"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Joe

You did it to Clinton, too?


(We will assume from here on in that it's the real Joe Trippi corresponding with us [see below]. I'm finding my own search for plausible deniabilities at being taken in by some internet troll redundant and tiresome meself.)


I think Joe Trippi smells a winner in using the Elkridge issue against Michael Steele, and as he's a professional political consultant, I can't blame him for not wanting to let it go. But it's still what Black folks call "tomming" (as in "Uncle Tom").

I don't buy that it's about right and wrong here: it's about partisan advantage, despite Mr. Trippi's protestions, reprinted below.

Unless the (planned?) Elkridge attack ads tell the whole story, as in "Democrats have rented the hall at the all-white Elkridge Country Club, but Michael Steele's lack of concern about the Republicans doing it too makes him unqualified to be the next governor of Maryland," then I think it's race-based demagoguery.

I also find Mr. Trippi's new report of the 1992 campaign rhetoric against Bill Clinton, tying his playing golf at an all-white club with Arkansas' failure to pass civil rights legislation, as misleading and heinous, and sinking him deeper.

Even as an unsympathetic Republican, I would consider linking the two as an insult to my or anyone else's intelligence. And to return to his original quote, I still find Mr. Trippi's use of "obvious", "civil rights" and "discrimination" in reference to Elkridge as partisan, race-baiting claptrap.

(Unless Mr. Trippi's Democrat client condemned his fellow Democrats at the time for doing it, too. Then it would be very cool, fair game, and even highly principled. I might even vote for such a guy meself.)



With that said, Mr. Trippi's latest response appears prominently (unedited, too), as promised:


Tom -- I am really not trying to have a partisan argument about this -- in the 1992 Presidential Primary I ran an advertisement against Bill Clinton for his golfing outing at a restricted all white country club -- the operative language in the spot if I remember it correctly was "While Bill Clinton plays golf at a restricted all white country club, Arkansas remains one of two states that has never passed the civil rights act"

I appreciate your cynical view of me trying to use blurry language -- but I swear I spent maybe 5 minutes on the call with the reporter who said he was on deadline and just blurted out that throwing oreos and calling anyone an Uncle Tom was dispicable and repugnant.

Now on to Elkridge -- Just because Erhlich and other leading Democrats may have used the place doesn't make it right.

Even if every politician in the state used the place that would not make it right.

Now we can have a debate or discussion about why I think its wrong and Steele isn't bothered by it. That obviously is a difference of opinion that reasonable people can have an open discourse about. How much you want to bet that within a year Elkridge opens its doors to an African American member?


(That would be cool.---TVD)

13 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

You know, I honestly can't imagine why anybody would ever want to join an all-white country club. I think it would bother me all the time.

There may come a day when America is majority-minority and we will have decent reasons to come together and talk about "the white experience," but it's not here today. In the meantime, I highly recommend Martin Mull's "The History of White People in America."

connie deady said...

Tom, your cynicism does not become you.

I guess it comes from hanging around Republicans all the time who apparently see everything as politics and political advantege. (see my points in our bar-like debate on the Libby indictments).

See, I can sling arrows too, but I prefer not to.

This is in no way impugning your motives, but while many things are said and done with the understanding of political impacts, there are some things that really are matters of principles. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that Republicans have the market on issues of "right and wrong" just because of the weight of religion.

I would beg that you reserve at least some room to believe that Mr. Trippi seriously believes that it's wrong to give your patronage to an all-white club. FWIW I would oppose my local democratic party doing so as a matter of principle. Just because Mr. Trippi is a political operative doesn't mean that he lacks a conscience.

connie deady said...

Oh and one other thought that came to me while making breakfast (late), just because something makes a good campaign issue, doesn't mean it's not also right. Some issues are just win-win in that regard.

Over dinner last night my hubby and I were making up campaign commercials to run against our Republican incumbent Congressman who literally got caught with his pants down and his hands up when his "girlfriend" whom he installed in an apartment in D.C. called up the cops reporting that he was abusing her.

My commercial entry was showing the headlines of the scandal with the obvious blonde bimbo, interposed with the Congressman's public statements on moral and family values issues. Then contrast it with family feel good stuff of my guy. The tag line would be - some people like to "talk" about family values, other people actually live them.

Just because an issue can be made of his indiscretions doesn't mean it's a wrong or a invalid campaign issue.

I see nothing invalid about raising the Elkridge issue. It's legitimate. Please tell me how it is not.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I've already given it my best shot, Connie.

But for the record, I in no way question Mr. Trippi's sincerity in objecting to all-white clubs.

Greg said...

Wow, it's the real Joe Trippi of Howard Dean fame! =)

Quick question... What grade would you give the Dean campaign for its handling of the issue of race/ethnicity? (I'm asking from a public relations standpoint, not from a public policy standpoint.)

Thank you.

Greg said...

BTW... the reason I'm asking is because I perceived the Dean campaign to have majorly botched that issue (based on what I saw in the media). That's why I'd prefer to hear Mr. Trippi's take on the matter.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Usually an all-white country club means that "Whites named Homnick need not apply".

But even without that tangential point, I'm with Hunter: I could never participate in any group or activity that specifically excluded any segment of humanity.

Tom Van Dyke said...

That's why I wouldn't join Nation of Islam, Jay, even if I could, which I can't.

James Elliott said...

But even without that tangential point, I'm with Hunter: I could never participate in any group or activity that specifically excluded any segment of humanity.

I prefer the Groucho Marx standard: "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member."

Hunter Baker said...

Greg, I think our friend Joe has left the building. He'll come back if we get uppity again!

Tlaloc said...

"But even without that tangential point, I'm with Hunter: I could never participate in any group or activity that specifically excluded any segment of humanity."

Ahem. What exactly is the GOP platform on gays these days?

Personally I see no pleasure in joining any country club regardless of racial segregation they are founded upon class segregation.

Kathy Hutchins said...

regardless of racial segregation they are founded upon class segregation.

And a good thing, too...if it weren't for country clubs, those obnoxious bores would be talking about golf where we might overhear them. I am all for voluntary segregation when it ensures that I do not have to endure people like Donald Trump and Ted Turner in real life.

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