Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Jeffrey Lord is having a bravura breakdown at The American Spectator. He's attacking Joe Scarborough in an essay of over a thousand words, which is rather like using anti-aircraft guns on Howdy Doody.

According to Lord, Scarborough's crimes are 1.) accusing Sean Hannity and Mark Levin of birtherism -- not quite accurate, as these esteemed broadcasters merely promoted birthers rather than birtherism; and 2.) siding with Colin Powell, who thinks the GOP might be a tad racist, which is itself the worst kind of racism (i.e., the kind that makes the GOP look racist).

Lord's fugue includes abusive statements from Hannity and Levin, dudgeony characterizations from Lord himself (e.g. MSNBC is "a network that spews racism and bigotry"), and several single sentence-fragment paragraphs, including "Disgraceful," "Say again: despicable," "To which I would add: Period," "The progressive card," and "Potrzebie." (Kidding about that last one.) It's like hearing Larry Kudlow teach rhetoric to kindergarteners.

Much of it is about how Democrats are the real racists. ("Race and Progressives," says Lord, "have been... the ham and eggs of the Democratic Party," with a side of mendacity and a garnish of deceit.) Did Powell question Sarah Palin's use of "shuck and jive" in relation to President Obama? Why, sir, Chris Matthews said to Rachel Maddow, "What has it been like, as you shuck and jive, hang out with the men over there, the women over there, in uniform risking their lives every day?” which I guess makes Chris Matthews racist against Rachel Maddow -- and, Lord quavers with outrage, not only that:
The “men over there,” the “women over there” were American troops serving in Afghanistan. The New Pittsburgh Courier (whose owner describes the paper as part of America’s “black press”) did a little research on the number of blacks in the American military — including “over there” where Maddow had spent her time, according to Matthews, “shucking and jiving” with said troops. It seems that a full 9% of Americans killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq were black. 
Some shuck. Some jive.
Potrzebie. Walnuts!

No wait, it gets better: In answer to Powell's complaint about Republicans calling Obama lazy, Lord retorts that Obama called himself lazy, making Obama racist against himself. But not as racist as those old-timey Democrats.

Now, any lunatic can talk about Copperheads or the Democratic hegemony in the South until for some unexplained reason all the good ol' boys became Republicans, but the following of Lord's indictments are, in my experience, unique:
How many times has Scarborough talked about the Federal Reserve on his show? Social Security? The federal school lunch program? No idea, but I bet lots.

But one can Google away and never find ole Joe talking about the racist formula used to create these programs...

• Social Security? Why, Joe never quite gets round to talking about all those racist progressives who scared the hell out of white voters with race so they could stay in office and pass Social Security. A prominent example being old Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo, a card-carrying Klan member and deeply proud of creating a program for the old folks. 
• School lunches? That would be a program from the great Southern Manifesto Senator Richard Russell, the segregationist Senator from Georgia, who singlehandedly got what is known today as the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act passed in 1946.
Social Security and school lunches as racist plots -- I swear you could comb Free Republic all day long and not find anything like this. Good Lord!


  1. wileywitch9:37 PM

    mon dieu

  2. Spaghetti Lee9:40 PM

    Lord is, as I recall, the guy who called Shirley Sherrod a liar for saying her father was lynched. Sherrod's father was in fact shot to death "in a dispute over livestock", and the murderer was found not guilty by an all-white jury in rural Georgia, 1965. Later a cross was burned on the family's lawn. But there was not a rope or a tree involved, which is why Lord called her a liar.

    Man, aren't black people lucky to have a great defender like Jeffrey Lord out there?

  3. Tehanu9:56 PM

    "But one can Google away and never find ole Joe talking about the racist formula used to create these programs...."
    Who knew the Federal Reserve was a "program"? Learn something new every day. Yeesh.

