Back

ABA Journal

Home

Criminal Justice

Assistant US attorney’s derogatory Facebook comments about ‘Dalibama’ and Trayvon Martin are probed

Aug 15, 2013, 12:06 pm CDT

Comments

Man, they better also get on checking out everything he may have ever said at a party or while shopping at the corner store. Maybe they should have HSA and IRS do a full political correctness vetting of every candidate for any federal job.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 15, 12:23 pm CDT

When one posts racist content on one's Facebook page, and when that racist content is a means by which defense counsel may seek your disqualification, one's ability to perform one's job is impeded. That's Caballos, by the way, a free speech decision from SCOTUS' conservative side. So tell me again how this is all part of the vast left wing conspiracy.

By isolde on 2013 08 15, 12:46 pm CDT

McLeod - they probably would have to do no more than follow this guy around for a few minutes on any given day. He sounds stupid enough to give them all they need to work with on a continuing basis. I thought AUSA positions were competitive. But then, it's Texas (and the guy is from Florida), so . . .

By Pushkin on 2013 08 15, 1:43 pm CDT

Why am I not surprised that these statements were made by an attorney in Texas?

By Donatra on 2013 08 15, 1:52 pm CDT

I would title this article, ''Why stupid people shouldn't be US Attorneys"

By Jena on 2013 08 15, 2:28 pm CDT

A tidbit that low information AUSA Craft seems to have missed is that low information voters carry the day for whoever wins.

@2 - You're spot on.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 15, 3:57 pm CDT

Clearly in his job it's not wise to comment on political matters - even though one doesn't shed their First Amendment rights by virtue of their employment. What I find troubling is the implication that he is a racist based on the comments made in the article. I think as a society we need to be very careful with the speed, frequency, and lack of evidence with which we label someone as racist. It's not fair to the person so labeled, and it's counterproductive to solving race issues.

By NJD on 2013 08 15, 4:05 pm CDT

Jena is spot on beat me to it. This is what gets lost when DA etc see too much they forget that stupidity is a matter of degree and circumstances. You can be the stupidest smart person in the room. When you take this job you are upholding the constitution. Not getting rid of stupid people. Because. That may well include you

By Todd on 2013 08 15, 4:14 pm CDT

I find this inquiry disturbing. I don't believe in punishing people for their political beliefs and opinions -- even if those opinions are based in false information. I think that only shoves them further to extremes and away from critical thinking and objectivity... and, heaven forbid, compromise. And this... I'm worried that this comes close to that line. Unless maybe the people inside have information we don't and suspect it may be affecting how the person does his job...

By Anonymous on 2013 08 15, 4:27 pm CDT

Also, I honestly do not understand the "Dalibama" reference. If some kind soul could explain it, that could help enlighten me.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 15, 4:28 pm CDT

I'm disturbed that his Facebook account was private. Can't he make comments privately?

By mmm on 2013 08 15, 5:06 pm CDT

@9 - Originally I thought the issue was more about references to Martin, watermelons, and purple drank. Then I did a little Google search on the topic, and I'm not sure if those issues were legitimate matters in the Zimmerman case, or if they were only raised by some fringe Glenn Beck automatons.

Dalibama sounds like a play on Dalai Lama, but I'm not sure why equating the president to a globally respected spiritual leader is such a big deal.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 15, 5:11 pm CDT

#10 -- I assume that's a conflation of "Obama" with "Dalai lama." It seems to be a codeword within the rightwing opinion sphere. Why this is some kind of insult in the vernacular of conservative nitwits is beyond me. Maybe all Nobel Peace Prize winners are suspect in their eyes.

By Mr. Ed on 2013 08 15, 5:12 pm CDT

@10 - I'm unclear on that as well. It seems to be reminiscent of the Dalai Lama, which I wouldn't consider to be derogatory at all. It might be a comment on the attitude of some voters whose reverence toward Obama is similar to the reverence shown to the Dalai Lama - but that's only a guess on my part.

By MrBill on 2013 08 15, 5:16 pm CDT

@13 - It would not surprise me if regressives did, in fact, demonize the Nobel Peace Prize and/or the Dalai Lama.

I'm just... a little surprised that they even know who that Dalai Lama *is*, to be perfectly honest.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 15, 5:57 pm CDT

Anonymous: Anyone who watched Caddyshack would know about the Dalai Lama.

Carl Spackler (played by Bill Murray): "So we finish the 18th and he's going to stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how 'bout a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he say, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that going for me, which is nice."

By Yankee on 2013 08 15, 6:52 pm CDT

It is hard for this *prosecutor* to see a dead black child as a crime victim. Naturally, candy and ice tea in the hands of Martin has to be used to make "purple drank." It is not even conceivable to this prosecutor that he was a kid who wanted snacks for the game which he was planning to watch with his little brother. Now there is imaginary cough syrup in his hands too?

Does his private racial biases affect how he handles criminal matters and defendants? Does he fight as hard for all victims of crime, or only the white skinned victims? Clearly he wouldn't have fought for Trayvon.

By WhyRaceMatters on 2013 08 15, 8:04 pm CDT

@15 - I'm stealing "regressives."

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 15, 8:25 pm CDT

@18 - I can't take credit for it. But I actually think it helps shape what we actually see in this country.

We have progressives, who want to move forward and change things.

We have a few true "conservatives" who literally just want things to stay the same.

And, unfortunately, we have a lot of regressives, who want to roll back progress that has been made.

I think language like that can actually help us some. It makes "conservative" less of an insult and actually sharpens our discourse.

I guess the terminology is a little slanted because "progress" has a positive connotation. But in this light, I'm actually referring to changes that, historically speaking, are viewed as "progress" with a positive connotation -- voting rights, civil liberties, equality, etc.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 15, 8:50 pm CDT

If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Maybe you can blame congressives.

By MrBill on 2013 08 15, 9:26 pm CDT

For some reason, that reminds me of the old joke that the Constitution should have just stopped with "Congress shall make no law."

By Anonymous on 2013 08 15, 9:41 pm CDT

Is that the standard that the current congressives (I'm stealing that too, MrBill) are aspiring to?

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 15, 9:56 pm CDT

Hmmm...#9...I'm not concerned about the political beliefs, but referring to something as "purple drank" when discussing a black child, is derogatory...and based on race.

By SuzNJMia on 2013 08 15, 10:34 pm CDT

Well since President Obama won by the Electoral Vote and we all know it's not simply based on majority I don't understand why this Assistant US Attorney believes it was a bunch of stupid people voting President Obama in. Unless his position is that all who represent the Electoral Vote are stupid, which I would consider to be a broad and ill informed opinion.

In regard to Trayvon Martin, it shows a bad sense of humor and, in my opinion, a lack of empathy, is it based in racism? It could be, but we don't know for certain. However, given his position he is held to a higher standard and this is not necessarily something you want to see in an Assistant US Attorney.

This would most likely play upon the public's trust in this man.

By concernedcitizen on 2013 08 15, 11:44 pm CDT

I think the "purple drank" is a shot at Obama's Harveyness.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 15, 11:52 pm CDT

His political comments don't bother me at all.

His blatant racism does bother me. Defendants should get a fair shake. Now, a lot of people being prosecuted by this guy will have to wonder if they are getting a fair shake. That's not right.

By Island Attorney on 2013 08 16, 12:40 am CDT

Like Anonymous stated the face book comments were "Private."
How do private comments become known? Is this the NSA search?
Does not the DA have the right of free speech?

By Pacific on 2013 08 16, 2:37 am CDT

The racist comments absolutely bother me.

What is more, though, is that this guy is supposed to be a federal prosecutor, one of the best of the best. But and first year lawyer knows that -- particularly in this day and age -- you should not put anything in writing that you would not want on the front page of the Wall Street journal. What does that say about his judgment that he would publish such dribble?

By American of African Descent on 2013 08 16, 3:03 am CDT

Aren't you better off knowing what this Assistant is thinking rather than him keeping his thoughts to himself and then perhaps in the future acting upon his bias. Also, he does have his own right to express himself. Do we all have to keep our mouths shut? This is what happened in East Germany and the people walked around with their heads down so no one could read their eyes. They avoided eye contact.

By Pacific on 2013 08 16, 10:13 am CDT

Career suicide--at least if he wanted to stay an AUSA. He'll probably do fine in the private sector though, and he can take only cases from white people if that's what he prefers. Ahhhh, Texas!

By Stan on 2013 08 16, 10:31 am CDT

The Assistant U. S. Attorney was expressing his opinion in a non-work environment concerning the wisdom (or lack thereof) of the country having elected Barack Obama as President and concerning the Trayvon Martin case. The opinions did not and do not reflect racism. It is indeed absurd to assert that the comments of the Assistant U.S. Attorney reflect racism. Believing that Obama was a bad choice for U.S. President was not and is not racist; plenty of people believe that based on Obama's performance and socialist policies. Being critical of Trayvon Martin's behavior the night of his encounter with George Zimmerman was not and is not racist, as the comment was and is based solidly on the trial evidence and some common sense about wearing a hoodie and loitering at night around buildings in a (multi-racial) neighborhood not your own. The probe is totally inappropriate.

By Phil Byler on 2013 08 16, 10:40 am CDT

@31 Wear whatever blinders you want. The mocking of the speech pattern is clearly racist. any anyone who thinks any facebook page is "private" is simply to stupid to be employed as a federal prosecutor.

