What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 30, 2015

The Trib's Editorial Board's On The Defensive, I Guess

From today's Tribune-Review op-ed page:
In a Facebook post, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, accuses those associated with the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market Harrisburg think tank, of being “racist, homophobic, sexist, classist, ableist, anti-American bigots whose single driving motivation is to secure the wealth of (its) multimillionaire donors at the expense of every single working person and family in the commonwealth.” Sims' words once again prove that ignorance and intemperance are the main ingredients of a “progressive” smear.[Bolding in Original]
If you're looking for an explanation, John Micek over at Pennlive, has one:
It's no secret that Harrisburg's Commonwealth Foundation tilts to the right. The think-tank on State Street has helped lead the charge on such conservative cornerstone issues as Paycheck Protection and the amusingly misnamed "Right to Work," movement.

It's also been in the vanguard of opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf's budget and the tax hike plans embedded within it. And if there's some liberal cause making the rounds, it can be reliably counted upon to oppose it.

All of which apparently didn't sit well with state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, who took to the Facebooks earlier this month to go all Old Testament prophet in the wildnerness on the Koch Bros.-linked think-tank. [Link and Bolding in Original.]
As much as I like Micek, I think he missed the context of the story.  Let's start with the facebook message that the braintrust found so offensive:
Oh Commonwealth Foundation we've talked about this!

See, I already know that you are all racist, homophobic, sexist, classist, ableist, anti-American, bigots whose single driving motivation is to secure the wealth of your multimillionaire donors at the expense of every single working person and family in the Commonwealth. See, I told you I already get it so you don't need to waste money sending me proof...actually go ahead and waste that money!

We're better than you bigots!
And move on to the context.  Here's a follow-up from Sims:
The bigots at the Commonwealth Foundation have just now come across my post about their useless mailing earlier this month and rather than address any of my facts (err accusations) about the work they do, each person who like worked on the flier is posting about how I individually called them names [smile emoticon]

I'm guessing that's about as close to a legitimate defense as they can come up with so its all good on my end!

"Stop hating on our hatred. Stop discrimination against our discrimination. Hold still so we can hurt you and hate you more."

I think you've done enough to hurt working class, military, middle class, and poor families today, Commonwealth Foundation. How about you rest up and attack Americans and liberty tomorrow on a full night sleep.
So the right-tilting Commonwealth Foundation mailed something to state Rep Brian Sims that Sims thought wasteful enough to mock them about it with some rather harsh words.  (I'll leave it to you to agree or disagree)

But who's Brian Sims?  For those who need a reminder, Brian Sims is this guy:
An openly gay lawmaker was silenced by colleagues on the Pennsylvania House floor Thursday when he attempted to speak about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) took to the House floor on Thursday to discuss the high court's landmark ruling, which found the federal law barring the government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by states to be unconstitutional. However, as WHYY News and Philly.com report, Sims' remarks were blocked by several state lawmakers using a procedural maneuver.

One of those lawmakers, conservative state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), told WHYY that he believed Sims' comments would be a violation of "God's law."

"I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law," Metcalfe said.
Yea, that Brian Sims.  Anyone who can trigger Daryl Metcalfe into such righteous indignation must be doing something right.

But let's head back to the rather gentle argument skewing the braintrust makes.  First off, Sims wasn't accusing "those  associated" with the Commonwealth Foundation of being bigots, etc. (which could mean anyone who donates to the foundation or simply agrees with its "research", for example).  He was accusing the Foundation itself of being those things.

By widening the Venn diagram and expanding Sims' less-than-gentle mockery, the braintrust unfairly smears Sims.

But that's all a diversion from the bigger problem with what the braintrust wrote.   I'll give you a hint.  It's found among the nouns of this phrase:
...motivation is to secure the wealth of (its) multimillionaire donors at the expense...[Emphasis added.]
Hmm.  Rich donors of the Commonwealth Foundation.  Hmm.

According to the bridgeproject, the Commonwealth Foundation received $7,654,207 in foundational support over the years.  Just under 35% of that (about $2.667 million) came from the Sarah Scaife, Allegheny and Carthage Foundations - all controlled (before his passing) by Trib owner Richard Mellon Scaife.

Sims indirectly called out the Trib's former owner (although he was a billionaire and not merely a millionaire) and the braintrust, in pushing back, just never seemed to get around to saying, "Hey, that's our former boss you're insulting!"

Given all the money he shuttled off to the Commonwealth Foundation, shouldn't they have pointed that out?


Heir to the Throne said...

racist, homophobic, sexist, classist, ableist, anti-American, bigots

Isn't this the default insult when someone disagrees with a progressive.

Zeus0209 said...

Quid pro quo
Just as "open violation of gods law" is the default insult when someone disagrees with a conservative.

ill pray for you tonight heir.