« A Libertarian for bailing out United | Main | The Nightmare Scenario »

May 14, 2005

Let's (Not) Get Mean

Hey again, Ezrafficionados. Much thanks to Ezra for once again tossing this opportunity my way; it's a pleasure to be back. I think we're going to have some fun this weekend, as I have a few decent rants planned. Due to a scheduling thing, I won't be posting much until later this evening. For now, I want to flag some weird advice from the Democrats' answer to Jeff Foxworthy, Dave "I Actually Make People Call Me 'Mudcat'" Saunders:

"Bubba doesn’t call them illegal immigrants. He calls them illegal aliens. If the Democrats put illegal aliens in their bait can, we’re going to come home with a bunch of white males in the boat."

Okay, listen. I know Democrats have to be more sensitive to the cultural concerns of white guys. On some fronts, I'm sympathetic to that impulse. But it seems like a lot of advice Democrats have been getting lately amounts, essentially, to "Be rhetorically meaner to group X," and that kind of bothers me.

First, it's bad politics, because people can smell a phony a mile away. The reason John Kerry's opposition to gay marriage won exactly zero white votes is that white male voters don't really care about your stance on gay marriage or immigration; what they want to know is whether you share the same level of cultural concern about these phenomena, and he clearly didn't. Moreover, do we really want to start getting mean - not tough, but mean - on immigrants at a time when the Hispanic demographics in AZ, NM, and the southwest are becoming increasingly large and decreasingly reliable for Democrats? (Hint: No.)

More to the point, though, this bothers me on an ethical level. Democrats, I'm sorry, are not the party of meanness. We're not the party of exacerbating cultural divisions. I know it sounds trite, but we campaign on the hope of unity, not the fear that amplifies division. So when I hear that we have to move to the right policy-wise on some areas, I'm open to the idea. But lateral moves on policy should never be confused with downward moves on rhetoric. There's a million things we could stand to get tougher on, but there's not a lot I want us to get meaner about. It's not who we are, and it's certainly not who I want us to be.

Clarification: I'm not objecting to calling them "illegal immigrants." Aside from not being particularly offensive, that's just objectively true. What I'm objecting to is switching from "immigrants" to "aliens" for no other reason than to tap into the powerhouse of ressentiment that is white males. These people may be breaking laws, but they're doing it in search of a better life. They're not bad people, and they're not terrorists. I'm fine with tightening legal restraints on them, but let's not chastize them personally in the process, hey?

- Daniel A. Munz

May 14, 2005 in Democrats | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c572d53ef00d83458033869e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Let's (Not) Get Mean:

» Mudcat from Jack O'Toole
One of the reasons I've always been so fond of James Carville is that he knows the difference between reaching out to the other side and pandering to its worst instincts. Sadly, his fellow Southern Democratic political consultant, Dave "Mudcat" Saunder... [Read More]

Tracked on May 15, 2005 11:51:20 AM

Comments

I can be rhetorically meaner to "group X" and be entirely sincere at the same time. Wanna see? Here goes:

The Republican Party and their neo-fascist "Christian" followers are attempting to destroy the United States of America, and replace it with a fundamentalist Christian theocracy straight out of Margaret Atwood. I think these people are not only un-Christian, but un-American. They are a fifth-column and should be treated as such.

That sincere enough for you?

Give me a break. We need a little demogoguey on the left or we're toast. We have to play to emotion, especially seeing as the opposition is playing emotion with the dexterity of a Jascha Heifetz.

We need to be smart, but we also need to be ruthless, and mean. Fuck civility. This is about winning and preserving our democracy.

How long do we let the other side break the rules before we say enough is enough?

Hopefully, not so long that we have to set up a constitutional United States government in exile.

Posted by: urizon | May 14, 2005 12:46:43 PM

Maybe the winning policy card is "Punish employers for pushing down wages by hiring illegal aliens."
I happen to live in an area of North Georgia where the population is approaching 20% Mexican-Central American immigrants. The big employers of illegals are the GoldKist chicken processing facility and agraculture (apple orchards). They face no sanction. I rejoice in better Mexican restraunts, in an overdue addition to the redneck gene pool (and I qualify as a member), and cultural diversity in an area that was homogeneous. These folks are in general a good addition to the community.
Too often, it's the illegals who are into drugrunning and the meth labs. Democrats can legitimately oppose the misuse of immigration law.

