Jonah Goldberg’s take

“He says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, Would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset?”

Actually, the relevant question is: why would any journalist run an edited copy of a video before checking to see if there was a full version – and watching the full version? Speaking of which, check out the NAACP “full” video between 20:50 and 20:59. Clearly, this one is also edited:

NAACP “full” version

Whatever is edited out there is anyone’s guess. Either way, this is another example of hasty conclusions clouding the real issue – much like Sarah Palin and her inaccurate criticism of Ezekiel Emanuel’s death panel comments. Some of what Sherrod says here about race is encouraging but the discouraging comment comes at 18:20:

“That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor vs. those who have.”

This is Sherrod’s supposed heartfelt revelation? It’s not about black vs. white at all… it’s about rich vs. poor! There’s the bad guy! Rich people!

Why does it have to be about anyone vs. anyone? The left is constantly looking for someone to blame for someone else’s problems. Poor people are poor because of rich people. Later she says rich people want to “hold onto their power.” Fair enough. Wealth and success breed conservatism; the word “conservatism” in this context meaning not necessarily political ideology but the desire to preserve one’s wealth, power, success, accomplishment, etc. It’s a natural and very human tendency. The fallacy with Sherrod’s assessment is her underlying assumption that this desire to preserve one’s position must come at the expense of someone else. Wealth and luxury are static and finite and only a certain amount of people can achieve them. Therefore, the “fair” way to do things is to divide it up equally.

This is absurd and it’s exactly how most in the Obama administration view the world. They hate being called socialists, communists or fascists. Fine. What they really believe in is some unholy amalgamation of socialism, communism and crony capitalism. Let’s call it commulism.

Obama allegedly “believes” in free markets but he’s put the full force of his bloated administration towards destroying wealth in the mistaken assumption that he’s dividing it up more equally. The axiom of commulism is: “markets are good but only if they produce the various outcomes government czars and officials intend.” See for example: light bulbs, automobiles, energy consumption, banking decisions, health care, food consumption, etc. This approach of course defeats the purpose of the free market but commulists delude themselves into believing they still stand for capitalism because they accomplish their objectives through “friendly” force – as opposed to naked, Fidel Castro style force (Goldberg calls it liberal fascism).

Here’s a perfect example of commulism in action:

“U.S. House Democrats criticized airlines Wednesday for increasingly charging for checked baggage, seat selection and other services, and indicated they are considering legislation to tax the revenue collected from the fees.”

It’s not fair that airlines are charging all of these inflated fees to consumers so Democrats in Congress want to solve the problem by taxing the income airlines receive from the fees. How eloquently idiotic. Once again, the assumption is adversarial: airlines created the fee model to hurt their consumers. Government solves this problem by taking more for itself in the name of “the people.” Obviously, the airlines are looking to generate more income. If Congress dents this income by taxing it, which of the following scenarios is more likely:

1. The airlines admit their mistake, apologize and decide to get rid of the fees.

2. The airlines either increase their fees, increase their ticket prices, move the charges to some other area of their business model or enact cuts in other areas (safety for example) so they can continue to maintain their profit margins.

This is the nature of the free market. The way to get business to cut fees is to reduce costs, not increase them. If Democrats could find a constructive way to help airlines reduce costs (simplify burdensome and redundant regulations, enact policies to reduce energy costs, reduce taxes on the airlines, etc.) perhaps we would see the fees disappear. Instead, the administration and the majority in Congress have taken precisely the opposite approach. They’ve chosen at every juncture to villainize and punish private industry in an effort to force the outcomes they believe should happen. As Shirley Sherrod demonstrates above, they’ve just identified a different bad guy. They’ve found an alternative way to divide the citizens they allegedly seek to help.

A few minutes later in her speech, Sherrod goes into a painfully simplistic narrative about indentured servitude and the alleged origins of racism. Evil “elites” sinisterly “created the racism that we know of today … they did it to keep us divided.” Sherrod announces that we have to get that (racism) “out of our heads” because the only real difference between us is that “the folks with money want to stay in power.” Thus, she accomplishes precisely what she accuses previous generations of cynically trying to do: she divides the population along arbitrary lines of distinction.

Sherrod’s revelation – much like the administration she recently departed – was not that everyone should be working together. It’s that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be divided by race. Instead, we should allow ourselves to be divided by wealth. To which this blog respectfully responds: What the hell’s the difference?