Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 2, 2010

THE WRONG RESPONSE TO RACISM.... Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Sean Hannity that Americans shouldn't believe reports about racist attacks from right-wing Tea Party activists.

"Remember when Speaker Pelosi walked arm in arm in a civil rights march across Independence Avenue, from the House buildings over to the Capitol. In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street the way that you saw in that picture. They deliberately went through that crowd, perhaps to try and incite something."

Bachmann continued: "There were so many cameras there, Sean. No one recorded any racial motivation."

I continue to marvel at this garbage. Indeed, far-right voices have a far better rhetorical option available, but they refuse to consider it.

In the aftermath of some painfully ugly racism and bigotry, the smart thing for right-wing members like Bachmann to say is that isolated incidents are not representative of the whole. Yes there was some racism, she could say, but Republicans and the Tea Party crowd denounce those efforts entirely. "We're not going to let a few bad apples spoil the Tea Party bunch," Bachmann could say. "Those racists don't speak for our movement."

But, no. Instead the message, in effect, is, "Don't trust those black Democrats. They say they heard racism, but they're probably lying."

This is just blisteringly stupid.

For that matter, "there were so many cameras there," and at least one of them picked up on a white activist spitting on an African-American lawmaker. Funny, Sean Hannity hasn't found time to air it.

What's more, many of the incidents occurred outside of cameras' view. That said, when Bachmann's buddies began hurling bigoted slurs at her Democratic colleagues, there were plenty of witnesses, many of them journalists who reported on them. What's more, awide variety of Democratic lawmakers, many of them African American, including Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) have received faxes with images of nooses on gallows. The faxes have been given to law enforcement officials. If Bachmann wants to see them, I'm sure that can be arranged.

Steve Benen 1:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

Some muckraker needs to totally expose C Street and The Family it would be bigger than Watergate!

Posted by: antiquelt on April 2, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Michele Bachmann and Ann Coulter are twins, doncha know.

Posted by: Schtick on April 2, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't hard. An outright denounciation of bigots and racists would alienate many tea partiers who support Bachmann. This way they can try to curry favor with the middle without saying a discouraging word against racists. Nice.

Posted by: dmh on April 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street the way that you saw in that picture. They deliberately went through that crowd, perhaps to try and incite something." "

Maybe she should have used the back door...you know...

Posted by: SaintZak on April 2, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair, Pelosi hadn't done anything this momentous in three years, either.

As far as Michelle and her sad and sorry ilk go, if Fox News didn't say it happened, it DIDN'T happen, no matter who else says it did. They are the ONLY reputable news source, because they're the only ones who will continuously say the things they want to hear, or at least the way they'd like to hear it. Who wants to hear there are a bunch racists in their movement? NOBODY! So Fox News doesn't report on it, and ergo, racism within the Tea Party movement doesn't exist.

Posted by: slappy magoo on April 2, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"In the aftermath of some painfully ugly racism and bigotry, the smart thing for right-wing members like Bachmann to say is that isolated incidents are not representative of the whole."

But they aren't isolated incident. That's really the crux of the matter. The Republicans are supporting and encouraging an overt racist, bigoted group. These are the same people who brought sock monkeys and signs with racially insulting caricatures to Sarah Palin rallies in 2008. Now they're hurling racial and homophobic abuse at members of congress, holding up ugly racist signs...this is who they are, not isolated incidents.

The Republican Party is up to their neck in this. Don't let them off the hook in any way. They need to appologize for their own behavior.

Posted by: SaintZak on April 2, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bachmann has surrounded herself with a 40 fathom deep moat of stupid!

That said, when will Ms. Bachmann realize she wears racially tinted glasses wherever she goes, and so can not see her dear followers for what they are - racists! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

But, no. Instead the message, in effect, is, "Don't trust those black Democrats. They say they heard racism, but they're probably lying."

*************************

And a simple scan of the AM radio dial will tell you that the fRighties are now saying that even if there were racial, bigoted, or homophobic slurs,(and you can't PROVE there were, or that a Righty made those slurs), so IF they happened at all, were probably made by a left-wing conspiratorial PLANT! Yea, that's the ticket. The party of racists, guns, hate, lies, and war would NEVER utter a disparaging word. Nope, not now, not never. It was a plant I tell you, a plant. fRighties never do nothing wrong, but every time they get the blame. It just ain't FAY-ER. (Cue Hannity's nasal whine here.) Wah, WAh, Wah!!

Posted by: In what repect, Charlie? on April 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

One should not have high expectations from such a rotten, shitty human being as Bachmann.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 2, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Palin Winking" at Tea Party racists is part of the GOP's new Southern Strategy.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

In all my years I have never seen Michele Bachmann breathe! ergo she does not exist.

Posted by: mat1492 on April 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Rule one:

No one in the entire history of the conservative movement has ever been wrong about anything ever!


Why don't right-wing leaders denounce racism in their midst?

They defend McCarthy, they say the civil war wasn't about slavery and besides slavery wasn't as bad as most people think, and George W. Bush and the Iraq war are THIS CLOSE to being vindicated.

No mistakes, ever.

But wait, there is videotape, clearly conservatives must accept the evidence?


Rule two:

If evidence suggests a violation of rule one, the evidence is always wrong.


Reagan tax cuts increased revenues, global warming is a scientific conspiracy, ditto evolution, there Were So WMDs, Obama was born in Kenyanesia, 50 thousand teapartiers were definitely 2 million, cutting welfare and foreign aid will balance the budget, and Americans have the bestest health care evah!


