You know, I really had planned to stay out of the latest developments in the whole Rod Blagojevich/Ronald Burris/Bobby Rush mess (though Rush appears to have decided to shut his yap for a moment), but Ruben Navarrette, Jr. decided to use it as an excuse to tell us the following from here (about the response of Obama and the U.S. Senate to Burris)…
The takeaway…was that, after nearly 50 years of dutifully supporting white Democrats, African-Americans are still relegated to the role of supporting actors. And when an African-American dares to vie for center-stage, white Democrats who don't want to cede power will try to tackle him to the ground.Oh, that’s funny.
First, let’s look at this post from HuffPo’s Paul Jenkins, which tells us that…
John McCain lost by a margin of 90% among African-Americans, and 2 to 1 among other ethnic and racial minority groups, and young people. The future hardly belongs to a party who is falling further and further behind among the fastest-growing demographic groups, and among those who will be voting for decades to come. Republicans' problems go well beyond their dreadful record of the past decade and their wrong-footed policies, although neither helps. As it shrinks, the GOP is becoming ever-whiter, more male, more Southern, more Christian-centric, and increasingly unable to appeal to voters, or potential candidates who do not fit its narrow mold.(And by the way, though this is a right-leaning site, the author makes a good point about the so-called “Bradley effect” here.)
Second, while you could argue that the Senate Dems have painted themselves into a corner somewhat on the Blago/Burris mess by deciding they won’t have anything to do with them (as Jane Hamsher does here), I believe their actions will be validated when a person is eventually seated who has a lot less baggage than either of these two characters (we’ll see if I’m right, of course, and Obama, for his part, has deniability – if this drags on and on, he can blame the Illinois legislature for refusing to take action and let his former Senate colleagues off the hook).
Have the Democrats taken advantage of some of their constituencies for political purposes? Uh, next question (and do you really want me to answer that for the Repugs and get started on a rant over something so plainly obvious?).
But instead of claiming that “the Democratic Party (is) trapped by (its) own hollow rhetoric about inclusion and opportunity. And it's great fun to watch,” perhaps Navarrette, Jr. could instead point out that the Party has decided that maybe allowing itself to be shaken down by a profanity-spewing and ethically challenged governor isn’t the best course of action for the residents of the state of Illinois, regardless of their skin color.
Update 1/7/09: Silly me for trusting Reid and believing he had some means of preventing Burris from being seated; when am I going to learn that this Congress is better at caving (regardless of whether we're talking about fellow Congressional Repugs, egotistical governors, or delusionally narcissistic presidents) than anything else (here).