Last Tuesday (7/27), I posted about Claire McCaskill’s vote against, among other spending, the Pigford II settlement which would have awarded $1.25 billion to black farmers who experienced overt discrimination by USDA. Now, however, it looks likes she may get another chance to do the right thing. The Hill reports that there are plans this Monday to put to a stand-alone vote both the the Pigford II settlement and the Cobell settlement, which seeks to resolve Native Americans’ claims against the federal government for abuse of tribal land trust accounts.
It will be interesting in this case to see how far McCaskill will go to strut her budget peacock stuff – to apply the Think Progress label for those legislators who prefer to make a show of addressing a long-term deficit problems with ineffectual and potentially harmful short-term cost-cutting fixes – during a major recession yet. Maybe this time, since it involves the government’s obligation to right a patent injustice, she’ll put the Republican party line aside and come through for the progressives in her base who are, to put it mildly, getting pretty disheartened with her performance.
Of course, precisely because these spending bills would involve righting injustices to minorities, they become especially difficult for timid politicians from red to purple states right now when there is a concerted campaign to whip up a spurious sense of white victimhood. If you doubt this, just consider some the comments to the Hill article. For instance:
More giving away of white peoples money!!! I look at my little 2month old grandaughter and think about the $50,000 in debt this corrupt government has already burdened her with and the total lack of a future for her in the coming third workld [sic] we are becoming.
We must to stop with the REPARATIONS we have been paying for 50 years. … The DMV clerk looked at me cross eyed am I entitled to 50K? … .
There was a time when folks would have been far more careful about this type of overt racial begrudgery, but encouraged by the Tea Party and coddled by the Republican Party in general, they are now flaunting it. No matter how disappointed I am by McCaskill and her budget posturing, I at least understand that the aura of fiscal prudence that she is trying to suggest, no matter how wrong-headed, is at least somewhat respectable. I just hope that she has not so totally succumbed to fear of her constituents darker angels that she will let misguided racial fear and resentment influence her as well.