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In Praise of Cultural and Historical Ignorance

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If I were not in the process of beginning a comprehensive book on fashion in the “Wild West” from about 1850 – 1910, it is possible I might not be as disgusted with the pathetically ignorant remarks made by Edward Vaughn, the head of the Alabama NAACP.

Evidently Mr. Vaughn finds the flamboyant costume of the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids to be offensive. It reminds him of slavery. He feels the young women, who will be representing Alabama in the upcoming Inaugural Parade, will be an embarrassment and a laughingstock.


The Mobile Azalea Trail Maids are “goodwill” ambassadors for the city of Mobile, Alabama. From what I gather each girl designs her own dress, which must in some way resemble more an “azalea” than an actual “hoop skirt”. The dresses take over 100 yards of fabric and weigh a good 35 pounds. The average dress costs upward of $3000. There are 50 girls in the group, representing all races. Until Vaughn’s remark, no one has ever associated them with slavery or racism. The tradition began in 1929 and has included future Miss America Lee Meriwether. The 50 girls have made appearances in the Rose Bowl Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and even at Disneyworld.


Mr. Vaughn is insulted because the girls are wearing what some call “antebellum” costume. The prominent feature of the period is a hoopskirt, or a crinoline. Unfortunately Mr. Vaughn appears to assume that the costume was worn only in the pre-Civil War South, and was worn only by women who were slave owners. To make such an assumption is exhibit abject ignorance about the history of fashion.

The style Mr. Vaughn denigrates as Gone with the Wind was worn throughout the world. The evolution of the “Scarlett O’Hara dress” began as something of a rebellion against the beautiful Regency styles familiar to anyone who is a fan of Jane Austen, and were a hallmark of the reign of Queen Victoria in England.

During the period chronicled by Jane Austen, women were experiencing the first throes of “liberation.” They cast aside the constraints of the corset, and indeed, some women threw away all underwear entirely. It was a time of innocence and freedom for women as the more daring would dampen their sheer gauze gowns so that they would appear to be nude. All the “best” women were doing it, during the winter, only to succumb to pneumonia early in the spring.


By the mid-1820s women discovered their bloomers, stockings, underwear, and no proper woman would be seen even outside her bedroom without her corset. The years of freedom were over as women were soon defined by frail, sloping shoulders, and entombed in a corseted waist that had best be no more than 18 inches. If she moved or took a deep breath, the result was the infamous Victorian swoon. In other words, the woman entombed in that corset and not exactly the regulation 18 inches in the waist would pass out, frequently.

Women were now frail, to be cosseted, waited on, and to be protected. Modern personal space was defined by the circumference of the cage of their increasingly wide skirts – up to six feet in all directions. As the contraptions to alleviate the need for layers and layers of petticoats were invented, so were the jokes. A well woman wearing a cage or crinoline could sit down the wrong way only to have the skirt bounce up in the air and smack her in the face, revealing all.

Talk about a swoon!

By the 1850s the skirt was so large and the petticoats were so heavy something had to be done if the fashion was to continue. The petticoats alone would weigh a good 14 pounds, and that was in the summer. Add the constriction of the corset, and it gave an entirely new definition to the term “fashion victim”.

In 1856 W. S. Thompson patented the Crinoline Cage. Amelia Bloomer put women in “pants” for the first time – in public.


In 1857, Englishman Charles Worth moved to Paris and basically redefined haute couture:
“…fragile gauze dresses decorated with flowers and ribbons that were made for wealthy young women were only intended to be worn for one or two evenings and then cast aside as they soiled and crushed so easily. Silk flowers, froths of tulle and pleated gauze trims would have emphasized the innocence of virginal girls whilst signaling their availability on the marriage market…Older, married more senior women wore statelier fabrics like heavy satins, crisp silks and plush velvet. It was thought good etiquette to dress according to one's position in society and that also meant not wearing clothes more suited to a younger woman….”

Fashion is fashion and women are women, no matter what their age, race, or station in life. Women throughout the “civilized” world wore the style Mr. Vaughn identifies with slavery. One of the most amusing aspects of his terribly ill-informed pronouncement is the fact that women in the US, be them black, white, young old, free or slave endeavored to wear these fashions. For Mr. Vaughn to assume that black women, free or slave, would not be wearing these fashions or not desire to wear these fashions is abject ignorance as to the mindset of women.

Women are slaves to fashion. We all are. We have always been slaves to fashion and unless something drastic occurs within the human mind, we always will be, regardless of age, race, or station in life. It is rather pathetic to make a blanket statement about a subject he obviously knows very little about, no matter what his station in life.

There are more than a few original photographs of African-American women of the Victorian era who are wearing a crinoline or a modified crinoline. Women wore voluminous petticoats, no matter who or what they were.


