Every day now, it seems, the given political argument descends into racial rhetoric. “I think race has something to do with [Republicans] not bringing up the immigration bill,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said this week. “I’ve heard them say to the Irish, ‘If it was just you, it would be easy.’”
Later, her office had to admit she had heard no such thing and that her information came from unnamed Irish immigration activists. Oops.
Shouting “racism” in a crowded media has poisoned our political conversations and become a substitute for thought.
Liberals hated such name-calling in the 1950s when some conservatives, such as the John Birch Society and other groups, smeared people they disagreed with as Communists. Now they can’t wait to label as racist conservatives such as Paul Ryan who point out (just as Democrats such as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan – and, yes, Barack Obama – have done) that poor cultural habits can play a role in perpetuating poverty in many inner cities…