Some uncomfortable watching

I’ve said before that I am not a racist — I’m a classist or values-ist.  Always have been.  I don’t care about your external color or sexuality or whatever; I do care about the beliefs you bring to the table.

What this means is that I’m pretty hostile to identity politics.  I never felt compelled to like Hillary just because she and I are both female; and I admire Joe Lieberman, although not always his political positions, because he’s a brave man, not because he’s a Jew (although I think it’s nice that he’s a brave Jew).  I definitely associate with my Jewishness when I feel people are under attack merely for being Jewish, which is the Holocaust all over again, but that’s entirely different from giving someone a pass just because he or she is a Jew.

And as I explained to my children, one doesn’t vote for Obama just because he’s black, which is as racist as voting against Obama just because he’s black.

All of this is a lead-in to a very uncomfortable video that’s making the rounds.  I caught it on both American Thinker and Wizbang (which also has a chart showing how many Democrats benefited from Fannie and Freddie).  Here’s the video.  It’s long, fascinating, boring and important:

There are two take away messages.  The first we already know:  Republicans were trying back in 2004 to reform Fannie and Freddie, with some of them accurately predicting precisely what started happening last year, with the subprime meltdown, and this year, with the bank implosions; and Democrats were blocking these efforts.

The second take away is a new message and a very disturbing one.  While it’s true that the video seems cut to highlight the point, it is still plain that black House members rallied around Fannie and Freddie because Franklin Raines is black.  They were protecting one of their own and to Hell with the nation.  That’s a peculiar kind of 21st Century identity politics that I find horrifying and that, for America, proved to be devastating.

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Comments

  1. 11B40 says

    Greetings:

    Back in the joy of my youth, in the Bronx of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, basketball became the preferred way to waste my time. Eventually, my skills led me and some friends to travel to other neighborhoods in search of new competition. Some of these neighborhoods were more “diverse” and less safe than my own. News of my travels reached my father and I was subsequently summoned to a “Denis, me boy-o” meeting in our living room.

    My father had grown up in Ireland and came to this country in 1927, in time for both the Great Depression and World War II. He was a practicing Catholic and, to my knowledge, had no particular bone to pick with black folks. When he found out where I had been traveling to play ball, he shared the following advice with me; “right or wrong, don’t ever expect them to take your part against their own.”

    It was good advice then, as now.

  2. Deana says

    That video should be required viewing. That is excellent.

    Perhaps I should work up the effort to feel as if I should squirm but I can’t. I’m just furious. That video may have shown several black members of Congress protecting Raines but plenty of white Congress men and women did it too.

    Disgusting, all the way around.

    Deana

  3. Ymarsakar says

    That’s a peculiar kind of 21st Century identity politics that I find horrifying and that, for America, proved to be devastating.

    It is not a different “kind”, whether peculiar or not. This kind of politics has been with humanity ever since a family decided to go up against a rival family. It is not just tribalism, since tribalism assumes some kind of social tie with the extended family, but the loyalty that is demanded if you are one of “us”. It’s the same thing behind the Leftist lie and accusation that Republicans are jingoistic patriots that stand behind their country, whether it is right or wrong.

    Psychologists view conservatives as more notably parochial, less cosmopolitan, and more focused on the values of “in group” and threats from external enemies to the status quo. Compare that against what you see in the video and you get something interesting.

    The corruption of the Third World and most other places, revolve around the quid pro quo. The ties of family are strongest, so often the quid pro quo revolves around getting someone a favor if he takes care of your blood. Then there’s just the basic narcissistic corruption going around that is about me, myself, and I. You don’t even need family ties for that.

    The fundamental cause of that is notably insecurity and external threats. People group together with like minded and similar folks against external threats as a natural societal instinct of self-preservation. Like all instincts, however, it is not particularly just.

