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Reality bites

By Tom Toles

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Friday rant, Kansas edition

Conservatives won the racism battle this week, because they embarrassed the White House with the Shirley Sherrod firing and apology. The issue of conservative media embarrassing themselves is not even a question, because they are past embarrassment. So another short-term victory for you at the expense of long-term damage to everyone else.

And speaking of long-term damage, the new U.S. royalty is pretty much firmly installed by now. All that remains to be bestowed are the titles. The palaces are built and inhabited. If you haven't seen any graphs of what is happening with wealth distribution in the U.S., this is a good one. I think I have the answer to Thomas Franks' question What's the Matter with Kansas?

Americans, for all the brave talk about democracy, crave some royalty. And now we have them, in all their wealth, power and glory. And anyone who claims to believe that power does not follow money hasn't been paying attention. The law can no longer touch these princes of the realm personally, because adjacent to their palaces are their battlemented corporations, which can cover management malefactions by paying occasional fines as a routine cost of doing business. But, but, but... OUR royalty isn't hereditary, one might claim. Doing away with the estate tax on the little princelings takes care of THAT! --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | July 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Comments

I don't know what you're talking about. I've confessed this before, so I'm not a neophyte. Americans do not crave some royalty right wing nor left. You assume a lot and this is what makes you and other liberals dangerous. Do you really think taking wealth away from those who have it will solve your problems?

Posted by: quiensabe | July 24, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

pararanger22: agree with you, "one of his own kind" was a poor choice of words. and yes, if a white person had said something like that, he/she would have been annihilated in the press. similarly, i was taken aback at some in the audience who appeared to cheer Sherrod on when she first spoke in the video of her initial hesitance to help the white farmer. i think this just shows that we are all capable of prejudice, whether we are black or white (or whatever).

Posted by: graphchick1 | July 23, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The new Royalty in the United States comes at taxpayer's expense. Check out the salaries of County Council members in Los Angeles. They receive $171,648 or $14,304 a month. Seems that this Charter City now ties Council members salaries to the raises in Judges salaries which are $178,789 a year plus a $46,436 cash goody basket. Meanwhile the median income of a Los Angeles citizen is $45,000. All of these salaries come from one place, THE TAXPAYER. The rich make their money and don't rely on my tax money for their salary. The Left can play the race card and the class card all they want. But hard working Americans are getting fed up paying these princely sums to public sector employees. A question today in the Post was how to save the Post Office. Easy, get rid of the Postal Worker' Union.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse


Institution of a monarchy is one way to put it. Others are referring to the establishment of an oligarchy.

Any way you put it, a master/slave society is on the horizon.

And many slaves will embrace it and call it Capitalism and invoke "markets" with their "invisible hands" and other long-vanished phantoms.

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | July 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Some folks have managed to climb to higher plateaus than most of us, often through generations of planning and good decision making. It would be wrong to assume that they did not this honestly and therefore owe the rest of us.

When our societal culture turns 180 degress from "somebody must take care of poor me" to "The fault lies not in 'the good fortunes of others' but in ourselves", then this country can begin the economic recovery in earnest.

Posted by: primegrop | July 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

graphchick1:

I agree with everything you said but check out what Sherrod said in other parts of her speech (see below). Can you imagine a white person saying to a black person "take him to one of his own kind"???

Sherrod was railroaded by the media & administration but even though she was recalling an old story, anyone in the administration or government service would have been crushed like a bug for saying something akin to her words below in my opinion. In the full view, she deserves a 'pass' but her speech is still troubling stuff....

[Sherrod: "So I took him to a white lawyer that we had — that had…attended some of the training that we had provided, ’cause Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farmer. So I figured if I take him to one of them that his own kind would take care of him.

That’s when it was revealed to me that, ya’ll, it’s about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white — it is about white and black, but it’s not — you know, it opened my eyes, ’cause I took him to one of his own…”']

Posted by: pararanger22 | July 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

One of the commentators mentioned it above, but one of the aspects of the Shirley Sherrod story that just isn't mentioned enough in my opinion is that our White House leaders (President Obama, his staff, etc) just don't seem to have the cajones to stand up for what is right. And this is an overarching problem in politics as we know it today, not just with the current administration. Maybe I speak for only myself (I doubt it), but the citizenry is TIRED of spin, and politicians trying to save their arses just to appease media outlets and out of control "journalists" whose sole purpose is to incite rather than to contribute to civilized debate. I praise USDA director Vilsack for stepping back, admitting that he had made a mistake in abruptly asking for Sherrod's firing, and then trying to rectify the situation. I wish whoever it was in President Obama's administration who pushed for Sherrod's firing would've had the sense to rise above the race baiting and stood behind this woman who had obviously learned a powerful lesson from that mistake in judgement she made some 20 years ago. The main point of the speech she gave on that tape that Breitbart initially televised with key segments cut out was that she realized it was not race that mattered, but that she had a responsibility to help out the poor - and poverty cuts across all racial lines. She sounds like a woman of integrity, so shame on our current political and journalistic system for judging her so quickly.

