Christians as Oppressed Now as Blacks Under Jim Crow?

September 20th, 2010 at 1:32 pm David Frum | 88 Comments |

| Print

Click here for Part 1 of David Frum’s review of Angelo Codevilla’s “The Ruling Class”.

What can we learn from the new Rush Limbaugh endorsed book, “The Ruling Class,” by Angelo Codevilla? This morning I detailed four observations. Here are two more.

5) If one idea unites “The Ruling Class” it is Codevilla’s conviction that white Christians are targets of oppression and discrimination fully equal to that which ever oppressed black Americans. Thus Codevilla asserts that today’s ruling class “can no more believe that a Christian might be their intellectual and moral equal than white southerners of the Jim Crow era could think the same of Negroes.” (22) And he contends that Reconstruction after the Civil War was fully as evil as the slavery that preceded the war. Both slavery and Reconstruction followed from the Ruling Class idea that it is right for “superior men to subdue inferior ones, just as they subdue lower beings, or try to improve them as they please. Hence, while it pleased the abolitionists to believe in freeing Negroes and improving them, it also pleased them to believe that Southerners had to be reconstructed and improved by force. In short, Darwinism corrupted Northern and Southern thinkers equally.”

Tea Party Americans are enraged when liberals discern anything racial in their politics. They do not favor discrimination in any form, their movement is open to all, how dare you accuse us?

But here’s a curious fact about Codevilla’s book. Through “The Ruling Class,” Codevilla repeatedly estimates that 1/3 of the country follows “The Ruling Class” while 2/3 belong to the good-guy faction, “the Country Party.” Who are these bad 1/3? They cannot all be Stanford graduates.

Here’s why Codevilla gets coy. He notes that the Democratic party’s most loyal voters live on streets named after Martin Luther King. They are unwed parents. They are protected by the Community Reinvestment Act.

Codevilla’s story never explicitly acknowledges race, but it is unmistakably racialized. If Christian whites are America’s new Negroes, what happened to the old Negroes? Apparently they joined the Ruling Class.

In this regard, Codevilla’s 2/3 vs. 1/3 division of the country begins to look less like a morale-boosting attempt to conjure up a majority for his preferred side of the argument — and more like a tally of the proportion of whites and non-whites in the voting age population.

6) Perhaps the most surprising thing about Codevilla’s book is the absence of much in the way of a political program. It wants constitutionalism and lower taxes and less spending and less debt, which is all fine. But if you were a Tea Party politician looking for answers to the question, “What do we do?” you won’t find those answers here. Surprisingly, Codevilla more or less washes his hands of both politics and policy.

For the Country Class, winning elections will be the easy part. Avoiding bitter partisan govenment on the one hand, and co-optation into the Ruling Class on the other, will be harder. Harder yet will be sweeping away half a century’s accretion of bad habits. Taking care to preserve the good among them is hard enough; establishing, even re-establishing, a set of better institutions and habits is much harder. The Country Class’ greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing it. America has been imposed on enough.

And there the book ends.

It may seem a frustrating and disappointing end point. Having told people everything that is wrong with America – identified the guilty parties to be removed – promised that it will be easy to take power – you quit without advising them what to do if they should happen to gain power. How is that helpful?

The answer is that “The Ruling Class” is not a book about governing. It’s a book about feeling: about identifying targets for blame, about mobilizing anger against those targets, about defining who is – and who is not – a proper American. The book does not aspire to be useful, but to be satisfying to those who feel most outraged and alienated.

Which brings us to the real division in America revealed by “The Ruling Class.” Plainly, there are many people to whom this book offers a powerful and convincing message. And then there are those to whom it will appear an unsubstantiated, unconvincing mess.

Just speaking personally here, all the elements that I would expect to find in a book on this subject – some attempt to define basic concepts, some effort at proof, some attempt to justify intellectual moves like defining college professors INTO the “ruling class” and defining the CEOs of major corporations OUT – all these elements are missing.

Codevilla piles bare assertion atop bare assertion atop bare assertion, in service of a series of generalizations that will seem convincing only to those who believed them already. The “Ruling Class” is a work of prejudice-ratification, not analysis in any sense. And yet … plainly there are plenty of people who ask nothing better from a book like this than prejudice-ratification. They know what they think, and what they want is somebody to reflect those thoughts back to them – only even more emphatic, even more impassionated, even more disdainful of anybody who might think differently.

