Sunday, August 29, 2010

BURN: The Statisticians Report On Restoring Honor

Benjamin Disraeli, the great statesman, is claimed to have said, "There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics".  The Collective, in reporting and commenting on the Restoring Honor rally, used statisticians.

The lies they used were both subtle and clumsy...often in the same piece.

The New York Times published a piece the day BEFORE the rally, written by the infamous Kate Zernike.  Her first lie was that Beck's Restoring Honor event was a TEA Party project.  It was not, but she needed that lie for the rest of her lies to work.

After that, her lies grew more artful;
It has become an article of faith among Tea Party groups that any racist signs at rallies — “Go back to Kenya,” directed at President Obama, is just one example — are carried by Democratic plants sent in to make the Tea Party look bad.
In March, when members of the Congressional Black Caucus accused protesters at a Tea Party rally against health care of spitting on them and shouting racist epithets, Tea Party leaders suggested that those episodes had not occurred, saying there was no video proof.
There she leaves it.  No further exposition.  She set up the "he-said-she-said" between members of Congress and TEA Party people, and failed to note the salient fact that THERE IS NO VIDEO that supports the lies the CBC members told.  The lie is that conservatives are merely "saying" there is no video evidence.

Zernike goes on to associate calls for limited government...or a return to Federalism...with racism.
In the Tea Party’s talk of states’ rights, critics say they hear an echo of slavery, Jim Crow and George Wallace. Tea Party activists call that ridiculous: they do not want to take the country back to the discrimination of the past, they say, they just want the states to be able to block the federal mandate on health insurance.
Still, the government programs that many Tea Party supporters call unconstitutional are the ones that have helped many black people emerge from poverty and discrimination.
Now, as artful lies go, that is New York quality lying.  Never mind that the empirical reality is that "black people" were doing BETTER (on their own initiative) BEFORE the Great Society programs that have fundamentally destroyed the black family.  And, NEVER MIND that Jim Crow laws were ANTI-MARKET laws, passed by segregationists who didn't want the competitive disadvantage of their discrimination.

Even if Tea Party members are right that any racist signs are those of mischief-makers, even if Glenn Beck had chosen any other Saturday to hold his rally, it would be hard to quiet the argument about the Tea Party and race.
Well, yeah, Kate...!!!  With you beating the drum and waving the bloody shirt, it will be damn near impossible to "quiet the argument" LIES...about the TEA Party and race.

Charles Blow was mad as hell, but not "angry".  No, no.  After calling Beck the "anti-King", and saying, "Beck wants to swaddle his movement in the cloth of the civil rights movement, a cloth soaked in the blood and tears of the innocent and oppressed, a cloth his divisiveness and self-aggrandizing threatens to defile", Blow went on to say:
And yet, I’ve come to the conclusion that anger is the wrong reaction to Beck’s rally in Washington. Anger provides too low a return on investment. It consumes a tremendous amount of energy, but yields little progress. Instead, we should each take this opportunity to listen to the “I Have a Dream” speech once more, paying particular attention to how the echoes of yesterday’s struggles reverberate in our present struggles, and to recommit ourselves to the nobility of righteous pursuits.
With which we agree.  John Avlon, the perfidious little twerp who writes for The Daily Beast (tm), cannot understand Mr. Blow's point:
Restoring America. Reclaiming the civil-rights movement. Restoring honor. This is the language of “taking our country back.” Each of these apparently uplifting statements pushes off the idea that something has been lost in America since the election of Barack Obama—not just jobs, but the character of the nation itself. They are slogans that would divide America into God-fearing patriots and secular socialists, creating the emotional argument beneath hyper-partisanship—an all-or-nothing struggle that pits “us” against “them,” with the fate of the nation at stake. In other words, exactly the dynamic that Beck spent so much time trying to disavow.
Except that is a lie.  Now, in Avlon's case, it may be he really cannot understand that you can fight an adversary, and not hate them.  Which is what Beck was saying.  Which is the same thing Blow was saying.
Beck told his audience to attend any house of worship, provided “that [it] is not preaching hate and division”—it is a standard that will have to apply to his own televangelism as well.
Beck never said, "Let's all join hands around the Collectivist bonfire of our freedoms in a big show of unity".  That would be surrender.  We are divided as a people.  We DO believe fundamentally DIFFERENT things about government, and they are not reconcilable.  That was something King understood very well, and he divided America sharply.  Beck was echoing King's call to his friends to fight clean, so the fight does not hurt them spiritually.

See, Avlon just does not get it.  You can HATE what the Collective DOES, while not hating people.  You can FEAR its destruction of your nation, and you really, really SHOULD.  And you can FIGHT people who oppose you, and that is not evil.  It is necessary.  Charles Blow understands that.


  1. Hi Ragspierre... good blog post. You might like these pix if you hadn't seen them comparing the airal shots from the Aug 28th rally...

    cheers from Lisa G in NZ

  2. Hi, and THANKS!

    Love the pix! Come by often!