Stephen Moore Needs to Read a Book on Rosa Parks
Via Politico: ‘We need to be the Rosa Parks’: Trump ally plans Wisconsin protest of coronavirus restrictions.
Stephen Moore, a member of President Donald Trump’s council to reopen the country, said he is helping to plan a “drive-in” to protest Wisconsin’s stay-at-home orders.
“They’re going to shut down the Capitol — shh, don’t tell anybody,” Moore, a Trump ally who also serves as an outside economic adviser to the president, said in a video posted to a libertarian think tank’s YouTube page earlier this week. “We need to be the Rosa Parks here and protest against these government injustices,” he added.
Protesters in Wisconsin announced a “Freedom Rally” to be held on April 24 after Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 26.
On the one hand, and to try and be super-fair (overly so, actually) for a second: I understand that “Rosa Parks” is a metaphor for standing up to injustice (as her name should be) and that Moore appears to think that these stay-at-home orders are a violation of people’s rights. He cites in the video (which I only watched for a few minutes, I will confess*) the right to assemble and to petition the government to redress grievances. And, I will allow, those are seriously important rights.
To continue to be fair on the other, there’s a problem here (well, several). First, Rosa Parks was protesting systemic, institutionalized racism that had been codified into law for decades (which had been preceded by centuries of slavery). She was not protesting the extension of social distancing on her bus during a pandemic after roughly a month of it being in practice.
There is also the fact that at a similar protest in Michigan this week we saw Confederate battle flags on display. Not exactly on-brand for modern-day “Rosa Parks.”
I accept that there is a debate to be had about how long, and how strict, the current stay-at-home orders should be. I fully understand that certain workers are not able to work (although I am not sure that Moore is especially concerned about, say, the barbers who currently are no earning income–but perhaps that was else in the rather lengthy video).
I would note, too, the “drive-in” that he mentions is an illustration of both the right to assemble and to petition government. As such, what rights are being violated?
There is a legitimate public policy debate to have to balance stay-at-home/various social restrictions to slow transmission of the virus and the fact that such restrictions are costing people income needed to pay their bills. The problem is that these protests are conveniently aimed at states with Democratic governors. I am not sure that the stay-at-home orders in Wisconsin are all that different than the one here in Alabama, yet Stephen Moore is not calling for a new Rosa Parks to visit Montgomery at the moment (thank goodness, for a variety of reasons).
Indeed, the Trump administration has called for social distancing and a limitation on large gatherings (which makes Trump’s LIBERATE tweets all the more bizarre/brazenly partisan). Further, Moore is on Trump’s reopening council meaning he is working for the administration that has also supported stay-at-home and social distancing polices. The reason that the federal government has a council to reopen America is because America is largely closed, and in no small part because of federal guidelines.
I was not impressed with Moore when he was floated as a member of the Fed and I continue to be unimpressed. As I wrote at the time:
He is not an economist, he is an ideologue and a pundit. He is not fit for the position to which Trump wishes to nominate him. But, of course, Trump’s approach to complex issues is far more driven by pundits than experts.
Alas, an evergreen observation in that last sentence.
When asked about all of this during yesterday’s episode of Aló Presidente, Trump provides mostly word salad:
The focus on Democratically-run states is obvious (as is the fact that Trump didn’t even try to answer the Rosa Parks part of the question). The part about Virginia (also going back to the tweets) is especially misleading and irresponsible because the new gun control legislation passed in Virginia has nothing to do with the pandemic or the stay-at-home orders. But Trump is helping to stir up dissent and protest among the more fringe elements of our society with these kinds of assertions.
Back to Moore, he promised the following:
Moore said in the video he had spoken to an unnamed donor in the state who promised to “pay the bail and legal fees” for anyone who gets arrested during the rally
Somehow, I have my doubts about this. If they want to remain anonymous now, how will those arrested (assuming that even happens) going to know whom to call to get their fees paid? This is all just so much nonsense.
*The part I watched came across as an old white guy version of dorm room philosophy, TBH.
You gotta admit, Michigan was a very important state in the confederacy.
The great irony is that anyone prancing around waving a Confederate flag would probably be grossly insulted by being equated with Rosa Parks.
You and I appear to be thinking along the same lines.
