“Hitler Was A Vegetarian”: Still Not A Serious Mode of Argument

Roy finds Jeffrey Lord* and — natch — Jonah Goldberg making what you might call the “inverse Katznelson” (or perhaps “Katznelson for morons”) argument. That is, the argument that attempts to discredit the contemporary welfare state by arguing that various public officials who initially favored them were white supremacists who sometimes defended them by using racist justifications. Now, it is true that many Gilded Age Progressives were white supremacists, and while white supremacism had lessened among progressive political elites by the time of the New Deal (FDR appointees, after all, were the core of the Supreme Court that ruled segregation unconstitutional), New Deal progressives needed the votes of white supremacists in Congress to pass the New Deal, with the consequence that New Deal programs egregiously discriminated against African-Americans. (Have I mentioned that you should read Katznelson?)

The idiotic non-sequitur at the core of Lord Goldberg is using these facts to try to discredit progressive social programs. Leaving aside the logical fallacy indicated in the title, the argument also doesn’t make any historical sense. To point out that a major national Gilded Age-era political official was a white supremacist approaches tautology. And in the New Deal era, not only were the strongest supporters of social programs generally not white supremacists, but their Republican opponents opposed both federal social programs and civil rights. And of course, from 1938 until the Johnson administration Congress was controlled not by progressive Democrats but by an alliance of white supremacist Democrats…and conservative Republicans.   (Funny thing — this coalition did not make the New Deal more egalitarian.)  After the Johnson administration embraced civil rights, progressives made the New Deal more expansive and properly egalitarian, both of which led to the Goldwater reaction (the foundation of the modern conservative movement, which was again opposed to both civil rights and social welfare programs.)  To restate the obvious, not only is there is no logical connection between white supremacy and the contemporary welfare state, support for the latter is inversely correlated with the former.

*You may remember Principled Advocate of Civil Rights Jeffrey Lord from such classics as “extrajudicial killings of African-Americans are not lynchings” and “Hugo Black: history’s greatest monster.

162 comments on this post.
  1. mark f:

    Jonah’s response — his first response — to Sandy Hook was to complain that Obama doesn’t do enough to shame black people.

  2. Cody:

    +1 for Lord Goldberg. Wonderful nickname!

    Also, this post is just like begging for a huge Manju post about DW-Nominate.

    See Below… Somewhere…

  3. Uncle Kvetch:

    My money’s on a 300+ comment thread. With Manju accounting for 200+ of that number.

  4. J.W. Hamner:

    So how does somebody who peddles in this kind of reasoning respond to the fact that our beloved Founding Fathers were slave owning white supremacists? Does that discredit the Constitution? Certainly it was a white supremacist document there in the beginning, but that’s why when society got a little bit more enlightened about how it was wrong to own people as property… they changed it.

  5. Corey Robin:

    Amen, Scott. There’s also a left-wing version of this argument which often gets trotted out as well in polemical contexts. It’s not designed, I don’t think, to really understand — a la Katznelson — the political centrality (and contingency) of white supremacy in the construction of the New Deal state — but instead merely to dismiss the welfare state with an essentialist tag line. I find it endlessly irritating. Two very quick questions though: First, is it really true that the Republican opponents of the New Deal were opposed to both social programs and civil rights? I seem to recall in my reading that that was not the case, that there were some Republicans who were anti-social program but pro-civil rights — but I could be mis-remembering. Also, is it really true that the Conservative Coalition controlled Congress between 1938 and 1964? I thought 44-46 saw a pretty left Congress. Anyway, not nit-picking, just curious about the specifics.

  6. J. Otto Pohl:

    Well the “progressive” LBJ was not very good for the Civil Rights of people living in Africa. He backed the 24 February 1966 coup overthrowing Nkrumah and put Mobutu in power in Congo. I also seem to recall that at one time not all American “Leftists” thought LBJ was a great moral beacon the way LGM does. I think it had something to do with violating the right to life of lots of people in Vietnam. But, now that “progressives” think war everywhere is a good thing and “progressive” presidents like Obama openly support war everywhere I miss the old anti-imperialist “Left.” It never got a proper funeral from and its friends in the anti-imperialist “Right” never got to say a proper good bye.

  7. mark f:

    There are, like, Goldbergian levels of silly wrongness in this comment. Come on, J. Otto.

  8. J. Otto Pohl:

    LBJ did use the CIA to topple and Nkrumah and back the NLC junta into power in Ghana. He also used them to help place Mobutu in power in Congo. Both regimes were far worse for Africa than Nkrumah or Gizenga which were the viable alternatives. He also greatly increased US intervention in Vietnam. At the time the American “Left” was opposed to LBJ for doing such things. Now when Obama is ferrying the French army and munitions over to Mali, there is absolutely no “Left” opposition to US military intervention. There seems to be a pretty united “progressive” front in support of all of Obama’s interventionist policies in Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, and other countries. There has been a fundamental shift in the American “Left” from the 1960s today regarding attitudes towards US military intervention in places like Africa.

  9. Rick Massimo:

    To point out that a major national Gilded Age-era political official was a white supremacist approaches tautology. And in the New Deal era, not only were the strongest supporters of social programs generally not white supremacists, but their Republican opponents opposed both federal social programs and civil rights.

    A thousand times yes. Never, ever, does Lord Goldberg point out anyone who stood against the New Deal, the Great Society or any similar idea out of a principled, anti-racist ethos. It never even occurs to them. Not that a lot does.

  10. Steve LaBonne:

    You know who else attacked people named Goldberg?

  11. Malaclypse:

    LBJ did use the CIA to topple and Nkrumah and back the NLC junta into power in Ghana.

    Please name one Cold War President that did not at least attempt to use the CIA to topple a government they did not like.

    Now when Obama is ferrying the French army and munitions over to Mali, there is absolutely no “Left” opposition to US military intervention.

    Well fuck me like a walrus.

  12. mds:

    Betty Friedan?

  13. mark f:

    Let’s go back to the original:

    the “progressive” LBJ was not very good for the Civil Rights of people living in Africa

    Inasmuch as we’re talking about Jim Crow and so forth, this is an obvious non-sequitur. We get it. You like Africa. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe just throw on a Toto tape sometimes.

    at one time not all American “Leftists” thought LBJ was a great moral beacon the way LGM does

    Egregious mischaracterization of people who recognize his support and sheparding of domestic anti-poverty programs while also recognizing his massive flaws.

    I think it had something to do with violating the right to life of lots of people in Vietnam.

    And who are the progressives seeking to rehabilitate the Vietnam War?

    “progressives” think war everywhere is a good thing

    Cite?

    “progressive” presidents like Obama openly support war everywhere

    Actually Obama presents, to whatever degree of honesty, his actions as an alternative to war everywhere. And he’s far from “open” about how extensive his actions are. And large blocs of progressives are outright opposed to it.

  14. MattT:

    Also, it’s funny how “Some Gilded Age white supremacists supported this, therefore the whole program is racist, and so is anyone who supports it!” argument somehow doesn’t apply to, say, laissez-faire capitalism.

  15. J. Otto Pohl:

    So because other people did it too JFK’s attempt to kill Nkrumah and LBJ’s backing of a military coup against him are okay? Or does singing the CRA of 1964 just magically absolve LBJ of any and all crimes?

    Quakers like Mennonites are Pacifists not Leftists. But, the Leftists here at LGM are all unconditional supporters of Obama. Joe from Lowell thinks the US intervention in Libya and Mali are the greatest things ever. His opinion is the mainstream Left now. Only on the right is there a lot opposition to supporting French neo-colonialism in Africa.

  16. Ashley Montagu:

    Now when Obama is ferrying the French army and munitions over to Mali, there is absolutely no “Left” opposition to US military intervention.

    TAKE THAT YOU OBAMBICRATS. IF THERE IS ONE THING THAT LGM IS UNITED ON IT’S THAT DEAR LEADER OBAMA IS A LEFTIST. PLUS THE WORD “DRONE” HAS NEVER APPEARED AT LGM

    PS I AM NOT A CRANK. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT?

  17. witless chum:

    Nobody on the left remembers LBJ well for his foreign policy. It’s for the Great Society and the Civil Rights Act and we sorta mumble ‘too bad about Vietnam.’ (Though, LBJ didn’t almost start a nuclear war, a la his predecessor.)

    Every time foreign policy gets discussed on this very website, lots of people oppose parts of Obama’s foreign policy from the left including some who refuse to vote for him over it.

    It’s probably more accurate to say that there’s no organized left opposition to Obama’s foreign policy and it seems unlikely that there will be, given that foreign policy lefties are a small group and the bipartisan consensus in favor of military empire is very strong.

  18. John Protevi:

    Oops. My secret identity has been revealed. YES I AM THE GHOST OF ASHLEY MONTAGU SPEAKING THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF JOHN PROTEVI

  19. John Protevi:

    Joe from Lowell thinks the US intervention in Libya and Mali are the greatest things ever. His opinion is the mainstream Left now.

    IT’S TRUE. JFL HAS NEVER BEEN CRITICIZED AT LGM. HE IS THE UNQUESTIONED LEADER OF THE MAINSTREAM LEFT.

    PS I AM NOT A CRANK

  20. jsmdlawyer:

    This is just a variation of an argument that has been going on for years. “Y’know, Robert Byrd and Hugo Black were members of the KKK, and . . . . .”

    In order for this horseshit to continue to be viable, it takes a willful and gullible audience willing to swallow any conceivable line of ridiculous ahistorical nonsense. Surely, Republicans are too smart to fall for that kind of slack-jawed stupidity.

    Oh wait. Just one example, but spectacular in its wrongness.

  21. witless chum:

    Hollywood Hogan? Kevin Nash?

  22. The Dark Avenger:

    So, J. Otto, you think the Islamic militants in Mali should be opposed with diplomatic intervention? Perhaps they’ll agree to only destroy 1/2 instead of all the Muslim cultural artifacts that they object to.

  23. mark f:

    J. Otto: What on Earth possessed you to get an earring?

    JP: Joe from Lowell has one.

    J. Otto: If Joe from Lowell jumped off a cliff wou–

    JP: Joe from Lowell jumped off a cliff? I’m there!

  24. olexicon:

    Witless chum for the win with the WCW reference

  25. Woodrowfan:

    Yep, southern Democrats used to include a whole hell of a lot of racists. And when they no longer felt comfortable in the Democratic Party, circa 1964-1968, the Republicans actively and knowingly courted them and made them their new base. So which party gets what moral high ground may (or may not) exist here? The party that used to include them, or the party that actively courted them knowing full well what they were?

    Republican guy: Man, your girlfriend was a loser. She was in the KKK, used to spit on Mexicans, threw beer bottles from her car at gay men, farted in elevators, and beat her dog!
    Democratic guy: But after I broke up with her, you married her!

  26. Woodrowfan:

    But wasn’t the NAACP founded by Frick, Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie??

  27. J. Otto Pohl:

    Look LBJ did horrible things in Africa. If you are going to hold him up as a liberator of the Black man you have to take that into account. There are a lot more Black people here than in the US and the suffering imposed upon them by LBJ backed regimes like the NLC and Mobutu was pretty awful.

    You know I see a lot of pro-LBJ posts here. I never see much criticism. The CRA of 1964 is treated as the only event in his administration and the Vietnam War is basically ignored. There is nothing on his awful record in Africa.

    This was definitely not the case during his administration. Then there was a considerable amount of criticism of his policy in Vietnam and even other foreign policy intervention. There has been a fundamental shift in the way the Left views LBJ. In 1967 and 1968 he was hated by them now he is a hero doe LGM.

    Obama has a very interventionist foreign policy and I see no criticism of it from the mainstream Left. In fact they all seem to strongly endorse it, “Lesser evilism” and all that. Let me know when the Left treats Obama the way the Left treated Johnson in 1967 then I will believe that there are “progressives” still opposed to war.

  28. J. Otto Pohl:

    It is not necessary to destroy every Islamic political movement in the world by military force. The fact is if destroying religious buildings were a reason for military intervention then the US would have to intervene in lots of places. Israel has destroyed a number of Churches and Mosques. China annihilated most of the Buddhist temples in Tibet. The Soviet Union, Albania, North Korea all could be added to the list. So why is the destruction of Muslim religious sites in Mali a justification for war by the US and France and when Israeli destruction of Churches was not?

  29. Woodrowfan:

    remember, no matter how awful the party in power in the developing world, western intervention is always much, much worse!

    (And no, I am not including Nkrumah in that.)

  30. Andrew:

    The New Deal excluded black people from its benefits. LBJ and the Great Society came along and attempted to remedy this. Then conservatives and the GOP took advantage of the electoral backlash to black people benefiting from government programs to dismantle said programs.

    Needless to say, it’s incredibly cynical for someone like Goldberg to try and use the New Deal’s neglect of black people to argue AGAINST USING SOCIAL PROGRAMS TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE.

  31. J. Otto Pohl:

    Yes, too bad about the two million people who died in Vietnam. What type of analysis is that? Any objective evaluation of LBJ would make it a major black mark on his record, not mumble over it. And while the biggest in terms of deaths it is not the only one. Mobutu was put in power by LBJ. Congo is still suffering from that legacy. Ghana spent nearly three decades under revolving door military regimes due to the 1966 coup which LBJ instructed the CIA to help engineer and support.

    Yes there is a strong “progressive” consensus in favor of military empire now. This was not the case when LBJ was in power. The “Left” has largely changed its position on this issue. Part of that change involves rehabilitating LBJ. Not by saying the Vietnam War was good, but by largely ignoring it and only focusing on the CRA. This does foster a tolerance of all kinds of military interventionism by Obama as long as he is “progressive” on domestic issues.

  32. Anna in PDX:

    Yes! This is why I have never understood this argument. Nice analogy.

  33. J. Otto Pohl:

    Not always, but it often has been. Also even if it is worse, it is not necessary to intervene if the regime is not a threat outside its borders. If bad human rights records are a reason to invade countries then the US has been doing it wrong. We supported a lot of regimes we should have been waging war against. Should the US invade and remove the dictators of Togo and Chad who are now fighting with the French in Mali? If not why not? How bad does the regime have to be? Does Burma count, I hear it is pretty bad? Should we invade them? Saudi Arabia is definitely horrible when do we send in the marines?

  34. John Protevi:

    I would think your use of scare quotes (“Left”) shows that you don’t really think LGM is a leftist blog. Which it isn’t, Erik Loomis excepted. It’s a liberal blog that attracts a good bit of leftist criticism. But apparently you think leftists and liberals are the same, which is why you think JfL is the voice of the “mainstream left.” Which is absurd, given the amount of heat he gets from leftists here.

