Charlottesville, Eye Contact, and the Fed Chair Post

Is this how we should be choosing the Fed Chair? From WaPo:

Top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is unlikely to be nominated as Federal Reserve chairman because he criticized President Trump’s response to violent white supremacists last month, two people familiar with the decision-making process said, upending the search for who will control the most powerful economic post in the world.

and from NYT today:

Several aides said Mr. Trump is freezing out Mr. Cohn by employing a familiar tactic: refusing to make eye contact with Mr. Cohn when his adviser greets him.

At a meeting on Thursday on infrastructure at the White House with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and members of Congress from New York and New Jersey, Mr. Kelly told participants that Mr. Cohn would lead the meeting. But Mr. Trump, whose most cutting insult is to pretend someone does not exist or that he barely knows them, virtually ignored him.

Here is what one prediction market says about the probabilities; note the movements going from Aug 24 to Aug 25 to today.



Figure 1: Probability “Will Gary Cohn be Senate-confirmed Fed Chair on February 4, 2018?” Source: PredictIt, accessed 9/8/2017 8:20PM Central.

I’m not necessarily in favor or against Gary Cohn as Fed Chair, but what does the fact that views on the presence of good people in the white supremacist movement inform the selection of economic technocrats say about the nature of governance in 2017 America?

65 thoughts on “Charlottesville, Eye Contact, and the Fed Chair Post

  1. Dave

    Alt view – he wasn’t strong enough to buck the crowd. His friends pressured him, he buckled. Beltway is High School writ large. Trump’s statement was poorly worded, but he is clearly not a bigot. Cohn could have played that card; he choose to run with the kool kids. Weak for a GS alum in my opinion, which makes him a perfect fit for Fed Chair, no? Hasn’t been a chair w spine since Tall Paul.

    Reply
    1. Robj

      It appears he really is a bigot–poorly worded is the excuse you use when you get an F in English when you’re supporting fascists, Nazis and alt-rightists as “good people.” Okie granddad is dead (for 12 years) but I would like to see his reaction to Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville. He would have spit in the dirt in disgust at any Nazi licker, like the “poorly worded” Trump. Poorly-worded means that he has no values and no spine to tell his racist supporters to flip off, because there would go 1/3 of his “base.”

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    “President Trump’s response to violent white supremacists”

    A lot of the violence has been from the left, not the right. Antifa wears masks and carries bats to beat people with. During the campaign, violence against Trump supporters was common. BLM roused up people who literally shot some police to death. And this summer, a Bernie Sanders supporter took a rifle and shot Republican Congressmen at an intramural baseball practice.

    Reply
    1. dilbert dogbert

      The NAZI’s wear Chinos and Izod shirts. Kinda punk uniforms compared to the real thing. Chinos, ie patalones chinos, are of Khaki material used for military uniforms. Carry NAZI and Confederate Flags. Carry torches to beat people with and shields to protect themselves. They came in peace may ass. Both the NAZI’s feed off one another using violence as a recruiting mechanism. That said, I will join with the Antfa rather than those idealizing mass murder and slavery.

      Reply
  3. PeakTrader

    Trump was correct. There were good people who were against the statues coming down for various reasons other than racism. The mainstream media is a propaganda machine. And, so many Republicans are scared of being labeled a racist, going against the hysteria, for telling the truth. Cohn doesn’t have it.

    Why did black lives matter and other counterpotesters show up? They were getting the statue down – getting their way. I guess, they wanted to rub the protesters nose in it. Very nice.

    Reply
    1. Robj

      While I’m in part named after Robert E. Lee (the Lee in my middle name),
      all this concern trolling about our precious Confederate “history” monuments ignores
      1) Lee and the Confeds were traitors who attempted to preserve slavery
      2) their statues were erected as political acts and acts of intimidation after Reconstruction was stopped (Tilden-Hayes) and during Jim Crow when all the laws keeping “blacks” from voting were enacted. Was that an “accident” when the South discovered their precious “history”?
      I’ve got a Rolex watch to sell you for for $80.
      3) Yes, the South will hug their slave-loving ancestors because, it’s the South, damn it and we’re not racists–just luvs our traitorous Confederate statues, damn it. It would be nice to have beautiful slave auction statutues and a nice big Frederick Douglass statue giving the bird to Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis–but that ain’t the kind of “his-story” statues we value in the South, is it?