Mr. Vaughn of the Alabama NAACP is a man. Unfortunately men (most of them) don’t realize this isn’t about Scarlett O’Hara at all. It is all about Cinderella and wearing a fantasy dress.

And yes, this writer once wore a dress like that. I was hosting a costume party and wanted the “perfect” crinoline skirt, that consisted of the regulation 24 feet of fabric at the base of the skirt – and the petticoats that created the 6 foot “poof” all the way around.

Talk about confinement!

I could only go through the double doors of my mother’s house. I could not go out onto the porch where most of the party was occurring because I could not get the dang-blasted dress through the door. I couldn’t sit on a chair, I slid off the moment I sat down. All I could do was sit on a stool. And to do that I had to step over the stool and lower myself down, carefully, with the massive skirt bellowing around me.

It looked wonderful.

It was a total pain.

But it was all about the dress.

With the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids it’s all about the dress and the Cinderella experience. Don’t think like a man looking for discrimination. Put yourself in the mind of a teenage girl. It is about the dress, the fantasy, and being Cinderella and a princess for a day.

Race has nothing to do with it.

It’s about the dress.

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About SJ Reidhead

  • Shelley

    Thanks for your support of the Azalea Trail Maids!Keep it up and be sure to watch us in the parade!!

  • Cindy D


    I liked your article. Lots of interesting background. I just looked up corsets and discovered they even had “pregnancy corsets”. ugh…

    That you wore the a gown and experienced the cage first hand was fascinating.

    Vaughn–what political correctness won’t try to suppress.

  • SJ,

    I don’t know how many men are going to make it into this thread, so let me be the first. A lucid and informative article, and quite a change of pace from the daily diet one finds in the Politics section.

    I totally concur with Cindy. We politicize nearly everything these days, forgetting there’s life outside of politics. Sign of the times, I guess.

    Nice reference to Jane Austin and her times. She was a pioneer of sorts, a precursor of woman liberation.


  • SJ,

    Ignorance abounds in the mass media these days. The sick society that America has descended into (at least as it appears over the internet to this writer) is filled with sleaze and feces on the one hand and overweening ignorance on the other. And this is the stuff that America keeps pumping out daily to the rest of the planet as the cultural hegemon it is – for now.

    Frankly, I cannot wait for American society to go broke altogether, so that it is brought down quite a few pegs and is unable to broadcast its pathetic decadence.

    But to your article – I found it fascinating in the extreme. Jewish women are expected to dress modestly in the religious circles in which I move. But a hoopskirt? What nonsense! I find it admirable that you were willing to suffer such a thing in your youth, though. But what is the point?

    As for the idiot who provoked this article, the less said the better. May he be granted the privilege of obscurity, soon and at a near time.

  • A perhaps irrelevant comment, but here goes.

    Carnival is widely celebrated in Panama. In Puerto Lindo, a village of about two hundred on the Caribbean coast, the celebration starts weeks ahead of time, with folks stopping traffic to collect “free will donations” for their costumes and for beer and other spirits to make their celebration more well, spirited.

    Very few people live in Puerto Lindo who are not Black. As a principal part of the celebration, a few of the celebrants dress up as slave masters, with top hats and whips, and herd the “slaves” around. It is all in fun, and nobody gets offended or excited. We (Whites) felt entirely welcome, and everyone had a good time. The booze was plentiful, the costumes surprisingly well made, and there were no protests about what was going on.

    Puerto Lindo (like much of the Caribbean coast) is poor, with high unemployment. During the dry season, many have to hike far into the hills to collect buckets of drinking water. Fish, however, are plentiful.

    Perhaps the lack of political correctness there, and the corresponding lack of need to be offended* at just about everything, make a difference.


    *Somehow, the Al Cap acronym SWINE — Students Wildly Indignant About Nearly Everything — pops into my head.

  • The Trail Maids remind me more of marshmallow peeps than anything. Where Mr Vaughn got slavery I don’t know.

  • Mmm, marshmallow peeeps. That just makes these girls look even MORE tasty.

    I posted a modest blast at the NAACPs obvious foolishness HERE, but Ms Reidhead has it all over me for the specific knowledge of fashion and fashion history.

    This article oughta be picked up by Drudge and Google News as the definitive response – or even by some conservative talk show host, Limbaugh or Hannity.

  • Hope and Change?

    Its seems that the NAACP has outlived its usefullness…they are nothing but an old school “blame the white man for all our problems” hate group.

  • Cindy D

    Are you being ironic H&C? I’m not sure if I get what it is you’re about.

  • Well-written article. Too bad it has such a terrible title. I almost skipped over it.

  • SJ –

    Good article…and I agree with you that to women, it is ‘all about the dress’.

    But since your article alluded to the politicization of women’s fashion, may I also point out some more nationally-known examples:

    1 – Hillary’s pantsuits
    2 – Rush Limbaugh: “The feminist movement was created to allow ugly women access to the mainstream of society”
    3 – Mark Levin: “It’s not the National Organization of Liberal Women. It’s the National Organization of Ugly Women.”
    4 – Jim Quinn: “…the National Organization for Women [is really] the National Organization for Whores.”

