It’s not every day I have something good to say about a Politico piece about a Bush appointee, but I consider this story important:
A scholar whom President George W. Bush appointed as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom has a reputation as a tough conservative critic of affirmative action and politically correct positions on race.
But when it comes to the investigation that the Republican-dominated commission is now conducting into the Justice Department’s handling of an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving the New Black Panther Party — a controversy that has consumed conservative media in recent months — Thernstrom has made a dramatic break from her usual allies.
“This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers; this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims “in the initial discussions” of the Panther case last year.
“My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president,” Thernstrom said in an interview with POLITICO.
FWIW, I find this New Black Panther story much more significant than the NAACP/Teatard dust-up. The NAACP is right to condemn teatard racism because (a) condemning racism is their job and (b) there have been numerous incidents of Tea Party racism, but that debate has tended towards abstractions about what racism is and who really is in the Tea Party.
The New Black Panther Party bullshit combines the young-bucks-buying-T-bones myth with the Weathermen-living-under-Joe-Klein’s-bed myth. It’s also the kind of thing a Boehner-led House would spend hundreds of hours investigating and the kind of thing David Broder, Charles Lane, and the rest will happily pimp as an important, possibly impeachment-worthy scandal.
If Republicans get control of the House or the Senate this fall, expect the next two years to be dominated by stories like this one.