Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Failed Filibusters, Republicans & The Race Card ...

We had to comment on the shenanigans unfolding on the Senate floor yesterday. Here's the AP version, which is as balanced as it gets:

"The simmering Senate fight over judicial nominations took a twist Tuesday as a Republican lawmaker accused Sen. Charles Schumer of comparing a black judge to the racist Ku Klux Klan. The dust-up began when Schumer, D-N.Y., a leader in the Democrats' fight against certain Bush picks for the federal bench, said on the Senate floor that nominee Janice Rogers Brown might want to claim extraordinary power as a federal appeals judge in the D.C. circuit. 'What does Janice Rogers Brown want to be nominated for? Dictator? Or grand exalted ruler?' Schumer said."

This brings an interesting twist to an otherwise dull moment in the procedural conundrum called the U.S. Senate, where many will question the merits of the recent filibuster compromise for years to come. How odd and truly absurd does it look when a White Republican Southern Alabama Senator like Jeff Sessions is accusing a Northeastern liberal Jewish Senator of unfairly characterizing a Black female judicial nominee as having an affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan? Sessions of all people shouldn't speak - he didn't get to where he is without the support of the deeply entrenched Alabama "Ole' Boy" network that has its foundation in Southern White supremacy, Dixiecrat and Jim Crow legacies. And as AP puts it:

"According to histories of the Ku Klux Klan, the group has had Grand Dragons, Grand Titans, Grand Klaliffs, a Grand Cyclops, and a Grand Wizard, but no "grand exalted ruler."

So, who on the Senate floor had their mind stuck in the racial gutter yesterday? Certainly wasn't Schumer.

Conservatives have mustered much gall in recent years by playing a race card they viciously ostracize Democrats, Black politicos and the "liberal elite" of playing on the regular. It's not acceptable for Congressional Black Caucus Members to rightfully question the sometimes racially-inclined motives of conservative policy and tyrannical Republican majority rules in Congress and the White House. But, the double standard appears when it's o.k. to play it only if you're defending conservative Black minions of the right who actively seek to deconstruct years of blood, sweat and tears. Suddenly, conservatives become victims - all that talk of personal responsibility and diminished entitlements is conveniently forgotten in the name of political expediency. Plus, the bonus is Republicans get to look pro-Black for a day - a small spot of wax on an otherwise tarnished cultural relations image.