In the minds of many liberal Democrats, Hispanics and African Americans must seem to come in only two varieties: deferential or defective. And according to one angry caller — who was, from the sound of it, perfectly at home in a blue state — I fall into the second category. "I think you're deluded," he said, "and maybe insane."
I'm just guessing, but something tells me the caller would probably say the same thing about Janice Rogers Brown, who two years ago was nominated by President Bush to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Last week, Brown was finally confirmed but not before Senate Democrats and their accomplices in left-leaning advocacy groups such as People for the American Way did their best to try to paint this black conservative and California Supreme Court chief justice as an "extremist" whose views are outside the mainstream.
Translation: Brown doesn't defer to liberals. So she must be defective.
Uh-oh. The jig is up. Minorities are starting to understand how the Democratic mind seems to work.
Just as they can't do much to stop Bush from appointing Hispanics and African Americans to top positions in the Cabinet and in the federal courts, something that further frightens and frustrates liberal Democrats. And when Democrats oppose these nominees, it's usually not because of who these nominees are or even because of what they believe. Rather, it's because of what they represent and what it means in the grand scheme. Just look at the line that was being advanced by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.
"Her life story is amazing. It is remarkable," Boxer said of the California jurist as the Senate was debating Brown's nomination. "What I don't like is what she is doing to other people's lives. Her story is amazing, but for whatever reason, she is hurting the people of this country, particularly, right now, in my state."
So this is the Democrats' dilemma. How are they supposed to market themselves to minorities as the one-and-only party of opportunity when Bush is putting nonwhite faces in high places? Better to try to paint the Republican Party as a restricted club, as Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean did recently when he described the GOP as "pretty much a white Christian party." And minority Republicans as aberrations.
Condi Rice? Alberto Gonzalez? Janice Rogers Brown? Miguel Estrada? What concerns Democrats is that these guys aren't the right kind of minorities. They're defective. They're extremist. They're eeeeevil. They're....Republican.