    Any Googling combining ‘liberal women’ and ‘ugly’ gets LOTS and LOTS of hits ranging from sites containing the above quotes and blogs/forums stating just how ugly liberal women are…but a search for ‘conservative women’ and ‘ugly’ gets hits ONLY for conservative/Republican sites that complain about how liberals call conservative women ugly…but I see NO liberal sites making such general claims. In fact, the ONLY liberal sites I saw that made sexist comments had to do with determining Ann Coulter’s actual gender (which is a legitimate question since she opposes a woman’s right to vote)!

    Could this be yet another example (as with voter fraud, fiscal irresponsibility, and gay sex scandals) of how Republicans and conservatives accuse liberals of something that Republicans have been doing to a FAR greater extent for a long time? Looks like it….

  • Glenn,

    Sorry to disagree with you, but I didn’t detect any anti-liberal agenda in this piece. Perhaps I had missed something (I never read things too closely the first time around, just a well-proven strategy, I think), but if I did, would you please point it out. (Personally, I don’t care where the author is coming from – so long she is not Ann Coulter! On that, I agree with you entirely!)

    Again, no disrespect intended. Just asking!


  • Roger –

    I didn’t say the article had anti-liberal bias. I agree about the politicization of women’s dress…and I wanted expand the issue, to point out how it’s not just about dress but about the woman’s appearance as a whole – AND how those of one certain political bent seem to engage in such politicization FAR more than the other side.

  • Yeah, but you’re not scoring any points with her because she’s almost on our side.

    Personally, as I re-read your comment, I perfectly agree. “Hillary’s pantsuits” is all the proof I need. Never mind Rush or the obnoxious Levin. They don’t deserve a comment. Hard as I tried, and only for entertainment value, mind you, I tried to stay tuned to his show. Most of the times, I couldn’t it. Such a vitriol and hatred from an intelligent man. It’s beyond imagination.

  • Ah, here’s a little sumpin-sumpin for you Ann Coulter hatas pleasure. Enjoy!

  • You know, Al! The conservatives keep on thinking she’s not only intelligent and hilariously funny! They also espouse her beauty, like she was some Hollywood starlet or a gift from heaven.
    I happen to think she’s as ugly as sin. Have had the pleasure with a great many better looking and attractive women in my better days – drunk or sober.

    I guess the golf-course/country-club crowd don’t know what they miss. They’re can’t even tell a good whore from a facsimile!

  • Baronius

    You guys are forgetting about the big political / women’s fashion story of the year: the supposed scandal about Palin’s wardrobe expenses.

  • ‘supposed’ scandal about Palin’s wardrobe?

    Hey – that was just your Republican party donations at work. Wait till she gets hold of your tax dollars….

    And Roger – you know, you just might be right! Ann Coulter DOES sometimes seem like she’s on our side by being such a complete…well, I won’t go there. But I will agree that I’m not man enough for her. Heck, neither is Ahnold, or even Rosie O’Donnell….

  • Hope and Change?

    I think the Azalea Trail Maids should be wearing Pant Suits instead….since Hillary and Bill seem to be calling all the shots in Obamas administration she deserves it….

    Hope and Change…. has turned into another four years of the Clintons at the wheel.

  • Jet

    Does anyone know whose got the net and harpoon? I can’t find it anywhere dammit!

  • Hope and Change?

    Gee not here…maybe you are sitting on them…

  • Roger [comment 16]: Why exactly is it that you Coulter hatas feel the need to denigrate her looks? That generally looks to me like being in active denial. If you thought she really was homely, you likely wouldn’t be feeling near the need to keep saying so. It’s like you’re trying to talk yourself into believing that. I guess it’s tough accepting that she could be so evil, and yet so hot. It’s almost like they go together.

    But of course being sexy isn’t her job. Her job is sticking it to y’all pinkos. And judging by how many of your goats she’s gotten, I’d say she’s doing pretty well.

  • How to drive Al crazy:

    Lock him in a room with two doors. Both are unlocked, but once he has opened one door, the other locks permanently. There is no key.

    Behind one door is Ann Coulter and behind the other is Sarah Palin.

  • Jet

    All part of his charm Doc… all part of his charm.

  • Cindy D

    RE #22


    It must be puzzling to notice evolution happening right under your nose.

  • Hey, Al – I’m just saying I ain’t man enough for Ann Coulter. In all honesty I wouldn’t want to be, either. Maybe it has more to do with when she’s on TV, and what looks suspiciously like an Adam’s apple….

  • Al, #22,

    I didn’t mean to offend your sensibility, merely referring to how the Republicans think of her as if she was the world’s eight wonder. That’s all. And in light of that, I would have to say that their standard of beauty is, to say the least, suspect. In short, they’re groping for straws.