  4. mortimer10:06 PM

    Lessee. He begins by quoting RFK quoting John Harlan's "colorblind" dissent as if RFK was somehow talking in his speech about white people (hint:he wasn't), defines racists as people who accuse other people of being racists, and says this about playing the race card:
    This is the age old formula of the American Left. From slavery to segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and on to racial quotas, attacking Korean grocers or suing Arizona — the left uses race to gin up a racial base and repays with big government.
    Imagine. Exploiting lynching and the Ku Klux Klan to gin up a racial base. Which is just like suing Arizona and attacking Korean grocers. Or something.

    Bizarre. Chaotic. Nuts.

    You're right. Liquor was involved and I'm guessing he probably had another 1000 similar words to go but passed out.

  5. Between the sentence fragments, contextless outbursts, and inchoate rage to which only wingnuts can relate, Jeffy's piece reads practically as stream-of-consciousness. Add to that all the double-reverse racism stuff and it's Ulysses meets 1984 over a bottle of Jack in the back room of the American Legion hall.

  6. M. Krebs10:41 PM

    Holy shit. There's got to be something else going on here. Maybe he just found out his ____ is _____ing a ______ .

  7. More like Howl, if it had a different theme and fewer connecting words like "and," "the," and "also."

  8. Oh yeah, good call. And "Howl" does mention "Negroes" a lot more than Ulysses, which to be honest has me confused as to which work is the real racist under these rules.

    "Moloch! Filth! Boys sobbing in armies! Katie Couric with a shiv wrapped in a liberal media!"

    "...[l]ooking for an angry fix" indeed....

  9. mister lord's remarkable views have sparked off a wave of controversy amongst his fellow historians.

  10. Fats Durston11:31 PM

    It is a formula. One uses race to scare the hell out of race X,
    while promising race X will be soothed because of some big
    government Z.

    Ooh, ooh, I know the answer to this one! X is white people and big government Z is massive prisons and more police on the streets. (Scary race--who I'll dub 'Y'--is black!)

    Law and order.


    ... or, X still = white people, but Z = bombing Iraq. (Y = brown)


    The conservative card.

  11. and attacking Korean grocers

    i believe he is referring to the corduroy riots of the mid 1970s, which followed the episode of m.a.s.h., 'guerilla my dreams,' where alan alda called a south korean officer a son of a bitch.

  12. commie atheist11:38 PM

    "Gin up" apparently refers to Mr. Lord's drink of choice. Man, that paragraph really tells you all you need to know about conservatives, who have been stone racists at least since William Buckley stood athwart history and decried the end of Jim Crow. Oh, wait, he does Buckley one better by decrying the use of slavery(!) to "gin up a racial base." That is one seriously broken human being.

  13. The_Kenosha_Kid11:54 PM

    The boat.

    And let me add, Why?

    Why did I leave the safety and, if I may, comfort of the boat?


  14. AGoodQuestion12:12 AM

    Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author.

    You know what that means. You're racist if you deny ketchup its God-given right to be a vegetable.

  15. Green Eagle12:23 AM


  16. BigHank531:04 AM

    My goodness, it appears as though Mr. Lord has discovered the transitive property:

    If racism=evil, and evil=Democrats, then racism=Democrats! My God! Brilliance!

    The rest of his reasoning is of a similar depth. The school lunch program was founded because a lot of WWII draftees were 4-F due to childhood malnutrition. Were a lot of the Senators who voted for it racists? Sure. I can use the same logic to indict the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Mr. Lord. Would you care to reconsider your answer?

    Social Security? Those benefits kicked in at age 65...an age when the average black guy had been dead for three years, but the average white guy still had four years left? Some might find that little detail a touch more racist than the fact that (clutches pearls) a racist Senator voted for the thing.

  17. AGoodQuestion1:07 AM

    I don't think Mr. Lord will be reconsidering anything until we can get some coffee into him.

  18. It is a formula. One uses race to scare the hell out of race X, while promising race X will be soothed because of some big government Z.