Posted by: Mr. Bill | May 14, 2005 12:52:19 PM

Well, Daniel,
There is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. They are, indeed, illegal immigrants. They are not "guest workers" as no one has invited them in. They are not "undocumented workers" as they are not supposed to be working or even be here at all. They are ILLEGAL. There is nothing mean in saying this. It is a statement of fact. No one will make you go to sensitivity training (re-education camp) for doing so.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | May 14, 2005 1:22:02 PM

Eh Zimm the people hiring em here have invited em in.

Posted by: Sandals | May 14, 2005 5:22:04 PM

Marc Maron on Air America has a great phrase: The Christ-fascist zombie brigade. I have no problem with being mean, lets just stick to being mean to those that deserves it.

Posted by: Battlepanda | May 14, 2005 5:32:42 PM

OT:


Alexandria, VA
- The Center for Individual Freedom today filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee charging Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with blatantly violating the Standing Rules of the Senate.

The complaint stems from Senator Reid’s public reference to a confidential FBI background report in disparaging comments he made about Judge Henry Saad, a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Specifically, Senator Reid stated yesterday on the Senate floor: “Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway. He’s one of those nominees. All you need to do is have a Member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree there is a problem there.” His comments violate Section 5 of Rule XXIX of the Senate’s Standing Rules, which protects the secrecy of confidential Senate business and proceedings, including privileged access to FBI background information.

“Minority Leader Reid apparently has no regard for longstanding Senate rules that ensure civility and protect the integrity of the Senate,” said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. “Reid’s vague and unsubstantiated reference to the contents of a confidential FBI report was a desperate attempt to smear Judge Saad’s name to score political points and further obstruct his confirmation.”

Section 5 of Rule XXIX of the Standing Rules of the Senate states: “Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt.”

“Senator Reid chose to recklessly ignore longstanding Senate rules in order to further the Minority’s unprecedented campaign of obstruction against President Bush’s judicial nominees,” said Mazzella. “Through innuendo, Senator Reid has now resorted to character assassination of the worst kind in an indefensible effort to disgrace a sitting judge and nominee to the 6th Circuit.

“Senator Reid should be ashamed of himself,” Mazzella continued. “It’s the obligation of the Senate Ethics Committee to impose disciplinary action immediately. Senator Reid’s deplorable conduct must not go unpunished,” concluded Mazzella.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | May 14, 2005 5:57:35 PM

Maybe it's just me, but who the f*@k is "Mudcat" Saunders, and why should we give two whits what he says?

I know, I know, he and Steve Jarding were among the original consiglieri for Sunshine Johnny, but they didn't even make it past 2003 as members of his team. So I ask again: who's this cat, and why should I care what he thinks?

Every time I see him, he's agitating about how we need to corral white male. Mudcat's to white males what Ahab was to white whales.

Frankly, if you want to tackle the illegal immigrant problem, you need to tag it at the source: companies hiring illegals to work for them on an under-the-table basis so that they can maximize their profits. That's the problem that Mudcat's beloved white males have with immigrants--they're losing ground on wages because of them--but I suspect he's too chickens*@t to point that out. It's easy to bash illegals--they ain't gonna vote for you anyway, 'cause they can't. You bash Wal-Mart, all of a sudden you can start kissing fundraising dollars and a few votes goodbye.

Incidentally, if paying attention to guys who nickname themselves after the local wildlife is what it takes to give one currency in a bid for votes in areas that are culturally Southern, then I'm calling dibs on "Coondog".

Posted by: Arkhangel | May 14, 2005 9:35:05 PM

What an absolutely amusing column.
Democratic Party anxiety over being mean to certain groups epitomizes the self-delusion that if The Left.
By and large, the Dems have built their political base by demonizing the "haves" somply for having. Whites are too rich, asians are too smart, conservatives don't care, want to kill your children and hate clean air.

