The Washington Redskins can’t seem to find a coach and can’t figure out how to win consistently. But give them this: They are not intimidated by politicians trying to turn them into the cultural crusade du jour. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Tom Cole – a Democrat and a Republican, respectively – recently sent the Redskins a letter demanding that they change their name, calling it and insult and a slur. The Redskins were, uh, not impressed:
“Senator Cantwell should be aware that there are many challenges facing Native Americans, including an extremely cold winter with high energy bills, high unemployment, life threatening health problems, inadequate education and many other issues more pressing than the name of a football team which has received strong support from Native Americans,” the statement said. “Surely, with all the issues Congress is supposed to work on such as the economy, jobs, war and health care, the Senator must have more important things to do,” the statement said.
Not only is the crusade against the Redskins not relevant to the real-life needs of Native Americans, but I don’t even think the posturing here is designed to appeal to Native Americans per se. It’s designed to create headlines that a) appeal to left-wing activists in general; and b) position the crusading politicians as righteous advocates of forward thinking without requiring them to really do anything of substance.
The easiest political refuge for a liberal politician is the purported battle against offense. It’s the easiest thing in the world for a politician to declare that a certain thing offends a certain group. It doesn’t even have to be true. Aside from the usual suspects who complain about everything, there is no evidence that the Native American community by and large is up in arms about the Redskins’ name. But as long as it can plausibly sound true, a left-wing politician can still preen as a defender of sensitivity.
If the media join in – and they always do – the pressure can become unbearable for those who serve as the target. So give the Redskins credit for not being intimidated, and more than that, calling Cantwell out for not doing her actual job. ObamaCare is wreaking havoc on the country. The economy is not growing as it should. Job creation is much slower than it should be. War? Do we even know what’s happening in Afghanistan anymore? Does Cantwell?
Because those things are her job, not sending pointless demands to football teams. Good on the Redskins for not sitting there and taking it.