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Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
The "not too bright" Rhodes Scholar gets dog-whistled.
Not us. No way. That's the message from Texas Rep. Michael Burgess and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham when it comes to their criticisms of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice. Some of those criticisms are being called racist by other members of Congress. And with good reason.

Republicans, Graham foremost among them, made a patriotically tinged denial of the charges:

“Well, when you can’t answer the question, you attack the questioner,” he said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.” “The only color I’m worried about when it comes to Benghazi is red—blood red, the death of four Americans.”

Rep. Burgess recently was one of the 97 Republican congressmen who signed a letter  to President Obama asking that Rice not be nominated as secretary of state to replace outgoing Hillary Clinton because she "willfully or incompetently" misled Americans about the lethal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Rice made statements about the attack—that it arose out of a protest over an anti-Muslim film and that it was spontaneous, not premeditated—which later proved to be wrong. Right-wing politicians and pundits alike were soon charging cover-up and saying the administration hadn't acted to protect the Americans in the consulate. Although Obama was their real target since they saw Benghazi as a means of hurting his reelection chances, Rice became the surrogate. What's become clear in the past few days is that Rice's information was indeed wrong, but that wasn't because she was trying to trick anyone or because she is "incompetent." In the aftermath of the attack, she had repeated information that U.S. intelligence agencies provided her at the time. Since then, it's become clear that the attack didn't arise out of protest and that it was premeditated.

Rice's critics, said Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, were using terms like "incompetent" that are well known to any African Americans. Challenge her mistakes, sure, he said. But:

“You know, these are code words,” he said. “We heard them during the campaign … These kinds of terms that those of us, especially those of us who were born and raised in the South, we would hear these little words and phrases all of our lives and we’d get insulted by them. Susan Rice is as competent as anybody you will find.”
A dozen congresswomen also had objections, especially to the remarks of Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who skipped a classified Senate committee briefing on the Benghazi attack so he could stand in front of the cameras with Graham and Sen. Kelly Ayotte to deliver his vow to filibuster Rice, whom he has termed "not too bright."

On Friday, at a Capitol Hill press conference, a dozen female members of the House of Representatives slammed McCain and other Senate critics for sexist and racist remarks in their critiques of Rice:

"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," said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the next chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "There is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by unfortunately Sen. McCain and others."[...]

"To batter this woman because they don't feel they have the ability to batter President Obama is something we the women are not going to stand by and watch," said Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis. "Their feckless and reckless speculation is unworthy of their offices as senators." [...]

Said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton D-D.C.: "We will not allow a brilliant public servant's record to be mugged to cut off her consideration to be secretary of state."

As for claims she isn't very smart, the women noted that Rice was a Rhodes scholar and McCain, the son and grandson of full admirals, graduated near the bottom of his class at Annapolis, 894th of 899. By Tuesday, McCain had backtracked somewhat on his claims about Rice, only asking that she admit she was wrong. By then the Twitter hashtag #ApologizeMcCain had gone viral.

But racism and sexism have been viral since long before the internet existed. Terms like "incompetent" and "out-of-his-depth" and "shirker" have been repeatedly applied to Obama himself. Some will argue that these descriptions are used against people of whatever color. But they have a history of being used against people of color just as the word "shrill" has typically been used to describe a woman who speaks plainly but sharply far more than it has used to describe a man who does likewise. The words resonate differently depending on their target. That may be surprising to some Americans. It's not news to people of color or women.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But McCain plays basketball on Sundays (20+ / 0-)

    with a black guy...and Lindsey lets black folks use his bathroom, sometimes...when they have to go really badly, and if they're not too dark.

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. Tear Ayn, the GOP, and Fox News new orifices; laugh and enjoy. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:50:30 PM PST

  •  This deserves a rec for the title alone. (28+ / 0-)

    Smashing dry wit will always get my attention.

    On the other hand there is a sickness about this whole affair that smacks of the 1960s.  Sometimes I think people like Graham and McCain are caught in some kind of time warp.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:55:49 PM PST

  •  "willfully or incompetently" misled Americans? (18+ / 0-)

    Hell, if that's their standard for being against people from serving in a higher level of government, 98% of republicans and their surrogates would fall into that category.

    Let's see, "pals around with terrorists," birth certificate, death panels, WMDs, socialist, government controlled of health care, outsourcing Jeep.

    Sorry, gonna have to stop the list now. Thanksgiving lunch is 22 hours away and I need to be on time.

  •  I'm kinda willing to give them the benefit of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, FiredUpInCA

    doubt here.

    After all, there '90s era attacks on the Clintons were mightily vicious.

    But not necessarily racist.

    •  I wouldn't have expected the attacks against (6+ / 0-)

      the Clintons to be racist, since they were both white.

      "If ye were blind, you would be without sin. But you say 'you see'; therefore, your sin remains" Quoted from that despised Socialist Jesus Christ.

      by Carlo408 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:06:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, exactly, but the attacks came (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, SueDe, FiredUpInCA

        full force.

        Thus, the point being that the attacks against B. Obama, S. Rice, etc being racist in origin ring hollow - yeah, that might be an angle to rile up the neanderthal base (no offense to neanderthals, since we all share 8% of their DNA or whatever) but it's not the root problem.

        •  They don't ring hollow to me. (6+ / 0-)

          What, you expect a southern white man who is attacking a black woman to admit he's being racist?

          "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

          by Snarky McAngus on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:26:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Any critique by a southern white is defacto racist? Talk about soft bigotry.

            •  Not all criticism is racist. (8+ / 0-)

              But most of the criticism of Rice made no sense whatsoever and one must wonder if racism is a factor.

              •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I think there is a lot to be known about Benghazi myself. And  they are partisan and using this as an issue of course.

                However calling it racist just dilutes the legit definition.

                •  It made me wonder because McCain used terms... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Neon Mama, PrahaPartizan, Patate

                  ...historically employed to demean Blacks.  An apparent legacy admission to the USNA with his graduation rank calling a PhD-holding Rhodes scholar 'not bright'?  The president, the attorney general and now, Ambassador Rice, three of the highest ranking Americans of African descent, have all been attacked with the slimmest of justifications.

                  Failure to acknowledge racism where its exists can enable its aggressiveness and growth.

                  •  Sorry dude (0+ / 0-)

                    Calling someone Not bright isn't racism. No matter how much you want it to be. Silly? Sure. But I get ticked when people hurl that serious charge when it isn't warranted.


                    •  I empathize with your experience. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Patate, sethtriggs, Snarky McAngus

                      I would imagine having come face to face with racism can make one especially sensitive to false claims just as a female victim of sexual assault might despise that person who makes a false claim of rape.  Nevertheless, the racial threads that were woven into the fabric of this administration and this election were and are such that the usage of historically demeaning terms when describing its principals should be closely examined and, where appropriate, called out.  We've got to call a spade by its actual name.  

                      Why invest in education for Blacks?  From Plessy to Brown we were not bright enough to merit reasonable funding. Before then we were not bright enough to learn involved agricultural tasks and even now we are not bright enough to quarterback in the NFL.  

                      Though the phrase 'not bright' can be and mostly is used in non-racial instances, it undoubtedly is occasionally used with negative racial connotations.  In this case I think it was.  

                      •  I have never ever in my life (0+ / 0-)

                        heard hat phrase used in racial connotation. Ever. Sorry but I'll bet 90% of people haven't either. My point is that with nothing but "my opinion" these politicians made a serious charge on the character of three people without any evidence. Just their "opinions". Its demeaning. And lets not forget they ARE politicians.

                        •  Sorry, (0+ / 0-)

                          but I don't think your individual experience is any more representative of 90% of the people any more than someone's generalization does.

                          "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

                          by Snarky McAngus on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 09:47:53 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  As I requested (0+ / 0-)

                            Of the diarist. How about a list of innocuous words that are actually racist. It's bs. And we all know it.

                          •  Words are neither racist nor nonracist (0+ / 0-)

                            without context.

                            "Chicken" is not a racist word, nor is it a nonracist word.  But if I use "chicken" to establish a negative stereotype, it must be within a context.

                            Another that comes to mind is "watermelon."  Or "lips" or "yellow."

                            Still sticking with your argument?

                            "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

                            by Snarky McAngus on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:31:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                            what is the racist context of "incompetent"? "Not too bright"?

                            much worse has been said about many minority politicians but hue and cry resulted from those demogoging at this moment.


                            Look we can play this game all month but the bottom line is a few of politicians are trying to short-circuit criticism of Ambassador Rice by crying foul on the motives of her critics- ONLY because they say so. No other evidence or "context". Just because... I'll have none of it. Have been on both sides of that type of fight.

                          •  I pity the fool (0+ / 0-)

                            who calls a Rhodes Scholar and one of the most competent and qualified people in the country for the job they're talking about "not too bright."

                            "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

                            by Snarky McAngus on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:57:31 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I never said (0+ / 0-)

                            It was accurate. But it isn't racist.

                          •  In your opinion. (0+ / 0-)

                            "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

                            by Snarky McAngus on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:03:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By any sane rational :-) (0+ / 0-)

                            logic the term 'not too bright" has no racial connotation. Now, on the other hand if you could provide me with some actual examples of people saying that in a clearly racists manner I'll reconsider. But lacking that evidence I'll stick with what words actually mean rather than what (partisan) politicians say what they they think they mean.

