One can hardly turn on cable news without hearing someone say that Republicans are racists trying to roll back the clock on civil rights. Having a policy disagreement with President Obama, many of his partisan supporters argue, is nothing more than thinly veiled racism.
But Democrats who imagine racist slights and “dog whistles” at every turn would be wise to look at the vicious anti-Asian bigotry on display in Kentucky, which is being fomented by supporters of their so-called progressive party.
Elaine Chao, who came to America from Taiwan at the age of 8, is a successful businesswoman and a graduate of Harvard Business School. She has also served our country in numerous positions, most recently as Secretary of Labor during the George W. Bush administration. She also served for a time as director of the Peace Corps. Having worked with Elaine during my time in the White House, I can say you will not find a more principled, honest and decent individual.
Except that there’s one problem: Elaine Chao is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. And some Democrats are so desperate to hold on to power that they will resort to anything—including racist attacks—to demean and belittle their political enemies.
This past weekend, as Senator McConnell spoke to supporters at the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky, he sought to confront the “War on Women” rhetoric of his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, by noting his wife’s accomplishments. “And the biggest asset I have by far is the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet, my wife, Elaine Chao,” he said toapplause from the crowd.
It didn’t take long for Kathy Groob, the founder of the pro-Democrat PAC Elect Women, to start mocking Chao’s heritage on Twitter. “She’s not from KY…She is Asian and [President George W.] Bush openly touted that,” Groob said. In other tweets, Groob referred to Chao as McConnell’s “Chinese wife,” and said McConnell is “wedded to free trade in China.”
She later deleted her offensive tweets and deactivated her Twitter account. National and Kentucky Democrats, to their credit, quickly denounced her remarks.
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