By donniem23 on 2013 08 16, 10:50 am CDT

Low information voters voted for Obama. If you express this opinion, you cannot have a job. If you don't see Trayvon Martin as some kind of martyr, you cannot have a job. These are what are known as thought crimes. Deviation from orthodoxy must be quashed. In the future, if you are not pro-Obama/Trayvon, you will be sent to re-education camp. Economic sanctions for having the "wrong" opinion are probably not strong enough to deter the free thinkers.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 16, 11:26 am CDT

Now imagine the kind of trouble he would be in if he had posted, "Smart people carried the day for Obama, and Trayvon is smiling down on us from heaven." What's that? You say there wouldn't be a story?

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 16, 11:28 am CDT

Speech and thought police - thy name is liberalism and worse. Anyone who doesn't recognize that Obama would have never risen above a blip on the political screen if he had been white doesn't want to recognize it. The Dalibama reference is to the deity-like adulation of the media and others that boosted a grossly unprepared man into the most powerful office in the world, twice, making him our first affirmative action president.

That's what Dalibama means.

By Joe on 2013 08 16, 11:58 am CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By jason on 2013 08 16, 12:06 pm CDT

So now ridiculing poor choices and a sick culture chosen by someone is racist? And here this backwoods inbred conservative thought racism had something to do with skin color. Huh, I guess you learn something every day.

Careful when the worm turns fellas. You might wish that the first amendment still existed.

By associate on 2013 08 16, 12:14 pm CDT

Wow the thoughts here are bizarre. First amendment rights sure. Right to be stupid sure. Oaths and responsibilities "and justice for all". Except people I don't like and " know" are guilty sure. Obama unprepared? Bush prepared? How funny are u guys ? Racist remarks? They are definitely stereo types which by definition makes them racist. Zimmerman was not guilty. But is entirely negligent. Socratic thinking here. I think not

By Todd on 2013 08 16, 12:17 pm CDT

Our "first affirmative action president" ???? "Joe" probably doesn't even think that comment is racist ...

By Nellmezzo on 2013 08 16, 12:31 pm CDT

@31 - You're wrong on one count. This is clearly racist and immature. The question is only whether he has a First Amendment right to be a racist regressive asshole without losing his AUSA job.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 12:32 pm CDT

#31 is absolutely correct. Apparently Mr. Craft is now under federal investigation for not having read the memo that you waive your First amendment rights when you become a US attorney. This was a PRIVATE facebook page for goodness sake! This was NOT in a brief or memo prepared, or a water cooler exchange at the DOJ. You can strongly disagree with his comments, but he has every right to make them as long as it doesn't defame or harm anyone. The tired accusation of "racism" on ethe thinnest of "evidence" anytime you wish to silence a person with whom you disagree is a disgusting, wide-spread, slippery slope in this country. It needs to stop.

By CT Lawyer on 2013 08 16, 12:41 pm CDT

@41 - Again, you're just wrong. The racism is evident, as is the ignorance and the blind willingness to disparage anyone who disagrees with his politics.

I do agree with you First Amendment-wise. There are serious questions there, and I am not quite willing to say that the man should lose his job for his racial opinions and beliefs, unless it actually impacts his decision-making.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 12:44 pm CDT

But No. 41, it is the crux of the ABA political correctness position on virtually everything.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 16, 12:44 pm CDT

Jason I went to the Florida Bar site and Mr. Craft is in good standing and there is no disciplinary record.

By Pacific on 2013 08 16, 12:47 pm CDT

It's not PC question the personal remarks are stupid and smack of racism not unlike many remarks here

By Todd on 2013 08 16, 12:51 pm CDT

Or at least that is your PC "take" on them.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 16, 12:56 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By jason on 2013 08 16, 1:15 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By jason on 2013 08 16, 1:17 pm CDT

For all of those first-amendment defenders, I'm right there with you. The AUSA has a Constitutional right to be a racist S.O.B.

But can you point out where he's got a Constitutional right to be an AUSA? I can't seem to find it in my copy of the Constitution.

By American of African Descent on 2013 08 16, 1:18 pm CDT

When people deal with a government attorney in whatever capacity, they have the right to expect that the attorney is not biased against them on the basis of race, gender, etc. When an attorney works for the government, the attorney should not be tossing about snarky insults about the head of that government. I've spent most of my career as a government attorney, and I have accepted those limits as an essential part of my job. What Mr. Craft did went far beyond legitimate political comment or analysis of the Trayvon Martin case. What he did demonstrated incompetence to fulfill the duties of a government attorney serving the public.

By IndyCanary on 2013 08 16, 1:24 pm CDT

I think what makes this hard is pulling apart his non-racist anti-Obama comments from the racist comments. I don't want to punish him for the former or chill his speech by investigating. So if we take out the Obama part, is there enough to justify an investigation? I think that's a tough question in a sensitive area.

Allow me to pose a hypothetical.
Suppose, on other facts, this person was very clearly racist, but that statistics showed no bias (or even the opposite of a bias) in his discretionary decision-making associated with his work role. Could he be fired just for his racist opinions? Should he be?

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 1:35 pm CDT

@2, 6, etc. Criticism of his Holy Imperial Majesty, the Obamassiah, Dalibama is not de facto racist. His predecessors, particularly W, faced far harsher, vile, and violent criticism that being called the Dalibama or having his face on a rodeo clown. Not joining the in the low information group think about the Trayvon Martin case is equally NOT a sign of racism. Would someone like to explain why him taking the side of the hispanic defendant in that case is grounds for claiming he's anti-hispanic? If so, after turning yourself in to a human pretzel, you might want to audition for the circus as a clown, which is the intellectually correct career for most of the race-baiting critics on here.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 1:35 pm CDT

What disturbs me us that educated attorneys that comment on this blog cannot recognize obvious racism when they see it, and cal it out as such. Have some cojones, people, and stand up for whats right. The prosecutor is racist to his bones, and I am sure there are plenty of people in a Texas jail because of that right now.

By Eric Wiener on 2013 08 16, 1:39 pm CDT

I'm really struggling to see what is racist about his comments. Politically incorrect perhaps, stupid perhaps given his position, but racist? Could someone please enlighten me as to precisely what is racist about his remarks? Nowadays it seems that any derogatory comment against someone with a less than lily-white skin is immediately regarded as racist.

By Saffer on 2013 08 16, 1:42 pm CDT

Comments associating the ignorance of the facebook posts with the state the person comes from are every bit as ignorant as the posts themselves, and more.

By jam3s on 2013 08 16, 1:44 pm CDT

@53 - I believe that they do recognize that the Trayvon comments implicate racism. But there's an almost institutionalized regressive political agenda that encourages them not to acknowledge it.

I'm on board with having a frank discussion and saying "maybe we label persons as racist too quickly."

But I think they've gone too far in being unwilling to say "yes, those comments are racist."

They aren't willing to have the actual discussion here, which is: "Yes, those comments are racist, but can we make accurate judgments about the person's core character from those comments?"

I really want to believe that it's a political agenda. Because the alternative is that those people are simply afraid of acknowledging the racism inside themselves. (And let's face it, we *all* have racial biases and prejudices -- the real question here is whether we let them shape our identities and interactions with others.)

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 1:46 pm CDT

@54 - You actually hit on something I think that people *are* legitimately reacting to. It's impossible in our society to have a legitimate discussion on certain issues without being accused of racism in our society. And yet, instead of trying to deconstruct and change that -- which is what would make sense -- they're on some bizarre crusade to deny that racism exists.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 1:48 pm CDT

Bush detractors were outraged when they were called "unpatriotic."

Calling Obama detractors "racicst" has even less validity.

By John2510 on 2013 08 16, 1:51 pm CDT

@49

Agree entirely.

As to Zimmerman, it appears he was neglient in his carryimg of a firearm. He should have realized that his 'tailing' of Martin might elicit a response of Martin attacking him (standing his ground) if he got out of his car and started nosing around for Martin after he lost sight of him. You don't do that unless you're asking for potential trouble. Having a gun requires certain responsibility, and he was not responsible in how he handled that situation. It appears to at least be a tort of negligent homicide - the criminal charge of negligent homicide would be a more difficult charge, but the tort only requires a preponderance of the evidence.

By W.L. Wagner on 2013 08 16, 1:53 pm CDT

@58 - You must be smarter than that. It depends on the nature of the detraction. There are racist attacks and then there are legitimate criticisms of his policies and acts. We are intelligent enough to be able to tell one from the other, and we must acknowledge that the former is inappropriate while the latter is perfectly appropriate and necessary.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 1:54 pm CDT

#54 writes: "Could someone please enlighten me as to precisely what is racist about his remarks?"

Happy to. Let me preface by saying I have voted against Obama twice now, not based on the color of his skin but because I thought the other guy would do a better job. I don't think that the liberals and others here are saying he is racist because he is so clearly anti-Obama and anti-Martin. This AUSA is (IMHO) making racist comments in saying:

- Arizona watermelon fruitcocktail --watermelon is clearly (and not even disguised) code for an anti-black comment
- 'purple drank' - I thought it was the slang at first that sounded like he was affecting an African-American dialect; I still think so, but according to this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_drank, "purple drank" is a recreational drug that is a mix of prescription cough medicine, some sort of soda, and jolly ranchers popular in the hip hop community. There was no evidence that I heard of in the Zimmerman trial of Martin ingesting "purple drank," so his use of it is again a racist reference.

