Here’s something Democrats know really well and Republicans may not have quite figured out. Namely, that socialist policies do real damage to vulnerable populations and have the especially pernicious and malevolent effect of wedding the victims of those policies to their tormentors.
Where this can especially be seen is in the black community. Republicans point out to no end that Great Society Democrat-devised welfare programs have been devastating in that community; they’ve destroyed the black family, they’ve stunted achievement in academics, entrepreneurship and professional development and they’ve created a disproportionate permanent underclass in a population which shouldn’t be wedded to such a fate given the wealth of talent, resiliency and spirit black Americans have shown in the hundreds of years they’ve lived on this continent.
My side of the political aisle points these things out and can support them with reams of facts and studies. We can demonstrate this beyond any shadow of a doubt.
But nobody is interested in hearing those facts. Nobody wants to talk about the damage Democrats have done to the black community.
Why? Because to a Democrat political hack, what’s going on in the black community as a result of those policies isn’t damage at all.
Those policies produced a 93 percent black vote for Barack Obama in November 2012. And that means the black community is exactly where the Democrats want it to be. That’s a status quo which must be preserved at all costs.
Remember – the creation of the Great Society, which included Medicaid, was little more than a cynical ploy by which the same Democrat Party which fought tooth and nail to keep black people away from the voting booth in the South until the 1960’s, for fear that blacks would vote for the party of Lincoln rather than the party of Jim Crow, would convert them to an existence of electoral servitude. Note that blacks aren’t and weren’t the only intended targets of the Democrats; they just happened to be the main course.
We know this because Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Democrat president in office at the time the Great Society programs were proposed, told us so in unmistakable terms…
“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
That’s exactly what he said. He was on Air Force One with two separate Democrat governors and he said it.
And Johnson turned out to be right, at least for the first quarter of his forecast time period. Some 50 years on, his party has achieved 93 percent loyalty out of the black community thanks to buying their votes with federal giveaway programs like Medicaid. That Republicans have been completely inept, incompetent and inattentive to the need to address this problem has contributed to it, for certain, but that doesn’t change the fact that LBJ’s beneficiaries in the Democrat Party have reaped tremendous effects from those giveaways while not even making a dent in poverty.
One in six Americans were in poverty in 1965, and one in six are in poverty now. We’ve run through $7 trillion in federal debt as a result of those programs, which is $7 trillion in business loans which could have been made, $7 trillion in space exploration we could have done, $7 trillion in roads and bridges repaired and upgraded, $7 trillion in coastal restoration…the list goes on and on.
All that $7 trillion has produced is reliable votes for the Democrat Party. Democrats like those programs just fine.
What Democrats know, however, is that their 50-year run with a near-monopoly of the black vote can’t withstand any kind of intense scrutiny of their policies. All that money spent buying votes hasn’t on balance improved the lot of the black community in America, and they know it.
But while they can’t govern to save their lives – and if you have any questions about whether this is true, simply take a look at what these people have done to America’s major cities – they understand political strategy.
So how do you get 93 percent of the vote from people your policies routinely victimize? The same way the East Germans kept their people from taking a walk.
You build a wall.
The Democrats’ wall is built on a ceaseless, intensive campaign of accusing Republicans and anybody else who questions their grip on the black community…of racism. If you’re a white Republican, you’re a racist and everything you say that could be interpreted as a racist statement is seized upon to discredit you. If you’re a black Republican, you’re an Uncle Tom in the service of racists and you’ve got to be similarly discredited.
This is the wall. Its purpose is to divide the black community from anyone who might question what the Democrats are doing to it. Such people are not allowed to question the effects of the Democrats’ Great Society on black people.
The wall has many watchmen. Today, we saw one of them – one of our favorite Democrat hacks, LSU professor Bob Mann.
Yesterday, a bill to expand Medicaid availability in Louisiana, which would be a policy in service to Obamacare – yet another Democrat exercise in vote-buying with federal dollars destined to run up monstrous debt without improving the lives of those at whom it’s aimed – failed in a House committee by an 11-8 vote. While there is a good chance a collection of Democrats and RINO’s might try to resurrect it in the Senate as part of the state’s budget, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley is saying it’s dead for this session.
