"What I Said Was Not What I Said When I Said It... And You Republicans Had Better Not Confuse the Issue"

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Hand the lady a shovel, Candidate Gore. Democratic Georgia congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney has got some digging to do, and from the sound
of things, you might flex those muscles that you developed while
working in the tobacco fields on your daddy’s farm and give her
some help. She has some smelly stuff to clean up, and maybe you
do too.

Three of Al Gore’s black Secret Service agents have recently filed
a lawsuit, citing racial discrimination against their supervisors
in the vice president’s security detail. The three men contend that
black Secret Service agents are frequently passed by for promotions;
they claim that Gore has made no response to their repeated attempts
to draw the matter to his attention.

Well, if the vice president wasn’t aware of the problem before,
he probably is now. Congresswoman McKinney made several critical
remarks about her party’s presidential pick that found their way
not only to her own website, but also to the front page of the Washington
Times on Friday, September 8, 2000.

“Gore’s
Negro Tolerance Level [NTL?] has never been too high. I’ve never
known him to have more than one black person around him at any given
time. I’m not shocked, but I certainly am saddened by this revelation,”
said the outspoken four-term representative from Decatur. According
to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McKinney often speaks out on
the issues surrounding race relations. Boy, does she ever.

“I’ve
personally been discriminated against at the White House by the
very same people these Secret Service officers are complaining about,”
the congresswoman continued. “That these black officers had no response
from Gore’s staff is symptomatic of a larger problem. Gore would
like these problems to just go away, but they’ll never go away if
they’re not addressed.”

When this bellicose commentary hit the Internet and the newspapers,
there was a sudden hush in the state of Georgia that fell in less
time than it would take for you to say “Loretta Sanchez found a
great site for that fund-raiser.” When the bluster started up again,
it had taken a decidedly different tone.

“These
remarks originated in a draft of a press release that was in the
editing process and were never intended for public distribution,”
McKinney stated in a new press release. “I disclaim all of those
comments. And let me warn any Republicans who might be tempted to
use the comments that were attributed to me, which I have now disclaimed
and retracted, to divide and confuse the voters — I will not stand
for it.”

I’ll tell you what I won’t stand for, and that’s Cynthia McKinney’s
saying that she has “disclaimed and retracted” her comments. How
can a person do both? Either she said what she said and she now
deeply regrets saying it, which calls for a retraction. Or else
the remarks which were attributed to her were actually made by another
person and she wants to make her own position very clear, which
would be a disclaimer. I contend that she can’t do both. Unless,
of course, Cynthia McKinney has a doppelganger and has become her
own Evil Twin, which makes perfect sense to me.

I’m baffled as to why the congresswoman thinks that the Republicans
would need to confuse this whole thing any further. Why bother to
step in and muddy up the waters when McKinney’s doing such a splendid
job all by herself? When you have things published on your own personal
website and make remarks to the press and then want to retract and
disclaim and distract and explain, things get confusing. I, for
one, am just grateful that McKinney can actually remember what she
says didn’t say: her superiors in the Democratic party so often
seem to suffer from a distressing sort of situational amnesia, particularly
when subpoenad to testify under oath.

Not surprisingly, Cynthia McKinney could not be reached on Friday
afternoon for– uh…further comment. Neither did her staff have
any averment to make, other than to say that their boss was out
“visiting with constituents.” It isn’t yet clear whether that phrase
is a euphemism for “staying locked in her bedroom and crying under
the covers after being instructed to button her lip by an unnamed
Gore campaign official.” We may never know. But perhaps that’s just
as well: After all, we’re just voters, and easily confused ones,
at that.

What we do know is that the Gore campaign’s deputy national spokesperson,
Donna Delliole, demurely remarked, “As far as the retraction goes,
we are very, very happy and pleased to have Congresswoman McKinney’s
support.”

I’m certain that that is absolutely true. No confusion there!

September
14, 2000

Shelley
McKinney is a political writer whose work regularly appears in several
Internet journals. She takes great pleasure in exposing the politically
correct for their lack of logical thought.

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