      History!

      Reply
  4. Stephen MacDonald

    If armed Nazi’s and white supremacists flood the streets yelling racist and anti-semitic slogans, America would be at risk if no-body counter-protested. Similarly, if those holding the levers of power refuse to acknowledge that the motives and actions of the protesters were antithetical to American values, then our country is at risk.

    An independent monetary authority has many benefits, but the current president is not the kind of person who values independence.

    Reply
    1. PeakTrader

      There was no flood of racists. It was a small group of racists marching, for example, and were blocked by a much larger group of counterprotesters, who antagonized them. Violence was very predictable. The racists had a permit, to exercise their first amendment rights. unlike the counterprotesters, who didn’t and many came from other states. What are you saying? – mobs should beat racists to a pulp?

      Reply
      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        PeakTrader: Counterprotesters had no permit? Hmm – see PolitiFact. Small group of racists? I dunno – the torch lit march looks different (and if you’ve ever heard the audio, they don’t sound quiet to me).

        Your arguments would have more power if they were ever substantiated by fact.

        Reply
        1. PeakTrader

          The facts are there were 50 KKK racists at a park one day and 1,000 counterprotesters. And, the torch group was up to 250 people – maybe they were all racists. And, maybe, a counterprotesters permit was issued by the city or a judge for the same day, place, and time? Anyway, it looks like an explosive situation, which could’ve been avoided.

          Reply
        2. CoRev

          Menzie, peaceful protest? It appears to not been planned as peaceful. From the permit requester:
          “Given this experience, he said, the initial purpose for the Aug. 12 permits in McGuffey and Justice parks “was to assure that there would be two spaces for lawful assembly” by counter-protesters. “What we did was provide food and water, and medics were stationed there. We allowed for that space to be used for peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations, and for protesters at Emancipation Park to have respite from a lawless melee,” he said.
          me·lee
          [ˈmāˌlā, māˈlā]
          NOUN

          a confused fight, skirmish, or scuffle:
          “several people were hurt in the melee”
          synonyms: fracas · disturbance · rumpus · tumult · commotion · ruckus · disorder ·

          The permit was supposed to establish a safe space for the counter protesters involved in the “melee”.

          “Your arguments would have more power if they were ever substantiated by fact.” Instead of just emotion.

          Few accept the message of the KKK, but most respect their rights to espouse them. The court agreed, because they authorized their demonstration. It’s doubtful many agree with the counter protester actions, while most agree with their message.

          As Peak asked: “What are you saying? – mobs should beat racists to a pulp?”

          Reply
          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: PeakTrader asserted the counterprotesters had no permits. I merely pointed out the error in his statement.

            I made no comments on whether KKK and other white supremacists had a right to march, nor did I say they should be beaten to a pulp. Is there anything factually wrong in what I wrote? You will note PeakTrader makes no acknowledgment he perpetuated a factual inaccuracy; as far as I can tell, he never does.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: In any case, is a statement on events surrounding Charlottesville any reason to discredit somebody for a post as Fed Chair? That was my original question.

            I think your answer is yes. Am I correct?

          3. Corev

            Menzie, a little embarrassed with your selective comparison??? The information in my quotes was from your own reference. If you read it, your own bias caused you to ignore the alternative interpretations. Bias is why “Fake News” is so often believed and repeated.

            This is the 2nd time in recent article I have called you on bias/fake news.

      2. Sherparick

        Peak, you are repeating a right wing meme.

        1) the Nazis had no permit for their little torch light parade and Nuremburg Rally reenactment on Friday evening. They attacked UVA students who surrounded the statute of Thomas Jefferson at the Rotunda to protect it. There were hundreds of marchers that night and very few counter-protesters on Friday.

        2) the counter-protesters also had permits for demonstrating on Saturday. The Nazis came armed and ready for trouble.

        3) also, the permit was for a rally in the park where the statue of the traitor Robert E. Lee is placed. The city wanted it moved to a park away from downtown, but the ACLU and the Alt Right organizations sued and won. It made it very hard to keep the groups separate and when the demonstrations were ended, the people from both groups flowed downtown, equally without permit, which is where the trouble occurred.

