I’m not sure when the national Democratic Party decided that it would try to divest themselves of the Black vote. It became clear that was an objective during the Democratic presidential race, when Democrats seemed to be stacking the deck against Barack Obama. It was Democrats who sharpened their knives on Obama long before John McCain and Sarah Palin took aim at him. In fact, some of the most telling political jabs that McCain and Palin landed were simply recitations of some of the jabs Democrats threw at him.It put some things into perspective, a lil bit. Still not very thrilled with this situation.
But now come Sen. Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic U.S. senators. They have penned a letter vowing not to seat Roland Burris as U.S. Senator from Illinois because he was chosen by that national embarrassment, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Reid wanted to take the high road and say he liked Burris, but he and his fellow Democratic senators were so disgusted with Blagojevich, that they could not see themselves seating any appointee chosen by Blagojevich.
We had the very unflattering portrait of 50 non-Black, non-Republican U.S. senators, opposing the inclusion of a Black senator, chosen legally by the sitting governor of Illinois, who has not been impeached, not been convicted and not been stripped of any of his duties. It was Democrats standing in the door of the U.S. Senate Tuesday, refusing to seat a duly-appointed member, not because that appointee was unfit for the job (they acknowledge that Burris is quite qualified), but because they are embarrassed by Blagojevich.
But Reid's moral indignation was merely an excess of the most prolific by-product of the U.S. Senate: hot air. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week, Reid called the governor up to suggest a few candidates for the appointment. Reid allegedly suggested to Blagojevich that he steer clear of appointing any of the strong Black candidates (Jesse Jackson Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones) because they would have trouble getting votes statewide.
Reid opposes Burris, even though Burris has proven that he can get votes statewide (three terms as comptroller and one term as attorney general).
While Rep. Bobby Rush unabashedly plays the race card, arguing that an all-white U.S. Senate should not oppose the seating of a Black man, especially in replacing Obama, Reid deals the race card from the bottom of the deck. At least Rush is up front saying he wants to make sure a Black gets the seat and says the Senate should be embarrassed in this multi-cultural society to convene with no Black members.
Via Bill Baar at Illinoize.