Flashback: Retiring Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller Just Might Be a Racist

Some years ago in the Bush 43 administration, President George W. Bush nominated a highly qualified candidate to the Washington, DC Circuit Court of Appeals. There was no question that the candidate was qualified. There were no questions about his character. Like many Americans, he even had a stirring personal story of overcoming long odds to make it to the point where he had the attentions of an American president and was on track to ascend to the United States Supreme Court.

The nominee had but one problem, in the eyes of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who announced his retirement today:

He is Latino.

Being Latino, Miguel Estrada posed a political threat to the Democrats, a party that builds itself on racial grievances. For that reason, Rockefeller led the opposition to Miguel Estrada. Estrada eventually withdrew his nomination, after waiting two years for a vote. He had the votes to be confirmed, but the racist Rockefeller Democrats stood in his way.