Among the many reverberations of President Obama's election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.
So says the NY Times. But who made Obama possible? What about Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice? A succession of prominent Republican black appointments gave Americans the confidence that blacks are up to the task (younger readers will not remember the rarity of black quarterbacks). I submit that Obama could not have been the Democrat nominee without such precedents--from the opposing party. Hence Obama's 2008 campaign put-down of Justice Thomas--why acknowledge one's dependence on the kindness of the other party?
Moreover, I would argue that baseball star and integration trailblazer Jackie Robinson (a Republican) made Martin Luther King's success possible.