If we were dividing America into segments, perhaps this would be as good a division as any: between those who live in the closed information system served by books like “The Ruling Class,” and those who live in more open systems, where assertions must be corroborated, and where generalizations must rest on evidence.

That divide seems to gape especially wide these days, judging at least by the enthusiastic reception of this embittered polemic by so many who call themselves conservative.

Recent Posts by David Frum

88 Comments so far ↓

  • anniemargret

    parsifal : I hear you. You make good points. And points that I wish we can do in this country. But I don’t believe it.

    I have two sons and a daughter. They’re in their mid to late 20s . None are married. Are you kidding me? Do you honestly think they are going to be chaste till their 30 y/o??? were you? How many men do you know right now have been chaste most of their lives? Women have caught up to men now. I don’t say this with relish or glee, but it’s reality.

    Back when our society was supportive of the family, when Dads came home at 6PM and Moms were cooking in the kitchens, when they weren’t working two jobs to make ends meet; when our society wasn’t saturated with sex in movies, TV ads, magazines, and when divorced adults aren’t running out to the nearest bar 2 wks after a divorce to find their next honey, while the ‘kids’ make do for themselves.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like your hopes and your dreams for a new America. I just don’t think it’s going to work. Unless we get kids to marry within 2 years out of high school.

  • anniemargret

    Parsifal: one more thought on this…

    Until and when *adults* start acting like adults and not mini-adolescents with an intense need to satisfy their own urges before their responsibilities as a parent, we will continue to see young adults get in trouble.

    It used to be called sacrificing for one’s family. Not too many people are doing this too much anymore.

  • drdredel

    But, if you teach your kid not to drink until they’re 21 and to stay away from unchaperoned parties…

    Your post makes sense until you go off the rails here, I think. The notion that you can teach someone any of these things is fanciful at best. Some people start drinking when they’re 12 others don’t drink at all. None of it has anything to do with how promiscuous they are. I drank with my dad from a very early age and was very eager to start having sex as early as possible (not with my dad). But I had a culture of responsibility that was ingrained in me so that whatever I did, I did it thoughtfully. Was this education or just my luck for being this way naturally? Impossible to tell. Probably a bit of both.

    BTW, when you cite STDs are being hugely on the rise, this is highly misleading. We’re not talking about sudden massive increases in syphilis and Hep C. We’re just measuring every cold sore that turns up as an STD now (cause technically it is). But that’s not “more promiscuity” that’s just more rigorous monitoring and a brand new classification.

  • Mercer

    “The unsaid goal of Affirmative Action was to ensure that racial minorities (particulary blacks ) were statistically represented in government contracts, corporate America, and colleges. ”

    True. An assumption of AA advocates is that employers and colleges should have a percentage of blacks close to that of the general population. This is a problem, for example, when a selective college can’t find many blacks whose SAT scores come close to their white and Asian students so they have to lower standards for admitting black students. When they admit blacks who are not as smart as the other students the blacks will struggle academically and accuse the college of institutional racism for their difficulty keeping up with the smarter white and Asian students.

    ” Again, after 40 years of Affirmative Action, please list the companies and universities that are dominated by racial minorities (please exclude NBA, NFL, and MLB). If you can’t, then the impact of Affirmative Action on white America is very limited.”

    You assume that only minority dominated employers have affirmative action policies. Most government and large private employers have affirmative action policies. The reason they are not minority dominated is because blacks do so poorly in school compared to whites and Asians so employers have trouble finding competent blacks for many positions.

  • squiddyboy

    History does not look kindly on those who rewrite reality to place the majority as some sort of persecuted minority. American Conservatives are not evil. I do not think they pose a serious threat to American life. Having said that, it should be seen as a red flag when your ideology starts to look more like the Antebellum South, Third Reich and Stalinist Russia. Once again let me repeat that these people are not evil, not Nazis, and not Stalinists. The truth, however, is that they are promoting a way of thinking that history has shown to lead only to hate.

  • armstp


    This one is for you.



    multiple meanings. 1) one who carries large bags of packaged tea for shipment. 2) a man that squats on top of a womens face and lowers his genitals into her mouth during sex, known as “teabagging” 3) one who has a job or talent that is low in social status 4) a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient. 5) also see “fagbag”, “lamer”, “noob”

    6) A whining fool shouting loudly for liberty but not willing to pay the bill.

