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South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave a competent, and sometimes compelling, Republican response to President Joe Biden’s speech to Congress this week.
Considering the failed history of opposition responses, being merely competent is no easy accomplishment. And boy, the contrived, hyperbolic outrage and derision we saw from liberal talking heads was something to behold. Some of it was utterly farcical.
Take MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace, who argued that Scott’s speech — in which the senator praised President Donald Trump for his work on coronavirus vaccines — was “delivered from a planet where facts don’t matter.” It’s become almost perfunctory for the media to declare assertions they disagree with as factually untrue, whether there’s any evidence to back it up or not. In this case, there was not.
To prove “Facts don’t matter,” Wallace argued that Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s public-private partnership initiated to accelerate development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, “didn’t do anything to get a needle in the arms.” Well, other than helping boost the lifesaving innovation that flowed through the needles used in the million doses being dispensed daily by the time Biden got his own shot.
But Scott’s most controversial statement, allegedly, was to contend, “America is not a racist country.” All the usual suspects took to social media to mock the senator for simultaneously maintaining that the nation wasn’t racist and pointing out that he had personally experienced bigotry.
Of course America is a racist nation, they wailed, before getting “Uncle Tim” trending on Twitter to prove it. The left’s demeaning of any African American who strays from leftist orthodoxy is one of the ugliest acceptable smears in our political discourse.
Joy Behar of “The View,” a boomer millionaire, claimed that Scott, a black man who was raised by a single mom in poverty in South Carolina, doesn’t “understand the difference between a racist country and systemic racism.” MSNBC’s Joy Reid simply misquoted Scott as saying, “There’s no racism here.”
The senator never alleged that racism was nonexistent in America. To do so would have been absurd. Scott has never claimed that no problems exist. It was Scott who wrote a police-reform bill last year that Democrats such as Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin shut down using the filibuster, which they now call a “relic of Jim Crow.”
Indeed, Scott’s two claims about racism in America are wholly compatible. Bad actors and ugly ideas exist among people of all nations, and always will, and yet that does not necessarily mean the nation itself is fundamentally, legally, culturally or systemically racist. We can always do better, but by the world’s standards, the United States is likely the least racist nation.
In any event, at CNN, political analyst Van Jones maintained that Scott’s message “was nonsense” and that the senator had lost African Americans “by the tens of millions” by denying what everyone knew was true about the United States. This was the tone across left-wing media.
Yet the very next day, Biden told NBC News, “I don’t think America is racist, I don’t think the American people are racist.” When asked by ABC News about Scott’s comments, Vice President Kamala Harris also said: “I don’t think America is a racist country, but we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today.”
We’ve gotten used to seeing flagrant double standards in politics, but it’s quite another thing to hear three politicians say the same thing within 24 hours and have only one treated as an out-of-touch radical. Aren’t Biden and Harris spinning “nonsense” as well? Aren’t Biden and Harris also losing “tens of millions” of black voters for stating the obvious? If not, why not?
Or are liberals simply trying to smear Scott as a quisling because they’re worried about his appeal?
That last question is rhetorical.
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