The idea that the Senate is racist is the latest brainstorm of the Democrats. It was marked by the leading headline on WashingtonPost.com Wednesday: “Many of Biden’s nominees of color run into turbulence in the Senate.” The story reports that activists for a diverse Cabinet reckon that “Black, Latino, Asian and Native American nominees are encountering more political turbulence than their White counterparts.”
If that were true, we, too, would be up in arms. There’s scant evidence for it in the dispatch in the Post, though. The controversy, it reckons, centers on Neera Tanden, who would be the first Indian American to lead the budget office. Our guess is that there’s not a single American senator — not one — who will vote against Ms. Tanden because her parents came here from India.
Ms. Tanden’s chances for confirmation dimmed this week, when Senator Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, declared his opposition. That means she’d have to win at least one Republican. Mr. Manchin and other opponents are complaining about the cataract of insults that has gushed from Ms. Tanden’s twitter account over the years. She might as well have an advanced degree in tweeting from Trump University.
The Post, though, suggests that the line of criticism being used against Ms. Tanden is unfair “because it focuses on her tone rather than her qualifications or policies.” We ourselves are not indifferent to that point; we’ve been using it for years to parry various libels of our more spirited Republicans, including President Trump. The Post also mentions such concerns being aired in respect of several other nominees.
It cites Congresswoman Debra Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo woman who would be the first Native American to become secretary of the interior; Vanita Gupta, who is up for a high-level post at the Justice Department, and Xavier Becerra, the Coast attorney general, who’s been nominated as secretary for Health and Human Services. They’re all too liberal for our taste, no matter the magnificent diversity they’d bring to the cabinet.
Ms. Tanden’s twitter trail, in any event, really is uproarious. The Post quotes Senator Portman as complaining that Ms. Tanden called Senator Collins “the worst” and Senator Cotton a “fraud” and estimated that Vampires have more heart than Senator Cruz, which strikes us as debatable. Ms. Tanden has called Senator McConnell “Moscow Mitch” and, at one point, apparently likened him to “Valdemort.”
Ms. Tanden told the Senate during her hearing that she regrets all the insults she let loose on Twitter. The editorial writer in us wishes she’d stood her ground. Better to have acknowledged that she’s just an impassioned and joyous participant in our national debate. We’d be happy with a deal — Ms. Tanden gets to continue Tweeting while promising to lay off Mr. Trump for doing the same. And tells her friends to knock off suggesting the Senate is racist.