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Two Stonewalls, Two Americas

[ 123 ] January 22, 2013 |

Barack Obama’s second inaugural address:

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth,” Obama said.

The Virginia state Senate, at the exact same time:

Democrats in Virginia are accusing state Republicans of taking advantage of a prominent civil rights leader’s trip to Washington for the presidential inauguration to pull a “dirty trick” in order to take control of the state Senate in the 2015 elections.

The state Senate is split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats. On Monday, while state Sen. Henry Marsh (D) — a 79-year-old civil rights veteran — was reportedly in Washington to attend President Obama’s second inaugural, GOP senators forced through a mid-term redistricting plan that Democrats say will make it easier for Republicans to gain a majority.

Politically, the move coud derail McDonnell’s ambitious agenda for his last year in office ahead of a rumored run for higher office. Optics-wise, the state Senate GOP’s move could reverberate far beyond the Commonwealth: after using the absence of civil rights leader Marsh to push through the legislative changes, the Senate adjourned in honor of a well-known Confederate general.

“On motion of Senator Stosch, the Senate adjourned in memory or [sic] General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson at 4:10 p.m. to convene Tuesday, January 22, 2013,” read the official minutes of the legislative day.

According to the progressive blog Blue Virginia, Deeds also took to the state Senate floor to speak about Jackson after the new district lines were approved.


Comments (123)

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  1. Seitz says:

    It’s what Republicans call “Outreach”.

  2. liberal says:

    OT: Citizens United: the gift that keeps on giving:

    The panel split 2 to 1 for the Kortes. “The contraception mandate applies to K & L Contractors as an employer of more than 50 employees, and the Kortes would have to violate their religious beliefs to operate their company in compliance with it,” wrote Circuit Judges Joel M. Flaum and Diane S. Sykes in granting the couple an injunction.

    They suggested the corporation had rights under RFRA by citing the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which said corporations at least had political speech rights under the First Amendment.

    So if I’m understanding this right, that means a corporation can have religious beliefs?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      Well, he’s she’s it’s a person, ain’t it?

      So, why can’t he she it have a religion?

      As long as it’s the Christian religion, obviously.

      • Cody says:

        But I was told by Conservatives that Citizen’s United said corporations had free speech, not that they were people!

        • c u n d gulag says:

          In the words of…. someone recently, can’t remember who… “Corporations are people my friends!”

          Oh yeah, that rich guy who ran for office.
          “Mutt” something or other… His VP candidate’s name, was “Jeff,” I believe.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

          Corporate personhood has been the law of the land for well over a century. Citizens United certainly relied on that doctrine, but it just as certainly didn’t create it.

          • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

            I also think corporate personhood is a distraction in this particular case. If I’m an individual with more than fifty employees, I uncontroversially (as a “natural person”) have First Amendment rights to practice my religion (unlike, I would argue, corporate persons). But those truly individual rights shouldn’t extend to denying my employees healthcare. Whether or not K & L Contractors enjoys First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion, they should have to provide compliant health insurance that includes access to contraception.

            • liberal says:

              But that’s exactly what I’m getting at. IANAL, but I would think that a ruling which relied on reasoning that a corporation can appeal to freedom of religion arguments in this manner is a big expansion of corporate “personhood”.

            • rm says:

              I agree (though IANAL,TG) that corporate personhood is probably not the issue.

              If I personally own a private business with 50+ employees, I certainly have the individual right to practice my religion by telling all of my employees where to attend church, whom to marry, what legal products they may or may not buy or consume, how they may or may not spend the dollars I generously give them, what TV shows they are allowed to watch, and what kinds of healthcare they can have access to.

              They are MY employees, after all. Anything else would be a violation of my freedom of religion.

      • liberal says:

        Hopefully (not!), consistency will be applied and corporations will soon be subject to the full range of criminal penalties applied to silly meatspace persons, like the death penalty.

      • Warren Terra says:

        It’s a shame the Court ruled against the Religious right to consume banned hallucinogens (eg peyote). That would have been a plausible excuse and defense for the behavior of AIG et al, a corporate person just practicing its beliefs. Of course, as it turned out they rather outrageously scarcely needed a defense, so I suppose it’s moot.

    • gocart mozart says:

      Shouldn’t corporations who break laws go to prison? Why are they above the law?