    Here in America, you have a peculiar expression and version of tribalism, corruption, and group loyalties due to the fact that America is not insecure nor is it lacking in economic prosperity. Americans don’t normally have to worry about external threats that can strike a mortal blow against them. Thus there wasn’t a macroscopic need to pit your family against the neighbors, given that the US government, the US Constitution, and the US military worked very hard to get people to trust in each other, to trust in America and its institutions. This trust was earned with blood, sweat, and loads of money, btw. But it can be easily broken by manufacturing external threats and insecurities. This is where the Democrat party comes in. Since they can’t get slavery back, they have to settle for the next best thing. However, you cannot easily gain the loyalty of a group unless that group perceives that there is an enemy out to get them that you can help them with.

    Here we can compare two different methods of gaining a group’s loyalty that’s inside a larger social hierarchy. We can do as the US Marines did with the Sunnis of Al Anbar and try to gain their loyalty without helping AL Qaeda, or you can do as the Democrats have done in creating the insecurity of the black community and fabricating external enemies to terrorize blacks into supporting the Democrats.

    This identity politics you see here is only a difference of degree, not a difference in kind, from what humanity has seen since day 1: divide and conquer, fabricate a problem so that you can come in and solve it, or just cause people to blunder into allies thinking they are enemies.

  4. Ymarsakar says

    Arabs have an inferiority complex and so do blacks here in America. While blacks from Africa tend to have the same views over Colonialism and Europeans, they don’t have the political hang ups of the American Democrat party black loyalists.

    These complexes tend to develop if a certain people feel alienated from the whole by some superficial or actual difference. The economic disparity and the difference in superficial skin tone between blacks and whites, or even blacks and asians, produces the foundation for this inferiority complex.

    Most human beings, even if they know they are inferior to others, won’t feel rejected or become anti-social so long as the social hierarchy accepts them. Even if they occupy a lower pole on the social hierarchy, the simple promise of climbing the ladder will focus the feelings of inferiority into actions of production.

    The Arabs have this little problem with motivation given their religious beliefs and Inshallah cultural precepts. That’s another subject, however.

    Blacks, being a minority here in America, feel notably left out and so they, like all other outnumbered people in history with good central leadership and stability, will band together, pool their resources, and fight against the foreigners together. The foreigners being whitey and Big Business and Republicans.

    The Democrats have become very clever in exaggerating divisions between black and white, poor and rich. Democrats came up with abortion and Roe vs Wade, which predominantly have killed black children, preventing blacks from gaining any true demographic advantage over whites except in heavily black districts like Cynthia McKinney’s in Georgia. This, combined with economic sabotage of the black middle class, creates a perpetual resentment factor that the Democrat party can turn into loyalty to government handouts and bribes.

    However, this kind of social experiment could never work unless the Democrats had people fronting for them from inside the black community. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, and many many other black folks provide the illusion that this is the black community solving their own problems, as it should be. That, of course, is still an illusion regardless of what people think it should be.

    It’s very similar to what would have happened had Casey finished up his plan in Iraq for getting an “Iraqi face” on the streets. Casey, not being a master Democrat operator, didn’t realize that you needed more than a front, or face, operating with the occupation powers. You needed a synergistic and grass roots effort to convince people that the policies they are adopting came from within their own community, that it didn’t have anything to do with the Americans. The Americans are only providing support and help after it has been requested by the Iraqis themselves, in the form of their local leaders (local leaders being the face Iraqis see, while Americans hold most of the real power).

    Even once you get that working, there are still two versions of it. There’s the real version, called real grass roots support and honest representation of Iraqi interests in alliance with American interests, and then there is the astroturf “fake” version from the Democrat party.

    See, the Democrat party’s representatives in the black community are not representing the black community. This seems like a paradox but it’s just a simple fact of life. You can have real grass roots support like what propelled Sarah Palin to the nomination of the VP office for the Republican party or what Al Anbar cooked up with the assassinated leader of the primary Awakening tribe, but you can also have fake grass roots like what has been reported by Java Report concerning Democrat propaganda firms creating videos smearing Palin that seems like it went viral on its own.

    Happenstance, coincidence, and “it just happened to be” are either real coincidences or events designed to coincide.

  5. NavyOne says

    The Marines get it right. My DI Gunnery Sergeant (who was black) asked us Navy guys at OCS: “who do you think I identify with more, people of my color or my Marines? You better believe it is Marines. Now push. . .”