Posted by: sven on April 2, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street the way that you saw in that picture.

And in my forty years of adulthood I have never seen a picture of nothing but white male reps on the Capitol balcony with signs saying kill the bill and indeed inciting the crowd. What a diverse crowd, huh?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/03/22/20100322health-care-overhaul-gop.html

This is exactly like a football player on the field flailing his arms to the crowd and what happens?

Posted by: flyonthewall on April 2, 2010 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street the way that you saw in that picture. -Michele Bachmann

She should know, she was hiding in the bushes watching.

Posted by: doubtful on April 2, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

This is only half-way on topic. I saw this Bob Gorrell cartoon in USA Today:
http://www.gorrellart.com/index.asp?link=archive&id=1259

To save you the trouble of cutting and pasting the link, it shows a donkey/Democrat saying:

Some racist, homophobic, astroturf wingnut tea-baggers called me an offensive name. Where is their civility?

The point of this cartoon was to be even-handed, since it attacks incivility on the part of Democrats and tea-baggers. But what kind of weird notion of equivalency says that responding to cries of "niggar" with "racist" or responding to cries of "fag" with "homophobic" are equally offensive? It's as if punching a mugger means that you are just as violent as the mugger is.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for the GOP to condemn Lincoln for his oppression of the Confederacy.

These folks are another story line found in reality that no one would have ever believed if it were in a novel.

Posted by: freelunch on April 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

So MLK and the Freedom Riders were "inciting" KKK and other "real white southerners" to lynch people, bomb churches, deny them their right to vote, etc... That's what you're saying, right Rep. Bachmann? Just to be clear...

Posted by: ulrich on April 2, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

"No one recorded any racial motivation"

The implication of this seems to be that Bachmann would be okay with spitting on congresspeople for non-racial reasons?

Posted by: mcc on April 2, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Every real American knows that the only racism remaining in our country is reverse racism that directed against the white taxpayers of our country.

If the Kenyan Muslim has not stolen the presidency, there would be little to no racism remaining in our country.

If not for reverse racism, the blacks and other liberals would not have made such an issue of The National Review hosting an online symposium on Black Unemployment that featured only white participants.

Everyone knows that the only unbiased participants in discussions of racism and women's medical needs are white males.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on April 2, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

And Ulrich I think the phrase you may be looking for is "northern agitators"

Posted by: mcc on April 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

A white supremisist independent candidate for Senate is running radio ads here in KC. I am hoping he will help the Democrat win by pulling teabaggers from the Republican.

In fact given Carnahan's refusal to actively campaign that is her best chance to beat Blunt.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

And if Pelosi had gone into the Capitol from another direction, Bachmann would have accused her of cowardice for not facing the teabaggers in front of the building.

A real piece of work, that Michele.

Posted by: 2Manchu on April 2, 2010 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't the Teabaggers in their own statements say that they were there to "confront" and "make themselves heard" and show their congresspersons how they feel?

So how is it incitement when those same congresspeople actually appear?

And is Representative Michele Bachman really implying that it's inappropriate for Representatives to walk publically into their place of employment?

Or is she just trying to say that only SHE and those she agree with are allowed to appear?

Posted by: g on April 2, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

The underlying problem with Bachmann and the tea party crowd is this: They do not believe in reality. These are folks who can be convinced that the earth is 6000 years old, war is peace, and that they cannot believe their lying eyes. Point out their misspellings on their protest signs, and instead of shame they feel proud of their ignorance. Point out that what they're told is not true, and they label you a Socialist *and* a Nazi - not understanding just how different those two labels are. These are not smart people we're talking about here, and our efforts to enlighten them about reality are akin to an attempt at doing the same for C.H.U.D.

Posted by: Limbaughs Diabetes on April 2, 2010 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Everything Michele Bachmann says is blisteringly stupid. She's horrifyingly ill-informed. The people of Minnesota need to get a grip, and get her out of there.

Posted by: cmac on April 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is just blisteringly stupid.

Last I checked, Michelle Bachmann is "blisteringly stupid."

Posted by: TCinLA on April 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I also saw a clip today where Michelle Bachmann said that that data from the 1940 Census was used to round up Japanese Americans and put them in internment camps during World War II. She went on to say "I'm not saying that that's what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps."

So if you fill out the census you're going to be put in an ACORN-run re-education camp.

Criminally blisteringly stupid.

Posted by: Eeyore on April 2, 2010 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

The point of this cartoon was to be even-handed, since it attacks incivility on the part of Democrats and tea-baggers. But what kind of weird notion of equivalency says that responding to cries of "niggar" with "racist" or responding to cries of "fag" with "homophobic" are equally offensive? It's as if punching a mugger means that you are just as violent as the mugger is.

When you believe, as Republicans do, that every mention of race or sexuality is qualitatively identical, and that black people and gay people tyrannize white straight people, then calling someone out for racism or homophobia is a grave insult that wipes the slate clean on the original bigotry that inspired the response. I know, it's crazy. They're crazy.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have a lot more respect for Stormfront members and other loud-and-proud racists who publicly own their views. This "I didn't say it, some liberal is setting me up, but if I did say it it wouldn't be racism, because the real racists are the people who tell me I'm racist" bullshit from the GOP mainstream is the stuff of whiny cowards. They can't even be bigots competently.

Posted by: shortstop on April 2, 2010 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oopsie, close itals tag after first graf.

Posted by: shortstop on April 2, 2010 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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