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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Pursuing racial division

By Adam Serwer

Ron Brownstein has a piece in National Journal about voters' "white flight" from the Democratic Party during the midterms that is bound to get a lot of attention:

By any standard, white voters' rejection of Democrats in November's elections was daunting and even historic.

Fully 60 percent of whites nationwide backed Republican candidates for the House of Representatives; only 37 percent supported Democrats, according to the National Election Poll exit poll conducted by Edison Research. Not even in Republicans' 1994 congressional landslide did they win that high a percentage of the white vote.

If you're curious as to why we spent the late summer discussing the New Black Panther Party, the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, Shirley Sherrod, and birthright citizenship, I think you have your answer. Ever since the first genuine race pseudo-scandal, Barack Obama suggesting the the Cambridge Police acted "stupidly" in arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his own home -- Republicans sensed an opportunity in exploiting the anxieties of white voters. 

So it's no surprise that formula -- blowing a minor incident out of proportion to suggest the president has, as Glenn Beck put it, "a deep-seated hatred for white people," has been replicated over and over again ever since. Republicans characterized the Affordable Care Act as "reparations" and Finreg as "racial quotas." With few opportunities for future legislation in the new Congress, Republicans have already signaled their interest in investigating the NBPP case and the Pigford Settlement, which Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has compared to reparations for slavery (It actually involves USDA discrimination against black farmers in the 1980s and 1990s.)

I think the effectiveness of that strategy is overblown, and the performance of the economy -- and the administration's failure to more effectively address it -- has more to do with the phenomenon Brownstein describes than conspiracies surrounding the New Black Panthers. The demographics of midterm electorates tend to favor Republicans more than Democrats generally as well. But there's no question that these are the kind of demographic results Republicans have been aiming for. 

By Adam Serwer  | January 7, 2011; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, race  
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Next: Why Dems are kicking into high gear against repeal

Comments

But Greg, as I've mentioned here before, no Democratic candidate for President has gotten more than half of the white vote in this country since LBJ. What do you think that means?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I may be one of the few stubbornly naive fools who still thinks that Obama's race had very little to do with his being nominated or elected. People my age (not very old) just don't see color the way folks in the 1950s and 1960s did. It may be that race is a larger factor for those dealing with residual racism in this country, but for the large white coalition Obama put together, I doubt very many of us made our decision based on his skin color. Also, anyone uncomfortable with Obama's race probably did not vote for him in 2008.

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

well, i guess i'm an outlier; not only am i white but i'm a senior and i voted democrat. i do not believe the "obama hates white people," nor do i believe the "wealth redistribution" and taking from us deserving, hard working whites and giving it to lazy, undeserving people of color. i didn't believe the death panels; and on the contrary, was thankful beyond words, as my father suffering from alzheimer's lay dying, and the kind support and information needed to make his last days as comfortable as possible.

what i do believe is the orwellian and disingenuous gop will say exactly the opposite of the truth, they are the gold standard in making up, down and in, out; and i do believe the media has been, whether willingly or not, into pushing their agenda.

Posted by: sbvpav | January 7, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Also, anyone uncomfortable with Obama's race probably did not vote for him in 2008."

Most white people who voted did not vote for Obama and he still won.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

shrink2 - But if the point is to erode Obama's coalition (a sizable portion of which was White people), it seems foolish to try to do this using racial division. If a white person was uncomfortable with Obama's race, they probably weren't part of his coalition in 2008.

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

sbpav - I used to think Republicans pursued an "up is down" approach to the world. But the more I see and hear of them, I think it's more like "up is a Kenyan Islamofascist atheistic Communist Liberal".

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't read too much into those numbers. IIRC, the teabaggers aren't for the most part college kids, and they were the most energized part of the electorate this last time around. And as we saw in 2008, Obama only won a majority of the white voters under 40. His support dropped off most dramatically with white voters over 60.

Who, coincidentally, make up the bulk of voters in mid-term elections, as well as the bulk of Glenn Beck's audience and the teabaggers.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 7, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It's the Southern Strategy taken nationally. The Republicans have long ago maximized the voting output of people who are overtly racist and know it, and now they've found new inroads into the subtler forms of racism that many people carry around and may not even realize.

