Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vilsack Should Be Fired

Why hasn't the Administration called for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's resignation? Why hasn't he been unceremoniously fired? Why is he only now reconsidering the egregious dismissal of Georgia's  rural development director Shirley Sherrod?

According to TPM:

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack (pictured below) said.

What was "fair and equitable" about firing Sherrod based on a deliberate lie by innuendo and manipulation by Andrew Breitbart, a Tea Party blogger and racist. Most outrageous of all, Vilsack apparently made this snap decision without even investigating the validity of the Breitbart's charges. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? What happened to the one-two-three of checking facts, especially those offered by a less than reputable character like Breitbart.

Sherrod was asked to resign after Andrew Breitbart posted a clip of a speech she gave to the Coffee County, Ga., NAACP in March. In the speech, Sherrod recounts the first time that, while working with a nonprofit set up mostly to help black farmers, she had to help a white farmer. In the speech, she admits she didn't help him as much as she could have.
Does this incident give the Right some credibility to their claims that the White House is in fact racist? If so, we sure as hell don't need it.
Additional Reading:

Cohen, The Washington Post: The firing of Shirley Sherrod -- and the cowardice of Tom Vilsack

David Frum: Shirley Sherrod and the Shame of Conservative Media

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:  On Lacking All Conviction

Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online: Shirley Sherrod -- My Take


  1. I was disappointed in the reaction. Breitbart was shown (I think by the GAO)to have misrepresented and taken out of context film to frame ACORN, so the least Vilsack could have done was to say he'd wait and look at the entire tape before making a decision. Plus she was with a nonprofit and this was 24 years ago. Very disappointing.

  2. The dumb shit ate too much GMO sweet corn back in the cornfield. I'm so sick of these dims doing asinine shit like this. Many peed their pants I'm sure.

  3. Leslie, Vilsack was wrong, but he was wrong for the right reasons. He intended to make sure their is no taint of racism in the way USDA provides services. The NAACP, at whose venue the speech was given, jumped to the same conclusion Vilsack did. They were wrong too. Had I seen only the edited video, I would have been wrong, and I think most of us would have been.

    Sometimes it's OK to be wrong, as long as we make it right when the truth comes out.

    There is a difference between being wrong and being evil. Andrew Breitbart and Fox News are the ones who intentionally misrepresented Sherrod. They are the liars with whom the entire blame for this rests.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Then I was wrong as well. If Vilsack hasn't explained and called out Fox for what they did maybe I won't be wrong.

  6. What we have are dems making excuses for dems as usual.
    This was a complete out of fear for Faux Noise knee jerk by the Obama Administration.
    Everyone knows what the rethugs, Breitbart, and Faux Noise is.
    Now we know how spineless the dems are.
    They should have done their home work.
    Instead they repeatedly demanded that she resign on the spot.
    Because her story was going to be on Faux.
    Who runs this effen country Faux, OR the White House?

  7. T.C., the problem is that Vilsack has tainted the Ag Dept's operations with racism by jumping to conclusions and taking the word of a known vicious white slurmeister over that of an experienced and productive public servant who happened to be African-American.

    What will black farmers think about the Ag Dept now? Will they believe that they'll get a fair shake when priorities or stories conflict? Will they wonder they're waiting longer than whites for a meeting or an approval? Telling them that the NAACP bit too isn't much of an excuse.

    The greater issue is that despite the late screeching and caterwauling from the right, there's no serious problem with black racism in this country. It's African-Americans, not whites, who lag in every statistical category from pre-natal care through education and income to life expectancy.

  8. Don't get me wrong - the NAACP bears some responsibility here as well but they were not responsible for hiring or firing Sharrod and they did rescind their recommendation as soon as they viewed the full tape. Hopefully they've learned a lesson as well.

    OTOH, Vilsack had the responsibility to check the damn facts before reacting. I'm with RZ and Oso on this one. It is simply outrageous.

    Good ole Hillbilly Report has a video of the full talk AND one of farmer Rodger Spooner defending her. Take a look.

