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Let's Start Blaming Millard Fillmore

August 23, 2010

Just when it appears that no one could possibly get away with blaming former President George W. Bush for even one more thing, another crazed liberal Democrat exercises the right to do just that. The latest knee-jerk, Bush-bashing excuse came from none other than Maxine Waters, perhaps the second dumbest member of Congress, right after Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. I know that it is terribly politically incorrect of me to notice their stupidity and race-baiting, since both of them are black and female — especially since they have so much competition in Congress from obtuse white men. But in 2010, it's really more about corruption than it is about race, isn't it?

Not according to Maxine.

Waters, the radical leftist who, for ten terms, has represented South Central Los Angeles in the United States House of Representatives, is up to her eyeballs in charges of corruption for trying to help funnel millions of dollars in federal TARP funds into the coffers of a failing bank in which her husband just happened to be heavily invested. Always ready to flash the race card, Waters (who like President Obama, is hardly known for eloquence without the use of a teleprompter) blamed racism and the Bush administration.

Granted, George Bush can rightly be blamed for foisting the TARP bailout on us as his "adios" on the way out the door, but this is a stretch even for a whiner like Waters.

Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" when she and her House Democrat cronies ran against the "culture of corruption" in the Republican-controlled Congress four years ago. Alas, however, it appears that Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel and a few of their black colleagues are being sucked down that same whirlpool — and it's just not fair! You see, in Charlie and Maxine's world, if the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) drains the area where corrupt Republicans play, it's called "justice," but if it pulls the plug on the stagnant pool where the Congressional Black Caucus meets, it's called "racism." Such is the state of the Democrat mindset today.

"There's a lot being said about why so many black elected officials [are] getting caught up with this new OCE organization," Waters said during her defiant denial of any wrongdoing." I think about now, or recently, about eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus are being investigated, and I think more to come. So, people are raising questions about that!"

Waters' shot at Bush came later in the same statement. "The question at this point should not be why I called [then-Treasury] Secretary Paulson," she insisted, "but why I had to. The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over 100 minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis."

This got me thinking. Poor Maxine. Like the president, she needs some fresh lines other than "it's Bush's fault!" So, I humbly offer a few of my own that might help these beleaguered politicians out of their use of that monotonous, increasingly ineffective mantra.

How about an oldie but goody? Something like, "It's Hoover's fault! Remember the Hoovervilles!" But then, Herbert Hoover has been the butt of jokes and derision for decades.

Maybe this could work: "Woodrow Wilson was a racist! It's his fault!" (Oops, he was a Democrat…can't blame him.) 

Benjamin Harrison said he didn't believe the Constitution permitted him to stop the lynching of "coloreds." Maybe he's to blame. Yeah, Harrison…it's his fault!

Or, as a fallback, they could always blame Millard Fillmore, the last Whig to occupy the White House. Fillmore was president of these United States for a couple of years after Zachary Taylor died in office. As president, Fillmore signed The Fugitive Slave Act on September 18, 1850. Abolitionists nicknamed it the "Bloodhound Law" for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves and return them to their masters, because that is exactly what it allowed.

To hear Maxine Waters tell it, not much has changed in America since then, so let's just blame it all on old Millard Fillmore.

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Copyright ©2010 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.