The New ACORN

When I wrote Thursday’s post I could see this coming a mile away, but I hadn’t spotted this little treasure from The Daily Beast, which definitively proves that the right is looking, pretty much everywhere, for some new ACORNs, and as usual is relying on the stupidity and amnesia of the media to put them over, at least temporarily.  For a party utterly reliant on fraud and flim-flam to seize power, this is hardly an unexpected development.  Unfortunately for them, this is their their second racist faux-scandal in as many weeks, and the pathetically transparent diatribes in “defense” of the colorblind patriots at Teabag Central are the sorts of things that are not ready for the non-Murdoch media.  To wit:

At this week’s NAACP annual meeting, members voted to censure the Tea Party as “racist.” But it’s the NAACP that’s the throwback, argues Tunku Varadarajan.

Clearly, this bozo was reading from the memo from Mark Williams, but do the teabaggers trust a guy with such a terroristy-sounding name?  Seems so.

NAACP: Can we all agree that it stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Cynical Politics?

Well, no.  It’s job, historically, has been to fight racism, which it quite evidently still needs to do.

The proper expansion of “NAACP” has a profoundly archaic ring to it. I know, I know: The retention of that primordial name—the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People—has to do with safeguarding history; and an irrefutably impressive history it is, too. But can anyone deny that the “colored” part of the organization’s name is no longer preservative of anything that is at all meaningful?

Oh, I don’t know.  The Republican Right has increasingly taken after brown people the world over, be they Hispanic, Muslim, or Black…  somebody still sees in color, it seems.  Why not the NAACP?  Further, these old-fashioned Constitutionalist guardians of (white) tradition can only declare themselves on the cutting edge of modernity to loud guffaws of incredulity whenever they try it, and this tendentious screed is certainly no exception.

Colored: Who the heck says that in the America of today, unless you’re a very, very old friend of the late highwayman (as in dedicated asphalt, not armed robbery) Robert C. Byrd? Which is why no member of this once-courageous black organization will spell out its full name. Everyone says, instead, “N-double A-CP”: To elongate the abbreviation is to expose oneself to derisive—or, worse, baffled—inquisition. (“Dad, Mom, what’s with the ‘colored’ thing?”)

Ah, toss in Robert Byrd, who long since repudiated the racist ideas modern Republicans increasingly embrace, and you can say the stupidest things and (almost) get away with it.  Well, on Fox News you can.

The NAACP, this vestigial bone on the American body politic, has thrust itself into the headlines by voting, at its annual meeting Tuesday, to censure as “racist” the Tea Party movement. (No, they didn’t.  They called upon the Tea Party movement to repudiate its racist elements, which have been both visible and numerous, so basically the whole argument is based on a lie….)  This controversial (with whom isn’t mentioned) public rebuke—delivered a day after the first lady, Michelle Obama, addressed the NAACP’s conference—has opened up a raw, new racial front in the run-up to the November elections. In effect, the self-congratulatory, post-racial Obama camp is reaching for the crudest weapon in the Democratic arsenal: the racial blunderbuss.

Well, given that all the black Republicans in America could meet in a phone booth, Republicans have nothing to say but, “It’s not me, it’s you,” which also a lie.

Of course, desperate times call for desperate measures, and the NAACP is going back to an old playbook. The NAACP is resorting to the Jacksonian (Jesse, not Andrew) ploy to use the race card (a) to rally blacks to the mid-terms; and (b) to intimidate the mainstream media, so that it doesn’t report critically on a liberal administration, urging it instead to focus on the perceived sins of the Tea Party movement.

The Obama Administration, liberal?  Compared to what?  And the media is intimidated by it?  Obviously, the Daily Beast has no editors.

If black Americans are suffering due to our current economic woes, Obama’s own policies are hardly helping them. The NAACP can’t bitch about “the Man” anymore because the Man is Obama. And so instead it turns its racially monolithic vituperation on the Tea Party, which has never been in power, and has had no impact on the economic condition of black Americans—except to advocate policies (smaller government, lower taxes, radically reduced deficits, etc.) that would likely improve the standard of living of all Americans (blacks included).