This guy needs to be fired. He is making those of us who are merely conservative look like the "regressives" referenced in an earlier post. He's the type of guy that is turning the Republican Party into a smaller and smaller tent, and we don't need his racist views. Stick to the anti-Obama and anti-Martin rants based on their policies and actual behaviors and not on the color of their skin. Please.

P.S. For those that are not understanding how posts on a "private" Facebook page are being outed, I suspect you don't use Facebook. Private doesn't mean only the writer can see it, like a locked diary. Private means that everyone you have "friended," meaning those you given access to your page, can see it. There may be hundreds of people who saw that. All it takes is one person to do a screen grab--say someone you went to school with in 4th grade, someone you once worked with, someone who lives on your block, who sought you out and whom you accepted as a friend.

By Scott on 2013 08 16, 2:07 pm CDT

Racists?
Racists have these things in common:
The collective: They don’t see individuals. They only see groups.
They are unable to judge a situation fairly or objectively
They seek power by creating conflict and dividing people for personal gain.
Racists usually hate the Jews, whether they’re black or white, they’ll unite on their hatred for the Jews.
This all creates a circle of hate. Hate breeds hate, and of course the cycle will continue to repeat. You cannot fight hate with hate. you cannot fight fear by creating more fear. The only way to change the cycle is by bringing a change to the pattern itself.

By Pacific on 2013 08 16, 2:12 pm CDT

@31 and @41
You can put on the racist blinders all you want, you can believe that his comments were not racially biased, and of course you can pretend that all is right in the world and world peace reigns throughout the land, ummm...no.

The comments made were based on his racist opinions of African Americans and also based on his complete and utter ignorance. How does "purple drank and robitussin" even come into play in that case? They don't, yet he felt the need to stereotype and insult a young man who lost his life because someone thought that he should not have been where he was. It shows a lack of judgment and common sense.

While the AUSA believes he made those comments on his "private" facebook, his lack of understanding of what exactly constitutes "private" only serves to further his absolute ignorance and lack of any sense whatsoever, common or otherwise.

You cannot post something on the internet and then think it is supposed to be "private" when you have any number of ppl who can cut and paste it and send it out into the internet hemisphere. He has to know that some of his facebook friends would not agree with his comments and would repost them to others, even his immediate supervisor, but again, in his complete and utter stupidity, he did not consider that fact.

While he has a right to say whatever he wants, free speech and all, he has to understand that he, as an AUSA, prosecutes and is supposed to help the very ppl he insults. Other than those who thinks as he does, victims who are in the class of people he so denigrates are not going to have faith in him as a prosecutor if they know that he thinks so negatively of African Americans. what happens when they start saying to his boss, I don't want him prosecuting my case, I don't think he is fighting for me, why was he assigned my case. Whether they have the right to choose their prosecutor or not, it can create a situation for his office.

Dumb is as dumb does, and for those who think he should not be disciplined in some way shape or form, smh as your ignorance is a disturbing as his.

By NoneYa on 2013 08 16, 2:18 pm CDT

@61 - I salute you, sir. There's hope for the GOP yet, perhaps.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 2:18 pm CDT

A Texas D.A. Stunned, just stunned! More evidence that cowboy boots curtail blood flow to the brain.

By rosslaw on 2013 08 16, 2:37 pm CDT

@28 & @49: Why does he lose his job because he thinks obama is a loser? Why does he lose his job because he thinks trayvon martin wasn't a crime-victim but a perp? Do the jurors in the zimmerman case lose their jobs too? Or does everyone lose their job because they don't agree with you?

By American of Italian, Scottish and Hispanic Descent on 2013 08 16, 2:37 pm CDT

More proof that when you misbehave in Hell you get sent to Texas for a time out.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 08 16, 2:38 pm CDT

#464, it's #61 here. Thanks. I hope so. It's gonna take some work though--we've dug ourselves quite a hole!

If nothing else, Democrats should hope there is so that there is a continued rational debate over issues rather than their side against the crazies on our side that many of us on the rational right are trying to fend off. (Ds have their crazies too, but luckily for the D party, those people aren't so influential at present.)

By Scott on 2013 08 16, 2:41 pm CDT

@68 - I think our nation would be much healthier if it could come to pass that the GOP was led by educated individuals without a religious or social agenda. Here's hoping people like you rise to the top sooner than later.

I think you'll find that a lot of persons who consider themselves in the middle aren't pro-Democrat, they're anti-Republican because of what the party has become. A lot of us could be won over if they just... started acting like adults, you know?

There are lunatics on both sides. I just don't know how they got in the pilot seat on one!

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 2:46 pm CDT

Is it just my impression or does it seem like any comments other than praise and adoration for Barack Hussein Obama II are viewed among some in the same manner as radical Muslims view any comments other than praise and adoration for Muhammad? A possible parallel there?

As to Obama, let’s just throw out the First Amendment and trample rodeo clowns and State Fairs in the process. Hell, let's throw grandma in jail for not taking down the framed picture of Jesus from her den wall and putting up a picture of Barack Hussein Obama II. Real Americans don't bow and scrape to elected leaders - assuming he was even elected. After Ohio, who can be sure?

This is Nazi Germany or Communist China or better said yet, Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke --“You're gonna get your mind right... and I mean right."

By Hugh Palmer on 2013 08 16, 2:54 pm CDT

@61: Thank you for the response. My reply:
- So, although he was in fact drinking Arizona Watermelon fruitcocktail (not iced tea as reported by the PC media), one is not allowed to say so? These comments also tie in with reports that Martin's text messages allude to "LEAN", a concoction of the above cocktail, skittles and iced tea. The text messages were disallowed as evidence, but that doesn't mean one cannot comment on them.
- I assume purpledrank is anothe version of "LEAN". Interesting facts all totally ignored by the media because they don't fit the agenda.

By Saffer on 2013 08 16, 2:56 pm CDT

Facebook is evil and the root cause of many embarrassing mistakes.

By CrazyCatLady on 2013 08 16, 2:57 pm CDT

Do you really not get that it wouldn't matter if it *were* accurate? He was using it to make a racist caricature. Why can we not agree that this is wrong?

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 3:02 pm CDT

@ 70 - Don't worry, it is just your deluded impression. Also, Godwin's Law, you lose.

@69 and 68 - If there is one objective truth in all the comments here so far, it is that the GOP has been hijacked by fanatics. If the George H.W. Bush of the 90s ran in a presidential primary now, he would receive as much support as Jon Huntsman. He'd be derided as a RINO, and perhaps even for being a communist for having the temerity to call for increasing taxes to plug up a widening gap in the budget. Compromise is the new C word on Capitol Hill, and we'll all pay for it.

With respect to how the lunatics got into the pilot seat, here's my two cents. The radicalization of the GOP was almost inevitable after the party cemented it's reliance on the extreme right as their base, and the rampant political gerrymandering that ensures primary elections in many districts are the only elections that count ensure that extremists end up filling congressional seats.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 3:04 pm CDT

Trayvon Martin in fact purchased Arizona Watermelon fruitcocktail, not iced tea. But the media reports it as iced tea for fear of being accused of racism. The fruit cocktail is used to make the concoction, along with Robutussin and skittles - all referenced in Martin's text messages. But when one mentions these facts, one is a racist? Sorry, no, I don't get it. What I do get is the paranoia surrounding being accused of racism, white guilt, political correctness destroying this great country. Our creator, whoever he or she may be, gave us critical minds. Please, can we just start using our heads again instead of just our emotions?

By Saffer on 2013 08 16, 3:10 pm CDT

American of African Descent hit the nail on the head: "you should not put anything in writing that you would not want on the front page of the Wall Street journal." The internet is permanent. That's one of the first things most companies put in their social media policies.

If the only thing Craft had said was anti-Obama comments, I don't think there would be much public fuss over this. Lots of federal goverment employees don't like their boss; a sizable percentage of them didn't vote for him.

But the Trayvon Martin comments are the problem here. The tone was clearly mocking and derogatory, and show bias. Prosecutors aren't supposed to have bias.

By JoeyJoeJoe on 2013 08 16, 3:11 pm CDT

@ 74. Thanks, I feel better now. Godwin's Law only because I had a dental appointment this morning.

By Hugh Palmer on 2013 08 16, 3:12 pm CDT

@66 No he should lose his job because no black person whose criminal case has been assigned to him could ever believe that he was getting a fair shake from the federal justice system. And his Facebook posting shows that he is either too dumb or too naive to serve as a prosecutor in the era of social media.

By redwood on 2013 08 16, 3:16 pm CDT

This is amazing. We now are getting evidence that was never reported on by the media in the Martin case snide comments about the president one even contesting a prior election. Ohio. How bout Florida ? Lol. I don't like Obama because he plays the race card. He is not black he is black and white. Does anyone even remember the racist drop of blood theory.
The guy has the rights to his opinions but someone once said better to be s silent fool than to open your mouth and prove it. Ok it was something to that effect

By Todd on 2013 08 16, 3:16 pm CDT

Left wing McCarthyism, plain and simple. Blacklisting based on personal opinions that have no direct relationship to his professional career. Where is the evidence he was a bad lawyer or didn't serve his clients fairly and honestly? Apparently years in the seat, a thorough background check, obtaining a license to practice law, attending a good law school after investing thousands of hours into academics is not enough. We must purge those whose political beliefs are different than ours. Instead of offering any evidence his legal judgment is impaired, the author and commenters here impose sweeping generalizations that he is somehow unfit based on a set of reckless characterizations and assumptions calculated to cast the widest net of nonconformists. Embarrasing.

