Some shocking news for Republicans: Ronald Reagan wasn’t a racist on immigration

By Robert Mann

There was once a prominent liberal Democrat — he would one day become president — who embraced a big, broad belief in the American dream that too many of today’s political leaders reject.

This future president said in a 1952 commencement address: “I, in my own mind, have thought of America has a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land. … [T]he means of selection was very simple as to how this land should be populated: Any place in the world and any person from those places; any person with the courage, with the desire to tear up the roots, to strive for freedom, to attempt and dare to live in a strange and foreign place, to travel half across the world, was welcome here.

“And they have brought with them to the bloodstream that has become America that precious courage … to strive for something better for themselves and for their children and their children’s children. I believe that God in shedding his grace on this country has always in this divine scheme of things kept an eye on our land and guided it as a promised land for these people.”

The liberal was Ronald Reagan, speaking at Williams Woods College in Fulton, Mo. But, you say, that was long before Reagan, the actor, became Reagan, the conservative political leader. He wouldn’t talk like that today, would he?

Think again.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

Recruiting black conservatives: ‘Runaway Slave’ vs ‘Django Unchained’

By Tom Swain

Django Unchained
Django Unchained (Photo credit: Sam_Carpenter1974)

By now, it’s likely too late to register for the second day of @large, billed as “a conference for a new majority.” You could go to www.atlargeconference.com and find out about it. Tickets, if you can still get one, are $79.

According to the website, this was “a one and a half day conference for black conservatives interested in engaging in the political process. The conference was to be held May 30-31, 2013, at Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge, La. The goal of this conference was to inspire, motivate, and encourage black conservatives to get involved in politics and build a constituency within their communities.”

The itinerary for the event included “prominent, conservative black speakers, workshops and discussions on various campaign disciplines such as fundraising and messaging, networking, and a showing of Rev. C.L. Bryant’s documentary “Runaway Slave.” Reverend Bryant is the headliner for the event.”

I found out about @large on The Hayride, which bills itself as “Louisiana’s premier conservative political commentary site.” (Where else can you read about a brazen attempt by party leaders “at a regular meeting of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee” “to completely replace the current LAGOP bylaws with a newer version”?!?)

Hayride founder and publisher Scott McKay was one of the organizers of the @large event.

It is interesting that McKay was associated with @large. While a self-described “staunch conservative,” McKay has expressed a few opinions in The Hayride that might not seem, well, dare I say it, “black conservative.”

Consider his criticism of Michele Obama’s choice of shoes:

. . . but if our First Lady thinks these ugly-ass Chuck Taylor knockoffs are worth $540, there is an even more severe dearth of economic understanding in this administration than even I thought.

Seriously, enough already about the Michelle Obama-as-style-maven crap. She ain’t Evita Peron and she definitely ain’t Jackie O. Let the woman alone. I don’t have much use for her and her racist thesis at Princeton and her disdain for America up until the point where it decided maybe she could have something more than a 300K-a-year cush PR gig at a hospital in Chicago, but I’m happy to let that sleeping dog lie until America finally wakes up and runs her husband’s fascisti out of the White House.

(Incidentally, you can use the link he provided to see whether her thesis is racist. It does avoid run-on sentences.)

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Supply-side economics: Is there really much doubt that it failed?

There is a More Guilty Party #5 - Supply Side ...

Sometimes pointing out reality is very annoying to those who live in a cloistered world in which Mitt Romney is president and Republicans have captured the U.S. Senate.

That didn’t happen, of course. But it came as an enormous surprise to those watch only Fox News and take their political cues from Karl Rove and Sean Hannity.

So, it was really not news to me that the good folks over at The Hayride should be so shocked to find someone questioning the discredited right-wing orthodoxy that is supply-side economics. That’s what I did yesterday in this post.

In a rather ugly broadside aimed at me (does every political or policy disagreement now have to be laden with personal insults?), the author of the piece seems truly amazed to learn that not everyone buys into the notion that slashing taxes will result in a massive revenue windfall for the government and creation of widespread utopia.

Frankly, it’s a ridiculous – and tiresome – circumstance that we’re even arguing about whether competitive tax policy is an aid to economic growth. That Mann would beclown himself by wading into it shows he’s out of place as a professor in LSU’s mass-com school and ought to be in the poli sci department, but of course this is nothing more than a local equivalent of a George Stephanopoulous or Elliot Spitzer passing himself off as a journalist.

Mann’s blog, which one hopes he’s not composing on state time, consists of one left-wing anti-Jindal diatribe after another. Most of them are fairly well-written and appear reasonable until you do some research into his sources and claims; that’s a testament to his skill as a spin doctor.

But if you do that research and come to the conclusion that he’s a partisan hack entrusted with the education of our kids, and if you should give voice to that conclusion, be prepared to see the darker side of political spin doctoring.

Well, at least the author thinks that I write well and “appear” reasonable! (If my blog were a movie, the poster would say: “Bob Mann’s blog is ‘well-written’ and ‘reasonable.’ — The Hayride”)

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Jindal’s “Easter Bunny Economics”

A person in an Easter Bunny costume at the &qu...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Robert Mann

Does Bobby Jindal believe in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy? It’s likely that, as a man in his 40s, he’s given up those childish notions. I’m sure he vouches for the hare’s existence to his young children, but it’s not likely that Jindal, himself, buys into the idea of a large, egg-bearing bunny hoping around the Mansion lawn on Easter morning.

But Jindal does, in fact, believe in an economic version of the Easter Bunny.

That would be Supply-Side Economics, a theory so thoroughly discredited by experience of the past 30 years that it’s only embraced by the most uniformed and delusional of policy makers (a group that actually includes the U.S. House GOP caucus and most Republican governors).

Very simply put, supply-side economics is the mistaken belief that if you cut taxes you spur economic activity so that, instead of declining revenues, you get fantastic growth and more revenue for the government. It sounds nice — except that it hasn’t worked.

Remember Ronald Reagan? He bought into supply-side economics in the 1980s and  slashed income taxes. And guess what? The economic Easter Bunny didn’t appear. Supply-side was a bust. The national debt ballooned under Reagan, so much so that he was later forced to raise taxes to avoid a budgetary calamity.

Turns out, if you slash taxes, government revenue drops.

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Campaign spots: Nothing new under the sun

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. –Ecclesiastes 1:9

The more you watch and study politics, the more you realize that it’s not often you see something completely new and different.

The 1964 “Daisy Girl” spot and the others produced for LBJ‘s presidential campaign were truly new and fresh. They changed American political advertising.

But just because something isn’t new and fresh, doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

I was reminded of that yesterday during my appearance on MNBC’s “Jansing & Co.” Host Chris Jansing showed me and viewers several new Obama and Romney spots. Among them was a new spot by the Obama campaign, “Challenges.”

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