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John A. Tures
Number of posts: 5
Email address: email
By John A. Tures:
If we learned anything from Edgar Allan Poe’s famed detective C. Auguste Dupin, the best place to hide something is in plain sight. That applies in politics too, especially in the case of the summer’s biggest flop: the Sarah Palin email scandal …
The media hyped it like Hollywood psyched us up for the film “Green Lantern.” And like that film, it bombed with the public. Columnists like Cal Thomas were positively giddy with glee that the emails failed to disclose anything that was politically fatal to Palin’s political prospects.
Why did the Palin email scandal fail to show anything interesting? A lot of it was because the media didn’t really know what to look for.
A recent story titled “Racial flaps dog ‘Bama despite progress” by Jay Reeves of the Associated Press documented several unfortunate racist incidents on the campus. Like so many stories on race, one has to wonder whether such incidents are isolated, or part of a larger trend of racism that never really went away, despite the results of the 2008 election. While stories like Reeves’ imply that the problem is more prevalent than ever, others wonder if this rampant racism is simply a myth.
In the words of cowboy humorist Will Rogers, a myth is “what we know that ain’t so.” Historian Donald Hickey adds “Some of these myths may be true and provable; others may be true but unprovable because of insufficient evidence. The vast majority, however, are untrue or highly unlikely.” During the 2008 election, an extensive poll was conducted to determine the answer to that question: Just how rampant is racism in America?
How is it possible that Democrats could win so many seats in 2006 and 2008, only to give almost all of them back in 2010? It seems that we need to look at the last time such huge swings happened…all the way back to the 1880s and 1890s. Amazingly enough, that time has more in common with politics today than just the electoral results!
Look at the 2006 election, where Democrats won a huge number of congressional seats. They were able to have a decent year for pickups in 2008, augmenting their numbers in the House of Representatives and garnering a filibuster-proof U.S. Senate majority, which is an amazing development considering the Republican majority of 2005-06. Then the Democrats lost 63 seats and several U.S. Senate seats in 2010.
During a bitter Kentucky Senate debate, GOP candidate Rand Paul made headlines by refusing to shake his opponent’s hand. Does such a public action, or non-action, help or hurt? I reviewed the history of the non-handshake for evidence.
Though the debate at the University of Louisville dealt with many issues, the one that took center stage was an ad that the Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway ran about his opponent, according to the Associated Press story “Kentucky Senate Race Turns Bitter In Debate” by Roger Alford and Bruce Schreiner. The commercial questioned Paul’s pro-life religious credentials, citing the story about Paul being part of a group that tied up some gal and took her to a lake to worship an “Aqua Buddha.” Conway claimed that such a group mocked people for their religious beliefs.
Paul concluded by quoting scripture, and noting his involvement with a Presbyterian Church. He then declared he would not shake hands with the man who questioned his religion and left the stage.
It was one of the worst moments any baseball player could experience. Backup infielder Brooks Conrad had made his third error of the game, which would eventually cost his team a critical playoff game, leading to the loss of a series that would end the baseball career for his manager, the legendary Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves.
Boos rained down on him from Braves fans at Turner Field, justifiably outraged that their team could lose when only a strike away from victory. Thrust into the harsh glare of national television only after injuries to key starters Chipper Jones and Martin Prado, the 30-year old rookie seemed destined to join the Fred Merkles, Ralph Brancas, Stan Williamses, Donnie Moores, Bill Buckners, and other players whose fame, or infamy, is tied to baseball failure.
“That’s the loneliest feeling ever for a player,” an announcer quipped.
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