    A conservative activist who is so ignorant that they protest against tax cuts (that benefit them) by throwing tea into a river.

    A conservative republican who protests against income taxes by rubbing their nutsacks in each other’s faces.

    A misinformed, right-wing corporate media consumer who often fails to understand that BOTH major parties represent a corrupt plutocracy that steals from the middle class by taxing labor and profiting from corporate tax subsidies.

    A teabagger also often fails to acknowledge that George W. Bush and his neo-conservative minions perpetrated one of the boldest and most egregious executive power grabs in the history of the United States. Furthermore, teabaggers mistakenly continue to blame a newly elected President Obama for all that ails the United States of America, based on a grossly flawed perception of reality (including latent racial prejudice) and despite the fact the U.S. economy collapsed on the previous administration’s watch.

    Teabaggers are also known to base their misguided, right-wing-media-inspired beliefs about President Obama on stupid conspiracy theories about totalitarian takeovers, FEMA camps, etc., despite the fact these very same theories have been circulating around on the Internet for years, and were originally ascribed to neo-conservative cabalists at a time when Barack Obama had not even entered national politics. Teabaggers also are known to be particularly paranoid, xenophobic and intolerant, especially with regard to immigrants and anyone who isn’t white.

    Additionally, teabaggers generally echo stupid myths about entitlement spending (it actually only accounts for about 1% of federal budget spending), have no idea that most poor people in America are not lazy, actually do work and don’t want to be on welfare, and have no idea what socialism actually means or that socialist reform in this country is actually what allowed a middle class to flourish and ultimately make the U.S. one of the most prosperous nations in human history.

    Furthermore, teabaggers incorrectly equate socialism with Stalinism, think a system that rewards greed (capitalism) is the divine preference (despite Gospel evidence to the contrary), and are shameless champions of a misguided belief in American exceptionalism. Teabaggers also fail to recognize the inherently unpatriotic nature of their failed every-man-for-himself ideology that ultimately vilifies anyone who supports public policy aimed at reaching out to fellow Americans in need. They celebrate an exploitative corporatocracy (holy creator of jobs, blah blah blah) while denigrating the little guy for being “weak.”

    Interestingly, teabaggers uphold an immoral, morbidly obese, twice divorced, draft-dodging, college dropout and known drug addict as their de facto leader, and are even known to advocate burning books. Of course, teabaggers fail to recognize the blatant hypocrisy within the GOP and tend to oversimplify all political debate and social issues, much like their pseudo-intellectual, fat-ass leader.

    Finally, incredibly, teabaggers fail to recognize the hysterical double entendre associated with their proudly adopted teabag moniker.

    Every village has its idiots, of course, but it’s sad when citizens of any nation allow themselves to be whipped into a frenzy en masse by a state-run propaganda machine masquerading as a legitimate, fair, balanced and independent news organization. Teabaggers are right to believe the future of the U.S.A. is in jeopardy, but sadly they have not yet correctly identified the real enemy. Perhaps when teabaggers finally grow up and mature into thinking adults, they will see the right-leaning power establishment for the oppressive and cunning beast that it is.

    A fascist right-wing conservative who opposes affordable healthcare by shouting at public gatherings.

    A fascist conservative who protests living wages, affordable healthcare, and corporate accountability by dipping his nutsack into the mouth of another right-wing moron.

    A douche who whines about govt spending after his party went on a spending rampage with bankrupt policies and morals, a party that started a war for no reason and who spends money only to protect the rich.

    Real Lamer, loser, idiot. Watcher of FOX news (this definition may be redundant).

    A teabagger is someone who frequents baseball games exclusively for their fresh sack of nuts. They sit in the nosebleed section and buy lots of “teabags”…then they throw them down to the fans below. It’s kind of a game celebration and love for nuts.

    christian bragger, diversity lagger, anti-fagger, environmental dragger, equal rights clagger, pointing finger wagger, fox news tagger, truth gagger, fear jagger, greed swagger, tax sagger, world peace fragger, douche bagger.

  • Christians as Oppressed Now as Blacks Under Jim Crow? – FrumForum

    [...] Christians as Oppressed <br/>Now as Blacks Under <br/>Jim Crow?FrumForum5) If one idea unites “The Ruling Class” it is Codevilla's conviction that white Christians are targets of oppression and discrimination fully equal to that …and more » [...]

  • msmilack

    Just looking at your first point, where the author draws an equivalence between today’s Christian experience to that of African Americans in their years long struggle for civil rights, I have to wonder, is he serious? Or worse, is he assured that his audience is so ignorant as to not remember the facts of history?

    That equivalence is insulting to the people who actually suffered in the civil rights years (and continue to experience prejudice today); it strikes me as being just as ludicrous and misinformed as the often heard comparison of current leaders to Hitler. Totally over the top and inaccurate to boot. Angelo Codevilla appears not to feel any accountability to tell the truth.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    I’m still waiting for someone – anyone – to identify an employer in this country, public or private, who gives preferences based on race.

    It seems everyone is conflating Affirmative Action with racial preferences. Affirmative Action is not a system of racial preferences. It is generally a policy by which an employer takes affirmative steps to ensure it is not discriminating against racial minorities. These steps often include advertising jobs in media that are directed toward minorities, re-examining employment decisions when minorities are under-represented (based on demographics) to confirm racial bias was not a motive, etc.

    I know it is easy to assume that the words “Affirmative Action” mean white people are not getting jobs based on the color of their skin, but this is definitely not what Affirmative Action means.

    As for the NH firefighters case, it’s also worth pointing out that that had nothing to do with Affirmative Action. The City of New Haven viewed the test results as evidence of racial bias, and that is why the test results were thrown out. The City may have made the wrong conclusion and the actions it took based on that conclusion may have impermissibly discriminated against the white firefighter, but that discrimination was not the result of Affirmative Action.

    Of course, these are all facts and no one on the Right deals in facts anymore.

  • parsifal

    To anniemargaret:

    Your kids are in their mid 20′s and so they at least made it past the teen years and presumably have learned enough to be safer in their choices. I agree that our culture throws this mess at all of us and we can’t live in a cocoon. I have seen teenagers who were already alcoholics and addicts, and otherwise. But I don’t think it is wrong to believe we can go backwards in time to some degree. Some of it is just having the courage to teach your kids right from wrong, and many parents seem unable to make any moral judgment about anything, and as you said, are pretty much spoiled brats themselves into their 40′s and beyond. Worse, I have known more than one adult who was so busy trying to be cool to the teens, that they let their kids and any other kid who was at their home pretty much do whatever. Even encouraging it. I’m talking like 13 year old commode hugging drunk teenage girls and letting 14 year old boys smoke pot, and smoking it with them. And worse. Last time I checked, the boy was 22 and still thinks selling drugs is a cool way to live. These were middle class supposedly respectable women. Boy, the book I could write.

  • Mercer

    “re-examining employment decisions when minorities are under-represented (based on demographics) to confirm racial bias was not a motive, etc.”

    In other words if an employer does not have enough blacks they will be accused of discrimination. Employers can try to prevent being sued by hiring blacks even if they are less qualified then whites or Asians.

    “The City of New Haven viewed the test results as evidence of racial bias, and that is why the test results were thrown out.”

    What is evidence of bias? Any test where whites do better then blacks. What tests do whites and Asians score higher on then blacks? Every objective test that employers use. For details I suggest this article:

  • drdredel


    that was very funny. thanks.

  • pnumi2

    Armsp you forgot this

    A useless combination of cold and wet paper, string and vegetable matter soon to be tossed in the kitchen garbage can of history.

  • Watusie

    JimBob, go back, read what you wrote at 6:05 pm, then read what your wrote at 7:47 pm, then get back to us about exactly what your perceived victimhood consists of.

  • anniemargret

    parsifal: Apologize to the other bloggers here for the moment, since I’m off topic.

    Yes, I hear you. I understand completely what you are saying. I told all my children the facts of life, early and often. I taught them as best I could, particularly because I was a divorced women and my former husband took very little time to involve himself. So the burden of teaching them right from wrong was upon me . Luckily, I also taught them that having sex before marriage was a tremendous risk…for all the reasons you say and more . However, I also told them that if they wanted to be risky with sex, and got a girl pregnant (with my boys), or got pregnant (with my girl), then they would be a mother and father and would have to assume total responsibility for that child, financial, emotional and otherwise. That they couldn’t dump that child on anyone else.

    Therefore, to think before they act. That it was better to not take risky actions. But I also told them that if they insisted on getting involved sexually (with not my blessing), they should take utmost caution to use birth control.

    Yes, in former days that would be unheard of. And yes, there are too many parents who aren’t taking the time for their children. And frankly, the teen years are the time when most parents should involve themselves even more than less, as teens are just taller kids.

    I tried to keep lines of communication open at all times. Accessible at all times. They had to tow the line and keep me informed…on everything. They had curfews. They had responsibilities. But I’m not a saint and any one of my children could have gotten into trouble.

    And that’s where the problem lies, Parsifal. Even with the best oversight and parenting every parent takes a risk when their child walks out that door. As I mentioned, our society is in a different place now, with different, and unrelenting sources of risk-taking behavior. Therefore, I tend to think pragmatically and not wishfully. That is not to say that teaching children abstinence is wrong. But how many parents can honestly predict their children will abstain for years after their teen years? Not many, I would think.

    In some ways, our world was much easier back in the 50s and 60s than it is now. Kids today have too much thrown at them too fast..they are asked to grow up too fast. It’s a much much tougher world to raise a child in today than it was 30 or 40 years ago. Dads are gone. Moms are working. I wish that world in some ways would return. But then again, I’m a pragmatist and not a dreamer. It’s going to take a lot more than preaching ‘just don’t do it’ …. It is a societal problem, isn’t it?

  • anniemargret

    The idea that Christians are as oppressed as blacks are and were in this country is almost blasphemous. Where’s the evidence of such?

    All I hear in every media outlet, print and electronic, are Christians insisting on making every political decision wrapped up in a religious box. I am sickened by the notion that a religious group in this country should see themselves as ‘victims’ when it is complete and utter nonsense.

    The truth is that they are forcefully and relentlessly pushing themselves into dismantling separation of church and state. They want to have a theocracy.

    I was born and raised in Christianity. What I see and hear now is not Christianity. It is so far removed from the basic teachings of Christ, that is a nothing but a political movement that uses God’s name in vain to elicit votes – a sin. I totally have removed myself from organized religion until they come back to the right path.

    And for any American to support a theocracy is blatantly anti-American and anti-freedom. You can’t call up the word ‘liberty’ in one hand and then demand that your version of God should dominate government in the other.

  • llbroo49

    Mercer // Sep 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm
    “The reason they are not minority dominated is because blacks do so poorly in school compared to whites and Asians so employers have trouble finding competent blacks for many positions.”

    But, again this shows how little impact Affirmative Action really has on whites. It appears that you are arguing that “preferential treatment” for blacks is discriminating against whites, while at the same time admitting few blacks qualify for the same “preferential treatment” to effectively discriminate against whites. This is akin to saying illegal immigrants are lazy, while at the same time arguing that they are taking jobs away from Americans.

  • llbroo49

    Mercer // Sep 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    “Employers can try to prevent being sued by hiring blacks even if they are less qualified then whites or Asians.”

    Wrong again, colleges may (emphasis on “may”) give preferential treatment to blacks over Asians at the college level, but Asians benefit from Affirmative Action and Diversity programs far more than blacks in government contracts and employment. As a matter of fact, that is one of the complaints from a FF contributor. His belief is that Affirmative Action was intended to benefit blacks from their sufferings under slavery and Jim Crow, and yet other minorities disporportinately benefit from these programs.

    However, I agree with you in reference to the New Haven Fire Department. If the city wanted to promote more African Americans and the test results did not provide the grounds to do so, the city should have thought of other alternatives. For example, the city could have offered a minority leadership prepatory program as an alternative to the test (assuming said program would require a higher level of committment out of potential candidates than taking the test would incur). The decison by the city to merely vacate the tests because they did not get the outcomes they wanted was poorly handled. The city should have promoted the candidates that passed the test (which included a Latino) and then pursued other options for future promotions to seek the diversity they were trying to achieve.

  • parsifal

    To anniemargaret:

    I understand what you’re saying. I also had 3 children and for about 6 years, I was a single father. I got custody of my daughter when she was 2 years old when my ex joined the Air Force. This was in the mid 70s. I raised my daughter and didn’t even date for the first 5 years because I did not want to expose her to confusion. Plus, I had responsibilities.

    Like you, I taught my children right and wrong, and also tried to provide them some instructions in case they didn’t listen. But a lot of parents aren’t even trying and sticking their 15-16 year old daughters on birth control pills right out of the chute. As parents that’s their option, and not my business to do anything except express my opinion. So, I similarly express an opinion when someone advocates “just don’t do it, period.” Some children do actually listen to their parents. It’s not like that just never happens.

  • pnumi2

    We are all forgetting the Pendulum of Rectitude.
    It has swung from slavery to reconstruction back to ‘separate but equal’ to affirmative action.
    Soon it will swing again.
    Like its brother, the Wheels of Justice, the Pendulum of Rectitude swings exceedingly slow but exceedingly fine. In less than four score and seven years, it will probably settle on something both tea bagger and socialist can embrace.
    Either that or the earth’s poles will shift again and it won’t be necessary.

  • moderategoper

    Another reason why Conservatives have problems with race – Al D’Amato to GOP Strategist: “You are a Nasty Racist”

  • JimBob

    Private sector accepts affirmative action

    Lets go back 20 years

    Affirmative Action Plans Are Now Part
    Of the Normal Corporate Way of Life

    And where AA is really bad is in the public sector. Government workers. State, local and Federal.

  • JimBob

    The only stupid person I see is some clown called armstp

    Take this example right here

    “Additionally, teabaggers generally echo stupid myths about entitlement spending (it actually only accounts for about 1% of federal budget spending), have no idea that most poor people in America are not lazy, actually do work and don’t want to be on welfare, and have no idea what socialism actually means or that socialist reform in this country is actually what allowed a middle class to flourish and ultimately make the U.S. one of the most prosperous nations in human history. ”

    Well lets just breakdown the 2009 budget. Here is a very simple pie chart

    I think anyone with simple arithmetic skills should be able to read it.

    armstp, you’re a blithering idiot.

  • communists-basher

    Please get back to reality:
    1. Christianity is under attack.
    2. Islam is not a religion of piece.
    3. Islam is not a religion but a Totalitarian social system where Shariah law is the control tool.
    4. Homosexuality is a sin.
    5. Obama is a Globalist Socialist.
    6. Obama is a Muslim.
    7. Socialism has failed in Europe, Russia, Cuba and China.
    8. Obama has not presented his long-form birth certificate.
    9. The debt is in $Trillions
    10. The taxes are too high.
    11. The government is too big.
    12. The government doesn’t know everything.
    13. The people are not stupid.
    14. The inflation is coming not the deflation.
    15. Gold is not in a bubble.
    16. The recession is not over.
    17. The Media supports Obama (except Fox).
    18. Palin is not stupid.
    19. Ground Zero Mosque is not religious issue but ideological (otherwise they would have built it some place else)
    20. The late abortion is murder.
    21. There’s too much Liberalism.
    22. People will have no values without God (Russia is one example)
    23. American level of living has deteriorated since Obama became President.
    24. Crisis was overblown by the Media.
    25. Economy could have been easily recovered by repealing healthcare, lowering tax, having business friendly government.
    26. Electing Obama was a mistake.
    27. Consumer Protection Agency is another socialist organ.
    28. Tea party is not racist.
    29. Is there really a need for more Socialism?
    30. SSA is bankrupt. Cannot continue
    31. Medicare is bankrupt. Cannot continue
    32. Welfare makes Blacks and Hispanics not to look for jobs.
    33. Illegal immigration is a crime.
    34. Suing a state for protecting itself was purely political.
    35. Amnesty to millions of illegals will destroy American culture and economy.
    36. The south of the US is being overtaken by drug cartels but Obama doesn’t care.
    37. America is still superpower.
    38. There is no man-made global warming.
    39. Oil drilling moratorium is wrong.
    40. Stimulus didn’t work.

  • midcon

    Jim Bob, unfortunately, mandatory spending comprises over 50% of the federal budget. I’m not sure what your definition of “entitlement” is, so I am using the federal budget terminology of mandatory as opposed to discretionary spending. For instance defense is all discretionary. But Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and “Other Mandatory” (other mandatory is a very long list of smaller things that are not discretionary) comprise over 50% of the budget. Not sure what part of that you consider “entitlement” spending. I certainly would put Social Security, Medicare, Medicaird in that category though.

  • kiddoc99

    Dear Communists-basher:

    1. Christianity has always been under attack. People have always attacked the truth.
    2. You are correct; Islam is not a religion of “piece”; there are several sects.
    3. Islam is by definition a religion and not all who follow it subscribe to Sharia law.
    4. The bible in both testaments does list homosexuality as an abomination.
    5. Obama is actually probably more of a corporatist than a socialist.
    6. Obama is a Christain. The Muslim lie is convenient political tool, but still remains untrue.
    7. Socialism has failed Europe as much as capitalism has failed the USA. China is growing rapidly.
    8. Obama is a citizen. Even Ann Coulter ceded that one eons ago.
    9. The debt is in the trillions due to spending over the last 25 years.
    10. Taxes are lower than almost any other developed country in the world. But they will always be too high because no one wants to pay them.
    11. Exactly how small should an effective government be?
    12. Nobody knows everything but intelligent minds are open to opposing ideas.
    13. I don’t even know where to begin.
    14. You should get a job at the FED since most economists won’t commit on where inflation is going.
    15. Guess I should buy more gold.
    16. By definition the recession is over because it is defined by how the economy as a whole performs over a period of time. This does not mean the economy is healthy. BTW, forget 14.
    17. The media sometime seems to support Obama, sometimes not. Remember that sometimes Obama is correct about something and they will report on that. I thought Fox was just Mad Magazine’s news division.
    18. Palin is an embarrassment. She is an effective mouthpiece for the ultra-right, but otherwise she needs to keep her mouth shut. (I’ll see if you can figure that one out.)
    19. The ground-zero mosque should be built where they want it to be built. To do otherwise is to abdicate our beliefs to terrorists which grants them the victory they so desperately crave.
    20. I thought any abortion was murder.
    21. There is too much extremism at either end of the spectrum. Good governance grants respect to a multiplicity of ideas.
    22. The Word of God is the basis for our values. By the way, this includes ideas like patience, acceptance, tolerance, and love.
    23. Our standard of living began to deteriorate before Obama and likely will continue even if he is removed from office until at least 2015 or 2020.
    24. I thought you thought the recession wasn’t over.
    25. Is that all? Maybe I was right about 14. But what do we do with all those pesky unemployed workers, single moms, jobless college graduates. Hmm.
    26. I think it’s too early to tell but you probably believed what you wrote the day after the election.
    27. And all this time I thought they were there for the public good. Grab yer pitchforks!
    28. Just its members are.
    29. Probably.
    30. SSA wil be bankrupt. Needs support.
    31. Medicare will be bankrupt. Needs support. Maybe need to rethink 10.
    32. See 28.
    33. Persecuting illegal immigrants is a sin (see “The Bible”, 1st edition). I’m more afraid of God than the DHS.
    34. No, that was legal.
    35. But it probably would save us a boatload in DHS costs. And I would be able to get my job back cleaning cow pens again.
    36. Let’s just legalize drugs. Oh, and tell the South they lost the war; get over it.
    37. Still, but it often doesn’t act like one.
    38. The planet is warming. Maybe us, maybe not. But green commerce is great for capitalism so why not embrace it and get rich?
    39. Oil is old school technology.
    40. Stimulus probably kept the economy from wholesale collapse. It probably saved over a million jobs related to GM. And I have a great new wide-screen thanks to my check!

  • armstp


    I love your insult (armstp, you’re a blithering idiot) and rather simplified black and white thinking. It really goes good with your name.

    Your critique on my thoughts on entitlements really depends on how you define entitlement and whether you actully believe there is such a thing called “entitlements”. I believe this is just a right-wing term used as a tool to push for cuts in successful government programs, which are largely paid for.

    I see no official definition of entitlement and no where in government spending or budgets documents is the term entitlement used.

    First of all people pay into their social security, medicare and pay taxes all their life. So they are largely just getting back what they paid for. Sure they are “entitled” to receive these benefits because they have paid for them. They are like insurance programs. Social security and medicare are an earned benefit and not really entitlements and certainly not a free lunch.

    If you think that entitlements, as is often the conservative bent, are things that people are somehow getting free, then the actual amount of entitlements in the budget is very very small.

    If you use only the way the conservatives tend to think of entitlements (as Teabaggers have been trained to think about it), as a free lunch, then only welfare could be considered a true entitlement. Welfare only makes up 1-2% of federal and state budget.

    “2009 expenses budgeted for Welfare at 395.4 billion compared to 736.2 billion for pensions, 784.2 billion for health, 821.7 billion for defense (not including emergency requests for Iraq), and 91.7 for education (other data not listed) with a total of 3,997.2 billion of a total federal expense.” “Within the Welfare program Family & Children only uses 80.1 billion which is around 2% of the federal budget.”

