Bizzaro World

Well, Ann Coulter is at it again, showing herself to be a bastion of reason and tolerance, by accusing the Democrats of being racist. From

Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter labeled Democrats as "racist" for questioning the credentials of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, recently nominated by President George W. Bush to replace Secretary of State Colin Powell, and conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Coulter's remarks came during a November 17 discussion on FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes of some controversial political cartoons depicting Rice as a pawn of President George W. Bush.

The cartoons shown on the program are in poor taste (see here, here, and here), but are in no way a production of the Democratic Party. Regardless, Coulter said "It goes beyond the cartoons," claiming that Democrats who oppose Rice's nomination are doing so because they "have a big problem with black women."
There are probably thousands of arguments I could invoke to dispute this claim, but I’m going to go for simply the most obvious: the first black woman to serve in Congress was Shirley Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, who served from 1969 to 1983, and the first black woman elected to the Senate was Carol Moseley-Braun, a Democrat from Illinois, who served one term starting in 1993. (More info here.)

Coulter also said:

I think liberals have a problem with blacks. They have a little race issue going on here.
Here are the results of the Democrats’ “little race issue”: Of the 113 black Americans elected to the U.S. Congress, 86 have been Democrats. The longest black office-holder in John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), who was first elected in 1964. Perhaps the two most talked-about speakers at the Democratic National Convention were our keynote speaker, Barack Obama, the newly-elected Senator from Illinois, and Al Sharpton, who got the crowd fired-up with a speech that forgot the teleprompters and instead came from the heart, as the reverend reminded the Republicans that his vote wasn’t for sale.

I am not about to argue that there are no racist Democrats, or that the Democratic party has a perfect track record; indeed, we have often fallen far short of our promises to the black community. But the suggestion that Democrats are racists reflects what I assume is willful ignorance about the history of our party and its current state. When we saw Obama speak, we were looking at our future.

As for criticisms of Condi Rice, they are not unfounded. I’ve yet to hear any of my fellow liberals question her ability on the basis of her sex or her race, just her incompetence (and her rather odd relationship with the President, which is fast becoming legendary). She has fallen down on the job in numerous ways (see here, among many others), and her credentials are dubious at best in regard to serving in her new role as Secretary of State (and here).

If Coulter wants to see the Dems get behind Rice’s appointment, perhaps she could start by encouraging Rice to explain her performance to the 9/11 commission. There’s something really wrong in this country when a political party that questions the integrity of a cabinet member after such a display is demonized as racist, and the party who supports her does so without hesitation, even when hesitation (at the very least) is warranted. This is a winner-take-all game and so they will never criticize their own, even when it’s well-deserved. Ultimately, that makes us all on the losing side of this game in the end.

[UPDATE: The Rude Pundit offers his uniquely brilliant take on the Ann Coulter debacle here.]

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