Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by liberalmaverick, Mar 6, 2006.
Sad thing it'll probably work.
I have mixed feelings on the demise of McKinney. There will be no getting up to even look at a potential third strike. She is forever toast. That said, it is unfortunate that her departure is untimely, in that she can no longer serve as a focal point for all that is whacky with the Democratic Party ? one that is out of touch with the mainstream, but who are quick to point out the error of your ways ? because the Democratic elite know what is best for you.
To our good fortune, an awakening could be taking place. People aren?t as gullible as they once might have been. McKinney is but one example. Nancy Pelosi, another loose cannon with the same philosophies, has tried to distance herself from McKinney through silence. Do not be deceived, my friends. This snake is every bit as venomous as her former underling. I will indeed dance on the day of her ?dethroning,? as well as the likes of such ?monarchs? as:
I won?t be dancing because these characters are habitual liars and deserved to get their ass kicked, but because the electorate will finally recognize them for the charlatans that they truly are. I only point out the worst of the bad apples. There are others to be sure.
There is a distinct difference between being openly indignant, for indignant?s sake only, and being resentful with a purpose. History will bear me out, one way or another.
Oh come on now, don't be naive. There is no real good, bad, honest, evil in politics, I mean, sure, people are people, and people embody those qualities. But it is all one big game of power and influence, you are influenced and because of the way you naturally think you are more willing to believe the worst about the other side.
I am ready to admit my bias and my basic mistrust of this administration, so whenever I see things and could connect the dots against them I naturally do.
Think about it though, you just don't know what pressures people are undre, what if this McKinny had stumbled upon something, something important she wanted to get out, but the smart determined people opposing her are better at politics and can manipulate things to make her look the fool, using her own flaws against her.
Like Slick, going after him for Monica/Paula Jones had ZERO to do with Clinton's governing beliefs, but it had everything to do with people opposed to the President's agenda using his flaws against him.
I don't think you can claim that McKinney is just having something exploited. She hit a capitol police officer and felt that that wasn't a problem.
And also, just because one has a bias, doesn't mean the criticisms of the other side are naturally unfounded. Coming at this from a non-partisan angle.... there are people on both sides that have big flaws. What I don't get is why people feel that they have to instinctively defend their side, even when criticisms are warranted.
Important/Interesting Races to Watch:
My Geography: Rhode Island
My Bias: Liberal
PENN. which will most likely be a Democrat Senate pick up is an interesting race. It pins the polarizing Rick Santorum against the moderate Democrat Bob Casey. Santorum has been labeled as a homophobe and a radical conservative. Casey and Santorum are alike on stemcells, abortion, alito, etc. The difference is that Bob Casey is exploiting discontent with Republicans and anger over Santorum.
CONN. we have a race between two democrats; each having about 45% of the vote. The Republican is sort of a joke, he has gambling debts and isn't even allowed in his the casinos anymore. It is unlikely that his numbers will even go double digit. So we have Joe Liberman defying his party and running to defend his legacy and the new guy, Ned Lamont who is running to the left of Joe.
RI. is another senate toss up. Lincoln Chafee is the most liberal Republican in the Senate. He is against drilling alaska, against Iraq (from the beginning,) against Alito, for stem-cell research, for choice, etc. In 2004 he voted for George H.W. Bush to protest the current president. Chafee faces a challenge from the right from Republican Mayor Steve Laffey. There is a lot of mudslinging in this primary. If Laffey wins the primary, he will lose the general election against Fmr. Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (who is ahead of both in the polls.)
Virgina is where we have Senator George Allen against Jim Webb. Many of you will already know that Allen has made a few racist comments already on the campaign trail which have landed him in trouble. Despite this, Allen appeals to the rural citizens of his state and is likely to be re-elected.
NV. Jimmy Carter's eldest son Jack is challenging the Republican. Jack may have won the primary, but it looks like he will lose the general election.)
NY. Hillary Clinton is going to pull a landslide. She is attempting to get more votes in the rural districts and upstate. A huge victory is meant to show that she can appeal to conservatives and she didn't just rely on the NYC base.
That's not completely accurate. He made comments that are being portrayed as racist. You would have to think that he is quite the idiot to believe that he would intentionally and knowingly make racist comments directly into a camera operated by a volunteer for his opponent.
From what I've seen, this is closer to the incident where an official in the Mayor's office of DC used the term "niggardly" (which has no actual linguistic to the racial slur, and means "miserly"), and was accused of being racist. (That official eventually resigned because of the uproar.)
Regardless of the term in question's connotation--the mere fact that Senator Allen used the phrase "welcome to america" to someone with colored skin is racist.
Because "Welcome to America" is so degrading.