  • “But of course being sexy isn’t her job.”

    She’s made that painfully obvious. She has a great face for radio, though.

  • And I ain’t a pinko, Al, so you may as well drop the epithet. Do you really want to discuss the substance of Ann Coulter and her intellectual pedigree? In that department, she’s just a cut above the good old Rush. So why don’t you put in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Jet

    Probably hormone shot to compete why Rush Limbaugh. Sex change operations are too expensive.

  • I wouldn’t go so low! There’s plenty of ugly people around – women or men. I just don’t see how anyone can get excited about a complete zero.

  • El Bicho,

    I just LOVE your comment: “a great face for radio.”

  • To supplement #31: out of desperation.

  • Roger, I just don’t see how anyone can get excited about a complete zero. Please, Sir. Show more respect for our President Elect*!


    *Or, perhaps I misunderstand the reference.

  • At least Mr. Obama, Dan, can think on his feet. Whatever his substance, and we may soon find out, he appears to have mesmerized the country. As to what will follow, I guess, we shall have to wait and see. And even though I was originally opposed to his candidacy on many grounds, I owe it to the office, any President-elect, for that matter, to keep on open mind. Just as I’d done so, at first, with George Dubya. It’s only after they “screw you,” once, twice, and it’s becoming a pattern, that a better judgment kicks in. So we’ll just have to wait, I guess, and hope for the best.

    The way things were, any Democrat of sound or unsound mind would have been a cinch to win the general elections. Perhaps Obama wasn’t the best of the lot, but he certainly wasn’t the worst.

  • By the way, Dan, I have a sneaky feeling you’re picking my brain. Admit it. I wouldn’t mind. Consider it a privilege, in fact.

  • Baronius

    Ann Coulter is not my cup of tea, looks-wise. Laura Ingraham’s hot. They’re both usually correct, which is what I care about. I do agree with Al, that the supposedly enlightened left says the most sexist things about conservative females, racist things about conservative blacks, chauvinist things against America’s loyal allies, et cetera.

  • Baronius:

    I do agree with Al, that the supposedly enlightened left says the most sexist things about conservative females, racist things about conservative blacks, chauvinist things against America’s loyal allies, et cetera.

    References, please.

  • Hope and Change?

    References, please….you know….

    1.Ex-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, former affiliate of a St. Louis area racist group

    2.Ex-Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd, former Ku Klux Klansman known for making bigoted slurs on national television

    3.Sen. Ernest Hollings, leading Democrat Senator known for use of racial slurs against several minority groups

    4.Lee P. Brown, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat mayor of Houston who won reelection using racial intimidation against Hispanic voters\

    5.Andrew Cuomo, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat candidate for NY Governor who made racist statements about a black opponent.

    6.Dan Rather, Democrat CBS news anchor and editorialist known for using anti-black racial epithets on a national radio broadcast

    7.Donna Brazile, former Gore campaign manager known for making anti-white racial attacks. Brazile has also worked for Jackson, Gephardt, and Michael Dukakis

    8.And who could forget when the Dens threw Oreo cookies at Maryland’s Michael Steele!!!

    9.Obama picking a gay bashing minister to say a prayer at his coronation

    10.Jesse Jackson calling Collin Powell and Condi Rice “House Niggers”

    But thats what Hope and Change is all about isnt it?

  • Hope and Change?

    Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, said about Hillary: “She’s never going to get out of our faces. … She’s like some hellish housewife who has seen something that she really, really wants and won’t stop nagging you about it until finally you say, fine, take it, be the damn president, just leave me alone.”

    How special….you know

  • Hope and Change?

    Oliver Stone said….”I don’t think Sarah would understand the picture,” on the red carpet outside the famed W. 54th St. theater.

    “It has a lot of complicated dialogue,” he zinged.

    “George Bush is an intellectual compared to her.”

  • Hope and Change?

    Liberals like Joy Behar claim to have open minds not casting judgment on others, unless of course it involves someone of a different political persuasion. On the October 14 edition of “The View,” discussing Sarah Palin’s daugther Bristol’s pregnancy, Behar wondered where Governor Palin’s “family values” are. “The View’s” most reliable leftist berated Palin for allowing her daughter Levi Johnston to date since Freshman year of high school (high schoolers shouldn’t date?) Then playing the race card, Joy railed “if this was a black teenager that was pregnant, Obama’s kids, God forbid, they would be all over it like a cheap suit and you know it.”

  • Hope and Change?

    TMZ TV Show

    Had a “report” that a new Palin porno movie is coming out with a look-alike actress starring as Palin. The title is Nailin’ Palin. They report this as a light-hearted story, even interviewing the actress.

  • Hope and Change?

