Satire from Black Republicans

Who says black Republicans don’t have a sense of humor?

The National Black Republican Association posted this wonderfully laughable piece of satire on their website. Share in the amusement:

White Guilt Emancipation Declaration

We, black American citizens of the United States of America and of the National Black Republican Association, do hereby declare that our fellow white American citizens are now, henceforth and forever more free of White Guilt.

This freedom from White Guilt was duly earned by the election of Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, to be our president by a majority of white Americans based solely on the color of his skin.

Freedom is not free, and we trust that the price paid for this freedom from White Guilt is worth the sacrifice, since Obama is a socialist who does not share the values of average Americans and will use the office of the presidency to turn America into a failed socialist nation.

Granted this November 4, 2008 – the day Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the first black president and the first socialist president of the United States of America.

Ha ha ha!

Black Students at Lincoln University Wait 5-7 Hours to Vote

My great-grandfather was an immigrant from the Caribbean who was employed as a cook for Lincoln University, a small, Quaker-founded historically black college in southeastern Pennsylvania. Several of his children, including my grandfather, attended Lincoln University. Many family members still live in the area.

As such, I was personally touched to read this story of the perseverance of Lincoln University students who waited for hours, some in the rain, to cast their votes.

Video of this from a local TV station is here:
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=6490963

The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the story:

College students around the region turned out in record numbers to vote, but probably few of them underwent the test of endurance that greeted students from Lincoln University in Chester County.

The average time in line at their off-campus precinct in Lower Oxford Township was five and a half hours, according to some students. Food and drink were brought in. Portable toilets were set up. When rain started, volunteers arrived with umbrellas and ponchos.

“It was a travesty,” said Michele Vaughn, chairwoman of the Chester County Democratic Committee. “But the kids stayed in line. Their resolve was remarkable.”

But absent a court order, no change is likely anytime soon, said Terence Farrell, a Republican committeeman in the Chester County precinct, and the first African American elected to serve on the county Board of Commissioners.

In September, when presented with a petition from several residents, Farrell and fellow Republican Commissioner Carol Aichele voted against moving the precinct to the gym on the Lincoln University campus, where voters could wait indoors and where there is plenty of parking.

“The large turnout only happens one out of every eight elections, the presidential,” he said. The next election is the spring 2009 primary. “Very few students will participate,” he predicted.

Lincoln University president Ivory V. Nelson said that the university had agreed to the change but that the county commissioners had rejected it. “We did what we thought was a civic duty in saying they could vote here,” he said. “We want to congratulate our students for sticking it out. It was an important election.”

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I Hate Taxing the Rich, But They’re the Only Ones With Money

Barack Obama’s tax plan calls for a reduction of taxes on middle-class families (families that earn less than $250,000), and the ending of Bush’s tax cuts for the high income earners.

Is this “fair?” I don’t think anybody “wants” to pay taxes. But taxes are a necessary evil; in order for government to operate, someone has to pay them.

In considering how the tax burden should be distributed, these graphs provide some useful perspective:


Source: The American Prospect, October 2008

Income for the top 5% of income earners has gone up almost 100% since 1980, but the share of federal taxes they pay has gone up by less than 60% during that time.

I wish we didn’t have to tax the rich, or anybody. But since the 1980s, it seems they’re the only ones making more money.

Black Turnout Could Be Key in Ohio

This video from the AP discusses black voter turnout in Ohio.

This could be key for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s chances to win this state in November.

In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry got “only” 84% of the black vote in Ohio; meanwhile, he got 88% of the African American vote nation wide. Kerry wound up losing in Ohio by just two points (Kerry got 48.7% of the overall Ohio vote, versus 50.8% for Republican presidential candidate George Bush).

Had he won Ohio, Kerry would have been elected president.

Obama will certainly get more than 84% of the black vote in Ohio, and an expected increase in black voter turnout will also help him.

It remains to be seen if that will be enough for Obama to win this state. Kerry lost the Ohio white vote in 2004; Obama will undoubtedly lose the Ohio white vote this year. So Obama will need a good showing among black voters to get a “W” there for this election.

And needless to say, Obama will hope that this year, there won’t be any issues with counting ballots. We’ll see.

And see this post for a brief note on black mayors in Ohio.

Satire: Obama as Batman, McCain as The Penguin

The McCain campaign recently ran a political ad asking “do you know Barack Obama?” and taking him to task for his “friendship” with Bill Ayers.

The McCain ad is here:

The whole Obama/Ayers guilt by association smear has been thoroughly debunked; look here for an example.

But leave it to the Internet to find an amusing rejoinder to the McCain ad, this time via a reference to the campy version of Batman from the 1960s:

The whole thing was taken to the extreme, witness this:

Thanks to the Blacksonville Community Network for the pic.