If African Americans want to be treated the same as everyone else they are going to need to learn that nobody is nice to no one. Just because somebody mistakes a black person for a foreigner doesn't mean they think black people don't belong here.
That's a selective quote, taken out of context. The full quote was "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Right before that, Allen pointed out the camera and commented on how it was a chance for Webb to see evidence of a candidate who got out to see the "real Virginia".
Again, it is something that is being portrayed as racist, not something that is racist in and of itself. If you watch the video, it's pretty clear that the guy was singled out because he was from the opposing candidate's campaign, not because of his race.
But then, without the "racist" element, it's not that much of a story, is it?
I've seen the entire video numerous times.
The Webb Campaign worker (who is of Indian descent) stood out in the crowd for two reasons:
1. He was the only Webb supporter.
2. He was the only person of color there.
Now, whether Allen was trying to be racist is questionable. His point was obviously that Webb only socialized with those in the beltway. However, regardless of intention, it was a political fumble.
Allen who has presidential ambition wasn't probably trying to be racist, he was just trying to rally the crowd. His speech wasn't probably intended for national exposure either. He came off as ignorant and arrogant (at least to me.)
Then again, people like me would never vote for him in the first place.
Addressing someone with any term was risky, yes, and really not a smart move, but I don't think it equates automatically as racist.
Another interesting race which I neglected to mention before was:
TENN. where Harold Ford (D) is running for Frist's senate seat. Despite being in the South, TENN. has a long history with liberal and progressive senators. Albert Gore Sr. and Al Gore both served the state. While it never elects Democrats for president (notably 2000) the state does have a history with Democrats serving as Senators.
Harold Ford is articulate, positive and polished.
Going back to the makaka comment.
While I agree the furor over the use of niggardly was idiotic, I'm wondering why you think that applies to calling someone "makaka"?
As far as I'm aware makaka is not a word. Ma-kaka is not a word. Macaca is a word. It is in fact a monkey and was a a racial epitaph.
So exactly where is the confusion here KK?
Niggardly is a word with an unfortunate homonym. Macaca is a racial slur.
Um, epitaph? mistype, or an attempt at symbolism?
Its a racial slur against a differnt race though. I still think this has more the impression, for me, that someone said something really stupid, rather than it being intended as racist. Saying a racial slur directed to the person recording you for your opponent just seems rather clear cut as a bad move.
Suppose part of it also is that this isn't even the most racist stuff going on this election, and I am more concerned with things that are more directly intentional, personally.
First of all, if a politican calls a white person a "****" would anyone here be arguing "well he used the wrong epitaph so he didnt mean it"
Second Macaca has been used in colonial possessions both sub Saharan and on the Mediterranian coast. It is basically a happily broad word which could probably be equated with calling someone "Darkie".
Frankly you're arguement that the move was stupid so he couldn't have meant it is rather spectacularly optimistic.
Macaca is a racial epitaph, if you want to believe he was just trying to say "mohawk" his campaign's nickname for someone with a mullet, well I've got a war in Syria I want to sell you.
Actually, the racial slur is macaque. The only sources that I have found which say that "macaca" is a racial slur come from after August 11, when Allen made his comment. (For example, UrbanDictionary.com's oldest entry is dated August 14, and Wikipedia's article was created on August 16). Even if you go back and read some of the earliest articles about the incident, they don't say that macaca was a racial slur, but that it could be derived from a racial slur in French (macaque).
Evidently, with the constant repetition of the story people have taken that supposition as fact.
Of course, fell free to present evidence that "macaca" (as opposed to "macaque") was considered a racial slur in English (which, after all, was the language that Allen was speaking) before the big fuss over Allen's comments. If I'm wrong, I'd love for you to show me proof.
Okay, lets play pretend then KK.
Lets pretend it isn't simply an anglicized version of macaque.
Macaca is still a genus of monkey. Does Senator George Allen calling someone monkey boy make you feel better?
Any sort of "imaginary word for "caca" colloqiual spanish and frankly rather widely known in english as translating to "poop".
I may not eb trying my hardest to try and find some method by which this isn't derogitory, but then again neither is anyone else.
So the arguement then is that he made up a word on the spot that is a near homonym to a a racial slur includes slang for crap and he didnt mean anything derogitory?
No seriously war in Syria we'll be home by christmas I swear.
Here's the problem, among other things.
I'm not disputing that the term was meant to be derogatory. My problem is with everyone trying to claim it was a racial slur, that the intern was singled out because of his race.
Oh, no. The fact that he was clearly identified as and known to be a volunteer for Allen's opponent couldn't possibly have anything to do with it, especially not considering the context of the comments. No, it has to be because Allen is a Republican, which means that Allen must be a racist. (After all, isn't that a requirement to be a Republican?)