  6. Danny Lemieux says

    YM – “or you can do as the Democrats have done in creating the insecurity of the black community and fabricating external enemies to terrorize blacks into supporting the Democrats.”

    “The Democrats have become very clever in exaggerating divisions between black and white, poor and rich. Democrats came up with abortion and Roe vs Wade, which predominantly have killed black children, preventing blacks from gaining any true demographic advantage over whites except in heavily black districts like Cynthia McKinney’s in Georgia. This, combined with economic sabotage of the black middle class, creates a perpetual resentment factor that the Democrat party can turn into loyalty to government handouts and bribes.”

    Bingo, YM! Some of your most incisive analysis ever.

    140 years after the Civil War, like the scorpion and the frog, Democrats are just being Democrats.

  7. Ymarsakar says

    140 years after the Civil War, like the scorpion and the frog, Democrats are just being Democrats.

    Without the Iraq War, much of this stuff would have been hard to see. It was always there, like Zarqawi’s “mad dog” complex, but it didn’t actually show up in spades until certain triggers were hit.

    For all the Left talked about the Iraq war obfuscating things and making up WMD lies, true classical liberal action in liberating the oppressed and destroying the cruel and evil does nothing except make the truth clearer. It is why Democrats must use lies to win and Republicans don’t. Totalitarian governments must keep up the illusion by doing two primary things: make you so afraid of them, via persecution and secret police powers, that you would rather shut your mouth than speak truth against their power, or they have to kill you. The deaths in Vietnam, the calls for you to join the military so you can get yourself killed by an IED, the cries to let the Iraqis fight it out and kill themselves, and various other things like abortion and death cult philosophies serves the purpose of eliminating the opposition of Democrats without the Democrats having to lift a hand in war.
    ********************
    The military found out that once human beings had a mutual eternal enemy, all the internal disputes and differences they had with each other goes away. This isn’t always true, of course, it depends upon the level of trust, organization, and civilization, but it is more true than not.

    You can use this phenomenon to make whites and blacks trust each other and create efforts to de-segregate the military. After fighting in a war against a common enemy, the social and skin differences no longer mattered all that much. This uses the example of the best of the black community and the white community: people who didn’t just complain about each other, use prejudice to stoke up hate, and go out at night wearing reverse colored Hezbollah masks. These people who fought in a war to protect America saw the day to day injustices against people of color and they still fought for America: for something greater than themselves, so that this ideal can stay alive and improve the future of the next generation.

    Today, however, many blacks say to hell with America, America hasn’t done them any favors so why shouldn’t they back the Democrat party 75+ on ALL issues of division given that Democrats actually offer immediate and concrete benefits? They view the Iraq war as boondogle to help the rich by sacrificing the poor and disenfranchised. They would far prefer the money spent on Iraq to be spent on their local neighborhoods. That’s obvious given that then black politicians could decide to dole out the goods, thus securing their power base.

    Many blacks have turned their backs on all the things that produced long term security and prosperity for them in American history. The Republican party, namely Lincoln and the Radical Republicans that fought against Democrats, both Northern and Southern, to give liberty and voting rights to blacks: the wars of liberation which forced people to accept all human beings as deserving of equal rights and opportunities and the basic philosophy of life that true progress doesn’t appear as “short term bennies” right now, they appear as hard fought for rights decades down into the future.

    Blacks should have welcomed the Iraq war, since blacks have benefited much from fighting in America’s wars against foreign enemies. But they would prefer to abandon Iraq.

    Blacks should have welcomed the Republican party and used a common history of fighting against slavery to boost black progress and security. But blacks vote overwhelmingly in favor of Democrats, and those Democrats tend to be far Leftist as well.

    Blacks should have kept their family together, for often it was the only thing they had left once the slave lots had decided who would go to which plantation. But blacks trusted in the short term gains of welfare over the long term security of their people.

    Even if you discard all this “melting pot” of America philosophy that whiteys talk about, the truth is still that blacks have welcomed the sabotage of their own people, and by whites since last time I checked Democrats were predominantly white.

