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With the IRS scandal still at the forefront of the news cycles and Democrats running for cover everywhere, MSNBC host Martin Bashir has this time outdone himself. Yesterday, he hurled a ludicrous accusation against Republicans and pundits on the right in the ever increasing din of coverage on the IRS's gestapo tactics against conservative and right leaning organizations applying for tax exempt status. In his "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir said the following:
“And now, the IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the president’s birth certificate,” he said. “Despite the complete lack of any evidence linking the president to the targeting of Tea Party groups, Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House.”
The liberal host then cited a quote by the late Republican political consultant Lee Atwater.
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N*****, n*****, n*****,’” Atwater said during an interview in 1981. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n*****’—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*****, n*****.”
“So, this afternoon,” Mr. Bashir concluded, “we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this president — the IRS. Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”
What immediately came to my mind when I heard Bashir degrade concerned Americans to nothing more than sore losers still upset that a black man is in the White House? That the race card has just been played, and whenever the race card is brandished, there's more to the story. There is guilt on the part of the president here. Otherwise, any person with any moral character would admit that using the power of the IRS to target your opposition is unlawful and a violation of our civil liberties. James Carville recently admitted as much on television, while refusing to admit any collusion on the part of the president.
Carville did so because he is aware that an abuse of power of this magnitude cuts in both directions. Should power change hands; as it inevitably does, there would be no reason not to employ this tactic against the enemies of that new administration.
It's morally repugnant to be a racist in America today. Any red-blooded human living in the real world is aware of that; whether you are a political animal or not. America's history on race has been castigated and flogged; and whenever the left deems so, is lifted up from the ashes to be castigated and flogged again. Rarely is it ever mentioned that America eradicated slavery and is a testament to the resilience of human interaction by the continual example set of electing our first black president: a feat that could not have been accomplished without the overwhelming support of white people.
Yet Bashir’s comments beg the calling out of an American cultural anomaly, while stating the obvious. I loathe the use of the phrase "N word". Yet when writing, it is simply unacceptable to use the full spelling of that word, even if while I'm writing this, a car full of teens drives by with a rap song blaring that word repetitively at 1,000 decibels.
The hypocrisy of some being able to blatantly yell ni**a, while others are strictly prohibited, is a symptom of the larger issue. Double standards; they exist to benefit one group and penalize another. It’s time for the punishment to stop. Congress should continue its full investigation into the IRS's abuse of power, and if the president is indeed a party to this abuse, he should resign. To do otherwise encourages the firestorm to rage. To play the race card to avoid being held responsible is childish and beneath the office of the presidency. Employing surrogates to play the race card is no better.