Richard Cohen Is a Nightmare

[Content Note: Racism; bi/homophobia.]

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen is the worst. As you may recall, back in July, he wrote a gross column called "Racism vs. Reality" that was just comprehensively appalling. His columns in the interim haven't exactly been hot shit, either, but if I spent all my time writing about how terrible Richard Cohen and his garbage columns are, I'd never get around to publicly shaming David Brooks.

Anyway. Yesterday, Cohen wrote another winner that included this gem:
Today's GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn't look like their country at all.
And today he is defending himself:
Richard Cohen says that his latest piece was not intended to be and shouldn't be read as racist.

"The word racist is truly hurtful," he told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "It's not who I am. It's not who I ever was. It's just not fair. It's just not right."

..."I didn't write one line, I wrote a column," Cohen said. "The column is about Tea Party extremism and I was not expressing my views, I was expressing the views of what I think some people in the Tea Party held."

And those views are not held by the entire Tea Party. "I don't think everybody in the Tea Party is like that, because I know there are blacks in the Tea Party," he said.

...Cohen has been criticized for his comments on race in the past. When asked why he thought it was that he keeps getting caught up in racially charged arguments, he said that it's because people view him as a liberal and find some of his positions unconventional. "Every once in a while I take an unconventional stance as a liberal -- as someone who has always been called a liberal," he said. "If someone on the right wrote this, no one would care. No one would make a big deal about it but because I veer every once in awhile from orthodoxy, or maybe more than once in awhile, I get plastered this way."
I've got dipshit bingo!

I don't even know what anyone is hoping to accomplish, even someone trying to observe that there are social conservatives who object to interracial marriage, by talking about how there are people who "must repress a gag reflex" at the sight of a happy marriage between two people of different races and/or at the sight of their lovely children.

And though it's the insensitive (to put it politely) comments about race that are being most widely discussed, I have a real problem with this shit: "(Should I mention that Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)" Nice parenthetical rhetorical mentioning it under the tiresome pretense of not mentioning it. Christ. This guy writes for the Washington Post.

I have no idea how Ms. McCray personally identifies. Maybe she really does identify as a "former" lesbian. But maybe she identifies as a bisexual person, an identity the wholesale erasure of which Cohen commits with a casual snide remark about how she "used to be" a lesbian.

This is terrible, retrograde stuff. I would say the Washington Post should be ashamed, but keeping this guy around after the other swill he's disgorged into their pages indicates they are intractably shameless.

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