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Richard Cohen Simply Does Not Care For Affirmative Action

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America’s worst writer, Richard Cohen, strings together the saddest tale of all today in his important Washington Post newspaper column. Overarching topic: the Supreme Court. Pertinent issue: Affirmative Action. Protagonist: hard-working white firefighter. Antagonist: Negro race. “Punished” victim: all white people. Unimportant litmus tests: abortions, “unions.” Only important litmus test: getting hard-working white firefighter’s job back from Negroes. Person whose fault all of this is: Barack Obama. “Supremely irrelevant” factor in American society: race. Bittersweet music to play in background: “Colour My World.” Policy that Richard Cohen does not understand: Affirmative Action. [Washington Post]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


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  • ManchuCandidate

    Does the KKK accept Jews in their ranks?

  • tunamelt

    I’m too tired today to muster appropriate outrage.

  • Doglessliberal

    Dear Post: You are losing money every quarter. Here is an idea to save money and boost subscriptions: lose Richard Cohen, Bill Kristol, and Dave Broder. (and, for that matter, Ruth Marcus. Just because you “need a chick”, doesn’t mean you just hire one who writes shit. There are a lot of actually talented and sane female writers out there). That must be a huge savings right there in salaries, plus, you would gain some subscribers who wouldn’t want to vomit upon perusing the editorial pages. As a bonus, you could hire some columnists who might have been born in the past 40 years.

    Sincerely, a reluctant suscriber who you are pissing off on a daily basis.

  • freakishlystrong

    Unimportant litmus tests: abortions, “unions.”

    Shit I read “unicorns” there…

  • bodypolitik

    Richard Cohen is responsible for all of this rain.

  • chascates

    Affirmative action is the new ‘N’ word.

  • V572625694

    So Cohen wants to see dyslexic firefighters get promoted? I hope they don’t transpose the numbers in his address when they come to put out the fire at his house.

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    Huh. I always thought Cohen got his job through some kind of affirmative action. The paper had to meet it’s douchebag quota.

  • Tommy Says Soooo, Jugdish!

    In addition Hopey made Gaffey Joe get his own damned fries. Also.

  • Links

    Worst writer? I don’t know. There’s a lot of competition in that category. How about K Lo and Peggy, to say nothing of our beloved Kristol?

  • SwanSwanH

    Weirdy beardy throws wild parties.

  • Come here a minute

    I don’t get why there isn’t a better name for Affirmative Action. That name means nothing. “Good Doings”? Conservatards like to call it “reverse discrimination” but there is no reverse about it. It is good discrimination to make up for bad discrimination. Make-up discrimination? If Richard Cohen wants to make up for all the evil discrimination against the downtrodden white men of this country, more power to him.

  • JMP

    Won’t somebody please think of the white children?

    Richard, you don’t seem to get what affirmative action is. It’s not designed to punish racists; it’s to try and offset the effects of discrimination. It doesn’t matter if Mr. White Fireman doesn’t have a racist bone in his body; he’s still gotten unfair advantages because of his race throughout his life.

    Also, Mr. Cohen? Liberalism is not “a movement in which [you] hold a conditional membership” – as an actual liberal who has read your columns, calling yourself a liberal does not make you one. You may have been one in the distant past, but now you are a conservative, grumpy old man.

  • TGY

    Dyslexic firefighters of the world ingite!

  • DC Hates Me

    It’s more of a lemon party than a litmus test.

  • ChernobylSoup

    And in a wonderful display of editorial irony, today the Washington Post announced that Richard Cohen is being replaced by Ken Blackwell.

  • SayItWithWookies

    For most Americans, race has become supremely irrelevant. Everyone knows this. Every poll shows this. Maybe the Supreme Court will recognize this.

    I couldn’t imagine a more qualified bunch of people to rule on whether affirmative action isn’t needed than a group of seven old white guys and one black guy who got where he is due to affirmative action but who now opposes it and votes whichever way Antonin Scalia votes. Plus Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who the Republicans are hoping dies of cancer because she’s such a socialist.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=308745]Come here a minute[/re]: [re=308746]JMP[/re]: You two are falling prey to that misapprehension that using facts and logic has an effect these days. Silly you.