The Medicaid expansion had many detractors in yesterday’s committee hearing. One of them was our friend Kevin Kane, who runs the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and contributes to this site. Kevin has been outspoken in his opposition to expanding Medicaid for lots of very good reasons – none of which had to do with race. But what Kevin said in his testimony at the House Health and Welfare Committee yesterday was that expanding Medicaid was a lot like giving out free samples of narcotics – give folks a chance to get hooked on your product, and you’ll reap the benefits. Of course, your product isn’t exactly good for your customers, but why should you care if their money still spends (or their votes still count)?
That’s a spot-on analogy for vote-buying government programs which Democrats have a lot of trouble debunking in any substantial way.
So what’s Bob Mann, watchman along the Democrats’ wall, to do?
Call Kevin a racist, of course.
This is what Lord Bob pulled out from the seat of the, ahem, Manship Chair of the Manship School of Mass Communications at LSU on his blog in attacking Kane…
Opponents of Medicaid expansion, like Kane and Jindal, would never explicitly say, “We shouldn’t expand this welfare program because it just rewards a bunch of lazy black people who ought to get off their butts, stop having illegitimate babies and get a job.”
But they don’t have to. Many of their followers get the implicit message.
When you use loaded words and phrases like “drug dealer,” “hooked,” “riding in the cart,” “the demise of marriage,” and “welfare system,” you are not hoping that your words conjure images of hard-working white people.
Over the decades, public opinion research has established that considerable white opposition to entitlement and welfare programs is associated with racial animus and stereotypes. Just as my dog can clearly hear a high-pitched whistle that humans cannot, so it is that some aggrieved whites clearly hear the racial element in Jindal’s and Kane’s dog whistles.
Rather than addressing the substance of my argument, Mann simply characterizes it as a tactic to get racists riled up over the possibility that black people will get free heath care from the government. He does not address the evidence that welfare has contributed to a host of severe social problems among people of all races across the nation. Of course, there are many people who would disagree with my statement. But my observations about the welfare state and its perverse incentives are not novel in any way, nor are they limited in relevance to blacks.
Readers should examine the entirety of my column and Mann’s blog post. I think they will conclude that his accusations are extremely unfair. They might also lament the fact that the most prominent professor of journalism and communications at Louisiana’s flagship public university uses his considerable skills to poison the well of public debate.
Accusations of this kind are especially pernicious because they cannot be disproved. There is no way for anyone on either side of an issue to scientifically demonstrate purity of motive when making a political argument. That is why one of the requirements of civil debate is a willingness to assume honorable motives on the part of your opponent. Mann simply assumes the worst without offering a shred of evidence. His bold attempt to categorize reasonable, mainstream arguments against Medicaid expansion as racially-based is both clever and repulsive.
This is a destructive form of advocacy. Attributing malign motives to your opponent increases the likelihood that listeners will reject an argument without giving it a fair hearing. This approach exacerbates an already polarized environment. The decline of civil discourse has been much lamented in recent years. I don’t know what Mann’s thoughts are on this issue but his actions speak volumes.
Kevin’s exactly right, and when he further laments the fact that Mann should be diving so deeply into the muck from a position of respect at LSU later in his piece he’s also spot on – something we’ve taken a crack at in the past as well.
Don’t forget that Lord Bob was Kathleen Blanco’s communications director. Don’t forget that when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco’s communications strategy was to blame the obviously poor performance of the state’s governmental response on George W. Bush as a matter of changing the subject and deflecting responsibility from her actions – a strategy which took a beating when Blanco had a “hot mic’ incident on CNN and unwittingly admitted she screwed up her request for federal assistance. Less than two years later Lord Bob’s boss was kaput as a political figure and he landed a cush gig in academia.
So engaging in partisan hackery and demonizing the other side of the political aisle as a substitute for an honest defense of poor governance is pretty standard fare for Bob Mann.
Now he’s educating Louisiana’s best and brightest as the Manship Chair of the Manship School of Mass Communications at LSU.
Is Lord Bob slandering his political adversaries as racists on LSU’s time? Can we at least ask that he watch the Democrats’ wall in his off-hours?