David Weigel at the Washington Post’s Right Now blog writes about a one on one Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) had at the SRLC yesterday with a constituent who doesn’t support him anymore. After she was done talking to Cao, she talked to Weigel and had some interesting things to say (bolded emphasis added by me):
Yesterday, I talked briefly to Cao but stepped aside as one of those no-longer-happy Republicans read him the riot act over his initial vote for health-care reform. (He voted against the final bill last month.)
“I supported you,” said Kim Hasney, a photographer from Jefferson Parish. “I can’t support you anymore.”
“You have to understand,” said Cao, “that I represent a district that’s 70 percent Democrat.”
Cao thanked Hasney for her honesty, but after she sparred a bit with other Republicans about what it was fair to expect from Cao, she told me of her disappointment with how he was using his vote.
“He had fundraisers, he had meetings, all in the suburbs — the white suburbs,” said Hasney, who attended one of those events. “He had nothing in the district. We got him elected. Then, he goes and says ‘but I have to represent my district,’ which is all liberal, giveaway, spread-the-wealth, welfare, black. We thought he would try to change the demographics of that district by supporting things that were not giveaway things. You know, supporting things that would get them out of the ghetto.”
Hasney made it clear that she opposed Cao’s votes because she thought they were the wrong way to lift poor blacks in New Orleans out of poverty. “I’m not just talking about black people,” she said. “The Vietnamese people flourish in that area because they’re workers.”
Cao, she said, should have focused on free market solutions that could help other residents lift themselves up by their bootstraps.
“I thought that was what he was going to do,” she said. “As a conservative Republican, bring a work ethic, bring a non-welfare ethic.”
Sounds about right, right? A common-sense conservative advocating for free-market solutions that help those in poorer communities so they don’t have to depend on public assistance for generations. Yeah, it does sound good – to those of us who actually want to help those in poor communities find a better way, but apparently not to the clueless wonders at some of the top liberal blogs who, unsurprisingly, believe this former Cao supporter is a racist for daring to suggest Cao should have done more to help his constituents out of poverty. A sampling:
Think Progress (post title):
“GOP supporter: Cao has betrayed us, his white donors, by trying to represent his minority district.”
Clearly not what the “GOP supporter” was saying, but why let facts get in the way of liberals, as usual, shamelessly trying to play the race card for political gain.
Matthew Yglesias, premier blogger at Think Progress (post title):
There Is No Racism In the Conservative Movement
She’s not a racist. She just has no idea what has been happening in Congress for the past 1.5 years, which makes her sound like a racist when she tries to talk about these things — things that were weaker market solutions far to the right of anything liberals wanted, ideally. Also, it doesn’t matter how much cash the benevolent white folks would give his campaign. If he voted like a wingnut, he’d be out in his first re-election campaign. And he did, and he will be.
So the lesson is, people should shut up unless they actually pay attention to policy and politics, or they will be mocked on the Internet, thank you.
Pot, kettle. Thank you.
Last but not least, Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen:
Here’s a helpful tip for conservatives. When you’re talking to a reporter, and you’re complaining that your representative received campaign contributions in the “white suburbs,” but is now focused on his “liberal, giveaway, spread-the-wealth, welfare, black” constituents, it doesn’t help when you add, “I’m not just talking about black people.”
Here’s a helpful tip for head in sand liberals like Steve Benen: When you’re writing about the implied “racist tendencies” of white conservatives in liberal districts, keep in mind that they have issues when they throw their support behind a GOP politician who, instead of working to make his district better by supporting policies conservatives advocate that would lift the poor people in his/their district out of poverty, supports the status quo that will essentially leave them there – and does so apparently not so he can help them but because he wants to keep getting re-elected.
Here’s another helpful tip for the likes of Steve Benen, Matthew Yglesias, and other liberals who apparently think that it’s “racist” for a conservative/Republican to even say the word “black:” It’s racemongers like you who routinely keep this country from being able to have real discussions about race issues because you refuse to believe that conservatives really want to help poor people at all, especially if they’re black, because apparently the only people who have solutions that “work” for poorer communities are liberals, right?
