While the Democrat-Dominated Dinosaur media faithfully directed attention to Steve's Silly Sideshow (staged by Congressional Democrats), real news was unfolding before the Civil Rights Commission. Power Line boils it down:
Christopher Coates testified this morning before the Civil Rights Commission regarding the department's disposition of the case against the New Black Panther Party [NBPP]. Coates disobeyed the instruction of his superiors in order to testify and claimed whistleblower protection for his testimony. PJM has posted Coates's testimony in full here. It has also posted J. Christopher Adam's related column here.Coates's testimony is a bombshell. It exposes a couple of Obama administration scandals at once. One involves the Obama administration's attempt to cover up the rationale for burying the case against the NBPP. The other involves the Obama administration's support for the racially based administration of justice. Coates's testimony is suggestive of other scandals as well. You probably won't be hearing much about it on the broadcast news tonight or in the papers tomorrow, but we all should do everything we can to get the word out. [emphasis added]
And so we will.
Is this just another rich white Tea Party Republican whining about how hard it is to be a card-carrying racist good ol' boy during the Obama era? Hardly:
It’s not news that Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, was relieved of his post on January 5 and “transferred” to South Carolina for an 18-month assignment with the U.S. attorney’s office.Coates had been relentlessly criticized by liberals both inside and outside the division because of his involvement in two cases — one in Noxubee County, Mississippi (U.S. v. Ike Brown et al.), the other in Philadelphia (U.S. v. New Black Panther Party et al.) — that feature clear-cut voting-rights violations (namely, discrimination and intimidation) committed by black defendants.Coates is a former ACLU attorney who has received many awards for his work in the area of civil rights over the past four decades. He has filed numerous voting-rights cases on behalf of minority voters. But he got in trouble because some of the ideologues who inhabit the civil-rights community don’t want to accept anyone who doesn’t share their view of Voting Rights Act (VRA) enforcement. One of their unbreakable rules is that the VRA shouldn’t be used to protect white voters from discrimination committed by racial or ethnic minorities. [emphasis added]
Coates simply destroyed the year-long spin from the Justice Department regarding the dismissal. Coates is the former Voting Section chief, and served as lead attorney on the Black Panther case.He has practiced voting rights law longer than any other lawyer at the Justice Department. His testimony today was the worst possible nightmare for the Obama political officials responsible for the dismissal. [emphasis added]
Fox News provides additional background:
Coates discussed in depth the DOJ's decision to dismiss intimidation charges against New Black Panther members who were videotaped outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 dressed in military-style uniforms -- one was brandishing a nightstick -- and allegedly hurling racial slurs.The case has drifted in and out of the limelight over the past year as the commission has struggled to investigate it. Former Justice official J. Christian Adams fueled the controversy when he testified in July and accused his former employer of showing "hostility" toward cases that involved white victims and black defendants.Nearly three months later, Coates backed up Adams' claims. In lengthy and detailed testimony, he said the department cultivates a "hostile atmosphere" against "race-neutral enforcement" of the Voting Rights Act.
Ace points out the self-destructive nature of the reckless incompetence of the Department of Justice:
They're Jeopardizing Their Own Prosecutions: Laws can be struck, and convictions overturned, for different reasons.If a law violates the Equal Protection Clause by containing a racially discriminatory element in its very text, it gets knocked down as being "facially" discriminatory. Impermissibly discriminatory "on its face."But a lot of laws get struck down not for containing some obvious on-its-face discriminatory element, but for being discriminatory "as applied." If a law purporting to neutrally require ID from all voters is usually only applied to Hispanic voters, or black voters, or even white voters, it can be knocked down, and all prosecutions secured under it overturned, as being discriminatory "as applied."
Instapundit explores the possibility that the same-day sideshow provided by Stephen Colbert was a deliberate distraction:
DISTRACTION: So, yesterday reader John Mark Williams suggested that the Colbert testimony was intended to distract from coverage of Christopher Coates’ testimony about the Justice Department’s racism scandals. If so, it’s worked. Front page of Daily Caller: Colbert. Drudge led with Colbert until the news of the Klein & Zucker firings came out. Limbaugh led off today talking about Colbert. NRO has covered Colbert at The Corner, but not Coates. Washington Examiner headline: Colbert. Looking around other sites, I see more about Colbert than Coates. Hot Air and Power Line did better.
On second thought...
If Colbert’s testimony was meant to distract what a price they paid!!! All the reviews of his testimony are negative and a lot of Democrats are going to wish they’d never heard of Colbert before this is over.
If ever there were an appropriate time to harness the deeper meaning of the metaphor "shooting oneself in the foot," this would be it.
Cross-posted at Left Coast Rebel
Related: Which Malik Shabazz Visited White House in July 2009, Mr. President?
More: Stephen Colbert, Dems' Trained Clown, Trotted Out to Distract From Obama DOJ Scandal... Mission accomplished.