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U.S. Politics part X

EHK for Darwin

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The Gingriches of the world blasted Reagan for talking to the Soviets, just as they blast Obama for talking to the Iranians.

And Will Bunch suggests that pressure was the cause of that "tear down this wall" speech, which was tough talk backed up by...well, nothing. Reagan continued to work diplomatically with the Soviets after that speech same as he did before. Unlike GWB, Ronald Reagan seemed to understand that sometimes talking to your opponents yields more - and better - results than attacking them.

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Oh, look. Another troglodytic Southern Republican makes a racist joke.

A prominent South Carolina Republican killed his Facebook page Sunday after being caught likening the First Lady to an escaped gorilla.

Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks on his FITNEWS blog, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Then he added, "The comment was hers, not mine," claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.


A shit-mouthed "if anyone was offended" apology, followed by a quick, clumsy, and dishonest attempt to put the words in the mouth of the person he insulted. Classic. What balls these hoary old racist Republicans have... No brains or backbone to go with them, but certainly big balls.

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This is one of the most shockingly racist remarks I've ever seen from a public official. Who the fuck says something like this?

Republicans from South Carolina, apparently. That's right, the Palmetto State bags a twofer of racist stupidity:

Indigo Journal, a liberal blog in South Carolina, reports that GOP operative Mike Green posted a racist joke about President Obama on his Twitter account over the weekend -- and in a brief conversation with TPM, Green did not deny it. (Late Update: Green has now admitted it in a new set of Tweets, and apologized. See new section after the jump.)

Green posted this, then deleted it some time later:



It's kind of amazing to watch the hidebound racist fucks of the GOP's Southern rump tripping all over themselves with social networking apps.

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Admin + State Department's latest remarks on Iran:

The State Department and the White House both expressed concern about claims of irregularities, but stopped short of branding the elections as fraudulent, although they did call for the rights of free expression to be respected.

We are deeply troubled by the reports of violent arrests and possible voting irregularities," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly.

"We're concerned about some of the treatment of demonstrators, and we're calling for the Iranian authorities to respect the right of people to express themselves peacefully."

He added Washington was closely watching the situation unfolding in Iran.

Aboard Air Force One, as President Barack Obama headed to Chicago for a speech on healthcare, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also expressed disquiet about the election results.

"Obviously we continue to have concern about what we've seen. Obviously the Iranians are looking into this, as well," Gibbs said.


Biden from Sunday - can't imagine this was off the cuff.

Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday that “there’s some real doubt†that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was legitimately reelected president of Iran, going further than any other high-ranking American official in questioning the validity of Friday’s election.

But in a reflection of the administration’s concern over not wanting to be seen as interfering in Iran’s internal affairs, Biden cautioned repeatedly in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press†that it was too soon to render a more definitive judgment.

“I have doubts,†Biden told moderator David Gregory. “But ... we’re going to withhold comment until we have a thorough review of the whole process and how they react in the aftermath.â€

Biden specifically cited Ahmadinejad’s purportedly strong showing in urban areas — where opposition to his rule runs deepest and where unrest since the contest has been most significant — to deem the election results as “unlikely.â€

He also raised doubts about Ahmadinejad’s overall margin, saying: “It was surprising that the assertion was he won by what, 60-some percent of the vote?â€

“There’s an awful lot of questions about how this election was run,†Biden said.


McCain and Lieberman, as Shryke noted in the other thread, want a stronger stance which I take to mean sanctions and threats of no talks, if the election stands.

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"I am deeply troubled by the violence I have been seeing on television. I think the democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent -- all those are universal values and need to be respected. And whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting, and whenever the American people see that, I think they are troubled."

"There appears to be a sense of people who were so hopeful and so engaged and so committed to democracy, who now feel betrayed, and I think it's important that moving forward, whatever investigations that take place are done in a way that does not result in bloodshed, and does not result in people being stifled, in expressing their views." (6:45 p.m.)

TO THE IRANIAN PEOPLE: "I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching."