  3. Jameson Quinn says:

    Overt political gerrymandering should be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. If nothing else, it violates first-amendment freedom of association. The trouble is, of course, that it’s hard to draw any bright lines against it, since even a party-blind neutral districting plan tends to favor Republicans by up to 7 points¹. But if I were a lawyer, I would be seriously trying to make a case for the Supreme Court stepping in here.

    ¹For instance, imagine a state with a city core DDDDR and a suburban/rural area DDDDDDRRRRRRRRR. That’s 10 D’s and 10 R’s, but unless the city core is artificially split up, three quarters of the districts will be safe R seats. No malicious gerrymander is even necessary.

    • I’ve seen cities split into multiple districts. Most of them have some kind of major thoroughfare or dividing line which can make it reasonably intuitive, even.

    • Vec says:

      Which of course begs the question of what the “right” districting is. Even assuming we’re trying to nonpartisanly divide the state in the fairest way possible, what’s the ideal outcome? Do we want to split the hypothetical city and suburbs into two safe D seats and the rural areas into two safe R seats? Do we want to split the city into 4 sections with 1/4 of the rural state attached to each so each district’s demographics roughly match the state at large’s?

      Given that there’s already a strong natural division between urban and rural citizens, maybe we should try our best to keep them in as geographically and socioeconomically homogenous districts as possible, no matter how much it skews the total representation. That way everyone’s representative can be said to meaningfully represent their specific interests.

      I agree completely that “Let’s intentionally draw the lines to make the state as republican as possible” is terrible, both in theory and in practice, but I’m not sure how to advocate against it without at least some idea of what alternative I’m actually advocating for.

  4. c u n d gulag says:

    Yes, holding a vote advantgeous to Republicans while a 79 year-old Democratic State Senator, who was a Civil Rights activist, is attending the Inauguation of a reelected “Blah” President, and then closing the chamber in honor of Cofederate General “Stonewall” Jackson, is a fine way to reach out to minority votes.

    Why not also run around afterwards, spraying one another with packets of Chinese soy, and Taco Bell hot, sauces, carrying tomahawks, and wave around trans-vaginal devices at the same time, to, you know, make ALL ALL of the people who didn’t vote for you happy?

    • rea says:

      Actually, Old Stonewall (noteworthy back before the war for teaching slaves to read the Bible) probably would have prayed for these people’s souls, but otherwise not had much to do with them.

    • NBarnes says:

      Your post proves that Democrats Are The Real Racists(TM). Because Robert Byrd! I used to be a Democrat, but thanks to the Virginia state senate, I am now outraged by Strom Thurmond’s tenure as a Democrat!

  5. atheist says:

    I really wish Democrats would quit the fucking whining and pull some dirty tricks of their own.

  6. Malaclypse says:

    The inability of the Republican Party to attract minority voters is as every bit as inexplicable as the tides.

    • gocart mozart says:

      They would vote republican if they weren’t so shiftless and lazy.

      • catclub says:

        How are tides shiftless? Haven’t you heard of shifting tides?
        Plus, laziness is just finding their level of no motion.

        • Abū l-Walīd Muḥammad bin ʾAḥmad bin Rušd says:

          Plus, laziness is just finding their level of no motion.

          This blog needed another fight about Aristotle.

          • The Dark Avenger says:


            Use in science fiction

            The concept of non-Aristotelian logic was used by A. E. van Vogt as the central theme in his The World of Null-A novels, based on his interest in general semantics. The stories were tinged by van Vogt’s reaction to real-life news reports of police state conditions in the totalitarian regimes after World War II.

            Van Vogt generally shortened non-Aristotelian logic to null-A in his description of logic systems incorporating three or more values, to represent relatively ‘subjective’ conclusions from inductive logic, rather than relying strictly on the binary, deductive reasoning. The null-A concept as depicted by van Vogt is complementary to Aristotle’s system of two-valued, true/false logic, i.e., “A is either B, or it is not B”.

            Van Vogt highlights the aspect of general semantics in his science fiction (SF) stories, that portrays the general semantics as a speech evaluation tool. It occurs where heroic characters use general semantics to struggle against the rousing orations used as an incremental tactic by the minions of authoritarian entities. Alfred Korzybski’s development and description the general semantics was not as a ‘logic’, but as a non-Aristotelian system of evaluation. Van Vogt depicted the general semantics as a method of evaluation used to analyze the reasoning of others. Protagonists in van Vogt’s science fiction novels typically use a dream-like, null-A reasoning to outwit villains who rely upon decision-tree, or algorithmic, reasoning, akin to Aristotelian logic.

