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Author: Subject: A New Democrat

Universal Peach





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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 10:48 AM
Definely plan on voting for Jim Webb in the Democratic primary on June 13. And hopefully I'll be voting for him again in November when he runs against George Allen. Should be an interesting race.

“A poseur in cowboy boots versus a war hero in combat boots”

June 19, 2006 Issue
Copyright © 2006 The American Conservative

A New Democrat

Jim Webb’s populist Senate campaign shakes up Virginia’s political establishment.

by W. James Antle III

To Jim Webb’s most enthusiastic supporters, this is no ordinary campaign. Ask why their candidate should win the Democratic nomination to challenge Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen, and you won’t just hear where he stands on the minimum wage or the usual “man of integrity” superlatives. Instead Webb is presented as a kind of folk hero, equal parts Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and—at least among his more conservative backers—Ronald Reagan.

Even typically cynical political observers have been starstruck. Since entering the race this spring, Webb has joked around on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and “live blogged” on the popular Daily Kos website. What do liberal bloggers see in Webb, a former Republican appointee and stalwart defender of the American mission during the Vietnam War?

“He can help revitalize the Democratic Party with a jolt of Andrew Jackson populism and Teddy Roosevelt reform,” says Lowell Feld, proprietor of the Virginia-based Raising Kaine site. “He can bring people—Reagan Democrats, cultural conservatives, Southerners—back into the Democratic fold and help rebuild the big tent.” Just as important, Webb has the military credentials to make his strong opposition to the Iraq War, the central plank of his campaign platform, less vulnerable to Republican attack. While Allen is famous for his cowboy boots, Webb wears combat boots—those of his son, who is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq this summer.

That is why Webb’s big tent includes some liberal Democrats holding elected office in Northern Virginia. Arlington County Revenue Commissioner Ingrid Morroy has strongly endorsed him. “I support Jim Webb for two reasons,” she says. “One is that he can beat George Allen. The second is that he is really the more progressive candidate. He is a populist.”

Webb’s biography is impressive enough to make all this praise seem less hyperbolic. A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a varsity boxer, he served as a Marine officer in Vietnam. Twice wounded, he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Webb went on to collect a law degree from Georgetown, serve as counsel to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, receive appointments as assistant defense secretary and secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, win an Emmy Award, and pen six bestselling novels.

“This isn’t a guy who has spent his whole life running for office,” one Webb supporter says approvingly. Richmond tax attorney J.C. Wilmore also emphasizes biography as a reason for Webb’s appeal. “You get the feeling you can get to know Jim,” he says. These attributes have not gone unnoticed by national Democrats. Seven current and former senior Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, recently endorsed Webb, a move that suggests they believe he is a candidate who could beat the Republican Allen in the general election.

But first Webb must defeat former lobbyist Harris Miller in the June 13 Democratic primary. Miller has deep roots in the state party, spent six years as chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, and has a slight edge in local endorsements. With an earlier start, he has also raised more money—$540,000 as of April to Webb’s $260,000—and has more cash on hand. Technocratic and wonkish, Miller doesn’t have his opponent’s engaging personality or oratorical flare. What he does have is just as important, however: longstanding political alliances and a geographic base in vote-rich Northern Virginia.

Miller’s strategy is to paint Webb as an inauthentic Democrat being foisted on the electorate by non-Virginians. To lessen the impact of Webb’s many national endorsements, Miller’s spokesman likes to say, “Most of the people who have endorsed [Miller] can vote in the Virginia primary.” The Miller campaign has also mined Webb’s extensive writings and public statements for deviations from liberal orthodoxy while playing up his past Republican associations.

The thought crimes include an essay in which Webb described racial preferences as “state-sponsored racism” comparable to Jim Crow, a revelation worth several endorsements for Miller from black state legislators. But Webb’s actual views on the subject are less conservative than this single quotation makes them appear. His campaign says he supports affirmative action to remedy past discrimination against black Americans but is critical of diversity programs that don’t take into consideration the socioeconomic conditions of poor whites, especially in areas like the Appalachians. Disclosures that Webb wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about either Bill Clinton or women in combat seem to have had less impact.