Gee, Stephen, tell us how you really feel about Moore. 🙂 Me thinks you’d rather step in dog doo with bare feet listen to Moore’s prattling.
Of course, Moore is representative of the entire Tiny admin. So whomever talks is just so much gas passing.
Stephen Moore is someone who has achieved the escape velocity of a certain point. No longer is he tethered by the gravity of needing to say something useful, or even mildly justified. He floats freely in a domain where the slightest exhalation of any words, no matter how idiotic, propels him in the direction of wherever he wants to go — paid op-eds, speaking engagements, the support of conservative fellow travelers.
It’s at times like this that I ask “What would Jesus do?” and remember the story about him beating the money changers with a whip.
That sounds about right.
Moore’s role in organizing the protests seems to give credence to those who believe these protests are astroturf, rather than real grass roots.
I’m not so sure about that. The right has over the years moved into absurdist territory when it comes to the way they pander to the neo-Confederates while simultaneously attempting to co-opt the civil-rights icons (not to mention Abe Lincoln). Granted, it’s not always the same people, and I’m sure at least some of the older folks waving those flags are still (privately or publicly) cursing MLK and Rosa Parks, but I bet there’s a nontrivial amount of Foxoids who think MLK would have voted for Jefferson Davis.
@Kylopod: Sadly, I have to agree with this as well.
(And how are you feeling?)
I’m surprised nobody has yet weighed in with the obvious: “Or any book, for that matter.”
Well, now Trump is saying that mosques in the U.S. are exempt from the kind of persecution Christian churches are subjected to by the Covid-19 regulations.
Inslee is right. Trump really is inciting Cult45 to violence.
@James Joyner: I honestly expected that to be the first comment.
Funny how often white people use black people as moral exemplars: King, Mandela, Parks. Occasionally it’s brown people or Jews: Gandhi, Jesus.
I wonder why we white people don’t use examples of white people standing up to oppression. I mean, do have no one? I mean, anyone who wasn’t a slave owner? Anyone? And Iron Man doesn’t count.
We commenters are fancy sophisticated types who don’t go for clichés. 😀
@Michael Reynolds: two of my personal heroes are Sir Nicholas George Winton and Hugh Thompson jr.
@Steven L. Taylor: I can’t believe nobody has fixed the title for you: Stephen Moore Needs to STFU
@Michael Reynolds: Abe Lincoln? Elijah Lovejoy? John Brown? Col Robert Gould Shaw?
Oh and they have one of these kabuki dances scheduled for Tuesday in Jeff city MO. GOP Gov, GOP House, GOP Senate, mid 19th century Supreme Court.
Let’s not forget that Moore has a well-documented history of making… what’s the polite way of putting it… racially insensitive comments.
Steven Moore in 2016 during a speech on *health care* (way to stay on topic). More details here: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/watch-stephen-moore-try-to-defend-racist-joke-about-obama.html
GOP gov: Trump’s ‘LIBERATE’ tweets about coronavirus lockdowns aren’t helpful
Yep. Completely bonkers.
@James Joyner: @Steven L. Taylor:
I had that joke loaded up and ready to go. But then I remembered that Prince Jared read a few books and felt that prepared him to roll out a Middle East “peace plan” that seemed designed to start another war . Now I think it may be better that Trump’s advisors don’t read any books. I shudder to think what they would come up with if they actually read about Rosa Parks.
Yes because we’re all too busy reading between the lines of everything Trump says. Things are so quiet around here, I can hear a pin drop. Maybe it is the calm before the storm. Only time will tell.
An interesting question, but any time you try to point to a white person from the United States, you inevitably run into race as an issue. Even if the person was, themselves, not racist (or at least less racist than the times they lived) they often acted in racist ways out of concern for the society around them.
Nothing in America is untouched by race.
@Steven L. Taylor: “I honestly expected that to be the first comment.”
I’m sure he’s read Atlas Shrugged.
@wr: I’m sure he claims to have read Atlas Shrugged. But has anyone actually struggled through the whole thing?
The sci-fi reference that hits me is “Smell the fear”. -Justice League.
They feel the economy is critical in their ability to keep their jobs. The Trumpeteers can sense that when Trump goes so do they. The backlash against his epistemological nihilists can be expected to be harsh.
Steven’s comment indicates that on a 10-scale the fear level in the bunker is currently running somewhere in the high 9s.
I will always be inspired by the story of Rosa Parks, of how she boarded a bus armed only with a Kalishnikov and wearing a red MAGA cap, and pointed her rifle toward a vacant seat in the front of the bus, nodded toward the driver and sat herself down in that seat.
Stephen Moore: “I’m going to say the most stupid comment on the interwebs today”.
Idaho State GOP Legislator: “Hold my beer.”
Stephen Moore looks askance.
A Republican state lawmaker compared Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) to Adolf Hitler because she said that stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic are akin to Nazi extermination camps.
During an interview with a Texas podcaster last week, Idaho state Rep. Heather Scott called the economic shutdown “no different than Nazi Germany.”
“And when you have government telling you that your business is essential or non-essential, yours is non-essential and someone else’s is essential, we have a problem there,” Scott explained. “I mean, that’s no different than Nazi Germany where you had government telling people either you were an essential worker or a non-essential worker, and non-essential workers got put on a train.”
“You can’t take away people’s lives and property without compensation, and that’s exactly what he would be doing,” she later added. “I mean, they are already calling him Little Hitler — Gov. Little Hitler.”
You can’t fix stupid.
Off topic – sort of…
I’ve been lucky to work in the field I love, film and tv production, for a long time. When I was just starting out, I met Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Jack Lemmon, Meryl Streep, Cher, Kurt Russell and many of my film heroes. I’ve worked with Keanu Reeves, Bob Zemeckis, Walter Hill, Joel Silver, Whoppi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, and many others. I’ve been fortunate.
I’ve only been nervous about meeting one person in my entire life. No celebrity. has ever gotten me nervous or anxious. Not even Farrah Fawcett, when I met her at the age of 23. One woman, made me shake when I met her. She was tiny, maybe 4-11. Maybe 115 pounds. Tiny thing. Grey hair. Serene. This woman looked like someone’s grandmother, which she was.
It was Rosa Parks. I was, literally, shaking when I met her. I was nervous, and anxious, and desperately didn’t want to make a fool of myself. To this day, I don’t know why I had such a strong reaction.
That anyone compares what is happening to what she did is…. offensive. That’s the best word for me to describe. Offensive.
Will Bunch on the astroturf nature of these protests:
“The everyday folks who were out there in Lansing or Columbus this week were largely there to serve the interests of the (mostly) rich and powerful people who used their influence to shoo them out there. Their agendas weren’t always the same. Most notably, President Trump — who promoted the rallies and even the right to carry weapons in an even-stunning-by-Trump-standards series of tweets — desperately wants to shift blame away from his multiple failures on the coronavirus and instead onto public-health-minded governors. Right-wing special interests, like the billionaire family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, are terrified that the 22 million unemployed will demand a social welfare state. Fox News is eager to make folks forget its dangerous ignore-the-virus punditry.
But the endgame and the shared interests are very much the same. Distraction, and a diversion of anger in the Heartland — an anger with legitimate and understandable roots — away from them, and hopefully onto the political enemies who threaten their power. If it all sounds painfully familiar, it should. This is the Tea Party Redux, except this time with the added thrill of a seeming death wish among the participants. Maybe we should call this one the Ventilator Party, or maybe the Branch COVID-ians.”
@EddieInCA: Thanx for that little bit.
Isn’t’ it amazing that so many incredibly privileged people continue to act like they are victims…meanwhile, others who are really suffering certainly aren’t being helped or defended by this collective white trash…meanwhile, I’m sure there are plenty of real economists out there who are working quietly and unseen as they do what they can to try to help others, and this waste of space is getting far more attention than he deserves…
My university is home to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, which is built on the corner where she got on the bus that day. She was at the dedication in 2000, but I was quite new on the faculty at that point and was not at the event.
@Moosebreath: I read Will Bunch’s book on the Tea Party some years ago, as well as another book by him about the history of Reaganolatry, Tear Down This Myth. He’s a good writer who makes well-documented books filled with interesting details.
@Steven L. Taylor:
I’ve already passed the fourth week since I started feeling ill. There is a possibility that what I had at the beginning was not Covid-19 but a more common sickness, as I did not start feeling distinct Covid-19 symptoms (breathing problems, chest pains) until the second week. I’ll probably never know.
