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Jason Holliston
Thursday, August 19, 2004  
One Reason Why People Hate Politicians

This is the kind of thing that drives me insane, and is one of the reasons why I started this blog in the first place. Alan Keyes, a senatorial candidate from Illinois, has now come out in favor of reparations for slavery. His reasons are more transparent than air. I'll copy in the quotes selected by Eugene Volokh from the Volokh Conspiracy.

Keyes from a couple days ago:

Keyes proposed that for a generation or two, African-Americans of slave heritage should be exempted from federal taxes ? federal because slavery "was an egregious failure on the part of the federal establishment." In calling for the tax relief, Keyes appeared to be reaching out to capture the black vote, something that may prove difficult to do, particularly after his unwelcome reception at the Bud Billiken Day Parade Saturday...

Keyes from a couple years ago:

Those responsible [for reparations lawsuits] propose to settle the accounts of slavery leaving the Civil War out of the equation ? complete and utter nonsense. The price for the sin of slavery has already been paid, in blood...

Pettifogging lawyers and dishonest scholars will always be able to carp selectively and ignorantly about the warts upon our body politic.

But the truth of the Civil War is that the terrible price for American slavery has been paid, once for all, by the American people's deliberate acceptance of their duty to pay it when, in God's providence, Southern intransigence brought it due...

Wow! A complete flip-flop! What, do you think, has caused him to change his mind so quickly and absolutely? Could it be because he's running against Democratic phenom, and star of the Democratic National Convention, Barak Obama? The fact is, he's going to get trounced this fall, and he's grasping at any rhetorical life preserver within reach, even if it flies in the face of his long-held ideology.

Compare the above quote with Barak Obama's statement on the matter, taken after Keyes' reversal:

Obama responded to Keyes' comments by saying that the "legacy and stain of slavery is immeasurable," but that he did not believe that the form of reparations backed by Keyes was the proper method to repair that damage.

"I generally think that the best strategies for moving forward involve vigorously enforcing our anti-discrimination laws in education and job training and other programs that can lift all people out of poverty," Democrat Obama said.

Welcome to the wonderful world of politics. The Republican has become an extremist leftist position, and the Democrat has taken a very centrist, almost moderate conservative opinion. Note that Obama said that the best strategy is lift all out of poverty -- none of this discriminatory targeting of the poor of only certain skin colors. Heck, that almost sounds like Rush Limbaugh. I wonder what Obama thinks about affirmative action?

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