Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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"Pointing out the obvious" in Maryland

Here is how a Washington Times story on the Maryland race for governor starts: "Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log." It just gets worse. This is shameful stuff! I hope Steele wins.

Discussions - 17 Comments

So, in essence, Bush is a Lyndon Johnson (or more charitably, a John F. Kennedy) conservative.

Yikes - that comment was for the previous post, not this one! That’s what I get for crossing Rove and Bush!!!

Ah, the Party of Tolerance.

It appears to me the Democrats have lost the ability to feel shame. And that is truly a shame.

I take it as indication of how worried the MD Dems are about Steele, and that’s mighty worried. Ehrlich’s win over Kennedy-Townsend, followed by Bush’s inroads in ’04 as vs ’00 (not enough to win him the state, but significant nonetheless), followed by Steele’s candidacy adds up to a major heartburn for the once-smug MD Democratic Party. Not that any of this excuses what’s happening to Steele, which is indeed a disgrace. I hope he wins, and wins big, both b/c he’s a good man and b/c it will confound these corrupt enemies of his.

Pretty much sums up "Queezy" Mfume and MD Democrats who remain quiet about this racial smear campaign......

Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
- H.L. Mencken

Two more for MD Democrats.........

If a donkey bray at you, don’t bray at him.
- George Herbert


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If you can’t answer a man’s argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.
- Elbert Hubbard

Oh, don’t get too upset. That Michael Steele is nothing but an "uppity Republican". Dat boy needs to learn his place, if y’all know what I mean.

Fung,

You seem to have an interest in race relations within party politics. Do you have any thoughts about this? Is it an indication that perhaps the Democratic Party is not necessarily concerned with racial issues (in this case, opportunity, I’d assume?) per se?

Note to others, I actually would like to know what Fung thinks about this, so let’s restrain from creating a mudslinging contest.

Thanks for this update on Maryland politics, but do you have any reports from your home front, there in Ohio? Do you know any details about what’s going on with the Tom Noe, Bob Taft, "Coingate" and the Republican fundraising scandals in Ohio? Also, will Taft be lecturing on ethics and civic virtue when he speaks at Ashbrook on the 22nd, or just "business"? Will he offer any tips on investing in rare coins?

I suspect Taft was scheduled long before he decided to make a mockery of the most exalted family name in Ohio politics *sigh*

Fred- Sorry it took me so long. I had avoided this post for awhile -- not sure why. Let me give this a shot.It will be a personal reaction, and not really an academic one.

I don’t know Steele, and I don’t know Maryland politics. This particular circus is quite new to me. I have just Googled Steele and found this:

"The national GOP may soon discover something Maryland conservatives have known for years: Michael Steele is a terrible thing to waste." in an August National Review article. Pretty funny. Apparently, he is doomed to be perceived as a Black person first, and a person second, by everyone, Black and White alike.

That is the crux of what is happening, I think. A high profile, Black Republican is noteworthy. Blacks will hope and expect that he will represent Black interests, and if he does, they will use him. If he does not, then they will accuse him of being a better Republican than he is a Black man, and will reject him.

On the other hand, Republicans will use him, too, for his Blackness. Right now, for instance, he is big news precisely because he is Black and Republican, and his rejection by Democrats and Blacks is useful to Republicans if, and only if, they publicize this dirty business, and call it "shameful." Which it is.

Steele is probably not stupid. He would have foreseen this response from Black Democrats. My question is, did he proceed despite that knowledge, or because of it? I have no idea.

I expect, Fred, that you may wonder if I sympathize with the "oreo" and "Uncle Tom" routines. I do not, though I understand it, I think. And understanding is not the same as condoning.

Here is someone who has achieved a position of prominence, visibility, influence and power. To then join the Republicans and conservatives is to identify with those who have worked to maintain or increase the gulf between Whites and Blacks. So, he is not a good example of a Black person, and he is not doing what "I" would do if "I" were to achieve his stature.

