Monday, October 23, 2006

Kagen and the Injuns

I was initially uninterested in considering any potential double standard in the reaction to congressional Steve Kagen's use of the term "injun" and his suggestion that Native Americans are not too keen on European notions of punctuality. It all has a "dog bites man" quality to it and, in any event, people like Charlie Sykes and John McAdams can do it better than I can.

What interests me is this: What could he have been thinking? What sentient human being, much less one with a medical degree who thinks he has the smarts to be a congressman, would even consider saying such a thing? My initial reaction is that Steve Kagen must have the intelligence of a paving stone, but we know that's not true, so what gives?

That gets me back to the double standard. Maybe he talks like that because he can. Maybe, because he has the blessing of what he regards as anointed minority representatives, he feels that he can let his little stereotypes out to play. Seen in that way, the harm done by the double standard is not just to conservatives. My guess is that no one in this state has opened a paper and seen a reference to "Injun time" in years. I would not have even known that this was a thing that people say. Now they have and now I do.

On another level, it is becoming apparent that Steve Kagen was not ready for prime time. Move that seat off the GOP's endangered list.

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