Webb’s shifting partisan allegiances are well documented. He swung to the GOP due to his disgust with the post-Vietnam Democratic Party, recently telling George Will that Jimmy Carter’s decision to pardon the draft evaders was pivotal, but was never a Republican regular. He supported Bob Kerrey’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and endorsed Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb over Oliver North in 1994 only to back George Allen over Robb in 2000.

Yet Iraq is the single biggest factor that drove Webb from the Republican Party. It is difficult to see how Webb’s Iraq prescience—he was antiwar long before the invasion—helps Miller. Memories of the 2000 Allen endorsement may fade after 11 former senior staffers to Robb announced their support for Webb. And Miller’s own background as president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) provides opposition researchers just as much fodder as Webb’s voting history and writing portfolio.

As ITAA head, Miller made financial contributions to six Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert. “Speaker Hastert gets IT,” he told an Internet news service. In ITAA-issued press releases, Miller called for the extension of President Bush’s tax cuts, a move he now opposes. He also gave an interview to the Orlando Business Journal in which he claimed to be doing everything he could to see conservative Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan re-elected in 2000. (Abraham lost.)

Miller counters that he only gave money to Republicans because the ITAA board required him to be bipartisan in his giving. Similarly, his campaign justifies his previous tax-cut stance on the grounds that he was only representing his organization’s interests, particularly the technology sector’s desire to extend the research-and-development tax credit. But all this makes it more difficult for Miller to claim to be the purer Democrat.

His ITAA tenure was also marked by strenuous support for sending technology jobs overseas through outsourcing and expanding the number of non-immigrant visas available to foreign workers to obtain jobs in the U.S. information-technology labor market. These stands have made him unpopular among IT and union workers and made him as much a villain to his opponent’s supporters as Webb is their hero.

“I first became involved in this race because of Miller’s record on H-1B and other worker-replacement programs,” says anti-outsourcing activist John Pardon. “Then I became very enthusiastic about Jim Webb on his own merits.” It was these kinds of activists Webb had in mind when, in their first televised debate, he told Miller, “You have been called the Antichrist of Outsourcing.”

The issue resonates with traditional Democrats as well. “These visa programs are exploiting foreign labor and eroding the middle class,” says Morroy, who was born in the Netherlands and raised in Suriname. “I’m willing to pay more to see American and immigrant workers treated fairly.”

The outcome of this primary fight will have national implications. The most obvious pertain to 2008. If Allen is forced to spend this fall defending his seat or ends up losing, his Republican presidential bid may be derailed. By contrast, a Democratic Senate pickup in Virginia would aid the presidential aspirations of former Gov. Mark Warner, who has held fundraisers for both men. While a Rassmussen poll shows both Webb and Miller trailing Allen badly, a Zogby survey has Webb down by just 7 points—and Allen below the critical 50-percent incumbents’ threshold.

Webb’s candidacy, if it can attract broad electoral support, may signal the shift of a certain kind of voter away from the Republican Party—the sort of voter exemplified by the Scots-Irish about whom he has written so frequently. When Webb came home from Vietnam, the Democrats were seen as unserious about national security and less culturally congenial to those who serve in the military. Today, Webb is concerned that it is the GOP that has gone crazy on issues of national defense and shows disrespect to veterans with its Swiftboat campaign tactics.

Consider that Webb opposes the Iraq War on conservative-realist grounds and was repulsed by Republican attacks on John Kerry and John Murtha. What if he is not an anomaly but a harbinger? When Webb began his campaign, Mackubin Thomas Owens warned in National Review Online, “the Republicans can’t afford to lose such people.” It would be an irony if the neoconservatives, many of whom fled the Democratic Party because of its increasingly dovish military stances, ended up making the Republican Party as abhorrent to pro-defense voters as the nuclear-freeze movement of old.

As a first-time candidate, Webb has his flaws. His appeal to culturally conservative voters may be mitigated by his attacks on the Religious Right and strong pro-choice, pro-gay-rights stands; his positions on domestic issues lack specificity. But Webb supporters are already looking ahead to November. “A poseur in cowboy boots versus a war hero in combat boots,” forecasts Wilmore. “I can’t wait.”

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 05:28 PM
CH do you have website of Webb's that can be posted?
 