  8. Ymarsakar says

    You can use this phenomenon to make whites and blacks trust each other and create efforts to de-segregate the military.

    Sorry, forgot something.

    You can also use this phenomenon to turn all blacks against whites, by convincing blacks that whites are their true “external enemy”. This unites blacks against whites, but that does not do a damn thing for blacks or whites in terms of making people’s lives better. Then again, Democrat power brokers don’t want to make people’s lives better. That would cut down on the demand for welfare, after all, and that’d be a major loss to the Democrat’s power base.

    And the final thing, in the end, is that many many people think they can judge what is a “good solution” vs maintaining the problem, when they cannot even match the small understanding of social dynamics, power, and human nature that I have written here. They don’t even know how power works, yet they know how they can acquire it for their black buddies? So they’ll trust in black and whites that know how to manipulate power instead cause obviously they have the best interests of black folks at heart? I prefer the cold and objective judgment of the free market over flawed individual human decisions.

    Every businessman should know that you need some kind of oversight on a contract to ensure that it is enforced and that people don’t just say they are doing something without it being checked by another party. Yet when it comes to black politics and voting for Obama, all their common sense goes out the window. Many blacks have to watch their budget in terms of tens of dollars or hundreds of dollars each month. And yet they are just very carefree and not worried at all over an Obama spending billions? They have no concrete conception of the money at stake. It’s just a number, like a casualty list. It only hits you hard if you recognize each individual dollar bill being passed from your hand to another.

    None of this stuff is new. Humanity has been dealing with people that exploit others since the day we discovered fire and realize that human hair and skin burns pretty well.

  9. Allen says

    What should not be forgotten is that this mess is a bipartisan one. Many Congressional Republicans were also feeding at the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae trough. The reform legislation was killed with the support of some Republicans.

    Hang them all out to dry.

  10. Zhombre says

    Sounds good to me, Allen. I only group of politicians I like less than Insane Clown Posse-D is Insane Clown Posse-R. This is like choosing between reptiles. But the bile rises higher listening to the repulsive Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, he whom Countrywide endowed a sweetheart deal mortgage, both of them as corrupt and pompous as Renaissance popes, pontificate on fixing this financial disaster they helped to create.

  11. Ellie2 says

    After watching this (and other) videos, I had to gag/laugh/cry when the Speaker emphasized that this crisis was caused by lack of oversight and regulation by the current Administration. Although the bill is a “bi-partisan” effort, no Repubs were on the podium. (They are expected shortly.)

    It is clear the Congressional strategy is to blame this on Bush. They took the “Administration’s” proposal and “improved it.” Even Pres Clinton admits that part of the cause was the CRA.

    And sadly, there is no hint that McCain/Palin intends to pin this on the Dems. It seems that McCain deeply regrets that he was never voted “Miss Congeniality” in the Senate, and still hopes they might pick him.

  12. BrianE says

    Allen said:

    Many Congressional Republicans were also feeding at the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae trough. The reform legislation was killed with the support of some Republicans.

    Curious what republicans you are referring to.
    Democrats were delivering for their constituency, pressuring loans for people that otherwise couldn’t qualify using standard metrics.
    I wonder what sort of interest rate these subprime loans had?

  13. Allen says

    BrianE, from the list Ellie so kindly provided us, you’ll see after the top 3 democrats you have 3 republicans (including Roy Blunt.) Farther down you will also see the current Minority Leader. I really have no idea how instrumental they were, but the simple fact of the matter is the legislation died. Whether it was due to maliciousness or neglect does it really matter?

    My whole point is that Congress is responsible for this mess, bothe democrats and republicans. That they are the ones now working on “fixing” the problem boggles my mind.

  14. Ellie2 says

    BrianE and Allen,

    While it is true that there is plenty of blame to go around, you gotta admire Bambi’s extraordinary talent for graft: in just *3 years* he nearly caught up to Dodd’s take which took nearly *20 years* to accumulate! (Note report period is 1989-2008)

    Ellie

  15. Ellie2 says

    Mike,

    It’s more like the Claude Raines character in Casablanca who shuts down Rick’s because there is gambling going on — just as the croupier hands him his winnings! Ok boys and girls, altogether now …ready?

