Looking for a column loaded with racism, hyperbole, praise for a man embroiled in scandal, and an obvious disregard for the integrity of a Senate seat? Then you're in luck if you've read Ruben Navarrette's latest efforts.
Completely dropping the ball on why some people are apprehensive about any appointment that Rod Blagojevich could make for the vacant Senate seat, Ruben litters his article with some stunning phrases - statements which heap praise upon the disgraced Illinois Governor. Such phrases as:
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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is growing on me.
... I like chutzpah and I don't mind chaos.
... with remarkable chutzpah ...
Blagojevich has done us all a favor with his mischievously brilliant and cynical maneuver.
Then of course, there's this little gem:
You have to admire someone so committed to his job that he won't let a little thing like a federal prosecution interfere with doing it.
Readers of the column would be forgiven if they disregard Ruben's advice, and shift their admiration toward somebody slightly more deserving.
The column mentions the accusations against Blagojevich almost as an afterthought, demonstrating the author's inability to grasp the seriousness behind what the man was caught on tape trying to do - sell a Senate seat.
Ruben parlays this strange ability to ignore the charges against Blagojevich as a stepping stone to reveal the ever disturbing race card. What Blagojevich, Bobby Rush, Roland Burris, and Ruben Navarrette want you to believe is that anyone complaining about, or trying to block the appointment of Burris, is doing so only because he is African American. Corruption charges be damned!
Supporters of the Blagojevich appointment have shown consistently that they have tunnel vision with their black and white arguments. Rush was so disgracefully racist in his remarks that he actually used the phrase ‘I will ask you to not hang and lynch the appointee' during a press conference.
Ruben doesn't disappoint either, following the race model by calling out Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Billy Shaheen, and Geraldine Ferraro as racists due to their past remarks. He also attempts to lump Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and the rest of the Senate into his debate by painting them as merely ‘white males in the Senate Democratic leadership' and ‘a bunch of white men presiding over a body.'
The whole rant is moot though, as Ruben correctly states:
Senate Democrats probably don't have a leg to stand on. They don't have the legal authority to bar Roland Burris.
Why then, such praise for Blagojevich? As Ruben puts it:
Blagojevich has set up another teachable moment in race relations and the often one-sided dynamic between African-Americans and the Democratic Party.
The appointment is justified because it will teach the white men in the Democratic Party a lesson? That argument, along with the column itself, rings hollow.
What of the lesson that those who attempt to sell a Senate seat illegally, will not in fact be rewarded with the ability to sell that seat?
Photo Credit: Paul Beaty/AP