        Reply
  5. PeakTrader

    It seems, the protesters received a permit for Emancipation Park, where the statue was taken down, and the counterprotesters received a permit for McGuffey Park and Justice Park, in reaction to the protesters permit.

    “Groups counterprotesting included representatives from the National Council of Churches, Black Lives Matter, Anti-Racist Action, the Democratic Socialists of America, the Workers World Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Redneck Revolt, the Industrial Workers of the World, the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council, and Showing Up for Racial Justice. Members of the Antifa movement were also in attendance.”

    Reply
    1. PeakTrader

      Anyway, there was only a small group of racists – maybe 250. They could’ve been controlled by the police. You can’t control thousands of people on the streets, including lots of college students and other young people in the community who hate racism.

      Reply
      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        PeakTrader: Let me get this down on (virtual) paper for the record. You are asserting that most of the violence perpetrated at Charlottesville, and elsewhere, is committed by non-white-supremacists?

        Now, I am trying to recall, who drove the car that killed a counter-protester at Charlottesville?

        Reply
          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: I see one news item quoting somebody saying they’d been told that, but no confirmation from a doctor or the court.

            I do wonder. If Adolf Hitler were diagnosed as a schizophrenic, would that mean he wasn’t a Nazi? Just wondering.

          2. Corev

            Menzie, since you started with: “… one news item quoting somebody saying they’d been told that, but no confirmation…” but just paraphrased anonymous sources, I fail to see any/much value in your response.

            Just saying.

          3. Corev

            Menzie, and I repeat: ” I fail to see any/much value in your response.” You’re now just trying to change the subject from your obvious bias. That bias is evidenced in your selection of articles and the specific passages quoted.

  6. Rick Stryker

    Menzie,

    I see you are yet again relying on “fact-checking” articles, which, as I’ve pointed out before, are devices used by the politically biased media to pretend that their editorial page views are actually facts rather than arguments. But Trump is correct, both in his statement that the protestors had a permit and the counter-protestors did not and that there was very bad behavior “on all sides.” You asked for facts so let me give you some.

    First, who were the protestors and counter-protestors in Charlottesville? The media would have you believe that all the protestors were white nationalists or Nazis and all counter-protestors were just ordinary concerned citizens who came out to oppose racism. On the protestor side, there were various groups that represented a spectrum of white nationalist beliefs. The Proud Boys are white nationalist-lite, for example, while Vanguard America, whose members showed up, is a full-blown white supremacist and fascist organization that believes that even non-white citizens of the US should be expelled so that white people can live under a fascist government. An alt-right militia also showed up with assault rifles to protect the protestors. But there was also a silent, non-violent, protesting crowd, not allied with the white nationalists, who came from both sides of the political spectrum and who opposed the city removing the confederate statues. They do not agree with the views of the white nationalists, finding them odious.

    The counter-protestor side was also a disparate set of groups. Probably a majority of the counter-protesting side were just ordinary people who came out to oppose racism–non-violently. But Antifa also showed up. The media gives the public the impression that Antifa is a specific group, but it’s actually an organizing principle based on spontaneous organization by means of social media. Antifa recruits the more violent members of communist and anarchist groups, people who are willing to use “black bloc” tactics, i.e., wear masks, often black clothing, and violently attack people and the police, destroy property, demonstrate without a permit, etc. These groups are not just otherwise ordinary people opposed to racism (although they are opposed to racism). They are fundamentally opposed to the American political system and capitalism. They see America as inherently fascist and police as the instruments of state fascism, which is the reason that Antifa so often attacks the police. Antifa does not believe in freedom speech and thinks violence is justified to silence people. One such communist counter-protestor group that showed up in Charlottesville, the Workers World Party, is a long-standing supporter of North Korea. People have seen the photos of the militia that showed up in Charlottesville to guard the white nationalists, but very few people realize that an anarchist group, the Redneck Revolt, also answered Antifa’s call to battle, and showed up with their own assault rifle-armed militia. This militia deployed “fire teams” around the counterprotestors in Justice Park.

