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“The Modern, More Politically Correct KKK”: Klan’s Trump Fans Rip ‘Liberal Media’ For Making Them Look Too ‘Racist’

He was merely the latest Ku Klux Klan leader to publicly declare support for Donald Trump.

“I think Donald Trump would be best for the job,” Billy Snuffer, the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in central Virginia, told Richmond’s NBC12. “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in. We want our country to be safe.”

The Imperial Wizard also noted that he supports Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, according to the NBC12 report that posted late last week.

“If Donald Trump dropped out tomorrow I would support [John] Kasich before I would Ted Cruz because he is not an American citizen,” the KKK Wizard continued. “Even if I agree with some of the things that Ted Cruz says, I would not support him because he was born in Canada. He is not an American citizen.”  

In the time since the segment aired, both Cruz and Kasich dropped out of the presidential race, leaving Trump —who already has a bevy of white-supremacist, white-nationalist, and neo-Nazi followers in this country—as the presumptive Republican nominee.

But high-ranking members of the Virginia KKK outfit aren’t pleased with the Richmond NBC affiliate’s report, which was filed by anchor Chris Thomas, a young black man. The group’s Grand Dragon (the Imperial Wizard’s lieutenant who declined to give his name), told The Daily Beast that the station had erroneously—and libelously —reported that the Rebel Brigade Knights and their leader had “endorsed” Trump for president.

The 5-minute televised report and accompanying online article do not state that the Klansman “endorsed” the real-estate mogul; merely that the Imperial Wizard said he’d be “best” fit for the presidential gig. (However, pieces published at other news outlets linking to the NBC12 story defined it as an endorsement.)

“We knew what would happen—what the liberal media always does,” the (anonymous) Grand Dragon told The Daily Beast, before decrying “political correctness” in America and reiterating that Trump would be “best.” He alleged that the journalists selectively edited the long interview to make them look as loathsome and bigoted as possible.

“They wanted to make us seem as racist as [they] could,” the Dragon said.

The NBC affiliate seemed unfazed by the KKK’s media criticism. “We feel our story was fair and speaks for itself,” NBC12 told The Daily Beast in a brief statement.

It’s not all that surprising that these modern-day Klansmen would want to market themselves as less “racist” and not as “white supremacists,” per se. Today’s Klan is trying to move past its abominable history of domestic terrorism, racist carnage, rape, far-right propaganda, lynching, and attacking African-Americans and minorities, and present a kinder, gentler, ostensibly non-violent facade—billing themselves as “white separatists” instead of white supremacists, for instance.

It is a more politically correct KKK, if you will.

“Neo-Nazis and skinheads are socialist. We are not socialist,” the Imperial Wizard told NBC12. “We are not white supremacists. We are white separatists …  A lot of people, as soon as they hear the words ‘Ku Klux Klan,’ their mind automatically goes back to the ’50s and ’60s. It was a pretty bad time, but… we are living in a different century now.”

And it isn’t shocking that these men have found someone they see as a mainstream political ally in Trump, who found himself at the center of controversy once again in February when he did not swiftly condemn former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke during an interview on CNN. Duke had recently announced his support for Trump’s candidacy, and said that white “European-Americans” who weren’t voting for Trump were committing “treason to [their] heritage.”

Nowadays in central Virginia, the local Klansmen are engaging in a recruitment push, going door to door passing out fliers that read, “I Want You For The KKK.” It is their latest attempt to find new converts to their cause — one they believe lines up fairly well with Trump’s.

 

By: Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast, May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Another ‘Here Comes Marco Rubio!’ Boomlet”: Can The Media And The GOP Establishment Sell Marco Rubio To GOP Voters?

“This is the moment they said would never happen!” said a triumphant Marco Rubio in his victory speech last night in Iowa. It was an odd thing to say, coming from a guy who just came in third, after all the polls showed him running…third. And while he didn’t specify who “they” were, that kind of vague “they” usually refers to the powers that be, the hidebound thinkers of the political and media elite. Which is also odd, because those are the people who have always been most enthusiastic about Rubio.

If all the attention in the GOP presidential primary will now narrow down to three candidates — Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump — there’s no question who the choice of the Republican establishment (and yes, I know it’s a problematic term, but it does refer to something real) will be. After panicking for weeks about the race coming down to a choice between an erratic billionaire with no commitment to the party and an insurgent ideologue even other Republicans find loathsome, Rubio offers the only way out, the party’s best chance of avoiding disaster in the fall.