By CT Lawyer on 2013 08 16, 3:29 pm CDT

@80 - That's an interesting take, but I think most people would view an expressed bias with clear racial overtones in the context of a criminal case as having nearly as direct relationship to his professional career as you can imagine.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 3:33 pm CDT

Factually accurate statements about Martin's suspicious behavior are racist merely because he's black. Criticism of the President is racist merely because he's black. How absurd? How about Florida? How about the left-leaning, Gore-supporting newspapers that did their recount and (quietly) admitted that there was no way to fudge the vote counting standards that would result in a Gore victory? How about Ohio 2012? There's a lot stronger evidence of voter shenanigans in Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, et al. in 2012 than there was in Ohio 2004, but that hasn't stopped the left from deluding themselves into believing that Kerry-Heinz should have won.

As for the GOP being run by "radicals." How do you reconcile that with the last two nominees being the moderate/liberal republicans. Romney was the most conservative candidate since Reagan. Are you implying that the Dems are the party of moderation? San Francisco liberal darling Nancy Pelosi is mainstream? Obama is mainstream? They're two of the most radically distant from the mainstream politicians in America. The Dems were taken over by the radicals in the 60s and it only got worse after the '94 midterms.

@Hugh, If they were better informed, they might assume that his comments show that he's not going to press poorly supported charges (being overly generous to the Zimmerman prosecution) in the face of overwhelming exonerating evidence (e.g., all of the physical and eyewitness testimony) just to satisfy racist politicking from an incompetent President, to his racist Attorney General (racial selective civil rights enforcement), to the spineless state and local apparatchik. I'd hate to think that we'd have prosecutors who are more concerned about the facts and evidence than racial stereotypes, media memes, and political agendas. #sarcasm

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 3:37 pm CDT

@81 - Amen. @80 You seem to assume that only the left objects to overt racial remarks by federal prosecutors.

By redwood on 2013 08 16, 3:38 pm CDT

@Hugh, should have been @78

@61 et al. I salute you not. You are NOT the solution, you are part of the problem. By acceping the lie (false premise) of rampant GOP racism, you only support the left's phony stereotype in the minds of low information voters--i.e., the ones who think Bill Maher and John Stewart are news, not bad comedy, or outright lies as is the usual case with BM. It also supports the delusions of high misinformation voters who think MSNBC is news rather than poorly conceived fiction.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 3:44 pm CDT

@82 What was suspicious about Martin's behavior? Wearing a hoodie in a mostly white neighborhood? Or just being black?

By redwood on 2013 08 16, 3:45 pm CDT

the truth hurts
they took my comments down
,that's ok the facts will be in the national news real soon

By jason on 2013 08 16, 3:45 pm CDT

Some of you should do your research before commenting -- biases all over the political spectrum are shown in most of the comments above. "Purple drank" is defined in Wikipedia and is also known as "Lean." Screen shots of Mr. Martin's Facebook pages not long before his unfortunate demise can be found on the internet reveal his interest in Lean. I do not know but believe that the screen shots were not admitted as evidence in the Zimmerman trial because they were not relevant to the issues in that trial. That does not make them irrelevant to whether or not Martin was the harmless, candy-eating child so often portrayed in major media and they show a factual basis for some of the AUSA's comments. Nevertheless, the AUSA was foolish to post derogatory comments about the President or Mr. Martin on a social media forum. In his position, one would be wise to keep opinions about his ultimate boss or on controversial topics out of print.

By GB on 2013 08 16, 3:47 pm CDT

what happen to We welcome your comments
truth hurts
the facts will be in the national news real soon.

By jason on 2013 08 16, 3:48 pm CDT

@85 How about walking right up next to residences instead of on the sidewalk in a neighborhood having ongoing problems with burglaries? It might have been because of the rain, but it was still suspicious. Considering Martin's own criminal/delinquent issues, the uncritical assumption that he was completely innocent is more than a bit over the top.

By Sgt. Joe Friday on 2013 08 16, 3:48 pm CDT

@88 Jason Is it really surprising that the moderator is at least sympathetic to the Thought Police trying to convict anyone who criticizes the Holy Emperor?

I'm still waiting for someone to explain why the defense lawyer quoted in the case could legitimately think that the prosecutor's support of a hispanic defendant is evidence of an anti-hispanic bias. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be fun to "see" a human pretzel. I also didn't know that prosecutors made sentencing decisions in federal courts in Texas. I was under the impression that Judges had that job. Silly me.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 3:54 pm CDT

@84 - I like how you've built into your logic that no one can disagree with you without being wrong.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 4:01 pm CDT

It seems that for the Federal or state government to discriminate against a person based on what they say would be a violation of the First Amendment.

Similarly, black or white racists have some degree of freedom of thought that is protected by the Constitution and equal protection.

The problem would be that an individual who is a racist, e.g., a black prosecutor who hates white people, and insisted on prosecuting only white people for hate crimes would be in violation of the Equal Protection aspects of the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments.

However, one could be a black racist and still have an egalitarian approach to prosecution. It would require a study of the actions of the prosecutorial office, not a review of the individual's emails to friends with failed humor.

And thinking that people who voted for Obama are idiots is not an indicator of racism. Neither is the belief that Trayvon Martin was acting in a suspicious way that triggered the conflict that cost him his life. You only see racism in those factual situations because you bring that world view with you.

By NY underground on 2013 08 16, 4:08 pm CDT

@91 As the old saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Study a little history. Say from the formation of the Republican party in the late 1850s to today. You'll find that only one party supported slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, poll taxes, KKK, lynching, eugenics (to get rid of blacks and Jews), internment camps; only one party filibustered civil rights laws, like LBJ did in the 1950s. It wasn't Republicans. If you want to go back a few decades earlier in your studies, you'll find the father of the democrat party forcing the Trail of Tears. If you want to know more about Regressive attitudes, study the writings of the progressive's Great Leader, Woodrow Wilson, who said that freeing the slaves was the worst decision in US history and that the KKK was merely a social club whose threat to blacks was grossly overexagerated. Truth, the antidote for liberalism.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 4:14 pm CDT

Half-truth must, then, be the hallmark of regressives.

Can you think of what event involving the two parties might make all of that actually cut against you?

Hint: One of them used to be the Party of Lincoln but isn't anymore.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 4:16 pm CDT

@93 - It sounds like you stopped reading once you got to the 50s. You might want to keep reading; I don't want to spoil your surprise, but somewhere since then a pretty significant realignment took place in American politics, or rather finished what had been taking place among northern Democrats for a few decades prior. Fascinating stuff.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 4:20 pm CDT

Roger that 95. Well said.

By redwood on 2013 08 16, 4:30 pm CDT

Personally, I'd be right on board if the Republican party wanted to get back to where it was back then. Socially liberal, genuinely moral and well-meaning...

Anyway, this is beyond the topic.

How about this: You can argue about whether the GOP is racist as a matter of fact all you want (and we'd probably never agree). However, I think we *can* agree that what matters in politics at the bottom line is the public opinion. The public perception is that the GOP is institutionally racist. Not that I want to give regressives any hints on how to take power, but maybe you ought to focus on how to change that. If you don't, the regressive agenda is basically dead in the water as our demographics continue to change.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 4:30 pm CDT

"Truth"@93:

As a result of the flip-flop between the parties that occurred in the early 1960s, it's pretty clear that the today the "one party [that] support[s] slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, poll taxes, KKK, lynching, eugenics (to get rid of blacks and Jews), internment camps; only one party filibustered civil rights laws," is the Republican Party--several of them retroactively.

By Ron on 2013 08 16, 4:31 pm CDT

Regardless of the "realignment", almost all of the well known racist democrats of the 1950s and 1960s died democrats in many cases well after this realignment was supposedly complete, including Orval Fabus, John Stennis, Lester Maddox, George Wallace etc., etc., etc.

These ahistorical attempts of democrats to deny their shameful history is embarrassing

By Yankee on 2013 08 16, 4:36 pm CDT

@99 - Come on, you were doing so much better!

No one here is denying anything. Those positions were wrong then, no one in the middle *or* the left is going to deny that. They were shameful. They continue to be wrong and shameful today, no matter who promotes them or what party they pledge apparent allegiance to.

The only thing I guess anyone here "denies" is that any of that factually true history changes the current paradigm.

We'll never be able to truly address racism in this country at this rate. One side throws out the "racist" label so quickly that no frank conversation is possible, and the other side denies that racism even exists and blames everyone but their own racist followers for the fact that the public perceives them as hostile to minorities. We'll never, ever move past this unless both sides can stop being so damned irrational.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 4:45 pm CDT

No one here denied the ideologies embraced by the Democratic party of the past. The only point made was that the ideological legacy of that past is not associated with the Democratic party of the present.

