Dr. King and Rush versus moderates on race: Cornyn, Steele fear the elephant in the room on Sotomayor nomination.
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Echoing the views of the ministers in dealing with race, Cornyn sees Limbaugh’s King-style calling-out of racial politics as “terrible.” Just as the moderate ministers wanted to silence King and leave things to their own “calm manner,” Cornyn says: “This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set.” Steele’s version of the “calm manner” remark from 1963 is to castigate what he calls the “slammin’ and rammin’” of Sotomayor. As the ministers insisted the Atlanta-based King was an “outsider” and an “agitator” who had no right to intrude in the Birmingham controversy, so Cornyn insists “neither one of these men” (meaning Limbaugh and Gingrich) should be seriously involved in the discussion of Sotomayor’s record because they are not sitting U.S. Senators. As if her decisions on the Supreme Court would be limited to the 100 members of the Senate.
Steele even goes so far as to say that calling out racist politics means “we get painted as a party that’s against the first Hispanic woman” Supreme Court nominee. In and of itself this remark troubles, indicating Steele himself buys into the left’s phony template of the GOP on race and, even worse, the left’s obsessive penchant for racial politics. If so, this is an incredible reaction from the chairman of the Party of Lincoln, particularly after having Oreo cookies thrown at him by left-wingers during his Senate run.
Once again, the similarity between Dr. King and Rush Limbaugh manifests itself. King, who was begged to leave Birmingham alone, said the issue was about racism in America — not just about Birmingham. This was a national issue, not just a local one. Hence he had no intention of doing anything other than turning up the heat on Birmingham to keep turning up the heat on all of America, moderates be damned. Again, here is Dr. King, and then Rush Limbaugh today:
Dr. King: He was “in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values of our Judaeo-Christian values.”
Rush Limbaugh: “We look at people as individuals. I don’t care what race she is. I don’t care what gender she is.”
Said Mrs. King later of the point of her husband’s words, they were designed to “radiate” outward from Birmingham, “cracking the whole edifice of discrimination” in America.
So too do Rush Limbaugh’s words now radiate outward, correctly changing this debate from simply focusing on the role of a judge to the tragic and bitter role of racial politics in American life. As with King, Limbaugh’s words are dangerous because if enough people listened they could eventually “crack the whole edifice” of the latest version of discrimination in America — identity politics. Ironically, Rush Limbaugh has created the meaningful conversation on race that Bill Clinton said he wanted but never achieved. More to the current point, he has shown up President Obama, the man who campaigned to be America’s first “post-racial president.” Limbaugh is shining a spotlight on Obama’s troubling endorsement of the kind of the racial politics so flagrantly displayed by Obama’s own one-time minister, the race-baiting Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
For reasons that baffle, Steele is also worried that calling out racist politics means “MSNBC will rip everything we have to say up into shreds.” Putting aside that MSNBC’s ratings are lower than a snake’s belly, perhaps it should be said that if race is the game, MSNBC is in no place to play that game. Of the four shows it puts on in prime time? You might call them “Three White Guys and that Nice Jewish Girl.” Not to mention the opening fare of the day, “Morning Joe,” which perhaps could be re-titled as “White Joe in the Morning” since it stars two white boys and the Nice Polish White Girl. There’s not a young Latina or even a Latino, heaven forbid a black or Asian — male, female, gay, straight, wise or otherwise — in the bunch. The last opening they had in their line-up they promptly gave to a white guy from North Dakota. Perhaps they could at least find a young Latino or Latina to replace the older, white and Irish Nora O’Donnell, MSNBC’s chief Washington correspondent. O’Donnell has expressed concern on-air in support of appointing Supreme Court Justices by gender, saying she believes in “affirmative action.” Which begs the question. What is she doing there when there are surely all manner of younger “people of color” who could do the job as well if not better? Ms. O’Donnell presumably has nothing to worry about in this area from the brass. There are more white guys running NBC and General Electric than are left in the Klan.
Said Dr. King in response to the Cornyn’s and Steele’s of his day: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” He added that he was disturbed to find his direct and highly pointed dissent about race, which he viewed as “normal and healthy discontent,” portrayed by moderates as “extremist.” King turned the table on the “extremist” label by adding that he had hoped moderates would see that “the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists” Indeed. Ditto, Republicans.
Where do Republicans and conservatives expect to find themselves at the end of this process? If it isn’t still carrying the flag as the colorblind party of Lincoln and Reagan, then they will be in trouble and deservedly so. Newsflash: all Hispanics do not think alike. The thought itself is the very epitome of what’s wrong in this debate.
As more and more of Judge Sotomayor’s thinking has become public it is increasingly clear just how correct Rush Limbaugh has been on this issue of racism. Just as Dr. King was met with prim resistance from the moderates of his day, insisting that King was an “extremist” and must be dismissed as an “outside agitator” — so now are these very same charges being hurled by today’s moderates against the colorblind advocacy of Mr. Limbaugh. For, it must be said, the very same reason. They just want to be nice. They do not care about justice, as Dr. King said, they care about order. And Rush, very much in the style of Dr. King, has disrupted their orderly parade.
There is nothing nice about racism, whether it appears in the form of fire hoses and police dogs or a curt dismissal from a judge on the Second Court of Appeals. Judge Sotomayor may well have an appealing personality, but it is her racial beliefs that are at issue — and as Dr. King went to some length to point out, even nice people can be racists. Indeed, Dr. King responded to another moderate criticism about his rejection of the then-newly elected Mayor of Birmingham by astutely pointing out that just because the new mayor was a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo.”
Exactly. Make no mistake: Judge Sotomayor is diametrically opposed to a colorblind nation. She is a passionate believer in what has long been the Democrats’ status quo — judging people by race.
And Rush Limbaugh, to his considerable credit, has called her on it. More to the point, in focusing on “the elephant in the room” he has, just like Dr. King, put the feet of moderates to the fire. Isn’t it interesting that the national holiday signed into law by President Reagan honored Dr. King — and not a group of moderates?
There was a reason.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?