Open Thread: The Liberal-Conservative Double Standard
There is a notable double standard that exists between what Republicans and Democrats are allowed to say. The same words can be construed as racist or sexist when coming from a Republican, but entirely admissible when coming from a Democrat.
Rep. Allen West recently wrote a strongly-worded letter targeting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for berating him behind his back on the House floor. He received a number of complaints calling him sexist, while Wasserman Schultz, who has made a number of similar, potentially offensive comments, received none of the same flak. Do you think the overt push for political correctness has led to this double standard? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Wasserman Schultz, also the chairwoman of the DNC, is known for making somewhat outlandish statements. In March, she said young children in poverty who aren't in school will likely end up as criminals. In April, she called the GOP budget plan a "death trap for some seniors." In May, she called the GOP effort to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood a "war on women." In June, she said Republicans "want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws."
While these statements can easily be taken as racist, sexist, or outright lies, few called her out for making any of these remarks. In July, when she went to the House floor in West's absence to denounce him for voting for Cut, Cap, and Balance, saying West supported “protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires and companies who ship jobs overseas,” while “increas[ing] the costs for Medicare beneficiaries," West finally took a stand against her.
West wrote an email in response to Wasserman Schultz's remarks:
From: Z112 West, Allen
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz
Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!
I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.
You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!
Steadfast and Loyal
Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)
Wasserman Schultz has gone after West before, most notably at a 2010 rally outside his campaign headquarters where she claimed he thought it was alright “to objectify and denigrate women.”
In an interview with talk radio host Mark Levin last month, shortly after the House floor incident, West noted: “I’m the threat because I’m the guy that got off their [liberal] plantation, and they cannot afford to have a strong voice such as mine out there.”