The Republican Party, The Shutdown, and Race (An Angry Black Man Rant)
Sorry I didn’t make any comment about the shutdown. I was so annoyed by the whole fiasco I didn’t feel as though I was in the right place to comment on it in any insightful way. I also really don’t like to talk about racial issues on this blog (although you probably wouldn’t know it and I will probably talk about race even more going forward) and I didn’t see any way to comment on the shutdown and the intransigence of the Republican Party without making some comment about the racial undertones. Of course this picture basically speaks to the racial undertones at least for Black people. With shenanigans like that it’s not difficult to understand why the majority of African Americans don’t support them.
I know there are people in the South who think that the confederate flag is a symbol of their heritage, but to Black people it just simply looks like an antiquated symbol of oppression. The fact that it showed up in front of the White House during the tenure of the first African American president amid a government shutdown just seems like too much racial serendipity. Fairly or unfairly, in the minds of a lot of Black people this image is the enduring symbol of the Tea Party. If the Republican Party wants to reach out to minorities it really should get as far from the Tea Party as possible.
In fact even putting race aside, the Republican Party should probably get as far from the Tea Party as possible. I say that because the shutdown fiasco was one of the most ill-conceived political maneuvers I have seen probably in my whole life (I admit that’s not a very long time.) They decided that they were going to try to force a sitting President to voluntarily rescind what he considers a legendary achievement while his party controls the Senate. The concept was headed for destruction from the beginning. The sad part is that even though the y failed they still seem to think that the strategy might work in the future.
Even though many analysts are projecting that shutdown won’t be in play when the continuing resolution is over in January, I’m putting the odds at an even 50-50. The reason I’m doing this is because the people who are represented by the Sen. Cruz and Rand Pauls of the world are not in fear of losing their gerrymandered seats. Furthermore, those constituents are actually rewarding the tactic of shutting down the government even though it is clearly beyond the pale.
The only sliver of hope for the government at this point rests in the hands of the weak “moderate” Republicans who actually believe in attempting to govern the country and not being a party of obstruction based on lightly veiled racist “ideals.” The power of these Republicans rests with the will of the conservative business establishment and whether or not they are sick enough with the Tea Party to start funding challenges to them in their own districts. If this doesn’t happen in 2014, then the 2016 Republican Primaries should be very interesting with Rand Paul and maybe Senator Cruz running as Tea Party Candidates, while Mark Rubio and Chris Christie run as representatives of the Republican Establishment. Either way, this whole fiasco has left a foul taste in my mouth. I like to think of myself as a “left leaning independent.” I view my politics as generally moderate, but the shutdown strategy has me seriously thinking about signing up as a card carrying Democrat. The Republican Party simply has no constructive party platform.