The indignation at being called racist from many of the new independents over this stuff is genuine because they really don't think they're racist. In the traditional sense of racism as an overt act of willful discrimination or being a member of the KKK, they're not, but neither are they colourblind in the way they imagine themselves.

One thing that needs to end is the stupid dichotomy that someone either is or is not racist. Most of us are on a spectrum, with many unconscious biases that we either try to root out and overcome, or ignore and allow to fester. I'm sure there are many white people who voted for Obama but tell or laugh at the occasional racist joke. Are they racist? A little. Does that make them David Duke? No. Does it make them susceptible to more easily reject Obama over trumped up issues and fake scandals pushed by the RWNM? Yes.

Posted by: Scientician | January 7, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"But if the point is to erode Obama's coalition (a sizable portion of which was White people), it seems foolish to try to do this using racial division."

That strategy may reinforce GOP gains in some segments of the population, but will continue to harm them in segments where they're hurting now: youth & minorities, all of which are replacing the elderly white folks that most heavily gravitate towards Repubs & coincidentally vote most reliably in midterm elections.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 7, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Shrink, I think JOA @ 11:19A has a point, if her numbers are right.

My four kids were 39, 35, 27, and 24 in 2008 and none of them ever mentioned "race". Two started with McC, two started with HRC; all voted for BHO in the end. The two who started with HRC are female and they did take THAT distinction personally.

Two ranch widder lady clients who were for HRC immediately switched to McC when BHO won the nomination. Different generation.

Anecdotal, I know.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 7, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Progressives/liberals telling themselves that they went from a record sweep of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency in 2008 (as well as electing a mainstream progressive/liberal as President for the first time since LBJ) to a record number of Congressional seats lost in 2010 due an increase in "white racism" in the intervening two years may make themselves feel better, but it won't provide much of an action plan for a comeback or reelection of President Obama.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 7, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree Scientician, good, tight logic, and also bsimon and mark (hey, did you ghost write Krugman's column?), the Republicans should be very concerned with the demographics of their base, but it is as if they don't care. They must think, well as the boomers age, they'll all turn into Republican voters for about 10 years before they die.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This is just so funny. Mr Sargent has found an "effect" and is now blindly searching for a concommitant "cause".

He, being the hyperpartisan he is, lists those things that he believes were designed by his the people whose politics he despises to sew racial antimosity.

And of course he misses all those things that the people whose politics he loves did to destroy the liberal movement.

I can think of one incident directly, that Mr Sargent simply did not deign to include: Mr Breitbart (one of the most hated no doubt) STIIL has his 100K. No one has brought forth proof of the claims by the big four race baiters: carson, lewis, clyburn and cleaver.

Mr Sargent no doubt does not remember the attempt by the opposition to the tea party to place agents provocateur in the various rallies. Or how about the sign at the big rally that said "It doesn't matter what my sign says, they will call me racist anyway"

The simple fact is that the liberals in America tried to use their racist club to beat American into submission and it failed.

White people didn't abandonned the Democrats because they are racist, they abandonned the Democrats because they ARE NOT. What part of that is just too complicate for the left to comprehend?

Of course folks like Mr Sargent cannot be expected to recognize the progress that American society has made, even during my life time. Of course not. To acknowlege progress is also to question the need for much of the expensive and meddlesome government structure that the left adores.

The left cannot imagine life with out a huge civil rights law division in DOJ, or the EEOC or racial quotas in colleges, yet ordinary Americans have been rolling back the accepted structure of racial preferences for years. Just ask Ward Churchill.

In the meantime we've assimilated into our society everyone who has thus far chosen to immerse themselves in the main stream. But don't take my word for it, ask Bobby Jindal, or Alan West.

The left needs racism to sustain itself. Were the denizens of that dark political philosophy ever to admit that the problems were overcome, the dogma police would incarcerate them immediately. They would be banished to the Juan Williams wing of the odd fellows home. There to live out their lives as forlorn reminders of the price a liberal must pay if they utter the truth.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 7, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"If you're curious as to why we spent the late summer discussing the New Black Panther Party, the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, Shirley Sherrod, and birthright citizenship, I think you have your answer."

That doesn't speak well of a fair amount of white Democrats. And is illustrating to them how their decision was based on racism, rather than whatever they believe it was based on, going to win those votes back?

