She is one of the most self-serving, hate-filled, race-obsessed politicians in America. The Democratic Party doesn't just embrace her. It kneels at her feet.
Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters reigned supreme this week when Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman appeared before a black audience to "explain" himself. The Connecticut senator's sins? Opposing affirmative action and supporting educational vouchers that benefit minority children. Lieberman, once a courageous voice for equal opportunity, has now been schooled: Pander hard and keep your dissenting thoughts to yourself.
After throwing a hissy fit in the press because she had not been personally consulted about Al Gore's veep picks ("I never had the opportunity to talk to anybody about it before he was decided on as the vice-presidential choice," she whined), Waters gave her benediction. The skilled publicity hound dissed and then kissed Lieberman for the cameras; a cheek-to-cheek photo of the couple appeared in newspapers across the country.
Waters is not a marginal figure in Democratic politics. She has been at the center of the action for two decades. She has served on the Democratic National Committee since 1980. She led the Congressional Black Caucus. She was a key leader in five presidential campaigns and seconded the nominations of Sen. Edward Kennedy (1980), Rev. Jesse Jackson (1984 and 1988), and President Bill Clinton (1992).
Yet, in contrast to the media's wide coverage of GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush's primary-season visit to Bob Jones University, hardly a word was seen or heard reminding Americans of Waters' ugly history of race-baiting rationalizations and rhetoric.
This is a woman who excused the 1992 Los Angeles riots as a "rebellion."
This is a woman who called the violence in L.A. "a spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice and a lot of alienation and frustration."
This is a woman who, instead of coming to the aid of Korean grocers and other minority business owners in her district whose lives were destroyed by looters, made sympathetic statements such as this:
"There were mothers who took this as an opportunity to take some milk, to take some bread, to take some shoes. Maybe they shouldn't have done it, but
the atmosphere was such that they did it. They are not crooks."
And this: "One lady said her children didn't have any shoes. She just saw those shoes there, a chance for all of her children to have new shoes. Goddamn it! It was such a tear-jerker. I might have gone in and taken them for her myself."
This is a woman who danced the electric slide with Crips and Bloods gang members, and then noted in her official biography that "Many young people, including those in the hip-hop music community, praise her for her fearless support and understanding of young people and their efforts at self-expression."
This is a woman who visited the home of Damian Williams, the infamous thug who "expressed himself" by hurling a chunk of concrete at white truck driver Reginald Denny and performing a victory dance over the innocent bystander.
This is a woman who rose to power by badmouthing the white "Establishment," and then shamelessly abused it to secure an ambassadorship to the Bahamas for her husband -- a former pro football player and car salesman whose main qualification was having traveled to the island for a vacation.
This is a woman who repeatedly excoriates "the white press" whenever negative stories about black politicians appear.
This is a woman whose main accomplishment in Congress after five terms has been to bully the House Veterans Committee into hiring two black members to its staff.
Democrats spent much of their national convention in L.A. deriding Republicans for fostering an "illusion of inclusion." But at least the GOP doesn't include in its leadership a snarling bomb-thrower who exploits every opportunity to play the race card and cash in on collective guilt and fear. Some liberals may try to distance themselves from Maxine Waters' extremism, but Sen. Lieberman and the Democratic Party don't have the guts to wipe the lipstick stains of racial demagoguery off their trembling cheeks.