Secondly, the comment, "First, it's bad politics because people can smell a phony a mile away," smacks of disingenuousness. The implication is that while the Dems will be mean, it is only an act. They are, in reality, decent, respectful folk.

Lastly, and again amusingly, the comment that, "We campaign on the hope of unity," is fascinating. While posited as a premise of the Party, it is actually a fervent hope. The Dem. Party is an amalgam of disparate groups cobbled together because each of their individual causes is a minority position.

Keep it up. You're on the road to nowhere.

Posted by: bohica | May 15, 2005 12:43:46 AM

If you're willing to go far enough to call them illegal immigrants - and I tend to think that's okay - why not go all the way? Immigration is an issue that particularly messes up the GOP coalition - entrepeneurial and rural businesses need the labor (and the oh-so-valuable hispanic vote wants a humane system), but border state dwellers and America firsters want strict regulation and enforcement And what they do get? A Bush plan that's the worst of all worlds.

That said, I don't necessarily think the issue is what you call them, what I care about is that Democrats don't have much more of an answer. I'd love to make hay from the Republican fissures. But we're generally not the party that enjoys punishing people and being mean to them (and I'm kind of proud of that). I think that means I could back a hard, painful reform of INS, but not a lot of heavy border patrol, because that seems too punishing, or calling people "illegal aliens" because that seems mean. Sorry, but that's just how I am. And I don't see a Dem super powered triangulated position just yet. But I'm open to the idea that we can get there.

Posted by: weboy | May 15, 2005 12:48:31 AM

Bush campaigned for the repeal of the estate tax, AND for "compassionate conservatism", knowing full well that charities would suffer if there no longer was a tax to deduct your bequests from. But then Bush doesn't care if he's bullshitting the voters.

Democrats have to do better than that.

If you want (1) universal healthcare, (2) a higher minimum wage, (3) first class education available for all, (4) a strengthened social safety net including better unemployment benefits and working standards, and (5) a broad tax-base with progressive taxes to pay for it all, then you cannot have a large underclass of illegal immigrants who go without all this.

It's unfair for the illegal immigrants, it's unfair for those at the bottom who have to compete with them and it's unfair for tax-payers who now have to pay for a system that redistributes money to people who can't find work because illegals are doing the job for less than the minimum wage.

If you're liberal and want to expand the government's safety net, this problem only gets worse. Just look to Europe.

It is wrong to think of these immigrants as criminals, but if you want the system to work, you simply can't have too many illegals. But there are only two options to stem the flow of illegal immigrants:

(a) You could legalize all of them (including newcomers). No more illegal immigrants, just lots and lots of legal ones. I don't think you can square this scenario with a higher minimum wage, higher unempoyment benefits etc.

(b) You try to minimize the inflow of illegal immigrants, preferably by cracking down on those who profit of them: those who employ them and the coyotes. But yes, this also means more border patrols. If you can discourage them from trying to get in, you prevent the problem from growing.

I haven't read much about the McCain-Kennedy bill, but the problem with illegal immigration is the same in Europe: you cannot have government guarantee a safety net for all AND have large-scale illegal immigration. It's one or the other.

Posted by: jasper emmering | May 15, 2005 5:12:19 AM

I am constantly amazed at the members of the left who want to protect illegal immigrants, aliens or whatever they are. Why should someone who broke our laws to come into this country get a drivers license? Why should they get education for their children (unless the kids are born here, which makes them citizens)?

I can understand providing medical care, because these are human beings. But I do not know why the benefits of being a legitimate member of our country -- whether by visa, birth or naturalization -- should acrue to people who are not legally here.

But there are people who legitimately argue that illegal immigrants should have the rights and priviliges of citizens!

I am a HUGE believer in immigration and naturalization. I love the idea that new people with new ideas and new ways of doing things come to this country. I live in a town that is more than 30 percent Latino immigrant, was founded by eastern European immigrants in the late 1800s, and saw its heyday with Italian and German immigrants in the 20th Century.

