Senator Rockefeller won't back down on smear of GOP

Rick Moran
Senator Jay Rockefeller is standing by his remark that racism is the reason for GOP opposition to his agenda. His smear - that Republican opposition to Obama is because he's "the wrong color" has left Rockefeller alone among Democrats as no one on his side of the aisle rushed to his defense.

Politico:

On Thursday, no Democrats publicly rushed to back Rockefeller’s assertion that Obama has met legislative resistance because of his race, a remark that sparked an emotional debate Wednesday with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) over whether opposing the president and his health care law amounted to being “racist.”

Staring down his retirement after 30 years in the Senate and often using a wheelchair because of a bad knee, Rockefeller chose his words carefully Thursday speaking to a pair of reporters. He didn’t use the word “race” or “color” when asked to clarify his remarks — but he refused to back away from his core assertion.

“People oppose things for a variety of reasons. That’s all you’re going to get from me,” Rockefeller said of his “wrong color” comment. “It’s a part of life. And it is a part of American life and world life and it’s a part, just a part, of why they oppose absolutely everything that this president does. It’s basically for political reasons, they do that. But at some point you can’t exclude other factors … as they say, everything is on the table.”

Rockefeller said he’d never discussed the subject with the president.

Rockefeller’s assertion is hard to imagine coming from a Democratic senator who represents a state — West Virginia — where the president is more unpopular than in almost any other — but it was no mistake. Rockefeller said the same at the beginning of May, arguing during a transportation hearing that “for some, it’s just we don’t want anything good to happen under this president, because he’s the wrong color.”

While it may seem Rockefeller is liberated by his impending retirement, the Commerce Committee chairman has always spoken bluntly: He once lambasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry as an “idiot” during an interview, frustrated over Perry’s treatment of longtime Rockefeller collaborator, former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), during the 2010 governor’s race.

But it’s not clear that Rockefeller has provoked the discussion about race among his colleagues that he seems to be itching to have.

Even notorious race baiter Harry Reid refused to echo Rockefeller's smear.

“Between the two of them. I’m staying out of it,” Reid said of Rockefeller and Johnson’s spat. “I mean, it’s something I should stay out of and I’m going to.”

Not exactly a profile in courage, Harry.

Rockefeller's incendiary comments and the lack of support he's receiving from his own party may show the weakening power of the race card. It's getting harder to smear Republicans as kluxers because no one believes it except rabid partisans. Most Americans see the charge of racism as politically motivated and refuse to rise to the bait.

This was inevitable considering how often the race card has been played since Obama came on the scene.


 

 

Senator Jay Rockefeller is standing by his remark that racism is the reason for GOP opposition to his agenda. His smear - that Republican opposition to Obama is because he's "the wrong color" has left Rockefeller alone among Democrats as no one on his side of the aisle rushed to his defense.

Politico:

On Thursday, no Democrats publicly rushed to back Rockefeller’s assertion that Obama has met legislative resistance because of his race, a remark that sparked an emotional debate Wednesday with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) over whether opposing the president and his health care law amounted to being “racist.”

Staring down his retirement after 30 years in the Senate and often using a wheelchair because of a bad knee, Rockefeller chose his words carefully Thursday speaking to a pair of reporters. He didn’t use the word “race” or “color” when asked to clarify his remarks — but he refused to back away from his core assertion.

“People oppose things for a variety of reasons. That’s all you’re going to get from me,” Rockefeller said of his “wrong color” comment. “It’s a part of life. And it is a part of American life and world life and it’s a part, just a part, of why they oppose absolutely everything that this president does. It’s basically for political reasons, they do that. But at some point you can’t exclude other factors … as they say, everything is on the table.”

Rockefeller said he’d never discussed the subject with the president.

Rockefeller’s assertion is hard to imagine coming from a Democratic senator who represents a state — West Virginia — where the president is more unpopular than in almost any other — but it was no mistake. Rockefeller said the same at the beginning of May, arguing during a transportation hearing that “for some, it’s just we don’t want anything good to happen under this president, because he’s the wrong color.”

While it may seem Rockefeller is liberated by his impending retirement, the Commerce Committee chairman has always spoken bluntly: He once lambasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry as an “idiot” during an interview, frustrated over Perry’s treatment of longtime Rockefeller collaborator, former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), during the 2010 governor’s race.

But it’s not clear that Rockefeller has provoked the discussion about race among his colleagues that he seems to be itching to have.

Even notorious race baiter Harry Reid refused to echo Rockefeller's smear.

“Between the two of them. I’m staying out of it,” Reid said of Rockefeller and Johnson’s spat. “I mean, it’s something I should stay out of and I’m going to.”

Not exactly a profile in courage, Harry.

Rockefeller's incendiary comments and the lack of support he's receiving from his own party may show the weakening power of the race card. It's getting harder to smear Republicans as kluxers because no one believes it except rabid partisans. Most Americans see the charge of racism as politically motivated and refuse to rise to the bait.

This was inevitable considering how often the race card has been played since Obama came on the scene.