I Don’t Think Human Rights Means What They Think It Means

I hate to tromp all over my last post but this just crossed my desk and I’m just … dumfounded:

A former Metro councilman known for spearheading Nashville’s failed English-only referendum is set to serve on the board of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission after receiving an appointment from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

Eric Crafton, long ridiculed by Democrats for his unsuccessful push in 2009 to make English the official language of Metro government, will begin his service on the nine-member volunteer board Friday after getting the nod from Ramsey last month.

I’m sure Sheila Butt was unavailable.

Here’s a medley of Eric Crafton’s hits.


Filed under English Only, Eric Crafton, Nashville, Tennessee

13 responses to “I Don’t Think Human Rights Means What They Think It Means

  1. Caucasian, English speaking, Christian, Capitalist Human Rights Commision. There, I fixed it.

  2. Beale, THANK YOU for this compilation. Not that I feel my life would be incomplete if I didn’t know about yet another bigot, or needed the irony of his current appointment. I welcome both and will enjoy reading the complete “Crafton File.” But that didn’t deserve the bolded, all caps ‘thanks.’
    What caused that was the fact that I have been looking for a good example of how the Internet has changed over the past six years — and, I’d argue, had done most of the changing by the middle of 2010 — and your post on “The Humiliation of Eric Crafton” gives it to me.
    (And don’t take this as a personal criticism. Yes, you have changed some — for more reason than just the passing of time and the aging process — but you are still far closer to my idea of a blogger than most, you still do the work, you still believe that your work has a chance to actually be effective in changing things. That’s why you are one of the four blogs I check daily, along with Steve Benen — whatever my complaints about his commenters, he’s still the most indispensable daily read out there — PFAW’s Right Wing Watch, and DESERT BEACON. A few more, like the indispensable Lamar White, aren’t on this list because they don’t usually publish daily.)

    But let me repeat some quotes to you from “The Humiliation…”

    Sean Braisted calls the office of the clerk of the California State Assembly and learns that no, all state Assemblymen and women speak English.

    Southern Beale calls the office of the Secretary of the state Senate and learns likewise that all California state Senators speak English.


    We’ve learned that bloggers will do what New York Times reporters will not: namely, make a couple of quick phone calls.


    Brilliant! This is why I love blogs.

    Me, too, which is why that was what bloggers were like today. Back then they, you, saw yourself as an active and effective part of the political world, a ‘new form of journalist,’ You did the work. You dug out the stories and publicized them, maybe you passed them on to better known or more widely read bloggers, and you hoped/expected they would be picked up by political professionals and used in campaigns or by newspaper or tv newsmen.
    At the very least, bloggers considered themselves as part of the GOTV effort — it’s obvious, but I should state that ‘blogger’=’progressive blogger.’ And many times, particularly on Steve Benen’s CARPETBAGGER REPORT, it seemed as if half the commenters were ‘reporting in’ after a few hours stuffing envelopes or making phone calls.
    And it worked. No, and it worked. (It deserves the emphasis.)
    Remember, it was a BLOGGER who recorded and publicized George Allen’s ‘macaca.’ This didn’t just elect Jim Webb, it sidelined someone who had been a front-runner for 2008.
    It was BLOGGERS who publicized Conrad Burns’ sliminess. I don’t know if the number of voters they got out changed the results, but I am sure that the constant drumbeat raised enough money for Tester that the two factors are the reason for his election.
    There were other examples in 2006 and even more in 2008. It was bloggers — along with Howard Dean’s ’50-state, 535 seat’ strategy — that had a LOT to do with the fact that not one Senate seat — and very few House seats — turned from red to blue in either election.

    I’d even argue that Team Obama’s welcome of and coordination with bloggers played at least a noticeable part in his victory over the less blogger oriented Hillary.

    Things changed, though, and soon. And because I am not sure if WP has a character limit, I’ll discuss that in another comment.

