April 12, 2003
Sawicky Challenge II

Six months ago, I challenged Max Sawicky to back up his statement that warbloggers "hail" Oliver North "as an American hero". Results (in excruciating detail here, with related bits here and here) were disappointing, to put it politely. Now he claims in passing that

The Ku Klux Klan voted for George Bush.

(Does he mean the elder Bush or the younger? Who can tell? He doesn't bother to give any initials, but I'm guessing he means George W., not George H. W.) So far, none of the 39 comments (at last count) on his post has offered any objection.

I would like to see the evidence for this statement. It may be true, though it's hard to tell for sure how people vote, what with the secret ballot and all. I assume that few Klansmen voted for Gore: having Lieberman on the ticket would surely have been enough to make that certain, even leaving the issues to one side. I'm guessing that very few, if any, of them voted for Nader, again at least partly because of his Lebanese ancestry and Native American running mate, though his policies can't have helped. But that still leaves quite a few possibilities. This site lists eight other minor parties that between them ran seven candidates in the 2000 presidential election. I don't suppose David McReynolds (Socialist), James Harris (Socialist Workers), or Monica Moorhead (Workers World) got a lot of votes from Klan members, but what about Harry Browne (Libertarian), Earl Dodge (Prohibition), John Hagelin (Natural Law), Howard Phillips (U.S. Taxpayers and Constitution parties), and -- has Max Sawicky already forgotten him? -- Pat Buchanan (Reform)? Is it quite certain that Klansmen would have voted for Bush over all of these? Maybe: I suppose they hate throwing away their votes on Quixotic third party candidates as much as most people, and none of the men listed seems a perfect fit for the Klan's (shall we say?) unique approach to the issues.

I have no intention of visiting any Ku Klux Klan sites to see whom, if anyone, they endorsed. But Max Sawicky needs to offer specific evidence for his claim, or withdraw it and apologize for what looks an awful lot like a drive-by slur. Having seen his reaction to my previous challenge, I doubt that he will do either, though I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised. If he does neither, we will have to conclude, not for the first time, that Max Sawicky makes shit up.

Of course, I should probably ignore him, but he is widely respected -- or at least widely linked -- by widely-respected weblogs. It may be "rude, unedifying, and unamusing" to point out that the Emperor has no clothes, but it's also a necessary part of basic intellectual hygiene not to let big lies pass unchallenged in public.

By the way, Sawicky also needs to learn how to spell basic obscenities: it's "f***wads", not "f**wads", d***w**d.

Update: (10:30 PM)

Scroll up for further remarks.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at April 12, 2003 12:18 AM

Ah, caught Max lying again, I see. Max needs to figure out just how much it is going to cost to get the psychotherapy he needs to cure this fetish of his.

Posted by: R Roberts on April 12, 2003 03:29 PM

an excellent takedown of a pompous ass.

Posted by: marduk on April 12, 2003 04:47 PM


"All American politicians are liars and hypocrites about race, from Democrats like Hillary Clinton posing as champions of the downtrodden black masses while buying a house in the whitest town they can find, to Republicans pretending not to know that (a) many millions of nonblack Americans seriously dislike black people, (b) well-nigh every one of those people votes Republican, and (c) without those votes no Republican would ever win any election above the county level. (Am I being beeped out yet?)"

Posted by: Eric M on April 12, 2003 08:59 PM

Derbyshire is wrong about (b): I personally know quite a few good liberals who seriously dislike or despise black people and yet wouldn't dream of voting Republican. (a) is undoubtedly true, but "millions" is still a relatively small proportion of the population. I doubt that (c) is true, either. Derbyshire's an interesting writer, but hardly an oracle.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on April 12, 2003 09:24 PM

"Derbyshire's an interesting writer, but hardly an oracle."

Actually, Derbyshire's a bit of an schmuck who apparently can't admit to the hypocrisy inherent in advocating the restriction of the very immigration laws that allowed him to haul his sorry ass into this country.

And that's a Rightie saying it, too.