    Dahlia Lithwick in a Newsweek article “John McCain has mastered the fine art of turning women into campaign accessories: flag pins with nice calves”

  • Baronius

    There’s a website called Shakespearessister that catalogued sexist comments about Palin. It’s a liberal/feminist site. H&C mentioned the treatment that Rice, Powell, and Steele have received, but could have listed Clarence Thomas and his friend Thomas Sowell as well. And the nastiest racial comments I heard about Obama came during the primaries, not the general election.

  • #37:

    It wasn’t I who brought up the subject of Ann Coulter’s looks but Al. Perhaps I shouldn’t have responded in kind for there is no disputing the taste. But there ARE higher standards as to whether someone is correct or not other than simply whether we agree with them. And I don’t think Ms Coulter intellectual stature warrant further discussion. If you want to debate political philosophies, let’s do it with first-rate thinkers in mind.

  • Brunelleschi

    They should compromise.

    Let the Azalea hunnies march. It’s Obama’s day, so their name will be “Obama’s Hoes,” and Coulter and Palin have to wear the same dress and march too.

    And add Al Franken as a cigar smokin planation owner. Coulter and Palin have no vote, and have to refer to Franken as “Col. Al.”

    It’s a party and everyone should be invited and have fun.

  • #41: You’re wasting your time here. You should get paid for this little shtick.

  • Sorry, #47: I think I’ll dream about all night.

  • Marcia Neil

    However, the first people to build major construction projects here in the Americas are not extinct and they did not feature hoop skirts as their cultural endowment nor as cultural inheritance.

  • Hope and Change?

    Marcia…the first people to build major construction projects? What do Italians and Irish have to do with all this?

    Stay calm…you know…hope…er…um and change is on the you know….way!

  • Come on, Hope & Change,

    Give her some slack. They’re first-class bricklayers and laborers.

  • “Hope & Change” – you need to get a clue, guy.

    1.Ex-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, former affiliate of a St. Louis area racist group

    The head of the group stated: “House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt spoke before a prominent St. Louis white-rights organization during his first run for Congress and attended two of the group’s picnics after his election”. He also stated that “Gephardt had come to a meeting of the Metro South Citizens Council to debate his primary-election opponent.”

    Guy, Gephardt went to debate his opponent and was looking for votes. Does this mean he was affiliated with or belonged to the group? No. But compare this to, say, Sarah Palin, whose husband for five years BELONGED to a group that advocated SECESSION FROM AMERICA!

    But YOU think Palin’s a better American, huh?

    2.Ex-Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd, former Ku Klux Klansman known for making bigoted slurs on national television

    Robert Byrd said, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times… and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

    And you know what, guy? I WAS RACIST, TOO, and homophobic to boot. But I got away from Mississippi and discovered the world wasn’t the way I’d thought it was. So yeah, he was racist – but I’m living proof that once-racist does NOT mean always-racist.

    3.Sen. Ernest Hollings, leading Democrat Senator known for use of racial slurs against several minority groups

    Hm. Hollings was generally considered to be a liberal supportive of many civil rights bills. He voted for re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act in 1982.

    Maybe he is racist just as I was…but for the past sixteen years he’s made no culturally-insensitive remarks…and no apparent racist remarks in the past 47 years. FYI – ‘culturally-insensitive’ and ‘racist’ ARE two different things.

    4.Lee P. Brown, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat mayor of Houston who won reelection using racial intimidation against Hispanic voters

    THIS IS LAUGHABLE! It was racist for Brown to post signs of his opponent with “Anti-Hispanic” on them???? I see ABSOLUTELY SQUAT in his actions that are really that racist.

    5.Andrew Cuomo, former Clinton cabinet official and Democrat candidate for NY Governor who made racist statements about a black opponent.

    Cuomo stated that voting for his rival for the New York Democrat gubernatorial nomination Carl McCall, who is black, would create a “racial contract” between Black and Hispanic Democrats “and that can’t happen. OOOOOHH…that’s SO bad!

    But how does that compare to “Barack the Magic Negro”?

    6.Dan Rather, Democrat CBS news anchor and editorialist known for using anti-black racial epithets on a national radio broadcast

    He publicly said “buckwheats” once. ONCE. If he did that only once, then that’s not good – but how does it compare to, say, “Barack the Magic Negro”?

    7.Donna Brazile, former Gore campaign manager known for making anti-white racial attacks. Brazile has also worked for Jackson, Gephardt, and Michael Dukakis

    Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager, called the Republican Party “the party of the white boys.” “A white boy attitude,” explained Brazile, “is, ‘I must exclude, denigrate and leave behind.’ They don’t see it or think about it. It’s a culture.”

    Since she was referring to the Republican Party, SHE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Proof? How about “Barack the Magic Negro”, “Obama Waffles”, Bush moving into a neighborhood wherein the HOA covenant until 2001 disallowed blacks, and a CURRENT candidate for the RNC chair oh-so-graciously giving up his membership in a whites-only country club in 2008?

