The most viewed and most discussed “news” article in The Hill on Thursday was titled, “GOP demands apology for Obama campaign manager’s ‘chimichanga’ tweet.”
So much for focusing on “the issues” this election season.
Republicans are demanding an apology Wednesday from President Obama’s campaign manager after a tweet that they argue was insulting toward Latino Americans.
In case you’re feeling special, the answer is no: you were not the only one to recognize the irony of the Republican Party “demanding” anything as reparation for offending Latino voters.
The allegedly apology-worthy tweet from Jim Messina was as shocking in its banality as the severity of the Republican Party’s over-reaction:
Line of the day from WAPO’s Dana Milbank: ‘The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos.’
The art of scholastic citation and the skill of executing basic punctuation may be foreign concepts for the factually disinclined GOP, but to be clear: Messina was directly quoting a syndicated columnist from a national, semi-respected daily news publication.
Those little inverted commas? They actually serve a very important purpose.
The “chimichanga” line actually came from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Messina didn’t imagine it. Neither did Milbank. Complicated though it may be for some to understand, the truth is Messina was quoting Milbank, who was quoting McCain. Republicans, therefore, are demanding an apology from a Democrat for something a Republican said.
This probably won’t take anybody’s breath away, but no Republican has yet to demand an apology from McCain himself.
The last six months haven’t been great for Republicans, not with the president’s rising approval rating and the losing battle on contraception; the acquiescence on payroll taxes and the national polls showing Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney; the declining approval rating of Republicans in Congress and the despondent voter turnout in all of the early Republican primary states…
Given the GOP’s recent troubles, Messina could have chosen instead to quote Milbank’s line that “When it comes to Latino voters, Republicans must have un impulso suicida,” and it wouldn’t have been the least bit shocking when Republicans cried foul and demanded an apology for showing “insensitivity to the chronically depressed.”
Grasping at straws is a loser’s game.
For those who are interested in irrelevant details, Milbank’s column actually had nothing to do with chimichangas.
It was a rebuke of Republican Senator Rand Paul’s delaying tactics in the confirmation of one Adalberto Jose Jordan, who, with the Senate’s approval, would have (and eventually did) become “the first Cuban-born judge to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit,” according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (Vt.).
According to Milbank, “Leahy complained that if the biblical Moses were nominated, there are ‘some on the other side who would demand to see Moses the Lawgiver’s birth certificate to make sure he wasn’t born in Kenya.’
The point of the column was to highlight the Republican Party’s willingness to accept one white bigot’s unspecified discomfort with nominating a Cuban-American to the U.S. Court of Appeals—and to say, “No wonder Latinos vote 2-to-1 for Democrats.
During Paul’s stall, McCain took to the Senate floor to mutter some incoherent gibberish about how “The lettuce in your salad this month almost certainly came from Arizona. It’s also believed that the chimichanga has its origin in Arizona.”
For the record: Messina wasn’t there. He’s not a senator. And he didn’t delay Jordan’s confirmation. He merely quoted a guy who quoted a guy who talked about lettuce and fried burritos instead of confirming a Latino to the court of appeals.
And yet Messina’s the bigot…
(By the way, Congratulations, Jordan! Sorry your confirmation was overshadowed by a faux racial flareup.)