September 5, 2004


Blacks for Bush have won my respect (MARY MITCHELL, September 5, 2004, Chicago SUN-TIMES)

It's a good thing President George W. Bush didn't have an altar call at the end of the GOP's convention. I might have joined the Republican Party.

By the time the four-day Republican National Convention ended Thursday night, I had a newfound respect for black Republicans. I will never again wonder what in the world is a black person doing supporting George W.

"One would think you wouldn't have to defend being a Republican," said Jennette Bradley, the lieutenant governor of Ohio and the first African-American woman to fill that post in the history of the United States. "That time is past. We don't have to apologize for being a Republican. We have the right to choose."

And they are choosing. [...]

Although Democrats bash Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, those same Democrats rarely mention that one of the architects of the plan is Rod Paige, an African American who was appointed Education secretary in the Bush administration. Having attended segregated schools in his youth, I'm convinced that despite the act's shortcomings, Paige is committed to challenging what the Republicans call the "soft bigotry of low expectations."

So while black voters may disagree with most of the conservative wing of the party, the GOP's approach to fixing the education gap is worth considering.

During his acceptance speech, Bush made promises that should have poor and working-class families dancing in the street. In pledging to increase funding for Pell Grants and community colleges, he also promised to strengthen early intervention programs aimed at stemming the tide of black and Hispanic students that drop out of high schools every year.

As a lifelong independent, and the daughter of a die-hard Democrat, I may never bring myself to punch a Republican ballot.

But the black Republicans I ran into this week convinced me of one thing: Black people can only benefit from their courage.

The only group in the GOP that's up for grabs is the Nativist-Protectionist-Isolationist-Old Right. Their natural allies are Big Labor and the anti-war Left. Their natural opponents blacks and Hispanics. How about a trade?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 5, 2004 9:56 AM

... the lieutenant governor of Ohio and the first African-American woman to fill that post in the history of the United States.

I thought a couple of blacks had been elected lieutenant governors after the Civil War. I know the Reconstruction era is often presented to history with an asterisk attached, but surely there are ways to accommodate such facts in descriptions like the one above.

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at September 5, 2004 11:16 AM

Hillary-Buchanan in 2008?

How about Hillary-Duke?

Posted by: Bart at September 5, 2004 11:45 AM

Duh, duh, duh.

Just noticed the "woman" part of the clause I excerpted. There lies the rightfulness of the claim to being "first." So my quibbling was offbase.

In the spirit of commenters the blogosphere over, I will say simply, "No posting before morning coffee."

Posted by: Semolina Pilchard at September 5, 2004 1:10 PM

There is an odd branch of sociology that considers such things as "When the Irish Became White," "When the Jews Became White," and the like. We may look forward with anticipation to the day when Blacks become white, for all that their professional plantation overseers, of all colors, are desperately resisting this.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 5, 2004 10:34 PM


Posted by: at September 19, 2004 1:28 AM