    It’s just like the Bible – you point out a splinter in our eye…but you’re ignoring the log in yours.

    8.And who could forget when the Dens threw Oreo cookies at Maryland’s Michael Steele!!!

    DUDE, YOU GOTTA CHECK YOUR SOURCES!!!! In November 2005 Steele claimed “It was raining Oreos… They were thick in the air like locusts. I was there. It was very real. It wasn’t subtle.”[8] In a November 2005 Hannity and Colmes appearance, Steele agreed with Hannity that cookies were thrown at him.

    BUT the head of the local NAACP – who WOULD have raised cain about racist behavior – saw no such thing. The operations manager of the building who participated in the cleanup saw no cookies. An AP reporter named Tom Stuckey said cookies were handed out – but that’s it. Several other eyewitnesses were asked, but did not corroborate Steele’s claim.

    So what happened? At the debate itself, Steele never mentioned any cookies at all. Five days after the debate, Steele said that one or more Oreo cookies had rolled to his feet during the debate suggesting a racist statement against him. And by the time he’s talking with Faux News, it’s RAINING Oreos!


    9.Obama picking a gay bashing minister to say a prayer at his coronation

    And WHY did he do it? To let America know that he will be president of ALL Americans – including the gay-hating evangelicals. Since when is his choice racist or intolerant…since the initial invocation is going to be given by the nation’s ONLY openly gay Episcopal bishop?

    10.Jesse Jackson calling Collin Powell and Condi Rice “House Niggers”

    Yeah, and if I see a sailor not doing his job who hasn’t crossed the equator yet, I’ll call him a boot-camp lower-than-whale-[bleep] wog, too. If you’re white and you call me a cracker, I’ll smile and tell you I’m a greatly reformed redneck, too.

  • Glenn,

    He was just on the roll (see #51) Why did you distract him with a reasoned argument?

  • ‘Hope & Change’ @ #41:

    One could argue, of course, that those people and their aberrations/behavior don’t represent the true ideals of the Democratic Party – which is exactly how Dave and others brush it off whenever someone rattles off the names of a few of the more rabid members of the Christian Right.

    I could even take another leaf out of Dave’s book and claim that the folks H&C names are Democrats by convenience, and would in fact be far more at home in the Republican Party!

  • You guys are so serious, it’s pathetic. I think #41 is a gem. Let it stand!

  • Sorry, I meant #51 of course. Sometimes I don’t care to get too deep into these threads.

  • Hope and Change?

    Glenn Contrarian just because you repeat over and over again that these statements arent true…doesnt change the fact that they are STILL true…check your facts…

    Hope and Change is on the way….

  • When confronted with the true facts, ignore them – right, H&C?

  • Hope and Change?

    Breaking News— Obama will have members of the KKK and Nazi party as special guests at his inauguration to prove that he will be the “president of all Americans”

  • STM

    Doc, if you are still around, check your email old boy (the one you’ve used to contact me in the past on my blog) … I need some help with something regarding BC. If you can spare 5 minutes I’d be very appreciative.

    Cheers mate

  • STM

    Lol. PS, I wonder what agenda Hope and Change? has??

  • Jet

    Stan it’s a sarcastic swipe at Obama’s campaign promise, which is what the ? at the end is for.

  • STM

    No, I realised Jet … I just thought it was funny – hope and change? with a question mark. Pretty lamo.

    These people forget that in modern western democracy, of which the US is one of the originators, is based on a simple premise backed by rule of law, and which keeps us free: the will of the people.

    The best thing about democracy (yes, meant in the modern sense, not the ancient Greek for all those hair splitters who want to tell me about the representative republic of the US) is that everyone gets their turn.

    It’s only those who are anti-democratic who can’t accept the will of the majority as expressed by their vote, and find it painful to abide by.

    We have them here as well.

    In your case on the other side of the big pond, they are also therefore turning their backs on the real intent of the Constitution of the United States.

    Hope and change? should get over it, before his/her brain implodes.

    Obama is breath of fresh air for an America whose moral standing has plumutted in the eyes of the world, and since this modern world is a world largely of America’s making and keeps America and Americans in the style to which they’re accustomed, that’s no small consideration.

  • Jet

    I have only one problem with that statement Stan; you have to have one, for your brain to implode.

  • Stan, sorry it took so long, but check your e-mail and then get back to me.

  • Roger, re: Ann Coulter and substance. You partly confuse her role. She’s usually right and got a legitimate point. But she’s not the deepest right wing thinker, or policy analyst. That might be someone like George Will.

    But Coulter’s a polemicist and a street fighter and to a significant extent a humorist. She’s the one ready for a back alley knife fight. She’s funny, and Deeply Offensive on a regular basis – which is of course part of the appeal, the way she makes her enemies sputter in impotent rage. Note that part of that appeal is beyond the specific ideological content – just watching her getting hung up self-righteous beourgeoise all tore up.

