Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Tell Him How You Really Feel

The Congressional Black Caucus had a few choice words for Ralph Nader yesterday: "Get your ass out."

Out of curiosity, who are the likely Nader voters? Is the African-American community really drawn to Nader? And if not, is the Congressional Black Caucus really concerned that it can’t deliver its voting block to Kerry? And if the Caucus can deliver the black vote, why does it care what Nader does? I suppose the CBC has simply proven itself again to care more about the Democratic Party’s political power than the interests of the black community.

Discussions - 5 Comments

why is this a contradictory position? The CBC understands that this is going to be a close election and that its standing improves under a Kerry victory. So they are trying to eliminate political forces that threaten that victory, such as Nader. Presumably by enhancing their own standing, they improve their ability to deliver for their constituents. what’s the problem?

And if the CBC thinks that the black community will be better off as under a Kerry presidency than a Bush presidency then of course it’s not contradictory for them to try to get Nader out of the race if they think he’ll pull white votes away from Kerry.


The CBC seems to view itself as the conscience and spearhead of the true Democratic party. In a way, they are right, for they express the party’s true positions and attitudes more clearly than most Beltway politicians or spin doctors.

They’re a bunch of ignorant race-baiting jerks, for the most part. But it must be admitted that their claim to speak for the Democratic party is probably less ludicrous than their claim to speak for blacks.

I stand corrected. I was under the misguided impression that the CBC was primarily concerned with the plight of African-Americans, and therefore found it curious that if in fact that community would support Ralph Nader, that the CBC should have asked him to withdraw. (Perhaps similar overtures have been made to Al Sharpton, and were made to Carol Mosely Braun, I don’t know.) But it is now clear that in fact the CBC’s primary concern is with its own political power and agenda. When that agenda coincides with the interests of the black community all the better, but such harmony is not a paramount concern. It now seems, whatever the original intent of its founders, that the CBC is the "Conscience of Congress" and, by extension, the "Conscience of the Country." So, that still, small voice that Ralph Nader heard saying "Get your ass out!" -- that was his conscience talking.

i don’t see how this is any different than any political group operates. Of course the CBC believes that its aims and objectives coincide with those of its constituents just like union leaders, the NRA, etc. believe that their goals match their constituents. Nader in fact has very little support among African Americans, so they are hardly betraying their constituents.

Also it is different than Sharpton or CMB, since they were actually competing for the Democratic nomination. Had they been third party candidates, there would have been less support, though more obviously than there is for Nader.

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