NY Times Feeds Into Notion that Republican Opposition to Stimulus Bill is Racist

February 20th, 2009 2:55 PM

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn appeared on WIS-TV yesterday in a round table setting to discuss how the stimulus bill will affect South Carolina.  During the debate he stated that he was insulted by opposition to the plan; specifically targeting GOP Governors of Southern States by implying that their opposition was a "slap in the face of African-Americans" as if race was a determining factor. 

"The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition. Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina.
These four governor's represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that," Clyburn said. "All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford." (src - WIS-TV)

Rather than actually quote Congressman Clyburn on these claims the NY Times chose to demagogue the issue by providing their own rationale in a caucus blog post that appears designed to embarrass South Carolina's Republican Governor Mark Sanford.

In response to such sentiments by Mr. Sanford that were echoed by other Republican opponents — as well as worries based on historical patterns in which funds were not disbursed evenly to poor, black districts around the country — Representative James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and the House majority whip, insisted on a passage in the law that includes this caveat:

If funds provided to any state in any division of this act are not accepted for use by the governor, then acceptance by the state legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such state.

Some state entities may not even need the concurrent resolution. We’re told that Representative Clyburn has reassured South Carolinian officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, that money will flow to the state.

While both CNN and the AP reported on the statements made by Rep. Clyburn both made sure to include the obligatory "highest-ranking black congressman" designation for the South Carolina Democrat. (Of course the independent labeling by the separate news outlets couldn't possibly be taken from the Rolodex of labels that often serves to provide cover and validation for baseless charges against Republicans.)

None of this explains why states with substantially lower African American populations such as Alaska would want to scrutinize the provisions attached to the stimulus plan but it plays well in a media that caters to the left.

Imagine how we have come full circle. During the election we were branded racists if we supported John McCain, yesterday we became cowards despite electing the first African American President in U.S. history, and today we are back to being what I imagine is cowardly racists simply because we don't tow the Democrat line.

Terry Trippany is the watcher at Watcher of Weasels. The video accompanying this article was originally posted at Real Clear Politics.