I think it's a weak attack point, but perhaps I'm wrong. I think the Republicans will present other areas to attack that are much better--though, if 2010 was any example, the Democrats will be too clever by half and ignore all of them. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Scientician - My parents are rabidly anti-Obama and they always make remarks like "You think we're racist, don't you?". And honestly I don't at all. Methinks they protest too much, but that's a different matter. The point is that if Alan Keys or Clarence Thomas somehow won the Republican nomination, they would vote for them. The problem isn't race, it is culture. If you made Obama into a white version of himself, they (and many like them) would be equally beside themselves at his Presidency. After all, they've been told to be by everyone they trust.

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Jenn of Ark nails it. I'm sure there's a small percentage of voters whose latent "race war" fears were stoked by Fox News' misinformation campaigns, but the real difference between white voters in 2008 and 2010 is that white voters in 2010 were OLD. Those guys don't really vote for Democrats, and being a black Democrats is like icing on the cake--it gives them a reason to pretend their opposition is "legitimate" (zomg! He's empowering black panthers just like I warned you would happen if we integrated the schools!), but they were never going to vote Democratic anyway.

Posted by: theorajones1 | January 7, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"This is just so funny. Mr Sargent has found an "effect" and is now blindly searching for a concommitant "cause"."

It's a little hard to take you seriously when your reading comprehension skills are so lacking that you fail to see that "Mr. Sargent" didn't even write this post.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | January 7, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

What is interesting is that Republicans, in pursuing the "Southern Strategy," are ensuring their own demise. Whites are already the minority in many areas and that is just going to continue to change until they are the minority everywhere. (See census data) So in demonizing people of color, they have succeeded in creating a dynamic favorable during the 2010 election and they just may win the 2012 election, but going forward they are going to quickly run into a brick wall. You think minorities enjoy being demonized? The radical right wing may think the coded language and dog whistles is missed by non-whites, but it is painfully obvious to everyone watching.

I'm reminded of the monarchy in Europe at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Their successful actions to make themselves strong lead to their own demise a mere 18 years later.

Skippy - Serwer wrote the article. Might want to rewrite your manifesto.

Posted by: Alex3 | January 7, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I could buy the idea that racism helps feed the liberals more than it does the conservatives. That is worth thinking about...

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"I could buy the idea that racism helps feed the liberals more than it does the conservatives. That is worth thinking about..."

Yes the despicable actions of one party often does benefit the opposition party.

Posted by: Alex3 | January 7, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@skip: "This is just so funny. Mr Sargent has found an 'effect' and is now blindly searching for a concommitant 'cause'."

Actually, that's Adam Serwer. And, even moreso, Brownstein.

"The simple fact is that the liberals in America tried to use their racist club to beat American into submission and it failed."

It worked very poorly. And my impression is that many think they are at the tip with the race card, and not the tail (where I believe they actually are). That is, they believe people are, for the most part, only beginning understand that conservatives and Republicans are inveterate racists, and that most white people, especially old white people, are racists, and white racism is the only kind of real racism there is, etc., etc.--and that, with each election cycle, people will understand that the GOP is racist better, and that conservatism is a code-word for racism, and Democrats will start picking up victories, as people begin to comprehend the obvious truth: conservatives and Republicans are racists, there is nothing to their platform but racism, they have only won elections in the past by being racist, and now that the electorate has been informed by smart liberals, and has more young voters educated by smart liberals, they and the next generation will finally understand that not voting for a Democrat is racism. And they will act accordingly.

Myself, I believe that purveyors of race politics on the left are at the tail end of using the "cry racist" approach as a viable electoral strategy. That is, it was less effective this time than it was last time, and will be even less effective in the next cycle, until it reaches a minimum level of effectiveness. But it will no longer work as a serious motivator for changing the hearts and minds of voters, or for inculcating new generations of voters, for whom the race politics seems as old and pointless and quaint as hoop skirts and buggy whips.

There will always be outliers, who embrace the race strategy wholeheartedly (as there will always be klansmen--even if there are only a few, relatively speaking). But courting outliers (and being outliers) is a neutered electoral strategy. Not only was it unhelpful in this last election, it probably hurt them.

And what if Republicans are advancing stupid policies that are easily taken apart? Is the best strategy to attack those policies to call them the racist, sexist policies of old white men, or to try and destroy the policies based on the actual content of the presumably horrible policies?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

All, more signs that Dems are seriously kicking into high gear for the health repeal fight:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/more_signs_dems_are_kicking_in.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 7, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This analysis lacked an analysis of age demographics. I month ago an excellent analysis came out that showed this white gap against Obama, BUT ONLY in the over 65 demographic. Every other demographic voted almost the same as 2008.

