Monday, November 09, 2009

The Right Wing's True Feelings About Anh "Joseph" Cao

Rep. Cao, I sure hope you are paying attention. As a liberal Democrat who almost always votes Party-line, know that I voted for you and I still think well of you, even though you have disappointed me on a number of votes since you took office. I'm still even open to voting for you again in 2010.

But you crossed over the line on your recent vote on the Health Insurance Reform proposal with the folks on your side of the ideological divide. Did you really think folks on your side would cut you a little slack, like I and many others did and still do on the Democratic side of the ideological divide? If you did, think again. As many of your erstwhile, sensible, moderate GOP colleagues have come to find out, if you cross the reactionary wing of your party, you consign yourself to perpetual and unforgivable heretical status. Furthermore, the racist bigots you align with are coming out now that you have given them no more reason to be nice to you. Here's one example:

RT @RightBloggerPat: @AnhJosephCao You Bastard piece of shit fuck! GO BACK TO Saigon, South Vietnam where you fucking BELONG GOOK! #TCOT
[H/T: Matt Yglesias.]

Is this what you want to be a part of? Come over to the Dark Side, Cao! I think you'll find out actually how much "light" there is on this side.

11 comments:

Eric said...

My plea to Representative Cao would be as such: If you really think this healthcare reform package represents somethng that is good for the American people, then yes, you should leave the Republican party. But if not, if you voted for it becasuse you were reaching out in the name of bipartisanship or becasue you thought you'd lose your seat if you opposed it, or because you thought it was a bad idea but SOMETHING needed to be done, then you should ask yourself if compromising your principals for the sake of power makes you part of the solution or part of the problem (and that's true no matter what ideological principals you claim to hold). If you can't answer that question honestly, I wouldn't recomend becoming a Democrat, I'd recomend you best get out of politics altogether.

(And don't forget, for every racist conservative calling you ugly names, there is a racist liberal who would deny you opportunities because your skin color and racial identity don't belong to the right cultural victim group. Luckily for all of us, in today's world BOTH types of racist are becoming relics of the past, but if you want to base your political affiliation on the worst type of racist each party has to offer, feel free to pick your poison.)

Huck said...

Eric - Why do you get to define the "principles" that should shape the GOP? Doesn't Cao have as much a right to claim that he is behaving according to his principles and that such principles should guide the GOP?

Also, picking your poison between fringe bigots and racists in both parties is one thing, but when the conservative mainstream gets to calling Joseph Cao Congressman "Mao," it seems all too clear that the rightwing poison is much more prevalent than its leftwing counterpart.

I'll pose a challenge to you. Let's see how many left wing slurs you can find about Cao and I'll look for the rightwing slurs. We'll see who comes up with the most poison.

Eric said...

"Why do you get to define the "principles" that should shape the GOP?"

Well, there is no guarantee that I do, but I'm trying.

"Doesn't Cao have as much a right to claim that he is behaving according to his principles ..."

Absolutely, he does. That was part of my question: IS he acting in accordance to his principals, or is he trying to satiate a constituency that has a different set of principals? Politicians (of both parties) are often guilty of the latter.

"...and that such principles should guide the GOP?"

There is a battle going on within the GOP right now about what principals should guide it. Rep. Cao appears to be the only Republican in Congress who thinks this bill represents his principals, so it is a completely logical question to ask if his principals have a place within the party.

"Let's see how many left wing slurs you can find about Cao..."

You missed my point. I concede that you will likely find more conservative identifying individuals using racial slurs, but that liberal racism takes on a very different and more sublte (and oftentimes more institutional and codified) flavor. A person who uses a racial epiteth out of political frustration is ultimately doing less social damage, IMHO, than a person who advocates giving anyone an advantage over someone else based on purely racial identifiers (and in my experience, the person who uses racial slurs is not necessarily likely at all to place race above merit when it comes to making decisions about opportunity). And my broader point was that in modern society, BOTH TYPES of racism are deplorable and in major decline, so it is fairly ridiculous to make a reactionary decision about party affiliation based on either one. Where the rubber meets the road, modern racism is based more on cultural issues than any subjective belief about the worth of a person based on their skin color or other physical racial markers.


Also, one final note: Haven't you already publicly declared that you cannot in good conscience vote for ANY Republican in 2010? Are you going back on that statement now and saying you might consider a vote for Cao if he remains Republican?

andrew said...

"and in my experience, the person who uses racial slurs is not necessarily likely at all to place race above merit when it comes to making decisions about opportunity"

Most of the time hate speech is a good way to rile someone. Its really not that believed in anymore, its just a good way to get some people pissed off.

Right wing racism is dying, but the hate speech and slurs will still be used occasionally by assholes for decades to come.

andrew said...

Left wing racism which was very apparent during the Gates Incident is much more dangerous and harmful to our society.