My symptoms have been on the decline in the past three days, but I’ve already experienced several apparent declines before the previous symptoms came rushing back. What is the maximal amount of time that people have the virus for? This is probably the lengthiest illness I’ve ever had, even though the symptoms for me have stayed at a relatively mild level. My previous record may have been gastroenteritis when I was 11, which lasted three weeks–though was a lot rougher than what I’m experiencing now.
Bunch is also pretty much the token liberal among the regular op-ed page columnists for our local rag sheet (The Philadelphia Inquirer), where he is based. They publish every column by Marc Theissen and George Will, and have at least 1 column per month from one Koch funded group or another decrying how evil taxes are, can’t bring in any other national columnist on the left side.
I could not agree more. That is why I think that someone like you and I actually had Covid-19.
For me, the “flu” was always a week sick, a week of dragging ass while recovering and after week 3 I’m back to better.
But THIS! One week sick ridiculously ill, and then the second week was the greatest hits of week one. Week 3 was the beginnings of recovery. Week 4 still has me exhausted by the end of the day.
But let’s go back and open it all up! … morons.
The president is ‘failing the American people’ as a war-time leader, longtime Trump backer Piers Morgan says.
Prepare for a barrage of Trumpists deploying the “no true Scotsman” defense. (…even if he was an Apprentice winner!)
That picture looks like: “If racism was a person..”
By Dec. 2019 Trump had told more than 15,000 self serving lies since he was inaugurated.
Apparently Citizen Morgan has been sleeping since January 2017.
@Liberal Capitalist: Hmm…. First rat leaving the ship?
I’d have gone with “obscene”, myself, but it was your experience and you get to pick.
Best word for me was offensive. But I also thought of obscene, disgusting, trollish, bullshvit, horrendous, and insane. All of them work.
I think you’ve got the explanation, thank you. White exemplars, Washington, Jefferson, even Lincoln all carry a certain stigma.
My white, American hero would be Ulysses Grant. I even stole my pseudonym from him. Against imperialism toward Mexico. Against slavery early, even when it meant financial pain. He had some experience of poverty, of humiliation. He was a drunk, but only when separated from his wife. He saved the Union. And he wrote the memoirs that rescued his family from renewed poverty after he left the White House as he was dying of cancer.
@Michael Reynolds: For me, Mark Twain, Grant’s friend and the person who convinced him to write those memoirs.
Apparently the notion that Grant was a lush was a rumor started by his enemies.
Funny how myths in this country go, isn’t it? Grant was supposedly a sloppy drunk while Lee was supposedly an elegant military genius…but, of the two, you can’t help but notice who was the victor on the battlefield…
Grant was a serious drunk during a long, isolated deployment away from his wife. And during the Civil War he had a guy, another officer whose name escapes me, act as his babysitter, keeping booze away from him. There were still a couple of benders. And of course his presidency was corrupt though he personally was not, and he left office basically broke. Hence as @OzarkHillbilly: reminds us, it was a life saver when Mark Twain suggested he write his memoirs.
At a very bad time in his life, when he’d been cashiered from the army and was selling fire wood (to Longstreet among others IIRC) he inherited a slave. The slave would have been worth a tidy sum, but Grant manumitted him. Rather unlike Lee who had no problem ordering human beings whipped and families torn apart for personal profit. Also unlike Lee, who uncritically supported the transparently bullshit invasion of Mexico, Grant knew it was a naked land grab for slave owners.
And as @An Interested Party: points out: who surrendered?
Lee is the perfect symbol for southerners, a rich, smug, entitled golden child who never suffered a day’s hardship in his life, betrayed his country and humanity itself, and strutted throughout his life like the sanctimonious hypocrite he was.
Lee was a good general, but already a relic. Grant understood what Lee and his boys did not: wars of maneuver were over, the era of wars of attrition had begun. Before Grant armies fought a battle on Monday then took weeks off to rest and refit. Grant fought on Monday, and then again on Tuesday, Wednesday. . . And his sidekick, Sherman, taught the lesson that there was nothing sacred about the treasonous home front.
This administration is a magnet for the dumbest people in our country.
Moore is one.
Kudlow is another.
The list goes on.
The ones that aren’t dumb, are malevolent.
