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July 13, 2010

The Rise And Fall Of The Left's New Black Panther Strawman UPDATE: More Lefty Collateral Damage And Bonus Adam Serwer

Oh they were so happy on the left yesterday! Seemed Adam Serwer of the American Prospects had the goods on how it wasn't the Holder/Obama Justice Department who let the baton wielding thugs of the New Black Panthers off the hook. No, it was Buuuuush they squealed with delight.

Serwer yesterday....

All of which kind of puts a rather large wrinkle in the right-wing fantasy that the decision to pursue a civil rather than criminal case against The New Black Panther Party members was a racist decree handed down from the racist leadership of the Obama administration. None of the Obama administration's political appointees who have been attacked as having mandated this decision were even working at the Department of Justice at the time the case was downgraded!

Oops they go us!

Turns out, not so much.

From the beginning the story has been about the dropping of the civil remedies and that most certainly was done by Obama, Holder, et al.

Here's what Serwer writes today...

So, I just wanted to clear something up: I wrote my post yesterday about the Justice Department's decision not to pursue criminal charges against the NBPP during the Bush administration because I had seen conservatives arguing that it was made by the Obama administration. It wasn't. I did not mean to suggest that the civil case, which the DoJ dropped in May of last year after receiving a preliminary injunction against the only NBPP member in Philadelphia who was walking around with a baton, was dismissed during the Bush administration. I apologize if any of my writing has been unclear on this point or any confusion has resulted because I misstated the accusation of who wanted the criminal case dismissed.

Yeah a little thing like misstating the accusation. That's not good.

Of course this is a little inconvient for some folks on the left who ran with the "Crazy Wingnuts Caught" story.

Our old buddy Dave Weigel filling in for OBGYN extraordinaire Andrew Sullivan wrote...

The conservative narrative goes like this: Eric Holder's DOJ got into office and skunked a successful case against the racist fringe New Black Panther Party because it doesn't want to defend white voting rights. (If anyone has a bunch of examples of white voters being repressed in the Obama era, please, send 'em my way.) In several segments about the case, Glenn Beck has tied the Panthers to Bill Ayers, Charles Ogletree, and Van Jones as the latest "militant group" pulling the strings on Obama policies. A simple issue -- whether the Panthers should be prosecuted further for briefly showing off their nightsticks and glowering at voters outside of a mostly-black Philadelphia polling place -- has been conflated into a catch-all storyline that really makes no sense.

On Countdown, Keith Olbermann said....

Adam Serwer of “The American Prospect” found the smoking gun in the testimony last May of the head of the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division. Thomas Perez was talking about this new Black Panthers nonsense to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in May and he said this, “After reviewing the matter, the Civil Rights Division determined that the facts did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the criminal statutes. The department did, however, file a civil action on January 7th, 2009, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief under 11b against four defendants.” .

January 7th, nearly two weeks before Obama took office, nearly a month before Holder was confirmed, nearly three months before the Fox News main target in this, Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, was confirmed. There‘s also a deputy assistant attorney general whom Fox claims ordered that no lawsuit against the black or other national minority ever be brought. Unfortunately for the conspiracy fantasy, she didn‘t even get to the Justice Department until the end of June, five months after criminal prosecution was dropped.

So here‘s the real story Fox and the other malefactors of mankind will not tell you, based not on rumor nor innuendo, but court and congressional records. New Black Panthers, intimidating voters, killing cracker babies, Bush didn‘t prosecute.

Yeah, Serwer found the smoking gun and Olbermann used it to shoot himself in the foot. Again.

Good for Serwer (I guess) for correcting/clarifying his story. So far nothing from Weigel at St. Heartache's place and I won't hold my breath for Olbermann to follow suit.

More Collateral Damage: Obama booster Marc Ambinder also fell for Serwer's misdirection.

No, the decision not to pursue the Black Panther case from election day was not made by political appointees. The political appointees who would have made the decision had not been confirmed yet, reports Adam Serwer

Funny but that ran in a catchall post called "Myth-Busting Monday" Ooops.

Thanks to Gabe for the heads up on that one.

Ben Smith who doesn't seem to think there's any 'there' there with this story to begin with did seem to find Serwer's contribution helpful. Thanks to MayBeeTweet for that.


Bonus Serwer: This tweet from Serwer is too great....

Wonder what would happen if GOP rejected Limbaugh/Beck race baiting as quickly as black people reject Jesse Jackson race baiting
Put aside the de rigueur "Limbaugh/Beck are racist" and focus on the idea that "black people reject Jessie Jackson race baiting". Really? Like?

Who is more likely to reject Jackson's race baiting...Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas or Barack Obama and Eric Holder?

What world does this guy live in?


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posted by DrewM. at 12:32 PM

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