Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A Commenter Nails It When Describing the Russian Roulette the Clintons are Playing With the Black Vote and Ultimately The Democratic Party
From Group News Blog in reply to comments being made by myself and others that because of the Clinton's antics HRC will NOT be getting our votes:
I agree with JJ and moonglum on the not voting for Hillary issue.
People need to understand the seriousness of this.
It's not that black folks don't care about the Supreme Court or progressive programs but you have to understand for many blacks what the Bill Clinton has done (and yes I say Bill because this fight is more about him than Hillary IMHO and you know damn well he is behind every single nasty remark that has come out) is a betrayal first as a friend and second as a fellow Democrat.
Many of us considered the Clintons family, not me personally but I have family members and friends who loved him. Not agreed with him. Not liked his policy programs but loved the president because culturally and socially he was the first president that was close to us.
As Mrs Robinson wrote downthread, a charming smart guy who grew up poor in Arkansas raised by a single mother, tormented by a drunken father who overcomes the odds to make his way North for a better life is resembles to many of the stories of our own families. (Especially older relatives who were part of that migration of blacks from the south so many years before) We related to Bill in a way we never could to people like JFK and RFK because they were the product of rich families.
He might not have had the same skin color but superficially he was about as close as he could get. And for black folks who saw Jesse run and fail and had their hopes dashed then and assumed that they would never have anyone remotely close to them with a real sniff at the Whitehouse, Bill Clinton was a great substitute for the real thing.
The other endearing thing was he was a Democrat who many other Dems of his generation fought for our civil rights. Hell he even had a picture of is teenage self shaking JFK's hand! And maybe after years of Reagan and Bush we would have someone we could trust to continue that legacy.
Bill Clinton wasn't just a president he was family.
So we voted for him, vociferously defended him while many whites Dems were breaking ranks voting for the GOP and impeaching him not only in Congress but in the court of public opinion. And because Bill was family we also willfully ignored how he didn't deliver for us as he said he would. We stayed true to him through everything. We never even thought of straying from the party and it's ideals the way some many others had since 1980.
So to sit here and see staffers, surrogates, and Bill rip apart a black man using pages from the GOP playbook is about the worst thing politically many of us have seen not because we haven't seen it before but the source is a person that we gave unconditional trust to.
To see fellow Dems make excuses for the behavior is shocking to the system too. Read sites like Dailykos and see the real shucking and jiving some folks are doing to not only defend this crap but turn it around and say blacks in the party need to STFU. I never thought in my life I would hear the uppity nigger STFU line by another Dem. NEVER.
So yes we are pissed and we are going to stay pissed because the candidates, Howard Dean and many people in the party don't seem to give a shit.
So tell me what are my real choices? What choice to do we have but to stay home and not vote or do something more drastic like leave the party all together if Hillary wins the nomination when no one will take our concerns seriously or they pull out some argument about Supreme Court nominations changing the subject entirely?
Now I know some will think I am politically naive but what people outside the black community do not seem to understand is the first and I would argue largest reason we don't vote for the GOP is the GOP's racism. Not it's policy but simply the sickening way they choose to treat us.
I know I'm going to shock some folks here but us blacks no matter how much we like to say we are different than whites in many ways aren't. We've got homophobic religious evangelical fanatics too (thus Obama's speech on MLK day about homophobia in our community). We've got rich money grubbing assholes too (see Robert Johnson). We've got opportunistic bastards running our churches who are influential in our community who would endorse Satan in a political campaign if they thought it would get them money and political power (see all the pastors in 2004 who couldn't get on their knees fast enough to suck up to Bush).
We've got all the political diseases whites have and they are largely masked by the fact that the GOP's racism is so repellant that all these groups are FORCED to stick together for our own survival.
And the danger that LM didn't touch upon too much is what happens when that line of racial hatred between the Democrats and the GOP becomes blurred. Forget folks staying at home over Hillary on election day. Think of the total destruction of the Democratic party as blacks leave to vote for the GOP.
And yeah I know the first response to that is "The won't do that they'll be voting against they're own interest." So what? White folks have been doing that for nearly 30 years now. Like I said we aren't all that different from whites and some of are are craven and stupid enough to do it.
And yes it will be total destruction because blacks ARE the Democratic party. We ARE the left in this country. We ARE the stability of the party and have been for a long time.
And you Dems need us. To be more precise you need that 90% of our votes that we've given you in election after election.
Remember Rove's permanent majority? Part of the strategy was peeling off black votes. Just maybe 10-15 % and the Dems would never win another election again.
Think about that. Think about that as Clinton and his bullies keep pissing us off and giving younger blacks like me more and more reasons to say fuck it and stay home in Nov or do worse.
The Clintons are playing a game of racial Russian roulette. And they will keep pulling the trigger over and over again. And they don't worry about being shot because the gun isn't pointing at them but all of us.
Are you going to take a bullet for them? My mom's thinking about voting for McCain if he gets the nomination as are some of my other relatives and friends.
I have others who are just demoralized and ready not to vote for anybody.
I know my post was really long but the short of it is that if the Dems through their own infighting and failure to address the issues surrounding may be pushing some of us in the direction of the GOP or not participate at all.
And as for numbers? I'm not Latino so please someone correct me if I'm wrong but IIRC Latinos in this country have spread their vote out between the two parties with the Dems with a slight majority.
Despite the rhetoric of both parties we've had tight political races.
If the Dems need 90% of the black vote to win (or lose) by a squeeker what happens if that vote is 75 or 80% which it very well could be if Hillary wins the nomination?
Are you assuming Latinos are going to vote in those kind of numbers? They haven't so far as far as I've seen and they may not in the future.
Look, I'm not going to pretend to be a expert on Latino politics or where they stand between the GOP and the Democrats but all things staying equal the Democratic party will be fucked if blacks stop giving them their votes whether we are the largest minority or not. It's not about ALL of us saying "We're taking our ball and going home" but enough of us to really screw things up. That's the danger I'm talking about that noone seems to understand or dismisses as being unreal.
And as for the DTV analogy, I'll give you one of my own.
I have a friend who has digital cable. He got it while they were advertising one of those specials where you pay a low rate for a few months before they jack it up to a much higher one.
Everytime he gets close to the end of that low rate they give him a call about extending his service he gives them some spiel (sp?) about how a satellite dish looks good and he saw a lower rate somewhere else and you know what? They keep him at his low rate.
Why? Because of competition. Because even in cold-hearted businessmen know that even at a lower rate it's better for them to get your money than have it go somewhere else.
The Democratic infighting may produce a competition for black votes for the first time in forever.
Do Democrats know that it's better to keep blacks rather than ignoring us and giving us reasons to leave?
I don't think anyone wants that.