Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Politics and Condescension

The Martin Luther King Day celebration at Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network is an important annual event, a time where candidates eagerly show deference to the Rev. Sharpton, use the opportunity to attract political support, and maybe pay a little homage to Rev. King in the process. With lots of big races being contested this year, candidates and controversy were in heavy supply.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, who predictably launched into an impassioned attack on the Bush administration, got a puffball question when the questions were being asked. “I need you to tell us what distinguishes Democrats from Republicans right now,” she was asked.

Responded Mrs. Clinton, “When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation and you know what I'm talking about..."

Nothing like a little sensitivity from New York’s carpetbagger Senator. But while criticizing her lack of good taste, you can’t criticize her moxie. It takes real courage to make slavery references in Sharpton’s House, where folks from Mrs. Clinton’s “plantation” attend in large numbers.

Republican Congressman Peter King, of Long Island, had the proper reaction: "It's always wrong to play the race card for political gain by using a loaded word like plantation. But it is particularly wrong to do so on Martin Luther King Day.

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