    Examples for Morning Joe?

    How many times has Scarborough talked about the Federal Reserve on his show? Social Security? The federal school lunch program? No idea, but I bet lots.

    It's so cute when they try to hedge their racism, in this case going so oblique that "race X" refers to two different groups in the same sentence (unless I'm missing something, but 'liberals use scary black people to scare whites into voting for social programs that benefit whites' makes even less sense than the alternative). Even as right-wing screeds go, this one is impressively incoherent, but: Basically, his thesis seems to be that, doing a projection-reversal of the Southern Strategy, while Republicans use fear of racial minorities to get social conservatives to vote for Republicans (not that Lord admits this), those dam libruls use fear of racial minorities… to get social liberals to vote for the social safety net – which they would otherwise oppose, for unspecified reasons; libruls vote for it out of fear of black people, Hispanics, etc. who they – mistakenly! cries Lord – will be appeased by this. Anyone got a more coherent take? (This continues the conservative/libertarian trend of simply not being able to conceive of the social contract, enlightened self-interest, basic compassion… It also continues the movement conservative/libertarian attitude that representative government itself is some mix of evil, a racist conspiracy, oppressive, and so on. Remember, any election that conservatives don't win is ipso facto illegitimate. Oh, and it also continues a certain strain of implicit white supremacist butthurt, not that they'll cop to any part of that. *cough* Bill O'Reilly *cough*)

    Hey, Lord is batshit crazy, but give him points for originality.

  19. Nice job, Fats! Still, I think (as I argue in another comment) that he's mixing up race X in the same sentence. The first "race X" seems to be white people, while the second "race X" seems to be brown people. Roy has pretty firmly established that Lord is a crappy writer, and I think Lord meant to name a race Y, exactly as you suggest, but he can’t keep a coherent train of thought for a single sentence. He gets distracted by sputtering rage midstream... which explains all the urine all over his bathroom and pants.

  20. BigHank531:51 AM

    What it means is that I'm worried that Reagan's dementia was the contagious kind.

  21. smut clyde2:41 AM

    "Say again: despicable,"
    -- But this time, try to sound less like Daffy Duck.

    dudgeony characterizations from Lord himself

    It takes an American Spectator contributor to perfect the concept of low dudgeon.

  22. montag22:43 AM

    Theodore Bilbo as a racist "progressive?" This Theodore Bilbo?

    Seems Lord Jeffrey confuses supporting a few goals of the Progressives (for white people only, of course) in 1912 Mississippi as the same thing as being "progressive" today (this seems to be an infectious disease one can catch by taking Doughy's Liberal Fascism even slightly seriously).

    But, I guess the former Reagan staffer has forgotten where Reagan began his campaign in 1980, and why. And that the Sixties existed at all.

  23. smut clyde2:52 AM

    They were not thinking of the potential for prion diseases when they shared out his brain at the ritual feast.

  24. smut clyde2:55 AM

    Mr. Lord has discovered the transitive property:

    A lot of people were predicting that Colin Powell's secret racism would be discovered as soon as he criticised the Republican party; and sure enough, here is Mr Lord, jerking his knee.

    He is well-acquainted with the reflexive property.

  25. montag22:57 AM

    I put it down to straight-up, no chaser, whining, sputtering denial. Think Mayella Euell on Halcion.

  26. AngryWarthogBreath3:33 AM

    They seem to have confused "by their fruits shall ye know them" (or however that's formatted) with "a racist can only make racist things, and if a racist touches something, it becomes racist". Racist actions are despicable, racist folk should change their behaviour, but if a racist makes me a sandwich, it might still be a good sandwich. Still, I bring you to The Manichean Gardeners in: How Do You Like Them Apples!