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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 05:29 PM
http://www.webbforsenate.com/#
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 06:52 PM
Well Scotty, since your already posted his "webbforsenate" site. Here's Jim Webb's personal site.

http://www.jameswebb.com/

I'm definely hoping that he does well in the primary. Hell, Scotty if you know anybody registered to vote in Virginia, do tell them to vote for Jim Webb on June 13th. btw, don't have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the primaries. Just a "heads up".

 
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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 07:52 PM
I don't get any sense in this whole article where the man stands on anything !

He's antiwar? He's against Iraq? What would he do differently? What would he work to do about the situation if elected?

He's against affirmative action? He's for it? Yes, no maybe?

Yep, sounds like a Democrat to me.

(Oh, we'll open up some sores with that one)

 

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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 08:26 PM
quote:
I don't get any sense in this whole article where the man stands on anything !

He's antiwar? He's against Iraq? What would he do differently? What would he work to do about the situation if elected?

He's against affirmative action? He's for it? Yes, no maybe?

Yep, sounds like a Democrat to me.

(Oh, we'll open up some sores with that one)


A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a varsity boxer, he served as a Marine officer in Vietnam. Twice wounded, he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Webb went on to collect a law degree from Georgetown, serve as counsel to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, receive appointments as assistant defense secretary and secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, win an Emmy Award, and pen six bestselling novels.

You're right, he DOES sound like a Democrat.

 

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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 08:37 PM
quote:
quote:
I don't get any sense in this whole article where the man stands on anything !

He's antiwar? He's against Iraq? What would he do differently? What would he work to do about the situation if elected?

He's against affirmative action? He's for it? Yes, no maybe?

Yep, sounds like a Democrat to me.

(Oh, we'll open up some sores with that one)


A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a varsity boxer, he served as a Marine officer in Vietnam. Twice wounded, he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Webb went on to collect a law degree from Georgetown, serve as counsel to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, receive appointments as assistant defense secretary and secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, win an Emmy Award, and pen six bestselling novels.

You're right, he DOES sound like a Democrat.


When he did all that he was a Republican................

What are his positions? Other than 'I'm against the war'.

 

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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 08:45 PM
quote:
What are his positions? Other than 'I'm against the war'.



Hmmmmm.



'I'm against the war'.




Um, is that not, in and of itself, a position, considering that saying those four words make you tantamount to a traitor to a great many people?

 

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  posted on 6/5/2006 at 08:55 PM
The record of George W. Bush's combat experience and medals earned....no, wait.....Dick Cheney's record of military service..no, wait...Rumsfeld...no, wait....Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly...no, wait....ummmm....Laura Ingram, Ann Coulter...well, Ann might have served before the operation...

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 11:56 AM
quote:
A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a varsity boxer, he served as a Marine officer in Vietnam. Twice wounded, he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Webb went on to collect a law degree from Georgetown, serve as counsel to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, receive appointments as assistant defense secretary and secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, win an Emmy Award, and pen six bestselling novels.

You're right, he DOES sound like a Democrat.




Hmmm....like Nancy Pelosi, who would be the f*cking Speaker Of The House fo the Demo's win this Fall, and Howard Dean, head of the party?? The democrats scrambling for a guy like Webb. Pretty funny, actually.

Webb is a good man, but I don't see what the problem is with Allen? From afar he seems to be more than competent and innovative. I'll be in Virginia in July and will get a more first hand account of things.

DH

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 12:01 PM
Here a link to a chart which will help you understand where James Webb is at politically (not that necessarily agree).

http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/James_Webb.htm

Personally I think James Webb is more a true, principled independent than a Democrat. But unfortunately, the Republican party seems less and less willing to embrace those who views don't fall within the "corporate Republican" mainstream. Indeed the Republican party seems to have gone out of it's way to alienate many who hold true conservative values. Glad to see some Democrats having the common sense to know that the party needs to re-connect with true conservatives, and moderates. For way to long, the Democrats have allowed the "special interests" and the "liberals" to control the party.

 
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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 12:07 PM
I'll try again; what is the problem with Allen??

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 12:20 PM
To much of a "Bush clone". Hell, he already got the "Swift Boat" crew lined up in case Webb wins the Democratic primary (and I would "love" to see them "TRY" and "cut into Webb"). Besides an Allen and Webb senatoral race would be a helluva lot more fun to watch, than an Allen and Miller race (which Allen would easily "win").
 
