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Tushar D

GK,
I have seen that Indians who came here 25-30 years back were staunch Democrats, because of JFK & Bobby Kennedy, I guess. The current bunch of Dems have nothing in common with Jack and Bobby, but old loyalties die hard. I was heartened to see my sis-in-laws son turn into a campus Republican. His father is furious about it, but the kids gotta make up their own mind, and the kids are turning conservative!

GK

Tushar,

Thanks. Newer Indians are more politically mature than their parents, and are more able to assess which party is consistent with the personality traits of the typical Indian. You might find this article fun. Send it to others too.

Gang of One

GK,

The link you provided does not go anywhere ... would very much like to read the article you linked to.
Thank you.

Assistant Village Idiot

I think the Eastern European immigrants of the last few decades would disagree pretty strongly with DeLong, eh?

My two Romanian sons, for example, won't be voting for Democrats anytime in the near future.

Brad DeLong

You are the first person I have seen defend the Republican Party's attack ad on Cranston, RI mayor Laffey.

That makes you truly unique.

GK

Brad DeLong,

Welcome! Actually, I have not defended that ad, and the post in no way even mentions it. I even encourage readers to read your post for context, in the interest of fairness. Please don't create a mischaracterization out of thin air.

What I do question is how such an ad can expand into a sweeping, all-encompassing statement like yours. You are essentially saying all immigrants and their descendants should not vote for any Republicans.

So I hope you can answer the 6 questions I pose. This is your opportunity to persuade me and my readers (who are all descendants of immigrants, and many of whom vote for some Republicans), that your position is one we should adopt.

Raghav

Sigh. Y'know, I think that line was a pretty obvious throwaway comment.

Then he should have no problem with withdrawing it, modifying it, or clarifying it as such, or answering the 6 questions above - GK.

Chuck the Lucky

My parents came from English speaking Europe. Do they count as immigrants or can I think for myself on the issue? How can an economist have any business supporting either political party but the Dems especially? Don't the Democrats effectively look at economics text books so they can do exactly the opposite? (Republicans just guess so the are right half the time.)

Isn't a thriving free market economy (which Democrats see as evidence of greed and lack of compassion) one of the main reasons why immigrants move to America? That and the desire for freedom which both parties are equally selective in supporting.

I have to admit that I did not read the original because I don't really care what his thoughts on politics are. The statement is pretty clear and the fact that he lumps you in with those who are running "attack ads" about him make me wonder if he is running for the Generalizer of the Month award. That and the fact that he quotes Kos (I wonder if Jews count as immigrants - Kos probably would say no) is enough to make actually reading the whole post an unlikely event.

moderate center

Brad de Long's posting was about a very specific Republican attack ad that attempts to scare voters against voting for a Democrat. The ad implies that this Democrat had, by not supporting more draconian anti-immigrant polciies, implicitly allowed foreign terrorists and criminals into the country. See the ad. It's the plainest form of anti-immigrant fearmongering you can imagine, the kind of stuff that plays to people's racist base instincts.
de Long's posting was very plainly and explicitly directed at this ad, hence the statement "Nobody Who is an Immigrant or the Descendant of Immigrants has any Business Voting Republican" can and only should be read as saying, how can you be a Republican and not denounce this ad.
He was not questioning Republicans stances on taxes, abortion or anything else. Nor would he.
So I think you basically misunderstood and misconstrue his posting. Surprisingly you also posted a lengthy entry without once commenting on the repugnant ad. So this reader of your blog is left wondering where you stand on the use of this kind of Republican advertising?

GK

moderate center,

I don't agree with your assessment. I did say that readers should read his whole post for context, to be fair. Re-read the article.

DeLong's statement does appear to be about all immigrants (and their descendants) and all Republicans. He could clarify and amend his statement very easily, if he does not mean to generalize. He could also answer the questions. But he has yet to provide any evidence that this is not what he really thinks.

