Recently, Rush Limbaugh, in his typical grunting blasts of slanderous wordpuke, has been accusing liberals and democrats of being racist for challenging Bush’s nomination of Alberto Gonzales for U.S. Attorney General. Unfortunately, his listeners, like Al Franken’s friend Mark Luther, have been buying this lie, and in doing so have become very obviously confused over what actually constitutes racism.
First of all, the challenge of Gonzales’ nomination isn’t about race. Let’s say someone rapes and kills your wife, and you happen to come home and catch him as he’s leaving. It turns out the guy is, say, hispanic. Would reporting him to the police be racist? If you testify against him in court, is it because of your prejudice against minorities? No; that’s fucking ridiculous. In the same way, we’re not in opposition to Gonzales because he’s hispanic, we’re in opposition because he’s a total prick.
In a way, you could almost argue that he’s less capable a candidate for the position than Ashcroft. At least Ashcroft believed in and respected what he felt was the law. Sure, it was a totally nutty interpretation, but at least he respected it. Gonzales apparently believes that the law is whatever he wants it to be at any given moment. Governor Bush doesn’t want to serve on jury duty because it would result in the surfacing of his arrest for drunken driving? Gonzales can just bend the law a little and squeeze through his agenda. Governor Bush doesn’t want to pardon anyone from death row, even if there’s new evidence that might possibly indicate innocence? Gonzales just has to run to his office and grab his Legal-System-Bending Kit. Should we torture prisoners from other countries in violation of the Geneva Convention? Hell, why not? I’m sure our friend Alberto will be able to figure out a way to weasel out some technical, theoretical justification.
And while I’m on the topic, what kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world? “We have reasons that we feel justify our torturing of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention.” Well, what’s to stop other countries from doing the same to our soldiers? I’m sure there are other countries that totally agree that the Geneva Convention has been rendered “quaint”. Let’s see how they treat any of our soldiers that they happen to capture. Not only that, but the confessions you get are totally fucking worthless. Dunk me underwater for long enough and I’ll confess to using the corpse of the Lindbergh Baby to bludgeon Amelia Earhart to death. So torture really doesn’t even serve any practical purpose except for the infliction of massive amounts of terror and pain on a person. Aren’t we supposed to be trying to get rid of terror?
What the neoconservatives are currently doing is a particularly despicable form of racism. Well, actually, there’s a variety pack of racism going on, but the most appalling is that they’re crying racism and using the minority status of certain members of the republican party to further their agenda. As long as they make it into a race issue, they don’t have to deal with the real issues. We oppose Gonzales because he condones torture and would be a yes-man to the president instead of an unbiased upholder of the law. The republicans can’t undo the things he’s said or done, but they can try to make us look like the bad guys for opposing his nomination. Thus, they accuse us of being racist, people start ignoring the real issues and focus on this as a race thing, and voila– Gonzales is passed and the democrats look like racist assholes for having stood in opposition. Sinister.
(Of course, then we have Rush Limbaugh’s own racism. Most of us are aware of his track record on this. Then there’s the constituency of republican voters who live in the deep south– generally a pretty racist bunch. I mean, I don’t really like to generalize if I can avoid it, but come on.)
I’m not saying that there aren’t liberals who are racist, of course. My grandfather is a liberal racist. What I’m saying is, what’s the point? The aforementioned Mark Luther is on this crusade to try to prove that there are liberals who are racists. Why? It’s true, there are, but what significance does that have at all? What, “there are some racist democrats, therefore all democrats are racist and every decision any of them ever makes is founded on the basis of racial discrimination”? I’m not sure what he’s going for with any of this, but he’s jumping to conclusions that make no sense at all. And he’s being a total hypocrite in the process by using race in his own way, which is similar to, if not almost worse than, typical racism.
edit: Additionally, they’re being racist in just assuming that our objections are on account of racism. Like, they’re looking at Alberto Gonzales and thinking, “what’s wrong with him? Why are they challenging the nomination?” and then concluding that one of his “negative” attributes is the fact that he’s hispanic, so that apparently must be the reason.
But all of this, of course, is just an unnervingly successful attempt at distraction from the real issue, which is as follows: Alberto Gonzales should not, and must not, be the Attorney General of the United States of America.