Many Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have specifically stated in the past that they have no interest in budget-balancing issues, and that their primary and over-riding objective is to keep government money flowing to their neediest constituents. That’s a narrow and irresponsible position, but defensible if your view of the duty of elected representatives is that they are only advocates for the voters who elect them, and not bound by any obligation to national welfare as a whole. Even if one accepts this approach (shared by many in the Tea Party), it does not excuse executing that advocacy by stirring up race hatred with diatribes attributing monstrous and unjustified motivations to political adversaries.
In other words, it doesn’t excuse slanderous comments like these about the Tea Party and its adherents, issuing like flaming vomit from the uncivil mouth of Rep. Andre Carson:
“This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree. Some of them right now in Congress right now are comfortable with where we were fifty or sixty years ago. But it’s a new day with a black president and a Congressional Black Caucus.”
“You lie!” (Rep. Joe Wilson ) was uncivil and disrespectful, but only two words; “Republicans want you to die!” (ex-Rep. Allan Grayson) was uncivil and idiotic, but only five words. Rep. Maxine Waters unprofessional “The Tea Party can go straight to hell” declaration expanded Congressional incivility to seven words, but they are all relatively restrained compared to Carson. Now, taking his cue from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and the increasingly unhinged Nancy Pelosi, who have been resorting to alleging Republican racism in front of African-American audiences in a desperate attempt to explain away President Obama’s leadership deficits, this prominent CBC member has obliterated all lines of civility and responsible political discourse with 85 words of lies and hate speech directed at American citizens.
Carson’s spokesman Jason Tomsci told the Washington Post that the Congressman’s remarks were in response to many of his constituents’ “frustration” over “Congress’ inability to bolster the economy.” That’s the response to frustration, is it, Congressman? Our political opponents want to lynch you?
Carson is an incompetent, unscrupulous, irresponsible disgrace, and if the Democratic Party was appropriately committed to civil discourse and fairness, it would tell him so. It won’t. That is a fact, and the implications of it are unavoidable.
This is another in a series of integrity tests for the chattering class, every one of which they have so far flunked. Will those—Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, David Gregory, Paul Krugman, Joe Scarborough, John Avlon, Kathleen Parker and the rest—who once disgracefully argued that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh’s combative rhetoric helped cause the shooting of Rep. Giffords, have the courage to condemn an African-American congressman using inflammatory rhetoric suitable for starting a race war? Or will the prospect of rising to the defense of a political movement they have attempted to smear as racist from the beginning prove too wrenching?
Who wants to bet?