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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee -- And the Race Card

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
For those who voted for President Barack Obama expecting him to bridge America's "racial divide," a question: "How's that working for you?"

Black U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, says "the minority community" blames racism for the Republican refusal to increase the debt limit without conditions. She did not, to be fair, flat-out call Republicans sheet-wearing, Ku Klux Klan-supporting, Jim Crow-loving, poll-tax-imposing, back-of-the-bus crackers. Instead, she took to the House floor with the subtlety of a woodchipper:


"(O)nly this president ... only this one, has received the kind of attacks and disagreements and inability to work, only this one. Read between the lines. ... I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness (toward) this president. Why is he different? ... In the minority community, that is a question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?"


Must be the Texas heat. Either that, or Lee only just awakened -- two-and-a-half years ago -- from an eight-year hibernation, during which President George W. Bush survived two terms as the most viciously maligned and unfairly attacked president since Ronald Reagan. Here's just a bit of what Lee missed:

The late "Lion of the Senate," Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., falsely accused Bush of lying us into the war in Iraq: "Week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie."

Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Bush a "loser" and a "liar."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 Democratic nominee for president, in speaking about the Bush administration told union supporters, "These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen."

Former Vermont Governor and later Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean sought his party's 2004 nomination for president. Not content with merely accusing Bush of lying to take the country to war, Dean suggested that Bush had prior knowledge of the 9-11 terror attacks but allowed the death of 3,000 Americans to create a rationale for war. On National Public Radio, Dean said: "The most interesting theory that I have heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory, I can't think -- it can't be proved, is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is."


Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., accused Bush of purposely responding sluggishly to Hurricane Katrina. Frank called it "ethnic cleansing by inaction," a "calculated ... policy" to induce displaced New Orleans residents to leave the state, making Louisiana a more solidly red Republican state. Frank said, "So by simply not doing anything to alleviate this ... crisis that was so greatly exaggerated by Katrina, they let the hurricane do the ethnic cleansing, and their hands are clean."

President Bill Clinton's former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in 2003, accused Bush of knowing yet concealing the location of Osama bin Laden for maximum election benefit. "Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere," Roll Call's Morton Kondracke recalls hearing Albright ask, "and will bring him out before the election?"

Then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., a 2008 presidential aspirant, routinely questioned -- like many Democrats -- the intelligence of the Yale grad, Harvard MBA and Texas Air National Guard fighter pilot: "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," referring to the freckle-faced Mad Magazine character.

Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann doubled his audience overnight when, in 2003, he delivered a series of pathological attacks on President Bush. In 2008, the former sportscaster struck perhaps a personal best: "You're a fascist! Get them to print you a t-shirt with 'fascist' on it! ...You, sir, have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom 'freedom' is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite."


Ah, memories.

Today, questioning Obama's costly government takeover of health care, his failed $800 billion "stimulus" plan and the over $4 trillion in new debt equals racism. Lee says she speaks on behalf of the "minority community." Would this be the minority community with 16.2 percent black unemployment, up from 12.6 percent in the two-and-a-half years of the Obama administration? In what category does Lee place black House members like Allen West, R-Fla., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., who also oppose Obama's agenda? Are they anti-black black racists -- or black anti-black racists? It's all so confusing.

Here's the thing. Obama could easily pick up the phone and tell Democratic Party leaders to drop the victicrat race card crap. Knock it off. Sadly, he chooses not to do so. After all, the first black president, with his approval ratings in the low 40s, was equally black when his numbers stood at 70 percent.

Snap out of it, Congresswoman Lee. It isn't the color of his skin -- it is the complete and total rejection of his policies.

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