Cleburne Times Review Column for January 22, 2006
“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
A strange Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with controversies both real and imagined. First, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans makes the bizarre comment that he wants a “chocolate city,” which he defines as “majority African-American,” just in case anyone failed to grasp the subtleties of his metaphor, and then takes the usual tactic of claiming his comments were misunderstood. Please. There is no way to positively spin such moronic statements. If Katrina had struck some rich lily-white beach resort town (which would have been buried under federal aid before the rain even stopped falling), and the white mayor of that town had made comments even remotely similar, he or she would be ridden out of town on a rail. And rightly so. As the leader of a city that was nearly wiped off the map, and then ignored and abandoned by the Federal government, the Mayor is understandably over-stressed. Fine. But he needs to put the people of his city (ALL the people of his city) first. Shooting your mouth off gives aid and comfort to those who have no interest in rebuilding New Orleans, and hurts those who want to help. Nagin needs to buck up, give a real apology, and move on.
Next, Hillary Clinton gives a weird little speech at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem where she said the House of Representatives is run “like a plantation, and you know what I’m talking about.” Huh? For starters, Senator Clinton once again has given us more proof that she may know Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton may be a friend of hers, but she is no Bill Clinton. The man referred to as the “first African-American President” due to his incredibly high levels of support among black voters knew better than to condescend to his audience by trying to sound hip and edgy. And ultimately that may be why Hillary Clinton is unlikely to follow her husband into the White House; she may have his drive and ambition, but she utterly lacks his skill as a politician. But beyond that, why is it that suddenly all potential Democratic presidential candidates have to scramble to be seen in public with Al Sharpton? This con man who nearly sparked a race riot in New York with a completely fabricated story of police abuse is now vetting candidates like a king maker? Kind of hard for Democrats to make the case that the Republic Party is dominated by the tele-Pharisees of the Right when they are kowtowing to demagogues like Sharpton. Predictably, Republicans are full of righteous fury about Clinton using the word “plantation,” claiming it’s nothing but “race baiting.” Right. “Plantation” is only acceptable when right-wingers like Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich use it.
Speaking of tele-Pharisees, I once said that Pat Robertson and Dr. James Dobson were neck and neck in the race to become the official spokeskook of the Right Wing political evangelism Sanhedrin. Well, the race is over and Robertson wins. Hands down. The man who blamed feminists and lesbians for the 9-11 attacks, claimed that God would allow Dover, Pennsylvania to be destroyed because the school board there voted against teaching “intelligent design,” referred (like Nagin) to Hurricane Katrina as God’s punishment, and called for the assassination of blowhard socialist Hugo Chavez, now says God (who in Robertson’s twisted theology is apparently nothing more than a glorified hit man) struck down Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for “giving away” the Holy Land. It’s time to retire the Crackpot Crown. Robertson is the undisputed King of Fools.
And last but not least, the Republican spin doctors have worn a hole in the rug trying to justify President Bush’s fetish for spying on American citizens without the benefit of a warrant or the overview of the court designed specifically to authorize such wiretaps. “9-11!” They say. “Al Qaeda!” Only one problem: we now know this Administration began illegal wiretapping BEFORE September 11, 2001 (from truthout.org). So the last sorry justification for such police state tactics falls. Apparently, it became necessary to destroy the Constitution in order to save it. How long until January 20, 2009, again?