    Thus, the real situation in Charlottesville was that there were people in the crowd who disagreed with the statues being removed but they were not violent and not white nationalists but rather opposed to racism. There were also people there who wanted the statues to come down, not violent, and opposed to racism. But the white nationalists came to town looking for a fight, which Antifa was only too willing to oblige. The two opposing violent groups are often described as right and left, but they are really both outside of the conventional right-left political spectrum.

    Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right rally, originally got a permit to protest in Emancipation Park. The city however attempted to revoke that permit, sending him to McCintire Park. A federal judge intervened on First Amendment grounds, ordering that the Unite the Right rally proceed as planned. A UVA professor applied for a permit to hold a counter-protest in Justice Park and McCintire Park. The reason for this was at the last Klan rally the police told the counter-protestors to break up and when they refused, teargassed them. So, the counter-protestors wanted their own permit so they could legally remain in the area. But the important distinction ignored by the Politifact editorial is that Kessler’s permit gave him the right to protest in Emancipation Park while the counter-protestors had the right to protest in Justice Park. But not vice versa. The city was attempting to keep the two groups apart from each other.

    But it didn’t work out that way, to President Trump’s point. Counter-protestors decided to protest at Justice Park anyway, despite having no permit. A group of left-wing clergy, who were not allied with Antifa, decided to demonstrate by locking their arms at one of the entrances to Justice Park, in order to prevent the White Nationalists from entering the park and holding their rally. Antifa was also protesting in the same area and had begun to attack the White Nationalists as they approached the park. Some of the White Nationalists surged forward, breaking the clergy line, to enter the park. Antifa attacked and there was a brawl between the two groups, with the terrified clergy in the middle of it. The police did not intervene.

    Who was at fault? To President Trump’s point again–all sides. The police should have arrested everybody involved. Leaving aside the issue of protesting without a permit, blocking the White Nationalist’s path into the park is a violation of Va Code, 18.2-404, which makes it a class 1 misdemeanor to obstruct the free passage of others. There’s also assault and battery, which both the White Nationalists and Antifa were both guilty of.

    Just to avoid misunderstanding, I’m not arguing that the clergy’s actions are somehow morally equivalent to the White Nationalists or Antifa. I sympathize with them completely and understand why they did what they did. But what they did was foolish. They inadvertantly allied themselves with Antifa and helped to accelerate the violence between the groups. They also violated Va law and undermined the first amendment. If I had been on a jury, I would have refused to convict the clergy members by means of jury nullification because I can understand the moral horror they felt seeing the White Nationalists. But had I been on the juries for the White Nationalists or Antifa, I would have thrown the book at them.

    Many conservatives can’t understand why Trump didn’t just denounce the White Nationalists, leaving the Antifa people out of it. These are the same conservatives who still don’t understand why Trump won and don’t appreciate what he’s been accomplishing. Trump understands that conservatives are always manipulated by the media and the Left and they continually fall for it. The standard conservative would have done the opposite of what Trump did and then the media and the Democrats would have tied the White Nationalists to conservatives anyway. So Trump did what he does best, which is to manipulate the media and Democrats to tie Antifa to them. Here’s what Trump managed to do with his statement:

    1) By saying what people across the country (other than coastal elites) recognize as true, he solidified his standing as a regular guy who tells it like it is rather than a coastal elitist

    2) Trump knows that the media has been whitewashing antifa, since it has also been disrupting conservative speakers and was behind the rioting during the inauguration. By saying others were at fault, he forced the media to talk about Antifa. CNN was forced to have panels with people on it who educated the public as to who Antifa really is.

    3) Related to 2) Trump knew that the media and the Democrats would have to disagree with him, and would therefore go into contortions to draw distinctions between the groups. I saw articles in the Washington Post and NY Times, for example, that came pretty close to justifying Antifa’s violent tactics. Trump wanted to tie Antifa in the public’s mind to the media and the Democratic Party.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: Seriously, your long exegesis justifies Trump making a determination on who will be nominated to be Fed Chair on the basis of the potential candidates’ views on Charlottesville? Apparently, you believe Cohn should be ruled out on the basis of his statements on this (non-monetary policy) issue. Good to know.

