blog, this time on hypocritical Republicans whining and moaning over Howard Dean speaking the truth a bit over a week ago about Republican racism. Now, they're even asking Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine to apologize for Dean's remarks. Uh, I don't think so!!
Wow, since when did Republicans get so sensitive and whiny? I thought these were the tough, hard-ass, Abu-Ghraib-was-just-a-fraternity-prank
dudes? And now it turns out that they're just a bunch of hypocritical crybabies. (Oh, by the way, can Ken Mehlman please explain what it means to be "pretty" racist? Or does Mehlman realize that he doesn't have a leg to stand on, and therefore resorts to weasel words like "pretty?")
And just what were those incredibly "insensitive remarks" by Howard Dean that have got certain Republicans in a sudden tizzy of "hurt" feelings and new-found "sensitivity?" I hope you're all sitting down, because they're absolutely shocking. A bit over a week ago, in a meeting with the Democratic Black Caucus, Dean said amidst laughter, "You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here." Message to crybaby conservatives: this is called "biting sarcasm," since obviously the roomful of African Americans who laughed knowingly as Howard Dean told his knowing "joke" are not "racist." They just know the truth when they hear it.
In what way were Dean's remarks "the truth?" First, according to the Associated Press, 87.3% of delegates to the Republican National Convention this past August were white, and only 6.4% African American. In comparison, 20.1% of delegates to the Democratic National Convention were black. And hey, you've got to hand it the Republicans: they nearly doubled the total of African Amerian delegates from their 2000 convention, from just over 3%. Such progress, it's stunning; I think I'd better go sit down!
Even more impressive, the Republicans have finally managed to get back to the high point in terms of African American party participation they last reached in 1912 -- that's right, 93 years ago! -- when a whopping 6% of the Republican National Convention delegates were black. Woo-hoo! But hey, George W. Bush did manage to garner a whopping 11% of the African American vote in 2004. So, congratulations to the Republicans -- you've come a long way in 100 years and are now a truly diverse party! (note to certain Republican readers: that was sarcasm too)
Now let's look at the Republican Party's less-than-impressive record on civil rights, voting rights, affirmative action, aid to poor minorities, aid to inner cities, etc., etc. Well, maybe we shouldn't look at it after all, because in all those areas, the Republican record has been abysmal. Vice President Dick Cheney, for instance, managed to vote against the release of Nelson Mandela from prison (while calling his anti-apartheid movement a "terrorist organization"), instituting a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., Head Start, and much more during during his sparkling tenure as a Republican Congressman from Wyoming. And just a year ago, the NAACP's Congressional "Report Card" awarded "F" ratings on civil rights issues to 228 Republicans in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives and all 52 in the Senate (in contrast, not one Democrat received an "F" rating from the NAACP). Now THAT'S impressive!
Given all this, it is simply laughable for Republicans to claim to be "shocked, shocked!" that African Americans are well aware of their party's hostility to black interests. Next thing you know, these Republicans are also going to be "shocked" that blacks have voted consistently and overwhelmingly (90% or more) for Democrats over Republicans over several decades now. Or, are Republicans trying to argue that black people aren't smart enough to figure this all out? But of course the "politically correct" and "sensitive" Republicans would never suggest such a thing, now would they? (sorry, sarcasm again -- can't help myself!)
Perhaps it would help to quote a few leading Republican voices on racial issues just to see where these "sensitive" Republicans are coming from.
Rush Limbaugh on African American quarterback Donovan McNabb: "I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well... I think there is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve." In other words, McNabb got where he got because he was black and because of the NFL's affirmative action policies.
Trent Lott's 2002 comments on segregationist and arch-civil rights opponent Strom Thurmond: "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." Yes, we're talking about the same Strom Thurmond who declared as a "Dixiecrat" Presidential candidate in 1948, "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."
Former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms' infamous "White Hands" ad, which ran against African American opponent Harvey Gantt in 1990. The ad showed a pair of white hands crumpling a piece of paper while the voice-over intoned darkly, "You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota."
The copycat ad done by right-wing Republican Jerry's Kilgore top media strategist Scott Howell for the 2004 Oklahoma Senate race, dubbed "Black Hands," which shows a pair of hands that could be either Hispanic or African American receiving welfare payments. Hmmm....
The infamous Willie Horton ad used by President Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, back in 1988 against his Democratic opponent, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Willie Horton was a murderer and a black man who raped a white woman while free on a "weekend prson pass." The campaign of Bush "41" cynically used this terrible crime to attack Dukakis as "soft on crime."
We could go on and on, but we're sure you get the idea by now.
Just a couple more factoids. First, guess the current number of Republican African American U.S. Senators, Congressmen, or Governors. That's right: ZERO! Now, guess the number of African Americans on the African American Republican Leadership Council's Advisory Panel? Well, unless you count Grover Norquist, Sean Hannity and Gary Bauer as African American, it looks like a grand total of 3 out of 15 black people.
In other words, we have here exactly what Howard Dean articulated in his well-justified, drippingly sarcastic "joke" last week: a Republican Party with a racist past; a Republican Party which receives 10% or less of the African American vote; a Republican Party which has zero -- nilch, nada -- African American Senators, Congressmen, or Governors; and a Republican party which can claim only 20% African Americans on its own "African American Republican Leadership Council"'s Advisory Board!
So, let the hypocritical Republicans whine and cry, while Howard Dean and his mean, "insensitive" Democratic Party speak the truth. Let these Republicans attack the moderate, budget-balancing, "A Rating from the NRA" Howard Dean as too "liberal," while they push their ultra-conservative, fiscally irresponsible, and racially biased policies. And let them demand "apologies" for Dean's "racist remarks" from people like Tim Kaine, who has a stellar record on racial issues, while trying to deceive people about their own sordid racial past -- and present.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, -- a much, MUCH different kind of Republican who lived in the seemingly ancient past -- today's right-wing Republicans can fool some of the people some of the time, and...well, you know the rest.
Wonderful, now we've got a rightwing nutjob named Star Parker (yes, that's her real name!) slamming Dean and the Democrats at
. This woman's a real piece of work, someone whose "personal transformation from welfare fraud to conservative crusader" (ack!) has been touted by such people as Rush Limbaugh, James Dobson, plus magazines like Christianity Today. Lovely...