First, today's screed about how Roland Burris should not be seated in the Senate:
I also believe outdated racial politics will backfire on Democrats and Obama. Every Democrat (and pundit) who said Blagojevich shouldn't appoint a new senator given his indictment should be politically skewered if they changed their mind upon the appointment of an African-American senior statesman -- including Burris and Obama, frankly, who both urged Blagojevich to avoid that course last month. If I had any doubt about the case against Blagojevich's choice, it disappeared when Rep. Bobby Rush compared opposing Burris to a lynching last week. On "Hardball" today, Rush was even worse, comparing Burris' walk from the Capitol in the rain Tuesday to "the dogs being sicced on children in Birmingham, Ala." in 1963. Rush has lost all sense of proportion and decency on this issue. Yes, it's disturbing that without Burris, the Senate would once again be all white, but Illinois, the state that elected two African-American senators and gave us our first black president, doesn't deserve a scandal-tainted senator chosen by racial guilt.Read more...
Wait...what? Bobby Rush is a loud-mouthed, race-baiting idiot and so you oppose Roland Burris, the legally-appointed junior Senator from Illinois, taking a seat in Congress? What do Rush's over-the-top, media-whoring antics have to do with anything? And why would his behavior backfire on Obama (who has been on the receiving end of Rush's attacks in the past) and the Democrats?
In her post, Walsh admits that some writers she holds in esteem disagree with her on this--Folks like Digby and Jane Hamsher. but their arguments in favor of Burris (like those of most reasoned people) rest on the Rule of Law. As crappy as it is that Blago got to make this appointment, it seems he is within his legal right to do so. (Read more on why I think the Senate should seat Burris now.) No one seems to be making the Blagojevich/Burris debacle about race, but Bobby Rush...and Joan Walsh.
Walsh snidely refers to Burris as a "champion of professionally black Chicago activists" and rightfully calls him out for opposing Carol Moseley-Braun during her Senate run, in favor of Alan Dixon, who sided with Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill. But then she gets to the crux of her argument:
Imagine that Blago had appointed a white Roland Burris, middle-of-the-road, relatively clean but not a big reformer, a four-time loser for governor and senator with one statewide win behind him/her, who isn't given a strong chance to run and win in 2010. I find it hard to imagine that Obama and Reid would have reversed their principled anti-Blagojevich stand to back a vaguely qualified but mediocre white cadidate. And what about poor Rep. Danny Davis, the black Chicago congressman who reportedly turned down an appointment by Blago because that's what he thought a good Democrat was supposed to do? If Davis knew Reid and Obama would fold so quickly, he might be the one sitting in Washington being hailed as the junior senator from Illinois right now.
Ah...Walsh thinks Burris is an affirmative action hire. An incompetent black person being handed an undeserved position of power, just like Bara...oh, I won't say it. Now, I shouldn't need to point out (especially to a "professional" feminist--See how condescending that sounds, Joan?) that mediocre white men get appointed to things all the time. It is women and racial minorities and gay people that have to be exceptional. I can't help thinking that all of this is really about Clinton vs. Obama...again. Walsh is still licking her wounds about Obama winning the Democratic nomination and, as her recent political recap proved, is still angry at those "fools who threw the word 'racism' around carelessly."
Please get over it, Joan.
Elsewhere on Salon--another head-scratcher. In Broadsheet, the magazine's column about women, politics and culture, Tracy Clark-Flory writes about Liskula Cohen, who is suing Google over an anonymous blog featuring risque photos of the former model paired with ugly slurs like "Horsey Face," "ho," "skank bitch," "#1 skanky superstar," "old hag," and "psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank." The blog is relentlessly misogynist and unnerving. While I question Cohen's logic in bringing a lawsuit that would drive more attention to what was likely a site read by its creator and few else, I really question the wisdom of a "women's" column linking to said site and compounding a woman-hating cyber-assault. Clark-Flory's post is strangely dispassionate. She says she "feels for" Cohen, but spends most of her time debating the merits of the plaintiff's case. No discussion of how this fits in with the bullying and threatening of women that is so prevalent in cyberspace. Anyone else read this column and find it odd?