    • The main reason things have changed on my blog is that I no longer have the time to devote to it. I wish I had all day long to do nothing but vent about the state of local politics and follow up on stories of my own choosing but sadly I have a job now …

  3. Sorry for going on so much — I expect this will take at least one more long post after this, and it is, basically, OT — but this has, somehow, given me a unifying factor to make a point some of you must be sick of me saying. But I think it is important, and if you think it is too much waste of space, feel free to chop it out.
    [Before I go on, let me add the one example from 2008 that might have been the most important. That was Jeanne Devon and MUDFLATS, warning us what this unknown Governor on the ticket was like.]
    Anyway, by 2010 this had changed a lot. Some of it was Washington. Obama was a bit of a disappointment during the first two years. Not as far as accomplishment went, he got an incredible amount done. (Even then, for some of us — me definitely included — no accomplishment could have matched our hopes. The Peace Prize before he took office, the NEW YORKER cover, our reams of a New FDR with a New New Deal — that wasn’t going to happen. FDR had a country that had seen 3 years of Republican Incompetence, already had the country revolting from the GOP. Obama actually solved things so fast that we forgot how near 1929 it had seemed. And FR was a better — and trickier — politician than Obama was and had actually been Governor of New York.)
    But, in honesty, Obama was great on getting things done, and absolutely horrible on getting people to know what he had done. “Messaging” was an absolute disaster. What’s more, he held on to his elusive — and, in fact, illusory — search for ‘bipartisanship.’ (And maybe that showed how little the elected Obama paid attention to even a blog like Steve Benen’s, or MEDIA MATTERS, both of which were detailing, almost every day, Republican open recalcitrance, and stressing how it was Rush, and not the elected leaders or nominal heads, who was truly speaking for Republicans when he said they should ‘let him fail. I don’t care what it does to the country, we have to make him a failure.’)
    Another thing happened that also affected us. Tim Kaine abandoned the 50-state strategy and went back to the old ‘don’t waste money on contests you aren’t sure you can win.’ (Somewhere there is a list of the uncontested districts in the last four elections. Will somebody link to it?) That effected the blogosphere as well. A lot of very Progressive blogs came from reddish-purple and pure red states. They were ready to fight, hoping to build strength for the long run, and maybe pull off surprises if Republicans stumbled — but they had no one, or no even semi-serious challenger to work for. (And at least one actual candidate told me that he had simply asked the DNC for a list of donors in his area and was refused.)

    But maybe as bad was that a lot of bloggers were invited to become ‘real, professional journalists.’ Which was great for them, but, as far as the professional politicians were concerned, it sure seemed like they figured that ‘with the top bloggers now professionals, no need to pay much attention to the rest — and the news shows, local and national, pretty much went along. (The pols still kept some ties with ‘state blogs’ but not with the individuals, afaik, and if I’m wrong, please let me know.)

    There’s at least one more factor — but that will wait until tomorrow morning and less fog of sleep. .

    • I agree Obama got a lot more done than he’s given credit for. It hasn’t helped that the Tea Shouters and Republican’ts have basically taken over the microphone and heap disrespect on him at every turn. Moments like “you lie” have overshadowed his work to pull us out of an economic tailspin, and the way the right has poisoned “Obamacare” they will never let that be seen as an accomplishment.

      • Just had a guy tell me last night that he’s seen nothing positive come of Obamacare. Same guy told me a few months ago that his pregnant daughter and her hubby (both have AT LEAST a Master’s degree) were gettin’ alla that sweet, sweet pregnantmommycare, cuz they couldn’t afford no health insurance. Not sure if he’s stupid or just willfully blind.

      • Probably both …. but I love a guy who says HE’S seen nothing positive come from Obamacare. IOW, it hasn’t benefited him directly, personally, whatever. So it sucks and Obummer sucks. Because it’s all about me me me me me me me me …