As far as embarrassment goes, it's mighty hypocritical of you to call the history of the Democratic party shameful while you have embraced the nullification and bogus extreme states' rights platforms that served as the facade to the institutionalized racism you now lament. Or perhaps you are embracing the fact that so many of your statements here have been nothing if not shameful.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 4:48 pm CDT

@95 You're right, I should have mentioned how in the 60's the Kennedy brothers refused to lift a finger to enforce school desegregation and other civil rights decisions. And how the Democrats again tried to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which would have passed a decade earlier if not for bitter racist LBJ's filibuster. And how LBJ also didn't dare offend his base by enforcing it. And how LBJ showed his class by saying that signing CRA would get those "damn n@@@@s" to vote for his party. And how after Nixon was elected, school desegregation rates returned to and then exceeded the Eisenhower era (you remember him, the guy who opposed FDR's insistence on maintaining military segregation). And I should have mentioned how LBJ's Great Society has destroyed black families and communities that had lower rates of illegitimacy than whites and far less crime than since that time. And how blacks did so much better under Reagan and W. Bush (and Clinton as well) than under Obama. And lets not forget that only a bullet kept them from nominating another southern segregationist, George Wallace, in 1972. And he was winning elections outside the South among your supposedly non-racist democrat voters. The Democrats have never abandoned their racism, they've only redirected it.

@98 Early 60s? Are you joking or are you a complete idiot? MLK and the rest of the civil rights marchers were Repbulicans. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the politicians opposing segregation, turning the clubs, fire hoses, attack dogs, etc., EVERY SINGLE ONE, was a DEMOCRAT. That would be during the 60s after your so-called realignment. If there was a race-based realignment in the 60s, why was a segregationist running as a segregationist kept from the Democrat nomination in 1972 only by an assassination attempt. The claimed realignment of racists from Dem to Rep is a myth created by the left to delude itself into believing in its own superiority. Segregation and race politics simply ceased to be an issue for all but the radical left after segregation came into effect and they found out that it wasn't the horror the Dems had been telling them all their lives that it would be. The realignment didn't really take effect until after Reagan and had NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. The south became republican because of issues that have no connection to race--e.g., abortion, economic liberty, other social issues.

You can revel in your delusions and self-superiority, but don't expect everyone to drink the koolaid or join the revelry.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 4:48 pm CDT

I should have been clear, @101 is directed @ 99.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 4:49 pm CDT

@98 Exactly. As someone who spent the 60s in high school, college and the service I remember witnessing the flip flop. The southern Democrat senators and congressmen (no congresswomen then) were vehement in their oppositon to the civil rights movement - the term Dixiecrats was coined. I considered myself very much a Rockefeller Republican ( still do but I think I am the only one left ). The Dixiecrats slowly bolted the Democratic Party when President Johnson backed the civil rights legislation. In order to get re-elected they had to belong to one of the major parties. Republicans saw the opportunity to expand their political base and Barry Goldwater came along. He appealed to the basic conservative nature of Southerners and the modern Republican Party started to evolve. A lot of my fellow RRs started voting for Democrats after Nixon - who would could never be a Republican today - far too liberal. Way off topic but sometimes nostalgia takes over.

By redwood on 2013 08 16, 4:51 pm CDT

@100 & 101 See, e.g., 94, 95, 98.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 16, 4:57 pm CDT

@104 - It's interesting to hear it from someone who lived through it, though. Thanks!

For my part, I'm too young to associate the Republicans with anything other than their agenda during my short lifespan.

So they can argue about history all you want, and when the parties swapped positions. But that's just a distraction from the fact that we've finally hit that tipping point where young voters only associate the GOP with hate and ignorance, because it's all we've seen during our lifetimes. If they want to argue about the past instead of trying to change that perception... well, that seems like a poor strategy for continued viability.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 4:57 pm CDT

@102 - I love how you bring up Nixon as the harbinger of equality for black people. You might want to read some of his transcripts on the topic of blacks, and all sorts of other people too for that matter. And please, use all caps in your next response, it would make your arguments that much more logical (sic). And here's a vocabulary word for you: yellow-dog democrat. Look it up.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 5:00 pm CDT

Return to the topic of the article, please: "Assistant US attorney’s derogatory Facebook comments about ‘Dalibama’ and Trayvon Martin are probed"

If the discussion cannot be kept on-topic, comments will be closed.

- <b>Lee Rawles
Web Producer
ABAJournal.com</b>

By Lee Rawles on 2013 08 16, 5:03 pm CDT

Wow, many of you are missing the point here. It is not about First Amendment rights. This is about an AUSA who is held to a higher standard as a prosecutor for the Federal government who has made inappropriate comments that have a racial inference. This undoubtedly shows bias and how he can expected to prosecute further cases is the real question. The US surely wants to avoid any appeals based on his idiotic comments.

By TX / FL Atty on 2013 08 16, 5:09 pm CDT

I understand the reason they took down my comments
so if anybody out there would like to see DOJ paperwork and other evidence please send me your e-mail

By jason on 2013 08 16, 5:19 pm CDT

This guy was probably vetted by Monica Goodling for his 'purity' of thought.

By Doodle Dandy on 2013 08 16, 5:25 pm CDT

I understand why they removed my comments
if anybody would like to see DOJ paperwork send me your e-mail address

By jason on 2013 08 16, 5:25 pm CDT

@19 Being called a conservative is not an insult, except in intolerant quarters.

By Buchanan on 2013 08 16, 5:42 pm CDT

@113 - You should see what passes for conservative these days.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 16, 5:43 pm CDT

@113 - I was trying, in fact, to alleviate the fact that we throw "conservative" and "liberal" around like meaningless, insulting appellations. To sharpen our vocabulary, and allow true, thoughtful, libertarian conservatives to distinguish themselves from... those who give them a bad reputation.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 5:46 pm CDT

I think I understand all the hate on this board for the prosecutor. As I understand it, he made a satirical comment about Trayvon (obviously not believing him to be an innocent young man gunned down for no good reason - as the jury also found). Trayvon is black. DOES HE NOT REALIZE THAT YOU CANNOT MAKE A DEROGATORY COMMENT ABOUT A BLACK PERSON? Does he not realize that certain people are off-limits for derogatory commentary? Then he made a supreme error in judgment when he let his opinion be known by actually expressing it "aloud." Now if you make derogatory comments about others, provided they are white, you can usually get away with it. You can make fun of such people. You can even have whole TV shows dedicated to making fun of white culture - something about "Rednecks" or some such nonsense. But, for the love of God, DO NOT, DO NOT EVER, MAKE FUN OF A BLACK PERSON, BECAUSE THEN YOU'LL BE INVESTIGATED AND PROBABLY NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A JOB. It's pretty simple, really.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 16, 5:55 pm CDT

The intolerance shown to those who deviate from modern orthodoxies is frightening.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 16, 5:57 pm CDT

@2: What exactly did you find racist about what Craft said?

By the way, there's nothing inconsistent with the left-wing holding racist beliefs and opinions.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 16, 6:00 pm CDT

Make no mistake, this is just but one small symptom of a larger movement dedicated to mind control. Dissent is not tolerated. There is, essentially, a sort of modern Nicene creed to which you must adhere on certain matters. Your speech must be in conformity with the creed. If not, you'll lose your job. If you point out that the emperor has no clothes, you'll lose your job. I do not doubt that, in the future, anyone who fails to adopt the creed will be declared insane and will have to go for "treatment" until he or she is cured and finally sees the light. It will become increasingly harder on those who strive to retain a semblance of free thought on particular matters. You will be pressured relentlessly. I already receive messages at work about how I need to think about certain matters. There are public service announcements telling you how to think. All of this will increase until all autonomy is abandoned. So, watch what you say. In order to watch what you say, you'll have to watch what you think. And, finally, you'll have to give up even thinking, lest some dangerous thought accidentally leak out.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 16, 6:05 pm CDT

According to the lefties writing on this thread and one can assume the ABA management of the ABA Journal since they removed my previous comment, forthright discussion of race issues is the third rail of political discussion. Any discussion these people sanction begins with the assumption that serious criticism of the racial aspect of the liberal laundry list of causes is out of bounds.

Well, that may be may be true for them, but it damn sure isn't for me - or tens of millions of other Americans.

By Joe on 2013 08 16, 6:24 pm CDT

@4 I take it you're completely unfamiliar with members of the Texas Bar or Texans in general. While every bar has their idiots and bad eggs, the members of the Texas bar are largely an intelligent and respectful group. If your comments are targeted more at Texas people in general, i can tell you that when i moved from Texas to California last year, i was shocked at how much more racist people are out here in "liberal" (Bay Area) California. I shouldn't have to remind you that a Texan pushed for and signed the civil rights act in 1964.

By HL on 2013 08 16, 6:34 pm CDT

@108 - Lee - maybe every so often you could post a blank column with the heading "Political Free-For-All" and just let people go to town. ;)

By MrBill on 2013 08 16, 6:35 pm CDT

@ I certainly see what passes for liberal. The prolbem is each part of the political spectrum sees the opposite counterpart through their own distorted vantage world view. A far left liberal would see a moderate conservative as radical and vice versa. You define yourself by how you define others, asamptly proven by many of the comments on this blog.

By Buchanan on 2013 08 16, 7:28 pm CDT

I know at least one AUSA who spent years posting racist and highly political comments online ... from his government computer.