      Reply
      1. Rick Stryker

        Menzie,

        Actually, I made no statement about the Fed selection process. I was reacting to your comment to Peaktrader in which you relied on Politifact to assert that Trump was wrong to say that the counter-protestors didn’t have a permit. While I was on it, I figured I may as well clear up the facts around the question of whether Trump was right or not in his general comments. Yes, it was a long comment–it unfortunately takes some time to go through what actually happened in Charlottesville–but it was not an “exegesis,” since I wasn’t interpreting a text, as far as I’m aware.

        I would not bother to comment on the Fed selection process because I don’t take seriously anything the WaPo or NYT says involving Trump. Their partisan bias is so overwhelming at this point that they are just not credible. Yet another article relying on unnamed, and unverifiable sources. We know very little about how Trump actually makes decisions and the media is not helping. I sometimes wonder whether the Wapo or NYT would run the story if sources called claiming that Trump uses an Ouija board to select judges. I also wonder how many of the WaPo or NYT’s readers would believe such a story. A lot I bet.

        It would be nice if the news media could do its job and give us some real info.

        Reply
        1. Sherparick

          Well, after reading Peter Baker’s story on Trump in the NYT yesterday, I find at least one thing I agree with Rich Stryker on as far as the uselessness of the NYT political section. The rest, not so much.

          Reply
  7. 2slugbaits

    Suppose you like to think of yourself as basically a good, decent person with conservative leanings. You hear about some rally that’s supposed to happen, so you decide to check it out. You quickly notice that quite a few of the right leaning protesters are proclaiming Nazi sympathies and wearing Nazi style uniforms, some promote KKK propaganda and someone like David Duke is a featured speaker. Would you decide to join the march or would you decide that perhaps you’d rather not associate yourself with people like that? If the former and you decide to join the march, then you really need to ask yourself just how different you really are from the Nazi and KKK crazies. When Trump said that there were a lot of good people protesting alongside the Nazis, KKK and alt-right nutjobs, then he was speaking nonsense. No good person would have joined them. You might have been a good person before you joined the march, but the mere act of joining was in itself a transformative act. Even if you didn’t carry a Nazi placard or engage in violence, your marching with the Nazis and KKK makes you a fellow traveler, so Trump really had no business saying that some of them were good people once they joined the march.

    The deep evil here is not protesters and counter-protesters engaging in fisticuffs…that’s not a great thing, but it’s not a deep evil. The deep evil is marching alongside Nazis and the KKK. If you marched with them, then I’m sorry, you’re not a good person regardless of what your mother might have told you.

    Reply
    1. PeakTrader

      Did Trump say good people were marching alongside racists? Here’s what a protester, who isn’t racist, said:

      “It hurts my heart that people come out here and misappropriate Robert E. Lee and the Confederate flag for their personal agendas,” Armentrout told the newspaper. “I’m out here to honor my ancestors and honor the men who died under the command of Robert E. Lee, and I think me being out here shows that I hope to accomplish the fact that the world can see that there’s non-racist pro-Confederate people out there that love freedom and independence.””

      https://www.google.com/amp/amp.newsobserver.com/news/local/article167504092.html

      Reply
      1. 2slugbaits

        PeakTrader Did Trump say good people were marching alongside racists?

        Yes.

        Here’s what a protester, who isn’t racist, said:

        If you were protesting with Nazis and KKK types, then you are a racist. Period. It doesn’t matter that you might think you’re not a racist, but you are. Ever read Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem? Arendt coined the phrase “banality of evil.” Her point was that most Nazis did not see themselves as evil. They loved their families, paid their taxes, took good care of their pets, etc. Some of them were even vegetarians because they didn’t believe in killing animals. But in their day jobs they dutifully sent millions to the gas chambers. If you showed up at the march and didn’t turn around and leave once you discovered Nazi and KKK thugs were there, then you’re really not all that much different from those folks wearing Nazi uniforms and white hoods.

        This Armentrout person you quoted would be much better off reading some real history on the myth of the “Lost Cause” than out there protesting the removal of a traitor’s statue. There’s no such thing as a “non-racist pro-Confederate” person. You might as well talk about unicorns. And one thing we know about Robert E. Lee is that he most certainly did not “love freedom and independence.” In fact, Lee lied and cheated in order to re-enslave the people his father-in-law had freed. Lee was a scumbag racist. And there is nothing great about most of those statues as works of art. More like kitsch art that was mass produced by a company looking to cash in on Jim Crow and the “Lost Cause” mythology. Take down those crappy statues and put up some real art.

