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Archive for August 25th, 2010

Earlier this year, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele admitted that the GOP has engaged in Southern Strategy politics: employing racial, anti-minority code language and fear-mongering as a means of energizing the party’s white Christian base.

This is a fact. The Southern Strategy is real, though it’s no longer exclusively “southern.”

There’s no disputing its widespread use. Come to think of it, for Steele to “confess” to the the GOP’s use of the Strategy makes it seems as though it was previously a secret. It wasn’t. Fact: the Republican Party routinely tweaks white fear, paranoia, prejudice and resentment in order to win votes and score political points at the expense of demonized minority groups. They engage in stereotyping and misinformation and they rarely, if ever, use the “n-word” these days, though they might as well. After all, as the Strategy goes, blacks and minorities aren’t voting Republican anyway, so… let fly.

And it works. So well, in fact, that it’s still actively used on AM talk radio and on Fox News Channel as a ratings-grabber, not to mention as a recruitment tool for the various tea party groups. If you can effectively convince the majority race that they’re being somehow victimized by the significantly smaller minority, you have a seriously powerful (and clearly immoral) psycho-weapon in your arsenal.

This year has to be some kind of high water mark for white antagonism against minorities, and evidence that the Republicans, along with the array of far-right apparatchiks, don’t really have a serious agenda for governing to sell or, for that matter, anything of value to say. And so they do this. They continue to tap into a mother lode of white majority self-pity and inchoate rage as a form of spackle over the gaping holes in their ridiculous policy arguments.

Take a good look at the big stories of the last several months — the stories that have been driven by the far-right machine, injected into the mainstream and subsequently debated by the rest of the country — partly as a result of the far-right’s money, loudness and tenacity, and partly because these arguments are too obnoxious and outrageous, and therefore too irresistible, to avoid. I’ve been hearing a lot about August being “crazy month,” but the crazy topics have spanned the entire summer and beyond.

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Glenn Beck’s Racism Is an Affront to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Vision

Despite his lame efforts to try to capitalize on the MLK legacy at an upcoming DC rally, Glenn Beck can not hide his deep seated racism.

August 24, 2010 |

America, the first step in your spiritual and political redemption is finally at hand.

Or so Glenn Beck would have us believe. After an eight-month build-up that began at an Orlando retirement community last November, Beck is now making the final preparations for his “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall, scheduled to begin early on Saturday morning with a salute and a prayer in front of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of the Fox News host’s loyal fans.

On a stage at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, Beck will headline a bevy of conservative guest speakers familiar to his radio and television audiences. Most notable among them will be Sarah Palin, whose political career received early and enthusiastic support from Beck. Despite the event’s sponsorship by the NRA, the host maintains the rally will be a “non-political” event, meant to honor American troops overseas and grounded in the nonpartisan themes of “faith, hope, and charity.”

Since Beck first announced the event, much critical attention has been paid to the date. This Saturday is the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that is also enshrined in the national mythology as one of the finest expressions of American ideals. Beck claims that the scheduling is mere coincidence. But he has eagerly claimed King’s legacy, and the meaning of Aug. 28, as his own. On the May 24 edition of his radio program, he described himself and his conservative-activist legions as “the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement”; liberals, he claimed, “are perverting it.” He said he “wouldn’t be surprised if in our lifetime dogs and fire hoses are released or opened on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of us get a billy club to the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us go to jail — just like Martin Luther King did — on trumped-up charges. Tough times are coming.” Two days later, he reiterated his intent to “reclaim the civil rights movement,” since “we were the people that did it in the first place.” More recently, he has described the alleged scheduling coincidence as “divine providence”—as God’s way of telling Beck he walks in King’s footsteps.

MORE HERE

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Several Civilians Among 20 Killed in US Drone Attack

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, August 23, 2010


The Obama Administration’s policy of escalating drone strikes took another hit today, after the explosion from a drone attack against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.

The combined toll from the blast was 20 people killed, with at least four women and three children among the slain. At least 13 other civilians were also reported wounded, including a number of other children.

Pakistani intelligence officials say most of the “suspects” killed in the attacks were Afghans, but it is unclear how much evidence they had of wrongdoing. Large numbers of Afghan civilians have been living as refugees in the tribal areas since the 2001 US invasion.

The large numbers of civilians (700 in 2009 alone) killed in the US drone strikes has fueled considerable anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. When pressed during a previous visit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shrugged off concerns about the civilians, saying only “there’s a war going on.”

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