  • magic titty

    Haha. Even Newell couldn’t stand to blockquote this dickbag today. Must be a doozy!

  • magic titty

    If Cohen’s beard were black it would have breakdanced off of his face years ago.

  • 4tehlulz

    If anyone should be on the vanguard of RAHOWA, it’s Richard Cohen.

  • Come here a minute

    [re=308754]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Everyone knows this.

    That’s why noone had tears streaming down their faces on election night, or inauguration day.

    summer autumn winter spring

  • mookworthjwilson

    Cohen just wishes the blacks would go back to the jobs they used to do in the fire department, like being the guy who would run into a burning building to test to see if the fire was hot.

  • jetjaguar

    ho ho, the first comment on his site is just precious:

    “you stinky mind. you will never get it and you are too old to learn any thing new.”

  • masterdebater

    [re=308739]Links[/re]: Yes, I agree. This would let everyone who works for Murdoch off the hook.

  • Lionel Hutz Esq.

    Finally, a conservative who is willing to speak what we are all thinking and come out in favor of the abortion of black union members.

    [re=308729]freakishlystrong[/re]: The unicorn litmus test remains important.

  • smartypants

    Heh. Come to the south, Richey. It’s raining waspy men down here. Jeff Boy Sessions’en em will learn you sumthin about that AyFirmutuv Ackshun, tell you that you’re a disgrace to your race and then beat the livin’ shit out of you.

  • JMP

    [re=308755]Doglessliberal[/re]: No, I just forgot that we can make racism (and sexism) over by just claiming that it’s so. Wee; it’s great living in magical colorblind happyland!

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=308763]Come here a minute[/re]: Certainly not me — I was too ecstatic to be crying. The next day, though…yes, a little.

    And they capitalized e. e. cummings’ name? That’s mildly blasphemous.

  • Uncle Al

    [re=308726]Doglessliberal[/re]: Dogless, I cancelled the Post last year because I got so fed up with how it treated Bush as if he weren’t a complete idiot. I eventually resubscribed because they kept begging and offering it to me for 99 cents a week, and sometimes I want to check a movie listing. I suggest everyone do the same, if only to save themselves a lot of money.

  • norbizness

    Apparently Cohen is pissed that they still haven’t enacted those Cartoon Yeti-American set-asides to benefit he and those of his noble, stop-motion, Himalayan ancestry.

    My favorite line is “For most Americans, race has become supremely irrelevant.” Race got nothing on you in the irrelevance department, Rich.

  • Fear of a Black Reagan

    Funny how a Washington “All Jews all the Time” Post columnist is complaining about affirmative action.

  • Fear of a Black Reagan

    [re=308737]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: The Post’s douchebag quota seems to be a percentage in the four or five figures.

  • slavojzizek

    As far as I can tell, most fire departments are somewhere behind the Republican party in hiring one or two blacks out of fifty positions to at least make it look like they sort of care to appear non-racist.

  • dijetlo

    I think “Better Hummers and Trucknutz” has a larger subscription footprint than the WaPo, if you didn’t mention it, it probably would have gone down the memory hole without so much as a “swish”…
    Still, it is Richard Cohen and he does suck hard, but once you sandwich him between Fred Hiatt and Charles Krauthammer (and you’ll have to pry George Will out of that spot if you hope to get Richard in), his impressive suctitude gets lost in the general suck storm going on over there. I’m not even sure he’s sucking his contractually obligated 16.666% of the aggregate suctation of the Washington Post editorial board. In short, the little guy aint sucking enough to keep his sucking job, to which I can only comment, “that sucks”.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=308832]Uncle Al[/re]: I just cannot go without an actual paper paper in the a.m., even though I have up all day long at work. I am an old-fashioned weirdo. Plus, the Metro coverage is pretty good.

  • P Drizzle

    Umm, the playing field was already level. Everyone knows that Negroes can’t read -except from teleprompters, of course.

