Lynne Patton may not have had the opportunity to speak at yesterday’s House Oversight Committee hearing with Michael Cohn, but she’s making sure Rashida Tlaib hears her now. “Are you a prop?” asked Fox & Friend’s Brian Kilmeade after replaying Tlaib’s accusation of racism against Rep. Mark Meadows for bring Patton to the hearing. “Are you a token?”
In response, Patton turned the tables on Tlaib — or perhaps better put, flipped the card that Tlaib played:
PATTON: You know, what I’d like to ask the Congresswoman from Michigan is, you know, why does she take the word of a self-confessed perjurer and criminally convicted white man over a black female who’s highly educated, rose up through the ranks of one of the most competitive companies in real estate, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention, and now works in one of the most historic administrations in history? So to me, that would be my question. That’s more racist than being put up there as a quote-unquote “prop.”
Oof. If you haven’t yet read Allahpundit’s two posts on this topic, be sure to do so now in order to pick up on his point about costs when playing the race card against Republicans. Tlaib got her first unpleasant surprise on this calculation yesterday when Oversight chair Elijah Cummings came to the defense of his colleague and forced Tlaib to back down. Patton is upping the ante by playing the race card right back at Tlaib by questioning Tlaib’s racism for embracing the “liar” of similar complexion to Tlaib, rather than assuming Patton’s own agency and respecting her perspective.
Under other circumstances, this is the kind of identity politics Republicans would decry. In this instance, though, Patton wants to be sure that Tlaib gets hoist by her own petard by applying the same rules to her that Tlaib wants to impose on others. If those costs routinely got applied in an even-handed fashion, we’d probably see much less of it.
It’s worth asking, however, if this attack would have worked from someone else other than Tlaib. Oversight has several African-Americans on the panel, including Democratic women such as Eleanor Norton (DC) and Stacy Plaskett. Having them make this criticism — assuming it even occurred to them to do so — might have made Patton just as angry, but left without this particular riposte. But even that question could get turned around on Tlaib. Who is she to raise this issue when Norton and Plaskett didn’t?
By the way, Patton’s still waiting for an apology from Tlaib for getting treated like an unthinking non-entity. After Ainsley Earhardt noted that Tlaib had apologized to Meadows, Patton said that didn’t settle the matter:
PATTON: She didn’t apologize to me. She did apologize to Congressman Mark Meadows for implying that he was racist, which is also laughable. I was there again not just to push back against a racist narrative, but I was also there to push back against a liar.
So far today Tlaib doesn’t sound much like apologizing again. Perhaps Patton needs to apply more costs before she comes around.