ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski wrote this column appearing October 29, 2010, on BigGovernment.com
It’s been revealed that the Obama White House is trying to beat Marco Rubio to keep Hispanic-Americans from having a choice when it comes to political parties. This is the second time Democrats have done this, and the fact that they’re willing to take down another minority candidate to do so shows that it’s the Democrats, not Republicans, who are trying to keep minorities down in America today.
With the White House’s approval, President Bill Clinton tried to convince Congressman Kendrick Meek–an African-American Democrat–to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Florida, and support independent (and former liberal Republican) Charlie Crist.
They did this for one reason: They want to deny minorities a choice, deceiving them into thinking that only the Democratic Party cares about minorities. They are happy to take down minority candidates–even Democratic candidates–to perpetuate this falsehood.
This is the second time Democrats have done this to a Hispanic. In 2001, Miguel Estrada was nominated to a seat on the nation’s second-highest federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Estrada was an American success story, a child immigrant from Honduras who didn’t speak English, who went on to be a top graduate from Columbia, then Harvard Law School, later clerking for the Supreme Court and serving under the U.S. solicitor general in both Democratic and Republican administrations. He’s a partner at Gibson Dunn, one of America’s top law firms.
Anyone who has seen Miguel Estrada argue before the Supreme Court can tell you he’s one of the best appellate lawyers in the country. He smoothly parries the toughest questions put to him by the justices, and does so with wit and ease. He’s simply brilliant.
Nominated to the D.C. Circuit while in his early forties, Democrats quickly realized that Estrada was being groomed for the U.S. Supreme Court. (Four of the nine justices were previously D.C. Circuit judges.) As I discuss in my book The Blueprint, another Hispanic who was a Senate staffer, Manuel Miranda, saw a Democratic strategy memo wherein Senate Democrats wrote that they would block Estrada to make sure a Republican president would never have the opportunity to nominate the first Hispanic to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Democrats’ plan to keep Hispanics down worked. Estrada never got an up-or-down vote despite the fact that he would have been easily confirmed. Then Democratic President Barack Obama appointed the first Hispanic to the Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. This, despite the fact that Estrada is manifestly well-qualified; Justice Elena Kagan testified during her own confirmation hearings that Estrada would make an excellent Supreme Court justice.
There’s one more twist to this story, too. As shown in The Blueprint, it looks like Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin were pushing this race-motivated attempt to destroy Estrada. If Sharron Angle beats Harry Reid, Schumer and Durbin will fight it out to become the next Senate Leader for the Democrats.
Now Democrats are trying to do the same with Marco Rubio. The son of immigrants, Rubio’s final campaign ad about the generational choice Americans must make, telling his own moving story of parents who risked everything to provide a better life for their children, is magnificent. It’s the perfect picture of the American dream, as their 39-year old son is on the verge of becoming a United States senator in an inspiring example of how you can achieve anything in America, regardless of skin color, heritage or wealth.
The fact that the White House would push a black man to drop his own Senate bid shows where the Democratic Party truly stands on empowering minorities. They wanted the black man to drop out, and support the white man who’s not even a Democrat, in order to stop a Hispanic man just because that Hispanic-American happens to be Republican.
It’s still not clear whether the Democrats’ plan has backfired, as Democratic strategists are trying to use this disgraceful story as a signal to Florida Democrats that they need to vote for Crist. He may not be a Democrat, but at least he might stop a minority from rising to power outside the Democratic Party.
The candidacy of Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio sends a clear message to minority Americans, whether African-American or Hispanic: Give Republicans a chance, and they will give you a choice. Should he prevail on Tuesday, Senator Rubio will take that message to all immigrant and minority communities.