If you’re a radio talk show host that calls female basketball players “nappy headed hos,” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will create enough public pressure to see to it that you lose your job. On the other hand, if you are a State Senator who is so passionate about socialized medicine, that you stomp right into the House chambers and tell a black legislator, “They are treating us like [n-words], like masters and slaves,” you end up with a key White House appointment from America’s first African-American president.
The latter is exactly what has happened to Democrat State Senator Jack Hatch, who dropped the n-word on the floor of the Iowa House this April. The last week, President Obama selected Sen. Hatch to lead a group of state legislators from all across the country who will advise the Obama administration on how to provide socialized medicine to all Americans.
At the time of Hatch’s incident, some Democratic legislators said that, had a Republican made a similar statement, the reaction would have been very different. It became obvious that Hatch’s Democratic colleagues tried to sweep the incident under the rug quickly, but the thought that America’s first African-American President would appoint someone with a recent history of flying off the handle and using racial slurs is simply inconceivable.
So, does that mean that maybe President Obama doesn’t know that Sen. Hatch used racial slurs on the floor of the Iowa House less than three months ago? Or maybe Obama does know and doesn’t care. Having been involved in a number of Presidential events in the past, I know that the roster of speakers is closely vetted. It’s probably safe to say that President Obama is aware, but wants Hatch to serve anyway.
While Hatch’s selection to serve on a committee like this wouldn’t be a surprise if he hadn’t used a racial slur a few months ago, he’s not just serving as a member of a committee, he’s the chairman of the group. There will be some who say that the reason Hatch was selected to lead the group is because of his passion on the issue of health care reform. But, let’s be honest. President Obama selected Hatch to lead the group for only one reason, so a fellow Iowan could attack Senator Grassley for opposing Obama’s move towards socialized medicine.
Hatch hasn’t even been to the White House yet, and he’s already attacking Grassley. During a taping of Iowa Press this weekend Hatch said, “In Iowa, it’s kind of ironic that we’re moving so close to a universal healthcare system, and one of our senators who is in a critical position, Senator Grassley, in Washington is opposed to the one element that would really reduce the cost of healthcare. And we really need Senator Grassley to take a look at the public options a little bit more carefully, and he has to change his mind. Otherwise he’s standing in the way of real reform.”
Hatch was selected because the Obama Administration needed somebody to start beating up Senator Grassley for opposing the socialized medicine scheme. One would think that Iowa’s other U.S. Senator would do Obama’s dirty work for him, but it is rare for federal office holders from the same state to tussle over issues publically. Such actions would be considered unbecoming of a United States Senator. So instead, they summon Sen. Jack Hatch, flaws included, to be their attack dog.
Iowans might have to keep their eye on Hatch. A high profile fight with Senator Grassley could somehow morph into a U.S. Senate campaign. Sure, it seems almost laughable, but if you can use the n-word on the floor of the Iowa House and get appointed to a key White House committee a few months later, anything’s possible.
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