This previous analysis (sorry I don't have the ref. now, but digby references it a lot) suggested that the gap was because of older adults believe Obama was cutting Medicare.

Posted by: mikediaz1 | January 7, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis - Not feelin' it. I think far fewer Dems are motivated by race than you seem to believe. Again, this is probably different among minorities (especially older minorities) who are part of the Democratic coalition. But in general, you see some discussion of race on blogs, but discussions with my (other liberal) friends almost never turns to race at any point. There definitely is a "purveyor of race" cadre out there, the same way there is in conservative circles. But it isn't nearly as prominent or influential as you seem to believe.

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "I could buy the idea that racism helps feed the liberals more than it does the conservatives. That is worth thinking about..."

I'm dubious. There isn't much sign that it's beneficial to liberals. Arguably, each side feels the race card was played on both sides in 2010, but, with few exceptions, it doesn't seem to have benefited the liberals substantially.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@Willow: "Kevin_Willis - Not feelin' it. I think far fewer Dems are motivated by race than you seem to believe."

Why? How many Dems are motivated by race? And how many do I believe are thus motivated?

I made no assertion about how many Dems overall are motivated by race (I don't think it's a lot), and, in fact, party of race politics being on the tail-end of effectiveness would mean that crying "racist" is becoming less motivation to both old and new Democrats alike.

"but discussions with my (other liberal) friends almost never turns to race at any point."

Thus, you would be more motivated by, say, an argument that we're wasting money and lives in our wars abroad, than the argument that Republicans want to make wars in foreign lands because they don't like brown people.

You are confirming my point: you are, I am assuming, a Democrat and a liberal, and you don't find racial politics particularly motivating (or even that interesting). It's not why you vote the way you do.

I'm not arguing that Democrats are consumed with race, especially the rank and file. I'm arguing that those who obsess on racial politics (especially on the left) as a viable electoral strategy are barking up the wrong tree.

"There definitely is a 'purveyor of race' cadre out there, the same way there is in conservative circles. But it isn't nearly as prominent or influential as you seem to believe."

I don't believe they are influential. I think some of them are very, very loud, but I don't think they are influential. And I don't think there arguments are compelling, except to a select few. That's entirely my point.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

we need more data to really see what's going on here.

what percentage of the white voters in 2010 voted for McCain in 2008? how does that compare to the actual 2008 results?

it seems entirely likely that this is like the story about independents "moving" to Republicans, when in fact it was just a different set of people calling themselves "independents" voting in 2010 than in 2008. in other words, Obama voters didn't show up to vote this time, because of the usual midterms dropoff and because the Democrats spent two years crapping on their base. but that's not The Approved Narrative, so it just gets waved away.

Posted by: tatere | January 7, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Obama voters didn't show up to vote this time, because of the usual midterms dropoff and because the Democrats spent two years crapping on their base. but that's not The Approved Narrative, so it just gets waved away."

Yup, all of Obama's failures, his mistakes, all his problems are the fault of the petulant liberal children, you know, the people without whom he'd be forgotten now and The Clintons would be co-Presidents.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Willows1:

Obviously I don't know your parents and can't comment on them specifically but anyone who is swayed by trivial nonsense like the New Black Panthers or Obama calling a cop stupid for arresting a man in his own home should have the onus put on them to explain why these issues would sway their votes over actual substantive issues like taxation, war and health care. The stuff that actually determines how we live, or whether we live. Obama calling every white cop "crackers" wouldn't have 1/10th of the societal impact that extending the Bush tax cuts to the rich just did yet the right works to ensure issues like that get much more of the focus.

The right spends 90% of its time chasing purely symbolic issues that always seems to have a racial or other identity role subtext; Whether Obama bowed to a foreign leader, what he wears in the Oval office, tea leaf/mind reading of various remarks by people like Michelle Obama etc. Individually any one of these incidents the right chooses to pick fights over could be defendable but collectively there is a pattern for those willing to see it.

