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Liberals Hate Everybody

August 13th, 2007

This from George Will’s commentary (via TPM):

But because he is a white Mississippian, many liberals consider him fair game for unfairness.

Will is writing about Leslie Southwick, Bush’s new nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming that Democrats are resisting his nomination, at least in part, because he’s white.

Now, look at this conservative commentary on why Democrats resisted other Bush nominees:

Despite their inevitable protesting to the contrary, it is clear that Ted Kennedy’s gang of 45 [Democratic senators] discriminated against [Miguel] Estrada because he is Hispanic, like they discriminate against another nominee, William Pryor, for his devout Catholicism. Indeed, if Congress were an ordinary employer and a federal judgeship were treated as a job under federal antidiscrimination law, then Estrada would likely win on a claim of employment discrimination.

Hmm. So, Democrats hate Hispanics and Catholics as well.

When Democrats opposed Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, because of her outrageous political extremism, this conservative echoed many others, saying “that’s just what the Democrats fear more than anything else – a mature, black woman who loves her country and the Constitution.”

Senator Orrin Hatch claimed Democratic senators reject women nominees because they don’t like women, saying “I’ve heard for 27 years how much greater they are for women. Don’t believe it. If they were, they wouldn’t oppose these wonderful women nominees.”

And that, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg; Republican claims of Democratic racism and sexism are virtually endless, though they especially arise whenever Democrats oppose a conservative nominee to the bench.

But the problem, of course, is that Democrats are painted as being racist and sexist against everybody; in the examples I have listed above, Democrats are supposedly bigoted against men and women, against whites, blacks, and Hispanics, as well as against Southerners and Catholics. Search more and I’m sure you will find claims that Democrats are bigoted concerning every single race, religion, region, and sexual orientation. Apparently, Democrats are prejudiced against all human beings in all their diverse forms.

Some conservatives cushion their argument, noting for the sake of an escape clause that it’s really the conservatism in the candidates that the Democrats object to–but they do this only as a footnote, in between repeated statements that Democrats are opposing blacks, Hispanics, women, etc. etc. Which, of course, is a cop-out: if it’s really about the nominees’ political stances, then why bring up race and gender at all? Because, of course, they want to make the claim that Democrats are racist and sexist even as they protest that they’re not claiming Democrats are racist or sexist, even though they are blocking these minority women from the bench for no good reason, and did I mention that the nominee is a black woman and the Democrats are opposed to her?

This goes right alongside the conservative knee-jerk reaction to opposition of the war, claiming that liberals “hate the troops” because they criticize Bush or other conservatives on their war stance. The same can be said about how conservatives claim that liberals want to tax the average American when they oppose more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, or that Democrats want to hurt small businesses when they propose a minimum wage hike or oppose any Republican measure to curry favor with Big Business.

The tactic is very simple: when Democrats oppose something that is conservative, find the closest group of sympathetic innocents and claim that the Democrats are doing what they’re doing because they hate this group (or, sometimes, find an antagonistic group and claim that the Democrats love them). If they oppose a court nominee, it’s really because of the nominee’s race, gender, or religion, no matter which color, sex, or creed that nominee might have. If Democrats oppose any conservative proposal concerning the military, then it’s because the Democrats hate the troops and love al Qaeda. If the Democrats oppose a conservative proposition regarding business, then it’s because Democrats hate the average American worker, or small businesses.

There is always some innocent standing along the wayside that the Democrats supposedly hate. Call it projection, call it a tried-and-true political tactic, call it sheer hypocrisy–whatever it is, it is a common theme in conservative rhetoric.

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