But we need to focus on expanding LEGAL immigration opportunities, increasing the desire among legal immigrants for citizenship, teaching civics and American ideals (fairness, government by the governed, collective sacrifice for collective benefit, etc.) to Americans and immigrants, and pushing for fair labor practices so our country will not be so desirous to illegal immigrants.

We can be against illegal immigration without being against immigration. We can do it by standing up for citizenship.

Posted by: Poppy McCool | May 15, 2005 8:59:54 AM

I am not getting this. I am on the left. I don't want illegals coming in. I don't want them harmed either, like stuffed in the back of an airless van until they are near death. Now who wants them in? It has to be the ones who hire them, who can take advantage of them and take advantage of us by breaking more laws. You go after the legal citizens HERE breaking the laws. If the illegals can't get hired, they stop coming illegally and start coming legally.

Posted by: Nancy | May 15, 2005 9:23:02 AM

The reason John Kerry's opposition to gay marriage won exactly zero white votes is that white male voters don't really care about your stance on gay marriage or immigration; what they want to know is whether you share the same level of cultural concern about these phenomena, and he clearly didn't.

I agree with the first part of your argument Daniel, but I'm totally baffled by what you mean by 'cultural concern about these phenomena'?

Being a gay, Black man, I know from experience there are numerous biased reasons for white males to vote against a candidate of tolerance, inclusion and diversity.

There is an undeniable sense of racial superiority among white males (IMHO). So, when they are forced into an economic or employment situation that lowers them to the level of someone they consider inferior, how does one express their outrage?

Second, you may be making the inaccurate assumption that white males are as engaged politically, and therefore, vested personally. However, the vast majority of these 'regular joe/pickup driving' white male constituency, are as well-versed in inane sports statistics and ready to opine on the troubles of the NY Yankees, as you and I are on whether Bill Frist has the necessary votes on 'the nuclear option'.

And finally, when it comes to the Gay Marriage issue, Democrats will always be at a disadvantage in trying to counter most straight, white males innate fear of homosexuality. When they cannot accept the fact that at least 60% percent of all males have had at least one homosexual experience, or even acknowledge the concept of bi-sexuality, how do they react to this perceived threat?

Posted by: that colored fella | May 15, 2005 9:34:00 AM

I am constantly amazed at the members of the left who want to protect illegal immigrants, aliens or whatever they are. Why should someone who broke our laws to come into this country get a drivers license? Why should they get education for their children (unless the kids are born here, which makes them citizens)?

I agree with almost all of your post. Illegal immigration is a big "f-ck you" to all of the immigrants to this country that jumped through the right hoops and followed the laws. However, here's the thing-- no one wants to shelter or act as enablers for illegal immigrants. They want to protect law-abiding immigrants and citizens from having to prove their legal status at every turn... because if you want to deny "illegal immigrants" the ability to go to schools, get drivers' licenses, ride public transportation, etc., you're going to have to come up with some kind of enforcement mechanism-- which will generally take the form of someone barking out "papers please!" every time you turn around.

Next, related to the enforcement mechanism, is the issue of enforcement itself. A person's visa status in this country is an issue between him and the federal government. We already place the onus on employers to ensure that the employee is authorized to work in America before hiring the employee. What you're asking state employees (teachers, bus drivers, DMV employees, etc.) to do is suddenly become enforcers and investigators of everyone's residency status-- something which is a federal issue. Not all state employees are willing to participate in this game.

Posted by: Constantine | May 15, 2005 1:44:05 PM

I am heartened by the comments of those of you on the left concerning illegal aliens. Instead of whipping out the race card, you make good rational arguments why tolerating unlawful entry in this nation is a bad idea.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | May 15, 2005 2:56:49 PM

The term "illegals" irates me especially. The term's use is simply to single out people who commit one sort of crime over another sort of crime. So, yes, immigrants who come here without a green card did do something illegal. But so do many of us when we speed, when we drink under 21, when we get generous on our tax credits or when we jaywalk. But we don't call those who do these crimes "illegals." It's too general of a term and is used towards racist purposes. And it should be pointed out more often.