    Now, if you want to say that some liberals support Obama’s foreign policy, or argue that his foreign policy is less bad than McCain’s or Romney’s would have been, then sure, you can make that argument. But it’s pretty well definitional of “leftist” to criticize Obama on foreign policy. And on domestic policy too, for that matter.

  35. Bitter Scribe:

    From Goldberg’s column:

    Although it’s certainly true that the kids of some single parents can do very well, particularly if those solo parents have the financial or social resources to carry the load…”

    Yes, and which party keeps trying to whittle down those “social resources”?

  36. J. Otto Pohl:

    I think the people at LGM think of themselves as progressives, but they don’t resemble the Leftists that used to oppose US military intervention, no. But, those people no longer exist as far as I can tell. I don’t think liberals like LBJ and Leftists like Alinsky are the same. However, there are really are no more people left like Alinsky. All that remains are supporters of Obama and a rehabilitated LBJ and the Right. The Right at least doesn’t pretend to support human rights and oppose racism while bombing brown and black people.

  37. gmack:

    I would only point out that the claim that the welfare state is “racist” is a variation on a relatively long standing conservative argument. As racist sentiments become associated with evil in our political culture, it then becomes fairly common to try to trace that evil to those institutions one doesn’t like (the welfare state, or the liberals who support it). The attacks on “welfare” starting in the 1960s pretty quickly turned into the argument that the welfare state simply functions as a way of “enslaving” generations of black people. There were loads of examples of this during the welfare reform debates of the 1990s, and many of these examples included comparisons of welfare recipients to animals. The logic was this: by nature, animals can fend for themselves, but when one feeds them, they become dependent on hand-outs, and so by constructing a welfare system that just provides hand-outs, we are making generations of “dependent” people who then become increasingly “enslaved” by the government on which they depend. Granted, this whole line of thought is weird; in arguing that the welfare system reinforces racial inequality, one invokes pretty straightforwardly racist imagery (comparing impoverished African Americans to alligators, wolves, stray cats, animals in the government barn, and so on), but there it is.

  38. elm:

    I just assumed that Scott was purposefully trolling Manju with this post.

  39. Bijan Parsia:

    Well the “progressive” LBJ was not very good for the Civil Rights of people living in Africa.

    I believe that.

    He backed the 24 February 1966 coup overthrowing Nkrumah and put Mobutu in power in Congo.

    Not good!

    I also seem to recall that at one time not all American “Leftists” thought LBJ was a great moral beacon

    How many kids did he kill that day?

    the way LGM does.

    What? That having the best or near best record of progressive domestic accomplishment is compatible with all sorts of other evil or anti-progressive stuff is a watchword here. And not just on foreign policy, cf Obama on drug war or surveillance. As is commonly noted, foreign policy (and civil liberties) is place where there’s not a lot of institutional or public pressure to do good, except in limited cases.

    I think it had something to do with violating the right to life of lots of people in Vietnam.

    This comment would have been actually interested if you had just, y’know, discussed e.g., the coup instead of lapsing into some of the most puerile attempts at irony this side of the Williamsburg bridge.

    But, now that “progressives” think war everywhere is a good thing and “progressive” presidents like Obama openly support war everywhere I miss the old anti-imperialist “Left.” It never got a proper funeral from and its friends in the anti-imperialist “Right” never got to say a proper good bye.

    No matter how hard you try, Yale is never going to let you teach a course on Humility.

  40. The Dark Avenger:

    I dunno, perhaps because Muslim religious sites should be protected, regardless of what has happened in the past?

  41. The Dark Avenger:

    Except for Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, ………

  42. witless chum:

    The reason nobody much talks about Vietnam is that pretty much everybody thinks it was a bad idea and, mostly, a terrible crime. That doesn’t make the Civil Rights Act of 1964 any less good. Same goes for helping out African coups.

    Johnson is like every 20th century American president I can think of in that he did terrible things. He’s unlike all the others but FDR in that he also did some very good things to advance civil rights and social democracy.

    I don’t think anyone but you thinks that endorsement of the Great Society includes endorsement of Vietnam or Mobutu.

  43. John Protevi:

    oppose US military intervention…those people no longer exist as far as I can tell…no more people left like Alinsky

    OK, I tried being serious with you but BROTHER WE COULD USE A MAN LIKE SAUL ALINSKY AGAIN is just not going to cut it.

    Please, no one tell him about Jacobin.

  44. mark f:

    How can “Leftists” support Medicare when there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas?

  45. rea:

    Obama has a very interventionist foreign policy

    No, (1) Obama has a les interventionist foriegn policy than that presently proposed and formerly practiced by the Republicans, and (2) sometimes a little intervention might be a good thing–remember Rwanda? The Mali rebels are not good people, and defeating them would be a good thing, if we caan do that without the cure being worse than the disease.

  46. Malaclypse:

    But, those people no longer exist as far as I can tell.

    Yes, because the American Friends Service Committee, which I linked to, is not pacifist enough.

  47. Aaron Baker:

    Hitler was a vegetarian. My daughter is a vegetarian. Any day now, I’m expecting her to crush the earth under her iron heel . . . but I hope she gets her driver’s license first.

  48. Bijan Parsia:

    I think the people at LGM think of themselves as progressives,

    but they don’t resemble the Leftists that used to oppose US military intervention,

    Right! They didn’t have the interwebs!

    no. But, those people no longer exist as far as I can tell.

    But the problem is that the farness of your telling is far closer than you seem to realize.

    I don’t think liberals like LBJ and Leftists like Alinsky are the same. However, there are really are no more people left like Alinsky.

    Because I’m nice, I’ll skip this.

    All that remains are supporters of Obama and a rehabilitated LBJ and the Right.

    It’s like you don’t even read the blog!

    The Right at least doesn’t pretend to support human rights and oppose racism while bombing brown and black people.

    It’s like Mizner didn’t exist! Or opposition to the Iraqi war! Or Berube’s “The Left at War” (which I disgree with).

    It’s possible, shocking as you might find it, to note that there is a spectrum of opinion on the left wrt foreign military intervention in genearl, specific foreign military interventions, and various intervention polices without thereby saying a lot of stupid things that a cursory read of the archives would rebut.

  49. Eric:

    I thought of the Constitution as well. What’s more the Constitution is explicitly white supremacist – does that completely discredit it and all of the Founders?

  50. J. Otto Pohl:

    I assure you I have never tried to do irony. But, yes if I was writing a peer reviewed journal article rather than a blog post I would have stuck to the coup. It generally takes a few edits to get a piece presentable for publication. However, this is my one serious point. The CRA act does not justify LBJ’s foreign policy and rehabilitating him on that basis without proper criticism of things like 24 February 1966 is in my opinion very bad history.

  51. The Ruwenzori Mountains:

    We hate that song, specifically because of that line.

  52. Malaclypse:

    I assure you I have never tried to do irony.

    So when you asked Stormfront Robert Stacey McCain to review your dissertation, irony was not actually involved?

  53. Timb:

    This.

    Of course the flaw in that observation is that those white supremacist Founding Fathers couldn’t be white supremacist, because the Founders were without sin or blemish and represented the perfect ideal of republican democracy….they cannot fail us, only be be failed by us

  54. J. Otto Pohl:

    This is bad history. Constant praise of LBJ for the CRA without any mention of his flawed foreign policy is not a balanced historical evaluation. It is extremely biased history. It also privileges the rights of Americans over those abroad in a very extreme manner. Ending segregation is great and we can just ignore all those horrible things LBJ facilitated or committed on other continents. I can not be the only person in the world who sees a moral problem with this. But, I probably am the only one commenting on this blog who sees such a problem.