                            And As Ive noted elsewhere if the ones hurling these racists accusations (here and in congress and the media) had actually defended another Rice when she was SoS and subject to actual racist slurs they would have a lot more weight with me. Alas they do not.


            •  That's not what I said (0+ / 0-)

              I said "a southern white man who is attacking a black woman" which distinguishes between a particular and a generalization.

              "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

              by Snarky McAngus on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 09:45:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  They IMPEACHED Clinton fer Chrissakes! (3+ / 0-)

          This tactic of the Republicans, constant racial dog whistles, never overt, is doing them no good.  Speculation about just how racist the Republican is or isn't just garners them negative attention.

          But most of all, Republicans have been after Democrats since 1980 when Reagan was elected.  It makes no difference how "bipartisan" the Democrats have been (are you old enough to remember how the Democratic congress worked hand in glove with the Reagan administration?), the GOP has practiced vicious politics since the '80s.  It has become exponentially worse since 1994 when the GOP took over the House and elected Gingrich speaker.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:10:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually some of their attacks (5+ / 0-)

        against the Clintons were racially charged.

        Clinton's mother was called "white trash" (as Obama's mother was), Clinton was called a "nigger lover" not to mention the difficult time that so many of the Clinton's appointees od color received from the right (Ron Brown, Lani Guinier, Dr. Elders, Henry Cisneros)...

    •  Criticism, even vicious criticism, is not the... (16+ / 0-)

      ...issue. It's the coded criticism which is.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:10:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me, the idea that if - let's say John Edwards (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, FiredUpInCA

        the very epitome of whiteness - had been elected that these attacks would not exist is absurd.

        Racism, or sexism (in the case of HC) is totally not the issue here.   But if that's the meme that in vogue, I suppose I'm fighting an uphill battle to argue otherwise so I will cease and desist at this point.

        •  I would love to see where a Senator called... (28+ / 0-)

          ...Bill Clinton, another Rhodes Scholar, "not too bright" or a "shirker."

          I know that I am fighting an uphill battle. But let me try anyway: Certain terms are loaded. Calling GW Bush a "chimp" or a "monkey" is nasty, to be sure. But, given depictions dating back two centuries, calling Barack Obama a "monkey" is a different kind of criticism. This is not hair-splitting or voguish. It's part of the reality of racism that has not going away despite the strides that have been made.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:25:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  with rice there is intersection of racism/sexism (15+ / 0-)

          women as being unintelligent and incompetent is long-standing sexist stereotype. used all the time. this is why men want to tell us how to manage our bodies, or what we should think, believe or feel, because women are just too incompetent and inferior to men to make such decisions. We need the smart man to come make decisions for us. This is why women don't get equal pay, because our work is just not as nifty as same work by a man. or blah blah blah

          Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:16:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you're fighting an uphill battle, (4+ / 0-)

          I'm on that hill too.  Look at how every Democratic president since Nixon has been laughed at, demonized, plotted against and disrespected.    Race is only part of the problem here.

          Maybe I'm just old and cynical, but my political memory tells me that ever since Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment, the GOP has had their panties in a twist , and they've been twisting ever tighter since then.  Finally the blood to their brains has been cut off.  

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:24:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy of Fishes, the good witch, SueDe

            that Watergate made the GOP go really off of the deep end.

            That doesn't mean that they way that their attacks don't have racist/sexist/homophobic overtones as fact, The Nation's Neal Gabler did a story on GOP gay baiting...and it's gone on since...well, forever, really

            The originator of the tactic to characterize Democrats as pansies and sissies may have been Wisconsin’s infamous junior senator, Joseph McCarthy. Though McCarthy’s stock in trade was wild accusations against alleged communists in the Democratic administrations of Roosevelt and Truman, he also brandished another, less remembered weapon: homosexual baiting, on the pretext that communists were often gay. This conflation of “treasonous” with “Democrats” and “gay” has proven to be a powerful one that seems to have had more legs than anti-communism by itself. As David Johnson documents in his history of political gay bashing, The Lavender Scare, once McCarthy publicized the accusations, his fellow Republicans and their allies in the right-wing press joyously leapt in. “Information is accumulating which shows that perversion has been so kindly regarded in the New Deal cult as to amount to a characteristic of that administration,” wrote the rabidly reactionary columnist Westbrook Pegler in June 1950. Along the same lines, Republican Senator William Jenner described the Truman administration as the “Fairy Deal.”

            But the subtler message wasn’t that Democrats were gay. Again, it was that Democrats were like gays—that is, in the bizarre Republican equation, they were womanly, incapable of standing up to communists. Describing how McCarthy would deal with Stalin versus how the Democrats dealt with him, one of the senator’s aides said, “The two would talk man to man, not like a lot of pansy diplomats.”

