In his tenth term, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) has no problem speaking up, and at times, the North Virginia Representative has been known to start a few fires with this words. In 2007 Congressman Moran said regarding the Iraq war, “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this.” He received much blow back and condemnation for his assessment, causing him to later retract portions of his statement.
Moran’s most recent fire occurred after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
Congressman Moran spoke to Alhurra (ahl-HUR’-ruh), an Arab television Network after the President’s annual speech, during which time he stated that the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections “happened for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States.
“It happened because the Southern states, the slave holding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery. In this case, I believe, a lot of people in the United States don’t want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is liberal, who wants to spend money and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society.”
While it is certain that some, namely Tea Partiers and establishment Republicans, will condemn Moran’s statement, theory about Democratic midterm losses is not necessarily false. In fact, in post-midterm analysis, some prognosticators even acknowledged that GOP gains were the result of “angered momentum” directed against Obama and the Democratic party.
Various news clips shortened the Moran’s statement to read, “a lot of people in this country, I believe, don’t want to be governed by an African-American.” A few columnists have asked if Democrats will condemn the statements of Moran, stating that the Congressman is calling even those in his own state racist. Notably, three Republicans were elected out of Virginia in the 2010 midterms. Beyond Virginia, voter turnout did, indeed, heavily favor the GOP.
Combined with an extreme opposition-based public relations strategy to anything the proposed by President Obama, the GOP nurtured constituent anger through their unwillingness to work with the nation’s first African American President. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even went so far as to say that his duty was to make sure Obama was a “one-term President.” Rhetoric aside, nothing more explicitly demonstrated Republican hopes for our first African American President than Rush Limbaugh’s statements after the President’s election, that he hoped that the Obama presidency “failed.”
Jim Moran’s remarks, though politically incorrect, seem to represent a perspective about politics and race relations in this country that many understand and agree with, but few are willing to voice.
“With nearly 1,000 identified hate groups in the U.S. and recent studies showing a majority of Americans believe racism is still widespread against African Americans, it is no secret that our country has and continues to struggle with racial equality,” said Moran spokeswoman Anne Hughes. “The Congressman was expressing his frustration with this problem and the role it played in the last election.”
Despite the condemnation Moran has received from some of his colleagues but, Hughes has remained an avid defender of the senior statesman, saying that it is no secret that the “U.S. continues to struggle with racial equality.” Moran simply believes it is better to discuss the issues in an open forum rather than turn a deaf ear to them.