By mm hmm on 2013 08 16, 8:27 pm CDT

Yet, another comment thread that pits every Republican against every Democrat. Bored now. Can't you people talk about anything else?! I know plenty of Dems who don't agree with each other and I know plenty of Reps who don't agree with each other. And I know people affiliated with other parties who might agree with the Dems or the Reps. I know Dems who are very racist and I know Reps who are not. Every single person I know has different beliefs yet on this board you claim the one side believes this absolutely and one side believes that absolutely.

MOVE ON TO A NEW TOPIC!!!!

By Trust & Estates Paralegal on 2013 08 16, 10:28 pm CDT

Sounds like what I posted on my Facebook page. Who cares.

By Timothy Belt on 2013 08 16, 10:35 pm CDT

Thank you to all the posters who provided information about the "purple drank." That was very helpful to an understanding of what is being discussed.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 16, 10:39 pm CDT

I agree with Paralegal 125. The politics isn't the issue.

The issue is DOJ disrepute. If a defense lawyer doesn't dare let his client be prosecuted by an Assistant US Attorney without further investigation, then I'd say there's a stain on the DOJ.

And, as a member of the "United States of America" (client of record in criminal cases), I've got this guy as my lawyer. I have every right to be dissatisfied with him, and if his employer's rules contain a remedy that fits his conduct, I'll feel relieved.

Even though I'm for free speech. If they guy has to do his Civics exercises with sarcasm and offense, he ought to do so under a pseudonym if he wants to represent me. How is this so hard to grasp? If he worked in the JAG Corps or Main Justice, he'd be history by now.

By Avon on 2013 08 17, 12:21 am CDT

Number 28 well said. One can believe that criticism of the President is not racist and one can believe that criticizing Mr. Martin's conduct is not racist, but you don't use this kind of language to make a rational argument. Further I am not aware that the Hatch Act has been repealed. If you are a civil servant which this attorney is, you don't have politics and you don't engage in political commentary. As 28 noted you don't put in emails anything you don't want to show up in the newspapers let alone put it on Facebook. As noted by Isolde if your opposition can find this material and use it against you, it was a bad idea to post it.

By George Sly on 2013 08 17, 12:39 am CDT

#128 says that the "issue is DOJ disrepute." I say that if he had praised Obama and dissed Zimmerman there would have been no ISSUE whatsoever. There most certainly is a political angle to what he said and the responses to what he said - - - and, these days, you know where you have to line up if you want to keep your job. Or does anyone REALLY think that if he had praised Obama anyone would have made a stink about his Facebook postings? Gimme a break.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 17, 3:37 am CDT

Really? The Hatch Act says that civil servants can't "have politics" or engage in "political commentary" in their personal capacity?

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 17, 5:34 am CDT

Conspicuously missing from Yankee's list is Strom Thurmand but that just demonstrates that the circle of conservative hypocrisy never ends.

By Doodle Dandy on 2013 08 18, 12:39 am CDT

The problem, buchanan, is that far right conservatves see moderate conservatives as radical leftists.

By Doodle Dandy on 2013 08 18, 12:43 am CDT

This guy is too stupid (and racist) to be a member of any profession. He deserves to be fired for stupidity. I pity those latino defendants in the federal circuit where he practices.

By Pocahantas on 2013 08 19, 3:45 pm CDT

@Pocahontas Am I missing something here? The AUSA takes a position defending the Hispanic guy and you think that makes him anti-hispanic? How is that supposed to work?

By John Smith on 2013 08 19, 4:28 pm CDT

@132 Thurmond doesn't really fit on a list of lifelong Democrats. Of course, he abandoned his support of segregation along with the political party of segregation.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 19, 4:33 pm CDT

@136

The best part about your posts is that you keep making the point that the Democratic Party used to be racist, and no one is arguing with you about that point.

The guy in his posts said some racist and inappropriate things, should he be fired for them? Well, maybe. His job requires him to be able to enforce the law without bias or prejudice, if he can successfully separate his personal prejudices from his professional ones, he should be able to keep his job. If he can't, he shouldn't. Simple enough.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 19, 6:00 pm CDT

Welcome to the era of Sacred Cows. Some types of people cannot be made fun of. They are "privileged," to use the terminology of the progressiver-than-thou contingent. If one makes the error, that is, makes fun of the sacred cow people, then one is, ipso facto, an "ist" of some type. You don't want to be an "ist" because an ist will be subject to investigation, demonization, and, apparently, unemployment. Now, for example, if you call the former President any number of names, hurl any number of epithets against him (as many did), there will be no investigation; you will not be hunted down as a possible ist; that's because GW is NOT privileged the way certain other people are. Orwell would approve (well, some of his characters anyway).

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 19, 10:05 pm CDT

@138

The question is whether the names being hurled at the former president demonstrated a bias on behalf of the individual doing the name calling that would impair their ability to do their job. For instance, I can't recall any cases of any AUSAs during the Bush administration calling him racist names. If there were some, than I believe they probably should have been investigated and potentially removed as well.

Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequences.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 20, 1:46 pm CDT

@138 - Thank you for admitting that calling the president a "socialist" or, of all things, even a "Marxist-Leninist", is a ridiculous practice of those too quick to brand someone as an -ist for no good reason. More of your fellow conservatives could use that lesson.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 20, 1:57 pm CDT

@139: Your comment about not knowing of President Bush being called "racist names" implies that you believe that President Obama was called racist names. Are you referring to the "Dalibama" name used by the AUSA or are you expanding to comments made by others not mentioned in the article? If the "Dalibama" name, please explain what was racist about that reference. It appears to be a reference to the Dalai Lama due to the adulation directed at President Obama by some (and not a reference to the more interesting (to me) Salvador Dali).
@140: Agreed but it works both ways. You certainly recall that many opponents of President Bush and VP Cheney referred to them as fascists (and still do). Both right and left ought to reduce the inflammatory language and discuss issues a bit more calmly.

By GB on 2013 08 20, 2:18 pm CDT

Note: Freedom of Speech absolutely *does* mean freedom from consequences when the speech is constitutionally-protected. Otherwise the consequences chill the speech. "Freedom of Speech" means nothing if it does not shield from consequences now and then.

The question here is whether Freedom of Speech extends this far -- there are times when an attorney does *not*, in fact, enjoy the same scope of Freedom of Speech that laypersons do.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 20, 2:19 pm CDT

@141 - Bush and Cheney were referred to as fascists, but as far as I remember, not regularly by employees of major media outlets. Few that used that term had much credibility, even among lefties (aka centrists). And ironically, the term fascist, and even National Socialist, was used to describe this president as well. We can add to that list 'atheist' (which for some reason has a negative connotation), and most other types of -ist (Muslim fundamentalist? Granted this example is more fringe than the others) you can think of.

I guess my point is that if we are condemning those who use broad and offensive labels to denigrate others, the relative left (aka the center) in American politics is not the only one to blame, and is comparatively less prolific in lobbing -ist bombs at those they disagree with than conservatives/regressives are.

Finally, with respect to this AUSA, I think most people agree that scrutiny may be merited by his comments regarding Trayvon Martin, not so much for criticizing Obama's voters as being "low information." I guess we'll see.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 20, 2:41 pm CDT

@142

Actually, I disagree with that. Freedom of Speech means free from Government interference, but it doesn't mean there aren't consequences to what you say. Especially when you say them in a public forum. For instance, this AUSA is not free from seeming like a racist to people who read his posts. He's also not free from being fired for his constitutionally protected speech, if that speech indicates an inability to do his job.

@141

I haven't seen the specific graphic that Craft used in his post, but I have seen similar ones. Usually they depict poor african american people captured in rather unflattering poses, which are the very least offensive, if not blatently racist. Besides, as I said previously, if the posts do not demonstrate that he has a bias which affects his ability to do his job, he should get to keep it. If they do, then he shouldn't.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 20, 2:48 pm CDT

@142 There are, and ought to be, limitations to the right, when the speaker is a federal employee and the speech is impacts on his employment and at least to my way of thinking, that would include gratuitous statements which could tend to reveal prejudices which may cause the accused to believe that he or she would not be fair in his treatment of them.

By redwood on 2013 08 20, 2:51 pm CDT

This demonstrates the back and forth of the positions taken depending on who the players are. This ADA's comments were ill-advised. However during the Bush administration I remember seeing a few cases of federal employees who were in the same position as this fellow in their ardent criticism of the Bush administration. I also remember the clamor to defend these federal employees' free speech rights. Actually, I think the ABA (I think it was the ABA) condemned the Bush administration for firing U.S. Attorneys for their views. It's like a basketball game...when your team has the ball, there can be no offensive fouls but when the other team has the ball, it's D-FENCE! I've learned to just enjoy the game.

By SME on 2013 08 20, 2:55 pm CDT

@146

I suppose it depends on the nature of the cricism. Had this AUSA's posts been criticisms of Obamacare, or other policies of the Obama administration, I would have no problem with that, and would stridently defend his right to post them. If the hypothetical ADA in the Bush administration had been calling Bush a cracker, or other potentially racist names, I would have no problem with a theoretical termination. The difference is one is a criticism of policy and the other is an insulting remark made at a person.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 20, 3:06 pm CDT

Fair enough and your point is well taken, especially in regard to the U.S. Attorneys. One of the other employees however I think posted something more akin to the ADA in the present case.

