Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have - wait for it, wait for it! - written a letter to the administration asking why the White House has put itself on the hook for spending 1.5 billion on one of Sen. Blanche Lincolns farm relief causes while not being able to find 1.2 billion to pay the 1999 Pigford settlement to minority farmers*.
“The current hardships experienced by other farmers should not trump hardships placed on African Americans and Native Americans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the past,” they wrote.
The lawmakers say that Obama should also take administrative action to pay $3.4 billion the federal government promised to settle claims that it mismanaged Native American trust funds. Elouise Cobell is the lead plaintiff in the case against the Interior Department.
Now, the knee-jerk reaction here is to blame this on a black versus white problem. What's happening here is that Blanche Lincoln is a heavily-beleaguered Democratic Senator who was severely wounded in her primary, and is now facing almost certain doom in the general. But if 1.5 billion can save her, it can save her. In contrast, the members of the CBC enjoy the twin advantages of being ensconced in districts gerrymandered for their convenience via federal statute, and being the (eager) beneficiaries of forty years of Democratic agitprop dedicated to painting the GOP as veritable demons from Hell when it comes to race relations. In other words, they're not going anywhere and their constituents will overwhelmingly vote for the President in 2012: so why is the CBC raising a fuss? And why should the administration care if they do?
Because, really, what does the AA community plan to do about being put-upon like this? Vote Republican?
PS: Look, just because something is 'knee-jerk' doesn't automatically mean that it's wrong.
*Yes, that's the settlement that Shirley "I think that Andrew Breitbart wants us to be slaves again" Sherrod was involved in before she worked for the DoA (and got fired by a panicky White House).
Crossposted to Moe Lane.