Those people

How much do I love that this guy is also a former ambassador? Good God. We exported this:

The finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, who also was Michigan’s former GOP chairman, was captured on video telling a tea party meeting that voters in Detroit get picked up at pool halls and barbershops and bused “from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.”
Ron Weiser also said at the Aug. 9 meeting in Milford that someone not from Detroit would not want to go to the polls there at 6:30 a.m. “without a side arm.”
The video of Weiser’s comments, recorded by a Democratic operative shadowing GOP congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio to a meeting where Weiser also spoke, was given to the Free Press and posted on YouTube by the Michigan Democratic Party. Weiser emphatically said Friday that he meant no offense to Detroit and was speaking about past, not current, campaigns. But his comments immediately drew sharp criticism from a civil rights activist and a Detroit lawmaker.
In a phone interview Friday evening with the Free Press, Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman who was running for a seat on the University of Michigan Board of Regents when he appeared at the tea party gathering, initially said he didn’t recall making the comments and didn’t think he would have used that kind of language. He later acknowledged making the remarks.
He made the comments in the video while explaining why he thought the GOP had a strong chance of winning Michigan in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
First, Detroit’s population, which heavily votes Democratic, has shrunk, Weiser said in the video.
“Secondly, no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine. There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses, and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.
“And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.”

Those people.

He never intended any harm, by the way. It’s standard practice for the finance committee chair of the GOP to blithely announce that African-American voters routinely commit felony voter fraud, you know, if you can drag them out of the pool halls and bars and get them on a bus.

I’m still getting used to the fact that conservative politicians and paid political operatives regularly attack voters. Just think about how strange that is. A big part of their politics now is smearing certain voters. Not just Democratic elected officials. Not just powerful Democratic donors. Voters themselves. How is this punching-down smear campaign directed at voters even “politics” as we may have previously understood it? Obviously, they’re not interested in persuasion or making a case or appealing to anyone outside their base, because, like with Mitt Romney and the 47% comments, this is how they talk about us when we’re not in the room. Is this still “politics” or is it something else entirely?

34 replies
  1. 1
    Not Sure says:

    And then some guy at the Am. Legion where I occasionally go to drink beer and watch football will have a few too many and start repeating this garbage. And what do I do? What do I say? I want to continue drinking beer and watching football at the Legion. Fortunately, the last time it happened, I wasn’t the only one there who recognized bullshit when I heard it. We were polite, we told him he was being misinformed, maybe it sunk in. Or maybe not.

  2. 2
    Kay says:

    @Not Sure:

    I think you have to say something. I usually try logic, although I know this stuff isn’t logical.

    Here, you could say that this guy was obviously wrong because Obama carried Michigan handily even without the imaginary busses that go from pool halls to bars, by the ambassador’s OWN analysis. The former ambassador predicted that Romney would win because Democrats didn’t have the phantom busses. Romney lost.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    Well, to be fair to this guy, sure it’s hard pulling “those people” from their pool halls!

    There’s free parking for their Caddy’s.

    And all they have to do, is use their food stamps, and the chef’s there will their cook-up T-bones and lobster for the baby-daddies and their Ho’s, and the bartenders will keep their Colt-45’s ice-cold, and their Remy warm.

    It’s amazing you can get any of “those people” out of those pool halls at all – let alone to vote.

    FSM, why can’t I be a Niggrah?

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    It’s really pretty appalling if you think about it. The entire voter impersonation fraud rests on a completely unsubstantiated accusation that CERTAIN PEOPLE are presumptive felons, yet media repeated it like parrots. Seriously. WTF? Has that ever happened before? Can I invent a crime and slap it on a whole group of people and expect widespread adoption of my fantasy? I don’t think so! There would be OUTRAGE!

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    no shock, kay.

    none in the least.

    but, please keep on reporting on these racist muthafuckas.

  6. 6
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    he didn’t recall making the comments and didn’t think he would have used that kind of language.

    The fuck? That’s the worst non-excuse “please don’t let there be audio/video” evasive answer I’ve ever heard! Man up and own your bigotry, stupid fucker.

  7. 7
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    He wants to be on the Bd of regents for U of M. IMO, he’s been promoted way above his merit, so hopefully he hits a bump in his career plan here.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    I’m still getting used to the fact that conservative politicians and paid political operatives regularly attack voters.

    It was inevitable. As Cole pointed out months and months ago – they hate us. Us. Personally. Every last one of us who votes something-other-than-Their-Divinely-Appointed-Candidates. The entire last fifty years has been based on running against “black racists” black people, “illegal immigrants” Hispanics, “union thugs” poor and working class people, “terrorists” Muslims, “liberal elitists” and anyone who lives on either coast. Those aren’t political or academic or media elites. Those are regular voters, huge chunks of them. In terms of what the right-wing electorate wants, there is no downside and a hell of a lot of upsides to directly attacking the other side’s fundamental rights. Most of these people are only voting Republican in order to fuck over their neighbors in the first place.

