Discern the Apostate: Marshall or Sully

Thing is, when two top tier liberal bloggers are in disagreement, one of them is guilty of being an apostate as well as merely wrong. 


I think it’s Sully.  Provided it’s a good premise that is, ie, that’s he’s actually a liberal.  I mean, I think he is, but I understand there’s a school of thought that says being for marijuana decriminalization and gay marriage will minimize all contemporaneously held socialist beliefs, and qualify one as a libertarian.

But let’s move on from that.  Thing is, at SRC and here we at times take up the idea of being hypersensitive to being called a racist. Well, these guys who attack Ryan as a racist for stating with some politeness things that are not all that controversial… these guys are guilty of a malevolent slander.  Its douchebaggerey.

Ryan is not a racist.  That’s the proper assertion / understanding for anyone who has a reasonably detailed understanding of Ryan’s public life.

Related:  Paul Krugman says Tea Party are just racists, have never had a critique of TARP or TBTF.  Blogger guy writes a column with citations that shows Tea Party has hated TARP and TBTF from the beginning.



6 thoughts on “Discern the Apostate: Marshall or Sully

  1. pm1956


    why is your tone always so defensive?

    And why do you think that “liberal” bloggers need to agree? You are imposing a conservative value (narrow agreement on a core set of values) here, that really isn’t applicable. “Liberals” are not so concerned with defining themselves or ensuring “purity” among themselves. That is a conservative thing. Liberals value diversity–of race, creed, color, religion, opinion. Let a thousand flowers bloom (as Mao supposedly said).

    Personally, I don’t think that Ryan intended his remarks as racist. I do think that his remarks are generally wrong and show a very shallow understanding of culture (similar to the tiger mom). Were his remarks racist? Culturalist, perhaps, If you equate race and culture, then they would have been racist (and many in the GOP do equate the two–talking about culture as a shorthand for race, because they have learned that they get into trouble when they explicitly voice their thinking about race).

    Certainly, many GOP’ers who heard Ryan’s remarks made the assumption that what Ryan was really talking about WAS race–and applauded him accordingly. Ryan and others in the GOP like to use those racial code words like “culture of poverty”, etc., which many of their supporters take for talking about those black gangsta rappers in the city who we got to stop from voting. And I think it is appropriate for Marshall and others to call them out on it.

  2. Erik Petersen Post author

    I dunno, I’m mindful I’ve never been appealing as a snark merchant…. And this extends to real life…But I get in a mood to use that line of inquiry sometimes.
    I just get so damn indignant!

  3. pm1956

    Here is Chait expressing an opinion on this


    well, tangentially–he really doesn’t address whether or not he thinks Ryan is a racist. but he does illuminate the issue of poverty and culture in i think a generally correct fashion.

    Culture (which I think Ryan/Cosby/Obama use to mean personal behavior, hence personal responsibility) is certainly a part of the equation, but is definitely ONLY a part. Back in the 80’s/90’s, there were studies that compared black immigrants (jamaicans, I think) in NYC to African Americans in NYC, and found that the immigrnats did much better, in terms of economic success, and said that culture was more of a determinant of economic success than race was. I think that it is studies like this which have really propelled this argument and got people like Glenn Loury and Thomas Sowell so much press on the conservative side. And, of course, this fits in nicely with the long standing personal responsibility narrative that the right likes so much.

    But the studies were flwed, because they didn’t isolate all the variables. See, every immigrant does something special–they leave home. Leaving home is very hard. Most people do not leave home. Most people stay near where they grew up. People who will go so far as to leave their home in search of better economic prospects are highly motivated. There was a study that looked at African American migrants to NYC and compared them to jamaican migrants to NYC and found identical levels of economic success–significantly higher than the levels of economic success achieved by African American NYC natives. So really culture was not responsible for the success of immigrants–the fact that they were willing to move (their motivation) was responsible for their economic success.

    Of course, a willingness to move (motivation) is a form of personal responsibility. But that is something that is found among all races and all cultures. I mean, who are those Tea Party supporters in West Virginia with no teeth living in the trailer homes? Probably people who grew up right there– and not sufficiently motivated to get off their asses and move somewhere for a better job. They could move to Williston and be far more successful (economically) without changing their culture at all! (I am being ironic, but the general point stands–culture is not the determinant of economic success)..

    1. pm1956

      Good point. This builds on that:


      a plurality of poor people in the US are white. Why does Ryan concentrate on black poor people? Again, it kind of makes the point that there isn’t a culture of poverty–there are many cultures of poverty. which suggests that culture is not the issue (because, of course, the culture of poverty in Appalachia is rather different than the culture of poverty in the Bronx)

      So maybe Ryan isn’t racist, just stupid. If you are going to talk about poverty, you should not ignore the majority of the poor with your generalizations..

      1. Erik Petersen Post author

        However untrue, the discussion of poverty has been contextually anchored to black people and other minorities for a long time. The point Coates makes absolves Ryan from a responsibility to be unique and evolved here.

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