            The “pansy” in 1952 was Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential candidate and a former State Department official—one of those Ivy League–educated boys in striped pants that McCarthyite Republicans so reviled. Stevenson was divorced and had a reputation as a womanizer, but that didn’t stop Republicans from hurling innuendo. According to Stevenson biographer Porter McKeever, an Eisenhower supporter actively spread the rumor that Stevenson was gay, and someone even sent out an FBI impersonator to interview a friend of a Stevenson staff member about the governor’s alleged homosexuality. When Stevenson challenged Eisenhower again in 1956, gossip columnist Walter Winchell, who had traveled with Eisenhower during the campaign, compared Stevenson to transsexual Christine Jorgenson on his election night broadcast and said the election of Stevenson would put a “woman in the White House.” In four years, Stevenson had gone from being gay to being a woman.

        •  I disagree. It's obvious to me that they are using (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama, Joy of Fishes

          racist code. I tend to be resistant to interpreting things that way, if I think there's more to it.
          In this case, they're doing a couple of things. One is, they're flinging what they stepped in. It will be recorded as a "fail" by history.
          There is an unbroken chain of events from the beginning of this ...whatever it is."

          First, the video, protest in Egypt, and Romney's overly quick exploitation of that for political gain.
          9/12 and Romney double-stupid downs with his weirdly scripted press conference.
          It backfires and Romney is desperately close to total...well, evisceration.
          Then the weekend, Rice's comments, and Karl Rove invents Benghazi-gate.
          The gop and Fox news picks up the ball and runs with it.
          Now, the victory, and they're stuck with this turkey of a meme.
          However, they need to do anything, anything, to break into the news cycle and try to change the narrative (the Obama wins! narrative).
          So they're going to run with this and try to keep the media from looking back at where this all began.
          So, they'll do the racist dog whistle just to get attention off the reality of the situation. They'd rather have a debate about whether or not their "ambiguous" remarks are racist or not than have us review the history of this whole thing with clear heads.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:49:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What is 'coded" about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, David54

        "Incompetent"?  Really? Can you please post of list of other code words that everyone needs to avoid?

        •  How about "articulate." Perfectly good... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdxteacher, sethtriggs

          ...word. Praiseworthy even. Except when describing African Americans. Then it's a slur. Here are a few other words that have a special patina when applied to blacks: "Lazy," "shirker," "thug."

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:11:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Chicago" is a code word they use, although it's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            not necessarily racist.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:52:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is a case of the Lee Atwater theory of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            politics finally taken to absurdity and eating itself.
            Just as "free market solutions" has been made stupider and stupider over a couple of generations until its foolish skeleton is finally exposed.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:56:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  ok, I'm black and a woman and why exactly (0+ / 0-)

            should I be offended by articulate?  I'm trying to follow how half of these code words are supposed to be racist.

             I get lazy, shiftless and thug.

             However, articulate and incompetent have valid meanings, although they are wrong as far as a description of her in particular, but I see no racial connotation in either word.  Either word could be used to describe anyone of any color or gender in a professional setting, if an assessment of a job or activity is relevant. Incompetent, in itself,  is an extremely harsh and a strong word, but not racial.

            •  Here's Eugene Robinson on the subject: (0+ / 0-)
              For my part, I never made it past "articulate," a word that's like fingernails on a blackboard to my ear. As it happens, President Bush used that same word Wednesday to describe Obama. "He's an attractive guy. He's articulate," Bush told Fox News.

              Will wonders never cease? Here we have a man who graduated from Columbia University, who was president of the Harvard Law Review, who serves in the U.S. Senate and is the author of two best-selling books, who's a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and what do you know, he turns out to be articulate. Stop the presses.

              It's interesting that Obama's reaction dealt solely with the A-word. "I didn't take Senator Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate," he said in a statement. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."

              Maybe he heard the screech on the blackboard, too.

              Yes, I'm ranting a bit. But before you accuse me of being hypersensitive, try to think of the last time you heard a white public figure described as articulate. Acclaimed white orators such as Bill Clinton and John Edwards are more often described as eloquent. [...]

              I realize the word is intended as a compliment, but it's being used to connote a lot more than the ability to express one's thoughts clearly. It's being used to say more, even, than "here's a black person who speaks standard English without a trace of Ebonics."

              The word articulate is being used to encompass not just speech but a whole range of cultural cues -- dress, bearing, education, golf handicap. It's being used to describe a black person around whom white people can be comfortable, a black person who not only speaks white America's language but is fluent in its body language as well.