Given enough time, you can talk almost any improvised word and find a language with a "near homonym" that is offensive in one way or another.
Personally, in Spanish, I once accidentally told a group of people (mostly women) that I wanted to see them naked (because of forgetting a minor grammar rule and leaving out a single letter). What was a request to make an appointment with a family (on my mission) became something potentially very offensive.
"Caca" is a far more common term than "macaque" is, only "caca" doesn't have the racial connotations. Why, then, is it so much more likely that Allen was using the racial slur, as opposed to simply the derogatory remark?
How many people here have met Sen. Allen personally? Talked with him? Listened to one of his speeches in person and in its entirety? I've done all of the above. Based upon my interactions with him, he certainly does not strike me as the sort of individual that has been described in all of the fuss over "macaca".
You're right, it is entirely possible that ina ttempting to describe someone working for his opponenet as "a little peice of crap" or something along those lines he accidentally managed to use a racial slur.
Why exactly do you feel calling someone a peice of crap though is somehow befitting of a senator?
I'm willing to grant that is is possible that he wasn't trying to be a racist, however is starting a name callign contest with his opponent really so much better?
Exactly how low are you willing to set your standards for your senator KK?
In any case one could hardly claim it is impossible Senator Allen would be familair with the Francophone meaning of macaque. His mother was a French emigree and he took french in college.
First of all, why do you keep on using epitaph? That word does not mean what you think it means. An epitaph is a message put on a tomb or memorial. I assume you're looking for the word 'epithet'.
Anyway, given that the similarities to a slur were delayed in coming out, yes, i'm hesitant to accept that that was what was intended.
Of course, there's also a state politician in California that called a group that questioned Schwartneggar on immigration a month or two back a "bunch of crackers" and thats gotten very little attention. One of the bloggers Lamont has worked with a lot put out a picture of Lieberman in blackface. Again, very little attention. Those I find to be far more clearly intentional, personally.
Farrie, your reading comprehension has evidently declined quite a bit in recent times.
I didn't say that calling him "a little piece of crap" was befitting a Senator. What I have objected to is the immediate accusation of racism that rears its ugly head every time that a statement that merely sounds similar to a racial slur is used. There are two different likely sources for the term "macaca", the French racial epithet "macaque" and the Spanish "caca". Of the two, the latter is far more commonly known. Why, then, is it automatically assumed that the worse option (at least worse for Allen) is the one that's true?
And just because Allen speaks French and his mother is from Tunisia doesn't necessarily mean that he learned racial slurs or epithets in French. I am considered fluent in Spanish, but I don't know the various swear words and epithets. My parents and older siblings speak German, but they know very few of the profanities. My mother became fluent in Russian (so she could translate physics papers duringthe Cold War), and yet she wasn't taught the profanities.
You see, I believe in the principle of presumption of innocence. It shouldn't be a matter of proving it was impossible he knew the Francophone meaning, but of proving that he did know it, and intended the remark as a racist one. Otherwise, you are simply prejudging him and setting an impossibly high standard for proof on his part.
Having said that, KK, not everyone has the same morality as yourself. I know for most people I know, learning how to curse in another language is one of the first things you learn!
Yes, but that still shows a certain level of presumption.
Again, this goes somewhat back to what I said sarcastically earlier today. The assumption seems to be that Republicans are inherantly racist, and therefore any comment should be interpreted as having a racist intent, even when there are other meanings that are at least as probable (if not more probable).
Of course, the press also has a vested interest in playing up the racism possibility, because it adds more controversy, which means more money for the press.
Look, I can see where you're coming from, but I think you're denying some stuff to yourself in the process. Firstly, farrie himself is a republican; and secondly, what farrie said is perfectly reasonable regarding the etymology of the word macaca, given the Senator's ethnic and linguistic background.
Except that there are two different possible etymologies of the word, which are more or less mutually exclusive.
Yes, it is possible it came from the French, and he learned it from his mother, but that is all guesswork. Is there any evidence that she has ever used similar terms in the past? If she hasn't used them, what reason is there to believe that she taught it to her son?
On the other hand, it is also possible that it came from the word "caca", which can actually be found in both Spanish and French, meaning feces.
The press has jumped on the former, but that doesn't prove that to be the correct etymology. Of course, the way that it's been spun in the press would suggest that, but what is that really based on? Guesswork, supposition, and spin. Why has it jumped on that? I would suggest two main reasons: first, the common press bias to accuse Republicans of racism while ignoring similar statements from Democrats (see Lowbacca_1977's post for some examples)*, and second the inherent ability of additional controversy to sell papers/ads (such as in the "niggardly" example).
There is no reason to claim that "macaca" is a racial slur to the exclusion of all other etymologies. In fact, the entire thing has been widely blown out of proportion.