bureaucracybusters

BLACK IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE: PART TWO (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics, Social commentary on October 25, 2013 at 12:00 am

On March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow, the most respected broadcast journalist in America, assailed the “smear-and-fear” tactics of Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The forum was Murrow’s highly-rated documentary series, “See It Now.” The truth of Murrow’s remarks has outlasted the briefness of that 30-minute program.

They could have been applied to the “lie and deny” methods of the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

And to the Red-baiting attacks made by Republicans against President Bill Clinton.

And to the ongoing character assaults made by right-wingers against President Barack Obama.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” warned Murrow in that broadcast. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

Edward R. Murrow

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular….

“We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities….

“We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home….

“Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’”

After Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden, most of the Republican slander-peddlers momentarily fell silent.

Still, the legacy of hate and fear-mongering goes on.

There is a good reason for this: Republicans have found, repeatedly, that attacking the patriotism of their opponents is an effective vote-getter:

  • It hurtled Dwight Eisenhower into the White House and Republicans into Congress in 1952 and 1956.
  • It elected Richard Nixon President in 1968 and 1972.
  • It gave control of the White House to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984.
  • It gave it to George H.W. Bush in 1988.
  • And even though Bill Clinton won the Presidency in 1992, it gave Republicans control of the Congress in 1994.
  • It gave the White House to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
  • It gave control of the House to Republicans in 2010, thus undermining the financial and healthcare reforms planned by Obama.

And since the 2008 election of Barack Obama as President, Republicans have coupled their traditional “Treason!” slander with both subtle and outright appeals to racism.

Most Republicans refuse to acknowledge this, but author Will Bunch has not been so reticent.  In his 2010 book, The Backlash, he writes:

“…The year that had [conservatives] so terrified was 2050.  In that year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population would grow to some 399 million people–but only 49.8% would be white….”

The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama

This was given added weight by the 2008 election of Barack Obama:

“The Democratic upstart–and his legion of supporters among the nonwhite as well as the young–was a 9/11-sized jolt to the white masses already so worried about the cultural implications of immigration.

“The year 2050 suddenly wasn’t two generations away but right here knocking on the front door, with a dark face and that scary name: Barack Hussein Obama.

“Like a fire spreading across dry sagebrush, it took no effort for fear of The Other to leap from the Mexicans in front of the Wal-Mart to the man now inside the Oval Office.”

An author who predicted this very scenario was the best-selling novelist, Irving Wallace.

His 1964 novel, The Man, positing the ascent of the first black President, appeared 44 years before Obama’s election.

The plot: The President and Speaker of the House are killed in an overseas building collapse, and the Vice-President declines the office due to age and ill-health.  As a result, Senate President pro tempore Douglas Dilman suddenly becomes the first black man to occupy the Oval Office.

His Presidency is marked by white racists, black political activists, and an attempted assassination. Later, he is impeached on false charges for firing the racist Secretary of State.

The Man

A moderate by nature, Dilman tries to rule as a color-blind President.  But he is repeatedly confronted with the brutal truth about himself–and his critics: He is black, and they cannot forgive him for it.

Southern Senator Watson, upon learning that Dilman has succeeded to the Presidency, says: “The White House isn’t going to be white enough from now on.”

And Kay Eaton, who lusts for her husband, the Secretary of State, to become President, blames him for not pushing hard enough for it: “You’re just a kingmaker to a jigaboo.”

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