              And the word is often pronounced with an air of surprise, as if it's an improbable and wondrous thing that a black person has somehow cracked the code. I can't help but think of the famous quote from Samuel Johnson: "Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

              Articulate is really a shorthand way of describing a black person who isn't too black -- or, rather, who comports with white America's notion of how a black person should come across.

              Whatever the intention, expressing one's astonishment that such individuals exist is no compliment. Just come out and say it: Gee, he doesn't sound black at all.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:02:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Discrimination by any other name... (0+ / 0-)

        Agreed. Racism, sexism, etc. is all just another form of discrimination. It's one "side's" attempt to make the other side feel subservient. It reminds me of the "Brown eye/Blue eye" experiment.

      •  This is about the number of blacks in cabinet, I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes, sethtriggs

        am certain of this.

        The fact that Obama sent Rice out to deliver State Dept business made it clear that she is on his short list for SoS.

        That's why the attacks intensified after the election.  Obama knows exactly what this is all about, and that's why he was so outraged, as we all should be.  He knows how irrational the attacks are, he understands the racial undertones.  If you listen to his comments to reporters when asked about this, you will see it - he knows exactly what this is about.

        Obama now gets to choose the next SoS, and Republicans do not want another black person in cabinet.  

    •  Roadbed Guy, (8+ / 0-)

      President and Mrs. Clinton were hounded and accused of LOTS of things, but I do not ever remember any of their right-wing enemies accusing them of being "lazy", or "not too bright". Do you?


      But President Obama and Susan Rice have been accused of those things.  They are code words for "dark-skinned", and just as racist as that watermelon "joke" image some Orange County California Republican sent out in e-mail at the beginning of President Obama's first term.

    •  I won't give them the benefit of the doubt... (0+ / 0-)

      that said, Bush was incompetent.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

      by CTMET on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:09:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not willing to give the benefit of doubt. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've heard too many code words and phrases over the years, and this smacks exactly of coding and dog-whistling.  

      Too many of my black friends have been denied promotion because they were 'not smart enough' or would 'attract the wrong kind of student to the program' and such.  It's all veiled speech that translates into 'darkies need not apply.'

      I've heard it, too: "What kind of name is that?"  and ".... the love of The Good Lord ..." or a reference to Jesus Christ or the New Testament, followed by a long look to test my reaction.  It's all to see if I'm Jewish, like some secret handshake.

      When you're on the receiving end of this crap, you can sniff it out pretty damned quickly.

  •  It's the assumption of white privilege (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, mellowinman, David54

    Not that this necessarily replies to the title, but it's certainly illustrative of what Senators McCain and Graham are doing:

    Only they're the ones shouting of war's disaster, forgetting how they voted on it. Welcome to the decline of the Republican Party.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:05:58 PM PST

  •  Oh good grief ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Criticizing a political opponent as incompetent is now racist? Hell, Harry Reid said much worse things about Obama for crying out loud.

    Please save the racist accusations for real situations, there are enough of those that we needn't make up crap like this to muddy the water.

    •  Yes, of course, Reps. Clyburn, Fudge, Moore... (14+ / 0-)

      ...and Holmes are just "mak[ing] up crap" because, being black, they're biased about what is and isn't racist.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:18:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't it still racist if it is unconscious? (7+ / 0-)

      Of course it is. The point seems to be that whether the so-called criticisms are meant to be racist or not by the speakers, they most certainly are racist in the context put forth here and as perceived by the listeners. My dad (a marine) used to call women who wore too much perfume "Frenchies" which was apparently the marine word for whores in his era. He didn't mean it to be sexist.... But he never called a man wearing too much cologne Frenchy.

      •  So you can magically (0+ / 0-)

        read minds? What other criticisms are racist simply because you deem them so?

        •  So you're saying that no one (4+ / 0-)

          is allowed to interpret what was said? And we should take the "I'm not racist" statement of Lindsay Graham at face value? We may disagree on the interpretation, but it seems obvious to me that calling Ambassador Rice, a Rhodes scholar, "not too bright" contrasts wildly with the language of the criticisms directed at President Clinton, another Rhodes Scholar. What accounts for that discrepancy? I (and others) will interpret it for ourselves.

          •  what? (0+ / 0-)

            Anyone is free to interpret whatever they wish. It doesn't make it so however. Why do you think Graham is a racist? He me or may not be. H may or may not torture puppies as well. But absent proof I'll say he isn't. You on the other hand seem to think certain individuals have a magic insight to the intent behind mere criticism.

            Lets review other criticisms and apply your logic.

            Harry Reid castigated Justice thomas:

            "I think that his opinions are poorly written. I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.""

            Well, he didn't say that about other justices....

