Bob Herbert is mad at Republicans again and wrote in the NY Times that the party is “anti-black”. His response to the ‘Pubs in the Senate refused to vote for a bill that would have given the District of Columbia a voting seat in the House of Representatives?
The G.O.P. has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans. Last week, the residents of Washington, D.C., with its majority black population, came remarkably close to realizing a goal they have sought for decades — a voting member of Congress to represent them.
A majority in Congress favored the move, and the House had already approved it. But the Republican minority in the Senate — with the enthusiastic support of President Bush — rose up on Tuesday and said: “No way, baby.”
This because they voted a down a measure that would in effect give Democrats a permanent seat in the House. Political, certainly. Racist? Debatable.
But Washington D.C. is a city without a state and no real voice in national politics. That should be remedied in some fashion – various options are discussed here on Wikipedia – but to give the city a full voting seat in the House? That doesn’t seem right.
Herbert wasn’t done spewing his venom yet:
At the same time that the Republicans were killing Congressional representation for D.C. residents, the major G.O.P. candidates for president were offering a collective slap in the face to black voters nationally by refusing to participate in a long-scheduled, nationally televised debate focusing on issues important to minorities.
The radio and television personality Tavis Smiley worked for a year to have a pair of these debates televised on PBS, one for the Democratic candidates and the other for the Republicans. The Democratic debate was held in June, and all the major candidates participated.
The Republican debate is scheduled for Thursday. But Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have all told Mr. Smiley: “No way, baby.”
They won’t be there. They can’t be bothered debating issues that might be of interest to black Americans. After all, they’re Republicans.
“No way, baby.” Seems to a sly play by Herbert on the old Virginia Slim’s slogan of “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Black voters can’t go anywhere with Republican representation – the message is loud and clear.
Is he upset because of the no-shows at the debate? Doubtful – the rancor seems to go much deeper than that.
Perhaps if Herbert had used his bully pulpit to browbeat the Democratic candidates who flatly refused to participate in a Fox News-sponsored debate the Republicans would have been more willing to go in front of the cameras on the notoriously liberal PBS network.
But in the liberal press Democrats are heroes when they boycott a new outlet that might play hardball with them, especially an apostate upstart like Fox. Republicans and conservatives are always the villains in the eyes of men like Herbert, regardless of their actual values and policies.
In perhaps the most transparent slap of them all – and aren’t they already thin enough to see through? – Herbert attacked Justice Clarence Thomas’ appointment to the Supreme Court by the first President Bush. Why? Evidently his conservative views are not black (read “liberal”) enough for Mr. Herbert.
In 1991, the first President Bush poked a finger in the eye of black America by selecting the egregious Clarence Thomas for the seat on the Supreme Court that had been held by the revered Thurgood Marshall. The fact that there is a rigid quota on the court, permitting one black and one black only to serve at a time, is itself racist.
Yet we’re to believe that there’s nothing racist about Bob Herbert’s column and his use of the press to push his politics on the public? One unfortunate side-effect of the Times embracing free access to its content is that hit pieces like this one will be read (and linked to) that much more.
The Gateway Pundit has an interesting counter-point to Herbert’s one-sided attack piece.