Of course, Steele may well be thinking that he deserves to choose his own party, his politics, and to behave as a human first, and a Black person second or third. He may feel that stereotypes limit everyone, even those who appear to have made it.

I must admit -- I have wondered more than once what must be going through the head of Condoleeza Rice. I used to wonder about Colin Powell. While it is none of my business, I felt disappointed in them, not only becaue they were Black, but certainly that was part of it. I would be disappointed if my father accepted a job in the Bush administration, because I would see that as selling out to the wrong party. I imagine that I would be a Democrat if I were Black. That seems to be the case, more than it seems to be false, and I am not surprised by it. And so I am not surprised that Steele is called an Oreo, though I do find it disappointing, as well.

wm, couldn’t Ashbrook opt to pull the plug on the guy, seeing that he was convicted and Ashbrook purports that their "programs are directed to the scholarly defense of individual liberty, limited constitutional government and civic morality"? I mean, just to avoid embarrassment, if nothing else...

You give an over-coridal treatment of that article, at best. I’ll just pull a few of the quotes and paraphrases:

State Sen. Verna Jones, Baltimore Democrat and vice chairman of the General Assembly’s legislative black caucus, said black Republicans deserve criticism

This is true, as it is true for white Republican candidates from the Democratic party. Criticism is expected between competing political parties. But what of the substance of that criticism?:

State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes. "Party trumps race, especially on the national level,"

Yeah, "party trumps race" + racial animosity based differing ideas = Auschwitz. Better quotes:

"If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It’s democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."

What a profound understanding of politics in action. Is this why pure democracy is desireable? Not done yet:

In 2001, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele an "Uncle Tom," when Mr. Steele headed the state Republican Party. Mr. Miller, Prince George’s County Democrat, later apologized for the remark.
"That’s not racial. If they call him the "N’ word, that’s racial," Mrs. Marriott said. "Just because he’s black, everything bad you say about him isn’t racial."

Yes, the phrase "Uncle Tom" is not racially charged. It has no historical relation to slavery, and nothing to do with, wait, what was the name of the kinda famous book?...

And the capper:

"Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house." A caption beneath a photo of the lieutenant governor reads: "I’s Simple Sambo and I’s running for the Big House."

If diversity and tolerance (again, is it of ideas, race, culture, or all of the above? Here it doesn’t matter)are intrinsically good, then what of this? Maybe multiculturalism is not free of an agenda, because it doesn’t seem to apply when its against the interest of the party that purports it. It’ll be worth thinking about while I clear the bile from my throat.

Last post was by me, not Fung. My apologies.

Hi KT

I think uninviting a governor would be interpreted kind of sensationalistically. I do not work for the center, so this is my best guess.

Fung, You had me there for a second, until you spewed that rhetoric about Republicans "have worked to maintain or increase the gulf between Whites and Blacks".
The only people that seem to me as spending a lot of time working to increase the gulf between blacks and whites are the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world. These people use the politics of "economic envy" to increase or maintain their own power.
I once heard a black business man bemoan the fact that the black community has achieved everything that Martin Luther King wanted for them but that the efforts of the racial hate mongers to squeeze more from society has set back equal rights by twenty years. It has created more bigotry than existed in the 80s. Not racism because the original definition is that you are hated because of your color. That does happen still but not any near than in the 60s or even the 70s. Now black society is looked at askance because whites no longer feel equal to blacks. Black society has turned around and done to white society what they hated us for. They are now as guilty as the white racists of the mid century. Blacks do have all the rights that Mr King hoped for. We have laws to guarantee that. What blacks dont have is the hearts of the American people anymore. When affirmative action disappears and the message of an entitlement society is put behind us then maybe the black community will have that too. Thats all that Republicans/conservatives want. They want a real equal system. The current system is nothing more than another form of slavery. Slavery to the institutions that prevent real achievement and advancement and instead promote mediocrity.

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