MSNBC host Martin Bashir accused President Obama’s critics, who have begun focusing their efforts on the IRS scandal, of using the agency “as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House.”
In his closing remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Bashir compared this week’s IRS hearings to demands by people on the right for the president’s birth certificate back in 2010.
“And now, the IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the president’s birth certificate,” he said. “Despite the complete lack of any evidence linking the president to the targeting of tea party groups, Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House.”
The liberal host then cited a quote by the late Republican political consultant Lee Atwater.
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N*****, n*****, n*****,’” Atwater said during an interview in 1981. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n*****’—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*****, n*****.”
“So, this afternoon,” Mr. Bashir concluded, “we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this president — the IRS. Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”