        Reply
        1. PeakTrader

          2slugbaits, cite the Trump quote.

          And, just because a book tells you something is true doesn’t make it true. It’s ignorant to assume people are racist when they’re not and have other beliefs.

          And, you’re judging Lee by 21st century standards and by assumptions of only some historians. For example, Darwinism was very popular for a while.

          Here’s what Lee actually wrote:

          … In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.

          — Robert E. Lee, to Mary Anna Lee, December 27, 1856

          Reply
  8. Corev

    Menzie asks: “I’m not necessarily in favor or against Gary Cohn as Fed Chair, but what does the fact that views on the presence of good people in the white supremacist movement inform the selection of economic technocrats say about the nature of governance in 2017 America?”

    It’s a reflection of his discretion in asserting his personal view in a position, Fed Chair, where his every word is studied for long list of possible interpretations. Dd he fail that test in the eyes of his selector? Did he lose his trust?

    Just wondering how someone who once worked in that environment could ignore those obvious conclusions?

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: OK, I perceive your Weltanschauung completely. In other words, any comment on any subject could be disqualifying — e.g., “I like movie X.” Like I asked, what kind of world is that?

      Reply
      1. CoRev

        Menzie: ” Like I asked, what kind of world is that?” It is the kind of world in which we live today. It’s the world created by biased press, universities and staff, partisan and identity politics, and over reliance on these institutions instead of the individual.

        It is you who exist in that environment/world where any comment can be considered offensive, and where being offended is an injustice. That extreme philosophy and its social impacts is what is actually being discussed. My own belief in individuals’ right right to freedom of speech.

        As to how it applies to selection of an independent Fed Chair, I’ve already stated my views on estimating the candidate’s judgment.

        I too see your Weltanschauung, but qualifications still matter, and one is judgment.

        Reply
    2. 2slugbaits

      CoRev It’s a reflection of his discretion in asserting his personal view in a position, Fed Chair, where his every word is studied for long list of possible interpretations.

      Here’s another interpretation. It’s a reflection of someone who is weak willed and unwilling to speak his mind or act on principle. It describes a cowardly sychophant. But Menzie’s post was not about Cohn; it was about the President’s petty petulance and arrested emotional development. We’re back to the “man child” thing again.

      Reply
  9. Erik Poole

    I will agree that that leadership at the federal level is in very sad shape. I wonder to what extent Trump and Team Trump are aware of the literature on the importance of central bank autonomy. Probably not.

    As for the violence Menzie….. From the footage, that I observed, it is quite clear that some of the ‘antis’ who crashed the party came prepared to engage in intimidation and violent tactics. I saw projectiles being tossed.

    Large protests are often joined by small groups of individuals who deploy violence. It is all too common.

    Unfortunately, self-styled liberals and progressives will frequently make excuses for the violence if they happen to agree with the cause. In other cases, journalists will ignore the violence in order to not ruin the dominate narrative, e.g., the Arab Spring, which can only be viewed as populist and reactionary but was instead interpreted as a noble attempt to bring democracy in the Arab countries of North Africa and the Mid-East.

    Self-styled liberal and progressive academics should ideally stop making excuses for violent political rent seeking. Not for ethical and moral reasons but rather for very pragmatic reasons such as not losing control of the narrative. Which is precisely what happened in part here.

    As for Trump’s comfort with ethnic nationalist, racist and sectarian groups, well as pointed out, there were lots of warning signs early in his career and during the campaign.

    Given the configuration of group identity politics in the USA, some backlash against the first mulatto president was to be expected though in terms of magnitude it largely surpassed my expectations. In a perverse sense, President Obama’s calm, dignified behaviour as well as his eloquence probably made things worse.

