South Carolina Senator and Tea Party darling Tim Scott is in a tight spot. On the one hand, he’s maintained an extremist right wing record, which in some cases were direct attacks on working class communities and voting rights, making him beloved by many within his party. On the other, as the first black Senator from South Carolina since reconstruction, his particular version of public service has brought him some harsh criticism from NAACP President Rev. William Barber II, who recently lashed out at the Tea Party Senator, calling him a “ventriloquist’s dummy” during a speech at a Charleston area church.
Barber, who gained national attention last year for his active role in North Carolina’s “Moral Monday” protests, made the statements while calling Scott out for his regressive policy efforts. In his speech, Rev. Barber stated that while he was grateful to have a black Senator in office, he found Scott’s Tea Party style conservative policies to be working against the interests of the black community, effectively claiming that Scott was little more than a token for the generally white and often racist GOP.
[box type=”shadow”]“The extreme right wing down here finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party.”[/box]
Scott was appointed to the US Senate in 2012 by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, to fill the vacancy left by Jim DeMint who abandoned the seat in order to work closer with the conservative lobbying and think tank organization “The Heritage Foundation.”
Prior to his appointment, Scott was elected to congress as part of 2010’s regrettable Tea Party electoral successes and in 2011, introduced two separate bills which sought to punish union member’s families with an elimination of public assistance, should their family member go on strike.
Joining Fox News’ premiere spokeswoman on matters of race and race relations, Megyn Kelly, Scott fired back, accusing the Reverend of being guilty of distracting his followers from what he feels are the real issues and solutions, saying,
[box type=”shadow”]“What we should be preaching … is the fact that in this country, conservatives, free market capitalism, produces greater success than the government can ever do,”[/box]
Stating he was a victim of “philosophical bigotry,” Scott went on to engage in a philosophical contortion act in an attempt to paint his policies and agenda as being for the people, as opposed to the numerous special interests to whom he caters such policies to. Other gems of right wing brilliance include calls for Presidential impeachment over the debt ceiling debate, financial industry deregulation and drastic cuts to HIV/AIDS prevention throughout his very own state.
Now, while the cutting off of public services to people in need, attacks on union members and their families and a routine advocacy on behalf of public subsidies for big oil might not seem to most to be socially progressive policy items, Scott, in a statement to The Daily Caller, insisted that in the eyes of history, he is merely carrying on the work of civil rights leaders, saying,
[box type=”shadow”]“I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man. And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do,”[/box]