintons almost since we knew who he was. Now, suddenly a "fact of life" that all Republicans have been aware of since 1992 is suddenly big news because the target of Clinton's Blitzkrieg is a popular, charismatic (and yes, black) Democrat. And there is no one with an objective brain who does not know that Bill's comment was meant to communicate exactly what it did.

Suddenly, over the course of about one week (remember Bill fast asleep at the MLK ceremony?) the "first black President" more closely resembles Robert Byrd or some other Dixiecrat from the 40's than, say, Martin Luther King, Jr.--now I count it as a positive that most of America knows the truth now. The truth can sting, but it can also make you free.

The elites in the DNC media also now see clearly--as any Republican on Planet Earth could have told them--that there is nothing that the Clintons will not do, no action it will not take against people who they see as threats to their lust for power. Just think of all of the women the Clintons set out to ruin, including women who claimed they were raped (and for all we know, might have been). Kobe never had it so good...

You might also recall all of the so-called "right-wing conspiracy" rumors about Arkansas state troopers making threats and using dirt from Clinton private investigations into its rivals' and political enemies' backgrounds--including their pilfering of opponents' FBI files, which remained "missing" for almost two years before turning up in the White House residence of all places. In short, all the things the media accused Richard Nixon of--with the Clintons (and the media's see-no-evil love fest insulating them), the same media has taken a "pass" and looked the other way, because he was one of "theirs". Well, welcome home, fools. How about a towel for all of that egg on your collective faces?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Barack Obama, simply because he may be the closest thing to a true Communist who has ever had a real chance at the Presidency. I mean, to use a Hollywood pitch, this guy is Das Kapital meets Farrakhan meets JFK. But still, as a candidate you can hardly argue that Obama has taken the low road. He seems like a nice, likable man on the surface, and there are not a lot of contradictions in his positions either. He is what he is: almost unashamedly Marxist. Yet--unqualified for the office as he may be--he certainly did not deserve the bigoted medicine the Clintons were serving up this weekend.

So what's next? Will the Clintons go hat in hand like all the other kiss-the-ring supplicants to Al Sharpton's radio show? Don't bet on it, and frankly it wouldn't make much difference if they did. After all, President Clinton's point (some strategists are even calling it a "brilliant move" because of the relatively low number of African-Americas in the upcoming states..) was to take this ball game into a whole new direction for Democrats; well maybe not literally a "new" direction, but certainly we have not seen this ugly an attack on a popular African American by a Democrat since George Wallace back in the 60's.

Do we really want to go back to those days as a country? Is this a critical mass point of the Balkanization of America, circa 2008? Or will it finally open up the eyes of people of color as to who their real friends are--and aren't.

A reminder: it was Republicans who made it possible for Lyndon Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1964, over the negative vote of virtually every Southern Democrat. Without that Republican support it would never have come about. And now here we are "Back to the Future" again. This seems to be a perfect opportunity for morally responsible Republicans to go after the African-American vote, by explaining how they've been chasing a fantasy for years, by voting in effect to continue "being kept down by the man" every time they've voted for a Democrat. The one thing the Left stands for is having more power over the distribution of income, not less. Yet the Dems have ruled Congress for most of the last 50 years and had several Presidents since the 60's: so where's all the progress? Maybe if African-Americans began to actually help to elect people who would let the economy and the markets work for a number of years, then an ever larger percentage of number of lower, middle and upper class African-Americans would finally begin to recognize en masse where wealth really comes from--and it damn sure ain't the government.

Note to Huckabee: you don't get to play in this sandbox, either; uou too now have "legacy" to deal with. And for any other unmentioned Governor of Arkansas, present or past, perhaps this "legacy" has nothing to do with you. But based on the recent track record, I still might want to at least consider hiring a PR firm to ensure I was not going to be grouped with the other Arkansas politicians who have so openly played the race card.

Let's face it: these recent statements have done a lot to keep Arkansas reputation mired in the forgettable events of the 1950's and 60's, not exactly a shining example of the best the State has to offer. It keeps people who don't know any better thinking their state is backwards still.

I know Arkansas; it is a very a beautiful place, with very friendly people. I've been to Fayetteville for a football game, was treated very nicely by everyone I ment, even despite wearing the hated Burnt Orange and Texas winning the game (on that occasion anyway...) Good people, good impression of the State overall. But when you see the regrettable statements of some of its most notable Governors lately, maybe you start to figure out where the school chant "Pig Sooey" is coming from. And where the unfortunate reputation comes from too.

I'm sure that Arkansas can do better with its Governors in this century. And admitting the truth about some of its previous mistakes--and which party is really the party of Abraham Lincoln, Civil rights, and economic growth for all--would be an excellent place to start.
DiscerningTexan, 1/28/2008 04:49:00 PM |