Leave it to the New York Times to turn a garden-variety partisan battle over the Supreme Court into a racial issue favoring the Democrats against the Republicans in an election year.
Thursday’s front page featured “Blacks See Bias in Delay on a Scalia Successor.” Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin reported from South Carolina, site of the Republican primary on Saturday, interviewing blacks suspicious of the GOP, given the party’s allegedly unprecedented disrespect for President Obama. The text box read: “To some, another sign of disrespect for the first black president.” The Times quoted an aggrieved supporter accusing the GOP of treating Obama as "three-fifths of a human being." All evidence in contradiction of the racism accusation was ignored.
Haberman and Martin reported from Charleston:
As he left Martha Lou’s Kitchen, a soul food institution here on Wednesday, Edward Gadsden expressed irritation about the Republican determination to block President Obama from selecting Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court.
“They’ve been fighting that man since he’s been there,” Mr. Gadsden, who is African-American, said of Mr. Obama, before pointing at his forearm to explain what he said was driving the Republican opposition: “The color of his skin, that’s all, the color of his skin.”
Republicans hardly gave Bill Clinton an easy time of it -- actually impeaching the president -- so perhaps there’s more to the Republican opposition to Obama's liberal views than skin color.
When Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said after Mr. Scalia’s death on Saturday that the next president, rather than Mr. Obama, should select a successor, the senator’s words struck a familiar and painful chord with many black voters.