Politics: February 2009 Archives

One or several of the following are now apparently racist:

1. Unwillingness to accept funding that is supposed to stimulate the economy but won't stimulate much of anything.
2. Unwillingness to accept funding that mandates further expenses to your state after the temporary federal funding providing for those expenses expires.
3. Unwillingness to accept funding that might have strings attached that will prevent campus religious groups from finding meeting space on campuses
4. Unwillingness to accept funding from a bill that was rushed overnight without giving any of the legislators who voted for it or the President who signed for it a chance even to read the thing, never mind decide whether it's morally responsible.
5. Unwillingness to accept funding that sets welfare back to what it was before the reforms instituted by President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich that had wide bi-partisan support and a significant movement of welfare recipients back into the
6. Unwillingness to accept funding that will increase the budget deficit during a time when it's already too high and the President who initiated it is also complaining about the very thing he's contributing to at record levels.

I've heard all of the above motivations for governors resisting some of the funding coming from the stimulus package, and they all seem like pretty good arguments to me based on what I know (but I haven't read the bill; it takes most people a year to read the Bible, and that's not much longer). It may well be that some of the funding might help some people, and some of those people might be black. But the opposition from these governors is mostly to funding that isn't going to help people or would help them at too much cost, cost that might well mean in the long run that it isn't a help after all. So how is it an insult to black people in the states that are refusing this money? It could just as easily be argued that it's an insult to black people to support this disastrous bill that will almost certainly make life worse off in the long run for most Americans, black Americans included.

Does Rep. Clyburn honestly think a governor of a state is going to do something bad for the state purely out of spite for the black people in the state? I can't see how he can say what he does unless he thinks these governors are at least slighting blacks in some way. Otherwise he shouldn't count it as an insult. That assumes that these governors are ignoring the best interest of a major portion of their electorate. It's one thing to have a different view about what's in someonee's best interest and thus take a policy that the other side takes to be harmful or negligent. It's quite another to think this is being done with enough deliberateness or contempt that you could count it as an insult, which presumes that these governors understand that the stimulus bill really is in the best interest of their black population but somehow don't care. Isn't it much more likely that the governor in question really thinks it would be bad to do what Rep. Clyburn thinks would be good? But that doesn't justify being insulted, and his psychological dependence on being insulted is strong enough that he needs some way to justify it, even if it means slandering people who probably really do have the best of intentions.

There are a lot of black politicians who can say what they want with impunity, without having to face election in a district with a racial population spread closer to the mainstream of society. Such politicians will probably never move to higher levels of elected office than in a gerrymandered district in the House of Representatives, so they remain there and get committee chair spots whenever the Democrats are in control. Rep. Clyburn is in that category. Some hoped that electing Barack Obama to the presidency would put an end to the kind of unfair misrepresentation and ridiculous posturing that partisan gerrymandering along race lines has caused. It hasn't yet, and it's still early in Obama's term, but I don't think it will easily have that effect. The ironic result of race-based district gerrymandering is the election of cranks into the Unites States House of Representatives who wouldn't have a chance at statewide office given their extremist view and wllingness to spout them off whenever anyone does something they disagree with, even if it labels that person in a way that has little to do with the facts. I can't see how it helps black America to have people like this serving as their main elected representatives. I do hope having Obama in as visible a role as President will change this sort of thing. It doesn't seem like it's going to happen quickly, though.


    The Parablemen are: , , and .



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