Over the weekend, President Obama announced his nomination of New York U.S. Attorney New York Loretta Lynch to replace Attorney General Eric Holder as the nation’s top law enforcement official, and even though Lynch has been confirmed by the Senate twice before, Republicans have insisted that her confirmation as attorney general not be taken up until after the new Republican-led Senate takes over in January. This is apparently what the president must do to avoid “poisoning the well” that Republicans began shitting in the night Obama was inaugurated, and not at all like using the lame duck session to confirm some low-wattage rando like the Secretary of Defense.
Waiting for the new Senate would give Republicans a shot at using the Lynch nomination to punish the president if he takes executive action on immigration, but with her qualifications and history of bipartisan support, the general consensus is that she would eventually be confirmed. That hasn’t stopped the right-wing from trying to “Whitey-Tape” Loretta Lynch.
In case you’ve lived in a cave for eight years, a “Whitey Tape” is the right-wing media’s Holy Grail against prominent black political figures, first imagined as a mythical piece of video that would portray then-future-First Lady Michelle Obama angrily referencing “Whitey,” but could also describe any piece of tape that showed Barack Obama being too black, or being around someone who was too black. In 2012, Breitbart tried to “Whitey Tape” Obama by showing him praising, and even hugging, a beloved and venerated black college professor, and Tucker Carlson tried it a few months later by “uncovering” a 2007 speech that he had actually covered at the time.
This weekend, the raw id of the right-wing media began circulating their version of a “Whitey Tape” for Loretta Lynch, whom WorldNetDaily called an “Ivy League Radical” over this bit of video that’s been passed around the Wingnut-O-sphere:
That all seems pretty reasonable in context, but that phrase, the “prison of racism,” contains that one red-cape r-word that proves, to a certain subset of conservatives, that you’re the real racist. The Daily Caller finds Loretta Lynch, in that same lecture, guilty of the crime of recognizing clear racial disparities in our justice and education systems:
“Fifty years after the march on Washington, 50 years after the civil rights movement, we stand in this country at a time when we see people trying to take back so much of what Dr. King fought for. We stand in this country. People try and take over the State House and reverse the goals that have been made in voting in this country.
“But I’m proud to tell you that the Department of Justice has looked at these laws and looked at what’s happening in the Deep South, and in my home state of North Carolina has brought lawsuits against those voting rights changes that seek to limit out ability to stand up and exercise our rights as citizens.”
Not to be outdone, Breitbart and American Thinkerturned Lynch into a white lady, running stories that alleged she was a Whitewater attorney and Clinton campaign staffer, only to learn they were talking about the wrong Loretta Lynch.
So far, these racial attacks on Lynch haven’t made the species jump to Senate Republicans, but give them time. I’d say it’ll be sometime in January.
Here’s Obama’s announcement of Loretta Lynch’s nomination, followed by her brief remarks: