Tuesday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh devoted a segment of his show to the possibility that Establishment Democrats were looking for a way to exile new Congressional sensation Alexandria "Sandy" Ocasio-Cortez (Naïf-N.Y.).
With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, nobody would know who she is outside of New York City if it weren’t for the national Drive-By Media.

So the day’s gonna come. The day is gonna come when somebody is gonna tell somebody to take her out, and this is why so many people have been paying attention to the Democrat dinosaur leadership in the House reacting to her and this new band of Millennial freshmen that she’s leading around. Do not misunderstand something. The Democrats are thought to be unified, and they are when it comes to agenda items and objectives and their collective hatred for us.

But they’re like any other organization. There’s a pecking order, there’s a leadership, and it takes a lot of time and work and devotion and trust to get into that small leadership circle. This is one of the things that’s always amazed me about the left and journalists. The journalists have always pushed communist leaders and dictators. They’re somehow enamored of them. They envy their power. They would be the first people sent to jail in a legitimate communist takeover!

They would not be invited to all the cocktail parties and the policy discussions. They’d be packed off to jail along with their computers, typewriters, phones, and whatever else they use to report the news. They would be silenced and shut up. They’re the first to go, and they do not realize this. Well, in the Democrat Party leadership, Nancy Pelosi… I don’t care what you think of her. You may think she’s out to lunch. She may be turning a little out of it and so forth.

But make no mistake about something: She runs that place, and there’s no upstart little crumb cruncher that’s gonna come along and change that. If these upstarts go too far in challenging her, they are gonna be taught a lesson. As is the case with all young upstarts, they are fearless and think that the old people are just a bunch of old people that don’t get it anymore. Their time has come and passed, and it’s just a matter of time before they wield control of the baton from these aging dinosaurs.
Perhaps so, and yet, to borrow from Thomas Kuhn, paradigms shift one election, and sometimes, one funeral at a time.

Although Mr Limbaugh uses some comments the new representative makes about the New Deal as illustrations of her naivete, or perhaps as reasons for the Combine to talk with some friends of their friends in Carnarsie, what's really going on might be yet another attempt to extend the power of the Administrative State.
The New Deal, up until this crowd came along, was the signature achievement of the Democrat Party. It was FDR. The New Deal is what formalized the idea that Democrat voters are forever dependent on Washington and thus the Democrat Party. The new deal launched the idea that government could provide for, take care of for everybody who can’t take care of themselves and the numbers of people that can’t take care of themselves will grow exponentially as the Democrats start making the illusion they’re taking care of people.

The New Deal was the thing Democrats were the most proud of. It was the thing that sent them on to party dominance. The New Deal. FDR. You can’t find a bigger hero. And here comes this guy, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who’s also a race activist as well as being a so-called left-wing intellectual asking Ocasio-Cortez, “How we escape the perils that overtook us during the New Deal, which actually in many cases opened up a wealth gap?"
"New Deal," which Silent Generation relics have often invoked in reverential terms, as if simply saying its name turns away objections the same way a crucifix turns away the Devil, is, yes, the received rubric of Democrats, with the hagiography comprising Franklin, John, Lyndon, and Barack, while Harry, Jimmy, and Bill are faithful acolytes.

President Roosevelt, however, did have to hold together a coalition of industrial-state factory workers, academic brains trusters, and Southern Democrats, and the current insurgency of young ethnic Democrats might be the final fracture of that coalition.
Social Security was the foundational building block of the New Deal. It made people Democrats forever and for the rest of their lives. Now all of a sudden here comes these upstarts with the idea that there was some kind of wealth gap because of the New Deal. I can’t wait to hear what Ocasio-Cortez says about this.

CORTEZ: People think about reparations as reparations for slavery. But really, economically speaking, reparations are for the damage done by the New Deal and redlining because that is where we saw a compounding of the existing inequity from the legacy of slavery where we drew red lines around black communities and we said white communities will get home loans and they’ll get access to the basic bedrock of wealth in America, and this will be your heirloom.

RUSH: What?

CORTEZ: And we gave white America an heirloom that appreciated over time that people still benefit from today and we did not give that to African-American, Mexican communities, Puerto Rican communities.

RUSH: Oh, man, this is news. The Democrats abandoned people of color in the New Deal? You young-uns out there may not realize the blasphemy that she just said. The New Deal was the Democrat Party’s signature achievement. Before the Great Society and all the other garbage that LBJ did, the New Deal was the gold standard. Now here comes this bunch claiming that it left out African-Americans, that it left out Puerto Ricans, that it left out Mexicans, and it gave the heirloom to white Americans, and…
The Democratic coalition was primarily Americans of European extraction. Thus the Davis-Bacon Act might have been a compromise to safeguard union rights nationwide, without antagonizing those Southern politicians who might otherwise have denounced any protection of organized labor as communistic.  The federally funded demonstration greenbelt communities were, explicitly, sundown towns.  There's a notorious example, to this day, of a real wall, as well as more than one implicit wall, separating Detroit from its northern suburbs.

Now, if the representative is ready to clean up the political machines that have contributed to the continued privation in the more diverse districts of the country, good for her.

I'm not sure that she is.
The inequities, the legacy of slavery drew red lines around the black communities? And they say Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Red lines around the black…? She doesn’t even know what a red line is! We drew red lines around the black community? You can find them on the map. She’s probably saying she’s go looking for the red lines around Harlem. They’re there. You’ll see ’em if you get the right map.

White communities will get home loans and they’ll get access to the basic…? Does she not even know what caused the financial crisis in 2008? It was mortgages for people that couldn’t pay them back, and this access to money for home loans will be your heirloom and we gave white America an heirloom that appreciated over-time…? So people that have anything didn’t work for it. It was given to them by the New Deal, but the New Deal shafted minorities.

Folks, you get people like Brokaw or Pelosi or any of the other of ’em hearing this and this is panic time. “We can’t allow this…” I mean, the Republicans haven’t been able to damage the New Deal, and the New Deal was a disaster for America. Don’t misunderstand. It was an absolute disaster! Because it created the whole idea… The purpose of the New Deal was to create Democrat voters in perpetuity. The New Deal was to Americans as illegal immigration is to the Democrats today.

It was about creating a permanent underclass that would forever vote Democrat by giving ’em just enough to not have to eat medicine for food, just enough, just enough to keep ’em out there and voting Democrat for maybe a couple of more crackers next year, all the while blaming Republicans for not giving you five crackers when the Democrats can come up with three. So it was about creating a permanent Democrat majority via creating a permanent underclass, and they’re redoing the New Deal here with amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But she’s coming along and ripping the whole concept of the New Deal as racist. Ha-ha. Republicans can’t even get away with this, and we’ve tried. Okay. There’s one more, and this is the piece de resistance. Talking here to Ta-Nehisi Coates interviewing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I’ve warned everybody that the millennial population of this country has been poisoned. They’ve been propagandized and brainwashed that the nation is ending, the world is.
Mr Limbaugh is an entertainer with a political point of view, not a student of urban policy.  Had he done more show preparation, he might have found "Washington Forced Segregation on the Nation" in Reason.
When Franklin Roosevelt became president, the nation was facing a desperate housing shortage. Many black and white working families lived in neighborhoods that, while integrated, could rightly be described as slums. To improve the quality of housing, as well as to provide jobs for construction workers, one of the first New Deal agencies, the Public Works Administration (PWA), demolished housing in many such integrated neighborhoods and built explicitly segregated housing instead. The policy created racial boundaries where they had not previously existed or reinforced them where they had taken root, giving segregation new government sanction. In Atlanta's "Flats," the government demolished a neighborhood that was about half white and half black to build a public housing project for whites only, with a separate project for African Americans farther away. In St. Louis' DeSoto-Carr neighborhood, housing in a similarly mixed neighborhood was demolished to build a project for African Americans only, with a separate project for whites built in a different part of the city.

This, it should be emphasized, was not primarily a program for the South or border states. In Northern and Midwestern states, the federal government's New Deal programs and local housing agencies worked together to create segregated patterns that have persisted for generations. In his autobiography, The Big Sea, the African-American poet and novelist Langston Hughes described going to high school in an integrated Central Cleveland neighborhood where his best friend was Polish and he dated a Jewish girl. The PWA cleared housing in that area to build one project for whites and another for African Americans. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Central Square neighborhood between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was about half white and half black at the beginning of the 1930s. The federal government demolished integrated housing there to create two racially separated projects.
The proper point of disagreement with the representative over housing policy is over what is to take the place of the failed government policies, more khrushchobas in the best Soviet fashion, or more commercial freedom and less restrictive zoning.

The Great Society programs, whether you call them urban renewal or model cities, only compounded the situation the representative is referring to.
Urban public housing combined with FHA-subsidized whites-only suburbs to create a "white noose" around urban black families that persists to this day. Every metropolitan area suburbanized in the mid-20th century, with all-white subdivisions surrounding an urban core where African Americans were concentrated. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act permitted African Americans to access previously white neighborhoods, but it prohibited only future discrimination, without undoing the previous 35 years of government-imposed segregation.

This had not just social but economic consequences as well. In suburbs such as Levittown, Lakewood, and San Lorenzo, houses in the 1940s and '50s sold for about $100,000 (in today's inflation-adjusted currency), twice the national median income. FHA and Veterans Administration amortized mortgages made such homes affordable for working-class families of either race, but only whites were allowed. Today, all are technically welcome, but homes in these places can sell for $400,000 (or more), seven times the national median income—unaffordable to working-class families of either race. Consequently, whites who suburbanized with federal protection in the mid-20th century gained $300,000 (or more) in equity that could be used to pay for a child's college education, care for their elderly parents, subsidize their own retirement income, cover medical expenses or other unforeseen economic emergencies, or bequeath wealth to children and grandchildren, who then had down payment funds for their own homes. Black families and their offspring, who largely remained in cities as renters, gained no such security.

Although average African-American family incomes today are about 60 percent of average white family incomes, average African-American household wealth is only about 10 percent of average white household wealth. This enormous disparity is almost entirely the result of unconstitutional federal housing policy in the last century, which explains a good part of the racial inequality that we see all around us.
Perhaps the best thing for the government to do is to go away, or at least to do less.  Dear reader, that's an opportunity to fracture the Democrat's current unstable coalition of urban poor and high-status gentry more effectively than anything the self-styled progressives try.  " If our racial separation stems from millions of individual decisions, it is hard to imagine the millions of private steps it would take to undo it. But if we learn and remember that residential segregation results primarily from forceful and unconstitutional government policy, we can begin to consider equally forceful public action to reverse it."

Meanwhile, if the acolytes of government intervention recognize that President Obama ought not be in the hagiography, as on his watch "[t]he American electorate responded [in 2010, 2014, and 2016] by delivering important losses for the Democrat Party at every single level of government," and that President Roosevelt was just another compromiser keeping the emergent majority down for another fifty years, we might be in for interesting times, and for the possibility of trying new approaches to governance, including governing less intrusively.


Jeff said...

Along these same lines: the Civilian Conservation Corps camps were integrated when they opened but were eventually all segregated, even in the north, apparently not because it's what workers in the camps wanted, but because it's what Southern politicians and Director Fechner wanted. African Americans in the camps were denied most leadership roles, but at first Fechner grudgingly let them serve in white camps as cooks—the job for which he felt they were best suited—before segregating them later. I'm left to wonder whether the course of 20th-century American race relations might have run a bit more smoothly if the government hadn't further put its imprimatur, so to speak, on segregation.

I'm not a fan of Ocasio-Cortez, whom I find childish and wildly overrated, but she clearly took a serious critical look at New Deal programs, presumably in a college class. I'll give her credit for acknowledging that those programs had down sides.

Stephen Karlson said...

I'm left to wonder whether the course of late 20th century race relations might have run more smoothly if the federal government had withdrawn the imprimatur the states had put on segregation by finding all laws compelling segregation unconstitutional.