Well, nearly 50 years ago, a liberal administration implemented Great Society welfare programs that were intended to “help” the poor, and they also implemented “sex ed” programs disguised as “family planning” programs. At the same time, the “free love/man-hating radical feminist movement” gained significant ground by teaching young women (and men) that the family unit was oppressive and “patriarchal” and that it was better to live your life free from responsibility and “judgment” – unless it was judging conservatives and Republicans who dared to call such stupidity and willful ignorance for what it was/is.
The combination of these policies and movements have had a devastating effect on society, in particular the black community in terms of personal responsibility, illegitimacy, disease, employment, and crime. These are the same types of policies, policies that keep poor people – black or otherwise – in poor communities, that liberals not only continue to support but that they are also resistant to try and reform for the better. Remember how the welfare reform bill Bill Clinton had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign was going to result in even more people needing public assistance as well as “take the food out of babies’ mouths”? Guess what? It actually helped poor communities:
One little-known fact is that we have made gains against poverty in recent decades — and welfare reform deserves some credit. The poverty rate among blacks has fallen sharply, though it’s still discouragingly high. From 1968 to 1994, it barely budged, averaging 32.4 percent. By 2000 it was 22.5 percent. (The poverty rate is the share of people living below the government’s poverty line, about $19,500 for a family of four in 2004.) Similarly, there have been big drops in child poverty. Since 1989 the number of children in poverty has fallen 12 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 14 percent for blacks.
The economic boom of the 1990s explains much of this improvement. But it is not the whole explanation, because even after the 2001 recession, many poverty rates stayed well below previous levels. For all blacks, it was 24.7 percent in 2004.
The 1996 law replaced Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) — traditional welfare — with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Congress created AFDC in 1935 as part of the landmark Social Security Act, which also included unemployment insurance and old-age assistance. In an era when few women worked, AFDC was intended to provide modest income support for widows and their children. By the 1980s, it had evolved into something else: guaranteed payments for single, often never-married mothers. Critics argued that the program bred dependence, weakened self-reliance and rewarded out-of-wedlock births.
TANF set new rules. It eliminated the automatic entitlement to benefits. To qualify, mothers had to look for work, take job training or both (states set exact requirements). There was a general five-year lifetime limit on receiving benefits.
In a new book, “Work Over Welfare,” Brookings Institution senior fellow Ron Haskins — a top Republican congressional staffer during the welfare debate — cites much evidence of success. Welfare caseloads have plunged. From August 1996 to June 2005, the number of people on welfare dropped from 12.2 million to 4.5 million. About 60 percent of mothers who left welfare got work. Their incomes generally rose. Many qualified for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which subsidizes low-income workers. Finally, there were intangible benefits: work connections, self-respect.
One lesson is that what people do for themselves often overshadows what government does for them. Since 1991, for example, the teen birthrate has dropped by a third. The mothers least capable of supporting children have had fewer of them. Welfare reform didn’t single-handedly cause this. But it reinforced a broader shift in the social climate — one emphasizing personal responsibility over victimhood.
“[E]mphasizing personal responsibility over victimhood”? Gee, it’s no wonder liberals didn’t support the true welfare reform efforts of the GOP during the Clinton admininstration. And it’s also no wonder that so few of them today will acknowledge the success of a reform effort that they opposed and opposed loudly. They can’t even bear the thought of a victim-free society, can they? Because a society that on the whole refused to be put in the “victim” box would mean that there would be no one left for Democrats to represent which would collectively put them – and big government – out of a job.
So, let’s break this down a bit: Republicans in general support solutions that will lift poor people out of poor communities, support common-sense free market solutions that will give poor people a sense of responsiblity and purpose, that will turn them into productive members of society. Democrats, on the other hand, support “solutions” that keep these same people right where they are because, as modern history continues to show us (especially through the healthcare “reform” bill), liberals simply don’t believe people – especially minorities – can think or do for themselves, and furthermore believe everyone is out to get them, and as a result believe that the government must hold the hands and in effect be the mothers of poor communities every step of the way.
With that in mind, which party is it exactly that “supports” the enslavement of black people, again?