Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, February 20, 2010


As is always the problem, prominent Republicans who speak at these sorts of conventions, do so to incite the worst in their followers.  What Blackwell said is a disgusting lie, and it cheapens--no violates, perverts in the worst possible manner--the memory of all Jews who actually suffered and died in pogroms.  That this stupid man would use incendiary speech to lie to his listeners and use the deaths of thousands of Jews for profane political gain is bad, what is worse is that no one in the audience had the courage to boo him off the stage and force him to leave in the disgrace and dishonor he so thoroughly deserves.

You remember Ken Blackwell, don’t you? He’s the guy who in 2004 served simultaneously as Ohio Secretary of State and co-chair of the Committee to Re-Elect George W. Bush. He used, and abused, his office to help the Bush campaign – including rejecting voter registration forms that weren’t on 80-pound paper stock.

Anyway, he must have been prepping for CPAC when he wrote his latest op-ed on Here’s what he said about the Obama administration:
What we are witnessing right now is an anti-Christian programmatic pogrom. What is a “pogrom” it’s the word that describes anti-Jewish raids by Cossacks and others in czarist Russia, but a programmatic pogrom best describes what is happening right now. These are not isolated attacks. And while we no longer have Cossacks to threaten, we now have left-wing bloggers who actually call themselves Kossacks (after the Daily Kos).
A “pogrom,” let’s recall, is “an organized massacre of helpless people; specifically: such a massacre of Jews.” And Blackwell, who most recently served as the vice chair of the RNC Platform Committee, contends that President Obama’s nominees would be leaders of this “pogrom” if confirmed.

He said this about Dawn Johnsen, who was nominated a year ago to lead the Office of Legal Counsel: “If she is confirmed, we will see a radical anti-Catholic, pro-abortion zealot influencing policy throughout the Justice Department—but also policy throughout the entire federal government.”

Johnsen, as it happens, is Christian and teaches Sunday School. She has prominent Republican supporters and a sterling record of commitment to the rule of law. But Blackwell thinks her confirmation is on par with the mass slaughter of Jews.

But he didn’t stop there. He also singled out Chai Feldblum, Obama’s pick to lead the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying that “if confirmed, she would be in position to pursue the pogrom nationwide.” As Ben Smith pointed out, Feldblum is a “Jewish law professor and disability rights scholar… whose father survived the Holocaust in the forests of Poland after losing most of his family.”

Feldblum is also a widely acclaimed academic and vigorous advocate for religious freedom. But that doesn’t matter to Blackwell, who isn’t really big on rational argument. As Rabbi David Saperstein wrote today, “Blackwell’s use of rhetoric invoking the pogroms, the widespread destruction of countless Jewish lives in Eastern Europe, is aimed at quashing reasoned political discourse,” and it “desecrates the memory of those who died in the pogroms.”

One thing is clear, Blackwell isn't trying to convince people – he’s trying to incite them. So will the RNC and Republican leaders denounce the remarks or just pretend not to notice? I think we all know the answer.


Arthurstone said...

While I've never been to a CPAC gathering but it's easy to imagine the love in the room when this bunch gets together.

'Real' Americans. Never a pretty sight.

TAO said...

Yes, encite the masses and then when they act call them Leftists!

Alana said...

God bless Michelle Obama.

Intelligent, beautiful, wonderful wife and mother.

A FLOTUS we are all proud of!

TRUTH 101 said...

Just say one of the reactionary righties hates America or our Troops and watch them go nuts Shaw. In fact, that gives me an idea!

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tnlib said...
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Anonymous said...

Carnival weight a#*hole: There's no way she weighs anywhere close to 185 even striped. Idiot.

Carnival Weight Guesser said...

I'm obsessed with Michelle's weight because I'm large as a hog and I wish I looked as buff as she does.

Just my opinion.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I have been doing a lot of studying up on these right wing people. (Eventually I'll get a post together on Christian Restoration and Dominionism...)

The point is that people like Blackwell have this mindview of seeing everyone as against them, as pursuing an 'agenda', as specifically targeting them.

And meanwhile, they are posting on their websites that their goal is to take over America's culture, society, education and government in order to restore it to Biblical standards. This means putting in Biblical law, allowing only Christians to be citizens and to hold office, and relegating all social services to the church (which means if you aren't their brand of Christian, you're SOL).

Does the idea of a country run by a particular group of religious folk whose laws, culture and society are based on their own interpretation of their holy book... sound at all familiar?