By SME on 2013 08 20, 3:10 pm CDT

The comments about the Dalilbama are relatively harmless and certainly should have First Amendment protection, but the purple drank remark and the mocking slang could certainly be perceived as racist remarks. Not being black it is hard for me to assess how the remark might impact on an accused black person being prosecuted by this guy so I don't know that it is a firing offense. But I would think that his comment will impact in some way on all of his fellow AUSAs in that district and should merit some type of disciplinary action.

By redwood on 2013 08 20, 3:22 pm CDT

@149: Only possibly racist slang reported in the article above was the word "'kay?" for "okay." "Purple drank" is a term used to describe a particular concoction used to get high (see Wikipedia). It is not a racist term.

By GB on 2013 08 20, 3:43 pm CDT

@150 - Don't be obtuse. Just as the comment would have racial overtones if it referenced watermelon and fried chicken (even though lots of folks like both), mentioning purple drank has racial overtones.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 20, 4:05 pm CDT

I understand that, but I perceived it as a racist remark. I am not black nor am I a knee jerk liberal. My perception is neither correct or incorrect. But if I peceived it as racist and so might others - especially blacks. Maybe the AUSA did not intend it as a racist remark, but he said it and put it out there. And as evidenced by the many comments here it has created a lot of controversy. If I was his boss I would not be happy about the controversy and if he was on thin ice to begin with he would be gone. If not he would be told that two strikes is an out.

By redwood on 2013 08 20, 4:12 pm CDT

@151: No need for the ad hominem attack;does not add to the discussion to use adjectives like "obtuse" just because I disagree with your opinion. The term "purple drank" has a meaning. That you apparently believe only black people use the term says something about you, not the AUSA. I, and I would bet most, never heard of purple drank until recently so I do not think your argument putting it on the same level as the fried chicken and watermelon stereotype holds up. Frankly, I have no idea who uses the term besides the deceased Mr. Martin because I had never heard it before. If the AUSA had used the synonym "Lean" for "purple drank" would you be less offended even though they are both names for the same concoction?

By GB on 2013 08 20, 5:25 pm CDT

@153 - My apologies. I was hoping to use an add homonym attack, but I couldn't think of any.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 20, 5:28 pm CDT

@153

See, here's the thing. Take the word "Cracker". A certain prosecution witness in a recent trial used the phrase when quoting someone and everyone yelled about it because it's a term that has racial overtones when used in the way that it was. When asked, the witness stated she was unaware of the fact that it had those potential meanings. Does it matter that she, subjectively, did not know? Apparently not.

Of course the meaning of words depends greatly on how we say them, and since the written word doesn't convey all the nuances that the spoken word does, people tend to place their own interpretation of how they think the person who wrote the words meant them. So, in a post which is perceived as generally intended to be insulting, it wouldn't be unusual to get an impression that the guy was using phrases in their most insultingly racist fashion.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 20, 6:21 pm CDT

Right, McLeod, cuz who cares if we have a racist assistant U.S. Attorney, right? You're brilliant and a stellar human being as usual.

By Adamius on 2013 08 20, 9:27 pm CDT

Indeed. High time you realized how much better I truly am. Thank you for the belated acknowledgement.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 21, 12:05 am CDT

Hypersensitivity to racism is probably much more abundant than racism itself. Of course that term, "racism," can have so many meanings that it is approaching meaninglessness. In general I have most often seen it used in the sense of "you disagree with me about the issue of race." At any rate, this hypersensitivity was the reason the media were ablaze with Paula Dean headlines and why billions of us were caught up so passionately in the search to discover whether she had used the "N-word" some 10 or more years ago. Yeah, it was a sort of collective insanity. The casual use of the word "racist" will continue to cause many good people to lose reputation. When I see the madness, the inflamed passions, I invariably recall (1) the villagers after Frankenstein's monster, (2) the peasants in The Holy Grail hustling the witch off to execution, (3) or sometimes a cartoon character: "I taught I saw a wayciss; I did, I did, I did see a wayciss" - with appropriate anxiety and fluster.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 21, 12:06 am CDT

And as #149 said, there MUST be some sort of punishment! If people are allowed to go around saying "Dalibama" and "purple drank" who knows what might come next? I say we send him off to the Ministry of Love. He needs to learn that you can never .... BUT NEVER .... be too careful about expressing an opinion, especially if it could be offensive. I think I'll celebrate with a shot of Victory Gin.

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 21, 12:09 am CDT

"When an attorney works for the government, the attorney should not be tossing about snarky insults about the head of that government." Again, this depends on who the head of the government is. I remember the "village idiot" comments by federal employees when Bush was in office. It was all good then however.

By SME on 2013 08 21, 12:28 pm CDT

It wasn't really good. They were just making the best of a bad situation.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 21, 12:30 pm CDT

I want to start by pointing out that I am not an attorney, nor do I claim to be any sort of expert (sure, discredited myself, whatever, skip my comment if you want). The point I'd like to make, is that I oftentimes speak in a way that some might consider "racist," as if I'm making fun of a "certain ethnic group;" however, I want to point out that I am making fun of the style of language. Simply because I jokingly speak with a "southern draw" on some things, or say things like "what's up homie g-funk" doesn't mean I'm racist. Now, they CAN be considered racist, depending on one key thing: context. Context that is up for interpretation. Things aren't always simply one extreme or the other. I get that it's a heated subject, and coming from a multi-ethnic background, I just wanted to put my two cents out there :)

By Z on 2013 08 21, 5:43 pm CDT

All the liberal conservative talk is just. Garbage. And to the extent that it comes from lawyers. In any actual analysis. Shows the decline of legal analysis.
The comments about Obama by the ausa are only an issue to the extent he is plunking out his ultimate boss. Disparage your boss and suffer the consequences
The drank. Watermelon etc comments are not the end of the world N word outright racism. Type they are the subtle. Inferred racist comments they show elements of his character and a lack of good sense

By Todd on 2013 08 21, 6:02 pm CDT

Welcome to the Social Media Age, ladies and gentlemen. If you wouldn't want it to be scrutinized by your employer or prospective employers, don't say it under your own name in any social media platform (public or so-called private). Putting aside the issue of racism, plain old poor judgment can get you fired or passed over in hiring. This isn't a leftwing or rightwing issue, it's common sense. He failed a basic test of intelligence and judgment.

By LTE on 2013 08 21, 7:36 pm CDT

@164 I think you nailed it.

By redwood on 2013 08 21, 7:44 pm CDT

@164 Why does is show a lack of intelligence and judgment? Because it offends the left and they will do everything in their power to destroy those who offend their sensibilities. That's the left vs. right issue here that you're missing. I find polenty of things offensive, but that doesn't mean anyone should be punished by having their careers and reputations destroyed. If you don't like his posts, don't read them, follow them, etc. He expressed his displeasure with the president and with the media's selective misreporting of Trayvon Martin's death. Deal with it.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 21, 8:05 pm CDT

166 -- What did he do that shows lack of intelligence and judgment? As a prosecutor, he might have just said that he agrees with the Zimmerman verdict because the evidence supported a verdict of self defense. Perfectly fine. But he didn't say that. He stupidly made fun of or downright disparaged the decedent, using language that some (obviously many of the commenters on this board) consider racially insensitive. That's just plain stupid behavior, and it also shows a lack of prosecutorial objectivity. Oh, and I didn't vote for Obama, in either 2008 or 2012, so put the lefty vs. righty political garbage in the can where it belongs.

By LTE on 2013 08 21, 8:53 pm CDT

So it's racist to refer to a black person buying Arizona Watermelon Fruit Cocktail, even if that's what he actually bought (not iced tea as reported by the PC correct press), and it's also racist to refer to purple drank or lean (a concoction made from skittles and the drink he actually bought, along with Robatussin) even though references to it appeared in his text messages? It's abundantly clear to anyone not looking for racism under every stone that he was referring to the ingredients of the concoction, nothing else. As someone commented earlier, the accusation of racism is now a lethal weapon in modern society, enthusiastically fueled by white guilt. Time to move on, people.

By Saffer on 2013 08 22, 12:05 am CDT

Staffer seriously? What is the relevance of the watermelon tea skittles and drank comments. What? Oh the trial court excluded them. Why because they had no relevance. And there were insinuated racial undertones. That's why. Seriously this is a discussion by people with any knowledge of the law?.. The ausa made the comments assumably with the knowledge of the racial undertones and the lack of any relevance to the real issues to the case. Well we can only hope he is. Or isn't that stupid? It is time to move on for anyone here that lacks the sense exhibited by the ausa. Oh to the moderator. Is the ABA aware that the numbering of the comments. The Buber of each comment do not appear on mobile devices. So like here in order to see if there was an inane response to my wholly cogent comment. I have to count the comments. Very irritating. Are you guys to busy making drank with you watermelon tea and skittles? Did I just infer something there?

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 2:33 am CDT

Number not Buber dang to much drank to operate an iPhone

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 2:35 am CDT

I wonder if that company is aware that they are selling products with "racial undertones"? I wonder if the consumption of a beverage by whites would ever result in racial undertones .... or perhaps some sort of ethnic "penumbra"?

