Get The Hint Yet?

Now, far be it for me to say that Republicans don’t like black people.  I’m not saying that, gosh no, but as I’m constantly pointing out, perception is reality, and by going off perception alone; boy it’s not pretty.

As Mick pointed out yesterday, if you want to send a message to black people that you care about their wellbeing and such, a good place to start is to not purge them from the voter rolls.  Also, while we’re on Katrina, I’ll completely ignore the direct aftermath, and simply move on to right now, where you should probably help local home owners, many of whom are black, as opposed to, say, out of state investors who are putting up luxury condos and hotels.  Just a thought.

Also, you might want to attend their debates:

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has become the fourth leading GOP presidential candidate to shun the PBS debate this month at a historically black college in Baltimore, the Huffington Post has learned.

The debates, moderated by Tavis Smiley, will go on as planned, despite the absence of Thompson, former mayor Rudy Giuliani, former governor Mitt Romney, and Sen. John McCain. Each campaign cited scheduling issues as the reason for their absence. Nevertheless, the rejections underscore the consistent absence of GOP candidates at minority voter forums.

“There is a pattern here,” Smiley told the Huffington Post. “When you tell every black and brown request that you get throughout the primary process that ‘no, there’s a scheduling problem.’ That’s a pattern… Are we really supposed to believe that all four of these guys couldn’t make it because of scheduling?”

The Republican frontrunners’ snubbing of Smiley and PBS comes on the heels of their rejection of a debate sponsored by the Spanish-language network Univision (McCain was the only GOP candidate to accept that invitation). This past June, only one Republican presidential candidate, California Rep. Duncan Hunter, showed up at the convention of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials.

“It’s not just that they are not coming. It’s that some of them are visibly insulting us,” Cecilia Munoz, vice president of NCLR, told the Politico.

Now I’m a bennie o’ doubt giving kind of guy, and I really want to give the benefit to these candidates right here.  In truth, given that the minority votes probably won’t swing anything in the primaries, and that at least the black vote is traditionally Democratic in the general election, what is most likely happening is that the GOP is not investing significant amount of time on minority caucuses and groups because such groups have little potential, under conventional wisdom, to affect GOP politics.

It’s the same reason why you don’t see a lot of national candidates campaigning in, say, Alabama or Texas because you already know exactly who those states are going to go for in the general election.

But still, ignoring a scheduled debate that is intended to address the questions and needs of black people doesn’t look particularly good, and you have to wonder what the hell is going on in the heads of the campaign managers and candidates who actually okayed this.

At best, this is merely just a cynical political move of logistics.  At the worst, well, is anyone getting the hint yet?

2 Responses to “Get The Hint Yet?”

  1. mick says:

    You know, it used to be in politics – and not that long ago – that you courted the people who didn’t vote for you, that you went after them and tried to convince them you were a better choice. Maybe you didn’t expend enormous effort on them, but you tried. You made the effort.

    Seems to me Democrats have given up on the other side’s constituency altogether to concentrate on swing voters, and the GOP appears to have lost interest in anything but its core dead-enders and extremist whackos.

  2. Welcome to the fifty plus one politics era!

    Democrats giving up on the other side’s constituency: Some of it is unavoidable. Quoth a guy who I consider to be pretty representative of the 29%ers, “I would vote for Mickey Mouse before I vote for a Democrat”. That’s to say that there’s a little under a third ofthe country that is not only opposed to Democrats, but vehemently borderline violent against Democrats, which is, in my opinion, sad given that I’m not opposed to Republicans per se, just the modern, hijacked by the extremists variety.

    Then you have the trying to learn how to talk about God. As much as I wished that religion didn’t play in politics, it does, and Democrats have been trying to learn how to talk God to the populace, and they still seem to be failing on a national scale.

    Finally, they risk even further angering their base by trying to court the right.

    On the Republican side, corporate conservatives have always had a hold onRepublicans as deregulation for profit is closely in line with dergulation on behalf of libertarian values. But neoconservative dogma plays well with the effects that fear has had on the populace, first with the Cold War, and then in the Post 9/11 world. Meanwhile, Social Conservatism plays to two crowds. The first is that Christian movement that sought to make a political change, credit being widely attributed to the influences of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. But, in a fear enthralled America, part of equation also includes reasserting cultural world views.

    We saw a little of this in the Cold War, if you remember the term “Under God” was instated in the pledge of allegiance back in the fifties as a kind of pushback to the image of the godless communism of the Soviet Union. But of course this reestablishment of American World and Cultural view in regards to religion has become significantly stronger following 9/11 given that the “enemy” is no longer a Godless one, but instead one of a different and opposing, apparently, God.

    The point to this being that while the epicenters of these movements may in fact be relatively small, the fact that they play so well towards larger blocks that extend further into the mainstream, these epicenters hold potentially large quantities of power in terms of voter turn out; the kind of power that is very hard for someone to turn away from.

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