  55. sibusisodan:

    However, this is my one serious point. The CRA act does not justify LBJ’s foreign policy and rehabilitating him on that basis without proper criticism of things like 24 February 1966 is in my opinion very bad history.

    Good-oh. Do let us know when you find somebody here who either (i) thinks that LBJ needs ‘rehabilitating’, as if he were Nixon, with or without due consideration of his foreign policy, or (ii) uses the CRA to justify LBJ’s foreign policy.

    In the meantime I can assure you that I, at least, am grateful for your vigilance against the possibility that someone here might deploy one or either of those arguments.

  56. Bijan Parsia:

    I assure you I have never tried to do irony.

    How ironic!

    But, yes if I was writing a peer reviewed journal article rather than a blog post

    Comment?

    I would have stuck to the coup

    You didn’t say anything interesting about the coup. If you had made an interesting comment which told me something about this bit of Johnson’s legacy, that would have been great. Instead, you gave a hint (which is still useful) and then went on a wrongheaded blather about the Death Of Real Leftism.

    It generally takes a few edits to get a piece presentable for publication.

    I await, with eagerness, your follow up comment wherein you do something useful and interesting.

    The CRA act does not justify LBJ’s foreign policy

    I’m not sure what “justify” means in this context. These events are in the past. We aren’t making a choice, now, wrt them. Assessment of aspects of LBJ’s administration involves assessing those aspects. I don’t *think* this is hard stuff, dude!

    rehabilitating him on that basis without proper criticism of things like 24 February 1966 is in my opinion very bad history.

    Where’s the rehabilitation? There is no rehabilitation. This is a post on domestic policy and, afaict, gets nothing wrong. If you think that every discussion of domestic policy must include the side note, “But of course, Vietnam and Ghana!” well, ok. That’s silly, but coherent. What’s silly and wrong is to impute beliefs and motivations to people based on their failure to conform to your style preferences which are in direct opposition to the bountifully available evidence. This is supercrap analysis.

    If this is what your first drafts of papers and thoughts are like, well, eek.

  57. Bitter Scribe:

    I could be wrong, but I really think Hitler had a driver.

  58. J. Otto Pohl:

    Not in the hipster sense, no. I was going more for a dada like nihilism of having them paint them as “anti-scholars” similar to “anti-art.” The blog equivalent of the urinal in the art gallery. I wouldn’t really call it irony.

  59. burritoboy:

    Corey,

    There was no coherent group of prominent Republicans who were both consistently anti-social programs and consistently pro-civil-rights. It’s indeed hard to come up with a single individual who meets all those criterion. (I’m not saying a few isolated examples didn’t exist – but they didn’t form any sort of coherent group and I don’t know of any). Some liberal Republicans were pro-civil-rights, but also pro-social-programs (at least, in generalities).

    In fact, I think it would have been very difficult for a Republican to achieve major elective office in the middle of the twentieth century (say, the 1930s through the 1970s) with a consistent anti-social-programs and pro-civil-rights platform. You would have pissed off the racists and the Birchers with the pro-civil-rights stand, but without getting any crossover support from constituents who want you to bring the pork home and give them bennies because of your anti-social-programs stand. You would lose both most of the ethnic white American vote (they want white focused social programs), some big portion of the rural vote (who also want white focused social programs) and all of the crazier conservatives (who are heavily racist, at least in execution).

    I suppose you could do OK in some small and wealthy high-end suburbs (a la Connecticut suburbs or the Philadelphia Main Line) but you wouldn’t be able to break into political offices which needed support beyond that. US Senator from Connecticut would probably be the very highest office you could aspire to.

  60. gocart mozart:

    Hitler had a silly mustache but Charlie Chaplain had it first, ergo, Hitler was a great silent film star.

  61. wjts:

    I wouldn’t call it irony either – the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention certainly doesn’t correspond to any definition of irony that I’ve ever encountered.

  62. burritoboy:

    The southern racists started feeling uncomfortable back in the 1920s – when, admittedly, the problem was that the southern racists were in the KKK, and the northern Dems’ problem with the KKK was the anti-Catholicism rather than the KKK’s anti-black racism perse. The southern racists attempted to break from the northern Dems repeatedly throughout the 1940s, for another example.

  63. witless chum:

    The specific original post (remember that?) which Scott made was in no way attempting a balanced historical portrait of LBJ and his effect on the world. It was talking about his record specifically relating to the Great Society and New Deal social programs.

    It would have been very weird to stop and mention that his foreign policy involved mass slaughter in Asia and coups in Africa in a post that’s not about that.

    That said, it’s probably something to remember. My line on LBJ has always been something like “he was a monster, but he got some good, enduring things done.” I don’t really do the whole thing where I add up demerits and merits of historical figures and decide whether he was a good guy or not. But I see your point that if we did do that, 2 million dead Vietnamese ought to be pretty heavy.

  64. Bijan Parsia:

    This is bad history.

    Specific criticism of witless’s comment would be more appropriate.

    Constant praise of LBJ for the CRA without any mention of his flawed foreign policy is not a balanced historical evaluation. It is extremely biased history.

    If only there were some way to check whether the praise is constant? I mean, if Scott had every written something like:

    Which brings us to Fred Kaplan’s excellent column about the portrayal of the Cuban Missle Crisis. Caro’s account of LBJ’s casually sociopath haswkishness isn’t wrong, and nor is his portrayal of JFK admirably rejecting the advice. …Incidentally, I’m not sure that I agree with Kaplan’s implications that Jack Kennedy would have had a substantially better policy on Vietnam than Johnson. …I can believe that that Kennedy would not have escalated in Vietnam to the same degree as Johnson (who cared relatively little about foreign policy and more about domestic policy), but it’s hard for me to see JFK taking the risks inherent in being seen as “losing” Vietnam.

    or

    (And LBJ is also a classic example, of course, of Skowronek’s argument that this is where coalitions collapse — on the one supporting civil rights and antipoverty legislation led to Southern conservatives leaving the Democratic coalition for good, and the need to keep important domestic constituencies on board — especially organized labor — contributed heavily to the Vietnam disaster that undermined the Great Society and also prevented LBJ from running for the nomination in 1968.)

    then you’d have to acknowledge that no one is giving Johnson a foreign policy pass.

    It also privileges the rights of Americans over those abroad in a very extreme manner.

    There is a case to be made that writing from a domestic policy perspective can create an impression that the rest of the world doesn’t exist. It must overcome the notion that it’s reasonable to discuss domestic policy on its own (or foreign policy). You’re no where near making that case.

    Ending segregation is great and we can just ignore all those horrible things LBJ facilitated or committed on other continents.

    That would be a very bad perspective. So too would be the view that since the end of segregation was tainted we should resegregate and redo desegregate in order to be pure.

    I can not be the only person in the world who sees a moral problem with this.

    Not at all! Me, Scott, most people e.g., other commentators.

    But, I probably am the only one commenting on this blog who sees such a problem.

    Oh, well this goes back to showing that your perception of such matters is singularly inept.

  65. mpowell:

    It looks like J Otto Pohl is going for the upset here.

  66. djw:

    In fact they all seem to strongly endorse it, “Lesser evilism” and all that.