    JEFF: Goddamn it.
    GEOFF: What's wrong, Jeff?
    JEFF: I thought I transplanted an apple tree here, but look at this. It happens every spring. The tree gets it into its head to start growing, and it grows leaves. It's a leaf tree. It's another goddamn leaf tree.
    GEOFF: Well, nothing for it but to hack it down and salt the soil.
    JEFF: (yelling to be heard over the chainsaw, meticulously locked up when not in use to learn from the lesson of Victor Davis Hanson) Democrats say they love fruit, and they wish we'd let some fruit grow on our orchards, but you ever notice how every single apple they give you comes from leaf trees?
    GEOFF: Those apples are leaves!
    JEFF: Which makes them the real fruit-haters! (shuts off the chainsaw) Well, get the matches. When we're done, we can disenfranchise some minorities!
    GEOFF: Yay!

  27. Uncle Kvetch6:37 AM

    Dammit! Beat me to it.

  28. Uncle Kvetch6:42 AM

    No idea, but I bet lots.

    You know, we like to poke fun at Jonah Goldberg, but his influence on right-wing thought really can't be underestimated.

  29. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:01 AM

    Brown velvet corduroy pants...I'd forgotten all about those. But you had to make me relive it.

  30. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:05 AM

    I'm white and I've never been Secretary of State. Colin Powell is black and he has. QED.

  31. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:06 AM

    ..and the portions were so small!

  32. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:09 AM

    ce n'est pas un imbécile

  33. John Ferguson7:11 AM

    Sorry, Roy, but nobody kids about Potrzebie!

  34. satch7:24 AM

    What... no love for veeblefetzer? And it would be tempting to dismiss Lord with a "Forget it, he's rolling", but he's only doing his job as the town crier of Conservopolis, where the dog whistles sound like air horns.

  35. coozledad7:50 AM

    Dixie cups

  36. El Manquécito8:04 AM

    "a racist can only make racist things, and if a racist touches something, it becomes racist".

    So it's like cooties then?

  37. drkrick8:10 AM

    He hasn't forgotten. But only the right people were supposed to notice.

  38. Derelict8:15 AM

    So Social Security is a racist program? I guess that makes my parents racists, or at least supporters of racism since they collect benefits.

    But I do get at least some of Lord's reasoning here. His bedrock premise is that, if even one African-American person benefits from something the government does, then the only possible reason that something was enacted is so progressives can further bind African-Americans to the Democratic Party. It's reasoning that's as valid as saying that the only reason for a farmer in Kansas to grow wheat is because he's in direct service to the toilet-paper industry.

  39. Jeffrey_Kramer9:06 AM

    Magna Carta? Joe never gets around to talking about how William D'Aubigny used to fricasee his serfs' one-year-olds.

  40. sharculese9:34 AM

    Y'know, take a random sampling of shouty wingnut columns and I'm pretty sure there's a decent chance you'd come away with the impression that Chris Matthews is the only liberal in America.

  41. Derelict10:37 AM

    I wandered lonely as a clod
    Picking up rocks and bottles.
    When suddenly, I saw a crowd
    A host of axolotls.
    Some were grey, and some were blue.
    The females wore a spritely hue.

    For those of us who remember MAD magazine at its best.

  42. Mad Monk10:50 AM

    I made myself laff by replacing each instance where you wrote "Lord" with "the Lord". Try it from graf 2: "According to the Lord, Scarborough's crimes are..."

  43. but at least i didn't mention the night of the long flared-trousers.

  44. Fats Durston10:55 AM

    Alternate Jeff Lord: It's not fair that NWA gets to call themselves Niggaz.

    To which I would add: Word.

  45. Mr. Wonderful11:15 AM

    Thanks. I needed that. I was trying to figure out the dynamic around X. Well, three variables are too many for Lord, bless his heart.

  46. John D.11:24 AM

    Heh, heh. Lord makes the Gumbies look like the Algonquin Round Table.

  47. PaminBB12:55 PM

    I read that quote as an implying that there would have been nothing wrong about slavery, lynching, etc., if the "left" hadn't made a fuss over it.

