Originally created 02/20/01

Playing the race card

U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., disgraced the state when she played the race card last week. After her name was left off of the list of dignitaries invited to join President George W. Bush at Fort Stewart Army base, the Decatur Democrat became a political opportunist and took the president to task in a letter, which she also made public, telling him she is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus, and reminding him he vowed his presidency would be inclusive.

The president apologized for the oversight.

This is a case where a simple oversight could have been handled with dignity, but instead was handled by racist mudslinging. McKinney, who should have known about the trip and handled her absence from the guest list beforehand, instead waited until after the trip was over and then blamed Bush for being discourteous.

Her letter said that although the "Army has 41.3 percent minority composition, there was not a single minority congressional representative present at your visit."

Is she asking for racial quotas among members of every Bush trip? Will Democrats like McKinney ever believe that Bush has been inclusive or will they accuse him at every turn, as she has, of being discriminatory?

It's unfortunate that McKinney was snubbed. But with her rancorous response to the president, and considering her historically hostile voting record on defense issues, maybe it's just as well she wasn't along.

She is, after all, no friend of the military. Anyway, it was Bush's party - there were a lot of people who probably felt equally entitled to be on the list of invitees, but weren't.


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