Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bruce Fartlett

Beware, oh naive reader of -- for sometimes you may run across a generally absurd article and not recognize its source. Such a story happened to me this morning, when, reading this otherwise fascinating account of the 1898 race riots in Wilmington, NC. The article, well written and historically accurate, nonetheless seemed to place a rather substantial focus on the partisan aspects of the events: that the violence against blacks that day were committed by offshoots of the Ku Klux Klan, and all card carrying Democrats. The Klan was "essentially an arm of the Democratic Party," while one spokesman (not participant) for the "racist Democrats" "amzazingly ... remained a pillar of the national Democratic Party until his death in 1948." And at this point I stopped reading, read the title of the article -- "A Democratic Party Coup" -- saw the article's author, noted Republican (and Bush hater) Bruce Bartlett, and noted the publication, the conservative "Human Events Online."

I then threw up a little bit in my mouth. How silly of me to think I was just reading a fascinating little history. This was partisan history from hell (06/06/06 was the date of publication, of course). Here we had a serious attempt to link the Democratic Party of Reconstruction with the Democratic Party of Howard Dean (or whoever else is carrying on the current Democratic coup). I'm actually surprised we don't get more attempts by outrageous Republicans to smear the Democrats as the party of slavery. Thank God for Bruce Bartlett, though. There had to be someone out there willing to neglect the 100 year history of a national party's evolution, from Woodrow Wilson (who so many Republicans today are so fond of as the proto-Bush) to Lyndon Johnson (the guy that signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act) to Bill Clinton, while equally ignoring the history of the Republicans in the last 40 years and their "Southern Strategy."

In general, this kind of article makes me very nervous about the current rather tacit alliance of old-guard conservatives like Bartlett and liberals. A Bush hater though he may be, I agree with Bartlett like I agree with milk products: I can either sedate myself and swallow his message, or swallow his message and face the terrible consequences.


Blogger dchan said...

this is what i would term a complete 'dissuasion of consciousness;'the propagandistic reworking of historical evidence is typical of both parties, but republicans are relatively notorious for luring the public into beliefs that, beneath the surface, are deeply contradictory. as a former staffer for a southern republican (ole strom t.) i've witnessed the approximation of facts and the revisionist lies that are used to inflate current platforms. strom's whole gig was to 'retract' any anti-semitic, anti-gay, and even blatantly racist stances he'd taken. you have to almost give this guy credit for his creativity. the whole technique is completely machiavellian, even if it screams abject douch-er-ie.

1:57 PM  
Blogger The Sheriff said...

It's strange, but this post shows up as having 0 comments... another trick of the devil?

12:21 AM  
Blogger Scantron said...

Yeah, Strom is a strange case, which I will return to in a moment. DChan, I always forget that you worked for Strom...I'm sure you miss that part of your soul that was snatched away from you and devoured by demoniacal jaws every day.

Robot, your post raises many interesting points. First, you do indeed have to watch out for which sites you're being directed to. I have fallen victim to the Human Events trap before, I think perhaps even on Google News. And I know that either Google or Politicaltheory directed me at least once to "World Net Daily," by far the most odious right-wing theocratic site imaginable.

Speaking of which, I found this article from said website that ties together many of the same things you've pointed out:

The commentator, Mychal Massie, ties together the Democratic Party/slavery bit. He also uses phrases like "elite, white, liberal, socialist Democrats." He ALSO mentions Ann Coulter, who I believe is also on record as treating as one entity Southern Civil War-era Democratcs and modern liberal ones. He ALSO mentions Strom Thurmond, saying that although Strom was once a racist Dixiecrat, he switched parties in the 60s and renounced his ways, insinuating that Strom's somewhat lightened rhetoric was a RESULT of his having switched parties to the more "tolerant" Republicans, as opposed to the truth of the matter, which is that racist Democrats soon found their audience drifting under a Republican umbrella. Massie ALSO calls Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder a "white, racist liberal," a trio of words only one of which is remotely true, because McGruder is black (and I should hope, not racist).

So there's a pretty paradigmatic case of the sorts of articles you're pointing out. I'd also like to second your reticent feelings about Bartlett, although I think liberals know exactly what they're doing with him. They've done the same thing with quotations from Buckley Jr., Bob Barr, George Will, and other conservatives who criticize Bush. But they aren't ready to jump in bed with these people on domestic policy. All cynicism aside, I think that some on both sides, liberals and conservatives, honestly do believe that Bush has overstepped his authority more than previous presidents, and they really can agree there. But I doubt Bartlett will be speaking at any Center for American Progress conferences any time soon.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Robot said...

Never mind. Bush found Zarqawi. I'm a Republican again.

9:47 AM  

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