Black Partisanship Trends, Pre-Obama

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president has re-ignited the discussion of African American support for the Democratic and Republican Parties. It’s useful to take a quick look at black party identification patterns prior this election, as a way to provide some perspective on the eventual voting numbers we’ll see this year. Then we’ll be able to gauge just how much of an impact Barack Obama had on black voting behavior.

The following two charts are from reports prepared by the Joint Center for Political Studies. They show trendlines in African American identification with the Democratic and Republican Parties up to 2004.

Chart 1: Percentage of Blacks Who Identify Themselves as Democrats

Chart 2: Percentage of Blacks Who Identify Themselves as Republicans

What’s interesting is this: African Americans under the age of 30 were increasingly identifying themselves as Democrats through 2004. Meanwhile, the African American population overall was trending toward being less Democrat, and more Republican.

That’s an ominous trend for the Republican Party. Given the Obama campaign’s success in engaging both young and black voters, there will almost certainly be an increase in under-30 African Americans who identify themselves as Democrats following this election. The GOP’s job of attracting a new generation of black voters has become much more difficult – and it wasn’t easy before now!

This is in addition to the bad news for Republicans that the Obama candidacy seems to bringing many older blacks back into the Democratic camp.

Some other notes from the Joint Center report:

YOUNG BLACK VOTERS

While the 74 percent of African Americans who identify with the Democratic Party in the Joint Center’s 2004 National Opinion Poll is down from the recent high point (2000), there is ample reason for the Democrats to feel confident about their black support (especially with Senator Barack Obama as their 2008 presidential nominee), because the previous decline in support from young African Americans has been reversed. The 74 percent of African Americans who identify with the Democratic Party consist of 63 percent who clearly identify with the party, and 11 percent who are political independents who “lean” more to the Democratic Party than to the GOP.

Prior to 2004, declines in black Democratic identification had been driven by younger, i.e., under 35 year old, African Americans. In Joint Center national opinion polls conducted prior to 2004, only 50 to 60 percent of 18-to-25-year-old African Americans identified with the Democratic Party (Figure 2). However, since the Bush Administration launched the Iraq war, younger African Americans have moved decisively leftward, with 75 percent identifying with the Democrats in 2004. In the 2004 election, 18-29 year-olds were the only age cohort where Kerry defeated Bush.

VOTING IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Between the presidential election years of 2000 and 2004, the black Democratic presidential vote declined from 90 to 88 percent, which does not represent a statistically significant change. This suggests that the relationship between the Democratic Party and African Americans remained on very solid footing during those years. The black Democratic vote since 1964 has remained in the range of 90 ± 5 percent, except when H. Ross Perot ran as a third-party candidate. With Senator Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket this fall, black support is likely to increase from these already high levels.

The prospects for an increase in the black Republican vote in 2008 are nonexistent. While black public opinion is neither as liberal nor as uniform as observers in the press, politics, and academia have thought, the poor economy, high gas prices, Bush’s unpopularity, and the war in Iraq—coupled with Obama’s popularity—suggest a possible 50 percent decline in black Republican support.

McCain Tries To Put the Genie Back In the Bottle… But the Haters Keep Hating

God don’t like ugly.

And he’s not the only one.

On Friday, John McCain had to come to grips with the hate that hate produced. After several days of full frontal negative assaults on Barack Obama’s character, and the resulting bitterness and belligerence they instilled in his supporters, McCain said at a townhall meeting that Barack Obama was, after all, a decent man. What did that get for McCain? Boos.

This was a great piece of political theater for news junkies. But it leaves a big, unanswered question: where does McCain go from here?

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Memo to Ronald Walters: This is NOT the Time to Whine About Patronage.

Dr. Ronald Walters is an icon. He is a distinguished academic on racial politics, and has “street cred” from working with Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988. When he speaks, people listen, and they should.

As such, I am somewhat apologetic for using his name and the word “whine” in the title for this posting. It’s harsh, I know. But I was so disappointed by Walters’ recent article “Obama Not Funding Black Community Turnout”, I couldn’t find any nice words to say. His article just plain gets it wrong. And it points to what may be out-dated ideas concerning what black folks need to further achieve political power in the 21st century.

Wrong from the Start

Things fall apart from the very beginning of the article. Its title-“Obama not funding Black community turnout”-is certainly eye-catching enough. The problem is, it’s not a true statement. In fact, it’s contradicted by Walters’ own comments. In the body of the article, he states that “the Obama campaign is… financing thousands of young kids coming into Black communities to register Black voters.”

So first… let’s talk about voter turnout. Here’s my main problem with this article. Based on its title, you’d think this was all about black voter turnout. But amazingly, Walters neglects to note a very important detail: the outstanding success that the Obama campaign and the DNC have had in registering new black voters, and in bringing all black voters to the polls.

This year’s primaries have seen the largest black Democratic turnout in US history. And efforts to sign new voters and further swell the rolls of black voters continue at a fever pitch. The fact is, the Obama campaign and the Democrats have drawn universal acclaim for their GOTV (get out the vote) efforts in this election year… at least until the article from Dr. Walters.

