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Obama's Republican Children?

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.

Categories > Race

Discussions - 10 Comments

I visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis 6-7 years ago and was shocked to find no mention of Jackie Robinson in the exhibit. Negro League Baseball was highlighted, to be sure, but not Robinson. As I understand it, the King family controls the museum and there was often tension between Robinson and MLK. Robinson was a proud and loyal American despite Jim Crow and he disliked intensely what came to be the anti-American strain that infiltrated the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Fault lines such as these in the contemporary Civil Rights, what?, business?, industry?, are rarely if ever mentioned by the Main Stream Media, but they're important to know lest one despair that blacks and whites may never completely reconcile in this country.

"32 African-Americans running for Congress this year as Republicans."
I'm convinced that at least part of this statistic is due to active recruitment of blacks and other minorities by Republican leaders; I just don't have a good feel for how much. I know this from my local experience here in Colorado Springs (safe Republican seats): my new County Commissioner will be Darryl Glenn (an Air Force Academy graduate and African-American) and my new State Representative will be Dr. Janik Joshi who immigrated to America from India some 30 years ago. I've met both these candidates and they are impressive men, articulate and experienced; they are not what might be derisively called "affirmative action recruits." This reinforces our contention that the Republican Party is a party of shared ideas rather than a collection of racial empathies.
I'd be curious to hear from folks in other parts of the country to see if what they are seeing is similar to my observations.

This post is laughable.

I recall also when NLT was eagerly anticipating 2006 as the year of the black republican.

Mostly a joke then, and I'm betting it will be again. Do the best you can with that line-up, because you're not going to even FIND too many more blacks in the GOP.

You are laughable, Craig. If conservatives were unconcerned with winning the hearts and minds of blacks, would you be applauding them? I don't think so. You are perfectly willing to agree, incorrectly, with the Left of the media that conservatives are racist. If racist, why are any of us concerned with having black republican candidates? As Tim Siebel says, we are looking for people with shared ideas and not worrying about racial identity politics.

Bravo, Kate. I think a lot of people are realizing that slandering Republicans as racists and dumb is simple-minded idiocy on the left, and they are also losing the ability to label black conservatives as "Uncle Toms." Having black conservatives and Republicans simply doesn't make sense to their world view, so they have a hard time comprehending and coming to grips with the fact.

I can actually read some of that. Tim: If you're in the Springs, have you gotten to know Paul Carrese at USAFA and the theorists at Colorado College? There are other good folks there too. Send me a Facebook note.

Amazing post, Kate. Where did I say, or even hint, that "conservatives are racist"?

Why are you being so defensive against a charge that was never made?

Like it or not, the fact is that not many blacks, be they voters or candidates, share your ideas - in fact, a solid majority is turned off by your ideas or, at the least, the way those ideas have manifested themselves. That's why they don't vote for the GOP, and why almost any time a black runs as a Republican it's treated by conservatives as a cause for celebration.

But again, I didn't call you racist.

I just read Mr. Seibel's comment, and was amused to read how he has discovered 2 not-perfectly-white leaders (one of whom is "an Air Force Academy graduate and African-American" - wow, BOTH!!) who are so "articulate" - standard fare, of course, for the Republican party, the party that gave us Mr. Articulate himself, George W. Bush, and then gave us four more years of him, and then had GOP crowds screaming "4 More Years" as he wrapped up his 2nd term. Yes, it's important to be articulate if you want to advance in the GOP!

I'm not sure how you define 'articulate,' but I found Mr. Bush's Second Inaugural to fit the term. Here is the text:

One highlight:

"At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half a century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical—and then there came a day of fire. 3
We have seen our vulnerability—and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny—prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder—violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."

It has taken an extremely rigorous focus on minority communities by the Democrat Party to maintain their influence with those communities, along with the dissemination of misleading platitudes and banalities. (One of which being that white progressives claim that the GOP's idea have no appeal to minorities. How kind of you to speak on their behalf.) Remember that Judge Douglas pejoratively called the GOP the "Black Republican" party -- the party which opposed the twin evils of slavery and polygamy. So long as this party retains any semblance of what it originally was, it will always have appeals across the spectrum of human life.

The obvious objection is that the party has changed somewhat, or perhaps even fundamentally. Now, we might say, there are indeed pockets of racism and bigotry in the party. Still, I would have to ask how this has fundamentally changed the party, for Lincoln had to work with some of the most overt racists - those of the free-soil movement, who opposed slavery on the grounds that they wanted blacks out of the country.

The engine of the contemporary liberal movement is the demand for political purity: if politics isn't perfect, then it is abjectly bad. We should heed the lessons of the birth of the GOP, for the greatest birth of freedom in this country came from an explicitly imperfect womb. It forced Lincoln to call the principle of the Declaration a proposition rather than a self-evident truth, as well as to countenance a politics that you or I may not be comfortable with.

Regardless of how one might define articulate, I doubt we can determine if they are or not by reading or listening to speeches that are largely or wholly written by others.

Consider Obama's clobbering of the GOP congressmen in Baltimore (I'd bet they won't invite him to that meeting again); I think there's an obvious reason why GWB never tried something like that (rather, he preferred pre-screened friendly offices to sell them on something they were largely in favor of to begin with).

Craig, I'm not one to underestimate Obama, but I think the Republicans did just fine against him at the health care summit under circumstances that should have been very adverse (they bascially got every third word, not the first or the last word, and Obama controlled the mic.) If I were Obama, I think I'd be the one trying to avoid such future confrontations. And yes, unless we want to adopt the propagandistic "When my guy gives a great speech its because he is a deep thinking genius, but when your guy gives a great speech it is because other people wrote it for him" approach, there is alot to be said for taking prepared speeches seriously as a way (though of course not the only way) of looking at how candidates and politicians think and express themselves.

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