Republican’s refusal to hear President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee is racist

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Can we talk about the elephant in the room — the Republican elephant in the room? Apparently, the GOP doesn’t think the nation’s first black president has the right to nominate a Supreme Court justices. Of course, it’s all about racial politics and the fact that they want to diminish President Barack Obama’s legacy. This is the worst thing the Republicans have attempted to do to Obama, and that’s saying a lot.

Never has the Senate told a president that they will block any Supreme Court candidate he may nominate. Well, the GOP-controlled Senate is doing just that, with a vow from majority leader Mitch McConnell that he will not take a look at any nominee President Obama sends to them. This is entirely unheard of; then again, this nation has never had a black president.

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Obama is reportedly mulling the idea of nominating a moderate Republican — Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Latino — to the post on the high court, a potential White House move that could highlight how ludicrous the GOP’s position really is. Republicans are responding with blind obstructionism, still saying the Supreme Court vacancy must remain open for the year. This is not based on anything in the Constitution — the President has the obligation and the right to nominate who he wants to fulfill the vacant seat left by a deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. But it seems that when black people are involved, suddenly the right changes the rules of the game on us; separate, unequal and unjust rules they never would apply to themselves.

For a large swath of the GOP base who cling to outdated racist ideologies and have disdain for President Obama because he is “Un-American” and “Muslim” — this Supreme Court obstruction is their red meat. Nearly exclusively white, these Republicans and their voters would not have it any other way.

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The race card is like Republican heroin. Conservatives are addicted to it and can’t do without it. And over the years, they have upped their dosage. It all started with the Southern Strategy that appealed to racist white voters by trouncing on black folks and our rights. Slashing government programs, cutting taxes, eliminating voting rights and affirmative action — all of these are about sticking it to African-Americans and keeping us in our place.

When Obama came on the scene, he became the perfect boogeyman they needed to scare up support from their dwindling base. Unlike previous black nightmares — The Black Panthers, Willie Horton, the welfare queen, the hoodie-wearing “thug” — this one lives in the White House.

The conservative movement in the United States has always been about going through extreme measures to limit the rights and opportunities of African-Americans. That’s why racists burnt down Black Wall Street. And that’s why we were made to count the bubbles in a bar of soap in order to register to vote. And now that one of us is the President of the United States, they cannot allow him to succeed in running America; even if it means taking down the entire nation with them. After all, to be a black man in the White House is to be illegitimate, in their view.

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Republicans have refused to cooperate with President Obama on anything at all, which they made clear rather early on. Their opposition to Obamacare was as much a crusade to stop the bad black man from winning as much as it was an effort to block a perceived liberal agenda. They delighted in their obstructionism just as much as Klansman took pride in the terror they inflicted on black souls. With each new showdown, Republican lawmakers — dominated by white Southerners — have ratcheted up the stakes to please their dwindling, increasingly extremist, white nationalist base.

Certainly, the Democratic presidential candidates know what’s going on.

“What you are seeing today in this Supreme Court situation is nothing more than the continuous and unprecedented obstructionism that President Obama has gone through” with Republicans, Bernie Sanders said. “This is on top of the birther issue, which we heard from Donald Trump and others, a racist effort to try to delegitimize the president of the United States,” Sanders added.

“The Republicans say they’ll reject anyone President Obama nominates no matter how qualified. Some are even saying he doesn’t have the right to nominate anyone, as if somehow he’s not the real president,” Hillary Clinton said recently at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. “You know that’s in keeping what we heard all along, isn’t it?” she asked. “Many Republicans talk in coded racial language about takers and losers. They demonize President Obama and encourage the ugliest impulses of the paranoid fringe,” she continued. “This kind of hatred and bigotry has no place in our politics or our country.”

The Republican Party’s Supreme Court standoff was a long time coming. Know that this has less to do with political ideology than it does with the president’s black skin. We should all be disappointed, but given the GOP’s history, none of us should be surprised.

Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove