Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Rocky Mountain Troll

On the advice of a smart liberal friend, I've lately reverted to my default position about Property Law Professor Paul Campos who writes for the Rocky Mountain News on Tuesdays, which, like most of us, is to ignore him. However, I read his column yesterday and I'm angry.

By the way, I'm using troll in its online meaning, which is someone who writes loathsome, unsupported things about political figures, and am in no way referring to Campos' somewhat toad-like visage.

Here's what the well reasoned and sober professor wrote about Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO 6th).

It's worth emphasizing that Tancredo is not a racist nut exposing his paranoid delusions on some fringe Web site. He's a racist nut who has made his paranoid delusions the centerpiece of a bona fide Republican Party presidential campaign.

Campos calls Tancredo, whom I've met and heard speak on occasion, a racist. Oh yeah? What race does he hate?

Because he is so mealy mouthed, Campos immediately backs off his calling Tancredo a racist with this: Actually I don't know if Tancredo himself is a racist, and the question holds no interest for me. How dissembling. But he doesn't mean it. This comes next. Regarding immigration, he talks and acts exactly like a racist would and, when judging a politician, that's the only thing that matters...

So we're ready for the proof of the racist talk and action to follow. He feints towards calling the Republicans racists and nativist for opposing illegal immigration (which is neither racist or nativist), but then he goes for the historical underpinning.

I refer to the history of the post-Reconstruction South, where a decades-long terrorist campaign carried out by private citizens, often with the tacit support or active participation of local government and law enforcement, managed to undo much of what was accomplished during the Civil War and the years immediately afterward.

Campos refers to the Ku Klux Klan, a racist organization almost exclusively manned by Democrats. Actual history is that many southern Democrats from before the Civil War through 1964 were racist, Professor, but what has that to do with the modern Republican party?

The post-Goldwater Republican Party, of course, has drawn much of its electoral strength from the resentment and rage the modern civil rights movement engendered...

Ah, the so-called southern strategy, the Jedi mind trick we knuckle dragging Republicans used to switch the Klan joining Democrats into Republicans. This is a Joseph Goebbels like Big Lie, of course; there are plenty of Democrats left in the south and many of them seem proud of their Klan activities. I can name one who is third in line for the Presidency, the President Pro Tempore in the Senate, former Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd (D-WV). Anyone now in the Congress who is a Republican and was in the Klan? Crickets chirping. The number of Republican Klan members in history approaches zero.

Then Campos quotes from a 1939 Life magazine (published by liberals) which is very non pc about Joe Dimaggio, et al., but Campos draws the wrong lesson, in his special troll like way.

Tancredo, whose grandparents were Italian immigrants, doesn't need to be reminded that, until fairly recently, Italian-Americans were considered only imperfectly "white," and indeed were credited with the same virtues (musicality, athleticism, passion) and vices (laziness, promiscuity, criminality) attributed traditionally to black people.

Now we've come so far that Rudy Giuliani, a philandering blowhard with lots of corrupt friends and a taste for authoritarianism, can be the leading contender for the Republican nomination, despite his unambiguously Italian name.

That, I suppose, is a kind of progress.

Nativists, who dislike any immigrant, legal or illegal, have existed since immigrants in serious numbers started coming here. That hatred of foreigners is not racism, because most of the immigrants were the same race as the nativists. You have no excuse to continue to confuse the two concepts and you should be ashamed of yourself for the troll like name calling rife in your opinion piece (as well as the silly attempt to rewrite history and make the Klan Republican or modern Republican like--that's alternative reality stuff). But something tells me the troll Professor has no shame.

UPDATE: I originally wrote Klu Klux Klan but that's wrong. It's Clu Galugher and the Ku Klux Klan (from the Greek for circle Kuklos, also the name of a sort of CIA of the Confederacy). Diomedes pointed that out and I corrected it. Sorry.



I trust you put on your rain gear first so if the water from the barrel splashed on you, you did not get wet.

Do you think that what makes campos an attractive columnist to newspapers is that he is so silly?

Silly is a plus for newspaper columnist? Really? I hope you recognize my reference to you.

Your emphasizing ILLEGAL leads me to wonder where you come down on escaped slaves before the Civil War. They were certainly at least as illegal as today's immigrants. Disrupting child labor sweat shops here in America was also illegal not too many decades ago. Resistance to bad law is sometimes morally required.

Mary, is it really a fair argument to compare involuntary, chattal slavery to being able to live in any country you want to? As a Republican, I would have supported the current law then (Dred Scott dictated) and politically worked for the abolition of slavery, had I lived when there was slavery in America. I somehow feel that was not the answer you had in mind for me. I recognize the power of civil disobedience, in British connected areas of the world (Ghandi would have been a lampshade had he done his schtick in Nazi Germany), but I'm not for it, no matter how 'moral' the cause. Your moral might not be my moral.
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