White cop looks sideways at a black man who is resisting commands given so the officer may ascertain his safety and the security of a very uncertain situation? OH MY GOD IT MUST BE BECAUSE HE'S RACIST!

Personally if I was Sergeant James Crowley I would have told obama to "get fucked, keep that beer, and read the reports on your desk before throwing one of his own under a bus".

Eric said...

I will give Cao this advice though, if he wants to join the party which knows the diference between a principal and a principle... maybe the Dems would be best. Whoops!

Huck said...

Eric - Not to worry, there are plenty of Dems (and sometimes I fall among them!) who get principal and principle mixed up. And as for affirmative action being racist, I wonder whether you wouldn't acknowledge that the institutionalization of the more blatant racism that governed the social policy in this country for hundreds of years in the form of slavery and Jim Crow isn't also a structural injustice that can be undone by just wishing it away. Perhaps enough time has passed since the Civil Rights era that such forms of institutionalized racism no longer warrant affirmative action policies, but I dare say that 40 years ago you wouldn't argue against the necessity of something like affirmative action to try to remedy the structural inequalities regarding opportunity that would have never have created an equal playing field without such remedy.

And living in the Deep South, I can tell you that the white privilege undergirding Jim Crow still operates under a veneer of tempered outward expressions of racial contempt. When you get white folks whose knee-jerk reaction to their losing out to a minority is to cry reverse discrimination without even considering that perhaps, just maybe, they weren't as meritorious, then you're looking at another kind of twist to the persistence of Jim Crow. When so many "color-blind" conservatives believe deep down that white support for Barack Obama is because of skin color (and I've been the victim of this charge many, many times over at RWN), I think you have to reassess whether the perniciousness of subtle institutionalized racism is the privileged domain exclusively of affirmative action liberals.

Eric said...

Racism is always wrong, Jimmy. 40 years ago it was wrong and today it is wrong. I would never have been an advocate for affirmative action, but my point, again, is that there are a lot fewer liberals today (including President Obama) who think it is appropriate, and that is a good thing.

"When you get white folks whose knee-jerk reaction to their losing out to a minority is to cry reverse discrimination without even considering that perhaps, just maybe, they weren't as meritorious, then you're looking at another kind of twist to the persistence of Jim Crow."

But crying out about reverse discrimination (whether accurate or not) is an attack on racism, not a subtle endorsement of it. Right or wrong, those people aren't engaging in a new twist on Jim Crow, but complaining about a percieved new twist on Jim Crow.

Huck said...

Eric, when an injustice is perpetuate because of racism, an attempt to ameliorate that injustice such that race isn't a determining variable in accessing opportunity, I wouldn't call it racism. Think of it like this: a dude is both malnourishmed and denied access to physical exercise for his whole life and then is told he is free to compete in a wrestling match in a week with a well-fed, well-trained wrestler and, better, that he has all of the rest of the week to eat as much as he wants and needs and he can work out in the best gym to build up his strength and agility. To pretend that the wrestling match would be truly fair would be ludicrous. Give the man a year or two to nourish himself and to work out, then you might be able to argue that a fairer match, based on more equal terms, could be had. Give the man a generation to raise his son from birth with good nutrition and proper exercise, then one might argue that his son would really be on equal footing to compete fairly with anyone else in a wrestling match. Perhaps we're at the latter stage with regard to truly equal opportunity irrespective of race; but I wouldn't call any affirmative action policy or program designed to equalize the opportunity in the first instance as racist in the pejorative way that term is usually understood.

Eric said...

"Eric, when an injustice is perpetuated because of racism, an attempt to ameliorate that injustice such that race isn't a determining variable in accessing opportunity, I wouldn't call it racism."

Neither would I, unless your attempt to ameliorate the injustice employs racist methods.

"To pretend that the wrestling match would be truly fair would be ludicrous... Give the man a year or two to nourish himself and to work out, then you might be able to argue that a fairer match, based on more equal terms, could be had."

That is all well and good until you admit that the only way to "give" him this year of nourishment is to "take" it away from his opponent. Making things less than fair for one person in order to make them more than fair for another does nothing to reduce the amount of injustice that is being caused by the problem.

"I wouldn't call any affirmative action policy or program designed to equalize the opportunity in the first instance as racist in the pejorative way that term is usually understood."

I would. If the equalization engine is based on examining racial identity in order to award opportunity, then it is every bit as racist, wrong, and ugly as the good 'ol boy mentality it has been designed to correct.

Eric said...

Huck, I'd also note that this is an issue I take personally, as I have at times lost profitable business opportunities to other much larger and established companies based solely on the fact that they belonged to a 'minority owned business' program, especially when dealing with municipalities and hospitals. As a member of the Choctaw tribe, I could claim similar entitlements, but I find them racist and unethical, so I don't. And that makes the issue a little extra-bitter for me.