Raghav

I hope this doesn't sound insulting, because it honestly isn't meant to be. But let me hazard a guess that one of the more popular econ bloggers doesn't really have time to bandy words or issue clarifications on every random blog around. God knows he's impatient enough during office hours!

I'm glad you asked people to read the post for context; if you ask me, the tone is obviously tongue-in-cheek, with a title like "Republicans Eat Their Young!" and "Orders have just come down from Kos to post this. I have no choice". Are you going to demand figures on the voting patterns of intra-family cannibals from him?

Gang of One
But let me hazard a guess that one of the more popular econ bloggers doesn't really have time to bandy words or issue clarifications on every random blog around.

I dunno Raghav, seems he had enough time to protest GK's original article, neh?

Jabba

I wish Brad DeLong would have the balls to answer GK's questions. GK would've flattened him in a debate, and DeLong knows it.

And this man is a Harvard PhD. If this is the deepest intellect the Left has to offer, their ranks are intellectually weaker than we thought.

Josh

Oh please. Someone who calls his political enemies "An anti-American fifth column" looks ridiculous complaining about DeLong's hyperbole.

GK

Josh,

As usual, you resort to mischaracterizing my positions as that is the only way you postpone your defeat in debates with me.

17% of the US population views the US negatively. I say 8-10% comprise of a fifth column. 90-92% are not a fifth column. This has been explained many times over on this blog, and we will not repeat it here.

Now. back to the original subject : Brad DeLong's sentence, on which I want a response from him only, not from Josh or other subject-changing apologists.

Josh

I see you apparently don't know what fifth column means. It means traitorously or subversively working to undermine one's country. It does not mean "viewing the US negatively." This type of imprecision and inability to stay focused on the issue may be the reason why our debates consist of me making a series of cogent points which completely defeat your position, while you flail about wildly and introduce irrelevant matters to distract from the obvious conclusion that your arguments are rather weak and superficial.

GK

Josh,

Again, you mischaracterize my position into a strawman, simply because you cannot rebut it accurately. I did not say that the 17% who perceive America negatively are the same as the fifth column. You have to pretend that I do in order to survive further. Just like you lied about me saying 'all my political enemies are branded as fifth-columnists'. Where have I said that all Democrats are fifth-columnists?

And that is why you've lost every debate we've had here, because I answer your questions but you avoid mine, unless you can mischaracterize them.

I believe 8-10% of the US population are an active fifth column, engaging in activites such as donating money to terrorists, making troops out to be criminals, seeking to undermine counterterror measures like the Patriot Act, opposed even to the War in Afghanistan, saying America deserved 9/11, etc. The data to support this is provided throughout this blog.

I'll make this simple. Is Adam Gadhan a traitor to the US, or not? How about John Walker Lindh, or Ward Churchill?

Josh

The 8-10% aren't your political opponents?

You're apparently unfamiliar with the meaning of the terms treason and subversive. Ward Churchill doesn't fit the bill. Your inability to draw these important distinctions contributes to your sorry performance in our debates.

kevin lyda, co. galway

moderate center: Good description, but this paragraph had a flaw:

"Brad de Long's posting was about a very specific Republican attack ad that attempts to scare voters against voting for a Democrat. The ad implies that this Democrat had, by not supporting more draconian anti-immigrant polciies, implicitly allowed foreign terrorists and criminals into the country. See the ad. It's the plainest form of anti-immigrant fearmongering you can imagine, the kind of stuff that plays to people's racist base instincts."

No, it was Republican ad attacking a *Republican*. Not a Democrat. Chafee is running against Laffey in the Republican *primary*. Chafee is widely viewed as a "liberal Republican" and Laffey is widely viewed as a "conservative Republican."

I do find it interesting this blogger chose not to mention the content of the ad or the fact that the national Republican party sees fit to so brazenly insert itself into a state primary.

GK

Josh,

I asked you a question :

"Is Adam Gadhan a traitor to the US, or not? How about John Walker Lindh, or Ward Churchill?"