Does it possibly, even remotely, even just a teeny bit remind you of the Muslim nations that are currently vilified here as the source of all evil?

It IS the same. Only these people are in Congress, in power, hold huge resources in our own country.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Of course those people don't see themselves as anything like the radical Muslims, because they believe 1) that this country was founded on Christian principles,and 2) that this country is a Christian country; therefore, their goals are worthy and deserving of the blessings of their Christian god--and all other religions--and nonreligionists--are not worthy of participation in their Christian America.

Of course they don't see the irony in all of this--their dislike of Muslims (see how the radicals within their group pin that term on Mr. Obama)--that they wish to impose a form of religion on an entire country.

Andre said...

Shaw, I couldn't agree more. I'm tired and I'm tired of all the attacks. Don't progressives get enough from right-wing nuts?
The disdain and despair I'm seeing here is because people are so ingrained with the idea that things are Either/Or - Either Liberal or Conservative - that when BOTH political philosophies are consumed by partisan b-llsh-t they don't know where to turn.
I don't agree with everything Obama has done and I have been disappointed with some of his decisions ( civil liberties record being among them), but much of the liberal blogosphere lost me when the criticism transitioned to the sort of polarized hatred that makes intellectually honest discourse and analysis impossible. For every cogent criticism I come across, I read at least a dozen other hyperbolic rants that are based on little more than fear-mongering and reflexive nit-picking. We're now at the part where "liberals" are bashing Howard Dean's proposed Medicare expansion because it doesn't fit the narrowly defined litmus test of what must be done according to the left-wing commandeered. Too many egos, too little thought.
It seems a bit pathetic to run away from the Liberal label just because of the obnoxiousness of some of its other adherents. One's liberalism seems to me to be determined by one's values and beliefs, not by one's style. If you feel that you have parted ways with the liberal movement on substance, then that is one thing.

But to say that I are no longer a liberal because some other liberals say offensive things, or say reasonable things in offensive ways - well, that cutting and running.
But that doesn't mean that I am abandoning my long-held views on the appropriateness of government power, of the necessity of government regulation in the marketplace, and of the need for government to work for social justice--views that describe me, basically, as a liberal. Yes, a log of the people on the left are acting like complete jackasses. Yes, those people on the left have zero knowledge of how to work within the political system to gain their desired ends. And, no, those two facts do not change my philosophies that inform my views on particular policy issues.
The fight between "left" and "right" over Obama is awe-inspiring in its ability to distract well-meaning people from *real* events, real actions, real discussion. It's a fight that contains no factual information whatsoever and can never be won or lost except in the minds of the most distraught. When you fight about whether or not Obama is a wimp, whether he likes the war or not, that he had no choice, he had to send troops, you're falling into the trap laid by the establishment in order to protect and justify itself. The system is invalid, it fails to represent the majority, it breeds inequality and suffering, yet nobody is talking about replacing the system, as you're all too caught up in the fallacy of the relevance of the presidency. What's stopping Obama from stopping the war - all wars, in fact? It's not politics. It's not congress, it's not the media or the "left" or "right." What could possibly be preventing the most powerful man in the world from making the most morally honest decision in the world and simply ending the war? (Hint: he doesn't want it to end.) And why isn't that the discussion? Are we so far gone that we can't even recognize the simple moral truisms that murder, theft and rape are abhorrent and that in every facet of our lives we should struggle to abolish all forms of injustice, including the ultimate injustice, war itself?Progress is impossible without a realization and acceptance of the real conditions of today and the possible world of tomorrow. Forget about Obama, there's more worth fighting about, and he'll never fight for it for you.
But I'm still a liberal.

rockync said...

The irrational paranoia of one man can lead to disaterous results - I'm thinking of Jim Jones and his congregation.
I'm afraid Blackwell's crowd will be less inclined to off themselves and more inclined to do others in that don't march to their beat.

tnlib said...

Rocky: "The irrational paranoia of one man can lead to disastrous results "

The scary part is, they're all paranoid. I just keep hoping decent half-way intelligent Americans will be so turned off by this kind of rhetoric these nuts will be shot out of the saddle.

In the meantime, I hope decent Republicans, if there are any left, and Democrats in high places will start speaking out against this kind of moronic behavior.

libhom said...

Blackwell also denied franchise to blacks in Ohio through the way he distributed voting machines, making sure that black neighborhoods got way fewer than they needed.