On one hand, Paul Kanjorski’s defenders can argue that the Democrat from Pennsylvania was attempting a bit of demagogic hyperbole in describing Republican attitudes towards welfare programs in his tirade yesterday, caught by C-SPAN3, Human Events, and Kerry Picket at the Washington Times. On the other hand, Kanjorski’s contention that “minorities” and “defective” constituents are somehow different than “average, good American people” certainly sounds less like hyperbolic irony and more like a projection of Kanjorski’s own bigotry. It only takes Kanjorski less than a minute to run off the rails:
We’re giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately. But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they’re not minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people.
Stephen Gutowski wonders whether the media will treat this with as much attention as if a Republican had said it:
I’m sure that the media will jump all over this indisputable video evidence of a rep with a D next to his name saying something racist. Just like they did when there was indisputable video evidence of a rep with a D next to his name assaulting someone on a public sidewalk. The media is always thorough and diligent when exposing corruption and disgrace within the Democratic party after all.
And I’m sure that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will be demanding Kanjorski apologize for his racist remarks and resign. You know, like they did with Joe Biden and Harry Reid. Surely Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, being men of integrity and all, wont stand for a major political party in the United States to allow people who make dubious racial remarks stay in power.
This statement is a lot more concrete than George Allen’s “macaca moment,” and that got wall-to-wall coverage in the 2006 election cycle. Kanjorski is running for re-election in his district, which makes this very similar to the “macaca” coverage. Will the media provide the same level of exposure to a much more obvious (and deliberate) example of bigotry?
For that matter, the national media has clung to the Joe Barton apology to BP for days, even after almost every other Republican in Congress distanced themselves from it. Doesn’t this seem a little more newsworthy?