Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Phenotypical Political Profiling

Congressman John Boozman (R-Pinnacle Gated Community) has a colorful moral compass that spins with the situation, giving a new meaning to the term political race. Nowhere has this been more evident than in his righteous enforcement of morals and manners among his colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Last year, the Republicans bypassed the House Ethics Committee to bring a Resolution of Censure against Congressman Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, who just happens to be black. One of the nefarious actions that offended the sensibilities of the GOP moralists was the fact, which Rangel readily confessed, that he had written letters on his legislative stationery to various corporations and foundations asking for contributions to the City College of New York, an inner city educational institution in his district. The Republicans said this "dishonored himself and brought discredit to the House."
The House tabled Resolution 1396 by an overwhelming vote of 254-138, but John Boozman was among the strident minority wanting to sanction Rangel for such a breach of honor.

Last week, Boozman's fellow Southern Republican Joe Wilson (R-Ft. Sumpter) yelled out during the President's Health Care Address to a Join Session of Congress, "You lie!!!" Wilson happens to be white, and the President happens to be black. The House leadership brought forward Resolution 744 that found Wilson's outburst to be "a breach of decorum" that "degraded the proceedings," and expressed disapproval of the behavior. Although the Resolution passed by 240-179, our John Boozman disagreed and voted NO.

Interesting, it is, that a black colleague's fundraising letter for a college would demand censure from John Boy, but a white colleague's televised tantrum against a black President gets a pass from the Third District's moral arbiter. Some might think that Boozman has a double standard, and others might conclude that he is a racist. We are still waiting for an explanation from Boozman to explicate his fine syntactic analysis of his mysterious moral code.



  2. So how DOES Boozman explain his vote that Wilson's outburst did not breach decorum? I think his political career has jumped the shark.

  3. Couldn't it just be a straight up party line thing? We all know politicians shift their positions on these type of issues based on who's on the hotseat. Boozman's hypocrisy isn't racism, it's because he's a loyal party hack.

  4. Anon 8:32 might have it right. Boozman may or may not be a rascist, but he is a bonehead drone who will vote however John Boehner (R-OH) tells him to vote. It doesn't matter if it screws over the citizens of northwest Arkansas or supports a racist from South Carolina, because Congressman Boozman is a loyal follower of the beltway Republican leaders. That is more important to him than the interests of the locals, and it must be OK with his constituents, who reelect him because he is a Republican and disregard his voting record.

  5. Repeatedly cheating on your taxes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars and you chair the committee that writes the tax code = No big deal.

    Saying the President spoke incaccurately = HUGE DEAL.

    I get it. Oh yeah, and free speech is dead. We'd hate to hurt Obama's feelings. Thank goodness Wilson didn't say anything about his ears.

  6. Ignoring the fact that such a personal attack was highly inappropriate in that venue, Mr. Wilson could at least have made his comment when Obama was actually lying (which, according to conservatives, would have been at any other time in the speech). The timing of the outburst says much more about Wilson's racial concerns than about his alleged interest in the truth.

    the fact is that being insde a whale is a very confortable, cosy, homelike thought...The whale's belly is simply a womb big enough for an adult. There you are, in the dark, cushioned space that exactly fits you, with yards of blubber between yourself and reality...Even the whale's own movements would probably be imperceptible to you. ...Short of being dead, it is the final, unsurpassable stage of irresponsibility.
    --*Inside the Whale*, George Orwell

  8. I don't know that Joe Wilson is a racist, and I'm really not concerned with whether he is or not. Notably, the house isn't either. Nor are they concerned with the president's feelings. They are however concerned with civility and more importantly house rules regarding speaking procedure. And they should be, and I think are, concerned with making sure that a double standard regarding the respect shown to a President (or any other speaker) in the chamber isn't established in regard to THIS president.

    Wilson doesn't have to personally be a racist to make a public gesture that gives aid and comfort to racism and racists. The insidious and harmful effects of racism in general in our society don't come so much from individual, active personal racism by people alive today. Instead they come from the institutionalized effects of past racism, the passive acceptance fo those conditions, and the refusal to see the complex ways that race works because doing so would be "too PC." the house, as an institution has a responsibility to make sure that this President is shown the same deference as any other president, no more, no less.

    Certainly, many people who criticize this president do so out of principled disagreement and not racism, whether it's informed or uniformed criticism. But the manner in which much of that criticism is expressed, the respect (or lack therof) shown the office has an undeniable racial element.

    Conservative leaders spent the last 8 years being outraged-outraged! when silly liberal entertainers made snide remarks about George Bush from the stage, but they think it's OK for a congressman to make a personal attack on this President in the midst of a speech in the House chambers in violation of house rules of debate? that's at least the lowest form of "it's ok for us but not for you" hypocrisy. Which i guess is to be expected, but not tolerated, especially when it can be construed as endorsing more extreme views.

  9. Urk--

    Thank you for your post. I didn't make clear in my post that it appears that Mr. Wilson's racial concerns are directed not toward Obama but toward all those other illicit foreigners. You know who he appears to mean.

  10. You don't understand THE PLAN Jonah.

    Please, (you're welcome) let me help you out.

    You see when Sen Craig gets caught red-handed picking up guys in a airport bathroom, then it's simple: The Police are out of order. It's entrapment.

    When Sen Vitter gets caught on The Madam's phone list, it's a matter of one speech, an unfortunate incident.

    When Mark Foley gets caught trying to hump some teen boys in the House he simply needs prayer and counseling due to previous priestly abuse. No censure or reprimand called for.

    When Sen Ensign gets caught banging his best friend's wife it's time for some C Street and paying a bribe for her rectitude but bribing someone is not an censurable offense.

    When Dick Cheney shoots a man in a drunken hunting accident there cannot be an official investigation because National Security could be involved.

    How are these glowing departures from acceptable morality and decency solved?
    click on eLwood


  11. David, I figured that was what you meant. I was more replying to the general "oh, calling the President a liar isn't racist" meme and trying toget at the ways it isn't and is true.