  48. Halloween_Jack1:34 PM

    Try "Lord British".

  49. Halloween_Jack1:41 PM



    And, may I say, rather disjointed.

    In fact, quite disjointed. Ixnay on the oint-jay.

  50. Paul Gustafson3:39 PM

    Wow, thanks for that link. Whenever I feel that a certain political party that shall remain nameless has gone around the bend, I'll think if Theodore Bilbo. They made 'em nutty then, too.

  51. Don't most black men die before they are old enough to collect Social Security? I thought the minimum age was one year after the life expectancy of AA men.

  52. that's real? I thought Roy just made it up as a joke.

  53. I looked it up, too.

  54. Al Swearengen4:21 PM

    Typical wingnut echo chamber bullshit. "You black people are too stupid to know what's really in your best interests. You only vote Democratic because they give you free stuff...Excuse me!...Excuse ME!!!...WHITE MAN TALKING!!!!...THANK you...Now, please vote for us you lazy, ignorant savages...Huh?...What did I say?"

    Hopefully, they'll impeach Obama over some gun control weaksauce to make sure the GOP never gets another minority vote, ever.

  55. redoubt4:21 PM

    Or try "Jeff, Lord Davis"

  56. redoubt4:26 PM

    Didn't know that Countee Cullen ever met Jeffery Lord. Learn something new everyday.

  57. bekabot5:14 PM

    "Jeffrey Lord is having a bravura breakdown at The American Spectator."

    I wish I could say that they're cute when they're angry. But, not really.

    "Social Security and school lunches as racist plots -- I swear you could
    comb Free Republic all day long and not find anything like this."

    Progressives and liberals don't understand this kind of thinking, because the way progressives and liberals look at it, if you can come up with a good program for kids or a good program for old people, it doesn't matter if you've got horns and a tail and carry a pitchfork. It doesn't matter if you spend your spare time watching DVDs of monster trucks running over kittens. It doesn't matter if you think Goering was a great dresser and a remarkable bon vivant. No matter who you are and no matter what your background may be, you still came up with a good idea, which, since it is a good idea, it's every leftie's bounden duty to support. But if you ask a conservative, you'll find that they regard this view of the matter as hypocrisy, because to them the source is all. The provenance is all, the descent is all. They are great believers in the power of inheritance. One wishes they were as great believers in the power of karma.

  58. whetstone7:28 PM

    "Does Joe Scarborough realize his show is named for the phrase coined for Josephus Daniels? Do the suits at MSNBC realize the titter potential from a show that could quickly be tagged the “Morning Racist”???"

    Heh, he said "titter potential." Which makes the piece slightly more dignified.

  59. Chris Anderson9:16 PM

    If I was stilled unemployed, I'd sit right down and right a wingnut "Howl." What a thing that'd be! The only things that scare me are (1) not doing the concept justice, and (2) the drugs, or media or whatever, I'd have to take to make it happen ...

    Ginsberg made his "Howl"-composing drug regimen public, in outline at least, but that's not a wingnut thing to do. How do they ready themselves for producing these things? I shudder to think.

  60. Chris Anderson9:17 PM

    Quick test line: please supply a wingnut equivalent of:

    Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! Invisible suburbs! Skeleton treasuries!

  61. Ask not for whom the bellbottom tolls ...

  62. If it's robots it's gotta be our favorite hack Glenn Reynolds at the mic, with his beret on backwards and that patented vacant stare:

    "Moloch! [beats bottom of Folger's Crystals can like bongo] Moloch! Willing robot lovers in academic law departments! Invisible hands magically refilling skeletal treasuries! Capital saves us from earnest industries under attack by demonic liberals! Heh-indeedy, man! Heh-indeedy!"

  63. XeckyGilchrist7:48 PM

    "Race and Progressives," says Lord, "have been... the ham and eggs of the Democratic Party,"

    I think you'll find that ham and eggs are Green.

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