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I thought this was interesting - the whole thing is worth a read, but he's a couple more US politics-specific paragraphs:

As John has already said, U.S. involvement in the Iranian election controversy in any form is unwise. Except for the most generic statements condemning violence and urging peaceful resolution to the crisis, Washington should say nothing, and I mean nothing. After all, whose interests do we serve by having our government speak up? The casual assumption is that condemning foreign election fraud, of which there was probably a great deal in Iran, is both some kind of moral imperative and a strategically wise thing to do in order to aid Mousavi, which in turn is based on another questionable belief that Westerners are somehow obliged to aid him and his supporters. The first part of this is very dubious, and the second is clearly wrong.


Andrew has called for Obama to demand an inquiry into the election. If Khamenei has already done this, for whatever reason, Obama’s call to do the same would be redundant and possibly even harmful. I suppose it would be potentially harmful only if we assume that a goal of U.S. policy should be to ensure that Iran has had a fair election, but if that is not one of Washington’s goals its public statements on the election outcome would then simply be irrelevant. One of the great problems with a foreign policy that takes global “leadership†as a given is that it seems to compel the U.S. government to have an official view on every event and crisis around the world. The idea that there are events that have nothing to do with us, and which we have no business concerning ourselves with, is so alien to our policymakers that I am fairly sure that it never occurs to them. Certainly, if it ever did, they would dismiss it immediately as unacceptable “inaction†in a “time of crisis.†Discretion sometimes truly is the better part of valor.


From the comments section:

Frankly I find the whole thing eerily reminiscent of the “We are all Georgians!†now rhetoric of the McCain campaign. Certainly no one wants to see widespread violence, police brutality, and things spiraling out of control. But its not immediately apparent why our interference, with a country whom we have no real good-will with, would yield anything positive.

For the most part I think the wait and see attitude of the Obama administration is arguably the most restraint we’ve seen a President have in a long time, and I get the feeling, like his dismissive attitude towards Venezuela, that it will anger all the blowhards demanding that we bomb the “Axis of Evil†right off the stage. Theres alot to criticize Obama for in regards to foreign policy, but his “Who cares?†attitude to most of the menagerie of “evil†countries is probably his best position.

Reply to above:

Quite right. I hope he resists pressure to do or say something just for the sake of doing and saying. It seems to me that the surest way to help things spiral out of control and maybe even plunge the country into civil conflict is to hold out hope to Mousavi’s people that the U.S. will in some way act on their behalf. The Hungarians and the Iraqi Shi’ites after them were led to believe such false promises, and they rose up only to be slaughtered. There are few things worse than that sort of passive-aggressive meddling.


By contrast, I imagine there will be many intelligent (if amoral) observers from Beijing to Moscow to Damascus watching in fascination as an American president doesn’t actually make a fool of himself by praising a sponsor of Hezbollah as the second coming of Mahatma Gandhi.

That’s not to say I don’t support the demonstrators. Good luck to them, and God bless their bravery. But we (in the UK and everywhere else) need Obama to make the right distinctions and decisions.

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Given what went on during the 2000 presidential election, the United States has no business messing around with Iran's. Funny...if what happened in Florida eight years ago had instead taken place in a third-world nation, the UN would have been issuing resolutions and flying in Jimmy Carter to sort things out.

RE: SC insults. I find it interesting that likening the First Lady to a gorilla got no mention in the mainstream press, but the Internet was just about to overload when David Letterman made a joke about Bristol Palin getting pregnant out of wedlock, something not exactly out of character for her. Liberal media, indeed.

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Oh come on you all.

Yes, the comment by the South Carolina "GOP operative" was more offensive than what Letterman said.

But the idea that the mainstream media should be paying an equal amount of attention to something an obscure guy who no one outside of South Carolina ever heard of posted on a Twitter account to remarks made by one of the more famous US celebrities on his television show which is viewed by well over three million people every night -- that's just ridiculous. Whatever David Letterman says is much more newsworthy than whatever this Mark Green says, at least outside of South Carolina.