            Or the accusations that Condi Rice was a stooge for Bush? (and lets recall MUCH MUCH worse racially disgusting things were said about her ) Don't recall Clyburn et. al. defending her then
            C'mon dude. In fact i'll bet you even criticized Thomas, or Powell or Condi Rice in ways you didn't with other white officials? Are you therefore racist for doing so? According to you, yes. According to me no.

            it's just politics, no need to make it racial as well. But I digress.

            •  Context matters (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The issue is that everyone knows that this is a bullshit "problem" manufactured by McCain et al. What makes it discriminatory is the context. They're ignoring the facts to push their agenda, and the fact that it's a woman gives them more liberty to make shit up. It may not be "racist", but it's still dickishness of the worst sort.

              •  really? (0+ / 0-)

                So false accusations of racism are cool as long as it is against your political opponent? Classy ...

                And by the way it isn't necessarily a BS problem, There have been much more unknowns than knowns about what transpired and who knew what when. Not saying they aren't pumping this for own agenda but calling them racists is an irresponsible response.

            •  You're not trying to compare (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pdxteacher, harlinchi, Joy of Fishes

              "poorly written" with "not very bright" are you?


              I'm a Black man also, born and raised in North Carolina. Unlike you, I can see where the Black Legislators are coming from and I agree with them. Was not Condi a Bush "Stooge" (which, by the way, were all white guys) or did you also believe S. Hussein was building/possessed weapons of Mass destruction? "Stooge" is not the same as "not very bright". Tell me ONE time a Progressive/Democrat said that about a Republican and I'll salute you, Sir. But you  are doing a POOR attempt at moral equivalency.

              •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                I too was raised in NC (rural central near Greensboro). Stooge? really?

                Senator Pat Leahy referring to her tenure as national-security adviser lacked “strong leadership, openness, and sound judgment.”  

                What's the difference?

                And when she was called a house nigga where where these legislators? Silent.

              •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

                Powell wasn't a white guy. Nor was Gonzales. I think bush was called many variants of dumb thousands of times. And Condi was subjected to some really awful racial demeaning slanders. No squeals form these guys though.

    •  It wouldn't be "racist" if not for the rest of (0+ / 0-)

      their attack, and if they had some vaguely believable reason for calling her "incompetent". It's all part of a package with a particular context.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:02:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain And Graham Got Fee Fees Hurt (9+ / 0-)

    When in 2008, Obama campaign spokesman Susan Rice criticized McCain by mentioning his legendary tour of an Iraq market with Graham in flak jackets years previous in an effort to prove how safe Iraq was. There, there John. Politics is a big boy game.

  •  It's entirely coincidental that the two Cabinet .. (17+ / 0-)

    members who have been their targets in the investigation of phony "scandals," and that they've accused of incompetence, are Eric Holder and Susan Rice, and that they're both African-American.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:17:48 PM PST

  •  Holy cow on (11+ / 0-)

    the Lindsey Graham drama and fake outrage. I know it's fake because I've never heard him say "The only color I care about is red for the blood of over 4,000 Americans killed in a war that the US got into with lies from Condi Rice and the Bush Administration"

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:26:58 PM PST

    •  Totally fake outrage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have never understood this "controversy."

      First, it has always seemed like a false dichotomy about whether the attack arose out of protest or that it was  premeditated. It has always seemed possible to me that the attackers had a plan to assault the mission, it may have been more or less detailed. The other protests could have easily been seen as the type of distraction which would help divide the attention of anyone who might ordinarily respond--like prisoners waiting for something else to happen before staging a jailbreak. I mean why does it have to be strictly "planned" or "spontaneous"?

      Second, at least historically, ambassadorships have often been rewards for political supporters. There are too many examples of this to even start a list. Certainly as representatives of our country abroad workers and ambassadors at consulates and missions share the goals and perspectives of our president? Maybe not every detail, but definitely the broader strokes. I understand that many are professional diplomats, people who've made finding consensus among nations their careers. I don't get why the Republicans think President Obama or anyone in his administration would be less than determined to protect ALL who serve.

      Once upon a time there was a Grand Old Party, it has let its fear and hate devour it. Now all that's left seems to be the rage and insecurity.

      It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

      by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:32:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are the elected GOP women (5+ / 0-)

    in all of this?

    Clearly, there is a racist/sexist edge to these criticisms of Rice...nothing wrong with substansive criticisms but what McPain and Graham are saying is anything but substansive.

    Where are these women's GOP female collegeues in the House?

    Where is Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins or Kay Bailey Hutchinson on this?

    Hell, these women didn't even speak out on the Sandra Fluke hot mess.

  •  Republicans still think their word is good. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    It isn't.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:17:35 PM PST

  •  Welllll...they did support Condi Rice when she was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, oldmilitant

    busy actually being incompetent at her job and helping to get 3000+ Americans killed in NYC, and then many thousands more later, and she was black and female.

