Black Herrings and Other Attempts to Evade Responsibility for Getting Americans Killed

Last night at Ceaseless Ephemera, I coined a term for what the Washington Post and the Congressional Black Caucus are trying to run on behalf of Susan Rice: A Black Herring:

They’re not serious; they mean only to run interference.

How can I know this? Don’t they really think that we’re but Krypto-Klansmen? Sure, but they think that because, being conservatives, we’re devoted to the traditions of our people, and since racism is part of America’s past, we must be devoted to that. Or at least, to institutions and structures which permitted that, which is like, totally the same thing.

This is the Black Herring: racism by default, by association, by ideology, and it accomplishes its goal when the accused attempts to prove his innocence of racism, which is impossible. The best one can manage is a demonstration of ignorance of racism, thus promoting oneself from a villain to a fool. It is a game for suckers, and a certain sign that the progressive with whom you are discoursing knows no other way to respond to you.

So note the way that the WaPo constructs its argument:

Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy.

That’s it. A significant portion of those accusing her of falsehood and/or incompetence are white southern males, and you know how they are.

I shore is racist, I is.

The writers of the Washington Post Editorial Board are not stupid. They know that this argument isn’t an argument. They know that it’s perfectly fine for Southern White Males to grill an African-American woman nominated to high office. They don’t need Professor Jacobson to point out that opposition to Condoleeza Rice’s nomination to the State Department was led by former Klansman Robert Byrd. That’s why it leads with that ambiguous “Could it be…?” They aren’t saying that all Republicans are racists, heavens no, but… you know…

So what we’re all meant to do now is say “Racism! How dare you! We have the Highest Respect for Minorities! Some of our best friends…”

Fortunately, Lindsey Graham seems to have come up with the better response:

“The only color I’m worried about when it comes to Benghazi is red — blood red, the death of four Americans.”

The discussion of anything else is an offense to the memory of those butchered by the enemies of our people.



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