West tells CBC “condemn these…hate-filled comments” from Reps. Carson and Waters

We’ve heard the taunts:

“(S)ome of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.ā€ – Congressman Andre Carson, D-Indiana, quoted in Politico.

“(A)s far as Iā€™m concerned ā€” the tea party can go straight to hell.” Congressman Maxine Waters, D-California, quoted in The Daily Caller.

Fellow Congressman Allen West, who is the lone Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, today released a letter which called on CBC leadership to condemn these remarks, or else West will “seriously reconsider” his membership in the organization. Somehow I don’t think CBC head Emanuel Cleaver is going to be in any hurry to tell Carson and Waters to hush.

It makes West’s freshman cohort Republican Congressman Tim Scott look wiser every day. Back in December Scott, who is black, announced he was declining the CBC’s invitation because “my campaign was never about race.” Needless to say, Scott is a TEA Party supporter who understands the movement is not about race and is more or less colorblind.

I know it’s a rhetorical question to ask, but imagine what would have happened to a Republican who substituted the phrase “NAACP” for “TEA Party” in these statements. To Congressmen like Carson and Waters that would have been a worse offense than the underage sexting of Rep. Anthony Weiner and the underage “unwanted sexual encounter” of Rep. David Wu, combined, times ten. Resignation wouldn’t have been good enough for that mythical scoundrel; they would have wanted him banned from the planet.

And for the record, Congressman Carson, I am a proud member of the TEA Party movement yet I have no desire to see you swinging from a tree. Booted out of office at the next opportunity? You betcha. But that’s the extent of the harm I wish to see upon you.

As for Congressman Waters, I’m not going to hell (and I don’t think a collective movement which has as many committed Christians as the TEA Party does can either) so you can scratch that demand off your bucket list. Like Carson, I wish upon you the purgatory of being disowned by your electorate although the ethics investigators might just get to you first.

And they say the TEA Party is the home of extremist and dangerous rhetoric? Riiiiiiiight. As I said earlier, I don’t believe Congressman West is going to get the satisfaction of having the Congressional Black Caucus condemn two of their own loyal liberal members. But I’ll bet the TEA Party Caucus (of which both West and Scott are members) has their backs.

By the way, when I looked up the TEA Party Caucus to see if either Scott or West were members, I noted a curious omission: where’s Andy Harris? I’m disappointed, to say the least, that he’s not part of that group although he is on the Republican Study Committee.

That double standard

I have reserved comment on this through all the sordid details, and I’m not going to rehash the particulars now, either.

But it’s clear that Rep. Anthony Weiner has violated the trust voters placed in him since he first won election to Congress in 1998. And unlike his New York counterpart, former Rep. Christopher Lee, he didn’t immediately resign once he admitted those Twitter pictures were his. (Lee left office after sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met through Craigslist.) In the end, this cost the GOP a Congressional seat as a liberal Democrat won the special election to fill Lee’s 26th District seat.

In this case, it’s doubtful the Democrats would lose the Congressional seat since Weiner has won elections handily since his first one in 1998. While his closest brush was 2010, where he won 60.8% of the vote, no Republican has represented the area in decades.

So why is Weiner staying on? One can only speculate, of course, but perhaps it has something to do with that old adage, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And he’s going to stay in the news because it was learned his wife, who he married just last summer, is now pregnant with their first child. (He’s married to an aide to Hillary Clinton.)

Yet it’s a sad statement on American life that this sensationalized story became front page news. Otherwise Weiner’s a relatively obscure back-bencher from America’s largest city who is as liberal as the day is long. And perhaps that’s the biggest problem – many of the liberal persuasion can’t understand what all the fuss is about. They equate it with the saga of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

The issue in both cases, though, isn’t what these men did in the privacy of their own lives – the issue is that both men denied the facts at first before finally admitting the truth. In other words, they lied to save their hide but didn’t need to because their hide was saved anyway and their behavior excused.

No one, including me, is perfect. But when we place people in a position of public trust we should expect them to be leaders and set an example. The only example Weiner has set is what not to do on Twitter.