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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 12:34 PM
quote:
I'll try again; what is the problem with Allen??


His daddy was and is still a legend in these parts. "Future is NOW!"


 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 12:46 PM
quote:
To much of a "Bush clone". Hell, he already got the "Swift Boat" crew lined up in case Webb wins the Democratic primary (and I would "love" to see them "TRY" and "cut into Webb").


Keep in mind these RW **** s successfully slandered McCain, Kerry, and Max Cleland.

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 03:33 PM
Here's a few things wrong with George Allen :





Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003) (That right there's enough to scare me!)

Supports "Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it". (Sep 2000)
Tougher sentencing for drug crimes. (Sep 2000)
Opposes requiring companies to hire more minorities. (Sep 2000)
Opposes "Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws". (Sep 2000)
Support VA beliefs & pass flag-burning ban amendment. (Apr 2000)
Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
Rated 20% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)





Strongly opposes "Abortion is a woman's right". (Sep 2000)
Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
Voted YES on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)




The May 8, 2006 [14] and the May 15, 2006 [15]issues of The New Republic reported extensively on Allen's long association with the Confederate flag. The magazine reported that "[a]ccording to his colleagues, classmates, and published reports, Allen has either displayed the [Confederate] flag--on himself, his car, inside his home--or expressed his enthusiastic approval of the emblem from approximately 1967 to 2000." Allen wore a Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo. In high school, college, and law school, Allen adorned his vehicle with a Confederate flag. In college he displayed a Confederate flag in his room. He displayed a Confederate flag in his family's living room until 1992. In 1993, Allen's first statewide TV campaign ad for governor included a Confederate flag. In 2000, when a voter told Allen, "Long live the Confederate flag!" Allen replied, "You got it!"

Allen has confirmed that the pin in his high school yearbook was a Confederate flag. Allen has said "it is possible" that he had a Confederate flag on his car in high school. He has not responded to the allegations that he displayed the flag on his pickup truck and in his room in college and law school. In 1993, he confirmed that he had long displayed the Confederate flag in his living room. Greg Stevens, the political consultant who made the 1993 TV ad, confirmed that the ad included a Confederate flag.



Allen's younger sister Jennifer Allen alleges in her memoir Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter that Allen sadistically attacked his younger siblings during his childhood. She claims that Allen held her by her feet over Niagara Falls; struck her boyfriend in the head with a pool cue; threw his brother Bruce through a glass sliding door; tackled his brother Gregory, breaking his collarbone; and dragged Jennifer upstairs by her hair. In the book, she wrote, "George hoped someday to become a dentist . . . George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make people suffer."


Allen's mother immigrated from French Tunisia, and was "Italian, French and a little Spanish" and according to Allen, was imprisoned by the Nazi regime in World War II Germany.[11] According to Allen's sister Jennifer, their mother "prided herself for being un-American. ... She was ashamed that she had given up her French citizenship to become a citizen of a country she deemed infantile."



 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 03:41 PM
MC3,

I think your post just about sums up the measure of this individual..

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 03:46 PM
He seems like a good "End Times" candidate though.... lol

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 04:02 PM
quote:
Allen's younger sister Jennifer Allen alleges in her memoir Fifth Quarter


I read that book. Very interesting.

I am going to defend Allen on one thing and one thing only: the Confederate Flag pin.

Firstly, Allen is from Los Angeles. He lived in Virginia when his father coached the Redskins and then later went to UVa. And he lived over there in the DC burbs which is hardly the cradle of Dixie.

Secondlly, his sister writes how he loved the tv show, "Hee Haw". Now, I cannot account for the man's taste or lack thereof, but obviously he had and perhaps still has some kind of affinity for rural culture. I would guess that is where the Confederate pin comes in.

Finallly and most importantly, she writes that while his father coached the Los Angeles Rams, the sons all worked at Rams' practice, doing various scut tasks. Their father, George Sr, would, as most fathers do, get on them about doing their jobs well and not goofing off. And who did he hold up as an example? Deacon Jones, a famous black football player. He admonished all his sons to be responsible, to be "like Deacon". Deacon Jones says to this day that is was the first time someone ever treated him simply as a man and touted him as a role model.