To which the best you could do is squeal :

You're apparently unfamiliar with the meaning of the terms treason and subversive. Ward Churchill doesn't fit the bill. Your inability to draw these important distinctions contributes to your sorry performance in our debates.

So you cannot even bring yourself to admit that Adam Gadhan, John Walker Lindh, and Ward Churchill are traitors, anti-Americans, helping the enemy, etc? Choose whatever precise terminology to categorize them you want, but I doubt you can concede that they support harm towards America.

That says it all.

You've lost all our debates, and there is a vast written record here to prove it. All you do is distort and mischaracterize my sentences to mean something other than what I said, while simultaneously avoiding uncomfortable questions I pose to you.

You can believe you've won, but you probably also think John Kerry won the 2004 election but had votes stolen from him, so your ability to assess victory and defeat are questionable at best.

This explains your psychology.


Josh

Gadhan, if what's alleged about him is true, is obviously a traitor. As is Lindh. I didn't think such a silly question really merited a response. Churchill, as far as I know, has done nothing more than express his opinion. That's not treason.

Choose whatever precise terminology to categorize them you want, but I doubt you can concede that they support harm towards America.

And it follows from the fact that these three men wish harm to America (although only two of them have done anything serious about it), that 8-10% of Americans are traitors and subversives? It's this kind of ill-founded leap in logic, sadly typical of your postings, that keeps you from convincing anyone not predisposed to agree with you.

Another error here is your implicit assumption that "wish[ing] harm to America" makes someone a member of a Fifth Column. All those who are in a "Fifth Column" wish harm to America, but not all those who wish harm to America are part of a Fifth Column. Here, either you don't recognize the distinction, or you're affirming the consequent, another common fallacy.

This explains your psychology.

I have been pleasantly surprised by your avoidance of blatant ad hominem fallacies. Until now, that is. Please don't let your frustration at your inability to make a solid, well-founded argument drive you to committ still worse sins against logic.

In any event, it is unclear what that link is intended to illustrate, other than you are impressed by people who argue in the same sweeping and unsupported fashion that you favor yourself.

If you'd be a bit more self-critical and less sweeping in your generalizations, your arguments would be much more interesting. It'd be great to have some conservatives who were able to make the conservative case soundly and seriously. They used to be more common. I've begun to suspect that 6 years of electoral victory and easy gloating have dulled, on the whole, tended to dull their political intellects and made their thinking a tad sloppy.

Eric Blair

I happened to attend, in 2002, a small reenactment commemorating a battle of the revolutionary war that happened in New Jersey. A congressman and a couple of State represetatives came down to say a few words in commemoration. One of the state representatives was obviously an Indian immigrant, complete with accent, and he thanked everybody attending, for remembering the revolution and the founding fathers, who created a country where as he said, "I could come to, become a citizen and a success and get elected to public office by my fellow citizens." Very stirring stuff, really. Oh, and he was a Republican.

De Long is blathering clown. Who should be treated as such.

ATS

Josh,

What do you say is the correct way to stop Islamic terrorism and its state sponsors such as Saddam Hussein and Iran?

ATS

Josh,

Also, if what President Bush and the Republicans are doing is not effective in fighting and stopping terrorism against the US, then tell us (a.) exactly what is wrong about what they are doing, and (b.) what in your opinion would be more effective in keeping America and other countries safe from terrorist attacks?

Assistant Village Idiot

Josh attempts to make some reasonable and important distinctions, but I think he leaves out the change in what we have called treason, subversion, fifth-column activities over time. Much of what is now considered acceptable if distasteful discourse, such as Ward Churchill's comments, would have been considered treasonous in the broad sense in most past eras and virtually every culture the world has known. We may be correct now and the rest of history wrong, but airy dismissals of anti-American sentiment as not "real" sedition are a new phenomenon. People tended to get fired or even jailed for that stuff until recently.

Assistant Village Idiot

Double post, new subject. I agree that DeLong's original piece was reductio ad absurdum, and not his actual belief. As his writing was not particularly skillful and he includes false dichotomies in other places, the fault that you misunderstood him is not entirely yours. Perhaps you should have seen the irony, but DeLong's snark shows the arrogance of the assumption that it couldn't possibly have been his poor expression, just your poor understanding.