    Uh…

  67. burritoboy:

    I believe Hitler could possibly drive. There are some photos of him behind a wheel (though, naturally, the car is stationary at that moment). Almost all high-ranking Nazis had drivers, not because they couldn’t drive but to serve as a bodyguard or sidekick (mostly to protect themselves against other Nazis). Heydrich and Goering had multiple drivers even though both were automotive / flying fanatics, for example (Goering was actually an auto salesman early in his life). Himmler had multiple drivers, even though he was known early in his life as often motoring around Germany on his motorcycle.

  68. rea:

    Not clear who had the mustache first, Hitler or Chaplin (even if we don’t discount Chaplin’s as having been fake for a long time). Certainly, Chaplin later used his to make fun of Hitler. Pre-WWI pictures show Hitler with a big handlebar, but that wouldn’t fit under a gas mask, which is probably why Hitler adopted the famous style.

  69. Ricky Wilson:

    Your #1 does not negate JOP’s point. That the policy might be less interventionist than the Republicans does not mean it is not very interventionist. You yourself seem to realize this with your point 2.

  70. Ricky Wilson:

    the fruits of lesser evilism still have evil roots

  71. Murc:

    A fact I feel compelled to bring up every time his name is mentioned, even if its not entirely relevant:

    Goering’s nephew flew bombers for the US during. The FBI had a guy assigned to his crew to murder him if it ever looked like he was going to be captured.

    You can’t make this shit up.

  72. Bijan Parsia:

    the Black man

    Why does J. Otto Pohl ignore the plight of Black women?

  73. Dr. Frank:

    If I’ve got some problems well
    I wouldn’t be the first but
    the ones I have in mind are
    even worse and even Hitler had a girlfriend
    who he could always call
    who’d always be there for him in spite of all his faults.

    He was the worst guy ever
    reviled and despised
    even Hitler had a girlfriend
    so why can’t I?

    life is full of contradictions hard to understand
    and for every happy woman there’s a lonely man.
    Nixon had his puppy Charles Manson had his clan
    but God forbid that I get a girlfriend.

    Even Hitler had a girlfriend who he could call his own
    to sweeten days of bitterness and feeling all alone.
    I’m not as bad as Hitler but it doesn’t mean a thing
    since they’d rather be with Hitler more than me I don’t see why they’d rather be with Hitler more than me.

  74. gocart mozart:

    At minimum Chaplain was famous for it first but thanks anyways for fact checking my jokes.

  75. Malaclypse:

    The FBI had a guy assigned to his crew to murder him if it ever looked like he was going to be captured.

    Did the nephew know this at the time?

  76. olexicon:

    Not understanding things is, in fact, central to his point

  77. Djur:

    When your exemplar of the opposing side is a guy who doesn’t know what “profit” means, I think you might be constructing a strawman.

  78. DrDick:

    Speaking as an anthropologist who teaches about race and ethnicity, I have to say that brought a smile to my lips.

  79. DrDick:

    Goldwater would merely have bombed them back to the stone age.

  80. DrDick:

    Manju is going to hate this.

  81. DrDick:

    He seems to be doing his utmost to prove that John Stuart Mill was far too generous.

  82. Cody:

    I really liked this post. I feel like you should have two paragraphs, but kudos.

    This seems like a line of thought that is still happening all the time. I plan on retorting to people who tell us we’re making a bunch of “slaves” to the government with social welfare using this line.

  83. DrDick:

    Frankly, John Stuart Mill is spinning in his grave and issuing a retraction over this comment. He now says he was wrong, they really are all very stupid people.

  84. Cody:

    Is Manju injured (or actually J. Otto Pohl?), because I’m seriously getting upset he isn’t in this thread.

    I’m sure there is going to be some kind of retort about how one measures racism here, because it’s rather difficult to find people who call themselves racists.

  85. Cody:

    Can anyone help me craft a nice signature for whenever I mention LBJ? Apparently, it needs to include every negative action he took during his presidency, or else I’m giving my implicit approval of those acts.

    Something like, I approve of the CRA, but not of Vietnam, African interventions, or… I’m not sure. There are tons of things but I can’t think of any off the top of my head right now.

  86. Aaron Baker:

    Well then, there’s nothing to hold her back!

  87. Auguste:

    Quakers like Mennonites are Pacifists not Leftists.

    Keep begging that chicken question.

  88. snow:

    Do they even know it is Christmas?

  89. J. Otto Pohl:

    Leftists generally don’t believe in God. Hence the USSR, China, and most of all Albania were states with strong anti-religious policies. From 1930 to 1967 the Mennonites were completely outlawed in the USSR, although they had been persecuted already under Lenin. In the late 1950s and 1960s a lot of Mennonites became Baptists because they at least had a legal existence under Soviet law.

  90. Malaclypse:

    Leftists generally don’t believe in God.

    Martin Luther King would like to point out how very full of shit you are. As would the Berrigans.

  91. Bijan Parsia:

    Leftists generally don’t believe in God.

    You mean, all this time, liberation theology was a HOAX??!?!

  92. J. Otto Pohl:

    The word generally does not mean all. You have three examples. Against that we have the registered members of the CPSU, CCP, KWP, etc. Now some of them were secret believers. But, I got to think that most of the followers of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who outnumbered your three examples by many million really were atheists.

  93. Malaclypse:

    Otto, do you really want to get into a pissing contest over how many examples of religious leftists I can cite? Do you really think there are only three? For fuck’s sake, how many times to I need to bring up the Quakers?

  94. Darkrose:

    Look, tonight just thank God it’s them instead of you, okay?

  95. rea:

    And you know, while historic Islamic religous sites ought to be protected, there’s also a matter of preventing mass murder . . .

  96. rea:

    This is a classic fallacy–we can’t save everyone; therefore we shouldn’t save anyone. Not all interventions are feasible, some pose a serious danger of making things worse, ofter we don’t udnerstand what’s ahppening well enough to accopmplish anything, and we (even we) don’t have the resources to fix every problem in the world–but sometimes we really can do something useful, and when we can, we ought to.

    I’m definitely open to arguments that a limited Mali intervention, with our role being largely logistical support for the French and African allies, is a bad idea–but the only argument I’m seeing here is that we shouldn’t intervene anywhere for anything.

    “Suppose my neighbor’s home catches fire, and I have a length of garden hose four or five hundred feet away . . .”

  97. The Kenosha Kid:

    Liberals walk like this!

    While Leftists walk like this!

    And progressives go (funny sound affect)!

  98. The Kenosha Kid:

    The commenter is referring strictly to the domestic policies of Lyndon Baines Johnson. This commenter accepts no liability for the foreign policy of Lyndon Baines Johnson, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the foreign policy of Lyndon Baines Johnson, unless that foreign policy is subsequently praised in writing. Any views or opinions presented in this comment are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the left. Finally, the recipient should check this comment and any attachments for the presence of internet traditions. The commenter accepts no liability for any damage caused by any internet tradition transmitted by this comment.

  99. Manju:

    Funny thing is, I made his vegetarianism point here:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/01/form-without-substance/comment-page-1#comment-433996

    Just because you honor King for Civil Rights, doesn’t mean you have to accept his position on non-violence…even though he made a connection from one to the other. Obama was right to put his hand on MLK’s bible, despite being an all out ninja-assassin. Cornel West’s protest is as silly as Jonah’s.

  100. Manju:

    I meant that as a response to elm below.

  101. JosephW:

    And the ONLY way that you can describe any of those three countries as “leftist” is to fall for the BS that “Communist” = “Leftist.” While the THEORY of Communism is indeed a leftist ideology, the PRACTICE of Communism most assuredly was NOT.