    George Will would get his ass whipped on the playground. Nelson would give him the mother of all wedgies. It’d be Ann (or Sarah Palin) who’d have the bully face down in the dirt crying ‘uncle.’

  • Jet

    So what you’re saying Al is that she’s sort of a right-wing Howard Stern in drag?

  • Al,

    I don’t care much for that kind of popularizing of political ideas, whether from the Right or the Left. I well realize that there are lots of people who do, and as far as they are concerned, people like Coulter may serve their purpose. But I think the goal of society should be to develop critical thinking on the part of as many as possible, rather than having them spoon-fed. My standards I guess are higher as regards the quality and the manner of winning the arguments. It’s a battle of ideas, and if wit is of help. so much the better. But wit alone is not good enough. And if arguments are won only by wit, then it nothing other than rhetoric. And from strictly personal and perhaps selfish reasons, people like than never make me think: too many cheap shots, no different perhaps from much of what you find on the pages of this or any other thread.


  • Al,

    Too add to previous comment: I guess she’s a provocateur; so that may serve its purpose, I suppose, in shaking some people around – the thoughtless morons. But the problem is, there are as many thoughtless morons on both sides of the isle. And if that’s the case, then I’d have to say that there’s something drastically wrong with our society if it keeps on producing people like that.


  • Hope and Change?


    Well said….”It’s only those who are anti-democratic who can’t accept the will of the majority as expressed by their vote, and find it painful to abide by”

    You must be talking about the Democrats and the US media (unwilling to accept that Bush won not once BUT twice)…who attacked our legally elected President..George Bush on a daily basis…undercutting US policy aiding and abetting the enemy…etc….etc…etc…. you must be right?

    Theres no need to fear…hope and…er…um…you know is on the way!

  • Yes, Dubya was certainly legally elected…with a little help from Diebold….

  • It is, obviously, one thing to “accept” the will of the majority and quite another to agree with it or to silence one’s concerns.

    I disagree with many of President Elect Obama’s policies as articulated during his campaign; apparently, he now feels far less strongly about some of them than he once did. Many of his supporters are likely to be sadly disappointed.

    Those of us who did not like what he said during the campaign, along with those who did, are stuck with his presidency. The only thing I can predict with any certainty is that he will be the best president since GWB. Beyond that, ain’t no tellin.


  • Baronius

    Roger, read this week’s Coulter column (linked here if I did my HTML right). It’s comical; it’s insulting; factually, as far as I know, it’s correct. Her account of the NYT article is fair. She probably inflates the civilian homicide rate by using older numbers, but more recent data would tell a similar story. I couldn’t find the original Progressive Policy Institute article, but it’s mentioned online elsewhere as drawing the same conclusions. Whatever you may think of Ann’s style, she is insightful and intelligent.

  • Will do, Baronius. I’m never impervious to changing my mind or at least listening to another point of view. Will get back to you shortly.

  • Was Coulter being ‘insightful and intelligent’ when she said that the country would be better off if women couldn’t vote?

  • Baronius

    “It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.” As a Republican, I can’t argue with that.

  • Clavos

    Was Coulter being ‘insightful and intelligent’ when she said that the country would be better off if women couldn’t vote?

    Can you define facetious?

    We would also be better off if white men weren’t allowed to vote.

    But it’s OK, the people of color are well on the road to the top anyway. Today the presidency, tomorrow the world.

    ¡Viva la raza!

  • Comment #72 says – Yes, Dubya was certainly legally elected…with a little help from Diebold….

    Holy fuck! Isn’t there some kind of rule about how long you’re actually allowed to beat a dead horse?

    In three days your nightmare will finally end Glenn. I hope you’ll be able to sleep better at night on Tuesday. Because everybody knows the world will be such a better place on Wednesday morning!!! We’ll all be on solar power, muslims will love everyone, gays will be able to marry, and the entire electoral map will be blue come Wednesday morning…


    On another note…..

    So far I’ve seen one line here at BC talking about the cost of this inauguration…as I recall there was a pretty big uprising a few years back over the cost of the last one…I heard on the news this morning that this one will be the most expensive ever!

    Amazing how the world turns isn’t it? As the World Turns…sounds like a good name for a soap opera?!??!

  • Andy,

    Don’t fret about it. The facially excessive inauguration expenditures are mainly due to President Elect Obama’s unique position in history, and are fully understandable. However, prudent steps are now being taken to make such expenditures unnecessary in the future. For example,

    Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., earlier this month introduced the bill, H. J. Res. 5, which, according to the bill’s language, proposes “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”

    While nothing in the bill seems to refer expressly either to inaugurations or their cost, the intention is clear.


  • Can anyone tell me if they’re at least reusing the pillars from the the convention?

