Shirley Sherrod is not the issue

For those wanting up to date information on Lindsay Lohan or Jersey Shore, look in the mirror and apologize for being an imbecile contributing to America’s intellectual decline. That concludes today’s pop culture report.

The story of the day is a low level bureaucrat who worked at the agriculture department named Shirley Sherrod.

Ms. Sherrod told a story about how as a black woman she had the power to shabbily treat a white farmer who was desperate to save his farm. The sinister interpretation of her remarks is that she used her power to engage in racism. A more charitable explanation she has offered is that this was a soul searching moment that forced her to confront her racist attitudes, leading her to become a better person.

Ms. Sherrod has stated that she did end up helping the white farmer, and that she tells the story to condemn racism, not advance it.

Personally, I am willing to give her explanation some serious consideration. I do not know what is in her heart, nor do I wish to be guilty of attacking a woman without having all of the facts.

Yet the real issue is that Ms. Sherrod is the least important aspect of this story.

(I do not mean to say she is unimportant. She is a human being. She is just much smaller than the larger picture.)

Conservatives may find her comments to be reverse racism while liberals will make excuses for her, but both sides should switch to the other team on this one. Republicans should hope that her comments were harmless, while Democrats and liberals should hope that her comments were malicious.

Before breaking that down, let’s get to who the real player in this story is. It is not Fox News or Andrew Breitbart. They broke the story, but their roles end there.

The left loves to blame the right for everything and anything, but nobody at Fox News or working for Mr. Breitbart has any power to fire any government employee. Roger Ailes runs Fox News. Andrew Breitbart runs Big Hollywood.

(Full disclosure: I used to write for Big Hollywood.)

Neither of them have any control over government staff.

This story is about President Barack Obama. The left is doing back flips to obfuscate this fact, but he is what matters here.

He is the president. Ms. Sherrod is his employee. He can fire her for any reason without explanation. If she wears a red shirt on blue shirt Wednesday, he can sack her immediately. She is an at will employee. He has every right to fire his employees…again…for any reason.

This is exactly the same as George W. Bush being criticized for firing eight U.S. attorneys. His only mistake was not going on television and saying “I’m the president. I fired them because I can. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, win an election and sit in my chair.”

I don’t have to like Barack Obama’s policies to respect his authority as the boss over his bureaucracy. He hired her. He can fire her.

Some liberals will do what they always do, which is to jump belly first on the live grenade to protect their beloved Obama. They will say he was out of the loop, and that the (Tom) Vilsack did the sack.

For once in his charmed presidential life, Mr. Obama needs to take personal responsibility.

There are only two possibilities. Either the comments were wrong, or they were not wrong.

If the comments were abominable, Mr. Obama should simply say that he fired his employee because he can. Republicans would be going ballistic if he did not fire her, so everyone should back off because he did.

The president cannot be blamed for firing a bad person, and being a racist makes one bad.

To make things even more surreal, the president should then praise Fox News for helping him be aware of an employee that is bad for America, and Fox News could praise him for standing on principle.

If the comments were not wrong, then President Obama shoved another innocent victim under the bus. This makes him a spineless jellyfish.

The left will blame the right to deflect from their own leader’s gutlessness.

When the left tried to have Condoleeza Rice fired, President Bush showed loyalty and leadership when he banged the podium during his defiance.

“Condoleeza Rice is a fabulous person and America is lucky to have her service. Period!”

Mr. Obama is not known for emotion, but being “cool” can be seen as coldness.

Nobody disputes that Barack Obama fired one of his own employees. The issue is if he did so honorably or dishonorably. If Tom Vilsack acted wrongly, Mr. Obama can reverse the decision.

Ms. Sherrod has insisted that she was wronged. If she backs down under pressure, she loses credibility. I would not be willing to shatter my own reputation to protect my political party. Susan McDougal did this with the Clintons, and it makes as little sense now as it did then.

If Ms. Sherrod was smeared, she should not give an inch.

Neither should the right. The right broke the story, but Mr. Obama either acted on principle or on political expediency.

Legally he can fire her either way. Morally we need to know if our president is a soulless block of ice who will hurt anybody else to save his own skin.

The character of Mr. Obama is on the line.

The left can unleash their typical ball of rage at the right, but no amount of breathing fire will change the fact that this story is 100% owned by the left.

Let’s get to the truth.