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense and an UNbiased reading of history (ie, a reading that comes from a source other than the John Birch Society) would know that the post-Lenin brand of Communism was essentially CINO (Communism In Name Only).

    Marx’s idea of Communism was postulated on the idea that the system would be introduced in a WESTERN (ie, “capitalist”) INDUSTRIAL country–most notably, France, the UK, the German Rhineland–countries which had BOTH a “proletariat” (or “oppressed worker class”) AND a “bourgeoisie” (or “lazy, profit-taking-at-the-expense-of-the-worker class”). Czarist Russia and early Republican China had neither*; both countries’ economies were based on an agrarian principle with strong hints of feudalism at the most basic of the societal structure (remember that serfdom was still a legal practice in Russia for more than a decade after slavery had been formally abolished in the US). Marx’s principles were NEVER designed to work in Russia, China, Vietnam or any of the East European states that emerged following both WWI and WWII. Furthermore, just to show how the leaders of those countries understood that pure Communism wasn’t intended for those countries, look at what happened aftrer the Communists took power. Unlike the West, where people flocked to the newly industrial cities, abandoning their “old ways” of farming for the prospects of finding paying work (albeit for a pittance–even slave wages–by today’s standards, a week’s wages was still far more than the average farmer would be likely to see in a month or more even if things went well) and the “industrialists” could make small fortunes (the size of which depended entirely on the industrialist’s concern for his workers), the Soviet system largely did away with all that. People were sent to factories as needed (and after the early crop failures, Stalin realized that some of those factory workers were actually needed on farms, so some were sent to the farms–regardless of their farming experience) and all the workers made essentially the same wages, regardless of skill or productivity, and without any private owners, there weren’t any “millionaires” (granted, membership in the Party had its privileges but the Party leaders, especially at the local level, never accumulated wealth in the same fashion as the Western industrialists).

    Of course, I can understand your confusion. It’s the equivalent of the Teabaggers who confuse Nazism and Fascism with “socialism” even though both Nazism and Fascism are far-right in terms of political ideology.

    As to the “religion” aspect, bear in mind that, in Czarist Russia (hardly a society that didn’t believe in God; after all, the Russian Orthodox Church espoused a “divine right of kings” philosophy), Jews suffered great deals of discrimination and persecution, and were even barred from vast areas of the Empire. The Pale of Settlement covered the modern countries of Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland but, in the latter half of the 19th century, Jews weren’t even allowed to live in rural areas of the Pale and needed special permits to live in some cities within the Pale. And I’d point out that, even today, in POST-Communist Russia, some religious groups continue to face persecution, largely at the behest of the Russian Orthodox Church (it’s not all open discrimination but more a kind of “Jim Crowism” at work; minor religions may face difficulty renting or buying property to hold their services or their followers may be shunned at work or may be harassed while attempting to proselytize or simply speaking publicly).

    *Yes, yes, both countries had minor levels of industry as well as varying levels of rail service but, at the time that WWI broke out, both countries had an industrial level barely the equivalent of the US around 1850.

  102. rea:

    It’s reciprocal–I fact check jokes for you; you check out weather charts for me . . .

    (Seriously, I was surprised when you said that, because I thought Chaplin had grown the mustache for The Great Dictator–but apparently not)

  103. Jay B.:

    +1000

    That’s almost worth the Vietnam War.

  104. Richard:

    There were some. In the fall of 1964, I was a freshman at UCLA. Johnson, with a huge lead in the polls, had declined a debate with Goldwater but various surrogates were doing debates. AT UCLA, it was Karl Mundt for the Goldwater side and Al Gore Sr for the Johnson side. Funny thing was that on the most important domestic issue of the year, the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, the surrogates took positions opposite to the position taken by their standard bearer. Mundt had voted for it while Gore voted against it. As I recall, there were a number of other Republicans like Mundt (certainly not a majority but not insignificant) who opposed New Deal and Great Society social measures but supported civil rights measures.

  105. DrDick:

    Nobody here has ever expressed opposition to the invasion of Iraq or the war in Afghanistan (or any other US military adventurism. Up is down and JOtto is a genius. I was antiwar during Vietnam and remain so today. The difference between then and now is that I have become a bit more pragmatic and recognize that not all problems can be solved peaceably so that war is sometimes necessary, but never desirable. that said I oppose the Iraq invasion and the Afghanistan war from the outset.

  106. Scott Lemieux:

    I seem to recall in my reading that that was not the case, that there were some Republicans who were anti-social program but pro-civil rights — but I could be mis-remembering.

    I agree with burritoboy and Richard. There were isolated examples of conservative Republicans who were moderate on civil rights, but this was pretty rare.

    I thought 44-46 saw a pretty left Congress.

    Semantics, I guess. There was some progressive legislation from the 79th Congress for sure — such as Lord’s favorite, WHITE SUPREMACIST RICHARD RUSSELL’s school lunch act — but nothing comparable to the height of the New Deal and Great Society. At a minimum, I would agree that it was the period of the most attenuated control by the conservative coalition.

  107. Scott Lemieux:

    What type of analysis is that? Any objective evaluation of LBJ would make it a major black mark on his record, not mumble over it.

    [Cites to anyone here disputing this point omitted]

  108. Hogan:

    Feminism is another sign of white western leftist decadence.

  109. Hogan:

    It is not necessary to destroy every Islamic political movement in the world by military force.

    Yeah, Obama, LEAVE EGYPT ALONE!

  110. rea:

    No one ought to talk about Washington’s presidency without condemning the murder of the Sieur de Jumonville . . .

  111. Njorl:

    The Right at least doesn’t pretend to support human rights and oppose racism while bombing brown and black people.

    Why in the world would you think such a thing?

  112. Malaclypse:

    It is not necessary to destroy every Islamic political movement in the world by military force.

    Are you ignorant about Indonesia and India, or are you assuming we are?

  113. Malaclypse:

    That’s not fair. Some of them are merely evil.

  114. Hogan:

    You know, you’re all blah blah blah about Africa, but the CIA under Johnson supported a coup in Indonesia that was followed by the killing of over a MILLION people, and you never mention that. Obviously the J. Ottos of the world are just a bunch of moral bankrupts who don’t give a shit about mass murder. I’m ashamed to share this blog with you.

  115. Njorl:

    That guy who hated how Goldberg’s Peanut Chews get stuck between your teeth?

  116. Bijan Parsia:

    Come come, djw! There is no more full throated endorsement of every aspect of a political figure’s actions than the saccharine, servile kowtow of calling them “the lesser evil”.

    Indeed, who among us cannot recall Mao’s speech for Stalin’s 70th birthday:

    Stalin is our greatest lesser evil and teacher. In the name of Chinese people and Chinese Communist Party, we celebrate lesser evil Stalin’s seventy lesserevilday. May he be in the best, if lesser, evil and live a long life of less evil! Leader of both the world’s working class and Communist Internationale — Ten thousand years of lesser evil to Stalin!

  117. Bijan Parsia:

    Otto throws women and Indonesians UNDER THE BUS with his pro-Johnson whitewashing job! THE SHAME!

  118. wengler:

    I laughed at this.

    I don’t want to even look back on those Libya threads.

  119. wengler:

    Those three countries had vastly different policies though, and it’s hard to group a lot of the policies pursued by those one party states as being ‘leftist’.

  120. commie atheist:

    Not going to click on the column to see the context, but from that excerpt it seems that Goldberg is actually grudgingly admitting that income inequality and poverty are contributing factors to inequality of outcome. Fascinating.