GK

AVI,

That is quite possible, but I did give him the chance to clarify or adjust the statement, at numerous points. By not answering them and trying to sidetrack the issue, he essentially makes himself look worse.

The six questions I pose to him are easy and polite, and he could easily have used them to explain more about what his true beliefs are, if he has confidence that his ideology is the one best suited for immigrants.

Josh

ATS,

This discussion is about which Americans can fairly be characterized as belonging to a Fifth Column. Why in the world do you think Saddam Hussein and Iran are relevant?

People tended to get fired or even jailed for that stuff until recently.

Many common historical practices have been abandoned as a consensus built that such practices were wrong-headed.

BTW, you can still be fired for expressing a political opinion, if you are employed in the private sector. You can even be fired if you are a government employee depending on the nature of your employment and the type of opinion that is expressed.

mishu

Ward Churchill is a liar and a fraud. That doesn't necessarily make him a member of the fifth column.

TM Lutas

If the dead of the 9/11 attacks are innocent civilians, then the attacks were a perfidious war crime done by illegal combatants (both the perpetrators and those attacked officially view this as a war). If the 9/11 dead were guilty of being part of the US war machine, then the precedent of WW II allied bombing gets Al Queda planners like KSM off from war crimes convictions and takes away a propaganda point from the US side. Assisting in achieving the latter is providing aid and comfort to our enemies.

Prof. Churchill's assertions that the dead were "little Eichmans" clearly is aimed at establishing an air of guilt around the victims, supporting the only defense available to Al Queda and is also not remotely defensible as true. It's a propaganda job and the prof. likely knows better.

That is sufficient, in my book, to make Ward Churchill a member of AQs fifth column. Whether he is guilty of treason is a judgment call which I think should ultimately end in Churchill skating on the charge but a fifth columnist? Please. The shoe fits and he'd likely be proud of wearing it.

Maureen

The start of our family in America was an Irishman who immigrated to America with his seven brothers. Less than ten years later, he was one of the first Ohioans to join the Republican Party, and one of the first to leave his farm and tiling business to fight in the Civil War. Before the war, he named his sons for Irish nationalists. When he came back, he named his later sons after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. (His daughters got normal names -- must've left that to their moms.)

Everybody on that side of the family has been Republican ever since. (Except my younger brother, who was influenced by the other side of the family, and is a conservative gun-loving Democrat.) And we aren't plutocrats -- just to cover the ground.

It's possible that our family was too busy being harassed by the KKK Democrats in the 20's and being the only Republicans in a Florida county while doing war work in WWII, to see the Democratic Party in the hagiographic way Mr. DeLong does. Indeed, it's possible that we remember that for a hundred years, the Democratic Party was the party against civil rights.

So I sorta fail to see Mr. DeLong's point. My hardworking legal ancestors should inspire me to join the party that didn't believe in liberty and justice for all? Especially since a study of the national party's positions will reveal that they still don't?

Josh

So, TM Lucas, it's your view that expressing one's opinion makes one a member of a fifth column?

Josh

Should be TM Lutas. Apologies.

Collin

Josh-

If you are saying the victims of the 9-11 attacks deserved it, then yes you are in the 5th column.

If you hold signs at anti-war rally's that say "We support our troops when they shoot their officers" then yes you are in the 5th column. There were a lot of people at those rally's. They were organized by ANSWER. ANSWER is an anti-american pro-socialist/fascist organization that supports many of our enemies. That boosts the 5th column tally quite a bit.

Having spent too much time on college campuses around people who obviously hate this country I think 8-10% is a good estimate of the number of people that want to see the US fail at everything it does, including bringing security and democracy to Iraq. If you hold the position that we should pull out of Iraq immediately then you are either A. Very stupid, or B. Want to see the US lose, or C. Both. Anyone in the B and C category is by definition an enemy of this country because they want to see it lose. That easily encompasses 8-10% or the country's population.

Assistant Village Idiot

Josh, I think you are referring to me as ATS, because it is I that you quote, in at least part of your post. I can understand that you might not find my comments worth reading closely, but I think you would then be wise to refrain from respnding to them.

As to your comment to TMLutas, it is a false dichotomy. Some expressed opinions - "Death to America," for example, might fairly be considered treasonous, fifth-column material. To note this is not the same as declaring all critical opinions to be treasonous. When you have to exaggerate what your opponents are writing, it usually means you can't argue with them on a level field.

Josh

Josh, I think you are referring to me as ATS, because it is I that you quote, in at least part of your post.

Wrong. I quote both of you, as I am responding to both of you. First him, then you.

Some expressed opinions - "Death to America," for example, might fairly be considered treasonous, fifth-column material.

I see you've reached a conclusion. Now all you need is an argument to support it!

If you are saying the victims of the 9-11 attacks deserved it, then yes you are in the 5th column.

Another person has reached a conclusion! In fact, several of them (I won't quote them all, for brevity's sake). Good job! You're one-third of the way to making an argument. You're going about it a bit backwards, though - next time, try starting with premises.

I should clarify that the previous paragraph is directed at Collin. Don't want AVI getting all confused again.

Josh

Erratum: I didn't in fact quote ATS in the comment to which he refers. Rather, I addressed him directly before moving on to AVI, whom I quoted. Gotta keep things crystal clear.

Tman

I think it's hilarious that GK managed to make the Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley look like a complete tool.

Mr. DeLong, you have no response? It just goes to show you that intellectual elitists are simply bullies that run and hide if someone stands up to them. And GK exposes the hypocrisy and utter cluelessness of Mr. Delongs argument.

GK

Tman,

Thanks. Note that his one single response made him look even weaker.

When I was younger, I would have considered a Harvard PhD + UC Berkeley Professor as the apex of brilliance. This was the natural order of global intellectual hierarchy, or so we were told.

Now, a Harvard degree is almost a negative in my mind.

dougjnn

Futurist--

Don't almost all of those Americans have ancestors that immigrated after the Civil War?

I agree with the general tenor of your post and with many of your points, but you're wrong in the quoted language.

I for example do not. A great many Americans do not.

See Fischer's excellent semi popular history "Albion's Seed" which traces the four largest and early English subgroups from their origins in four separate areas of Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and at different social and economic strata in the old country, and the continuing impact of their still quite distinct folkways just a little beneath the surface in America today.

Many of the ancestors of these groups don't have ancestors who arrived since the civil war. Neither for that matter do many who trance their ancestry to Germany (which is also a large group) particularly if they are Christians rather than Jews.

These groups are not negligible in the overall percentage of Americans and might even be a majority, particularly if you lump in this group those whose ancestry is say only 1/8 or 1/4 among post civil war arrivals.

GK

dougjnn,

I think that in sheer mathematical terms, most Anglo-Saxons AND African-Americans have SOME ancestors that arrived after the Civil War.

For example, everyone today has 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, etc.

Of these 8, even if 6-7 date back to the pre-1860 US, 1-2 are post-Civil War arrivals.

I doubt that more than 10% of the US population has all 8 great-grandparents born in the US (as I stated in point 1)). The mathematical odds against this are just too high. Going back even one more generation to the 16 great-great-grandparents makes this even more improbable. One intermarriage at any point is all it takes to make all future descendants 'mixed'.

Gerry

(1)Comment by Dougjnn concerning the study of four "English" groups in "Albion's Seed," is a mistatement because the book refers four "British" groups, including Scots and Irish Quakers and Scots-Irish. (2) The writers statement that 90 percent of Americans are descended from post Civil War immigrants is false. According to a careful statistical analysis performed by the Census Bureau in 2006, 54 percent of whites and almost 100 percent of blacks in U.S. are of pre-1790 origin, and fully 70 percent are of pre-Civil War origin.

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