Thursday, December 09, 2004

Dear Dems: Here's how to beat the charges of racism (and sexism)

OK, now that I had some fun with the recent, right-wing attack strategy that tars Dems as racists whenever they criticize someone who isn't, well, white, here's an easy way to deal with that. And, God knows the Dems need all the advice they can get because, most of the time, they're ... hmmm, what's the phrase I'm looking for here? .... oh, right, ... unbelievably, mind-numbingly fucking stupid and as dumb as my cats.

Give the Republicans credit, they've set this up nicely. They hunt around, looking under the seediest barrels they can find for the most vile, loathsome, closed-minded, right-wing lunatic wingnuts in existence (see Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and numerous others) and nominate them for high-level judgeships or cabinet positions. If the Dems somehow work up enough backbone to object, they're immediately tarred as racist, sexist or both. Sadly, this tactic seems to be working. And, just as sadly, it's almost trivial to counter.

First, the Dems need to have on hand a list of all of the upcoming nominations, and this isn't hard -- you can generally see these things coming a mile away. Then they just need to have one or more alternate candidates immediately available on their tips of their tongues. When a Dem criticizes a particular candidate (say current White House counsel and torturer-in-training Alberto Gonzales), any charge of racism and anti-Hispanic bias should, in an instant, be met with, "No, we're not biased against Hispanics at all. In fact, we have a very high opinion of <insert name of preferable Hispanic male candidate here>. He has a lengthy and admirable record of legal service, he's received excellent reviews from his peers, and he has the experience to do the job extremely well. In fact, if the President wants to nominate him for the position, we'd confirm him in a heartbeat."

Naturally, there will be some fuming and sputtering from the right about how that's not the same thing because the alternate candidate might be a Dem, or too moderate, or even (Heavens to Betsy) somewhat left of center. But that's perfect, since it exposes the real reason the Repubs want their candidate, and blows away any charges of racism on the spot.

If the Repubs want to re-nominate the despicable Janice Rogers Brown, every single Dem should have the name of one or more black, female alternatives to Brown at hand, making it impossible for any charges of racism (or sexism, for that matter) to stick for more than about five seconds. In fact, the Dems can go one better by proposing alternatives that go even further towards promoting minorities and women.

If the Repubs nominate white female Owen and the Dems object, they can counter any charges of sexism by proposing a black (or Hispanic, or native American, or Vietnamese, or what have you) female alternative. Not only does this defuse any charges of sexism on the spot, it puts the issue of racism on the table and puts the Republicans on the defensive since, if they complain, they can now be accused of racism.

Is this a trivially effective counter-strategy? I think so.

Is there anyone in the Democratic power structure smart enough to think of it all by themselves? Oh, yeah, that'll happen any day now.

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