Good ol' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used the recent occasion of the NBA's lifetime ban of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to talk about ... the Washington Redskins. His link? Racism. Reid said the Redskins name is a racial slur against American Indians and that perhaps the NBA's "decisive action" in fighting racism should be the new standard for the National Football League by forcing the Redskins to change their name. Reid, who in 2008 referred to Barack Obama as a good "light-skinned" black man who was able to speak with "no negro dialect," said on the Senate floor that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was hiding behind what the owner had called the "tradition" of the name. "What tradition?" Reid sputtered. "The tradition of racism." While he was warmed up, he said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "fails to show any leadership" by allowing Snyder to keep the name. "How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero, as one of its teams bears a name that inflicts so much pain on Native Americans?" he said.
Good thing U.S. Rep Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., doesn't do anything as important as own an NBA team. Because apparently it's no problem for him to label Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom." Indeed, the "Uncle Tom" reference, first reported by BuzzFeed, was followed by the congressman's remarks to CNN that Thomas "doesn't like black people, he doesn't like being black." Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who stupidly said he didn't want his girlfriend hanging around blacks, was banned from his team and the NBA and fined $2.5 million for his remarks. Thompson, on the other hand, said it's perfectly OK to refer to Thomas with the derogatory term because he, himself, is black. Indeed, when CNN's Dana Bash asked the Congressional Black Caucus member if "Uncle Tom" wasn't "a racially charged term," he said that "for some it is, but to others it's the truth." Then Dash said, "Because looking at that and hearing that kind of language, that certainly wouldn't be appropriate if it was coming from somebody who was white." "But," said Thompson, who also has suggested Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's opposition to President Obama is race-based, "I'm black."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who once famously chided a committee witness to call her "Senator" when he graciously referred to her as "ma'am," did not strike a blow for hipness in her Left Coast state during a recent Senate floor argument for a minimum wage increase. The extremist senator, according to The Blaze, was trying to make a point about money by referencing Curtis James Jackson, a rapper, entrepreneur and actor who is known as 50 Cent. "Today," she said, wandering dangerously into pop culture, "50 Cent is a singing group, right? Am I right about that?" The report didn't say whether or not the next sound she heard was crickets.
Just a few months ago, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis was a rising star in the Democrat Party. Championed because of her filibuster last year in favor of abortion rights -- ponder that cause for fame for a second -- she became a gubernatorial candidate for a state with an open seat and was given a shot at winning the top job in one of the reddest of red states. However, recently, while at a left-leaning think tank, Democratic Governors Association (DGA) chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin listed the top 10 states, ranked in three tiers, where he's hoping to oust a Republican in the November election, according to National Review. Texas wasn't in the top tier or the second tier or even the third tier. "We all understand Democrats haven't won Texas in a long time," Shumlin justified to reporters when asked about the race. "My job is not to promote governors' races in states where we can't win." Davis's campaign naturally took offense at the comment and the DGA, saying that "whoever at the DGA prepared the governor's talking points" was "a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who's never stepped foot in Texas." Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall -- undoubtedly writ large -- Davis spokesman Bo Delp this week decided he, well, wanted to pursue "a number of other opportunities in Texas Democratic politics." Davis has consistently trailed Republican attorney general Greg Abbott in polling, most recently by 14 points in a recent PPP survey.