So we’re upon another “Here comes Marco Rubio!” boomlet, even though it’s based on almost nothing other than the fact that he somehow “exceeded expectations” by coming in exactly where everyone expected him to in Iowa, albeit with a few more points of support than polls had shown. As I argued yesterday, when someone does better than expectations, it doesn’t tell us much about them; it just tells us that those doing the expecting were wrong. But no matter — today’s headlines tell us of “Marco Rubio’s very big night in Iowa,” to “Forget Ted Cruz: Marco Rubio is the big winner of the Iowa caucuses,” that “After Iowa, keep your eye on Marco Rubio, not Trump or Cruz,” and “Why the Iowa caucus was a win for Marco Rubio, even though he lost to Ted Cruz.”

Cruz told NBC: “I’m amused at listening to media talk about ‘what an impressive third place finish!’” But since Cruz portrays himself as the scourge of both the media and political elite, it’s probably fine by him. He’ll now get to say that he’s the insurgent and Rubio represents the establishment, which in addition to tapping into the Republican electorate’s mood of disillusionment will have the virtue of being true.

The Republican establishment knows that Rubio looks like the most electable candidate — he’s not a loose cannon like Trump and not a bitter ideologue like Cruz. And as Michael Brendan Dougherty argues, “Rubio’s candidacy is essentially based on the premise that nothing from the George W. Bush era has to change for the Republican Party,” that even though he may look different, he’s offering the same policy prescription as ever: tax cuts for the wealthy, an interventionist foreign policy, and a hard right line on social issues. Also, unlike Cruz, Rubio doesn’t spend all his time lambasting Washington Republicans for being a bunch of traitorous weaklings.

But why would the supposedly liberal media think so highly of Rubio? To begin with, let’s not kid ourselves: they do. He’s not personally repellent or drawn to kamikaze tactics, like Cruz, and he’s not crazy, like Trump. Rubio is a good speaker, is pretty informed about policy, and has a heartwarming personal story about his immigrant parents. When those journalists and commentators say so, and write stories describing how Rubio’s campaign is about to blossom, they’re expressing their faith in the process. Regardless of their personal ideology, they’d like to believe that this whole chaotic mess eventually winds up in a somewhat rational place. If the GOP nominates Rubio, it’s proof that the process works and one of our two great parties has not completely lost its mind.

How does that square with all the attention given to Donald Trump? Trump pulls the media in two different directions. On one hand, he’s an irresistible story, a compelling personality who constantly says appallingly newsworthy things and drives his opponents crazy. We’ve loved reporting on him and writing about him. It’s been a hoot. But on the other hand, were Trump to actually win, it would show that the system can be hacked, that a kind of lunacy had taken over, that the worst kind of demagoguery and the shallowest kind of celebrity can combine to hijack what is supposed to be a relatively orderly and predictable process. And to people who care about politics, whatever their personal beliefs about issues, that would be a disturbing result.

So whether they’re consciously aware of it or not, most people in the media would probably prefer Trump to fall eventually, after we’ve all been thoroughly entertained by his candidacy. Rubio as the GOP nominee might not be as much fun, but it makes sense.

We’ve been through this before. Four months ago, we witnessed the sudden emergence of articles predicting that Rubio was about to rise. Unfortunately for him, the voters didn’t get the memo; in the average of national polls he stands at 10 percent, not too far from where he’s been all along. Maybe now that the voting has started and other candidates have begun falling away, Rubio will gain support and even win a primary somewhere. But at the moment, outside of Iowa, he’s still the candidate of the elites, not the voters.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect; Contributor, The Plum Line Blog, February 2, 2016

February 3, 2016 Posted by | Establishment Republicans, GOP Voters, Mainstream Media, Marco Rubio | , , , , , | 2 Comments

“The Thugification of Ben Carson”: He Want’s Something Of A “Hood Pass”, An Acknowledgement Of His Toughness Authenticity

Ben Carson might well be the “Rick Ross” of presidential politics.

In no small irony, the retired neurosurgeon—much like the chart-topping rapper— is under fire for allegedly misleading the public about parts of his life story. Ross, also known as “Teflon Da Don,” was never the thugged-out, gun-toting, cocaine-slanging street menace that so often shows up in his lyrics. Instead, he was a college-educated corrections officer before he turned to the music industry to make his millions.

Carson’s exaggerations don’t go that far—his tales are far more pedestrian. But in story after story the iconic physician appears to embellish his life growing up in inner city Detroit. He certainly did not need to spin wild tales about his years as a young, gifted black boy raised by a single mother in urban America. That’s a story millions know and can relate to.

However, in various books, speeches and interviews, Carson appears to want something of a “hood pass”—an acknowledgement of his toughness authenticity—that functions both as insulation from “liberal media attacks” and as political currency among white Republican voters. The lure of a Carson candidacy (as I said in an earlier column) could not be more appealing to the evangelical base, which has been looking for a way to attract more non-white voters. For them, Carson is the perfect ambassador: an American success story who also happens to be black, and the quintessential Horatio Alger from the rough side of the railroad tracks.

