As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Must Have Been Some Meeting Coming Up With That Backpedal

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) last night mused about finding a "Great White Hope" for the Republican Party.

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," said Jenkins. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." As examples, Jenkins mentioned Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Now, given the history of that phrase, used in the American lexicon to describe the turn-of-the-century search for a white opponent to defeat the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson during a time of racial polarization, I think it's pretty clear what Jenkins meant, or at least what she wanted to dog-whistle. But the whistle apparently was loud enough for humans to hear, so Jenkins and her staff had to have a late-night strategy session to come up with an excuse. Here's the best she could do:

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins on Thursday in Lawrence denied that she was speaking in racial terms when she invoked the term “great white hope” at a recent town hall forum.

Jenkins, a Topeka Republican serving her first term in the House, told a recent gathering in northeast Kansas that the Republican Party is looking for a “great white hope” to help stop the agenda of a Democratic-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama.

“Obviously I was discussing the future of the Republican Party in response to a question about is there any hope for Republicans,” she said while touring Kansas University. “I was explaining that there are some bright lights in the House, and I was unaware of any negative connotation. If I offended somebody, obviously I apologize.”

Swing and a miss!

"I was just talking about a bright light, you know, a bright Caucasian light with white skin that can help the white Party - did I say white, I meant Republican Party, I don't know how white got in there - to return us to the white power where we should belong. White people."

If Jenkins were any more transparent, she'd be the Great White Hope.

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