A Washington Post headline Thursday morning was ripped directly from Democratic talking points: “Biden’s nominees of color hit snags: Activists contend their road has been rougher than historical norm.”
Sorry, Post, but not everything has to be about identity politics: Some of President Joe Biden’s nominees are coming under scrutiny because they’re supremely unqualified for the positions of which they were appointed and are incredibly divisive.
Xavier Becerra, who President Biden has nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, is neither a doctor nor has any experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a political activist, and one of President Biden’s most divisive Cabinet picks.
As California attorney general, Becerra targeted pro-life institutions and journalists and prosecuted nuns — yes, nuns. He’s a culture warrior for Planned Parenthood and took his job seriously.
Mr. Becerra filed felony charges against pro-life activists and journalists who went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood’s selling of body parts of aborted babies. He tried to force pro-life health centers to advertise abortion. Under his guidance, the state of California went after Little Sisters of the Poor to force them into providing contraceptives when they requested an exception to the Obamacare insurance mandate.
Yes, Mr. Becerra is Latino, but that is clearly not the reason why conservatives oppose his nomination.
The GOP’s opposition to President Biden’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, also has nothing to do with her skin color as much to her hyper-partisan flame-throwing and conspiracy-driving past.
Ms. Tanden cast doubt on our nation’s election integrity by promoting the conspiracy that both former President Donald J. Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders were aided by Russia in their bids to become president. After former President Trump was elected, she continued to perpetuate the fake Russia hoax on her Twitter feed.
She vilified Republican senators. During Ms. Tanden’s first confirmation hearing, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) noted that Ms. Tanden “wrote that Susan Collins is the worst, that Tom Cotton is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz” and called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch and Voldemort,” Politico reported.
While heading the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, she failed to handle allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation at the workplace, outing the victim in a staff meeting.
“There is literally one thing you cannot do in this meeting and that is out the victim and Neera did it multiple times. … It also destroys whatever small level of confidence in the system remained,” one CAP employee who was in the room said in a text to BuzzFeed News. “As a manager, I don’t know how I can tell staff to trust the system when the head of the organization just outed the victim in front of the entire organization. It is impossible to trust her.”
So no, it’s not Ms. Tanden’s Indian heritage that is the problem.
It’s a timeworn tactic of the left: label Republicans racist if they don’t fall in line with the progressive agenda. Ignore the actual record: That Republicans confirmed two of President Biden’s black nominees Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and that Alejandro Mayorkas, who is Latino, was confirmed as homeland secretary.
Forget that in 2017 under the Trump administration, 41 Democrats opposed former Housing Secretary Ben Carson’s nomination and six Democrats voted against former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is Asian American. That had nothing to do at all with race.
Republicans want nothing to do with identity politics. We judge people on their skill, merit and record. President Biden took office saying he would be moderate and seek unity. His nominations of Mr. Becerra and Ms. Tanden are an acquiescence to the most radical wing of his party and are simply untenable appointments for anyone seeking to bring this country together. It has nothing to do with their color.