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A better explanation than "The bylaws made me do it!"

by: Eric B.

Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:27:15 PM EST


There was a dandy of a dustup among Macomb County Republicans last week after Joe Munem savaged Goat Killer for his bigoted anti-Muslim Facebook tirade. Some backbencher started calling him racist names and even suggested that maybe Munem was lying when he said that he has a Muslim father. It was bizarre and painful to watch, while at the same time kind of hilarious. Chad Selweski of the Macomb Daily wrote about it, and followed up on it today with a column. It provides an insight into why the Republican Party needed Betsy DeVos to come out and tell its leadership to grow up.

After getting clobbered in two congressional runs against Democratic incumbent Rep. Sander Levin, Shafer emerged as the distinct underdog in that 2010 primary election. He barely waged a campaign for the county’s top post and his only significant public appearance consisted of a rambling, barely coherent speech to the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Yet, Shafer won that primary by nearly a 3-1 margin over the party favorite, Simon Haddad. How could that happen? The consensus view among political observers postulated that Haddad, who is of Middle Eastern descent, was the victim of anti-Arab sentiments among GOP voters.

This is why the Republican Party leadership is go gutless. They have a pretty good idea what would be exposed if they opened up a public fight with the Tea Party base. It would put the outright homophobia and racism that has become a malignant core value for many of them on display for the rest of the state to see. They're probably not even sure if they'd come out on top.

It would also undermine some of what our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect has busied itself with over the last four years. Can you imagine the same party leaders who helped get signed laws banning same sex domestic partner benefits (even, in some cases, defending their own laws by referring to the persons the law applies to as roommates) bouncing a national committee man for being homophobic? Can you imagine how badly it would undermine the state's finest legal mind when he goes to bat for our same sex marriage ban in federal court? The first question the judge would ask him is, "How can you defend the outcome of this law when your own political party acknowledged that the people who supported it were motivated by prejudice?"

They're snared in a web of their own making here, unable to address one very serious public relations problem without creating two or three more.

Eric B. :: A better explanation than "The bylaws made me do it!"
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Voter prejudice in MI-11 as well (4.00 / 3)
A little exercise:

Candidate A is a medical doctor who served as department chairman at a well-regarded local hospital. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the second most-populous community in his district, and has been active in his community.

Candidate B is a Vietnam and Iraq veteran. He has had a number of different jobs, but never held public office. He declared bankruptcy after his homebuilding business failed. He reportedly had to resign his job as a high school teacher amid allegations of bullying.

All things being equal, you'd expect Candidate A to win, right? That's not what happened. Candidate A is Dr. Syed Taj, who was born in India and belongs to the Muslim faith--a fact the right wing wasn't shy about pointing out. Candidate B is now Congressman Kerry Bentivolio.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


News Flash (0.00 / 0)
The core, and most active, part of the republican party are huge bigot's whats new.

I think the sadder part of this whole things, is the right of center "Republicans" who aren't really political tuned in ,but vote that way cause they always have. The make up the bulk of those that are the republican, and if you seat down and talk to them they will be against everything the party is doing, but at the end of the day they going to keep voting that way full steam ahead, just like there parents.  


[ Parent ]
There are (D) bigots as well (4.00 / 1)
In the 2012 Democratic primary in MI-11, a LaRouche supporter named Bill Roberts got 41 percent of the vote against Dr. Taj. I doubt that all of the Roberts voters were Republicans because there was a write-in challenge to Bentivolio which gave the Tea Partiers an incentive to stay in the GOP primary.

Sad to say, but there were thousands of Democrats in the district who were low-information, prejudiced against Arabs and Muslims, or both.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


[ Parent ]
But were these LaRouchetards (0.00 / 0)
motivated by religious bigotry, or by the undeniable fact that they are nuts?  

[ Parent ]
Most voters have no idea who LaRouche is (0.00 / 0)
I'd be surprised if Lyndon LaRouche has 2 percent name recognition in the district. And I wouldn't be surprised if many who claim to recognize him confuse him with the pitcher in "Bull Durham."

