Party of the people
Posted by aogTuesday, 08 February 2011 at 09:13 TrackBack Ping URL

The recent massive GOP electoral success was fueled primarily by a grass roots movement called the Tea Parties. In response to that, and the likely budget cuts, the Democratic Party is calling on its partisans — the lobbyists. Who is the party of the people again?

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Harry Eagar Wednesday, 09 February 2011 at 15:46

And Rand Paul calls on a racist Confederate to testify on the Federal Reserve. This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 09 February 2011 at 16:02

That’s almost as bad as treating Al Sharpton with respect.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 10 February 2011 at 13:29

worse. Nobody ever asked Sharpton how to fix the economy.

If you are going to throw in with the American street, prepare to associate with some scuzzy people.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 10 February 2011 at 13:52

And if you’re going to throw in with the MAL or the Democratic Party, prepare to associate with far scuzzier people. After all, you admitted that the current Democratic Party is lead by a racist.

P.S. I also find your original claim of the “racist Confederate” to be highly dubious, given your predilection to widely miscatergorizing people with whom you disagree. (like you did here).

Harry Eagar Friday, 11 February 2011 at 13:54

SInce I haven’t thrown in with the Democrats — I’m a New Dealer, no party for me — I have no problems.

He’s a racist Confederate all right. From the git-go, I got the sense that the Tea Party was mostly about nativist ignorance and religious bigotry, what I call barber-shop talk. That may not be the whole of it, but the TP attracts those people like cow pies attract flies.

You might suppose that, for reasons of political prudence alone, the TP wouldn’t invite neo-Confederates to testify before Congress. How big a constituency does the Confederate States of America have now?

You might think that, but Ron Paul says you’re wrong.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 February 2011 at 14:13

Yeah, sure. Even though almost every time you’ve used that accusation you’ve turned out wrong, surely this time you’ve got it right, even if you can’t actually remember his name. But he’s a Confederate racist, allright, whatever that means.

P.S. Doesn’t being a New Dealer mean supporting the putting citizens in camps and looting their property purely because of their race?

Harry Eagar Friday, 11 February 2011 at 22:13


Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 February 2011 at 22:57

And thus you make your original comment about Paul moot. Thanks for playing!

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 09:45

The testifier may or may not be a neo-Confederate, but undoubtably he hung out with and was paid by neo-Confederates: “Thomas James DiLorenzo was formerly an affiliated scholar of the now-defunct League of the South Institute, the research arm of the pro-secession League of the South.”

The New Deal happened around the same time, and under the same Administration, as did the Japanese internment, but it’s absolutely ludicrous to attempt to connect the two. Any Administration then in power might have done the same, regardless of political party or governing philosophy, given the racial situation and zeitgeist of the era, and the attack by Japan.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 10:14

So, if Rand Paul calls as a witness someone who was associated with the Neo-Confederates, that’s so indicative that it’s “like shooting fish in a barrel” but if the pre-eminent leader of the New Deal engages in race based internment, it’s “absolutely ludicrous” to connect that with the New Deal.

I also strongly disagree that any administration might have done that, even given the tenor of the times.

David Cohen Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 10:52

It’s Ron Paul being accused of calling a neo-Confederate witness, not Rand. Ron has a history of palling around with racists, who like to use libertarianism as a cover.

On the other hand, the internment of the Japanese was an unremarkable New Deal program and was seen to be so at the time. It had an alphabet soup agency (the WRA, or War Relocation Authority), it was run by an established New Dealer (Milton Eisenhower, the General’s younger brother, who while at USDA during the 30s was a major spokesman for the New Deal), it was challenged as being beyond the power of the federal government, but was upheld by the Supreme Court, giving us the noxious rule about the government being able to discriminate on the grounds of race that allows for affirmative action.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 11:04

Yes, as noted, “throw in the with New Dealers and prepare to associate with some scuzzy people”. Like 1930s Fascists.

On a more philosophical note, any movement of more than a few people is going to have unpleasant associations. It’s simply the way people are. There’s no bright line in that regard. But that’s the kind of nuance the neo-Puritans of the Modern American Left can no longer discern.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 14:42

I hate to break into your hermetic sealed history, but if internment was a New Deal program, why weren’t the Japanese interned in the Territory of Hawaii?

The President appointed the governor and controlled the territorial government directly. The Mainland internments were a shameful political compromise with nativist state governments on the West Coast. You might be surprised to find out who won those elections. Look it up.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 14:43

…if the pre-eminent leader of the New Deal engages in race based internment, it’s “absolutely ludicrous” to connect that with the New Deal.