Posted by: Moe Lane on April 13, 2003 02:05 AM

I don't think there is a Klan any more, except for a few FBI informers who want to keep their stipends coming. The Christian white power/skinhead movements are much hotter. I have a feeling they don't vote. If they do, it's not going to be for someone who has Condi Rice as one of his closest advisors and Colin Powell as his secretary of state to be.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs on April 13, 2003 05:18 AM

Reagan's popularity was mainly based upon the Republican Party's reliance on racism to divide the American public so as to weaken their ability to effect policy. "Reagan allowed people to feel comfortable with their prejudices." I do not know whether Ronald Reagan was a racist or not, but political expediency has been the hallmark of Republicans after Dwight Eisenhower.

Of course there was a considerable amount of racism during the years that Eisenhower served, but he did not actively pander to it has Bush(41) nor did he disenfranchise African Americans by the thousands as Bush(43) allowed to happen.

Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans back in the fifties to remain vigilant to protect their freedom, because there was a force in America that is a greater threat to it than any potential foreign enemy, and Eisenhower named it "the military industrial complex, (the people currently running this country.)

The cost of television advertising has turned nearly all politicians into prostitutes because they serve the corporate world rather than the general welfare, at a direct expense to our nation. Because the media is promoting the concept that what is good for business is good for America is simply more propaganda.

What is good for business. High profit items to sell, control through conformity because it is hoped that it will reduce the peaks and valleys common to a free market. Since predictability is important in forecasting business comformity in behavior among the people would allow for greater accuracy in market predictions. Efficiency is important but must be watched over carefully because increased efficiency comes at a high human cost. Bottom line analyses reduces thinking to a simple cost/benefit perception, and combined with pragmatism enhances control over the citizens of this country. Misinformation, inaccuracies in reporting, deliberate or purposeful lies to stir up preoccupation with the micro view so that others can get away with the manipulation of the macro view of society is one common strategy

Posted by: gc wall on April 14, 2003 04:39 AM

That's an interesting claim you make in your first paragraph, gc. Got any evidence for it?

And which "african-americans" (god damned hyphenated-americanism) did Bush-the-Current "allow" to be disenfranchised? (And how should he have stopped it, if he "allowed" it?)

And lastly, what did those last three paragraphs have to do with your first two? I'm sure you intended some sort of great tying-together, but it didn't come across very well.

Mainly I want some evidence for the first two paragraphs' claims. If, that is, there is any.

Posted by: Sigivald on April 14, 2003 07:28 PM

Joanne doesn't think there is a Klan anymore? Where does she live?! I lived in Alabama, my brother lives in Mississippi, and I have a cousin who lives in southern Indiana. I can assure her that there is still a Klan, and they aren't all that shy about making their presence known. And if these people who don't exist still manage to vote, they're just as capable as any of us of holding their noses and voting for someone they think is on their side on at least some issues, as a means of voting against someone else who's on their side on almost no issues... to paraphrase Dr. Weevil.

Posted by: Kaj on April 15, 2003 12:45 AM

You know what? Who cares who Klan members vote for? You can't know who they vote for unless they tell you. Maybe some of them voted for Bush. So what? I am sure that many Klan members drink coffee and drive late-model cars. Because of that I should drink tea and ride the bus?

Since there is no way to prove such an idiotic assertion without interviewing every single Klan member in the country (assuming they would tell someone who they voted for), Max is guilty indeed of drive-by slur and nothing more. He just said that to get people riled up and raise his hit count. Why he is still respected by anyone puzzles me -- he's like a high-class Hesiod.

Posted by: Andrea Harris on April 15, 2003 02:00 AM

Hmmm, "high class" ? Just a better understanding of spellcheck and thesaurus than Hesiod.

Posted by: R Roberts on April 15, 2003 01:08 PM

I hate to defend Max, but what he said was:

The Ku Klux Klan voted for George Bush; should he be blamed for that support?

Even if the premise is a lie, it's still a valid point. However, the analogy is false in that voting support and material support (not to mention conspiracy to commit murder) are quite different things. You can be in favor of something and do nothing at all other than signify favor, and be guilty of nothing. The same thing with action added can make you a murderer.

Posted by: David Perron on April 21, 2003 05:45 PM