  9. 9
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: It would only be an outrage if we directed it at the people who hate us. And they do. Those of us who think people of all genders and skin melanin ratios are citizens whose rights are equal to those of rich aging white men, we are the enemy. That’s the outrage.

    I had the sad experience of seeing one of those VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY billboards up close. As I expected, it was in a heavily D-inclined – and did I mention black_ – neighborhood. That was an outrage that I thought we were beyond. I was misinformed. Or too hopeful.

  10. 10
    The Sailor says:

    He apologized if he offended anyone.

    Fuck him and his nonpology.

    “Those people”, “you people”; yeah, republicans, your only problem is messaging. Assholes.

  11. 11
    Ohio Mom says:

    My husband the computer engineer has now worked in two places in SW Ohio where he has co-workers who spend the weeks before the presidential election talking about how they are going to volunteer to work polling places in African-American neighborhoods, armed with baseball bats and the like, to prevent the people in those neighborhoods from voting fraudently or maybe just plain voting. But they are always at their work stations on the first Tuesday of November from the start of the work day until the end.

    I think they are at work because they are mortally afraid of Black people, too afraid to actually fo anywhere near them. Realy, you should have heard the conniptions one of them was going through as he planned a family vacation to D.C. He spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to avoid driving through any AA neighborhoods, trying to enlist the help of my husband who had once lived in the Washington area.

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    @Chris:

    It’s wild how it’s migrated, though. I don’t know a lot about this person, but just looking at his resume, he’d be in the “intellectual, serious Republican” camp. The Ann Arbor connection, the ambassadorship, etc. Like Mitt Romney. Yet he feels completely comfortable spouting this shit. This was thoughtful election analysis, not some barnburner speech from the fringe. He affects “GOP insider” cred, the whole works.

    Amazing to watch.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    I’ve always assumed (sad but true) that wingers say things among themselves that wouldn’t go over too well among the inhabitants of the real world. So, why is this all coming out now?

    1) The concept that the smiling waiters and busboys have gizmos in their pockets that can record large amounts of audio and video hasn’t quite penetrated.

    2) They fantasize about being Rush Limbaugh, but they’re not quite as smart as ol’ Rush.

    3) They just can’t help it.

  14. 14
    J says:

    Now I understand the Republican viewpoint. They have nothing against those people voting, if only those people would each vote just once. But you can’t stop ’em votin’ again and again, any more than you can stop ’em once they’ve started eating watermelon, or having children.

  15. 15
    Zam says:

    You just know that rather than stop being racist pricks these guys are gonna start banning all recording devices and patting down all the caterers.

  16. 16
    JoyfulA says:

    They’re working hard to keep me motivated to work against them.

  17. 17
    Kay says:

    @Zam:

    That’s what I mean, though. Politics is talking. Politics is persuasion. Republicans have to conduct “politics” secretly, or they’re screwed! This is not a workable strategy :)

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Racist shitstains like Ron Weiser cannot help themselves. It’s integral to their world view.

    They say shit like this, and then they scratch their heads endlessly wondering why Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are voting for Democrats.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @MattF:

    I’ve always assumed (sad but true) that wingers say things among themselves that wouldn’t go over too well among the inhabitants of the real world. So, why is this all coming out now?

    The creation of a conservative media bubble (begun with Fox in the 1990s, completed with the blogosphere that arose in the 2000s), plus the conservative victories of the last few decades (culminating in the Bush years) have done a lot to further the belief that everyone agrees with them and shield them from any evidence to the contrary.

  20. 20
    Citizen Alan says:

    @MattF:

    1) The concept that the smiling waiters and busboys have gizmos in their pockets that can record large amounts of audio and video hasn’t quite penetrated.

    I actually feel sorry for people who work in the service industry now — by 2016, you won’t be able to work as a waiter or bartender at one of those fancy Republican-only dinners unless you sign an NDA and submit to a strip search first.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Speaking as a Black person…

    As Cedric the Entertainer said…

    Black people live by a the ‘ wish’ creed….

    I wish those mofos would go into Black precincts and try that nonsense.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    @Chris: That’s the paradox right there. Faux news worked for them for about a decade, but the echo chamber self-replicated a generation of dolts. The Bobos, Chunky Bobos, Frums etc. who played along while it was a winning combination wring their hands now that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. They have to rely on vote suppression, the Supremos and Citizen’s United now. If they hadn’t been smart enough to concentrate on state elections the conservative movement and Republican party would be walking dead now. Prog forces need to start focusing more on the state level.

