Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A few current and former politicians attempt to play the race card (and fail miserably)

USA Today has a craptacular front-page article in today's print edition on how (mostly liberal Democrat) black candidates across the country are struggling to win state and local public office despite their perception that President Obama's win in 2008 was supposed to magically make such elections a relative shoo-in for them (we don't know why that would be the case, especially lately, as Dear Leader's approval rating is plummeting by the hour).

"'It's tremendously disappointing,' says former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder, the first African American elected to lead a state. 'We're going to end up with maybe one governor, maybe with no senator, losing chairmanships if we do lose the House. ... We will have been set back.'"

Who's "we", sir, and why are you keeping score like it's some sort of sporting contest?  That sounds awfully jingoistic on your part, especially the part about losing House chairmanships, which uniformly applies to whomever occupies those jobs should the majority change hands (besides, corrupt louts such as Charlie Rangel and William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson seem to be quite adept at losing their powerful committee positions and chairmanships just fine all on their own due to their law-breaking and blatant abuses of power).

Can anyone imagine a former governor who also happened to be a conservative white male make a bitter reference as to how "we" aren't getting enough of a piece of the pie?  The political fallout would rightly be enormous.  Yet Wilder gets to spout this racist nonsense without challenge.  Well, not here he doesn't.

Would you simply prefer, Mr. Wilder, to announce what percentage of each position would be acceptable to you, since you seem to be so certain that minority candidates can't win on their own merits despite thousands of examples to the contrary all across the country?  It appears that you wish there to be some sort of quota system.  Well, that's not going to happen.  We don't seem to remember King carving out an exception for minority liberals when he spoke about judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Notice how Wilder doesn't bother to note the successes of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele or any other black conservative in a position of power and influence, even down to the likes of Paradise Valley, Arizona Mayor Vernon Parker.  They aren't on the Democratic reservation, you see, so they naturally don't count.

The poster boy for this sad new phenomenon, according to the story, is Florida Democratic (naturally) Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is now floundering in his run for U.S. Senator of that state.  Since he's not getting his expected "Obama bounce" simply because of his looks, Mr. Meek is sadly going to have to campaign on his own personal merits, which include being involved in a high-profile corruption scandal:

"[His opponent] is referring to federal funding Meek sought for a developer, now awaiting trial on fraud charges, who put Meek's mother on his payroll. Meek succeeded his mother, Carrie, in Congress in 2003."

Hm, using one's political power to influence real-estate deals to benefit themselves or their families, which is precisely what Obama is accused of being involved in up in Chi-Town five or six years ago when the President himself was but a U.S. Senator.  No wonder Meek  is so upset.  Why can't he get a complete pass as well?

For some time after its founding USA Today was derided as a "McPaper" and only in recent years has it managed to shake that reputation.  Running lead stories such as this one isn't going to help advance that effort.

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