Then go ahead and connect it with the New Deal in some substantial way. Simply noting, as does Mr. Cohen, that the program was overseen by a person associated with the New Deal is roughly as significant as noting that some program or another in ‘30s & ‘40s Germany was run by a Nazi; of course any important program would be, as anyone who was anybody belonged to the Nazi Party. It says nothing about whether the program was a key component of National Socialist German Workers’ Party philosophy, or simply something that happened to be administered by a Nazi administration. Like pensions and park maintenance - were those Nazi programs, because Nazi Party members oversaw them?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 15:59


I consider that just as substantive a connection as the one to which Mr. Eagar alluded.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 17:01

What? I instanced the actions of 2 individuals — a professional racist and an elected official with no responsibility. And you keep telling us that the TP has no organization, so I cannot criticize its institutional framework.

What that has to do with bureaux of a responsible government escapes me.

Or are you going to say that California under the Republican grip of Knowland and Warren wasn’t a nativist government?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 17:37

Ah, my persistent mistake — presuming the existence of any meaning or relevance in your comments. But at least we’ve established that being a New Dealer means associating with some scuzzy people.

erp Saturday, 12 February 2011 at 19:25

Harry, you can do whatever you want.

Hey Skipper Sunday, 13 February 2011 at 02:11

Goose, gander.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 13 February 2011 at 14:37

FDR did associate with some scuzzy people, although when it came to sheep and goats, he recognized and avoided the goats, which is more than the anti-New Dealers could claim. He was not a man attached to political principal — most people don’t realize he ran in ‘32 as a budget cutter — and he made compromises easily.

Yet some people think he was a dictator.

No pleasing some people.

Anyhow, I was going to direct you guys to a precis of the Plattsburgh Movement, ‘cause it isn’t taught in schools so I doubt you know about it. If you did, you wouldn’t say what you say about the Japanese internment and the New Deal. But it doesn’t leave much of a footprint on the Internet. All Wikipedia has is an inaccurate summary of the Citizens Military Training Camps.

Sigh. There would be more civility if we really taught ourselves our own history.

erp Sunday, 13 February 2011 at 17:05

Harry, you are really one in a million. Where do you get these nutty ideas?

harry Eagar Monday, 14 February 2011 at 00:24

By reading American history. All Roosevelt did was lock up the colored folks. The Plattsburghers — solid Republicans every one, and there were tens of thousands of them — formed a citizen army to shoot them. Sort of like today’s crazy rightwing militias, except 120 years ago and led, instead of by truck drivers and failed insurance agents, some of the most illustrious graduates of Harvard.

Reagan was a trainee.

erp Monday, 14 February 2011 at 08:30

Harry, your comments are making me laugh so much it’s making me forget the pain from my knee replacement. Right now I’m sitting in a hospital bed waiting for real torturers aka phystical therapists to come and rehab.

Reagan was a trainee? Is that the same Reagan Obama is trying to emulate?

Your comments are real knee slappers.


Annoying Old Guy Monday, 14 February 2011 at 10:46


Once again, Mr. Eagar seems to have a very personalized reading of American history (not to mention it’s amusing to hear calls to remember history when he doesn’t seem to remember his own comments from the previous day).

I will note that we’ve progressed from evil nativist Republicans made FDR intern people to all FDR did was lock up colored people. That’s something.

I looked around a bit for data on the Plattsburgh Movement. I found the Wikipedia article which apparently is inaccurate but how in and what way (other than failing to label all participants as “racist”) Eagar won’t say. It is indicative of just how significant the movement was that not even the Internet has much about it.

A few little things that Eagar avoids are

  • the Plattsburgh Movement was founded in 1915 or so, in reaction to the sinking of the Lusitania which in Eagar’s history set off anti-Japanese hysteria. Others may note that if the organization was organized to shoot people it would have been Germans in the sights which few refer to as “colored people”.
  • It was later converted to an official government sponsored organization in 1920. It was a forerunner of the ROTC.
  • The founder was a former Rough Rider, serving under Teddy Roosevelt.
  • The purpose of the organization was military preparedness for war. Apparently Eagar doesn’t distinguish between foreign combatants and American citizens and so can’t see this as different, which would seem to argue against the claim of these being unrelated to the New Deal gestalt. (Alternatively, Eagar is paying a high compliment to our crazy right-wing militias).

Here’s a nice quote

“Naval Plattsburgs” were establish with the encouragement of then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt;

solid Republicans every one” indeed.