  23. 23
    1badbaba3 says:

    It’s always either projection or deflection with “those people”. And by “those people” I mean Nazis. The only thing worse than an O.G. Nazi, is a ‘Murrican Nazi that doesn’t think of themselves as such. More’s the pity. They should know better.

    Which is why they are worse.

  24. 24
    Maude says:

    @rikyrah:
    I wish they’d drop dead. Good to see you here, always.

  25. 25
    Matt says:

    At this point, I honestly believe there’s a faction in the GOP that’s decided the only way for them to keep winning is through political violence, and that the whole “WE WUZ ROBBED BY BLAH PEOPLE” routine is just trying to prod the Jim Adkissons of the world into doing something terrible.

    And it’s not like it’s without historical precedent – some of the leadership is old enough to remember the LAST TIME it worked, down South with the WCC and the KKK.

  26. 26
    Kay says:

    @Matt:

    At this point, I honestly believe there’s a faction in the GOP that’s decided the only way for them to keep winning is through political violence,

    I don’t think it’s that organized. I think this is a guy who believes he has to talk like this to get ahead with his career. It doesn’t matter if it’s true, and it doesn’t matter if it leads anywhere. He has to do A,B, and C, if he wants to reach his current personal goal. That’s why we see the recklessness and the inability to look further than the next day. It’s ALL self-interested. Grasping. Get mine NOW.

    What’s somewhat hopeful to me is that they are not going to attract better people within the organization that is the GOP with this kind of talk. It’s a vicious cycle. This IS the Republican Party. There is no better, more honorable Republican Party waiting to emerge, because political parties are composed of individuals. The sum can’t be greater than the parts.

  27. 27
    J R in WVa says:

    All Republicans aren’t racist – my Dad was a life-long Republican, in a solid Democratic area. He was also a member of the NAACP and marched to protest the bombing that killed 4 little girls. As he aged he (unfortunately) watched too much Faux news, but I doubt he would have tolerated this racist BullSh*t.

    The current leaders of the Republican party are not only racists, they are willing to foment racist hatred for a tiny political gain. Despicable is too kind a word for what these foul monsters are willing to do to accumulate a little more political power.

    Does anyone doubt that if those people controlled all three branches of the federal government and most of the state governments, they would amend the constitution to prevent racial minorities and immigrants from voting, gays from being legally able to exist, and Democrats from participating in political activities of any sort?

    I expect they would establish a political protocol that would enable them to jail anyone they disagreed with into a privately managed prison, where prisoners would be compelled to work hard – very hard – at profitable tasks, with the money going to the prison owners, Republican all.

    Just like Jim Crow segregation laws forced most able-bodied black men into work gangs, rented to plantation owners by the county sheriffs. Much like slavery, just calling them prisoners instead of slaves, but the work was just as hard, and just as involuntary.

    I think there’s a name for the kind of political environment those people prefer, if I could just think of the term, it’s right there on the tip of my tongue… fascist, is that it?

    Naw, couldn’t be, we fought a huge war to prevent fascism from ruling the world!

    But you know that’s the kind of political lifestyle that doesn’t just go away, you need to eradicate it anew each generation. There were lots of fascists here in America until war was declared! Why, Senator and Ambassador Prescott Bush, father of G.H.W. Bush, was a huge supporter of that Austrian/Bavarian leader – what was his name? – until the war started with the US in a leadership role. Oh yeah, Adolph Hitler, that’s the guy.

    Standard bearer of the modern Republican party.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    Someone please explain to me why it would be inaccurate to call the GOP a white supremacist party.

    Seriously.

  29. 29
    lankyloo says:

    Wow! That meeting was in my home town! Good on you Milford, always keeping it classy. It shouldn’t surprise me though, since growing up there people used to refer to Pontiac as N***ertown. Thanks God I moved to the South Side of Chicago 20 years ago.

  30. 30
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    Pool halls?!?!

    Man, someone needs to pull the Jim Croce eight-track out of this guy’s car.

  31. 31
    RaflW says:

    Is this still “politics” or is it something else entirely?

    It is Fascistic propaganda. This is how the other starts getting defined in such a way as to completely remove a class of people’s human rights.

    That these are the descendents of people who had their human rights totally subsumed by slavery makes it more shocking to me, that a good sized chunk of the population is okay with saying that the people we enslaved can now, again, be treated as 3/5 of a person…or less.

    This has to be resisted. Not to go all Godwin, but this large and deep GOP trend is a very dangerous thing that is far beyond politics.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    slag says:

    I think it’s safe to say that the difference between the Republican “elite” and the riffraff is that the riffraff uses their outside voice in all occasions while the “elite” has some modicum of vocal modulation ability. There’s no substantive difference in thought processes beyond that, however.

  34. 34
    Liberty60 says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    Sounds like his entire view of black American life is framed by that painting on the opening of The Jeffersons.

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