My $.02 is that many voters saw "Bill Roberts" and "Syed Taj" on the ballot, didn't know who either one was, and voted for the guy with the Anglo-Saxon name.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


[ Parent ]
Most primary voters (0.00 / 0)
are a little more tuned in than the ones who dutifully show up for the general so they can vote a straight ticket like Dad used to do. I'd be surprised to find that many who voted didn't have at least some idea who these guys were. I'm not sure the low-info thing accounts for this...

[ Parent ]
Problem there was also one of (possible) deliberate obfuscation (4.00 / 1)
The fact that the popular, longtime Mayor of Walled Lake was also named Bill Roberts was a coincidence that worked to the LaRouchites' advantage.

How many people who signed petitions in 2012 to put LaRouche candidate Bill Roberts on the ballot believed they were signing on behalf of Mayor Bill Roberts?

And even though the two Bills are a generation apart in age, how many low-information Democratic primary voters in August 2012 thought they were voting for Mayor Roberts rather than LaRouchie Roberts?

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Ahh... (0.00 / 0)
Now that makes sense...

[ Parent ]
It's part of it... (4.00 / 1)
...but I'm sure the fact the "Bill Roberts" is about as blandly American-sounding as can be imagined did factor into his 40% showing against Dr. Taj (leaving the Taj campaign very little in the way of resources to fight Kerry Bentivolio in the general -- and none for pursuing the six-week temporary gig to complete Thaddeus McCotter's term).

Seriously, Tim Robbins named his '92 political satire (and the lead character of said movie) "Bob Roberts" for just that reason.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
This and the previous post almost need to be combine (0.00 / 0)
The right view of this whole thing,

http://www.rightmichigan.com/s...


RightMichigan also shows us just why it's so hard for MIGOP to be rid of Dave Agema (0.00 / 0)
In a full-throated defense of Dave Agema and other "social conservatives" in Michigan, RightMichigan lumps Betsy DeVos in with Saulius Anuzis and Dennis Lennox (Anuzis and Lennox being regular targets of RM's wrath against apostates who dare question Tea Party/"Constitutionalist" dogma), and reveals just why MIGOP is having trouble cutting ties with Agema.

The Results from the State Convention:
Despite multiple Dirty tricks and attacks by the establishment, over the 5 weeks leading up to the convention. Despite a well moneyed and organized Convention incumbent campaign. Dave Agema won the Delegate vote with an overwhelming margin of Victory of just under 70%.

   Dave Agema:  1,467 votes ≈ 69.068%
   Saul Anuzis:  639 votes ≈ 30.085%
   G. J. LaRouche:  18 votes ≈ 0.847%

District-by-district, Mr. Agema WON every single district.

   CD-01: 81.675%
   CD-02: 83.696% (Agema's home district)
   CD-03: 88.043% (Agema's second Home)
   CD-04: 74.566%
   CD-05: 68.224%
   CD-06: 60.248%
   CD-07: 50.568%
   CD-08: 65.979% (Anuzis' home district)
   CD-09: 68.794%
   CD-10: 55.978%
   CD-11: 66.829%
   CD-12: 71.296%
   CD-13: 59.524%
   CD-14: 60.606%

Basically, Dave Agema continues to spew from his RNC perch because, back in May 2012, SEVENTY PERCENT OF MIGOP DELEGATES PUT HIM THERE.

Full article here, if you have the stomach...If you have the stomach... http://www.rightmichigan.com/s...

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
This is the real reason (4.00 / 1)
The idea that the Republicans leadership can't get rid of Dave Agema because the bylaws won't let them is so stupid that it's laughable. Only a complete fool actually believes it (and since it keeps getting repeated by the state's media ...). It not only ignores the realities of organizational politics, but it overlooks the entire point of bylaws and officers of organizations, which is to pursue an organization's best interests. If keeping Goat Killer around were really bad for business, as they say, they wouldn't keep Goat Killer around. If the Republican Party's leadership is not able to, in between conventions, pursue the Republican Party's best interests, then this is a story all on its own, because the public deserves to know that the people they've elected to run everything can't even run their own party properly.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Where is Mario Fundaro / Fundarski... (0.00 / 0)
...when you need him?

Sorry, just had to resubmit his name back into the ether...

Great Lakes, Great Times.



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