This is why I put so little credence in such claims by Eagar. They tend so frequently to dissolve just like this when examined, with no evidence beyond hotly asserted aspersions.

erp Monday, 14 February 2011 at 11:52

People around here must think I’m nuts with my laughing out loud alone in my room.

Between Harry and you-know-who in our northeast, I don’t know which is further from removed from reality

erp Monday, 14 February 2011 at 11:57

aog, remember Republicans and Democrats are able to change designations at will in Harry’s universe, so I wouldn’t put too much credance on who’s a Republican at any particular single point in time.

Harry Eagar Monday, 14 February 2011 at 12:57

One of the inaccuracises is that the Plattsuburgh Movement began during World War I. It began much earlier. They were a kind of Christian WASP stormtroopers, intended to put down the expected insurgency of the kikes, wops, spics, chinks, hunkies, dagos, frogs, bogtrotters, coons etc.

The inspirational leader of the movement died early, before the war, and it faltered. The war revived and redirected it.

Unluckily, I gave away my copy of the movement’s history before I realized what a rarity it was.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 14 February 2011 at 13:40

I linked to several other sources, not just Wikipedia, all of which put the founding around 1915, including one from the Department of Military and Naval Affairs of the State of New York. Are they part of some vast right wing conspiracy hiding the truth?

As for a book on the history, did you mean this one which, gosh, puts the origin all the way back to 1913, the year before WWI?

But we are to put faith in your recollection of a book you can’t even check to see if your recollection is accurate, much less the accuracy of the source material? And that disagrees with multiple other sources? Is that the kind of evidence you would consider valid for an article you wrote professionally?

Just a couple of more jabs —

The war revived and redirected it.

And when was Reagan a trainee in it? Before or after the redirection? A rather significant point you managed to leave out in order to smear Reagan. You knew the facts yet twisted them to create a false impression.

And finally — “Robert Byrd”. Rather worse than just a trainee, eh?

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 14 February 2011 at 14:31

The inspirational leader of the movement died early, before the war, and it faltered

Ah, it was a charismatic cult with no broad support. What that demonstrates, other than there’s lunatics everywhere, I fail to grasp.

What I see is that as the Ku Klux Klan taints Democratic Party history, its partisans search desperately for some tu quoque. They find obscure little cults and promote them out of their impotence and irrelevance. As in this case, where the founder is so obscure that even people using him for propaganda can’t remember his name.

Epic fail.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 11:44

I did not say charismatic. I said inspirational. There’s a difference.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 12:46

I did not say the leader was charismatic, I said his cult was. I was using the word in this sense

Charismatic authority is ‘power legitimized on the basis of a leader’s exceptional personal qualities or the demonstration of extraordinary insight and accomplishment, which inspire loyalty and obedience from followers’. As such, it rests almost entirely on the leader; the absence of that leader for any reason can lead to the authority’s power dissolving.

Oh, and I can’t help but note that even from your description, these people intended to “put down the expected insurgency”. That is, taking up arms after others had done so, and directing those arms toward the insurgents. That is, shooting at armed opponents engaged in illegal violence. Not like FDR, who engaged in pre-emptive internment of people not engaged in any illegal activity. Would you think better of the Plattsburghers if they’d been more pro-active like FDR? Is it that restraint for which you fault them?

Your argument has so much fail in it that I get more out of it every time I think about it.

harry Eagar Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 12:38

On what grounds do you think the Plattsburgh Movement was charismatic? I never said so, and you don’t know its history.

It was not based on a leadership principle, but it had an inspirational leader, whose name I forget but whose epithet sticks in the mind: ‘the whitest of the white men.’

A good manager, too, as the record shows, but there was no depth there.

I am not defending Roosevelt’s internment policy, just denying that it was part of the New Deal. It didn’t originate in the White House or in the Democratic Party. It originated in the panic of an incompetent general, DeWitt, and the nativist Republican state government of California. Where the Democrats did not have to compromise politically with Republicans, it didn’t happen.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 13:07

On what grounds do you think the Plattsburgh Movement was charismatic?

Your statement

The inspirational leader of the movement died early, before the war, and it faltered.

which corresponds to the definition “As such, it rests almost entirely on the leader”. It’s all there, quoted and linked.

I am not defending Roosevelt’s internment policy, just denying that it was part of the New Deal.

By talking about the Plattsburgh Movement? By knowing and falsely smearing Reagan? How does that “deny that it was was part of the New Deal”? But I am willing to leave it at “FDR was a scuzzy person you must embrace to be a New Dealer”.

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