This likelihood is based on what evidence?  How well blacks did under George W. Bush?  Or other non-rich Americans, for that matter?  The Tea Party ideology is, basically, to bring back slavery, but in a colorblind way, and they got a long way toward that goal over the last ten years.

In fact, the Tea Party is a greater friend of black Americans, one might say, than the administration, and is much more representative of America than the NAACP. (There are many more black members of the Tea Party—however you define that movement—than there are, by definition, non-black members of the NAACP.)

One might say, indeed, but only if one wanted to reveal himself as a lying nincompoop.

The NAACP senses—knows—that the electoral momentum is building inexorably against President Obama. And they hope to slow it by playing the race card. Let there be no doubt that nothing would have been tabled at this NAACP meeting without President Obama’s imprimatur—especially with the first lady as the keynote speaker. Our first black president—with his lowest approval ratings ever—is using his race politically, through a surrogate.

Everybody knows all darkies are connected, they said so on Fox News.

But shameless as all this is, it may have some effect. As Shelby Steele, a political scientist at the Hoover Institution, told me, “racist stigma in America is so powerful that truth and reason look meager next to it. Any populist movement—such as the Tea Party—that is predominantly white, has this vulnerability of seeming to be a throwback to the nation’s racist past.”

Ah, it seems that this diligent muckraker strolled all the way down the hall at Hoover’s Last Erection and “interviewed”  a fellow wingnut welfare recipient, which is way easier than using The Google or something to “research” the story you’d planned to write anyway.  Too bad he got some unintentional honesty mixed in with the desired propaganda.

Michelle Obama’s participation as keynote speaker could prove toxic to the Democrats in the run-up to the November elections—even though she confined her remarks to obesity and the like, and steered clear of references to the Tea Party.

In other words, nothing actually happened to support the story’s whole premise, but never mind.   The good stuff comes next:

Many in America already believe that she is a black militant in mufti, and her headlining of a gathering which cast the Tea Party as racist will have been noted by a good many ordinary, non-radical, middle-of-the-road Americans—not to mention Tea Party activists, who will be sure (and who can blame them?) to put together little YouTube packages from the NAACP shindig, cutting from Michelle O to Ben Jealous, the NAACP president who was the resolution’s prime mover.

Let’s get Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe on the case, and maybe then, with a heavy assist from Fox, such delusional claptrap can be edited to seem credible for a few hours.  Honestly, how many Americans outside of the righty fever swamps really think Michelle Obama is “a black militant in mufti?”  That would be none.  How many Americans think that suggesting such a thing is both stupid and racist?  That would be most.  But do go on; this just gets better and better.

So here we have the Tea Party, one of the nation’s most organic, Athenian, democratic movements, being attacked by a political organization—the NAACP—that is among the most sclerotic, dinosaurian, and cadaverous of America’s political groupings. When race is in play, there is vulnerability all around. The NAACP, and President Obama, will learn that in the months ahead.

The surest sign of righty craziness is when they are waxing so rhapsodic about their wonderfulness that they actually call a ginned-up, Fox-sponsored astroturf organization “Athenian.”  Dick Armey probably wet himself when he read that, although Sarah Palin will undoubtedly be so impressed that she’ll announce that she can see the Acropolis from her porch.  And, like all righty diatribes, it ends with a dark threat based entirely on delusions of grandeur, with Tunku Varadarajan playing Marvin Martian, poorly, and with the same results.

13 Comments

  1. avelna says:

    As Shelby Steele, a political scientist at the Hoover Institution, told me, “racist stigma in America is so powerful that truth and reason look meager next to it.

    Wow, I had to laugh at that one. These people wouldn’t know truth and reason if it bit them on the ass.

