Senate Apologizes for Inaction on Lynching - Sort of

mactastic

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Now it's all well and good that the Senate has apologized for not enacting federal legislation against the practice of lynching (stalled for lack of an up-or-down vote ironically), but rumor has it the vote was taken as a voice vote to conceal the fact that up to a dozen Senators would not support it, fearing a backlash from constituents. The voice vote apparently was called for by the leadership of the Senate to protect the identities of these cowardly Senators. As a voice vote there will be no record of who voted for and against, just that it passed.

If true, this is a truly disgusting twist on an otherwise welcome development.
 

Ugg

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miloblithe said:
Ah the South, preserving racism and living off of the North for generations.

Is it too late to let them finally succeed in seceding? Bunch of gutless B***ards for not standing up for what is right and worrying more about their jobs. Even worse all those in the South who can't get over losing the war.

On a side note, i wonder what Clarence Thomas thought of that? My guess is that he seems to think that any gesture to african Americans is unconstitutional.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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Congress is a sad bunch, Term limits is the only answer for these mindless cowards of control and power. If the president has to have term limits then these clowns should also. Think Congress would ever do that to themself? Power & control freaks so you know the answer to that one.
 

mactastic

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We tried term limits here in CA and I have to say that while it sounded like a good idea at the time it has contributed to the problems CA's legislature exhibits. Yes it has kicked out the bobo's but it has also removed the studious policy wonks who spend years becoming expert in some obscure portion of law. It has been particularly bad for the HoR because of the shortness of the term. 4 years is not much time to become a top performer at your job, particularly if your skill set is outside the area you become involved in. And lets face it, not many pols have expertise in things like land use issues, health care, or infrastructure.

The worst thing is that it hasn't removed the class of the 'professional pol'. Now they simply move from one post to another. City council to State Rep to Insurance Commissioner etc. doing none of them expertly. No, there's got to be a better way of reducing incumbent deadwood without torching the whole forest.
 

wordmunger

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Sep 3, 2003
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Ugg said:
Is it too late to let them finally succeed in seceding? Bunch of gutless B***ards for not standing up for what is right and worrying more about their jobs. Even worse all those in the South who can't get over losing the war.

On a side note, i wonder what Clarence Thomas thought of that? My guess is that he seems to think that any gesture to african Americans is unconstitutional.
You realize we're talking about something that happened decades ago, right? No senator from the south supports lynching today, and I suspect we're all just a mite better off now without slavery.

I have one chilling scenario that could have occurred if we'd let the south secede. What if the south sided with Hitler in WWII? You think he might have had a slightly better chance of winning then?
 

IJ Reilly

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mactastic said:
We tried term limits here in CA and I have to say that while it sounded like a good idea at the time it has contributed to the problems CA's legislature exhibits. Yes it has kicked out the bobo's but it has also removed the studious policy wonks who spend years becoming expert in some obscure portion of law. It has been particularly bad for the HoR because of the shortness of the term.
You mean the California Legislature, right?

Anyway, term limits haven't necessarily kicked all the bobos out -- they invite new ones in (nice term, btw). In the case of our seat in the legislature, the wife of the termed-out legislator ran and won a race for his seat last year, with nothing more to recommend her than her last name. Don't cry for me California...
 

mactastic

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IJ Reilly said:
You mean the California Legislature, right?

Anyway, term limits haven't necessarily kicked all the bobos out -- they invite new ones in (nice term, btw). In the case of our seat in the legislature, the wife of the termed-out legislator ran and won a race for his seat last year, with nothing more to recommend her than her last name. Don't cry for me California...
Yeah, sorry. I meant the California State Reps, that's where the problem is most acute. 3 two-year terms years and on to another elected position. And you're right, the new class has plenty of the bobos to replace the outgoing ones.
 

mischief

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Aug 1, 2001
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I'm getting so fed up with 2 out of the 3 parts of this republic's administrative model I'm really beginning to like the idea of some sort of revolt.

I want Computer Aided Democracy. :D ;) :rolleyes:
 

Ugg

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wordmunger said:
You realize we're talking about something that happened decades ago, right? No senator from the south supports lynching today, and I suspect we're all just a mite better off now without slavery.

I have one chilling scenario that could have occurred if we'd let the south secede. What if the south sided with Hitler in WWII? You think he might have had a slightly better chance of winning then?
Well, although infrequent, lynchings have not ended. I hope senators from the south don't support lynchings but one thing I've learned about many southerners is that their public façade tends to obscure much of who they really are. Their lack of support for the measure just goes to show that many of their constituents have never really let go of the past. The fact that the south places at the bottom of most indexes regarding quality of life also shows that those who live in the past never get ahead.

Speculation about what might have happened is all well and good but who's to say for sure. Certainly US support for WWI may have been a lot less, Castro might never have come to power and the Cold War might never have taken place.
 

mactastic

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List of cowards:

Here are the 20 Senators who 1) refused to co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution passed yesterday, and 2) refused a roll-call vote so they'd have to put their name on the resolution.

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
George Voinovich (R-OH)

That's 1 in 5 Senators folks. And people wonder whether racism is alive or not. And I have to say, I'm surprised by people like Voinovich and Grassley.

Also the Democratic leaders should take Conrad out behind the woodshed for this. Anyone who has one of these chumps as a rep might want to consider asking them why they couldn't support the anti-lynching apology.
 

Sayhey

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May 22, 2003
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It not that there are sitting Senators who support lynching; it's that there are at least twelve Senators who are so beholden to political forces within their state that find a condemnation of lynching unacceptable.

