What does playing the race card mean, Bob? Try OJ, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpeton...they can describe it much better than I. Jackson and Sharpeton have made nice personal fortunes by employing it.
But Mike, you were using it as part of your argument. You are responsible for defining your terms, aren't you?
Pointing at other people and saying they [in]can[/i] describe it doesn't actually take responsibility for the use of the term in an argument now, does it? Just because they [in]can[/i] describe it, doesn't mean that they actually have described it at all. Nor does it mean that whatever definition they might offer is the one you agree with.
Near as I can tell, it only means that you haven't answered the question. In order for me to talk about with you sensibly about something you call "the race card," you're going to have to tell me what that thing is in terms that both of us understand. I'm not dumb, I am willing to admit flaws on my own part, those flaws that I see in the Democratic party position and difficulties I have with President Obama. You and others who have seen me write have seen me do so. I ask that you simply explain what "the race card" is clearly, so I can understand it and so that other folks can understand it; and to bear with whatever difficulties I have in getting this and in understanding it. In the end, I may not agree with you, but I do want to understand you and the thinking around this notion. It's something that I've been hearing for years and it makes little sense to me at all.
Your republican bias theory really doesn't hold a lot of water. Before Obama, you had to look very hard to find blacks in prominent positions in the democratic party or the government when democrats ruled. They had no Connie Rice or Colin Powell, for example. They paid a lot of lip service to blacks but little on substance but then that's fodder for a whole new thread.
I was very specific about my Republican bias comments. You changed the subject to Black office holders rather than Republican suppression of the black vote, and didn't address the comments I did make. Let me address the comments you did make, however, because, while the Republican party has not in the last perhaps 75 years been much of a haven for working class or poverty level folks of any sort and blacks (people of color these days, perhaps) have seldom risen out of that group, the Republicans have been active in seeking folks for high appointive office and for major responsibility. For that I believe they (and you, Mike) deserve great credit. The offices that you mention are of course appointive offices, and I suspect that it may be difficult for the Republican base to support a person of color for a major elective office. That is only a supposition on my part, and perhaps an unfounded one.
In fact, I believe that the Democratic Party's history with race has been very poor overall. I think I've been over this with you before. The Democrats remained in power for a very long time through a sort of devil's bargain with the Dixiecrats, and by not so covertly supporting segregation in the South. I think this is one of the great shames not only of the Democratic Party, but of the United States as a whole as well. But right now, I feel a special responsibility as a Democrat to that history. We as Democrats have a lot to make up for.
I am pleased to say that the party broke with the Dixiecrats over the Civil Rights act in 1968. This is one of the many reasons we lost that election. The entire south, pretty much en masse either became Republican or went with Wallace, who openly supported segregation. When the Wallace party withered, many of his folks became Republicans as well.
The Republicans, which till that time had been a center right party, began its slide to the far right. A lot of the more moderate voices in the Republican Party died off or were discarded. Even today, some Republicans in are nostalgic for those grand old days of yesteryear. I remind folks of Trent Lott's speech of last year or the year before.
A fair number of those Republicans are former Democrats. This speaks well for nobody. And there are plenty of fairly racist Democrats as well. I think that everybody has a bit of it simply rooted in the sense of who are people who are like my family and who are people who aren't like my family that a kid acquires when growing up.
That opinion could get me shot some places, I'm fairly sure. I know it did when I brought it up a long time ago in social work school.
I would put it to you, Mike, that if you believe that there aren't many prominent black Democrats, that you haven't looked at the Democratic national conventions to see how many black folks are there. These are the same folks who are powers in the national, state, county and local party structures.
You might try comparing that to the Republican party conventions.
If you get a chance, you might try responding to my comments about Republican attempts to exclude blacks from the election rolls in the states I mentioned.
Also, how are things going on any actual convictions on any of the stuff about ACORN? Has ACORN been found guilty of any wrongdoing? If so, where might I read about it?
Sincerely, Bob Kaven
P.S. I hope you're feeling much better, Mike. My trip had to be extended, but you were much on my mind and I was rooting for you.