Unethical Quote of the Month: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

“It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities..All of the things they have disliked about things that have gone on in the administration, they have never called a male unqualified, not bright, not trustworthy. There is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by unfortunately Sen. [John] McCain and others . . . How do you say that a person with Susan Rice’s background is not qualified? I wonder what your qualifications are for your job. Where did you finish in your class? You know, I know one of them finished in the bottom of their class. Susan Rice was a Rhodes scholar. How do you say a person like Susan Rice is not qualified?…I mean, Susan Rice’s comments didn’t send us to Iraq and Afghanistan. Somebody else’s did. But you’re not angry with them.”

—-Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), accusing GOP Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and Kelly Ayotte (a woman) of sexism and racism for their harsh criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her repeated assertion on multiple news shows that the Benghazi attack that killed the American ambassador in Libya was a spontaneous demonstration over a YouTube video after the Obama Administration had been told otherwise.

It must be comforting to be able to rationalize all criticism arising from your own conduct and to attribute it to the biases of your critics. Crippling, but comforting. If one cannot regard criticism as legitimate, then one can never assess one’s own mistakes and weaknesses and work to improve.

Fudge is one of the habitual race-card players in Congress: earlier this year, she accused the bi-partisan House ethics committee of racism because a disproportionate number of the Congressional Black Caucus’s members were under investigation. (This was, of course, because a disproportionate number of  the Congressional Black Caucus’s members, like Fudge, have engaged in dubious practices that indicate a weak grasp of ethics.) This time, she had lots of company, including Rep. James Clyburn (D-NC), who later said that the word “incompetent” was racist code. Brilliant! This means that no black public official can ever be called incompetent! Sure to be added to the code book if this theory sticks: inept, ineffective, corrupt, careless, irresponsible, and unqualified. Fudge, Clyburn and their colleagues propose to make legitimate criticism of black and female officials—those who are Democrats, that is—impossible, one word at a time.

Fudge’s statement is really jaw-dropping in its audacity. Ambassador Rice was criticized for what Ambassador Rice did and said. One can argue that what she did and said is defensible (though I don’t think it is), but one cannot plausibly argue that if Rice had been a 70-year-old white male Ambassador and went on five Sunday Morning talk shows to deceive the public (See the take of female, progressive, Democrat, presumably non-racist Times columnist Maureen Dowd here) or, in a more charitable analysis, assert what she didn’t know was true, no criticism would be forthcoming. Fudge’s real meaning is not that Rice was being criticized because of her gender and race, but that officials of her gender or race should be exempt from criticism.

Then Fudge flies off the ethical rails entirely, not to mention abandoning common sense:

  • “How do you say that a person with Susan Rice’s background is not qualified?” How? You can say it when she has exhibited habits and traits that are antithetical to being effective in her job, that’s how. (See the assessment of Rice’s qualifications by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, progressive, left-biased columnist and presumably a non-sexist, non-racist commentator, here.)
  • “I wonder what your qualifications are for your job. Where did you finish in your class?” This is Tit for Tat, and a particularly foolish version of it.  Sen. McCain is charged with voting on a Presidential appointee’s fitness to serve, and Fudge argues that he can’t hold her to a higher standard than Arizona voters hold him?  One is never prevented by ethical principles from holding others to standards one cannot meet personally, and the qualifications for U.S Senator—a mouth and a functioning brain—are not remotely similar to the qualifications for a Secretary of State.
  • “You know, I know one of them finished in the bottom of their class.” Nice. Call McCain dumb—of course, if he did that to Fudge, Clyburn would say it was “racist code.” And what does McCain’s academic record have to do with whether Rice should be Secretary of State, or whether she used poor judgment when she kept insisting that the Benghazi attack was caused by a video? Nothing at all.
  • “Susan Rice was a Rhodes scholar. How do you say a person like Susan Rice is not qualified?”  Gee, Kris Kristofferson was a Rhodes scholar—does that mean he’s qualified to be Secretary of State too? Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar…is that why the Senate didn’t convict him of lying to a grand jury?
  • “I mean, Susan Rice’s comments didn’t send us to Iraq and Afghanistan. Somebody else’s did. But you’re not angry with them.” Look! The bottom of the barrel rationalization, “It’s not the worst thing.”  So Rep. Fudge thinks that sufficient qualification for being Secretary of State is that one not be Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell, who, by the way, did not “send us to Iraq and Afghanistan” by their “comments.” Indeed, they didn’t “send us to Iraq and Afghanistan” at all. Susan Rice’s comments didn’t kill anybody, so they aren’t worth getting upset about. I would call Fudge’s statement spectacularly stupid, but that would be sexist and racist, right, Rep. Clyburn?
  • “But you’re not angry with them.”  Who isn’t? Representative Fudge’s whole party is and has been for years. Does that make them all sexist and racist?

