Monday, January 30, 2012

More Non-Thinking

It's a big country, a big campaign, and there's a pretty big chance of someone saying something goofy pretty much every day. As for little ole me, I can't be everywhere taking all this stuff down, then reporting it. And after awhile, you'd conclude it was boring and maybe never read it again.What remains for me to do is to pluck the real gems that, usually inadvertently, reveal a certain lack of logic, the twisting of facts or context that can take your breath away. Because that happens every week, too.
There's Herman Cain, for instance. He's out of the campaign but still hanging around it as though millions were awaiting his next pronouncement. When he quit, his wife smiling in the far background, it was with the promise that he would not be endorsing any of his rivals. And he stuck to that position - for about a month before jumping onto the Gingrich bandwagon last week. His pals in adjoining seats are fellow Newtsters Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and (from prison, serving out his term) former Congressman "Duke" Cunningham. There is, I believe, plenty of room for more rear ends on the Newt Express.
Then there's the guy who takes up lots of room wherever he sits, New Jersey's heavyweight governor, the three-bills plus Chris Christie. The Guv is a Romney guy this time around, though he supposedly took a hard look at running himself before throwing in with Mitt. He made a remark last week that left me stupefied. Not only, said Christie, should any new design for health care be taken up for a vote, he personally opined that the race-related civil rights measures of the 1960's should also have been put to a vote before being adopted.
I looked it up. Mr. Christie was only born in 1962, so it's understandable that he doesn't remember these things. All that old civil rights era film footage - the dogs, the pressure hoses, the billy clubs, the evil-eyed local southern sheriffs and so forth - he evidently missed all that. Maybe he was eating extra meals.
On the other hand, Christie did attend law school, where someone must have said that some things are too important to be left to a popular vote - the basic principles that we are ALL supposed to believe just by being Americans. He missed that too, I guess.
Finally, no one told him that an election where civil rights would not be in place for all potential voters gives local authorities the green light to deny the vote to all kinds of people they just didn't like. Instead of arguing for the rights of all men, etc, you had local authorities warning about how the imposition of civil rights on southern states would be a huge federal government power grab, or that adopting civil rights would be akin to ensconcing communism on innocent white folks. And since these last were not too keen on granting rights to non-white citizens anyway, there is little doubt how such elections would have ended, perhaps for decades. Perhaps, lacking strong sanctions of some kind, forever. Heck, Mississippi had quasi military gangs in the 1950's specifically given the task of using ANY means to keep blacks from registering and voting. And these gangs of roving rednecks took their assignment very seriously.
Yes, this was awhile ago. But it's important enough to say this: Shame on Christie for not knowing these things, if he didn't, and shame on him for trying to miseducate the American public if he did know. My sympathies for the citizens of New Jersey for having a governor who would want to capitalize on such an evil idea, no matter how long ago it was.


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