Clearly, whatever Obama and the Democrats are doing, it’s working. You’d think an astute observer like Dr. Walters would find these achievements laudable and admirable. But he never even mentions them.

Money, Power, Control

Why does Walters start out saying Obama isn’t funding black turnout, and then turn around and say just the opposite? And why does Walters make the glaring error of omission of not even mentioning the success of Obama’s GOTV efforts?

It’s because Walters’ article isn’t about turnout at all. He’s really talking about patronage and control, or the lack thereof. He’s talking about people getting paid.

And in doing so, he’s lost sight of what this election is really about: winning.

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Ambulance Chasing Politics: McCain Heads to the Gulf Coast

Leave it to the Republicans to turn human tragedy into a photo op.

The Huffington Post is reporting that portions of the Republican National Convention are being cut short so McCain can go to the Gulf Coast:

John McCain tore up the script for his Republican National Convention on Sunday, ordering the cancellation of all but essential opening-day activities as Hurricane Gustav churned toward New Orleans.

“This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” he said as fellow Republicans converged on their convention city to nominate him for the White House.

On the eve of his convention, McCain positioned himself as an above-politics, concerned potential president determined to avoid the errors made by President Bush three years ago. “I have every expectation that we will not see the mistakes of Katrina repeated,” he said.

Bush and Vice President Cheney scrapped plans to address the convention on Monday, and McCain’s aides chartered a jet to fly delegates back to their hurricane-threatened states along the Gulf Coast. Campaign manager Rick Davis said the first-night program was being cut from seven hours to two and one half.

As Klingon Commander Worf would say, the Republicans have no honor. This trip, in fact, is ALL about politics.

There’s not a thing that John McCain, as a US Senator, can do to help; all he can do is watch… and be watched by the media.

If I was Obama, I would have this conversation with the press:

Press: What do you think of McCain’s trip to the Gulf Coast?

Obama: If he wants to go, that’s his prerogative. I spoke about that with my folks. We believe that if we were to go there, it might be perceived as ambulance chasing. We don’t want people to have that perception of us.

Press: So you’re saying McCain is ambulance chasing?

Obama: No, I’m saying I wouldn’t do it, for the reason I stated… Look, McCain and George Bush have a credibility problem. While Katrina was devastating the Gulf Coast, Bush and McCain were celebrating with a huge birthday cake. So I understand that they want to counter that image.

But I don’t see what he offers tactically to the relief effort. I believe that the politicians should get out of the way and let the public safety people do their jobs. But then again, perhaps he feels he needs to help George Bush in some way.

Press: Do you think you would visit the Gulf Coast?

Obama: That’s certainly possible. But I don’t want to visit, and have people think I’m there to do a photo op. After our courageous men and women have done their job, we’ll see. I will add this: when bills supporting the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast came to the floor of the Senate, I voted for them, and John McCain did not. I have a record of supporting those hurt by Katrina. Maybe, after seeing what a hurricane can do, McCain will become a champion of the area’s recovery too.
***

Of course, all of this serves to hide the real reason for McCain’s trip down South: the Republican Party knows that their Convention has the look of a ratings nightmare. Given that Convention Day 1 was about Bush/Cheney, whose negative ratings are through the roof, they were no doubt happy for ANY reason to cancel.

By going to the Gulf Coast, McCain feels he can win the news cycle by yapping it up with the press, and intermixing McCain/Palin pix with rescue images… images that McCain will have had nothing to do with. As an added benefit, it gives the McCain staff more time to prep Palin for the campaign, while “hiding” her from the press in plain sight (“We’re sorry, it would be inappropriate for the media to talk to Mrs Palin during this time of emergency… but feel free to take a picture of her looking out the window and showing her concern”).

When Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family was praying for rain, I think this is what they were hoping for. It’s too bad the people of the Gulf Coast must suffer for their sins.

Brief Convention Notes: Hillary, Forum on Black Politics, Michelle

It’s a sure sign of fame, when a person can be referred to by their first name, and everyone knows who is being talked about. So it is with Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

I can’t be more emphatic: Hillary Clinton gave a great speech yesterday. It had so many memorable lines, it’s difficult to pick out any one or two of them as prominent. But these parts of her speech were especially memorable for me:

..I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn’t have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for health care.

I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps t-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: “Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there….and then will you please help take care of me?”

I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn’t know what his family was going to do.

…I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

That struck a chord with me, as it no doubt will with many of Clinton’s female supporters.

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Obama: I Wouldn’t Have Nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court

Barack Obama is being interviewed at the values forum of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. Rick Warren, the Church’s pastor, asked Obama which current Supreme Court Justice he would not have nominated.

Obama’s response: “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas.” Obama said Thomas was not a “strong legal thinker.” Wow. It’s almost like Obama was implying that Thomas was the affirmative action appointee to the Court!

Interestingly enough, the audience applauded Obama’s comment.

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