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But the idea that the mainstream media should be paying an equal amount of attention to something an obscure guy who no one outside of South Carolina ever heard of posted on a Twitter account to remarks made by one of the more famous US celebrities on his television show which is viewed by well over three million people every night -- that's just ridiculous. Whatever David Letterman says is much more newsworthy than whatever this Mark Green says, at least outside of South Carolina.

The difference, of course, being that Mark Green's comment reflects the very important and ofttimes overlooked fact that racism is still very much alive and at work in this country, and still strongly influences how Americans approach each other. Letterman's comment, on the other hand, reflects only that the mainstream media are supremely susceptible to attempts by a lightweight politician to turn a basically non-offensive jab at an adult into veiled pedophilia against a child, all for the purposes of riling up that politician's followers and keeping that politician's name in the papers for her 2012 presidential bid.

Maybe that distinction is ridiculous to you, but I still find it significant.

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Pat Buchanan doing his once-a-year making sense thing:

The Obama policy of extending an open hand to Iran is working and should not be abandoned because of the grim events in Tehran.

For the Iranian theocracy has just administered a body blow to its legitimacy in the eyes of the Iranian people and the world.

Before Saturday, the regime could credibly posture as defender of the nation, defiant in the face of the threats from Israel, faithful to the cause of the Palestinians, standing firm for Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful nuclear power.

Today, the regime, including the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is under a cloud of suspicion that they are but another gang of corrupt politicians who brazenly stole a presidential election to keep themselves and their clerical cronies in power...

There are other reasons Obama should not heed the war hawks howling for confrontation now.

When your adversary is making a fool of himself, get out of the way. That is a rule of politics Lyndon Johnson once put into the most pungent of terms. U.S. fulminations will change nothing in Tehran. But they would enable the regime to divert attention to U.S. meddling in Iran’s affairs and portray the candidate robbed in this election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, as a poodle of the Americans...

The dilemma for America is that the theocracy defines itself and grounds its claim to leadership through its unyielding resistance to the Great Satan—the United States—and to Israel.

Nevertheless, Obama, with his outstretched hand, his message to Iran on its national day, his admission that the United States had a hand in the 1953 coup in Tehran, his assurances that we recognize Iran’s right to nuclear power, succeeded. He stripped the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad of their clinching argument—that America is out to destroy Iran and they are indispensable to Iran’s defense.

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The hits just keep coming from Southern Republicans! A legislative aide for a Republican state senator in Tennessee sent out an email from an official account with a collage of all the past Presidents of the US, with a pair of white eyes on a black field to depict Obama.

Forrester added: "Unfortunately, Sherri Goforth's e-mail joins the list of shameful episodes by Tennessee Republicans, from the infamous 'Birds of a Feather' direct-mail piece that featured black crows with the heads of Barack Obama and [African-American] Rep. Nathan Vaughn, to the "Barack the Magic Negro" song that former Tennessee GOP Party Chairman Chip Saltsman sent to RNC members during his failed campaign for RNC chair."


The staffer has only apologized for sending the email to the wrong list.

Mmmm, unrepentant racists. Those are the best kind.

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At this rate there should soon be a Southern secessionist movement. We should let them go when it comes.

After billing them for all the federal taxes they sucked down at a rate greater than they paid in, while they fulsomely railed against the decadent city liberals in other states whose taxes made it all possible.

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Ormond makes a good point. The only way in which I disagree is that I think the comment from the South Carolina guy was the worst of the worst. The type of thing that should end a career. The type of thing that should force other Republicans to disown him.

Put in stated context, if said context was true, I can see how this could happen. Person A believes in evolution. Person B does not. A gorilla escapes. "Haha!" says person B, "it's one of Person A's ancestors!"

So I really don't thik this was the most evil thing ever. Person's A and B being who they are it was certainly galactically stupid.

Olbermann will probably mention it.

Yeah, he'll be "The Worst Person In The Wooooooorld!" for a day, liberals will laugh they're asses off and slap each others backs, and no one else will care.

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