For his part, Carson is playing along and seemingly has been for decades. He has leaned on (and sometimes added flourishes to) his backstory in order to expand his public platform. The truth is he has been building a personal narrative—whether true or weaved from whole cloth—about himself from the moment he leapt onto the world stage. He wasn’t just poor, in Carson’s telling, he was hard—the kind of hard that can get an otherwise promising young man into trouble. And while it might be customary in hip-hop, engaging in this kind of self “thugification” is new for politics.

Without a doubt, Carson grew up surrounded by pervasive poverty, and avoiding a myriad of societal maladies in the Motor City was no small feat. For every Ben Carson, there are thousands of black boys who didn’t make it to the sunrise—the ones whose mothers watched tearfully as they left the block cuffed in the back of a squad car or wept over their bodies in a funeral home. Carson more than beat the odds. The bookish kid with thick glasses and a pocket protector earned his way into Yale and went on to become one of the world’s most celebrated surgeons.

Today, based almost solely on that story, Carson is currently leading national polls for the Republican presidential nomination. However, in recent days, key elements—as told by Carson himself— have come under increased scrutiny.

To hear the good doctor tell it, he once tried to stab a “close relative” in a dispute over a radio and at another point he wanted to hit his mother in the head with a brick. He allegedly hurled a rock at a school friend, busting his glasses and leaving him with a bloody nose. If fact, if Carson can be believed, he was so violent that he needed a divine intervention.

It’s a compelling story—one that has sold millions of books, led to a biopic about his life, and earned him countless awards over the years. The problem is almost none of its flourishes ring true and, despite the earnest efforts of reporters, almost none of them can be verified. As it turns out, CNN could find no one—not even the next-door neighbor kids—who could remember a young, hot-tempered Carson, let alone one who tried to murder somebody.

Then there was the time that he was allegedly held at gunpoint in Baltimore while out on a chicken run to a local Popeye’s restaurant near Johns Hopkins Hospital. Carson says he wasn’t afraid. He’d seen enough violence, he said, that he knew the gunman wasn’t there to kill anybody. As tales go, that one smelled like a cooler full of warm catfish.

And of course it doesn’t stop there. In interview after interview, he has waxed poetically about how he overcame extraordinary odds, including personal demons, to achieve his extraordinary success. For many—black and white, alike—Carson was a living, breathing Heathcliff Huxtable.

Carson has staked his credibility on more than just his heroics in the operating room. He regaled us with Ricky Rozay-styled street stories that served to deepen his public policy bona fides and ingratiate him with working and middle class white audiences. But frankly, Carson never needed any proof of his “blackness” and certainly not an ill-advised campaign radio commercial featuring a rap song.

In fact, Carson may be the first presidential candidate in modern history who stands to lose some credibility because he was a goody two-shoes coming up. He is certainly the first frontrunner in my lifetime to admit to attempted murder. I’ve been on this planet nearly 50 years and I cannot recall a serious candidate for office who readily admits—or, for that matter, insists—that he wanted to pummel his own mother in the head with a brick.

Stripped down to its essence, without the auto-tuning and layered tracks, Carson has a powerful story. Unfortunately, it feels like he thinks he has something to prove about who he is and where he came from. Most unfortunately, based on the kinds of stories he has chosen to hype, it appears he has a skewed perspective of what it means to be black.

He should remember that he’s running for president, not selling mix tapes in a barbershop.

 

By: Goldie Taylor, The Daily Beast, November 7, 2015

November 8, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Black Americans, White Voters | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Living The Realities Of Supply-Side Economic Failures”: Debate Questions Naturally Lean Left Because Mainstream Voters And Reality Do

Timothy Carney at the Washington Examiner wrote a piece getting a decent amount of attention today proclaiming that liberal media bias exists and that it affected the CNBC debate. Unlike most of bloviating on the topic from the right, Carney actually adduces evidence for his point of view. After the usual blather about how most journalists lean Democratic (most professionals in almost every field requiring professional education do, which should tell conservatives something), he does something useful by illustrating what a debate from a conservative perspective might look like:

They could have asked Kasich: “Why did you increase Medicaid under Obamacare in Ohio?” They could have asked Trump, “How can eminent domain for corporate gain be squared with free-enterprise views?” They could have asked Rubio about sugar subsidies, or Cruz if his “defund Obamacare” fight did any good, or Jeb Bush about his support for more immigration. They could have asked Christie about his liberal court appointments.

They instead asked for price controls and regulations, they asked about the social compact in entitlement spendings, they asked why not to support budget-busting deals. Most questions were either non-ideological, and many were from a liberal perspective. When they asked about marijuana legalization it wasn’t from an anti-drug perspective or a libertarian perspective, but a “more government revenue” perspective.

