Shirley Sherrod

97 House Republicans Join Latest Mob Attack on African-American Obama Appointee

Van Jones

Eric Holder

Valerie Jarrett

Shirley Sherrod

And now, Susan Rice.

Republicans are orchestrating yet another mob attack on one of President Obama’s African-American appointees. In this case, 97 House Republicans have signed a letter imploring Obama not to nominate Rice to replace Hillary Clinton. Yet they don’t raise any of the possibly legitimate reasons to oppose Rice’s appointment–her troubling record on Africa, her closeness to Obama.

No.

These 97 Republicans don’t even try to make this look like legitimate opposition. Instead, they rehash a Benghazi attack that hearings last week debunked.

Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American people in the Benghazi matter. Her actions plausibly give the U.S. (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed.

They don’t know what the problem with Rice is, this mob of frothing Republicans. But if she’s black, they seem to be saying, she must be either incompetent or deceitful.

This frothing mob includes such leading lights of the racist right as Steve King, Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann, and Tim Griffin, and such discredited hacks as Scott DesJarlais and Joe Wilson.

While Alan West signed the letter, along with several Latinos, the letter largely pits a bunch of white radicals against a single black woman whom they claim is not credible because she read talking points developed by the CIA.

This is not the act of reasoned legislators. It’s a mob attack. A mob attack, like so many others, targeted blindly at an African-American professional appointed by our nation’s first African-American President.

The Shirley Sherrod Complaint Against Andrew Breitbart

As many readers already know, Shirley Sherrod has filed a lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart over his statements, and the doctored and manipulated video he published, that resulted in her to losing her job at the US Department of Agriculture. Although Ms. Sherrod was not technically fired by the Obama Administration, she was ordered to resign immediately. Ms. Sherrod promised in late July of 2010 that she would sue Breitbart, and now she has done so, with the added ironic addition of effecting service of the summons and complaint on him at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

What no one has seen yet is the actual complaint filed in the matter. Here it is in all its 42 page glory.

The first thing you will note is that the complaint is filed against not just Andrew Breitbart, but Breitbart associate, writer and putative producer of BreitbartTV, Larry O’Connor, as well as the “John Doe” from Georgia Breitbart claims originally forwarded the video.

The second thing you will note is the complaint is framed in terms of “defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress” and was filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court. The choice of DC Superior Court is fascinating; at first glance, it appears the complaint could have been filed either in Georgia District or DC District federal courts, perhaps even a Georgia state court (although that seems more problematic). Why exactly did the plaintiff choose DC Superior Court? I have already made inquiry of Ms. Sherrod’s attorney on this question but, until a formal answer is received, I think it a safe assumption they considered it the most favorable venue for convenience, procedure and potential jury composition. And I think that is pretty smart lawyering by the way.

The complaint is long, and very well composed, but the gist of the case is contained here:

3. Although the defamatory blog post authored by Defendant Breitbart purported to show “video proof” that Mrs. Sherrod exhibited “racism” in the performance of her USDA job responsibilities, the short two-minute thirty-six (2:36) second video clip that Defendants embedded in the blog post as alleged “proof” of this defamatory accusation was, in truth, an edited excerpt from a much longer speech by Mrs. Sherrod that demonstrated exactly the opposite. In sharp contrast to the deliberately false depiction that Defendants presented in the defamatory blog post, the unabridged speech describes how, in 1986, working for a non-profit group that helped poor farmers, Mrs. Sherrod provided concern and service to a white farmer who, without her help, would almost certainly have lost his farm in rural Georgia.

4. Specifically, Defendants defamed Mrs. Sherrod by editing and publishing an intentionally false and misleading clip of Mrs. Sherrod’s speech and added the Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @joshgerstein Of course, they were still SITTING on relevant data in the Moalin case, so they ought to be docked that one.
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emptywheel @joshgerstein True: Moalin, ACLU, and that Idaho one.
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emptywheel @MiekeEoyang I misread that as "satirical" and you had me very confused.
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emptywheel How to stop 36 NYPD cops from stop-and-frisking: raise 2 white flags. http://t.co/PRyWcJXiFP
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emptywheel @MissShumsky But that's 36 cops who won't be stop-and-frisking. @srubenfeld
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emptywheel RT @MissShumsky: Great use of resources: "Nearly 3 dozen detectives assigned to white flag mystery" http://t.co/mxWDQgfhg0 via @nypost
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emptywheel @sarahjeong HLS will make sure you're passed if only to avoid having embarrassment of having HLS' most amusing tweeter-grad fail. @Popehat
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emptywheel @B_Amer Hot as in temperature or hot as in awesome? You're making good time--are you stopping to have ANY fun?
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bmaz @jaytingle You want some more-a Dora?
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emptywheel @andreaprasow It's got to be VERY conservative bc so many are in Super.
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emptywheel @andreaprasow Oh, I know--was thinking of that when I used most conservative #. It'd be great to put $$s to the 500 CT cases.
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emptywheel RT @ChadLivengood: Ballot initiative petitions OK'd for wolf hunting in #Michigan, in limbo for minimum wage http://t.co/EFWC8GaNVz
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July 2014
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