Posted by: J. Puckett | May 15, 2005 10:49:11 PM

Mr. Puckett,
The term is a good one to discriminate between those who play by the rules and those who thumb their noses at our laws....and that is what they do.
To use a "softer" term disrespects those who came here lawfully.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | May 16, 2005 8:51:24 AM

you dumb fucking useless braindead pussy whipped, nuttered,follow the smelly mean cunt around,beg for a piece of rotten almost dead screw, open doors, get fucked by the pervert psyco parasites from what you assholes think is your government and you end up with 10% of what you earn because the rest goes to the paeasites who are stealing it from you to make war on you and on the rest of the world. WAKE UP DUMB FUCKS,ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS A WAR ON YOU WITHOUT COMBAT-------------YET.

Posted by: ferd | Mar 18, 2006 7:44:27 PM

wow gold
wow gold
wow gold
wow gold
powerleveling
powerleveling
power leveling
power leveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
powerleveling
powerleveling
power leveling
power leveling

wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power level
wow power level
wow power level

出会い
wow power level
world of warcraft powerleveling
world of warcraft powerleveling
world of warcraft power leveling
world of warcraft power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
World of Warcraft Gold

World of Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
wow gold
wow gold
World of Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
powerleveling
powerleveling
powerleveling
powerleveling
wow gold
wow gold
World of Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold

beijing travel
china tour
china tour
beijing
beijing
great wall
翻译公司
翻译公司
上海翻译公司
上海翻译公司
保洁
保洁

rolex replica
rolex replica
beijing hotels
beijing hotels
识别
OCR
OCR
即时翻译
即时翻译
身份证识别
身份证识别
税控收款机
税控收款机
高速扫描
手写
手写
光学字符识别
光学字符识别

shanghai hotels
shanghai hotels

Posted by: wow gold | Aug 30, 2007 3:07:47 PM

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
钢托盘
木托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
杭州托盘
成都托盘
武汉托盘
长沙托盘
合肥托盘
苏州托盘
无锡托盘
昆山托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
南京钢制托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘

托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
塑料托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
木托盘
塑料托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘


托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

Posted by: peter.w | Sep 15, 2007 1:39:24 PM

Tattoos
Tattoo

Angel Tattoos
Bullseye Tattoo
Butterfly Tattoos
Celebrity Tattoo
Celtic Tattoo
Chinese Tattoo
Cross Tattoos
Dragon Tattoo
Fairy Tattoos
Flower Tattoo
Heart Tattoo
Henna Tattoo
Lower Back Tattoos
Miami Ink Tattoo
Religious Tattoo
Rose Tattoos
Skull Tattoos
Star Tattoos
Sun Tattoo
Tattoo Art
Tattoo Flash
Tattoo and Piercing
Tattoo Design
Tattoo Graphic
Tattoo Idea
Tattoo Removal
Tattoos
Tattoos of Scorpions
Temporary Tattoo
Tribal Tattoo

Emo Hair Style
Bang Hair Style
Sedu Hair Style
Prom Hair Style
Short Hair Style
Black Hair Style
How to do Hairstyles
Long Hair Style
Man Hair Style
Hair Style Cut
New Hair style
Formal Hair Style
Medium Hairstyle
Curly Hair Style
African American Hair Style
Hair Style Updo
Hair Style Magazine
Braid Hair Style
Teen Hair Style
Bridal Hair Style
Punk Hair Style
Kid Hair Style
Jessica Simpson Hair Style
Layered Hair Style
Layered Hairstyles
Color Hair Style
Cruise
Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruise
France Cruise
Panama Cruise
Asia Cruises
Luxury Cruises
Alaskan Cruise
Caribbean Cruise
Princess Cruise
Baltimore Cruise
Boston Cruises
Cruises to Hawaii
Crystal Cruises
Carnival Cruises
Cheap Cruises
Norwegian Cruises
Cruise Discount
Disney Cruises
Best Price on Cruises
Cruise Critics
Mediterranean Cruises
Cruise Wedding
Celebrity Cruise
Singles Cruises
Bermuda Cruise

Posted by: Peter | Sep 20, 2007 2:26:02 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.