  121. Bijan Parsia:

    The word generally does not mean all. You have three examples. Against that we have the registered members of the CPSU, CCP, KWP, etc. Now some of them were secret believers. But, I got to think that most of the followers of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who outnumbered your three examples by many million really were atheists.

    Wait, you actually think that it’s meaningful to lump 20th century citizen’s of countries with state enforce atheism together and use them as a basis for analyzing the current day US left?

    And you wonder why people might judge your academic capabilities negatively? Dude, we’re supposedly very near your area and you are seriously failing and flailing!

    Still waiting for an acknowledgement of my refutation of your insinuation that this blog enacts “constant praise of LBJ” (below) which I accomplished by, y’know, mining the archives.

  122. commie atheist:

    Comments like this make going through all 60+ Otto J. Pohl comments totally worthwhile.

  123. Jonah Goldberg:

    Good evening, gentlemen! I have been linked to your insipid arguments against my well-thought out positions. To be sure, I would love to debate with you further but I’m operating on a deadline.

    (sharts)

    I bid you GOOD DAY, sir.

  124. DrDick:

    You could have stopped with “There was no coherent group of prominent Republicans.”

  125. STH:

    I call fake Jonah Goldberg. The real one would have asked us to formulate rejoinders he could use against our own arguments.

    He does love a good bleg.

  126. John Protevi:

    Glad you liked it! I brought him up on the other thread when some loser troll thought it crazy to deny racial realism. It’s been years since I read the book, but I clearly remember being very impressed.

  127. Rarely Posts:

    I miss the old anti-imperialist “Left.” It never got a proper funeral from and its friends in the anti-imperialist “Right” never got to say a proper good bye.

    There is an anti-imperialist “Right” to say good-bye? Where? Who? WTF?

    I actually enjoyed your comment, though I think that you aren’t giving nearly enough weight to LBJ’s success in passing the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. Without the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act, our nation would never have made the strides that it has.

    At the same time, your comment about the “anti-imperialist ‘right’” is very revealing: there is no such beast. One reason most of the people at LGM cut the Democrats slack on their foreign policy is that the the Right, as it presently exists today, is in favor of complete imperialism, hegemony, and perpetual war. When the other side consists of sociopaths, you don’t have many choices.

  128. Rob:

    Isn’t writing this for the god damn National Review make the whole thing self refuting?

  129. Pestilence:

    Well if she starts examining maps of the Czech Republic or Poland, you know you’re in trouble.

  130. Jeremy:

    Off the top of my head, the mustache was popular in Britain among a particular class of social climbers and largely associated with Officer Candidate School graduates. I think the trend was largely over well before WWII. But it was these people that Chaplin was mocking in adopting the same mustache for his Little Tramp character. I’ve heard that when Hitler rose to prominence, sporting the OSC mustache of years past, Chaplin commented that he’d been taking the piss out of that mustache for years.

  131. burritoboy:

    You do have a point with Mundt. Still, the set of anti-social-programs + pro-civil-rights Republicans was always quite small.

  132. StevenAttewell:

    It’s a really old argument that’s been reheated; it goes back to Zinn, Radosh, and the other New Left historians dismissing the New Deal as having saved capitalism from the imminent victory of socialism.

    1. The GOP was always divided on social issues between those who cared enough about the legacy of Lincoln to make token efforts to get anti-lynching bills (even as they looked the other way as disenfranchisement sswept the South) and those whose anti-statist beliefs put them against both economic and social interventionism.

    2. The dominance of the conservative coalition took a while to come together. FDR was able to get through the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, the WPA survived until 1943, and the Senate at least had enough liberals left to put through a Full Employment Bill in 1945. However, the House was pretty much a lost cause after the 1942 elections. By 1948, the writing was on the wall: of his “Fair Deal,” Truman couldn’t get civil rights, health care, education, Taft-Hartley repeal, or public power through. He got a modest Housing Bill, the Hill-Burton Act on hospital construction, veterans benefits, and modest improvements to Social Security through.

  133. StevenAttewell:

    And Eisenhower backed the assassination of Lumumba. What’s your point?

  134. Anonymous:

    http://blogs.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/2012/03/gorings-nephew/

  135. Malacylpse:

    thanks!

  136. Manju:

    I’m sure there is going to be some kind of retort about how one measures racism here, because it’s rather difficult to find people who call themselves racists.

    I would not make such a claim because I’m already familiar with Tesler and his rigid methodology from the Monkey Cage. (They are a group of statisticians, economists, and political scientists who I reference here a lot…hello, DW-Nominate).

    Dr. Dick is not. He doesn’t realize that Tesler obliterates his claims. He read a headline and got excited. I’ll elaborate.

  137. Manju:

    Also, I want to read the paper first but I don’t think there is a new one as Alternet suggests.

    The last Tesler paper on this issue afak is this:

    http://mst.michaeltesler.com/uploads/jop_rr_full.pdf

    This one doesn’t cover 2012. Am I missing the new one? Anyway, long-short on the old one. Post-civil-rights old fashioned racism did not predict partisan preference in the electorate. With the rise of Obama it now does. The correlation is strong when it comes to Obama but weak on Party ID.

    Has anything changed. Did DrDick read the paper? I don’t think so.

  138. JoyfulA:

    In the Holy Cities of Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi are in the process of destroying much more in the name of promoting a better tourism experience. They are iconoclasts who find suspect the visitors’ desire to see where the Prophet stood or touch a venerable stone. I wonder how the pilgrims will feel about the changes.

  139. Vance Maverick:

    There’s some curious junk at the end of that Hugo Black piece that looks like linkspam.

  140. DrDick:

    Does Manu know his ass from a hole in the ground? Does Manju know which party has actively recruited racists for 40 years?

  141. John:

    A lot of conservative Republicans ended up voting for the Civil Rights Act (and even more, the Voting Rights Act) in the final vote, especially after Dirksen came out in favor. But the conservative Republicans who ended up voting for civil rights were pretty universally the Republicans who had been most skeptical of civil rights.

    I suppose William Knowland, who was a very conservative California Republican who was also the floor leader of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, might be a partial exception, but my memory of Caro is that Knowland was, like Dirksen, Mundt, and so forth, a late convert to civil rights.

  142. John:

    After the Democratic landslide in 1958 the conservative coalition was in a very tight spot, no?

  143. DrDick:

    Might I add, which party elected a black man president twice and which party has consistently engaged in full on race baiting? Which party has consistently championed civil rights for 50 years and which has consistently opposed them and tried to overturn civil rights laws for the past 40 years? If you want to paint a false equivalency between the modern Democratic and Republican parties, you have the intellectual prowess of a not very bright 14 year old.

  144. The Dark Avenger:

    Funny how Manju likes to talk statistics and not facts like Lee Atwater’s explanation of how to race-bait the white vote for Republicans.

  145. J. Otto Pohl:

    John:

    The discrimination against Jews in Tsarist Russia is completely tangential to Soviet policies of religious persecution and promotion of atheism. But, for the record Marx wrote almost nothing on what a socialist society would look like. So we really can not get anywhere looking at Marx’s writings with regards to the USSR and other socialist countries. Lenin on the other hand did initiate persecution against certain religious groups. Although not all groups were treated equally. Under Stalin this increased dramatically in the 1930s and then let up during WWII when a number of agreements were signed between various religious leaders and Moscow. Most notable the ROC, but there were also agreements giving Islam and even the Baptists an official legal existence in the USSR. The Mennonites remained outlawed, however, until 1967. The assault and restrictions on religion in the USSR was ideologically driven and began under Lenin. It was not a continuation of Orthodox bigotry against other groups.

