Tom Tancredo: Joe Sestak job offer could lead to impeachment even though Obama's black

The idea that a White House job offer to Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak -- one allegedly designed to convince him not to challenge Senator Arlen Specter -- might be an impeachable defense has been popular in Republican circles of late.

So it's no surprise that controversial ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo would pile on, joining the evenhanded likes of Fox News' Sean Hannity and Dick Morris.

But Tancredo's attack is different from most others, because he's playing the race card. Although he swears Obama backers did it first.

In a column entitled, appropriately enough, "The Obama Race Card," Tancredo argues that Obama supporters see his racial background as a defense against all offenses. He writes:

Obama's election in 2008 thus served to confirm what liberals already knew, that white guilt over America's involvement in slavery and mistreatment of blacks in the Jim Crow South could be used to deflect concerns over his lack of qualifications to hold the highest office in the land. As it turned out, he did not get a majority of white votes in the election, but combined with the 97 percent support among black voters, it was enough to win.

We should not be surprised that 18 months later, Americans are still being asked to ignore his record and his lack of accomplishments. Playing the race card worked so well in the campaign, the White House and its allies are now trying to use it to silence criticism of his policies and performance.

Republicans were not the first to object to this tactic. It was 1984 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro who said early in the 2008 primary contest, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position." But once Democrats saw how well the race card worked, it became standard practice to use it any time Obama got into trouble.

Here's his rhetorical conclusion:

Will Obama be the first black president to be impeached? It is possible, if the White House job offer to Mr. Sestak is traced to the Oval Office. Will that case be investigated and pursued on the facts, or will it be swept under the rug to protect the first black president? That a possible impeachment inquiry will be evaluated and debated as a "racial issue" shows how far down this dark road we have come.

The "dark road" imagery will likely raise the hackles of those who already see his immigration-reform calls as racially motivated. But he didn't mean it that way! C'mon!

Meanwhile, this story could take another turn if Andrew Romanoff, who's said the White House tried to keep him out of the Colorado Senate contest, elaborates on this Sestak-like assertion.

The road could lead to Colorado -- whether it's dark or not.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts