Freeper Madness and Young Republicans: Racism Rears Ugly Rear End

malia-peace

Update 2: Michael Shaw at HuffPo thinks everyone except the racists should be ashamed of themselves, including us.  He says we escalated the story, and then tweets by Shuster, et al, took it to 11.  I’m not sure how that works, though, since we reported those tweets, and the attendant escalation.  In other words, we reported what Shaw reported, only sooner and more accurately.  Shame on us.

Update:  The plot thickens.  Gawker reports that Chris Parry, the Vancouver Sun reporter who broke this story, was also a blogger for Daily Kos, and has suggested, in the past, posting hate speech and blaming it on conservatives.  This does little to change the facts in this story, as Parry could hardly have pulled, then reinstated, the offensive thread.  It might mean a rough week for Parry, though.  Parry responds here. Two high-profile stories about the intersection of racism and the Republican Party are exploding all over the internet.  The flap over comments at Free Republic and the Young Republicans’ election of a new president make for a sour cocktail this weekend. Most of the heat is being generated by this Vancouver Sun story about the comments on a Free Republic article featuring 11 year-old Malia Obama:

“A typical street whore.” “A bunch of ghetto thugs.” “Ghetto street trash.” “Wonder when she will get her first abortion.” These are a small selection of some of the racially-charged comments posted to the conservative ‘Free Republic’ blog Thursday, aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama’s 11-year-old daughter Malia after she was photographed wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign on the front.

You might think that this is the same as the lame attacks that Bill O’Reilly levels at commenters on DailyKos and/or Hot Air.  There are key differences.  The Sun report says that the offensive comments overwhelmingly outnumbered those critical of the vitriol, but the real problem is this:

After attention from other blogs, the thread was suppressed and placed under review, but before long it was returned to the site intact, and attracted a new series of racial slurs when the original complaint email was posted publicly to the site, with the sender’s email address intact.

So, they knew about the comments, put them back up, and apparently made the complainer a target for harassment. Very ugly.  Eventually, they took it down again. As disgusting as this story is, it didn’t stand to hurt Republicans that much on its own.  Freepers are not exactly considered the bellwether of mainstream conservative thought. Then, even after an impassioned plea by very young Republican Meghan McCain, the Young Republicans elected a new president with serious racism problems

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The Young Republicans faced a stark choice at their convention in Indianapolis yesterday as they chose their next leader: a center-right twentysomething interested in greater outreach, or a self-described “true conservative” who is almost 40 and spent last week dealing with Daily Beast reports about her beliefs, which are, at best, often hateful, and at worst, downright racist. The delegates, in a vote of 470 – 415, chose the latter.

Fair or not, the effect of these two stories is devastating.  Already on Twitter, I’ve seen comparisons of the Freeper story to the Letterman/Palin feud, with liberals asking where the conservative denunciation is.  The Young Republicans story serves to neutralize the “few bad apples” rationale on the freeper story. As a liberal with a lot of conservative friends, I hate to see conservatives get painted, en masse, with this brush.  While this makes them understandably defensive on the subject, that defensiveness can lead to tone-deaf handling of these situations.  While some liberals’ idea of the GOP as the Ivory Soap of racism is way off the mark, many conservatives are also in denial about their party’s race problems.  The truth, as they say, lies somewhere in the middle. On the issue of racism, the truth can be elusive.  I think there’s always more racism, in general, than white people think there is.  On the other hand, I think there’s a lot less of it in the Republican Party than most liberals think.  Part of the perception problem that  the GOP has today is that the Democrats have a black President.  Where else are the racists supposed to go?  Just because most of the racists belong to one party doesn’t mean that that party is mostly racists. Still, when your party stands in opposition to policies that are seen as benefitting minorities, this kind of thing can really be damaging. I’ll tell my liberal friends exactly what I told conservatives who asked me where the liberal outrage was on the Playboy story:  Give it a minute.  This story broke on a Saturday afternoon.  Two of my conservative friends who write for very influential blogs just heard about it this morning, from me. To my conservative friends, I hope their reactions, and those of the Republican leadership, veer away from the kind of persecution complex stuff that Newsbusters’ treatment portends, and closer to this.  This story is already drawing attention from media heavy-hitters like Jake Tapper, Major Garrett, and David Shuster.  The conservative response can be a big win. As for the Young Republicans, I think Meghan McCain’s got their number.