Posted by: graphchick1 | July 23, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Being a Jayhawk by birth, through no fault of my own, I took personal offense at Mr. Frank's book, but after I read it I agreed with his premise. And you are, of course, correct in your assummption that the NEW ROYALTY runs this country, and quite poorly in fact, and in keeping with historical Royalties of the past. Maybe we should just "Jayhawk" them all. You may have to do a little research to find out what "Jayhawking" is, but I think you will find the explanation interesting.

Posted by: bavery1 | July 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Kevin71707

Good point but - all the media put out clipped videos - from both sides! That's why you have to fact check! Makes no sense to me whatsoever that no one looked at the WHOLE video before firing someone.

Would you have done that? No - but USG officials at the very highest level did so. How can that happen?

To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure Breitbart knew the video was clipped in such an egregious manner. I know, I know, it looks bad for him too. But all in all, some of the Conservatives did something stupid (Breitbart; O'Reilly) but not coordinated (see Howard Kurtz column) but they should take some lumps too.

Toles refuses to man up and acknowledge that his team screwed up; never does, and its a disappointing and continuous lack of courage.

Posted by: pararanger22 | July 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Tom- How could the White House NOT check the facts or at least talk to the accused before shooting themselves in the foot (or is it mouth)?
They are the fools in this latest "racial prejudice" charade, not the Republican idiot bloggers, who are simply pathetic.
It puts their alleged competence in serious doubt.
J. H.

Posted by: jackhorst1 | July 23, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

How can this - "So, Dear Mr. Toles, man-up and have the courage to throw stones at your own party when they foul up instead of at the other guys. It would be - refreshing."

Reasonably follow this - "1 - Breitbart puts out clipped video of Sherrod making so called racist comments."

Talk about missing the forest for the trees!

Posted by: Kevin71707 | July 23, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

["Toles said: Conservatives won the racism battle this week, because they embarrassed the White House with the Shirley Sherrod firing and apology. The issue of conservative media embarrassing themselves is not even a question, because they are past embarrassment. So another short-term victory for you at the expense of long-term damage to everyone else."]

Dear Toles,

Once again, you miss the forest for the trees. The Conservatives didn't win a thing nor were they competing. The Sherrod mess was an incalculable error on the part of the WH and USDA. Let's review (I know you already know this but let's pretend you don't]:
1 - Breitbart puts out clipped video of Sherrod making so called racist comments.
2 - Vilsack fires Sherrod before 5pm Glenn Beck Show on Fox.
3 - NAACP Chairman Jealous denounces Sherrod.
4 - Glenn Beck actually watches the WHOLE video and doesn't attack Sherrod as assumed by the Administration.
5 - NAACP Chairman Jealous states he was hoodwinked by Fox.
6 - O'Reilly asks for Sherrod's resignation then apologizes next day for getting the facts wrong.
7 - Vilsack apologizes.
8 - WH apologizes.
9 - Everyone else who actually views the WHOLE video still has questions about Sherrod.
10 - Toles receives orders from Democratic Campaign Machine: "Attack Conservatives for their Racist Maneuvers Now!!!"
11 - Toles complies with his Friday rant, yawning "same ole message - but how fun!"

The Dems fumbled, tripped, fell down, and again showed their complete ability to analyze the situation before over-reacting. Howard Kurtz's column in the WP yesterday layed out the REAL facts about conservative complicity (NOT) at Fox or anywhere else.

So, Dear Mr. Toles, man-up and have the courage to throw stones at your own party when they foul up instead of at the other guys. It would be - refreshing.

Posted by: pararanger22 | July 23, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Why does the Post have to have two hyper-partisan liberals as their cartoonists?

I know the Post would never have the intellectual courage to hire a conservative cartoonist, but how about one guy who is capable of drawing a Democrat?

Posted by: bobmoses | July 23, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh please the estate tax does not touch the rich they make trusts that are untouchable; the estate tax affects the middle class far more.

The real issue of that tax is a matter of logic; what the heck gives the government the right to seize the majority of my assets upon my death? That is my money and I should be able to distribute it as I see fit, again this is why you need a trust.

Posted by: flonzy1 | July 23, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

So some people eartn money - lots of money.

Glad to see it.

They also pay most of the taxes.

When do you say "Thanks!"

