April 13, 2008


The GOP and race (Thomas Sowell, April 13, 2008, Washington Times)

Mr. McCain was booed at a recent memorial on the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In typical Republican fashion, he tried to apologize but the audience was not buying it and let him know it.

Why would he choose a venue where his rejection was virtually guaranteed? Not only did he not get his message out, the message that came out through the media is that this black audience rejected him, which is readily portrayed as if blacks in general rejected him.

The Republican strategy for making inroads into the black vote has failed consistently for more than a quarter-century. Yet it never seems to occur to them to change their approach.

Considered in cold blood, Maverick has no shot at the black vote in a race against Senator Obama, but can increase even the high percentage of the Latino vote that W received. As a purely political matter there's just no down-side to having his opponent self-identify as the candidate of black America. For the candidate of the tribal party to be identified as representing just one tribe is an electoral boon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2008 7:33 AM

If he hadn't shown up at the memorial he would have been excoriated for that. Better to make the overture and have it get rejected than not make it at all.

Posted by: Bryan at April 13, 2008 9:00 AM

The only 'different approach' would be to nominate a black candidate (Watts, Steele, etc.) and hammer home the message that when the Republicans pick a black candidate, he wins votes from all tribes.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 13, 2008 9:31 AM

It is worse than that. As African-Americans persist in voting Democrat as predictably as Russians marking, "DA" for Stalin, there comes a time when they begin to be treated like Obama's crazy uncle in the attic.

Let us have it all hang out, with our best cynical hats on, if you will. The new Americans, the emerging majority, react to the crazy uncles as do the less new Americans, such as those of, say, Italian and Polish descent (cough): we bear them no ill will, but we do not feel that we owe them the sweat off our, well, brow.

The point is that if they persist in moaning and that other thing they do when they moan, about things the rest of us condider over and done with, they are destined to be surpassed and then ignored. Let them take warning from the language long used to announce the scope and duration of so-called "affirmative action." Such benefits are strictly temporary, ameliorative measures, never intended to be entitlements in perpetuity.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 13, 2008 9:43 AM

Bryand is exactly right. Further, McCain's campaign likely knows this, and knew exactly what it was doing.

Booing is generally low-class, and by allowing a "community" to appear as such in this arena is likely intentional.

Posted by: Bruno at April 13, 2008 9:45 AM

Ok, how do you go about getting independent votes? You have to go where you will fail and make the oveture.
But you have to be seen making the gesture.

Posted by: ed in texas at April 14, 2008 12:28 PM