Late last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would oppose the nomination of Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Tanden has a long history of aggressive and hyperbolic attacks on senators with whom she would have to work if confirmed at OMB. She also supports extreme leftist policies like increasing the minimum wage, lowering the Medicare eligibility age, and “free” college. Yet Democrats have claimed that moderates and Republicans only oppose Tanden due to… racism and sexism.
“There’s a double standard going on,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told Politico. “Her nomination is very significant for us Asian American and Pacific Islanders. I do believe that this double standard has to do with the fact that she would be a pioneer in that position.”
“We can disagree with her tweets, but in the past, Trump nominees that they’ve confirmed and supported had much more serious issues and conflicts than just something that was written on Twitter,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) told Politico. “This is not just about any one nominee like Neera, or whoever else — it’s just about this pattern that is happening and increasingly hard to ignore.”
Glenn Greenwald, an independent journalist who co-founded The Intercept, mocked and dismissed this ridiculous accusation.
“Very surprising that Democrats have decided to accuse anyone opposing Neera Tanden’s confirmation of sexism and racism. That’s so uncharacteristic of Democrats to launch such accusations against those who impede their agenda. Can’t believe it,” Greenwald wrote, sarcastically.
Greenwald noted that Democrats vociferously opposed many women and people of color President Donald Trump nominated during his administration.
“Democrats voted in large numbers against the confirmation of Ben Carson, Alex Azar, Amy Coney Barrett, Betsy De Vos, Richard Grennell, Gina Haspel, and many other people of color and women nominated since 2017, including some pioneers in their positions. Totally different,” the journalist quipped.
He went on to note that some “neocons” like Bill Kristol have echoed Democrats in claiming that opposition to Tanden traces back to sexism.
“The way neocons migrating back to the Dem Party have so quickly weaponized woke ideology and rhetoric — after spending their entire lives hostile to it — is almost impressive. Bill Kristol, strident enemy of sexism, demanding Neera’s confirmation,” Greenwald noted.
If Republicans and Manchin are somehow secretly racist or sexist for opposing Tanden, does that mean Democrats were racist when they opposed Ben Carson? Does that mean Democrats were sexist when they voted against Amy Coney Barrett?
Many Democrats may not accept it, but opposition to Neera Tanden’s nomination has nothing to do with latent racism or sexism and everything to do with Tanden’s radical record and her statements demonizing senators and others.
During Tanden’s confirmation hearing earlier this month, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) gave some examples of Tanden’s comments. “You wrote that Susan Collins (R-Maine) is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is a ‘fraud,’ that ‘vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz’ (R-Texas). You called Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) ‘Moscow Mitch,’ and ‘Voldemort,’ and on and on,” he noted.
Tanden, a longtime ally of Hillary Clinton, also ripped into Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Tanden told Sanders she regretted those remarks, and she went on to state her support for many of Sanders’ extreme big-government policies. There are many reasons to oppose Tanden, but Democrats will constantly reach for demonizing accusations, rather than listening to serious concerns senators have about this nomination.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.