Friday, January 30, 2009
RNC Appoints First Black Chair: Strom Thurmond Rolls in His Grave!
Well symbolism is a powerful thing! We have our first Black President and in an effort at keeping up (appearances) the Republicans have just elected the first Black Chairperson for their National Committee. Progress indeed! 91-77 is close. What, Condi wasn't available? Michael Steele, the current Chair of GoPac will now oversee how the Republicans present their image to the public in order to remain relevant to voters. When Sean Hannity endorses you, I guess it's a foregone conclusion. It's all about the power baby!
Now we'll see what overtures are made versus what policy changes are implemented (or blocked). He is a self-professed Lincoln Republican and seeing how our new President invoked Lincoln - even going as far as to swear on the bible used by Lincoln - hopefully they can find some common ground. It should not include attacking poor women of color and limiting their family planning choices, the continuation of the separate but equal marriage vs. civil union argument along gender lines or union busting. It should not include the use of divisive language by candidates inflaming racial animus amongst the hordes.
The Republican party has a serious credibility problem right now. Conservative values and fiscal responsibility may be the main talking points of the party but its leadership has engaged in anything but. Talk is cheap. Not that the Democrats are much better, but there are actual leaders in that party who are women as well as people of color. The RNC is at its most vulnerable right now and its members are clearly scared, though they wouldn't dare admit it. We'll see if a man who is unelectable as of late has the support to rebuild the party - or if he's just serving as window dressing in an attempt at fooling people. We know a Black face in a high place means little.
For those of us who wish to strategize and consolidate a small but powerful group whose needs will be addressed, this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of. The masses may get involved in fighting for crumbs and complaining about how imbalanced things are but we need to move beyond that and be like the few who are always taken care of despite party affiliation. This might be the time for a few politically conscientious objectors to switch parties - or at least attend some meetings to get a feel for things!
Like I've stated I want the Obama Administration to be very successful in addressing the needs of those who've been disenfranchised and ignored. In order for that to happen we need people to be the impetus to set an agenda and put it forward in a strategic and carefully implemented way. No amount of protests or rallies or poison pen antics is going to work. I don't think #44 would be opposed to more liberal policies IF there is sufficient political currency stored up and ready to be cashed, but he's not going to jeopardize his reelection efforts. He's playing it safe - too safe - but we know this and can work around it if we plan accordingly.
We know the Republicans (and some Democrats) are set to walk lock-step in opposing anything he wants to get done that isn't a continuation of their failed agenda. We need to create a net to contain this. We cannot have a repeat of Bill Clinton's first term where they took control of the House and then the Senate and stonewalled the best of his policies. He didn't help matters with his personal failings and threw a lot of qualified Black women under the bus. He implemented a lot of policies that actually hurt Black people and had he been a Republican in office more people would've been paying attention. Instead some claimed he was "one of us". Stupid, stupid stupid!!!
Not that we're going to agree on everything, but there are some core basics that have been left by the wayside. We must preserve 2010 to get to 2012. We must use the Republican upheaval to our advantage and put those Blue Dog Democrats out to pasture once and for all!