  2. nailheadtom says:

    As usual, you use your “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ technique to interpret the ideas of some obscure pundit and declare that he’s speaking for “the right” or “the Tea Baggers”. How about a little commentary on Sheila Jackson Lee’s speech on the “two Viet Nams”, now living side by side in blissful harmony? She is, after all, an elected member of the US House representing thousands of people and gave her informative talk on the House floor. You can be happy that no one “on the right” is ever going to dissect one of your sophomoric bleatings as representative of left-wing thinking in that no one, left or right, can take you seriously.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, if you had a blog, you could have chosen that subject, and I would have been happy to read it. (Maybe happy isn’t the right word, but I would have….) What Jackson-Lee said did seem dumb, until you think about the fact that Vietnam now has Nike sweatshops and all that Capitalism offers, and the author at Redstate who typed about it went on to add that her faux-pas shows that letting black people vote is bad, ’cause they’re so danged dumb. I found that assertion to be sort of discrediting, although I’m sure you didn’t.
      I’m nonetheless proud that in your worthy estimation, I’ve somehow soared to “sophomoric,” which does carry the connotation of a wise half, anyway. Perhaps you’re drunk already.
      At any rate, you’re always welcome to “dissect” anything I write, rather than ignoring the meat and complaining about the parsley, with some less-than-sophomoric insults tossed in. As with my request for an example of a place where your theories have worked, I don’t expect you’ll come through on anything like that.
      This is another in a long line of your “rebuttals” that were so weak they chose a different topic to fume about. Please try harder.

      • daphne says:

        gee, hag, why don’t you consult nailhead on perceived liberal faux pas BEFORE going to the trouble of writing about something else entirely from now on? His or her complaints – irrelevant or unjustified notwithstanding – would entirely nullify your righteous rants regardless of the fact that yours are both relevant and justified.

        • cocktailhag says:

          That’s what I’ll do from now on, as long as Tom restricts his work to the foibles of right-wingers. I could, and do, criticize Democrats all the time, but the righties only get it more because they’re usually meaner,more dishonest and venal, and almost always funnier. Low-hanging fruit and all that.

  3. retzilian says:

    One of the recent conspiracy theories that Limbaugh and Beck are positing, over which I am still scratching my head, is that Obama created the recession to punish whites. Now, what about all the “colored” people affected by the terrible economy?

    Now, that dog might hunt if all of a sudden thousands of black and brown families were buying $11MM condos in Manhattan while white folk were living in projects and scrubbing toilets at the now all-black golf clubs.

    Idiots.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, those darkies don’t watch Fox, and who cares about them anyway? What matters is keeping those $11 million condos moving when those richies walk away from them, silly. Maybe Tom’ll come along and bring you up to speed.

      • dirigo says:

        The scuttlebutt in Maine is that, during Obama’s brief vacation in Bar Harbor, blacks will take over the state’s lobster industry.

  4. daphne says:

    I must admit over the years I’ve acquired quite a grudging admiration for these scrappy rightwing writers’ ability to take the most straightforward, obvious statement – Tea Partiers should denounce the visibly demonstrable racists among them – and argue against it with apparent sincerity. Of course, I’m well aware of the “perp becomes victim” tactic but beyond that these rebuttals, in their ostensibly internal consistency, give me a headache trying to follow to their logical, albeit absurd, conclusions. Oh. I guess that’s the point.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, it’s a two=pronged strategy: attack the messenger, and throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. In the absence of fact-checking, and the he said-she said conventions of the media, this often works. That’s when, as Blanche DuBois said, you need a bottle of aspirin. Wash it down with gin.

  5. michlib says:

    Just when you think the Democrats are bound to lose majorities through ineptitude and spinelessness, in rush the Tea Baggers and count your chickens before you pay the dentist bill with them Republicans. The administrations’ poor messaging and inability to contrast itself with the GOP has been solved by the opposition. Keep the car keys away from those that put us in this ditch.

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