By OUTSIDER on 2013 08 22, 11:29 am CDT

Amazing legal conclusions. It's called context. If I refer to a watermelon patch at a farm there is no racial context. If I refer to a watermelon patch in Harlem there is a possible racial context. Seriously do any of you, on that side of the conversation, have any legal knowledge or experience? It's not unlike the difference in relevant evidence it depends on the context

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 1:19 pm CDT

Just amazing and so predictable how the PC correct racist hunters resort to personal attacks when facts, logic and common sense destroy their arguments. Firstly, these comments are not jury deliberations or any other court proceedings. Therefore, we don't need to restrict ourselves only to the evidence allowed in the case. (On that note, wouldn't it have been great if the media restricted their reporting only to the evidence allowed in the case? If they had, Zimmerman wouldn't have been labelled a racist profiler.) Secondly, if there is indeed a watermelon patch in Harlem AND it is perfectly relevant to refer to it in a comment (for example, the rape occurred while the victim was tending to the watermelon patch), does that make the comment racist? The media portrayed Trayvon as an innocent young kid, armed only with his skittlles and iced tea. This AUSA was alluding to the content of the text messages (yes, not allowed as evidence in the court proceedings, but nevertheless still in existence) and simply expressing his opinion that these items were purchased to make the concoction. Now, if someone were to try and express those sentiments, how does one do so without being labelled racist? Would you prefer that comments of this nature were suppressed for fear of being labelled a racist? That's the society we are moving towards and it's sad. The problem with PC is that it conceals the truth or dissuades people from speaking the truth, and this very seldom contributes to finding real solutions. There's no doubt that this AUSA was imprudent in making these comments, given his position, but that doesn't make him a racist.

By Saffer on 2013 08 22, 1:50 pm CDT

What exactly does the reference to watermelon and drank do to help in the search for truth in any matter

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 2:30 pm CDT

@173

Your right, it doesn't make him racist. As the quote from the defense attorney at the end of the article indicates though, it's now ammunition that has nothing to do with an individual case, that could be used against the prosecution.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 08 22, 2:30 pm CDT

@171 and 173 - I think you are missing the point. The article began with why stupid people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Obama won because he took 95% of the black vote and over two thirds of the hispanic vote. Romney got more of the white vote. It is certainly conceivable that comment may have offended a minority voter. I, for one, was unaware that purple drank was actually the name of something people drink. I was also unaware that Martin's iced tea was watermelon flavored. The comment to me seemed to be a racist comment. But after reading many of the comments in this thread which explained some of the AUSA's language I am willing to accept the fact that the AUSA's comments were not intended to be racist comments. But I can certainly see how a minority voter would see it as a racist comment especially in light of the stupid voter comment. And I don't think this topic should be analyzed like a legal argument. The AUSA is a public figure with public responsibilities even to the stupid voters. The AUSA is not on trial. But he put himself in the public eye when he published his comments on facebook. He clearly showed poor judgment. I don't know if he should be fired or disciplined. It would depend on whether or not he is good enough at what he does for his boss to weather the negative publicity that likely followed his post. This is not a right/left issue. It isn't even a legal issue. It is just one more reminder that those who use social media to express private thoughts take a very big risk that those thoughts may be exposed to public scrutiny.

By redwood on 2013 08 22, 2:53 pm CDT

@ Todd: The reference to these two items in this particular matter, along with the content of the text messages, shows that Trayvon probably purchased them to make the concoction (it would have been hugely coincidental if he hadn't), thereby dispelling the media myth that he was just another innocent young kid, armed only with his skittles and iced tea. The media, of course, never explored this angle because it did not support their agenda. Nor did they report much on his troubled past, although I do recall reading an article in the Miami Herald which, believe it or not, did cover some of it. Unfortunately for the media and all the others who hastened to label Zimmerman a racist profiler, there is no place for political correctness in a jury room, so they were called out by the jury this time. It's not often that an opportunity arises to really put these all too often ridiculous racism accusations to the test in a court of law. That's about the only good thing that came out of these tragic events.

By Saffer on 2013 08 22, 3:38 pm CDT

@177 How does your assumption that Martin was intending to mix a batch of purple drank make him something other than an innocent young kid?

By redwood on 2013 08 22, 4:22 pm CDT

I agree that the race card is over used misused, and subject to "white guilt" I agree that these are "small" "incidents" of a racial connotation by the ausa. I agree that he has a right to free speech.
I believe that if you accept a job with the DOJ you accept a higher responsibility both professional and personal. Justice is (supposed) to be blind. If you put out comments that indicate or can be interpreted as a bias or biased while working in the DOJ you deserve and should be subject to scrutiny education and or punishment Otherwise you bring disrepute too the "Justice" system.

The rest of the conservative liberal stuff here is just balderdash I'm still waiting for the moderator to commend me for pointing out the mobile app flaw maybe I can get a bounty like that facebook guy

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 5:13 pm CDT

@ redwood: Innocent young kids don't do recreational drugs. That should be obvious. More subtle was the media's continual reference to the skittles, along with the iced tea, which is a nice fit for the type of candy enjoyed by an innocent young kid.
@Todd: thanks for the much needed levity.

My final comment is that, bearing in mind the extensive coverage the trial received, it's astonishing how the media ignored the text messages and Trayvon's history of violence and school suspensions. True Journalism no longer exists and we all need to dig deeper than the mainstream media for our news. We form opinions on the "facts" fed to us by the biased media. Some of the comments here clearly indicate that too many were totally unaware of the probable connection between the skittles, watermelon drink and lean or purple drank. Why didn't the media cover these juicy, newsworthy tidbits? Political correctness and the fear of being accused of racism is the short answer. Is this how we want modern journalism to be?

By Saffer on 2013 08 22, 7:18 pm CDT

Thank you 180 (I'm obviously on a computer) hint hint moderator, The Martin case is a troubling case in so many ways, a belief that young black men are up to no good, a belief that therefore we can follow them and confront them, a belief that black men need to confront those that are "not respecting" them and on and on oh I forgot a media that is biased, no sarcasm meant, and on I am decidedly anti DA I have found too many that forget what justice is or means and let the day in day out activities jade them, the last case has no relevance to the next case Mr. DA each should be granted all rights and judged alone. I hate the liberal conservative garbage because too many people are situation conservative or liberals and will switch sides because that's what they think the outcome should be in that situation regardless of the underlying logic, broadly "death penalty vs abortion" its either god's call or its not make up your mind on the logic and stick to it. oh well the moderator just called me and said he would give me fitty cents to go away that's fitty cents oops!!!

By Todd on 2013 08 22, 11:47 pm CDT

@Saffer - "Innocent young kids don't do recreational drugs. That should be obvious." No. It is not obvious. Since when does possession of several of the ingredients of a "recreational drug" with the "probable" intention of "making the concoction" make one a candidate for vigilante justice?

By Redwood on 2013 08 23, 2:59 am CDT

@ Redwood: I never said that using recreational drugs made him a target of vigilante justice. I said that it, along with his troubled past, disqualified him from being regarded as an innocent young kid.

By Saffer on 2013 08 23, 3:13 am CDT

Why is that relevant?

By Redwood on 2013 08 23, 3:38 am CDT

@ Redwood: It dispels the myth created by the media.

By Saffer on 2013 08 23, 9:56 am CDT

@Truth Check
Quire disingenuos of you to try to distinguish Thurmond on the basis that he left the Democrats to join the GOP. He joined the GOP because the Democrats embraced civil rights.

By American Patriot on 2013 08 25, 4:05 am CDT

@186 Context, context, context. I was responding to someone who complained that Strom Thurmond wasn't included on a list of lifelong Democrat segregationist. Your comment would seem to indicate that he doesn't belong on that list. How is truth disingenuous?

As for why he switched parties, your assertion is patently absurd to anyone with knowledge of the parties at the time. If he was so offended by a wing of his party embracing civil rights, why would he join the party that had been fully supportive of civil rights for over a century. Check congressional voting records. Republican support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 dwarfed Democrat support in both houses. The very few Republican votes against weren't opposition to civil rights, but to how the Act was designed to work. Similar legislation had been proposed and supported by Republicans, but filibustered by Democrats (like racist Senator Lyndon Johnson in the 50s), was that a narrow majority of Dems joined the Reps to support it.

By Truth Check on 2013 08 27, 1:51 pm CDT

@187, your comments on this article seem to contradict just about everyone. Except that all agree people are entitled to their own opinions rather than to their own facts.

The lengths Democrats had to go to to enact civil rights legislation over Republican opposition, from before JFK was elected president right on through today, are well-established fact. Even states where the legislation remains unpopular, despite having the clout to get textbooks to cater to their beliefs, seem to teach that well-established fact. Of course 1960s Republicans were against federal intervention in general; they liked Ike, Goldwater and Nixon for that reason. And of course Southern Democrats in the early 1960s were not very typical of Democrats elsewhere in this regard, but the South was a smaller percentage of the nation's population then. So talking about Thurmond based on generalizations about what Democrats favored is pretty pointless.

The answer to your actual question is that Thurmond was so offended by Southern Democratic caving to the overall Democratic policy (largely due to the political prowess of the Southern Democrat LBJ) that he'd feel betrayed by that or any other such party, and would join any other viable one at that time. (And he was not alone; the whole South turned blue largely out of disgust with the 1960s-1980s trends in Democratic Party policy.) He was that feisty and unshakable an absolutist on his issues - and is perhaps more unforgettably famous for that than for anything else.

I can't imagine how you could have been there yet not know that. I've never heard anyone deny it before.

By Avon on 2013 08 28, 1:09 am CDT

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.