Here are six of the cowardly twelve's names

  • Richard Shelby (R-Ala)
  • Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn)
  • John Cornyn (R-Tex)
  • Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex)
  • Thad Cochran (R-Miss)
  • Trent Lott (R-Miss)

If I lived in any of these states, I'd organize delegations to the Senator's office demanding an explanation why they didn't sponsor the resolution.

edit: you beat me to it, mac. And with a better list! ;)
 

Ugg

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I'm amazed that 12 of them are not from the south. Utah, MT, ND, WY and AK aren't surprises really given the generally racist attitudes that prevail in those states. They're all big NRA states as well. Any possible connection there?
 

Desertrat

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Jul 4, 2003
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Ugg, the NRA is open to anybody who's into guns'n'huntin' and has $35/year. It's never occurred to me to examine the demographics of our membership, but "color don't count". Man, woman, child; Asian, Latin, Black, White, Whatever: All are welcome.

I surely don't see any reason for Cornyn to vote against such a resolution. It's not an issue in Texas, nowadays, in any way I can think of. Political forces in Texas who'd object? Who's kidding whom? I see no way it would at all affect voters there, to vote for it.

Just guessing: There have been similar "apology" resolutions in the past. I gathered from the debates that some senators have felt that for people, today, to apologize for actions--or inactions--of over a half-century gone is meaningless.

But, even if meaningless to some particular senator, it seems to me to be harmless to say, "Yeah, sure, go ahead, I'll vote with ya..."

'Rat
 

mactastic

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Lot's of 'wingers have recently postulated that no sitting Senators (except Byrd whom they never fail to mention) should apologize for actions taken by their predecessors, but this isn't a personal apology. It's an institutional apology, and all current members are part of an institution that could have done something to prevent domestic terrorism and didn't. I'm not a reperations person, but I believe apologies can and should be issued, partly to remind the Senate that these kinds of things have happened in the past and can happen again.
 

Ugg

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Desertrat said:
Ugg, the NRA is open to anybody who's into guns'n'huntin' and has $35/year. It's never occurred to me to examine the demographics of our membership, but "color don't count". Man, woman, child; Asian, Latin, Black, White, Whatever: All are welcome.

I surely don't see any reason for Cornyn to vote against such a resolution. It's not an issue in Texas, nowadays, in any way I can think of. Political forces in Texas who'd object? Who's kidding whom? I see no way it would at all affect voters there, to vote for it.

Just guessing: There have been similar "apology" resolutions in the past. I gathered from the debates that some senators have felt that for people, today, to apologize for actions--or inactions--of over a half-century gone is meaningless.

But, even if meaningless to some particular senator, it seems to me to be harmless to say, "Yeah, sure, go ahead, I'll vote with ya..."

'Rat
I misread huntin' as hurtin' !

Sure the membership is open and I'm sure there are many minorities represented but I'll bet the membership is also overwhelmingly white male.

I wonder how many of these 20 naysayers would raise a holy stink if the tables were turned. The only way to deal with the past is to face up to it. Let's face it, those who refused to cast a vote are only condoning lynching, whether it's for re-election purposes or support of their constituents is irrelevant their support is all to obvious.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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What could the Senate (or Congress as a whole) have done to prevent lynching? Just wondering... I recognize the potency of this issue, and that it remains very much within living memory as an issue of national shame, but how exactly did it land on the Senate's docket?
 

wordmunger

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Sep 3, 2003
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Ugg said:
I'm amazed that 12 of them are not from the south. Utah, MT, ND, WY and AK aren't surprises really given the generally racist attitudes that prevail in those states. They're all big NRA states as well. Any possible connection there?
There are bigots everywhere. Glad to see that both NC Senators signed the petition.
 

mactastic

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IJ Reilly said:
What could the Senate (or Congress as a whole) have done to prevent lynching? Just wondering... I recognize the potency of this issue, and that it remains very much within living memory as an issue of national shame, but how exactly did it land on the Senate's docket?
They could have made lynching a federal crime and prosecuted it, since govenors of states where this was a practice were unwilling to do so themselves. Remember, there was majority approval for discrimination up to and including lynching. It was carried out publicly with little regard for those involved having to face criminal charges. It's not that there were no perps to charge, it's that there was no will from the powers that be to prosecute.

It's a historical injustice that deserves recognition IMO.
 

Lyle

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Jun 11, 2003
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mactastic said:
List of cowards:

Here are the 20 Senators who 1) refused to co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution passed yesterday, and 2) refused a roll-call vote so they'd have to put their name on the resolution...
You must be mistaken, mac: Well over half the names on your list are Senators from non-Southern states, and everyone knows that it's only Southerners who support lynching.
 

IJ Reilly

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mactastic said:
They could have made lynching a federal crime and prosecuted it, since govenors of states where this was a practice were unwilling to do so themselves. Remember, there was majority approval for discrimination up to and including lynching. It was carried out publicly with little regard for those involved having to face criminal charges. It's not that there were no perps to charge, it's that there was no will from the powers that be to prosecute.

It's a historical injustice that deserves recognition IMO.
Right. Making lynching a federal crime passed in the House but was filibustered in the Senate. I get it.

An excellent interview with Doria Dee Johnson, one of the forces behind the Senate resolution, ran on the NewsHour last night. Check out the video:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/#

Gwen Ifill did a wonderful job on this interview. I especially liked how she handled the part where Johnson lost her composure.
 

wordmunger

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Lyle said:
You must be mistaken, mac: Well over half the names on your list are Senators from non-Southern states, and everyone knows that it's only Southerners who support lynching.
That's right. I forgot about that. The NC Senators must have been tricked into signing ;)