    “I’m shocked!!!!!”

    Ellie

  16. Mike Devx says

    Allow me to vent about something minor and off-topic.

    Again and again on the news I have heard today that we have suffered “the worst drop in the stock market in history”.

    We lost (I believe) 600 points today on about 11300, or a 5.3% drop. That’s no fun , but it’s not the worst.

    In the 1987 crash, we lost 20% of the market value in one day. And these last few years we’ve regularly seen 200 point swings due to automated trading and other severe forces on the market forcing wild swings even on a “normal” day.

    This irritates me as much as those who say ‘The Dark Knight’ ranks as the second highest grossing movie of all time. Technically true, but due to inflation, totally irrelevant. It’s actually sitting at about #27 once you adjust for inflation. That makes it culturally relevant, but not even as relevant as “Thunderball”.

    Maybe it’s not off-topic after all. Book’s post is abort the distortions of half-truths, of how the Democrat Black Caucus slanted the truth. As Congress rushes to protect itself and plays its games. My God, I hope people are genuinely watching and judging.

    Something especially egregious occurred today when Nancy Pelosi stepped before the microphone, soon after the Democrats held their cheering, smiling, grinning press event. Having spent the better part of days trying to craft bipartisan support for this bill, she proceeded, before the vote to blame the Republicans for everything under the sun that might possibly be wrong, including the fact that they are to blame for your dog’s diarrhea this evening. And she did so in the harshest and most disdainful of terms.

    And the vote went down in defeat and now, where are all those smiles and grins?
    What in the world was she thinking? How unserious can they be, switching back to assassination politics… not moments AFTER the vote, which would have been crass enough, but even before the vote. How utterly unserious, how daft. How… extraordinarily incompetent.

    And what was the purposes of all the smiles and grins and standing ovations, if the votes hadn’t been canvassed yet even in private? How incompetent.

  17. Deana says

    Mike –

    Excellent post.

    I understand that many hands are dirty in this mess, including regular Americans who bought what they could not afford. But after watching Pelosi today, I just wanted to spit. That woman and the folks in her party are a DISGRACE.

    I have to admit it – there is a tiny part of me that sort of hopes Obama wins come November. God help me – I know it is totally irresponsible – but then the Democrats wound own it all. Maybe the U.S. needs to get a good hard look into the abyss and then people will grow up and get serious.

    Deana

  18. Ellie2 says

    Although I know most of us are AT-o-philes, I recall your attention to the “Strategy of the Manufactured Crisis” published there:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

    From the get-go, I’ve been suspicious of the attempted stampede. Felt to me like The “Big Con” featured in the film “The Sting” (since we are remembering Paul Newman).

    I think in addition to the bailout crisis, Global Warming is another manufactured crisis designed to pave the way for Socialism. How many others can you think of?
    HIV (other than in Africa)?

    Ellie

  19. Ymarsakar says

    The defectors from Soviet Russia mentioned that after the stage of Demoralization is the “Crisis”. By bringing the country to a Crisis, like Russia did in Georgia after demoralizing the two provinces in Georgia, you can bring about the beginning stages of Revolution.

  20. Mike Devx says

    Ellie2 and Y,

    I do agree that the creation of a crisis is part of the radical modus operandi.

    But I’m not at all convinced it applies in this case. Wouldn’t President Bush and Hank Paulson have to be in on the conspiracy?

    I’m still going with ineptitude, corruption, short-term greed, and a total lack of long-term wisdom. And for me this applies to all of Congress, Executive Branch financial “wizards”, and Wall Street.

  21. Ymarsakar says

    Wouldn’t President Bush and Hank Paulson have to be in on the conspiracy?

    Given Bush’s record on Valerie Plame, Wilson Plame, Tenet, Sandy Berger, Dick Clark… no, he wouldn’t have to be in on a conspiracy. Mutual interests serve alliances far better than conspiracies ever did.

    I’m still going with ineptitude, corruption, short-term greed, and a total lack of long-term wisdom.

    October will give us the surprise people have been talking about. We’ll see then what is going on.

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