Posted by: gary4books | July 23, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Mr. T,
It's becoming quite clear you are merely a puppet of the far left. The man tells you what to draw and you do it and now you write a blog and anyone can see your glaring disconnect from reality like isn't the Washington Post doing a week long hit job on the U.S. Intelligence community as you blame others?

Posted by: insanecommenter | July 23, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

When the Left has nothing to say about their policies they either bring out the race card or raise a have and have nots issue. Race or class, can the Left ever be original?

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 23, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Born here or not... He seems to have garnered an "Immaculate Reception".

Posted by: deepthroat21 | July 23, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Tom your references to the Kansas political preference switch reminds me of a line from the Wizard of OZ by Dorthy.
"Toto, I don't think were in Kansas anymore."
The wealthy should have to pay the same tax rate as the rest of US. We should have adopted the Flat Tax long ago and diminished much of the IRS and complicated tax forms along with who you happen to be married too. The majority of the tax revenues are generated by the majority of all of US little people. Even more so by the middle class. That would of created an even bigger reason to preserve the Middle Class.

Our government needs to be less concerned about what people do too each other and more concerned about what it is doing to all of US.


Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | July 22, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Tom your references to the Kansas political preference switch reminds me of a line from the Wizard of OZ by Dorthy.
"Toto, I don't think were in Kansas anymore."
The wealthy should have to pay the same tax rate as the rest of US. We should have adopted the Flat Tax long ago and diminished much of the IRS and complicated tax forms along with who you happen to be married too. The majority of the tax revenues are generated by the majority of all of US little people. Even more so by the middle class. That would of created an even bigger reason to preserve the Middle Class.

Our government needs to be less concerned about what people do too each other and more concerned about what it is doing to all of US.


Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | July 22, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

What an honest to goodness k00k! To the rest of the birther k00ks, Obama is from Kenya, to this birther k00k, Obama is from Nigeria.

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Nonsense, Obama was born in Hawaii, but being the the crafty scam artists he is he operates like any good Nigerian flim flam man, but instead of conning a few individuals with a song and dance about riches, he managed to scam a whole nation.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | July 22, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Remember Macaca? Gotcha media?

Posted by: insanecommenter | July 22, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Tom is correct.

We even see it here in Seattle, where the Billionaires and Millionaires keep treating the actual citizens of Seattle like their serfs, and are trying to force us to pay for their gold-plated Billionaires Tunnel from their tax-exempt properties at Seattle Center and South Lake Union to their private jets at Boeing Field.

Luckily, this is Seattle, and we defeated the WTO, and we're fighting back for Seattle - we've already ousted their Mayor and routed many of them, and they know the public doesn't back them.

Posted by: WillSeattle | July 22, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The Left are the people who get all giddy over Royalty. Look at their love affair with the Kennedy clan. I do believe that they were in the top one percent Mr. Toles, and the fortune was made by stock manipulation and bootlegging. And when things got rough for Teddy he ran to the Hyannis Port compound (Palace) and hid after the accident with Ms. Kopechne. Royalty and benevolent dictators are the dreams of the Left. Any American who works hard and makes his or her fortune and pays their taxes has only the Left to fear. The Left wants alot of that fortune to spread around to failed Government programs. Well, one the Left's Royalty has some explaining to do next Thursday. Charlie Rangel can respond to us about his financial shenanigans and the charges against him. The Left at this moment feels the walls closing in. I just want to sneak up behind a Liberal and say one word, NOVEMBER. Getting the Left to stop wanting other peoples money is like trying to get Nancy Pelosi to move her face.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 22, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Royalty Tommy ol’ boy? So now your Nigerian Messiah is a prince! Seems appropriate though, a good liberal like you probably doesn’t want your heroes to have any of those icky religious affiliations. That’s so 17th century.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | July 22, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse
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What an honest to goodness k00k! To the rest of the birther k00ks, Obama is from Kenya, to this birther k00k, Obama is from Nigeria. Ol' boy SharpshootingPuglist can't tell the difference between Kenya and Nigeria. I will clue you in clueless buckaroo, Nigeria is on the western coast of Africa and Kenya is on the eastern coast. They are a "few" thousand miles apart. It is almost like confusing California and Virginia. Talk about a schooling failure! Embarrasing indeed! What a lamer and n00b! tsk! tsk!

Posted by: bushidollar | July 22, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Royalty Tommy ol’ boy? So now your Nigerian Messiah is a prince! Seems appropriate though, a good liberal like you probably doesn’t want your heroes to have any of those icky religious affiliations. That’s so 17th century.

And speaking of embarrassment, I’d look in the mirror before if I were you before talking about media outlets embarrassing themselves. How many of Wapo’s finest were on Journolist? How many stories were affected by this collaboration? Embarrassing indeed Tommy ol’ boy.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | July 22, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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