  • zenferret

    [re=308832]Uncle Al[/re]: The Express is free and very snarky.

    Kinda lame but snarky.

  • snideinplainsight

    [re=308726]Doglessliberal[/re]: Jinx! I send them the EXACT SAME LETTER, like, twice a week!

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=308898]snideinplainsight[/re]: oh, yeah, and add Krauthammer. I forget that twerp.

  • problemwithcaring

    [re=308745]Come here a minute[/re]: JFK coined the term as a way to to give teeth to the idealism of integration – basically saying that actual policy (affirmative action) is needed to end institutionalized racism. Thankfully though, institutionalized racism is only a problem for “the black firemen of yore.”

  • ouanquette

    Maybe once it was possible to argue that some innocent people had to suffer in the name of progress, but a glance at the White House strongly suggests that things have changed. For most Americans, race has become supremely irrelevant. Everyone knows this. Every poll shows this.

    Finally, thanks to Obama, the majority of Americans have realized that minorities don’t need protections. I think this makes McCain like some kind of white Jesus (He lost so we can all win).

  • smartypants

    OH, damn it..I can’t resist..and my mojito is getting warm…but…

    McCAIN WHITE JESUS!!! Another for my collection…YeS!

  • DustBowlBlues

    I cannot believe a firefighter anywhere is still making this argument. When my husband was an IAFF prez, he had to take cases up the appeals trail because, you know, that’s what the guys wanted. When they finally lost a SCOTUS case, one of the most vociferous of the bunch demanded, “Let’s appeal it!”.

    Bad luck? When they had to do a court case over AA for the wimen’s. The case was named after the first woman in the list, alphabetically. Bummer her last name was Beaver. True story. My husband had no idea until the woman who ran the office of women’s rights called in a screaming fit.

  • zenferret

    [re=308929]ouanquette[/re]: You gotta be as white as milk to say that.

  • proudgrampa

    [re=308910]Doglessliberal[/re]: Krauthammer and Cohen – sounds like an old vaudeville routine…

  • Lascauxcaveman

    People! I’m ashamed of you. Cohen is absolutely right.

    Because affirmative action does not produce the absolutely perfect outcome in each and every case, it MUST be scrapped. Otherwise, other white lysdectic firefighters will spend untold thousands on voice recordings of textbooks.

    This is insanity! Where in the Consitution does it say specifically that white dyslectic firemen must be passed over for promotion on account of not being black?!

  • OrangeAlert

    Maybe he’s just vying for a position at the A.D.L.

  • Numbat Dundee

    But affirmative action has been a problem at times in the US; just look at the stupid policy that used to require the Democratic Party to nominate the most right-wing southern male they could rather than the best candidate for the job.

  • Min

    Liberalism, a movement in which I hold a conditional membership

    Since when?

  • nappyduggs

    [re=308714]ManchuCandidate[/re]: The Semitic branch is called the KuKluxKlein. Old Skool!

  • Professor Proffy McProfalton, Prof.

    Richard Cohen will never be the worst writer in America until he kills Jonah Goldberg and eats his soul. Other than that, carry on….

  • nappyduggs

    [re=308748]TGY[/re]: Do you mean “dyslexic firefighters of the world untie?”

  • Tra

    Liberalism, a movement in which I hold a conditional membership…

    Status: Revoked.
    Effective: Immediately
    Cause: Member is a giant dickweed.

  • hobospacejunkie

    [re=309044]Tra[/re]: Richard Cohen’s member is a giant dickweed? This could go a long way toward explaining his bitterness & constant complaining. Ever try to get rid of dickweed in your yard? It’s almost impossible. Now imagine it’s in your pants. I almost feel sorry for the man. Almost. Also.

  • sanantonerose

    Man! If only Richard Cohen would write his articles like this – succinct and understandable. Great Cliff Notes, Jim.

  • wander_lust

    [re=308745]Come here a minute[/re]: the french have one “positive discrimination”. sounds… better?

  • NunnaTheSOBs

    Affirmative action preferences should be limited to black men with 3 inch johnsons, and asians who are bad at math —- to hell with everybody else.