Didn’t she say yesterday that she wouldn’t be commenting further on this matter?
I guess when you’re a “rock star” you have to play an encore when the fans demand it.
Kelly grew up in segregated Boston, in an Irish Catholic neighborhood where women were bullied, not honored, and blacks scorned & rejected.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 20, 2017
Kelly grew up in Boston, he was dismissive of a black congresswoman for her attack on Trump, ergo racism. That’s a nastier smear than his “empty barrel” comment about Wilson was. Grounding this in geography is especially weak since it raises the question of where he could conceivably be from that would immunize him from the charge. If he had grown up in a red state, that would be per se proof of bigotry. If he had grown up up in a blue state with a small black population, that would be proof of bigotry too since it likely would mean that he didn’t interact with any black neighbors in his youth. (Never mind his decades in the Marine Corps.) If he had grown up in a blue state in a city with a large black population that would also be proof of bigotry: All older American cities with substantial black minorities have tortured histories of segregation and racial strife, just as the country writ large does. Plop a young John Kelly down anywhere in America and there’s a half-baked “he must be racist” argument to be made. Lefties could just as easily argue in Kelly’s defense that because he’s from a very Democratic city in a very Democratic state, he’s less likely to be prejudiced than the average American. But there’s a point to be scored here and they’re going to score it.
The worst, dumbest offender on this point, as you’ll see in the second clip below, is “Scary Larry” O’Donnell, who uses his own Boston pedigree to claim a bit of extra authority in divining the motives behind Kelly’s “empty barrel” remark. Fancy that: O’Donnell and Kelly grew up in the same city, at the same time, and somehow that environment produced an ultra-woke MSNBC host *and* an allegedly racist general turned White House chief of staff. Maybe we … can’t make safe assumptions about what any individual person believes based on where they’re from.
I think Wilson et al. are borrowing a page from the Karl Rove strategic playbook here in attacking Kelly’s strength rather than his weakness. His presser yesterday defending Trump was so effective because he brought so much moral authority to it, not just as a Gold Star father but as a man who’s seen soldiers under his command fall in battle and have to be sent home packed in ice, as he noted somberly. What can you say to undermine that moral authority? What else? Call him a racist. Put him and Trump back on defense, no matter how ridiculous the charge might be.