After reading, watching and hearing this sort of thing for four long years, and after a wincing through a campaign that used similar race-baiting gender-baiting tactics shamelessly, I assume that Democrats like Fudge will continue this until it stops working. Until that occurs, it will continue to be an embarrassment to the country and an indictment of the party’s ethics.



Sources: TPM; New York Times; NPR; Best of the Web; Washington Post



11 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Month: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

  1. They say these things because it’s their mindset, it’s their prevalent excuse for all failings and because they can get away with it, thanks to a supportive media and a brainless constituency. I don’t know if this Fudge woman is as stupid as she sounds or is merely playing up to her base. Actually, it doesn’t matter much. As long as she brings home the goodies (from the pockets of others), her “huddled masses” will keep re-electing her and the DNC will support her. That’s all that matters.

    • @Steven Mark Pilling;

      “As long as she brings home the goodies…” Careful there, big guy. That could be construed as ‘dog whistle’ or ‘coded’ bigotry. And unless “…you’ve got a homeboy in the deal who gets it,” you’re on the outside looking in.

      “Chicago, cool, food stamp, urban, lazy,” ad infinitum (for the complete list, see MSNBC’s Chris Matthews), take on creative new meaning when the Left finds them in speech or reference they find uncomfortable.

      The CBC’s paternalisitic protection doesn’t extend to public figures like Allan West, Mia Love, Clarence Thomas, Artur Davis, et al. Nor does the Left play the ‘race card’ face up for any criticism of great minds (IMHO) like Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, or John McWhorter.

      Curious, that.

  2. Uh-oh, Jack: You may have just added two terms to that codebook of sexist-racist infamy – “race-card player,” and (in all its forms) “audacious.”

    “Fudge is rich and sweet; who can resist Fudge?” That slogan, along with handouts of fudge during campaign events, will be enough to guarantee that she never loses an election in her district to a non-Democrat.

    “…I assume that Democrats like Fudge will continue this until it stops working.”

    Oh, yeah, they’ll keep it up and it will never stop working, because voter demographics have changed irreversibly and they’ll never lose again in her little corner of promised land. You can bet all my millions (of cells in my ear- and nose-hairs) on that. Just watch. Follow Marcia Fudge’s career, to when her time in the House is up. You can even bet my eyelash hairs on this: The election, er, action, whatever it will be, to replace her in the HOR when she departs will be touted as “the filling of Marcia Fudge’s seat.” Like “Ted Kennedy’s seat” in the Senate, that Scott Brown “stole.” And you can bet your own scalp (with or without hair follicles) that her replacement will be “more like her than she is” – an elected-for-life Democrat, a Marion Barry-esque “icon,” immune to the ever-growing dictionary of “code words,” users of which will be prosecuted for hate crimes but only when criticizing a Democrat.

    At this point I’m less worried about global warming than urban stupiding.

  3. Why doesn’t someone ask Marcia Fudge how she has the nerve to accuse Sen. McCain and Lindsey Graham of being racist and sexist for calling Susan Rice inept and saying she’s not a good pick for Sec. of State when they approved another black woman’s (by the same surname, coincidentally) nomination to the same office?

      • Her most brilliant reply was on Meet the Press July 14th during a racism discussion between a white commentator and 5 African Americans. If that wasn’t a loaded deck in it self.

        When asked to comment on the fact that 28% of New York State residents whom are African American committed 78% of the crime, here answer was typical of her bigotry. “Because of Profiling”

        I rest my case

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