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Kansas U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins – the GOP needs a ‘great white hope’

By pams
Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:22 EDT
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Boy, we have seen the racist dog whistle become quite audible these days, but when called out these Rethugs still find a way to deny that’s what’s going on.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a “great white hope” capable of thwarting the political agenda endorsed by Democrats who control Congress and President Barack Obama.

Jenkins, a Topeka Republican in her first term in Congress, shared thoughts about the GOP’s political future during an Aug. 19 forum at Fisher Community Center in the northeast Kansas community of Hiawatha.

…”Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” Jenkins said to the crowd. “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.”

It’s worth noting that all of the Republicans Jenkins points out as prospects (Cantor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.) are white. Just a coinkydink. And here comes the hilarious “it’s not racist” denial from the spokesbot for Jenkins, Mary Geiger:

Mary Geiger, a spokeswoman for Jenkins, said the reference to a great white hope wasn’t meant to denote a preference by Jenkins for politicians of a particular “race, creed or any background.” Jenkins was expressing faith fellow GOP representatives in the House would be key players in returning Republicans to a leadership role in Washington, Geiger said.

“There may be some misunderstanding there when she talked about the great white hope,” Geiger said. “What she meant by it is they have a bright future. They’re bright lights within the party.”

Big, bright white Broadway lights, apparently; the Topeka Capital Journal’s Tim Carpenter pointed out the obvious.

The phrase “great white hope” is frequently tied to racist attitudes permeating the United States when heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson fought in the early 1900s. Reaction to the first black man to reign as champion was intense enough to build support for a campaign to find a white fighter capable of reclaiming the title from Johnson.

 
 
 
 
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