    So maybe they simply see it as pure partisan bullshit, not racist and sexist bullshit.

    •  I see your point but here's why it's racist - (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaintC, JayBat, Neon Mama, sethtriggs

      First, Condi was doing their bidding.  We all know why blacks (and white women) who do the bidding of rich white men don't get criticized and called out in public, they know their place.  Ambassador Rice just doesn't know her place.

      Second, I have already heard senior Republicans that I know personally, who are generally not obviously racist at all, saying that they will not stand for a black president, a black Attorney General AND a black SoS.  One "extra" black person in the cabinet is all they will tolerate.  And they especially don't want a black woman!!  Representing us abroad??!!  People will think that we have become "too black."  I'm serious, I've heard this among national Republican operatives.

      They believe that Ambassador Rice was asked to do the appearances precisely because she is on Obama's short list for SoS, and they want to make it clear right now, they don't want another black person, especially a black woman, in the cabinet!!  

  •  McCain is an instinct-driven person whose (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, Neon Mama, sethtriggs

    isntincts are "good," unlike Obama's, whose instinct he identified as bad.
    McCain is antagonistic to the U.N. He wants the U.S. to be into dominion, bombing whatever country doesn't yield to demands. Co-operation and co-ordination are anathema to him. The only reason Rice is Ambassador to the U.N. is because he and his cronies have no regard for the institution. When Bolton was there, he was supposed to whip the place into shape.  He obviously failed.
    Libya rankles because it was a U.N. sanctioned and supervised operation. Having the Ambassador to the U.N. be a spokesperson for events there rankles and keeps reminding the war mongers that the removal of a dictator did not go as they wished.
    Instinct-driven people manifest:


    And the whole is wrapped in deception.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:52:55 PM PST

  •  Just ignore them... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We won, they lost. Why keep posting and keeping this bs alive.  Enough.  Move on people and just call bs when it arises.  Remind them of their support for totally unqualified Palin and move on.

    •  Agree, just press ham to the boob tube then change (0+ / 0-)

      the channel when the pathetic old prisoner comes on to dishonor, by his craven appetite for hatemongering, everyone he ever fought for.

      Words are wasted on the moran.

      "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

      by jakewaters on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:01:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "incompetent", "out-of-his-depth" & "shirker" (0+ / 0-)

    We're talking about McCain here, right?

    No? I think they fit him to a T.

  •  Stay On It (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, Patate, Neon Mama

    80% of Republicans admitted to a major poll they were racist - imagine how many really are.

    The country needs to know who they are - Ambassador Rice is a blatant example - please progressives hit them hard.  They're on the ropes.

  •  Can't Rec anything, Dkos technical issue for me... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaintC, pdxteacher, Neon Mama, sethtriggs

    but I've Tweeted the diary, and a couple more on the subject, too.

    Thanks for the info on McCain's graduation status at Annapolis, it gave me my #UnintentionallyIronic hashtag for this tweet:

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:59:59 PM PST

  •  You can only appoint a black Secretary of State (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, Patate, sethtriggs

    ...named Rice if you are a Republican?

    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:05:14 PM PST

  •  Not RACIST, she easy target to Negate Obama's win! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the repugs were deeply disappointed that Obama won a second term. After all, they bet it all on their choices and messages and they lost. But, they still have FOX MEDIA octopus to push back and they needed a face/scapegoat. Ambassador Rice was out there with the Benghazi msg, so they attacked her. They are the liars, they are the cheats, they would have stolen the elction from the american people. They have no principles and no real loyalty to democracy. They are in love with AMERICA as long as it is the america they envision as the RICH get richer, CORPORATIONS are persons, $$ rules and the masses fall in line and do what they are told.

    An EGG is not a person, A corporation is not a person!

    by CarmanK on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:19:25 PM PST

    •  Disagree. These attacks are so irrational that (0+ / 0-)

      racism is the only explanation.  It's not anti-Rice racism, it's anti-more-blacks-in-cabinet racism.  

      These guys know that Rice was asked to appear because she's on the SoS short list, and they don't want any more black people in cabinet.

      This is what I'm hearing from people who would know.

  •  This isn't Racism but it's not Color Blindness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Her color is Blue, that of the evil democrat.  As it's an appointed position the GOPers don't need their arguments to be racist.

    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. A. A. Milne

    by Memory Corrupted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:29:42 PM PST

    •  Don't think so - this is racism - not against Rice (0+ / 0-)

      but against having any more blacks in cabinet.

      The utter irrationality of the attacks, suggesting Rice is not that bright when she's among the brightest people in the country.... they are grasping at straws here.  They really have no case.  
      The purpose of these attacks is to prevent another black person from being appointed to the cabinet.  

