Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Gee, Why Am I Not Surprised?

Last week, I got an email tipping me that one of the top three picks for chair of the Republican National Committee was Katon Dawson, a guy so racist, he wears it like a badge of honor. But before I could find the time to post about it, the Good Old Boys selected a man instead who just a week ago was brushed aside by the Washington Post as highly unlikely to get the nod. Why did the RNC choose former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael S. Steele? Well, this is his photo:

You do the math.

I tell my students all the time that politics is ALL about getting elected. And then, of course, staying elected. I tell 'em that if they can just get enough folks to call our local representatives to make the point that voting a particular way will get them unelected, they can have whatever they want. And you can take that to the bank...or the bailout...or wherever you want to take it. It's not about principles or values or even partisan politics. It's about that office -- and the power that goes with it.

What I don't tell 'em, though, is that IF they listen and get the hang of doing this broadly enough, things will shortly get crazy. I strongly suspect that the only reason the Powers-That-Be bother to court the people at all is that the people don't really try to hold politicians accountable after the fact. The excitement, it seems, is about the race and the election and then everybody goes back to their jobs, watches the Superbowl, and moves on with their lives till the next entertainment extravaganza. And those who wound up with a ticket to ride snatch up all that power (and all that money) and make hay while the sun shines.

But if folks start making noises like they're gonna make those with their hands in the kitty actually stop acting like fascists and start repairing the damage that's been done to our nation and our world, we might just find ourselves looking dead down the throat of some real live flame-breathing dragons with full-blown agendas of their own.

But I doubt that those of the darker hue who can be fooled into imagining that the RNC has their best interests at heart will catch the vision. So the RNC is right in that respect. Hopefully, that won't include too many people because just as being Black doesn't make you a criminal (no matter what the media suggests), being Black doesn't make you a hero either.


Macon D said...

Good post. Here's an angle on the choice of Steele that I heard recently: I too "doubt that those of the darker hue who can be fooled into imagining that the RNC has their best interests at heart will catch the vision." But I don't think that the Repubs chose Steele to lure black voters. I think they know that with such staunch, long-term support for Democratic politicians and policies among black Americans, there's little chance of luring many blacks over, no matter what they do or whose face they put forward. I think that instead, Steele was chosen more to appeal to white Republicans who don't want to be associated, at least not too openly, with a clearly racist party. Steele makes the party seem less racist for the sake of white voters. Black voters generally know better than that--that it is and has long been racist at its core.

Changeseeker said...

Interesting...and it makes sense to me. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that African-American voters in general would jump on that bandwagon just because Steele is now at the helm, but I do think (because I meet them regularly) that there are some people of color who really think with a strongly capitalist -- or at least "conservative" mentality -- and I think they might find Steele particularly appealing. But I guess they were voting Republican already.

Yep. Looks like you're probably right. White folks just love a good pretense, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Let's not put anything past the party that nominated Sarah Palin.

Changeseeker said...

As old news and over it as that is, Anonymous, I swear that STILL gives me pause. And the fact that she's now trying to build a base to make another run for it borders on bizarre for me. What kind of alternative universe is that woman living in?

Tinsmith Snow said...

I very much agree with Macon D. In fact, according to some, Steele seems to be all too happy to help play the part:

Changeseeker said...

You find the most WONDERFUL stuff to make me laugh, Tinsmith. Thanks for coming around.