  • Andy,

    No, unfortunately the pillars were viewed by some detractors as suggesting excessive hubris on His part. In the interest of everyone coming together, they were retired almost immediately and donated to Chrysler, which shortly thereafter posted them as collateral for bailout loans.


  • As long as they’re being put to good use…


    “…I heard on the news this morning that this one will be the most expensive ever!”

    Yeah, I heard it might come close to as much as Rush Limbaugh spent on Oxycontin.

  • Jet

    Andy: Holy fuck! Isn’t there some kind of rule about how long you’re actually allowed to beat a dead horse?

    This could be used to explain the right’s obsession with Bill Clinton?… or is it only justified if the right wing are the agressors?

  • Jet

    As for the mounting security cost of the inaugural Andy, somehow I don’t think Bush had problems with ignorant rednecks threatening to keep “that damned nigger that stole the election” from being sworn in…

    No one seemed to whine about all the trips on a whim that Bush took in Air Force One, in which he had several fighter jets escorting him, and a twin 747 along for the ride as a decoy?

    …of course I could be wrong?

    I can’t wait to see “Cadillac One-the Beast” or better known already as the “Obamamobile”, which will be debuted in the trek from capital hill to the white house.

  • Andy –

    On Diebold being a ‘dead horse’ – when elections are held transparently and with a paper trail, and when voting machines are not operated by a company with strong ties to any party or candidate, THEN the horse will be dead.

    But until then, since there ARE elections in America that are NOT transparent (i.e. proprietary software not open to public scrutiny) and voting machine manufacturers DO have strong ties to parties or candidates, the horse is NOT dead – time for some more beatin’!

  • Jet!

    How could you? How dare you insinuate that Bush or any other Republican tolerate racists within their party!

    The very idea is shocking, shocking beyond belief, I say!

    I tell you that the LIES and DISINFORMATION by these Dems has gotta stop! Look at these outrageously false articles, like where fifty-eight percent of Republicans in Palm Beach, Florida elected a white supremacist, and another one got elected in Arizona, or this other one sayin’ that out of the 219-or-so Republicans in Congress, not one is an African-American.

    The writers are obviously far-left liberals, and therefore everything they say MUST be lies!

    YOU, Jet, need to ignore those Dems and start listenin’ to REAL news and REAL facts from Rush, Bill, Ann Coulter, and the rest of the REAL Americans and patriots on Faux News! Otherwise, you’re just a pinko/crazy lib/mold spore like those Democrats that our patriotic friend Bradley Schlozman was tryin’ to replace with REAL Americans, Republicans and Federalists in the Department of Justice! Heck, he wasn’t a-tryin’ to politicize the Department of Justice – he was only tryin’ to SAVE our Yoo-nited States-a-America by gettin’ right-thinkin’ patriots into positions where they could do some good, maybe by investigatin’ all that voter fraud and election fraud that the Dems used to get Obama elected!

    Psst! And didja hear? Obama’s black! I’m not bein’ racist, now – I’m just tellin’ ya he’s black!.

  • Jet

    I’m so ashamed

  • Hope and Change?

    To my Jewish American friends and supporter of Israel who voted for Obama…your wish has come true…Hope and Change is on the way!!

    From the Global Tribune – NYT International Edition

    A Muslim scholar chosen to speak at President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural prayer service Wednesday is the leader of a group that federal prosecutors say has ties to terrorists.

    Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is one of many religious leaders scheduled to speak at the prayer service at Washington’s National Cathedral.

    Mattson has been the guest of honor at State Department dinners and has met with senior Pentagon officials during the Bush administration. She also spoke at a prayer service at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

    But in 2007 and as recently as last July, federal prosecutors in Dallas filed court documents linking the Hartford, Conn.-based Islamic society to the group Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

    Neither Mattson nor her organization have been charged. But prosecutors wrote in July that they had “a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking” the group to Hamas and other radical groups.

    Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama’s inaugural committee, would not discuss the case or say whether the committee knew about it.

    “She has a stellar reputation in the faith community,” Douglass said Saturday night.

    The existence of the court documents was first reported by Politico.

    The Islamic Society of North America, which describes itself as “the nation’s largest mainstream Muslim community-based organization,” is fighting its inclusion on a list of coconspirators in the Dallas terrorism case against the Holy Land Foundation. In court documents, the group says it does not condone terrorism.

    Wow!!! Yes he is the president of ALL Americans…even the ones who want to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews and those who support them! What a uniter!!!

    Starting this week we will experience first hand Hope and…er…um you know…

  • Hope and Change?

    Correction…International Hearald Tribune

  • Hope and Change?

    Yes…but as all the bathroom and fooling around with pages has shown there are more Gay Republicans than Democrats!

  • Brunelleschi

    H and C-

    People that want to “destroy Israel and kill all the Jews and those who support them” are people too!

    Show some love!