Yet meanwhile their actual policy agenda is always focused on comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. As Krugman observed, George Bush campaigned in 2004 as the guy who would save America from terrorists getting gay married on the Washington Mall, and the day he wins, he announces his mandate to privatize social security. Bill Clinton said campaign in poetry, govern in prose, for the right it is campaign on fear, govern on greed.

Posted by: Scientician | January 7, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis - Aha. Got it. But it wasn't clear in your original post that you were talking about the campaign strategists rather than the rank-and-file Dems trying to reach out to Independents. Maybe I'm my own sort of outlier, but I tend to lump race politics in with the other distracting issues that keep us from doing things like reducing inequality or building an economy based on production and innovation rather than money-shuffling and the purchase of debt-financed plastic crap.

Posted by: willows1 | January 7, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

From the linked article:

http://nationaljournal.com/magazine/in-2012-obama-may-need-a-new-coalition-20110105

"The new data show that white voters not only strongly preferred Republican House and Senate candidates but also registered deep disappointment with President Obama’s performance, hostility toward the cornerstones of the current Democratic agenda, and widespread skepticism about the expansive role for Washington embedded in the party’s priorities. "

Clear indicators of racism as motivation.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 7, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@willows: "Kevin_Willis - Aha. Got it. But it wasn't clear in your original post that you were talking about the campaign strategists rather than the rank-and-file Dems"

Well, I thought that I was talking about a small (if vocal) group was implied, but I should have made that explicit. My apologies.

As for the rest: I agree, those should be the issues on debate. I don't like that so much politics is "they want this policy because they're racists" or "they want this policy because they're Kenyan anti-colonialists!" What about debating the policies on the merits? By, I'm crazy like that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Republicans sure are trying awful hard to dump Michael Steele, even thought he took over, when The GOP had been reduced to a rump regional party,with many pundits writing them off, as a real party.

Under Steele; they captured the senate formerly held byr Ted Kennedy and President Obama, and you all know the results of the recent elections.

So why are they trying to dump Steele, while The Democrats are not going to dump Tim Kaine?

If any White Republican had held the job for the past two years, with the same results, does anyone seriously believe that the GOP would be trying their best to get rid of him? Of course not; they would be hailing that person as a miracle worker.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "If any White Republican had held the job for the past two years, with the same results, does anyone seriously believe that the GOP would be trying their best to get rid of him?"

Probably. Most of those folks feel, rightly are wrongly, that Michael Steele was an obstacle and not an asset, not that his skin was too brown.

If you think that's what it's all about, and that it needs to be pointed out (because nobody had noticed) that Michael Steele is black (although, he's actually white, according to at least a few lefties around the time he was appointed) and was not appointed to be chairman for life, more power to you.

Again, I don't think there's anything compelling there. Steele may or may not be getting the dirty end of the stick, but it's because of the perceptions of his performance--and how many people in the GOP have felt neglected, or snubbed outright--than the fact he's--horrors!--not white.

And I say that as someone who doesn't have a problem with Steele. I think the proof is in the pudding, and the GOP has done remarkably well, and Steele's gaffs have been no more spectacular that most party charimen's gaffs in the past, on both sides. I think these internecine battles are probably destructive to the party. But . . . we will see.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
==============
It's a little hard to take you seriously when your reading comprehension skills are so lacking that you fail to see that "Mr. Sargent" didn't even write this post.
===========================

Hey babe, if you find this error so egregious, I suggest you avail yourself of Mr Willis's zapper.

I won't lose any sleep over it. Your opinion of me doesn't enter my thinking at all.

Bye bye .

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 7, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Back when the racialthing was the hoopdeedoo at "The Fix" in 2008, I read this same stuff. MNTENG and I proposed and agreed that we could not imagine that for more than 3-6% of all Americans that race was dispositive, but we could imagine that it could be a factor for 15-20%.

I still think that. In our local DA's race, after the long time DA resigned, two top assistants ran against each other. Lehmberg and Cobb. White female; black male. A black business client asked me if I was supporting Cobb, and I said I was supporting Lehmberg. I told him the truth: I had known her since she began there, that in one part of my practice I used to work with her, and I respected her. I told him that I believed Cobb would be a fine DA, and that both of them would continue there in any event. He said that he was voting for Cobb, but was glad to hear that I had a reason for voting for Lehmberg, and that I in no way thought Cobb would be a bad choice. Lehmberg won. Cobb is First Assistant. He is fifteen years younger and he will be the next DA. My client voted race, all else equal; not race, as in he would not vote for a white woman against a black man.
I think that happens a lot, and is not in any way evil.

