Substituting for Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh's radio show, Roger Hedgecock said that the dispute between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shows "how Democrats treat African-American" officeholders. According to Hedgecock, "[T]hey get put back on the plantation."
Filling in for host Rush Limbaugh on the February 8 edition of the nationally syndicated The Rush Limbaugh Show, radio host and former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock stated that the recent dispute between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) over what they had agreed on regarding a bipartisan approach to lobbying reform shows "how Democrats treat African-Americans who happen to be officeholders in their party." He then added: "[T]hey get put back on the plantation." During Hedgecock's conversation with a caller about the dispute, Hedgecock asserted that the incident involving an exchange of letters between Obama and McCain illustrated that Obama was getting "yanked back into line" by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). On January 18, Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled their lobby reform legislation, titled the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.
The dispute reportedly began when Obama released a February 2 letter endorsing the Honest Leadership Act, which he said he hoped could be considered as the basis for a "bipartisan solution" that was preferable to McCain's call for "creating a task force to further study and discuss" lobby reform and said that he supported allowing the legislation to be shaped via the normal committee process (which is controlled by Republicans). In his reply, McCain called Obama's suggestions "self-interested partisan posturing," claiming that Obama had displayed "disingenuousness" in his earlier conversations with McCain. In his discussion about the exchange, Hedgecock, who also hosts his own radio show on San Diego's radio station KOGO, asserted that Obama's initial letter and subsequent correspondence with McCain about the reform was "at the instance [sic] of [Democratic leader] Harry Reid" and was "going back on his promise" to work with Republicans on the matter.
From the February 9 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
CALLER: Thank you, Roger. I was just curious about your comments earlier about the whole Obama-McCain situation. I was just wondering why you omitted Obama's retort letter to McCain, which basically said, "What the hell are you talking about?" in poli-speak, and also the fact that McCain and Obama have made amends on this whole altercation.
HEDGECOCK: Well, I don't know whether they made amends. I was looking at the -- Hardball, last night, and, I guess [host] Chris Matthews was going into this whole thing, and McCain said that he was moving on. I don't know whether that means they've made amends. Here's the crux of the thing: Obama, at the instance [sic] of Harry Reid, instead of going bipartisan with McCain's thing, wanted to come up and support the -- the Democrat proposal, which is a nine-member congressional ethics commission, which would have the authority to keep this in the front page of The New York Times until at least election day on the culture of corruption charges against Republicans only.
McCain said, "Look, this thing is broader than that; covers both parties; needs to be attacked on a systemic basis; and we've got to work on a bipartisan basis to do it." Obama had promised him he would do it. He went back on his promise, and as far as I'm concerned -- let's get back to the thrust of my comment. What this shows us is how Democrats treat African-Americans who happen to be officeholders in their party. They toe the party line. They get yanked back into line. They get, you know, they get put back on the plantation, [caller].
CALLER: I'd have to object to that, quite honestly. I mean, granted, Obama's a Democrat, and he's going to side more with the Democrat Party line than the Republican line. But, if you look at his voting record --
HEDGECOCK: No, in this case that's not what happened. No, no, no, no, no, no, [caller]. Don't mischaracterize it. What happened was, after promising to do a bipartisan effort on ethics, he was yanked back by Harry Reid to the purely partisan position -- Democrats only, we're going to define ethics. We're going to make it a campaign issue. And he yanked -- and he yanked himself back to that partisan position after promising a bipartisan approach with McCain. McCain called him on it, and that's the fact.