Republican campaigners and organizations are goin' nuts today over comments by Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski, where it looks like he's saying "minorities" aren't "average, good American people." Not really what he's saying, though, is the thing.
The reason I ... have fought for this program isn't because we're trying to give relief to people that aren't responsible, that don't know what the hell they're doing, or don't care what they're doing. We're giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately. But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people - and they're not minorities and they're not defective and they're not all the things you'd like to insinuate that these programs are about - these are average, good American people.
Some small-town Republican mayor back in Pennsylvania who's challenging Kanjorski this fall immediately called on him to apologize. This YouTube clip itself is from House minority whip Eric Cantor's website. And conservative websites are (pretty tongue-in-cheekly) caling him a horrible racist monster from Hell. Get it, because Democrats are always calling Republicans racist, and now this! The truth must come out.
Kanjorski won't apologize. And he shouldn't, duh. Ever since the financial collapse, which Kanjorski and his fellow congressmen are at least half-trying to fix here, the Official Republican Explanation for it has been that the government forced banks to give loans to black and Hispanic people who couldn't pay them back. All Kanjorski is doing is calling out this pigeonholing demagoguery that anti-regulation folks have been using for years to prevent the regulation we so desperately need of our private financial sector.
Don't believe us? Here's a clear example from a September, 2008 Neil Cavuto interview on Fox News with a Democratic congressman:
CAVUTO: All right, but let me ask you — but, Congressman, when — when you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn't get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership —
CAVUTO: — did you warn or express concern about any of the things that happened? I'm not saying that one or the other is beyond blame —
BECERRA: Oh, absolutely, we did. Absolutely.
CAVUTO: — I'm just saying, I don't remember a clarion call that said, "Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster."
This argument is a shameless red herring that has not gone away, and Paul Kanjorski was telling people to stop it. (Mostly because it's wrong.)
So Paul Kanjorski is not a racist. And perhaps some of you are thinking, "Oh well Gawker would jump all over this guy if he were a Republican," but what can we say? Hopefully not? Because that would not be truthful? When it happens, let us know.