      The attacks are not about what Rice did a couple of months ago, they are about what Obama might do a couple of months from now.  

  •  Pointing out obvious racism is the new racism (0+ / 0-)

    Don't you watch Faux?

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:42:55 PM PST

  •  If you have to say that what you said or wrote is (4+ / 0-)

    not racist or sexist, then it is.  It's sort of like if you feel you have to name a hotel the deluxe hotel - it probably isn't.  And saying that you have an acquaintance of another gender or race is like saying that you once stayed in a "deluxe hotel" with other guests like "those people".

    There is no doubt that what the Republican members of the House and Senate who are attacking our Ambassador Rice are acting in a racist and sexist manner.

    And their attacking of Ambassador Rice as she works to do her job now as Ambassador to the United Nations is not just racist and sexist.  It is UNPATRIOTIC and is interfering with the business our our COUNTRY.  Those participating in this unpatriotic activity should just go ahead and resign!  If elected members of Congress insist on being openly UNPATRIOTIC, then they are undermining all of the work that our military heroes are doing - the lives that are being lost and the injuries so many of them have to deal with.  Who can believe anything they say when they cannot be respectful and and choose instead to act contrary to the interests of this country?

    •  I called on Lindsey to resign after his statement. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We need to call on these guys to resign, starting now.  They are unpatriotic in the extreme.

      I can't believe how un-outraged some people are over this.  To me it is one of the most despicable things these jokers have done yet.  

      And believe me, it is 100% about race.

  •  What's that on your lips?... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, sethtriggs


    These emmeffers have been blasting their dog whistles so long and so hard they've raised welts on their lips and popped capillaries in their eyes.

  •  Eleanor Holmes Norton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MEGYN KELLY: We had congresswoman after congresswoman come out and say this is racism and sexism and you are saying on the record you disagree with that contention?

    ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON: I am. You have to understand I’m a former Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. So I don’t take racism and sexism by implication, I have to see some evidence of it. The evidence is that they are focusing in on the messenger. They know that the administration was evaluating this information as it came in. They have her with the information she had at the time. I quoted at the press conference the office of the national intelligence director evaluating what she said. And he said that that was the information we had at the time. That was the information we gave to the administration. And that’s the information she gave to the public.

    Video at link:

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:24:08 PM PST

  •  I cannot believe they gamed this out 2 or 3 or 6 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    mos ago.
    They didn't think about "what if we don't win" (which was highly probable, if they'd been paying attention).
    They didn't seriously set up a plan going forward. They just said, "Well, whatever God puts in front of us, let's just step in it, and then we'll track it all over the place, and then when that starts getting attention, we'll go back an pick some up and start flinging it in all directions. That'll work. Hyuk.
    Oh, and let's let McCain, our last "pseudo-statesman" left standing, go out and make a fool of himself along with that silly Lindsey Graham, with that preposterous accent and tough-talk-that-fools-no-one.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:24:46 PM PST

  •  The attacks are baseless and irrational. The (0+ / 0-)

    sole purpose of these attacks is to prevent Obama from appointing another black person to the cabinet.  

  •  I'm a black female (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, sethtriggs

    And I don't even think all of it is racist.  I think most of it is sour grapes, jealousy, envy, and misogynistic.  These are just stupid people.  With the teabaggers it may be all racist because they're looking @ it that way. But these guys just need to STFU.  It's a combo of all of these things.  

  •  Whatever you say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Like white on Rice: Republican critics say there's nothing racist in their digs"

     Yeah, sure.  And if the Republican comments AREN'T racist, then I have a half-mile of Atlantic Ocean beachfront property in the middle of Montana that I am willing to part with for a song.

  •  I am glad that there are people standing up (0+ / 0-)

    To this tight wing bullying. It was even better when Rice herself stood up and completely owned McCain and Graham. I hope she is able to testify so she can take them on and embarrass them face to face. Please proceed senators.

  •  Sure, there's nothing racist in their digs and (0+ / 0-)

    Mississippi is for Obama.  That is why the white vote was 89% against him.

  •  During the sixties the southern whites (0+ / 0-)

    called us northerners "racists"  because went south to work against segregation.

  •  Rice is perfectly qualified, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so is Kerry. In fact, Kerry is arguably more qualified. Not only that, an appointment as SoS would be an excellent way for Kerry to cap a long and valuable career in public office. In other words, if Kerry wants the job, I personally believe he deserves it.

    For President Obama, the choice between these two highly qualified individuals should be based not on what some group of rightwing bigots says or doesn't say. I think it comes down to whether the excellent rapport between him and Rice outweighs the somewhat less but still quite good rapport between him and Kerry, given Kerry's higher qualifications and the fact that he deserves such an appointment more than anyone else on the planet.

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