Politics & Policy

Enough Already with the Race Card

Susan Rice in June 2012
The Democratic Left needs to stop lobbing noxious rhetorical grenades.

Among sitting Senate Democrats, California’s Barbara Boxer, Illinois’s Dick Durbin, and Rhode Island’s Jack Reed exhibited bias by voting against Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state on January 26, 2005. Even worse, anti-black animus made Iowa’s Tom Harkin, Massachusetts’s John Kerry, New Jersey’s Frank Lautenberg, and Michigan’s Carl Levin reject Rice as well as Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas who, nonetheless, was confirmed on October 15, 1991. Also among the über-bigots who nixed both Rice and Thomas was the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former Senate Democratic leader and Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. Among other efforts, Byrd recruited 150 members for the notorious hate group.

Okay, Democrats and liberals, how does that feel?

If it hurts to read a steaming pile of lies claiming that your favorite lawmakers are racists, perhaps you will understand Republican and conservative outrage when the Left fabricates discrimination charges about the Right’s leaders.

Among the cancers devouring the American body politic, one of the most virulent involves liberals who play the race card as carelessly as children playing 52 Pickup. They cannot fathom that conservatives oppose black politicians for reasons beyond race.

Just as the aforementioned Democrats rebuffed Rice and Thomas due to policy differences (possibly excluding KKK alumnus Robert Byrd), Senate Republicans such as Arizona’s John McCain, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte have criticized U.N. ambassador Susan Rice — but not for practicing diplomacy while black. Regardless, liberals scream: “Racism!”

‐“There is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by unfortunately Senator McCain and others,” said Representative Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio), incoming Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman. “It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities.”

‐After Republicans called Susan Rice “incompetent,” Representative James Clyburn (D., South Carolina) told CNN: “These are code words. . . . Those of us who were born and raised in the South — we’ve been hearing these little words and phrases all of our lives and we get insulted by them.”

‐When 97 House Republicans wrote President Obama to condemn Rice, a November 22 Washington Post editorial helpfully noted that “more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy.”

‐MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe decried a “witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let’s face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice.”

‐“I’ll leave it to you to decide how much of the tarring of Rice as incompetent and unqualified is about the myth of black inferiority and female inferiority,” said MSNBC anchor Touré.

Why would allegedly racist, sexist Republicans let another black female diplomat named Rice — Condoleezza — address their national convention last August 29, immediately before Representative Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) accepted the party’s vice-presidential nomination? Since when do bigots give 19 minutes of prime-time TV to people they despise?

If Senators Graham and McCain really can’t stomach blacks, why did they and every other voting Republican send a black woman (Condoleezza Rice) to run the State Department and, in McCain’s case, a black man (Clarence Thomas) to the Supreme Court for life? (Only two Republicans spurned Thomas: Vermont’s James Jeffords and Oregon’s Bob Packwood, both liberals.)

There is nothing racist or sexist about grilling Rice. (For Mrs. Ayotte, this would be auto-misogyny.) Conservatives worry that Susan Rice misled the American people about the fatal al-Qaeda-connected attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. On five Sunday talk shows, Rice claimed that an anti-Islamic YouTube video spontaneously transformed protesters into a homicidal mob. In fact, a deliberate, planned, terrorist attack killed U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Did Rice deliberately promote the YouTube narrative to shield President Obama from political damage during a tight reelection race, or was Rice duped into doing so? This is a legitimate question, and one need not wear white sheets to ask it.

The Democrats’ relentless reliance on race cards is vile and repugnant. It also humiliates black Americans by presenting us as incapable of facing disapproval without lobbing the most noxious rhetorical grenades in the arsenal.

Democrats and the Left should be ashamed of themselves. They must cease, desist, and reserve their racial bombs for genuine racists. Republicans and the Right should hammer them on this point — confidently, constantly, and mercilessly — until they stop.

New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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