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Politics and Racism in America


Hugo Chavez:
William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson handily won his run-off for Louisiana's Second Congressional District, beating State Representative Karen Carter who had taken a lot of political heat for her views on social issues.

It is one of the few times you'll see the candidate with a huge fund-raising advantage lose the race: According to published reports, Carter raised 5 times as much money as Jefferson (presumably mostly from whites despite the fact that Carter is black.)

Much has already been made of the comparison between the behavior of the Democrats (and particularly the        Congressional Black Caucus) and Republicans when faced with scandal. Mark Foley was disgraced and resigned following his inappropriate (but apparently legal) communications with House pages. When Gerry Studs (a man), a Massachusetts Democrat, actually had sex with a (male) page, he not only refused to accept any censure by his Party, but he ran for re-election and won.

Jefferson is the financial version of Studs: He was caught with $90,000 of literally cold cash in his freezer, believed to be part of up to $400,000 in bribes received from a technology company who wanted Jefferson's help based on his position on the Ways and Means Committee (which is the single most powerful committee in government when it comes to government spending.)

As the newspapers note, Jefferson's victory could pose an ethics bind for the Democrats. What will be most interesting is how Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders deal with the Congressional Black Caucus ("CBC").

This is the group that supported Alcee Hastings to take over the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee despite Hastings having been impeached by the House when he was a judge. This is the group that opposed removing Jefferson from the Ways and Means committee when the bribery came to light. And I expect them to try to get Pelosi to return Jefferson to the Ways and Means Committee. I hope she does, as it would immediately destroy her claims of cleaning up the "culture of corruption" in DC.

The Congressional Black Caucus cares nothing for ethics or even the good of their Party, much less the good of the country. They care only about their own power and being able to say that they are keeping blacks in positions of influence. (It is an issue for another day, but I also believe they consistently take positions (i.e. attacking Wal-Mart, opposing        Social Security reform, and opposing school choice) which are directly antithetical to the interests of Americans in general and black Americans in particular.

Jefferson's re-election reminds me most of all of is the O.J. Simpson verdict. Two guys clearly guilty of a crime, one of whom gets re-elected and the other acquitted solely because blacks believe that the system is dominated by whites and biased against blacks. It is similar to recent poll results which show that blacks distrust election results more than any other group.

The idea that a criminal should be returned to office or a murderer should go free as some sort of message against the presumably white-dominated institutions investigating or prosecuting them represents a fundamental problem in America: Blacks feel not only as if they have not achieved as much as whites but also that the game is rigged against them. What is worse black leaders, elected like CBC members or self-appointed like        Jesse Jackson and        Al Sharpton, maintain their power and fund-raising ability by feeding this fear. They keep telling their constituents that without giving them money and without voting for the black guy regardless of his flaws they will lose what little ability they still have to succeed in America. And since, like it or not, most of the inner-city blacks to whom these messages are directed are less politically attuned, less affluent, and less educated on average than the average American, they are particularly susceptible to what is, in its own way, simply hate speech.

America has clearly had its racial problems, and they still exist in many places. But as black leaders and ordinary black citizens alike use them as an excuse to reward bad behavior and to equate the success of a particular black person (regardless of his crimes) to a victory for blacks as a group shows me that race relations in this country are not as good as most whites like me would believe. That said, I also do not believe they are as bad as the Cynthia McKinneys and Al Sharptons of the world want us to think.

The best thing that could happen for Congress and for the country is for the CBC or at least some prominent black leaders (and I don't mean Thomas Sowell or Ward Connerly) to say that William Jefferson does not represent them, that his re-election was not a good thing, and that he should not be returned to the Ways and Means Committee. I'm not holding my breath, and to the extent that there's a bright side in Jefferson's re-election, it is the prospect of seeing Pelosi twisting in the wind trying to decide what to do. For the record, my guess is that she will refuse to return Jefferson to the Committee.

I saw a thing on this yesterday. Good article.

You're a spook from Wyoming. Hope this helps.

Hugo Chavez:

--- Quote from: BerzerkFury on December 13, 2006, 07:16:38 AM ---You're a spook from Wyoming. Hope this helps.

--- End quote ---
I'm not from Casper ;)


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