    Color of Change has a petition:

    I signed it and wrote some words of my own. Heh, heh.

    TC: You know I think the world of you, even if I don't agree with you - just for once. : )

  9. I'm not going to jump in the middle of this, except to say both the referenced farmer and his wife have stated she did help them. I am not in the workplace now, but I wonder how all this talk of racism affects people of different races who work together on a daily basis. Cannot be comfortable. Instead of feeling pride over our first African-American president, this nation reverts to a dialogue over racial discord. Not very progressive, is it? BJ

  10. Sure, only a fool would fired someone without giving the person a chance to explain, and the story is more important than Lohan in jail, but it smells of something that the media jump all over because it's easy. In a week it won't mean much.

  11. Vilsack's a good guy who screwed up. He's trying to make it right. At least as right as it could be made. Let's not demand his firing because that's what we do now. Make some sap the scape goat for a problem that resonates through politics, media and our government. Jumping to sensational actions to score points or sell newspapers and get ratings.

    I hope Sherrod gets a sharp lawyer and sues the pants off Breitbart. He's a tea bagger baiting asshole and nothing more.

    But this incident hopefully will be remembered by the Obama Administration and they will stop running to the right at every opprtunity.

  12. Vilsack did apologize, TC, but I don't know if he made things right. There was a lot of personal and professional damage to a person who clearly didn't deserve it - character assassination - and it puts an unwanted smudge on this administration.

    Roger (not Rodger) Spooner's story was picked up by much of the MSM. I think in both cases the motivation was to discredit a member of the Obama administration - and because it was easy. God forbid that today's media should cover anything that takes "digging," time and research (the recent WaPo series excepted).

  13. Good Morning Ms.Leslie and thanx for the lowdown and the link's concerning this. This will sound dumb to you, but I had no idea who in all Hell Vilsack or Breitbart even were. And was familiar with only Sherrod from a video I seen on CNN a few day's back or so ... which I only watched because they were saying this lady was the newest evil racist nazi .... I looked at her and listened to a snip of video with what she supposedly said that was evil ... and started laughing my ass off. I sware ... everyone is a bloody nazi these day's, it's hilarious! There was a latino march some month's back in downtown Dallas, 10's of thousand's turned out to protest the Arizona nazi immigration policy ... I seen a few Texas flag's, and American flag's and Mexicano flag's in the crowd, since I went down there cause I was in downtown that day, but also ...I never seen a crowd carry so many swatstika sign's since the grand ole day's of the 1930's in Berlin when Hitler followed with his troop's in the back seat of a car. I asked one guy,(latino man) if he knew what the sign he was carrying meant ... he called it "Nassie", ... (he had a cross on chain around his neck) ... said it(swastika) meant racism,(didnt have no idea even it was called "swastika" when I said it he looked in question and said Que?/ what) and of course Arizona was evil (I'm not sure if he knew where Arizona was) I asked him if he knew where the swatstika came from, he again said ... "Nassie's" ... I told him ... It has a long list of root's ... and a young Adolf Hitler adapted it from a statue in the church which I believe was below the feet of Mother Mary standing , in the catholic church he attended in Vienna, Austria as a child ... he asked if Hitler was catholic?, I said no ... he was raised catholic, but actually was an occultist ... he then asked what that was? ... I gave up! :)

    Oh .... BTW .... great posting ... now we can have a new Nassie of the Week! :)

    Later Grrrllll ....

  14. Before I retired, I spent 30 years in health care, managing personnel. Had I terminated employees without very thorough research, I surely would not have had much of a career.

    I see no reason to provide exceptions to government officials, regardless of their position.

    I don't understand why ANYONE, much less a member of Obama's cabinet, would give validity to anything a tea party moron would say. I think Vilsack is going to require knee surgery if he doesn't stop the knee-jerk reactions.

  15. RC: A good example of how ignorance breeds ignorance?

    Boomer: I agree with you on both counts. It really was a costly and stupid move from the get-go.