          • atheist says:

            Abū l-Walīd Muḥammad bin ʾAḥmad bin Rušd – I <3 ur name.

  7. jon says:

    I was really surprised and impressed, the way Obama reached out to honor Stonewall Jackson.

  8. Joe says:

    Did the Lieutenant Governor have the authority to break a tie in matters of this nature?

    • Woodrowfan says:

      supposedly. But Bolling was not a sure vote. The righties screwed him over for his chance at the governor’s seat by switching from a primary to a convention where Cooch can win easily. Bolling had already sat out the 2009 election when McDonald ran, running for another term at Lt. Gov instead. 2013 was supposed to be his year, but the teaites pushed for Cooch instead because Bolling is a RINO. Teh repubs in the Senate couldn’t depend on him to roll over and do what he was told again, so they didn’t risk it.

  9. TT says:

    There are two Americas, the United States of and the Confederate States of. Republicans have made it abundantly clear over the past several decades that of the two, they much prefer to believe in the latter.

  10. rc says:

    I would rather live in a Republican neighborhood than Democrat. Safer, cleaner, friendlier. Democrats are the party of dirty, smelly minorities who want to suck us all dry. Canada is looking better and better.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Poe’s Law remains harsh, but fair.

    • ScrewyCanuck says:

      We don’t want your kind up here. Stay where you are.

    • Hogan says:

      Yeah, everybody knows what a shithole Cambridge, MA is, with the uppity Harvard professors and all.

    • I’d just like to mention that here in Canada under the hated Tories – and I hate them with a deep burning passion – the boiler in my building was fixed with federal money (even apart from our federal loan) and my lovely new office was made possible by the feds in a similar way. Where I live English is no longer the first language of the majority of people.

      So you probably want some other country. Godspeed!

    • Sev says:

      Canada, Norway, in fact any of them socialist countries…

    • reynard61 says:

      *Ahem* Need I remind you that a) Canada has that dirty Socialist, Liberal Universal Health Care that Republicans are always complaining about; and b) they are still *willingly* subjects of the Monarchy that our Founding Fathers rebelled against when they wrote the Declaration of Independence*?

      Lots of Logic Fail there, pal…

      *Actually, I have nothing against Canada. I’m just pointing out the logical fallacy of this guy bloviating about how he hates all things Liberal while implying that he looks favorably on a country that has a Health policy that has been accused of being “socialist”.

  11. rc says:

    I’ve been to Cambridge. If that is your idea of a nice neighborhood, you should get out more.

  12. rc says:

    Nationally, most democrat neighborhoods are disgusting because of minorities. Vermont isn’t nice because it’s democratic. It’s nice because it’s all white– you don’t have minorities destroying property and stealing your shit.

  13. rc says:

    Everyone knows it’s true. Name one country controlled by blacks that isn’t a third world shithole.

    • Malaclypse says:

      I, too, blame the third world for allowing colonialization, because I’m also a stupid fucking cracker who is pig-fuckingly ignorant about history.

    • celticdragonchick says:

      I just found the receipts you dropped on the way out of the hardware store with all of that lumber you just bought for your cross burning. It looks here like you also bought a lot of burlap and gasoline. Where did you want me to send them, or do you just want me to throw them away?

    • gocart mozart says:

      Name one country controlled by blacks that isn’t a third world shithole.

      What is U.S.A.! U.S.A.!*

      • Cody says:

        OMG! I guess you’re right, we can officially say this now.

        Though I’m not really sure it’s “true”, but I’d like to hope so.

        Then again, there are a lot of “minorities” in the USA, and according to this guy that’s what makes it a bad place to live.

    • atheist says:

      You’re very convincing.

  14. rc says:

    They were shitholes before colonization. Why is that? Hmmmmmmm…

    • Malaclypse says:

      Yes, I’m sure you have expert knowledge of Pre-Columbian America, along with the history of Africa before 1500. Because you seem a well-read chap, always eager to learn about the history and culture of other places.

    • Warren Terra says:

      It does rather occur to me that by most any reasonable modern standard, everyplace was a shithole before the colonial era, the colonial powers included. It’s not until at least the eighteenth century that you really start to see some civil, economic, and personal freedoms for the vast majority of any nation’s citizens who aren’t so fortunate as to be born into the elite, and that doesn’t become really secure anyplace untli almost the nineteenth century, by which tie the colonial age has been underway, and non-European nations have been being looted, for a couple of centuries.

    • NBarnes says:

      What good ever came out of the Middle East? Other than, you know, human civilization.

      And even then Gandhi had a good line about that.

  15. rc says:

    Blacks in America bitch about how racist whites are, yet blacks here are better off than any other blacks in the world. Somehow whites are the problem though. We are giving this country away.

  16. rc says:

    Look at most of the countries with the highest quality of living. Countries like Sweden, Norway, Austria, Australia. Very few minorities. America is falling fast.

  17. rc says:

    Lots of name-calling here, but no real arguments, as expected.

  18. rc says:

    And just for Malaclypse, I have a JD and a degree in history. We have a lot of data on pre-Columbian America. Human sacrifice, no wheel, cannabalism. Maybe that’s your hipster idea of paradise.

  19. rc says:

    It works because whites work and pay taxes. Shared sacrifice. Doesn’t work with freeloading minorities.

  20. rc says:

    Yep, Canada doesn’t have an official language because of the French speaking population–all whites, so I don’t get your point. As for Asians, I should have clarified that I don’t consider them to be a drain on society. They have had a productive culture for centuries, although many Asian countries are still disgusting. Still, please tell me what blacks have contributed to the world besides peanut butter and jazz?

  21. Somebody is really terrified of this story getting attention, and wants to change the subject.

    • MT_in_WI says:

      I’m ok with a subject change, so long as the new subject is pancakes.

    • sapient says:

      It’s actually true that the troll probably wants to change the subject. Apparently Virginia’s already horribly gerrymandered districts aren’t distorted enough for Republicans, who want to change the state’s electoral college votes to be distributed along Congressional district lines.

      Republicans love democracy.

  22. rc says:

    At least one of you pseudo-intellectuals should try to list a significant cultural or technological achievement the black race has contributed. And I’m not talking about rap music or hip-hop.

  23. rm says:

    Ah, the intellectual debates of the first years of the twentieth century. DuBois debates Stoddard! The New Negro Renaissance! Good times, good times.

  24. rc says:

    Imagine how little crime we would have without blacks and mexicans. They are the reason we have so many prisons. Yes, Canada is quasi-socialistic, as is Europe. So what? Some of you think I’m a Republican. Not so much. Both parties have sold this country out. Still, nobody on this forum can point to any significant contributions made by blacks or black culture. Rather, their culture is characterized by disorder, filth, poverty, illegitimacy, and disease. And on a personal level, every time I represent a black person, they always want a payment plan and are always late–every time.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Still, nobody on this forum can point to any significant contributions made by blacks or black culture.

      So, cracker is unable to read. Sad, really. But at least you can be proud that some people – not you, but people with your basic skin tone – did things, and you can latch on to that to validate your pitiful little existence.

    • elm says:

      I can’t believe I’m taking this seriously, but…

      You yourself have already mentioned jazz (and forbidden us to mention rap), but there was also R&B, which, of course, was a major influence on Rock & Roll. Given that modern country has been influenced by Rock, that means that nearly all modern American music has been influenced by African-American culture to some extent.

      In literature, you have, amongst many others, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and on and on. I suspect I don’t need to mention African-American contributions to other aspects of modern American culture, like film, TV, and sports.

      On the scientific side, in addition to Dr. Charles Drew, mentioned above, African-Americans were crucial to the development of transplant surgery (see Samuel Kountz for one example) and open-heart surgery (Daniel Hale Williams). Lewis Latimer was an assistant to both Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison and invented carbon filaments for light bulbs, significantly improving Edison’s original design. African-Americans took part in the Manhattan Project, NASA, and so on.

      If you weren’t a bigot it wouldn’t be hard to see all of this, and see how amazing some of the above achievements were given the barriers minorities (and especially African-Americans) had to (and still have to) face in this country.

  25. rc says:

    I knew this thread would get desperate–now we have liberals on here saying that races don’t exist. Jesus.

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