    Reply
  10. baffling

    there appears to be a narrative used by the conservatives on this blog, in which they appeal to the freedom of speech rights of the facists and white supremecists in order to not truly condemn those positions. these people had the right to demonstrate their bigotry-this is the position several conservatives on this blog have taken, either explicitly or otherwise. lets be clear. bigotry and racism has no defensible “right” in modern america. those few of you who are taking this position are complicit in the growth of these white supremacist and facist movements. peaktrader, corev, anonymous and rick stryker, you take cover in your positions by advocating for the freedom of expression of these views. but these views are wrong, immoral, and illegal. its disappointing that we still have people in america who promote these views, and do not feel a patriotic and moral duty to denounce these views unambiguously and without excuses. there is nothing patriotic about defending any white supremecist and facist “rights”. for those who are comfortable defending the statues of robert lee, would you also defend the right of those who wanted to erect a memorial to osama bin laden? they both attacked the united states of america, on american soil. lee killed far more americans.

    Reply
    1. CoRev

      Baffled steps into it again: ” lets be clear. bigotry and racism has no defensible “right” in modern america. ” And yet, anyone who disagrees with his own views are called racist,misogynist, etc. etc. Also he says “advocating for the freedom of expression of these views.” is wrong when he does not agree with those views.

      What he misses is that those espousing “the freedom of speech rights” are fighting for the constitutional right and not the “views are wrong, immoral, and illegal. ” of the white supremacists.

      I’ve seen many other liberals use these same arguments painting those who support Freedom of Speech rights” as supporting the white supremacists. He is blindly wrong in his views, and analysis but he can have and speak them. Thank the blog owners.

      Reply
      1. Robj

        Let’s be clear: Lee and the Southern traitor had no love for “freedom of speech” rights for blacks, nor did the racist Southerners who erected the Confederate statues during Jim Crow to intimidate blacks who had voted under Reconstruction and had equal rights, briefly, until the Southern Fascists rose up.
        You’re arguing for the wrong side and worse you don’t even know or acknowledge what happened in the South when those sacred statues were erected–and which came down under the Civil Rights Act which was enacted 100 years after the Civil War Amendments granting African Americans Equal Rights.
        The Civil Rights Amendments and the Civil Rights Acts enacted true “freedom speech” and Voting rights; the Confederate statues were eracted to suppress.
        It’s sad that you don’t even acknowledge what these statues “mean” in terms of when they were erected and why. Or perhaps you are too blind to acknowledge what happened in Jim Crow. In any case, those white Fascists marching to preserve “Robert E. Lee’s sacred history” know exactly what symbolic speech they were enacting. Some are too blind to see. They can march–and the left can countermarch and tell those Fasicsts exactly how full of it they and you are.

        Reply
        1. PeakTrader

          Women couldn’t vote till the 20th century – do you believe men hated women?

          You’re just making up history.

          Northerners in the U.S. also had beliefs in the 19th century you’d find totally unacceptable today.

          Before that, there were Gladiator games.

          Reply
          1. baffling

            “You’re just making up history.”
            seriously, that is your reply? please go educate yourself on the history of slavery and the civil war. because if you do believe robj is “making up” the history of slavery and racism, you are an even bigger idiot than corev on this blog.

          2. PeakTrader

            Baffling, you’re too ignorant – a one trick pony – to have a conversation about American history.

          3. baffling

            peak, you are simply demonstrating you know nothing about the history of the civil war and slavery. or you actually believe the crap which appears on the white supremacist and alt right web sites.

  11. PeakTrader

    Baffling, creating false narratives and defending them poorly shows you shouldn’t be arguing with yourself. I know, you want to limit American’s rights, along with controlling their thoughts and beliefs. You’re the fascist. Robert E Lee was an American general and the United States of America killed a lot of Americans too. If you want to compare Lee to Osama Bin Laden why not also compare Grant or Sherman too? You liberal/socialists have turned American history upside down.

    Reply
    1. PeakTrader

      If the Civil War started earlier, Washington and Jefferson would’ve likely been on the Confederate side, since they were both Virginians, like Lee.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        actually peak, washington and jefferson were defenders of the united states of america. not the confederate states of america, which was lee’s cause. they would not have sided with the confederates, if you want to talk hypotheticals, because they believed in the union of states not dissolution. let’s be very clear. lee waged war on the united states of america, in a bid to separate the country. bin laden also waged war on the united states of america. you appear to want to support the legacy of those who have waged war with this country. that does not appear very patriotic.

        peak, for what its worth, grant and sherman were not confederate generals. they did not fight for the dissolution of the nation. perhaps you need to brush up on the history of the civil war before you comment further. my guess is you do not truly understand the civil war and slavery.