  • JimBob

    The average person uses up everything they paid into social security in five years or less. Then it’s just a welfare scheme. A ponzi welfare scheme.

  • LFC

    The average person uses up everything they paid into social security in five years or less.

    Using the quick calculator on the Social Security Administration web site, and using some of their figures, here’s what I got:

    - Average wage in 2008 was about $41,000.

    - Social Security tax is 6.2% for employee and 6.2% for employer. That means about $5,100 each year paid into Soc Sec.

    - A person born in 1960 and retiring at 65 would get about $15550 per year in benefits in today’s dollars.

    - Assuming your wage growth over time was higher than inflation, let’s trim the average annual payment down by, say, 20% so we get $4,080. That’s probably overly compensating, but let’s go with it.

    So assuming the above, and assuming the person works for 45 years, they pay in $183,600 in today’s dollars assuming no growth other than inflation. Not quite sure how you get that being used up in 5 years or less at $15,550 per year.

  • LFC

    There’s one more item to toss into JimBob’s factless statement. When the Soc Sec debate was raging under Bush, it was determined that the program could pay out 2/3 of its benefits well into the foreseeable future without any other changes to the program. (Can’t remember of that was CBO or SSA figures.)

  • Gus

    communists-basher, how is one supposed to argue with a laundry list of tea party talking points? Simply asserting a long list of points doesn’t make any of them true.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead


    I’m still waiting for you to identify an employer who gives preferences based on race.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Mercer: “In other words if an employer does not have enough blacks they will be accused of discrimination. Employers can try to prevent being sued by hiring blacks even if they are less qualified then whites or Asians.”

    You obviously have had no experience with this issue. You’re still entitled to an opinion on whether it’s a good idea for employers to have Affirmative Action plans, but you’re not entitled to twist the facts about what an AA plan is or how employers comply with them.

    I’ve worked for an employer who was contractually obligated to have an Affirmative Action plan. This employer had very few minorities – fewer than the demographics in that area would suggest. This employer was once audited for compliance with its contract and the audit covered the AA plan. The employer passed the audit without a problem because the employer followed its AA plan, which did not require the hiring of employees.

    Your refusal to deal with facts is another example of how the Right is indifferent to actual facts.

  • Mercer

    “Your refusal to deal with facts is another example of how the Right is indifferent to actual facts.”

    I mentioned the Ricci case . Do the facts in that case not matter? The employer did not promote people who passed the test because they were afraid they would be sued by the blacks who failed. Instead they were sued by people who did pass the test. Either way the town acted they were likely to be sued. This is example of how affirmative action/diversity law is a headache for employers. Are you happy with the current state of the law and how it is applied?

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Mercer: “I mentioned the Ricci case . Do the facts in that case not matter? ”

    Firstly, the Ricci case had absolutely nothing to do with Affirmative Action. You’ve conflated a race-discrimination lawsuit into an argument over AA, when the lawsuit was not connected in anyway to AA. So, I don’t know why you think the Ricci case is proof that AA plans lead to the type of discrimination Ricci encountered.

  • Bebe99

    in the book 1984 the public was subjected to only the 2 minute hate each day. In David’s aptly named closed information system, the participants really need a lot more than 2 minutes of hate every day. This book helps fill the hate requirements nicely, while furthering its readers along a path of incredibly inane, illogical and hate-filled beliefs. They could not sustain their illogical thoughts without the constant stream of hate to keep their minds from clarity so they then need more books, shout radio and. Fox tv. So it is a closed loop. An addictive cycle which has no pupose except to keep itself going.

  • mickster99

    Read David Limbaugh on the terrible oppression of christians in the US.

    The common themes of the rightwing and rightwing christians in general: vicitimization, they’re out to get us, they’re so powerful and we’re helpless and at their mercy. So please send as much money to your pastor, reverend, father, talk show host, etc. Tithe 10% of you money (sez the Rev. Glenn) to your church leaders. Please note that Oral Roberts was the champeen fleecer of his flock of sheep. Getting them to send him several million dollars so god “wouldn’t call him home”. Pardon me but how stupid do you have to be to fall to these obvious grifters and hucksters?

  • Tom Joad Meets the Tea Party

    [...] is no doubt that folks like Rush Limbaugh and Angelo Codevilla are adept in stirring the racial and ethnic pot.  But I believe there is more going on than the [...]