Now, Allen is a lot more conservative than I could ever be. But given what I know, the Confederate pin hardly denotes a racist. Besides, do not most people simply use it as a symbol of southern pride?

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 08:20 PM
Not where I live, nope! It's considered a redneck racist statement. I have lived in Georgia all my life and folks might say it's a southern pride thing, but deep down, I have a real hard time believing that due to the negative connotation and controversy it carries with it. Most African-Americans that I'm aware are offended by it's display and rightfully so.

 

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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 08:36 PM
quote:
I am going to defend Allen on one thing and one thing only: the Confederate Flag pin.



KR,

Don't you think you're being a tad bit hypocritical here? Seems to me, that me and you had a discussion on the Whipping Post awhile back and I took the position of a what a southerner would think circa 1860 and if my memory serves me well, you gave me quite a bit of grief about it. Standing up for George Allen because he wears "the Confederate Flag" pin after the some of the comments you made would make you somewhat "two-faced" here. Care to explain? I can resurrect the thread if you want me to.


[Edited on 6/7/2006 by cleaneduphippy]

 
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  posted on 6/6/2006 at 09:08 PM
I just know first hand, being a southerner, that EVERYONE knows the underlying message that is understood when one displays the Confederate Flag. Some folks might try to pass it off as a show of pride for their heritage and honor, but it's common knowledge what the stars and bars stand for. I sure wouldn't be proud to let that symbol represent my values.

 

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  posted on 6/7/2006 at 03:32 AM
Sue,

Speak for yourself, using a phase "EVERYONE knows the underlying massage" implies that every southerner (am I'm also a southerner) who displays the Confederate Flag is a "racist", which is not true. Matter of fact my grandmother was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy and she wasn't racist. Also, know many people who have the "stars and bars" up here in my "neck of the woods", are they racist? No, they're not, mostly they're guys who are involved in "Civil War" reenactments (Virginia has several Civil War battlefields, as a matter of fact, I live practically on top of the Manassas battlefield. In any case, next time you pass a judgement, try not to paint to broad a stroke as you may be wrong.

 
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  posted on 6/7/2006 at 08:06 AM
I didn't say that people who display the symbol of the Confederacy consider themselves racists, but...people who see that symbol know that it's controversial and offensive to African Americans. If they choose to display it, their intentions might not be to offend, but inherantly it does whether they like it or not. It's their choice but they must understand how the message is taken.

It would be similar to someone using gang signs or wearing gang colors or clothing style because they like the image, but don't belong to a gang, per se.
Lots of kids do that without thinking of how it makes them appear to others.

It's just like we tell our kids when they're going through their experimental "finding theirselves" stages. If you dress like a floozie, or a punker, a gangster, etc or display certain "symbols" to others, that's how you willl be percieved even if you don't participate in the lifestyle, so to speak.



[Edited on 6/7/2006 by musichick3]

 

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  posted on 6/7/2006 at 08:15 AM
quote:
Standing up for George Allen because he wears "the Confederate Flag" pin after the some of the comments you made would make you somewhat "two-faced" here. Care to explain?


Sure. I recall that thread.

I think MC3 is correct to a certain extent. It can, although not exclusively, represent racism and treason. For instance, white supremist groups do use it. I can understand where black folks think it negative.

But, as often in life, there is another side to it. I have read how people think it a symbol of Southern Pride. It seems you might be one of these people and I do not think you a racist. Southern Pride does not equate racism after all.

And sometimes it emerges in other forms of culture. For instance, one occassionally sees it in Germany, not as a racist symbol, but more as something that represents hellraising or freedom of the road.

Personally, I have no interest in wearing or displaying it. That's just me. If someone wants it on their private property, that is none of my busiiness. And I do not think it should be flown in any official capacity. But again, that is just me.

So George Allen wearing a pin in his younger days is pretty much a nonissue. I have read his sister's book and all things considered, there is not a racist bone in that guy's body. But of course anything and everything is racist these days.

So no Fred, I do not think I am being hyprocritical. And hopefully this has explained why. I drink Virginia Gentleman with pride.


[Edited on 6/7/2006 by KnownRider]

 
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