        Reply
      2. Robj

        Nope. Washington and Jefferson were not traitors, unlike Lee, Davis, and the Confefe Feds and their alt-right Defenders.

        Washington sent the troops against the Whiskey Rebellion to defend the Constitution.

        The KKK and Nazis had a right to demonstrate in Charlottesville and the left had a right to counter-demonstrate and tell them they were full of it, just like my Okie grandfather from WWII would have done.

        Reply
        1. PeakTrader

          Lee was not a traitor to Virginia.

          You don’t know if Washington and Jefferson would’ve been traitors to Virginia – you don’t know their first loyalty.

          When thousands of people are on the streets with heated and opposite opinions at the same time and place, you can get something that could’ve been avoided – Violence.

          Maybe, you like people getting physically hurt and killed.

          Reply
  12. baffling

    as for gary cohn, it was reported he only stayed on with trump because he wanted to be fed chair. so at this point, we have cohn, sessions and tillerson who have given up their lifetime careers to join the trump administration. and it looks as though all three will be gone inside of year one. they all will have lost far more than they gained by joining trump. how many more suckers will join the administration only to find themselves on the losing end of the deal?

    Reply
      1. baffling

        actually, i defend the usa. i do not hide behind false “rights” to promote the division and separation of this great nation. nothing in the constitution supports the defense of white supremacists. those who defend white supremacists attack directly the ideals of this great nation. i will defend this nation against those with such unpatriotic actions. white supremacists, and those who defend them, are not welcome in my country.

        Reply
  13. baffling

    corev
    “What he misses is that those espousing “the freedom of speech rights” are fighting for the constitutional right and not the “views are wrong, immoral, and illegal. ” of the white supremacists.”

    as i said, you are not defending the constitution. the constitution does not permit racism and discrimination. you are not defending the constitution. you are defending white supremacists.

    Reply
    1. CoRev

      Baffled repeating a wrong idea: “you are not defending the constitution… you are defending white supremacists.” does not make it correct.

      It is typical for many weak debaters of: ” creating false narratives and defending them poorly shows you shouldn’t be arguing with yourself. ” (Thanks Peak) Baffled and I have been debating subjects for several years now, and I can no longer count the times I have called him on this debate strategy. It is a strategy only and has no basis in truth, except in their own minds.

      The other common thing is he and many other liberals think there is only one truth and it is theirs alone.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        corev, i have yet to see you and the other conservatives on this blog defend the constitutional rights of black lives matter, when they voice their opinion. but when white supremacists appear, you are very quick to demand that their constitutional rights be protected. corev and peak, it is very clear to those reading this blog that you provide support to the message of the white supremacists. your silence on the issue makes you complicit. your defense of the freedoms protected in the constitution are false. a patriot would not defend white supremacists. i feel obligated to point this out.

        Reply
        1. Corev

          Baffled, there you go again creating false narratives: “…i have yet to see you and the other conservatives on this blog defend the constitutional rights of black lives matter.” You have never seen me attack the BLM rights of free speech. I disagree with them when they voice their opinion. Just as I have disagreed with most opinions of white supremacists.

          I have not seen you voice any disagreement with the opinions of BLM, antifa, nor the other multitudes of anarchists groups. Evidently you agree with their views and their approaches to achieving them. Believing in anarchy is neither supporting nor protecting the constitution not the country. You mentioned I feel obligated to point this out, and repeat:”The other common thing is he and many other liberals think there is only one truth and it is theirs alone..”

          You are wrong in many if not most things you believe.

          Reply
          1. baffling

            corev, no false narrative. i feel most of your positions are that of an idiot. i have the right to make that statement. and you have the right to continue to promote your views as an idiot. the constitution protects us both in this case. but the constitution does not protect the promotion of white supremacists, because those views would result in the termination of others rights and life. so while i disagree with you, i certainly allow you to continue to live the life of an idiot. but i will not permit white supremacists to have any say in my country. they are not welcome. you have no problem with them living in this country. very unpatriotic. and i have doubts you will ever develop enough of a spine to take the proper course of action against the white supremacists. sad really.

          2. baffling

            socrates never had to debate an idiot. they are a dime a dozen on the internet. i get a troll who defends the rights of white supremacists.

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