  4. Beale, I expect to get the next part of my ‘monster’ up later today — and thanks for letting me — but I am going to jump ahead and challenge you and your readers. I believe that your series of “2nd Amendment Heroes” is one of the most impressive series, one that can actually reach the average voter — if they see it. But, as I expect to make a major point in ‘pt. 3’ we spend too much time ‘talking among ourselves’ and too much time talking about politics instead of doing politics.
    SO I have a challenge for you and your readers. Turn that series into a real, printed, pamphlet. Find some stores that will hand it out, offer some to bloggers elsewhere. Get contributions — and I will match the first $100 you get (I wish it could be more, but while I am finally comfortable, my wife has understandable anxieties about her future (she’s 18 years younger than I am.) if you start this. If need be, contact the original papers and if you can, run the whole story as it originally ran — and maybe any updates. (I can help with the research on that as well, since I like digging through internet newspaper archives.)
    Distribution and money is your department — and believe me, you don’t want me anywhere near it, my history shows I am able to lose money faster than you’d believe — but I think once this starts getting around, other bloggers will contribute, or send you money for a number of copies they could distribute.
    You might even look into the arrangement one author — who does pamphlets on marijuana vaporizers that he updates regularly and sells for a nominal fee ($.99) on Kindle — has with Amazon. (Wish I could remember the name, I’ll add it later.)

    Anyway, this is the sort of thing we should be thinking about and actually doing. We’re the Demiocratic Party, the DNC works for us, but let’s do some of our own work — and maybe we’ll actually inspire some real Democrats to take on the Senators and Representatives that should be such big targets.

    Or we could wait for the Cosmic Referee to come down and penalize Republicans like Alexander five yards and loss of down, or even for ‘flagrant fouls’ like those of Cruz and Cotton, send them to the penalty box with ‘game misconducts.’ (Hey, it’s better than most theological fantasies, and as likely.)

    • Intriguing challenge … and definitely a worthwhile one! Let me give it some thought. It would be far more influential in the hands of one of the Moms Demand Action groups, who could distribute it more widely than me. But let me give it some thought.

      • If someone else can better handle distribution, great. All I want to see is that pamphlet out there. (Any chance of you knowing someone who could illustrate it? Other commenters? Not me, btw. I’ve been trying to get somebody to do me one Christmas Card for almost 45 years now, and have no drawing talent in my hands at all.)

        You’ll get enough challenge just setting it up, I suppose — and anything I can do to help that, let me know.

      • I don’t know anyone in the pamphlet making business, unfortunately. And my time is so limited I can barely write a blog post, let alone take on a monumental task of this nature. But if someone wants to use the information here for such a thing they can. This is all links from local newspapers so it’s not like it’s privileged.

      • Actually, there’s an easy way of doing the pamphlets without having to deal with cutting and folding giant sheets, A person can run the pages off on his copier, take two pages of stiffer paper for front and back covers, use heavy staples at two or three places along the left side, then get wide tape and cover the staples, then trim the edges of the tape. (It is actually easier to do than to describe. It is the way they used to — and may still — produce legal briefs, and I learned the knack in about 30 minutes — and I am a world-class klutz.)

        I’d actually be glad to do some part of it, if there were any way of dealing with the problems of shipping, but I am unable to actually prepare the originals. I have three computers, but two of them are very wonky, and the one good one doubles as the tv, so I’d be unable to commandeer it for the time it would take.

        What I CAN do, if I know someone is working on it, is the research on the updates. (And another thing that won’t take long is to do a quick count so I can see how large a job it would be, and how far back we should go. I’ll post that tomorrow.) I can’t and won’t (because of long experience of failure) take this on by myself or take the lead on it. But I’ll do anything I can to support and work with someone who offers to do it, and even try and work out some sort of mock-up that I can send to give someone an idea of what the thing will look like and entail — probably one without the original complete newspaper story and the updates, which would, I assume, be on the left hand pages. Just screen shots of the original posts and the ‘brief-like’ technique for doing them.

        What anyone who is not involved in producing this can do, once it is underway, is to talk to local libraries, book stores, and stores that are likely to appeal to progressives, and see if the owners would be willing to put them around to be taken. (The other job somebody — and not me — will probably need to do is to find some people willing to back this. It won’t be that expensive, really, but a few contributions will help.)

        I’ll try and give a further bit on this tomorrow, along with Part 3 of the longer discussion. Thanks again for letting me go on like this, and if you ever want me to shut up, just tell me.

      • That’s not even what I was thinking of. I was thinking of the actual copy and design part of the thing. That’s incredibly time consuming.