This comes from staff talking points written for Senator Ted Kennedy to deliver to his fellow Senate Democrats urging them to oppose Miguel Estrada, the highly qualified former nominee for the D.C Circuit who happens to be Hispanic. “We can’t repeat the mistake we made with Clarence Thomas,” it said.
This revelation comes hot on the heels of this choice statement:
Boasting of his party’s resolve in the face of GOP attempts to stop the Democrats’ filibuster, Kennedy told the Senate, “What has not ended is the resolution and the determination of the members of the United States Senate to continue to resist any Neanderthal that is nominated by this president of the United States for any court, federal court in the United States.
Now I am sure that all of my liberal friends in the blogosphere will rush to state that this was not racist- after all, we know how the left has a monopoly on the meanings of words. Fair enough- I will play along. I think what Kennedy (whose career has progressed swimmingly since drowning a campaign worker 40 years ago) meant was that these guys are Neanderthals in that they are Republican, don’t have a summer home at Martha’s Vineyard, and have long strayed from the ideological plantation that has been the Kennedy fiefdom for far to long. Kennedy doesn’t think they are neanderthal because of their skin color, but because they possess some of the same mentality of the rest of the untermensch- you know, the other half of the country that doesn’t vote for liberal elite snobs.
At any rate, take a look at these pictures:
Alrighty Democrats- time for a test. What would your reaction be if ANY Republican called these folks ‘Neanderthals.’ Be honest, now.
*** Update ***
The Discountblogger confirms the double standard while attempting to amount a defense. The most absurd assertion made is that Republicans wouldn’t get a pass if they called a judicial nominee a neanderthal:
And, by the way, if Trent Lott had said the same thing, I would suspect he was not referring to the political affiliation of the judges. See, he’s got a history…
What about John McCain? Orrin Hatch? George Bush? Julian Bond and the entire DNC would be making GOP/Taliban/KKK references for years. Why, the Democrats might make references in commercials to continued church burnings or dragging black men to death if you vote Republican. Whoops- they already are doing that.
While railing against “loud mouthed conservatives,” Michael essentially states that the reason Republicans wouldn’t get a pass is because if a member of the GOP called the Democrat versions of Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown “neanderthals,” not even Michael would give them a benefit of the doubt and assume they were talking about their liberal politics- because you see, as Michael stated- Trent Lott has a history.
Thanks for perptuating the ‘common knowledge’ that all Republicans are racist- that was helpful. It isn’t being a loudmouth to point out hypocrisy. I think we both agree that Kennedy was not intentionally being racist or using racist language, but at the same time, Michael and I should be able to agree that there would be a whole different song and dance coming from the left if a Republican had made this remark- and it would not matter one IOTA what the Republican actually meant.
*** Update #2 ***
By clarifying a statement in his comments (I thought he was calling everyone who noted this situation a loudmouth), it is now clear that Michael Demmons and I agree and there is no point for you to be reading this.
*** Update #3 ***
I actually agree with Mark Kleiman on some of this post– at least the part in which he claims this is not racism and that some conservatives do seem extra quick to try to charge liberals with racism. However, I still contend that had a Republican called any minority candidate ‘a neanderthal,’ even when part of a coterie of non-minority neanderthals, the shit would hit the fan.
Where I disagree with Kleiman is that he seems to think the reason Republicans are quick to pull the trigger on charges of racism:
So conservatives have figured out what to do about it: charge liberals with racism whenever possible, and set up situations where liberals wind up opposing some individual African-American or Latino so as to be able to charge them with racism for doing so. (See index under “Thomas, Clarence, lynching charge.”)
Most Republicans ARE NOT racist, and get a little sick and tired of being branded so, particularly when the majority of the charges are so outrageous. Republicans haven’t really figured anything out vis-a-vis a strategy, but they are now just as quick to make absurd charges as our counterparts on the Democrat aisle. After all- it has worked magically for Democrats in recent years.
Also, the vast majority of the charges of racism center on simple policy differences- then the DNC ramps up the rhetoric, and before you know it, Republican opposition to an education appropriation is a blatant attempt to defund historic black colleges, or an attempt to starve minority school children. There is a reason this old joke about the NY Times headline is so funny to conservatives:
World To End Tomorrow: Women, Minorities Hardest Hit
Both parties have changed- evolved, if you will- regarding race. But just like there sure as hell are some old racists (and some young ones) in the Republican Party, there is a core of people in the Democratic party who will not only not let go of the myth that all Republicans are closet racists, but who are afraid to, politically. How close would Election 2000 have been if Gore did not get 91% of the African-American vote? Most Democrats will turn white (no pun intended) and pass out if they really think about that question.