Shortly after his confirmation in 1991, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas observed that “being black has far less to do with the color of one’s skin than one’s politics.” This truth has become more obvious in the years since for women as well as African-Americans.
The media and liberal politicians continue celebrating the victory of women and blacks in this fall’s elections while anguishing over the fate of Democratic female and black candidates who didn’t quite make it. One quickly realizes that the failure or success of Republican female and black candidates isn’t nearly as awe inspiring. Indeed, beating a Republican black or female candidate is celebrated rather than lamented.
In the Washington, D.C., area, Jennifer Wexton’s defeat of incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District like Kyrsten Sinema’s win over Republican Martha McSally in Arizona have been portrayed as victories for women. The millions funneled into these races weren’t spent to elect women, but to elect the right women even if doing so required demonizing the more conservative female candidates.
In Tennessee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn defeated a popular former Democratic male governor in a virtual landslide to become the first woman senator ever elected by Tennessee voters, and yet her victory goes virtually unmentioned by the champions of women in politics.
In gubernatorial races around the country, the claim is that African-American candidates in Florida and Georgia lost on Nov. 7 because of “racism” at the same time that the defeat of John James, a black Michigan Republican Senate candidate is being celebrated; voting against him being a sign of civic wisdom rather than racism.
Florida’s Andrew Gillum, under investigation by the FBI for shenanigans during his tenure as mayor of Tallahassee, was portrayed nationally by an admiring media as a great candidate and role model for young blacks, while Mr. James, a West Point-educated war hero who built a thriving business, was ignored. On election night, a politically savvy friend told me that he didn’t realize until Mr. James’ picture was flashed on his television screen that the Michigan Republican was black; Mr. James would have been nationally touted as a barrier-breaker if he had been a Democrat and progressive rather than a Republican conservative.
Among the last seats the Democrats managed to “flip” would have been held by minority Republican women. Positive press for the first Korean-American Republican woman to become a state legislator in California, Young Kim, was non-existent. Mrs. Kim had been thought to have won a California congressional seat that would make her the body’s only Korean-American member. She was defeated by a liberal male, but her loss remains unlamented by those touting the “year of the woman.”
In Utah, another male Democrat earned his spurs by beating the lone black Republican House Member, Mia Love, by a mere 600 votes and immediately signing onto a letter joining the resistance to re-installing Nancy Pelosi as speaker. That presumably made him a champion to liberal women’s rights activists who condemned Republicans in post-election reviews by being able to note that there are no black Republican women in the House. Defeating Mrs. Kim and Mrs. Love were major Democratic goals because they are Republican and a conservative.
In spite of having been barely bested after a deluge of Democratic attack ads, Mrs. Love not only conceded, but did so graciously unlike, say, Stacey Adams, the black female Georgia gubernatorial Democrat who while acknowledging after all the votes were in that she couldn’t win and was thus “ending her campaign,” but bitterly refusing to actually concede. She wouldn’t “concede” she said because the vote count notwithstanding, “concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper.”
Comparing those words to Mrs. Love’s statement after she’d lost a House race that she and her supporters thought she had won speaks to the difference between the two women. “Regardless of how you voted, I want to express my sincere appreciation to you for engaging in the process,” she said. “It is one of the many reasons this is the greatest country on earth. May we take this week to reflect on the countless blessings surrounding our state and country.”
The simple fact is that the progressive left and its media supporters don’t give a hoot about blacks, women or other minority candidates — unless they promote the progressive agenda. The Blackburns, James, Kims, and Loves of the world simply don’t qualify.
If the reaction of the Democratic Party, media and punditocracy don’t prove beyond a doubt that Justice Thomas’ description of how liberals and progressives think was spot on, nothing ever will.
• David A. Keene is an editor at large for The Washington Times.
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