Via BuzzFeed, deep thoughts from Rep. Bennie Thompson, adding his two cents on a Nation of Islam radio show to the characteristically thoughtful Conversation About Race that America’s having this week. It’s fun listening to this on the same day that Chris Lehane is defending the memo he wrote for the Clinton White House nearly 20 years ago about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that was out to take down Billary. Every Democratic president, it seems, is the subject of unprecedented conservative vitriol, although Clinton at least could point to his eventual impeachment as evidence that it was true. Thompson’s case for O rests on the idea that it can’t, can’t be a coincidence that conservatives embraced a strong anti-government ethos right around the time that the first black president took office. Things would, presumably, have been different had Hillary squeaked through the Democratic primaries and beaten McCain in 2008 — despite the financial crisis and ensuing mega-bailout, despite the multi-spectrum failure of Bush’s second term, despite ideological jitters over the fact that Democrats had assumed total control of government at a moment of deep economic crisis. This guy seemingly cannot imagine anything but a magic-bullet explanation for the complex process of disillusionment by which a political party shifts ideologically. That’s not unusual for liberals, but in the past the magic bullet typically involved economics; Obama’s infamous bitter-clinger theory of why rural voters are passionate about religion, guns, and immigration is a classic example. Thompson wanted something cruder. He found it.
It’s a cold comfort to know, though, that we’re headed towards a (relative) golden age under President Hillary, whose whiteness will ensure the sort of muted partisanship and collegial congressional cheer for which Bill Clinton’s presidency is duly famous. This is just one of two clips, by the way; you can click the link up top and visit BuzzFeed to hear Thompson call Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” in the other, in case you care.