Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newt's comments weren't tactful, but they were factual -- and needed

    A year ago South Carolina’s lieutenant governor caused quite a ruckus when he suggested that welfare recipients who fail drug tests or refuse to attend parent-teacher conferences should lose their benefits.
    Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who was raised in a working-class family, quoted his grandmother: "My grandmother was not a highly-educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem. If you give an animal or a person ample food supply, they will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that, and so what you gotta do is you gotta curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
    It’s important to note that Bauer never said anything about whites on welfare, or Indians on welfare, or blacks on welfare. He was only talking about the problem of welfare dependency and irresponsible behavior in general.
    Even though Bauer’s comments had nothing to do with race, they were immediately denounced by the Greenville, S.C., chapter of the NAACP, which said there was no need for him to apologize. The only acceptable action on his part would be to withdraw from the governor’s race. Why? What does welfare have to do with the NAACP?
    In Flint and Detroit, Mich., the NAACP protested a five-year limit on welfare payments. Other NAACP chapters have denounced efforts to limit welfare payments.
    When Valerie Jarrett spoke at the Martin Luther King memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church she politicized the event by criticizing Republicans for not supporting President Obama’s proposal to spend federal tax dollars to hire local policemen, firefighters and teachers. The congregants went wild.
    The fact is, of course, that not so much as one cent of federal money is ever supposed to be spent hiring local police, firefighters or teachers. These people are hired only through state and local taxes, not federal oppression. And yet Ms. Jarrett and the wildly cheering Ebenezer congregants have attempted to turn this purely political difference into a black-white issue.
    When a white politician tries to address this, he is suddenly branded a racist. Newt Gingrich dared to say that the NAACP should tell blacks they need paychecks, not welfare checks. A bunch of blacks acted insulted, but they shouldn’t be. It’s their own chapters that have promoted welfare.
    Newt said there were families and even neighborhoods where children were never exposed to honest work, and that the only role models they had were drug dealers. Racist, racist, racist! Or so the politically correct crowd roared. Anyone who thinks this is racist needs to read about the infamous Cabrini-Green project in Chicago, where a survey found that 29 percent of residents were employed full time and another 11 percent were employed part time. What the survey showed was that most residents were single mothers not working. The only work their kids saw anyone doing was the dealing of drugs. It’s just a fact, and it’s not racist to point it out.
    Most of Cabrini-Green has been torn down, with the last building coming down last year. And that’s a good thing! But there are other projects out there that are just as bad. And it should be noted that there are areas of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia where a culture of sloth, drug use and immorality have also taken hold of very substantial portions of the white community. It’s a problem, and if a black person wants to take note of the fact that it is a problem I offer them only thanks, not name-calling.
    There are dysfunctional pockets of poverty in this country. In urban areas the residents tend to be black. In rural areas outside the South the residents tend to be white. Frequently the behavior of these people perpetuates their poverty. That’s just a fact.
    If, as a society, we can’t even mention the fact that we have a problem we certainly aren’t going to begin to solve it. I will admit conservatives could sometimes use a little more tact in discussing these things, but I’d much rather support a candidate who talks about finding a solution to our nation’s problems than one who talks about how to be tactful about it.


Brian said...

What's more frustrating is that the racist charges only come when the person is 1) white and 2) Republican. If he's 3) Southern, it's the "racist" trifecta, which is to say it's not open for dispute or discussion.

That said, Newt knows the rules -- or should. I know them. Harry Reid got a pass when he made far more personal and incendiary comments than Newt. Biden got a pass, too. "We know his heart..." No one claims that when Newt or Trent Lott says something along those lines.

But those are the rules. Newt knew them. He broke them. Now he will be called "the r word" for the rest of the campaign.

Lib said...

Newt has broken more rules than this. It baffles me that a Christian Conservative would even consider voting for Newt. Not being tactful is the least of his problems. If this candidate is what is presented as the best the Republican Party has to offer, they've lost my vote.

Also while the statement that our children need good role models of hard-working law-abiding adults is certainly true, I don't think an analogy to breeding animals is appropriate. We're talking about humans.

Col. Reb Sez said...

Lib, Newt's divorces just don't bother me. There is a back story to both of them, and while he is certainly not blameless, neither is he the goat he is made out to be. These days a math teacher who carries on an affair with a 16-year-old student is likely to be put in jail, so I just don't have all that much sympathy for Jackie Battley. As for Marianne, she abandoned him for six years, so spare me the jilted woman stuff. So a Christian Conservative should have no problem voting for Newt.

As your statement that an analogy comparing adults to breeding animals isn't appropriate, I agree. The comment wasn't made by Newt. But my point was that the NAACP jumped in even though the comment had nothing to do with race. It was about welfare, and the group's behavior ties the NAACP to welfare int he eyes of many.

Lib said...

Thanks for the response and I appreciate your opinion. I am not saying that Newt's ex wives are blameless. With that being said, even if one has no problem with divorce per se there is something to be said for ending one relationship before starting another.

He carries more baggage than divorce and I don't feel that he is "presidential" for lack of a better word. His political past is less than stellar. I don't think he would be able to mend fences. I cannot see him facilitating a bipartisan government. The Republican Party should be able to do better.