The distinguished-looking gentleman told [NAACP President Benjamin] Jealous he thought the NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer, Debo P. Adegbile, had done a fine job arguing that [certain elements of the Voting Rights Act] needed to be continued[*].
Sure, but what happened to the solicitor general? Jealous wondered aloud, he was just awful.
Well, I am the solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr. replied.
Ben Jealous missed a bet, here. If you’re going to be stuck in this kind of socially awkward situation, you might as well blast on through to the other side. Of course, that would imply that you have a certain strength of character and willingness to stand by your inadvertent speaking truth to power, which from what I gather more or less disqualifies Ben Jealous right there.
Pity. If there was ever a time for the NAACP to be an unmitigated gadfly to a Presidential administration, it’s now. Have you SEEN the unemployment rates for African-Americans? 13.8% is downright obscene.
PS: Verrilli has been, in fact, kind of awful in the past.
*In point of fact, those elements do not need to be continued. This is not 1953. The people who fought integration tooth and nail back then are all largely dead now; their descendants don’t seem particularly troubled at the idea of voting for minority candidates statewide**; and the American legal system does not in fact incorporate the concept of ‘blood guilt,’ no matter how badly some progressives might wish it to.
**…Well, the Republican ones aren’t. The Democrats still seem to be having some difficulty with the concept.