@Michael Reynolds: John Aaron Rawlins, Maj. Gen. and aide-de-camp to Grant who, as you correctly pointed out, was a binge drinker, primarily when away from his wife and things were slow on the front. See Ron Chernow. Rawlins was later Sect. of War.
@Michael Reynolds: Quite agree. One of the big name British military historians opined that every century gets one outstanding military leader, except the 19th Century had two, Lee and Grant. And of the two Grant stood out as he planned an endgame and Lee did not. Although in fairness the horrible command structure and ineffective government of the Confederacy made strategic planning nearly impossible.
However, the Vicksburg campaign showed Grant to be a master of maneuver warfare. And fearless. His failure to pursue maneuver in the East wasn’t for lack of trying. And launching Sherman from Atlanta toward Richmond via the coast was a masterstroke of maneuver.
@Michael Reynolds: The Civil War was the first industrialized war. The South had no industry and thus could not get beans, bullets, and men where they were needed. Whereas the Union built rail all over the mid-south to get their people and supplies in position. In fact, most of the rail in the South at the end of the war was in fact built by the Union Army–dirty little secret that underscores how underdeveloped the south was under the Planter Class. Finally, Lee was really only good at one thing–counter attack. He was masterful at it–but styles make fights and counter punching is a good tool to have for a fighter—it can’t be your only tool. It was only a matter of time for Lee and the South. They really had no chance to succeed in this new modality of war.
The same can me said of today not that information has become a dangerous as bullets. Those that understand how to fight in the information space have a competitive advantage over those that do not–or can not.
I would add Napoleon to that list. Don’t wish quibble, this post is merely to point to who I rate as the GOAT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai
Not too shabby for a reindeer herder.
@Jim Brown 32:
Yep. The Confederacy was a bit like Imperial Japan – they both picked fights they were absolutely sure to lose. Like me picking a fight with The Rock – not a lot of suspense there.
@Michael Reynolds: I agree with people who say secession over slavery. I agree with people who say it was treason. But mostly, I regard it as incredibly stupid.
Confederates were still living in the world of esprit and elan and fighting spirit and all that nonsense. It’s a persistent myth that winning a battle is about how tough you are, or how devoted you are to a cause. Those things do help around the margins, but the lesson that wasn’t finally driven home until WW1 is that technology trumps morale.
@Jim Brown 32:
Jim, the South came within a gnat’s ass if winning that war. One more incompetent general in line before Grant and there would be no Vicksburg. Had Meade successfully pulled back his men from Gettysburg and there’s no battle there either. The South did not have to invade the North, they only needed the North to get tired and quit. That damn near happened. Even Lincoln thought he had little chance of at re-election. Without those two victories and Atlanta he and no shot at all, and without Vicksburg there is no Atlanta campaign.
To play counterfactual for a bit, if the South had been very, very lucky they might have eked out a temporary draw. But they were never going to have the means to subdue, occupy, depose the government as the North did to the South. And any draw the South achieved would have left Yankee boots still on their necks – the US Navy was still out there and growing increasingly capable of blockading every Confederate port. Texas would inevitably have been separated from the CSA as the USN owned the river by virtue of controlling New Orleans.
The South would have traded Appomattox for blockade, impoverishment and slow dismemberment. And that’s not even getting into Northerners training and supplying African-American guerilla troops. All the while the North would be growing richer and more powerful.
The South was fucked no matter how well they played.
I think the Copperheads would have forced McClellan into signing an armistice with the Confederates within a few months of his election. This would have recognized the Confederacy as a nation and from there the Brits would have supported them. So much for any blockade. The US Navy was tiny compared to the British one, and the Brits really really really wanted that cotton.
However this would’ve ended the war..for a bit. The problem was they fought for the right to expand slavery into the newly won-west. That problem would remain. This would’ve probably resulted in numerous, extremely ugly internal wars, ala Kansas and Missouri, all along the way. How all that works out in this counterfactual exercise is beyond prediction. Would these become proxy wars? Utter capitulation by the North of the west? An endless chain of wars between the North and the South just like things were in Europe for it’s entire history? Haven’t any solid idea, other than strife being inevitable.
Stephen Ross makes Doug Feith seem like Proust.
Stephen Moore makes Doug Feith seem
Punch line totally phucked up by typo.
Stephen Moore not Ross