I think the cries of "racist" are disproportionately out of touch with the actual level of racism, on blogs. At "The Fix", Chris Fox [cao] and broadwayjoe went on and on about Nikki Haley fooling the perceived rednecks because she was not using her Sikh name and passing for white. They would not get off it. Did not matter that a black R was winning a Congressional nomination against the son of the most famous Dixiecrat of all. They were sure that if SC voters knew MS. Haley's name and ethnic background they would reject her. It was amazing.

So

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 7, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Come on now. What has Steele done that was so wrong? If some white guy was in his place, when Republicans won the seat that Ted Kennedy had held, the GOP would be pushing the guy to seek the nomination in 2012.

If Steele was such an obstacle, then how come the party's fortunes turned completely around, during his two year tenure. No one said that he should be appointed for life. That is just your Tennessee Strawman.

If the results were bad, you fire the guy; if they were good, you reward him, and here I thought you Republicans were all about rewarding accomplishment.

As for the fund raising nonsense. He happened to be in the job, right when the Supreme Court Gang Of Five Right Wing Activists gave the Corporations the green light to make unlimited secret donations to the likes of Rove. That was not something that Steele or any one else could have done a damn think about.

Once you tell the Oligarchs that you can give unlimited secret bribes to bag men, that is what they will do.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "Come on now. What has Steele done that was so wrong?"

Well, first, he's in a position that is attractive and other people can compete for every two years. That's the first thing.

"If some white guy was in his place, when Republicans won the seat that Ted Kennedy had held, the GOP would be pushing the guy to seek the nomination in 2012."

Not if he was on the record saying abortion was an individual choice, and then lamely tried to walk it back, I'm bettin'. There's accusations of mismanagement (because of all sorts of vacancies, unfilled, and lots of disputes about money, which can be a real sore point when you're a committee chairman (just ask Howard Dean).

For more, feel free to read this:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/are-michael-steeles-days-at-the-rnc-numbered/

I've really got no dog in this fight. I just think the contortions people go through to make everything about Michael Steele proof of Republican racism (as it would no doubt be if he was not being challenged, somehow) are interesting.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Kevin,


You still are holding Steele to a different standard, than you did Bush. He said stuff like "Bring it on", and "Mission Accomplished" and a lot more stuff that he would not even walk back; and you reelected they guy; but when it comes to Michael Steele, a few minor gaffs, that in no way affected the over all very positive outcomes during his tenure, and ya'll keep insisting that he must walk the plank.

Still smells to high heaven, as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "You still are holding Steele to a different standard, than you did Bush. He said stuff like "Bring it on", and "Mission Accomplished" and a lot more stuff that he would not even walk back"

No, I'm not. There a few things I didn't care for, but, for me, the proof is in the pudding. I don't have a problem with Steele.

I just don't think his complexion is the problem with the people who don't like him. But I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The skin tone thingy is a a distraction.

“The Republican party has sold out to multinatio­nal corporatio­ns like Newscorp, and Citigroup. They are more interested in helping corporatio­ns export jobs, than create jobs this country. Every single Republican Senator voted against SB 3816 the Create American jobs stop offshoring act.

No American patriot should vote for Republican­s. This os especially true for anyone of any color
making less than $250,000 a year.”

Posted by: uniteusnow | January 7, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The skin tone thingy is a a distraction.

“The Republican party has sold out to multinatio­nal corporatio­ns like Newscorp, and Citigroup. They are more interested in helping corporatio­ns export jobs, than create jobs this country. Every single Republican Senator voted against SB 3816 the Create American jobs stop offshoring act.

No American patriot should vote for Republican­s. This os especially true for anyone of any color
making less than $250,000 a year.”

Posted by: uniteusnow | January 7, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

The skin tone thingy is a a distraction.

“The Republican party has sold out to multinatio­nal corporatio­ns like Newscorp, and Citigroup. They are more interested in helping corporatio­ns export jobs, than create jobs this country. Every single Republican Senator voted against SB 3816 the Create American jobs stop offshoring act.

No American patriot should vote for Republican­s. This os especially true for anyone of any color
making less than $250,000 a year.”

Posted by: uniteusnow | January 7, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

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