OK fine, but here’s the problem with that: most voters don’t care about those things, or they’re couched in a way that would only reinforce the hostility of mainstream voters. Any moderator that asked a GOP candidate like Kasich why they increased Medicaid as though that were a bad thing, would be inviting all the candidates to lay into him and provide endless soundbites for Democrats in a general election. Because most voters like Medicaid expansion when it’s explained to them. Most voters don’t give a damn about “eminent domain for corporate gain”–not even conservative ones. Corn and sugar subsidies, while important public policy problems that expose crony capitalism and contradictions in conservative ideology, don’t even begin to rate as top issues on the minds of voters or remotely interesting. Nor would inviting other candidates to attack subsidies for farmers be good politics, either to please donors or the public at large. Ted Cruz was asked about his government shutdown tactics, and the question was such a landmine for him that he dodged the question entirely. Meanwhile, immigration has been a big debate question for GOP candidates and Jeb Bush in particular: Bush’s support for immigration reform is the biggest reason for his poor performance in the polls, and the biggest reason for Donald Trump’s ascendance. Asking about immigration reform from a hostile, conservative point of view would only serve to give Trump and Cruz more ammunition, and further alienate Hispanic voters in the general election.

By contrast, taxes and budgets really matter. Education matters. Healthcare matters. Jobs matter. The fact that the public has decidedly liberal positions on those issues, and that the lived reality of supply-side economic failures and government healthcare successes disadvantages conservative ideology, isn’t the fault of debate moderators. It’s the fault of conservative ideology, which should in theory be forced to adjust just as certain aspects of liberalism had to during the 1970s.

These are also the issues on which the Republican nominee will be tested come the general election. Democratic candidates will be forced to answer for issues on which voters have skepticism of liberal positions, from guns to foreign policy to the welfare state–and challenging questions on those issues are consistently asked during Democratic debates, nor are they prejudicial. Republicans are likewise expected to answer for their unpopular positions, because they’ll be forced to defend them in the general election.

The fact that Republicans have more unpopular positions and a weaker track record of success isn’t the fault of debate moderators. It’s the fault of Republican candidates and their ideology.

 

By: D. R. Tucker, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, October 31, 2015

November 1, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, GOP Voters, Supply Side Economics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Rand Corporation”: Old-School Southern Segregationist’s Who Still Believe Negroes Should Know Their Place

Hey, wait a minute–didn’t Rachel Maddow already disqualify Rand Paul as a serious presidential candidate five years ago?

It appears the Beltway has long since forgotten about Paul’s disgusting May 2010 interview with Maddow, during which he made clear his belief in separate and unequal treatment for people of color in the private sector. Back then, I was horrified to see Paul defend his 21-century segregationist views, and was convinced that the man would be a clear and present danger to American democracy if he were elected to the United States Senate.

At the time, I was also surprised that prominent figures on the right didn’t stand up to denounce Paul’s views in the name of being logically consistent. After all, the right’s thought leaders had long pushed the idea that Republicans were the real leaders on civil rights. Consider this 1997 letter to the New York Times from conservative Harvard professor Stephan Thernstrom:

”Political Right’s Point Man on Race” (news article, Nov. 16) describes Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice as typical of a generation of white Republicans who ”readily say their party was on the wrong side” in the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s. This equates the Republican Party with Barry Goldwater, its 1964 Presidential candidate, who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But 80 percent of House Republicans voted for the 1964 legislation, as did 82 percent of Republican senators. In the House, three of four votes cast against the bill came from Democrats, as did four of five votes in the Senate. Likewise, 82 percent of House Republicans and 93 percent of Senate Republicans backed the Voting Rights Act the next year.

Now, you would figure that the “Republicans-were-the real-party-of-colorblindness!” crowd would rise up and denounce Paul for suggesting that the Republicans who voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act voted for an unconstitutional piece of legislation. Of course, the right’s thought leaders—with rare exceptions—gave Paul a pass, and largely denounced the “liberal media” for making a big deal about Paul’s abhorrent remarks.

Nothing I’ve seen out of Rand Paul’s mouth in the past five years has changed my view that in his heart, he is an old-school Southern segregationist who believes Negroes should know their place, and that the white man should be in a place above them. In Rand Paul’s America, business owners could still have signs on their doors saying, “We Do Not Serve Coloreds.” In Rand Paul’s America, black people would have no rights that white people must respect.

Speaking of respect, Rachel Maddow deserves our continued respect for ripping the mask right off Paul’s face five years ago and exposing him as the bigot’s best buddy… and Paul deserves nothing but our continued contempt.

 

By: D. R. Tucker, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 18, 2015

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Bigotry, Rand Paul, Segregation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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