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Today’s Quickies and…the Return of Quickies

Obama’s Little Helper: Sex Scandals – Jonathan Alter runs down all the ways the President has benefitted from OPOPP (Other People’s OPP), but I was particularly amused by his take on the ripples of the Lewinsky affair, a kind of Venus Butterfly Effect. (h/t Scoop44)

Joe the Plumber is Back! – The money quote is about having Sen. Chris Dodd “strung up,” but I was more amused by his Terminator-esque take on our Founding Fathers, who apparently came from the future to stop communism and socialism.

Is Wall-to-Wall Jacko Coverage “Off the Wall?” – This guy thinks so.

Stop the Presses! Democrats Undercutting Selves! – In other news, Sky Rumored to be Blue.
HuffPo’s (Unintentional?) Gay Porn Headline – But not as bad as their hed on passing the budget, “Government Gets Money Shot.”

What the Unemployed Have to Watch While You’re at Work Dicking Around on Youtube – HuffPo’s hilarious roundup of The Week in Hoda & Kathy Lee, “America’s most useless hour of news.”  Better than SNL.

Mythbusters: Joe the Plumber Edition

alex01thumbVeering off from my usual Rant Mode topics, we have some Joe the Plumber to cover! (Or notJoe the notPlumber, as it were.):

Christianity Today: In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?

Wurzelbacher: At a state level, it’s up to them. I don’t want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it’s wrong. People don’t understand the dictionary–it’s called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do–what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing.

Yes, because The Gay is obviously contagious. Myths to be tested: 1) “Queer” is not a slur, and 2) The Gay is contagious and will harm your children. Okay, so he gets some points back for admitting that gay people are actually people and not demons sent from the mouth of hell. (Not many points, though.) Way to go for speaking your mind, Joe the P, but I disagree, for several reasons. Continue reading

Today’s Quickies and…Tacos at Midnight

I was out at the 7-11 not long ago, at 3 in the morning, and I fell victim to slick packaging, in the form of “Tacos at doritos_late_night_tacos_at_midnightMidnite” Doritos.  With a bag like that, who wouldn’t buy them?

They weren’t bad.  They taste like tacos, but at the time of day that corresponds to when you actually eat them.  I say I’m a victim because I never would haqve boughtened them without that package.  You put “at Midnite” after pretty much anything, and it sounds cooler.

There’s a pornographic joke in there, too, but I don’t have the time to flesh it out.

Quickies:

This deserves its own blog post, and may get one.  Actually, it looks kinda like the “Tacos at Midnight” bag.

Funniest T-shirt since my camouflage shirt that says “Ha!  Now You Can’t See Me!”

That’s what I call a window treatment!

Also what Caleb whispers to his wife in bed.

What, no Jessica Hahn?

Ha!  More like “Acorn State University!”

Are we really gonna let this come between us and awesome cigars?  Was it cats?  Because if it was cats, who cares?

Don’t believe everything you see in a Coke commercial.

Does this make Judas a “Boo-boo?”

Uh, make sure all of your dollies and stuffed animals get along?

I told you so!! It’s the GOP that’s pushing the button on Palin.

The End.

Exclusive Joe the Plumber CPAC Video

By exclusive, I mean here and Youtube.

First, here’s a really nice moment where Joe just gives a member of the hotel staff  a signed copy of his book because she tells him her husband loves him.

Here’s some video I shot of Joe shooting a PSA.  The guy asks him to ad-lib the whole thing.  All things considered, I think he did a good job.  Ad-libbing is tough.

Joe the Plumber at CPAC:Does Obama Mean Death to Israel?

I have more Joe video that I’ll put up in a separate post for the Dose only, along with exclusive details, but for now, check this out at AOL:

Joe the Plumber at CPAC:Does Obama Mean Death to Israel?