10 Responses to “Shirley Sherrod is not the issue”

  1. LOL! This is the party line from the GOP on the Sherrod story to a tee. Nicely done. It is pure and obvious obfusgation. The fact of the matter is that Breitbart and his enablers at Fox ran a phony, race-batining hit piece on the administration, and Vilsack – not Obama – overreacted. So, basically, what the right is saying that it is Obama’s fault that Vilsack paid too much heed to a Fox lie. Never mind that Fox lied, that Obama had apparently nothing to do with the decision, that rightwing race-baiters got a good woman essentially fired from her job. What the right needs to do is man-up and admit that this was extremely inappropriate, to the level of slander, and apologize to Ms. Sherrod. Anything else is spineless. Obama, for his part, should review the situation and remedy the matter as he sees fit. But it is not the place for the very people who propogated this sleazy, race-baiting story, and it is not the place of the people who unwaveringly support professional liars like Breitbart, Hannity and Beck, to instruct anyone on anything here. They should apologize. Period.


  2. Oh, and you’re right. This story is not so much about Shirley Sherrod. It is about the campaign of lies on the right against the Obama administration.


  3. Micky 2 says:

    Beck defended Shirley and critisized the White house judgement.

    Obama needs to apologize for having Vilsac fire someone over the need to cover their arses for letting NBPs off the hook

  4. Dav Lev says:

    Look, if the President and his department heads fired everyone
    who was controversial (whether right or wrong on the issue)
    well, civil service would be destroyed.

    If this individual is a civil service employee, she has
    many rights. The President, as far as I know, has
    nothing to do with the vast employee all the agencies.

    Yes, ultimately, her division chief, will have to sign the papers..
    and Im assuming she could avail herself of her union, or merit
    system protection board.

    Unlike private industry, you simply cannot fire someone who
    has tenure, and is not a career conditional employee, who can be let go for the most innocou of reasons.

    I think whats salient here is, did she comply with the requirements
    of her agency (job)? If so, and she is a racist, so what?
    If she is a racist..but became religious…okay.

    The bottom line civil service must remain apolitical..
    something which of course is difficult.
    But both she and those who are affected by her, have

    I could be off on this one..but civil service is not the 4th arm
    of our govt..separate..with their own powers. They work for
    the executive..but NOT directly for the President.

  5. Micky 2 says:

    You’re absolutely wrong Jersey.
    I suggest you watch Beck tonight and get with facts that dont coddle to your “the right is racist” agenda.
    No one knows who edited this tape. Fox only aired it to raise questions after her resignation.

  6. Beck just did the same thing our good host did here, spinning the story into one of the White House not putting things in context! LOL! Talk about the bait and switch! Beck’s sleaze is boundless. Of all the people who should talk about putting things in context, Beck is the last.

    This just in – The administration just offered an apology via Gibbs. Apparently there’s more to come. And Dav Lev is absolutely right in his assessment of the administrations position here.


  7. Vilsack just took full responsibility for sacking Sherrod and apologized. He learned his lesson – never take that rightwing blog or Fox “News” at face value.


  8. Just a thought given current news – I wonder if Vilsack was thrown under. The admin must’ve had a say in her “resignation.” I think the admin should come out much stronger here, take the heat off Vilsack, and offer reconciliation with Sherrod. This is making everyone look bad. Vilsacks absolution of the WH only makes the WH looks worse. Whether Vilsack’s version is correct or not, the WH should take more of the heat. The admin should say, “We should NEVER had listened to Fox, we pressured the “resignation,” we were wrong, we will NEVER listen to Fox and that sleazebag Breitbart again.”


  9. Toma says:

    Sherrod was wallowing in her blackness in front of her beloved NAACP and bragged about her less than respectable treatment of a white farmer. She made the statement not Fox or anyone else. Obama didn’t not listen to Fox or anyone else, he listened to Sherrod. So did we.

    I don’t care that she is racist. I don’t care if she is not racist. She was obviously trying to impress the black audience and got caught with her foot in her mouth. She does not deserve defending nor does she deserve her position at the USDA. There is no debate here only consequences for words that should not have been spoken.


  10. Eagle 6 says:

    Toma is on target. She was fired before Fox…although CNN likes to “BE” the news and expects BP to answer to them, and even advocates opening the well back up so they can punish BP properly, FOX merely reported what it had. Oil Blooper Scooper Cooper runs daily stories with tarballs all over the beach then laments people aren’t visiting the Gulf…and a racist gets caught making racist comments and it’s Fox’s fault? hahahahahaha

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