    You are completely wrong on the Soviet economy. People were moving to industrial cities in the Russian Empire at fairly rapid rate in its last years. The Civil War reversed urbanization temporarily. But, a lot of the growth of urban population in the USSR during the 1930s was voluntary migration and people showing up to factories and construction sites getting jobs. That was why the internal passport was reintroduced in 1932. There were too many undocumented people moving from the countryside to the cities and taking jobs. Including many “kulaks” who had escaped from special settlements. See the work of David Sherear on this subject.

    Even the internal passport did not stop this practice as Soviet foremen continued to hire “illegals” in large numbers. It was only after the 1937 “kulak” Operation aimed at eliminating former “enemies” especially “kulaks” that had escaped from the special settlements that the Soviet government was able to get a grip on migration to urban areas. But, unlike China, the USSR was never really able to control the turnover of free labor and attach it permanently to assigned jobs. Stalin experimented with this during WWII, but his successors abolished these practices in favor of using higher wages and benefits to attract workers to jobs with very high turnover. Other than the first job out of university, Soviet workers generally had freedom to choose their jobs. According to Hosking the labor turnover in the post-Stalin USSR was 25-30% a year by the early 1980s under Andropov. (The First Socialist Society, p. 386).Soviet workers overall had the ability to quit their jobs and find new ones without much difficulty provided they had a propiska for the city in which the job was located. They did so frequently in search of higher wages and better benefits.

    All workers did not make the same wages in the USSR. As alluded to above workers in certain industries and certain areas received considerably more than others in terms of wages. This was especially true in the post-Stalin era in places like Siberia where the extra wages were needed to attract workers. Although it was considerably more equal than in the US, they certainly did not all have the same wages, salaries, or benefits. Kolkhoz workers for instance did not even any receive wages, but rather got a share of goods left over after taxes and deliveries. They made most of their living, however, on the small private plots they were allowed to operate after 1936. The produce from these plots could be sold in “farmers” markets and fetched higher prices than goods in state stores. For a good description of the Soviet economy see the writings of the late socialist, Alec Nove.

    The only people sent from cities to farms were prisoners and people sent to internal exile as punishment. Although a lot of “vagabonds” and others were deported out of cities in the 1930s they were almost all sent to special settlements. The vast majority of those sent from cities to the countryside, however, were ethnic deportees exiled to special settlements. Of the deported peoples only the Germans and Crimean Tatars had any significant urban populations. The North Caucasians, Kalmyks, and Meskhetian Turks were overwhelmingly rural. But, even among the Germans in 1941 out of nearly 800,000 deportees less than 80,000 or fewer than 10% were sent from cities to rural areas. This is because most of the population, about 80%, was still rural. Here you can look at Pavel Polians, Against their Will_

    Maybe you should read some work on the USSR not written by the SWP and its stupid state capitalist theoreticians. Your comment is really one of the most ignorant I have ever seen regarding how the USSR actually worked. If you want a socialist view of it read Nove, but it is obvious you have not.

  146. J. Otto Pohl:

    There is an “anti-imperialist” or if you want “isolationist” right. It may be small, but Daniel Larison and Justin Raimondo are not fans of interventionist foreign policy and they are not leftists.

  147. Fae:

    FYI – Hitler was *not* a vegetarian. It’s simply some strange urban legend that was cooked up years ago.

  148. Malacylpse:

    Wonder who Larison endorsed in 2004, being a Principled Anti-Imperialist and all.

  149. DrDick:

    Manju’s purpose is to muddy the waters and hide from himself that his beloved conservatives hate his brown guts and think he is subhuman.

  150. Aaron:

    Every time I see something “new” from Jonah Goldberg, I am left with the following impressions:

    • I never would have heard of Lucianne Goldberg’s son if he hadn’t maintained such a powerful grip on her skirt. Is there a patron saint of nepotism, because if there is Goldberg should be making a daily prayer of gratitude.

    • He never has anything new to say – he spins and respins what he has said before. As his ideas have gained little traction, he can pretend that the latest version of “liberals = fascists” is an amazing new insight, but it’s just another serving of warmed over leftovers. Nobody with an appetite for facts or well-reasoned argument wants to eat that slop.

    • He’s an Ann Coulter-lite. His mom is a literary agent, and knows what sells. I don’t know if Goldberg is clever enough to come up with his “Ann Coulter-lite” spiel by himself or if his mother whispers suggestions in his ear (consider the conspiracy theory books she unsuccessfully pimped during the Clinton era), but either way it looks very much like a Coulter-style a narcissistic exercise focused on gaining money and fame. Facts? History? They just get in the way.

  151. The Dark Avenger:

    He followed a vegetarian diet:

    At social events he sometimes gave graphic accounts of the slaughter of animals in an effort to make his dinner guests shun meat.[362]

  152. Hogan:

    Yes, that is central to our point.

  153. Rarely Posts:

    If these are the most prominent members of the “anti-imperialist ‘right’” that you can cite then:

    1) Much like communism, the movement does not currently exist in a meaningful way in American politics. If you can’t get anyone elected to national politics who truly represents and votes consistently with your views, then you’re not a serious movement yet.

    2) Under this standard, the “anti-imperialist ‘left’” is not dead (accepting your terminology merely for the purposes of this discussion). Thoreau (Unqualified Offerings), Greenwald, and many others are prominent critics of modern American foreign policy. Moreover, several elected representatives on the left are as well. For example, numerous representatives challenged the President’s actions in Libya. See, e.g., Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.).

    This highlights one of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans. Significant numbers of Democrats will oppose military action even when it is their own President, and even when it is politically unpopular to do so (with the exception of the very immediate aftermath of 9/11). Only a vanishingly small number of Republicans oppose military action when its taken by a Republican President or when the military action is politically popular. See, e.g., Iraq War vote (only 6 Republican Representatives voted against, and 1 Republican Senator).

  154. J. Otto Pohl:

    1) Is undoubtedly true.

    2) Good, let me know when they challenge him on Mali and US unconditional support for Israel.

  155. Bijan Parsia:

    2) Good, let me know when they challenge him on Mali and US unconditional support for Israel.

    I would think that the noted historian Otto J. Pohl would learn how to use Google.

    (Yes, I only looked up Greenwald. But Lil Otto didn’t even do that. Such diligence and care are the halmarks of some sort of historian, I guess.)

  156. Mike Schilling:

    It is because the early proponents of a strong federal government were white supremacists that we must support states’ rights.

  157. J. Otto Pohl:

    I was referring to the Congressmen and women with regards to Mali and Israel not the pundits. I guess I should have been more precise. Let me know when the Congress people above vote to cut aid to Israel and end appropriations for flying French soldiers and arms to Mali.

  158. Hogan:

    Well yeah, but if they were really serious they’d post about it here.

    Check and mate, Mr. Parsia.

  159. Hogan:

    Does this work for you?

  160. J. Otto Pohl:

    Yes it does. We have one Congressman opposing Obama’s policy on Israel. I guess its a start.

  161. Bijan Parsia:

    That’s *Dr* Parsia to you, my good man.

    Which completely invalids your argument…HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  162. Bijan Parsia:

    Your laziness and intellectual dishonesty is striking.

    But here’s another.

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