Republicans failed to confirm a conservative federal judge last week because of a trumped-up racial controversy. And the senator who decided the nominee was too racially insensitive was, surprisingly, a Republican: Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Sen. Scott, the only black Republican senator, is beloved by conservatives as the living, breathing expression of “let’s see Democrats try to call us racists now!” But his recent record shows that he is more committed to enforcing the Left’s racial rules than in advancing conservatism. Sen. Scott announced he would vote against Thomas Farr, the district court nominee, because of “lingering concerns about issues that could affect [Farr’s] decision-making process as a federal judge.”
Those “lingering concerns” are liberal complaints that Mr. Farr supposedly intimidated black voters when he worked for Jesse Helms’ 1990 Senate re-election campaign. Helms was accused by the Department of Justice of sending postcards to mostly black voters that explained rules for voter eligibility and were meant to intimidate them into not voting. Mr. Farr was not named in the DOJ complaint and says he knew nothing about the postcards when they were sent.
But Mr. Farr’s support for measures against voter fraud and his participation in a Helms’ campaign meeting on ballot security was enough to convince Sen. Scott that he was too tainted to be a federal judge. The South Carolina senator was effectively bullied by the Left to change his vote from yes to no because fighting voter fraud is apparently racist.
This is the second time this year Sen. Scott has scuttled a conservative jurist’s nomination in obedience to the Left’s dictates. Over the summer, the senator killed the confirmation of Ryan Bounds to a circuit court because of the nominee’s racially “insensitive” columns in a student newspaper. At Stanford, Mr. Bounds criticized the Left’s obsession with identity politics in a way that would not have been out of place in National Review. He argued that “race-focused groups” divide the student body, and he defended non-white conservatives from left-wing attacks.
That was too much for Sen. Scott, and an interview with Bounds did not convince the senator that the nominee had “grown” since his college days. This opposition stunned many conservatives, with National Review’s editorial board issuing a strong criticism of the decision to ruin a qualified candidate’s nomination.
It was sadly par the course for Sen. Scott. He vocally complained about President Trump’s derision of America taking in so many immigrants from “s***hole countries” and insisted that “diversity is our strength.” “The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future,” he said at the time. “Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history.” The senator also believes our main problem for immigration is filling the “largest holes in our economy,” and he doesn’t support efforts to reduce immigration.
Sen. Scott has complained about America’s allegedly racist justice system and is a leading Republican supporter of criminal justice reform, which would release thousands of dangerous criminals into the general population. He also supports free-enterprise zones, every Republican’s favorite failed policy to invigorate non-white communities.
While Sen. Scott’s record and statements paint a picture out of tune with conservative objectives, conservatives continue to uphold and celebrate him simply because he is black.
There is a pattern here. Former Oklahoma congressman J.C. Watts was similarly celebrated by conservatives in spite of his poor commitment to conservative principles. Mr. Watts’s signature political achievement was convincing Republicans not to end affirmative action in the late 1990s.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was another conservative hero completely uninterested in conservatism. Mr. Powell was pro-choice, supported strict gun control, and defended affirmative action while at the peak of his popularity among Republicans. After leaving office, he has shown little love for his party and has said the GOP is racist. He voted for Barack Obama twice.
Outgoing Utah Rep. Mia Love is more like Tim Scott than Colin Powell in that she takes the traditional conservative stances on abortion and gun control, but fails in critical areas. Her immigration record earned a “D” from NumbersUSA, and she was one of the few Republicans to vote against a tough immigration bill in June. Rep. Love co-sponsored a bill in 2017 that would let illegal aliens who came here as minors live permanently in America. The daughter of Haitian immigrants also demanded an apology from President Trump over his “s***hole” comments, saying they were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”
Rep. Love was a fervent critic of Mr. Trump and spent the majority of her concession speech blaming the president for her re-election loss. According to her, Mr. Trump doomed her campaign by alienating non-whites. In a recent interview, she claimed the GOP needs to be more politically correct.
While Sen. Scott and Rep. Love complain that the GOP can’t attract non-whites, they show no talent for it themselves. Sen. Scott won only 10 percent of the black vote when he ran in 2014—but won an astounding 88 percent of the white vote. Both Sen. Scott and Rep. Love represented overwhelmingly white districts when they served in the House. Sen. Scott’s home district in South Carolina is nearly 75 percent white. Rep. Love’s Utah district was almost 84 percent white and less than 2 percent black.
The problem with black conservatives isn’t limited to Trump critics—Trump supporters have similar weaknesses. Take Candace Owens, a leader of the conservative youth group Turning Point USA and a frequent guest on Fox News. She’s spearheads #Blexit, a movement aimed at convincing blacks to leave the Democrat Party. According to Miss Owens, the best way to achieve this is through criminal justice reform. She feels “passionately” that the majority of released felons will vote “against the left.” This is a nutty claim; studies show convicts overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Before suddenly becoming a Trump supporter in 2017, Miss Owens strongly criticized conservatives and ran a site that doxxed “racists.” In 2015, she wrote that she hoped Tea Party Republicans would die “peacefully in their sleep.”
Black Republicans act as if they speak for their race, but they represent only average white Republicans. They can’t win over other blacks with standard conservative rhetoric just because they have black faces. Instead, their primary appeal is to white voters who want to believe they’re not racist.
This would not matter if they voted like Rep. Steve King, but they don’t. They work against nationalist policy and enforce the Left’s speech codes on race. It’s fortunate for Republicans that Rep. Love will no longer have a seat in Congress, but Sen. Scott will remain, and it’s doubtful he will face a real challenger in 2020.
Black Republicans are not friends to anyone who wants his country back. Their electoral success is a result of white guilt and the refusal of Republicans to accept the simple fact that only whites are truly conservative. Like a college reviewing a black applicant, white conservatives value race over merits. Until they get over their ethnomasochism, they will continue to be bamboozled by non-white charlatans.