Reaching out

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I initially decided to simply ignore the ongoing contretemps over the Coretta King funeral. It isn't exactly news that Democrats hijack any and all occasions to blather their political attack rhetoric. What prompted me to rethink completely ignoring the matter was commentary from my wife when she saw a news report about the funeral. Paraphrasing, her comment was, "What is wrong with these Democrats? Why can't they just go to a funeral, say some nice things about the dead person, and behave with a little dignity? Why do they always have to attack?"

We've tossed those sorts of questions around here at Flares Into Darkness and on other sites we frequent. I don't know if there is an answer or multiple answers or if it is just some inherent characteristic of "liberals" that they cannot get through a day, regardless of the venue they find themselves in, without letting everyone know how angry they are. No sense of decorum.

Other than the rhetorical questions and the fact that people are noticing, however, there isn't a whole lot that is particularly interesting about the matter. Capt Ed (Captains Quarters) does take a look at one of the interesting facets of this - the matter of reaching out by President Bush.

The short article is worth reading but to summarize, the point he makes is that the claim that Bush hasn't "reached out" to blacks and, in particular, to black leadership (the NAACP) is demonstrably false. What has happened, and yesterdays funeral is yet another example, is that NAACP leadership has responded to Bush's outreach with bad behavior and virulent rhetoric. None of us, not even a President (or perhaps especially not a President) is likely to continue to reach out to "leadership" that demonstrates nothing beyond the desire to vent their anger. (The Islamic world seems to miss this point as much as the Democrats do.)

There really is little point trying to talk to people who want nothing more than an opportunity to scream.


Barry Dauphin said...

I expect Sharpton and Carter to do what they do. What is interesting is that too many Democrats simply say nothing about that, even if they would not behave in that way. The rebuke comes from outside the party instead of from within the party (where it would do a whole lot more good). Another curious thing is that too many of the Democrats are oblivious to how that comes across to much of "middle America". The moral vanity of the speakers is so strong, they only see their reflections.

Rick Ballard said...

What does Bush have to offer the NAACP race pimps that can be comverted to cash? Until and unless he can come up with cash for them he won't be acceptable. The faith based initiatives were aimed directly at black pastors and churches - bypassing the race pimps - and they haven't forgotten.

Given that the balcks are primarily moat dwellers around the Blue Castles the politics of the outstretched hand are a little difficult to understand. When they aren't jammed in a moat they're crowded into a gerrymandered black district and the Democratically designed aggregations reduce them to electoral castoffs. They simply don't have any political weight.

So, we're left with the possibility that Bush is actually just doing the right thing without political calculation being involved.

What a horrible thought.

Knucklehead said...


What does Bush have to offer the NAACP race pimps that can be comverted to cash?

That pretty much sums up the actions of at least the leadership of the NAACP and the race pimps in general. They have become extortionists (if they were ever anything different). Pay them money or they will make whatever trouble they can make.

What they seem to fail to understand is that their extortion techniques have become effective only against the Democratic Party and corporations. There's no threat that is meaningful to the Republican Party. The monolithic voting block controlled by the race pimps can't subtract any meaningful number of votes from Republicans because they don't give any meaningful number of votes to Republicans. The rhtetoric can't be cranked up any further - they've long since convinced the voting population that they are willing to say anything, anywhere, anytime.

Unless they prove themselves willing and able to deliver votes to Republicans, Republicans might as well try reaching out over their heads. If it gains a few votes, great. If it eventually leads to putting, say, 20-25% of the black vote actually in play during elections, mores the better. If it doesn't, nothing is lost.

Their relentless rhetorical attacks have left their opponents free to do the "right thing" without political calculation. What the heck, it is the right thing to do, the gain is probably low but so is the cost.

For the most part politicians of all stripes will take political calculation into account when deciding how to proceed.

The Dems (and oddly enough I realized this AM that I had ceased thinking of the NAACP as a "black organization" and long since thought of it as a "Democrat Party organization) keep making it completely easy for Bush to simply "do the right" thing simply because it is the right thing.

I believe his tendencies are strongly in that direction anyway, and he isn't running for anything anymore so the need for "political calculation" is reduced for him personally, but the Dems have gone so far beyond the pale that they don't even make it politically difficult.

Is there any real hope that the black voting block will fragment any time soon?

Rick Ballard said...

"Is there any real hope that the black voting block will fragment any time soon?"

Sure, the fault lines are there and the faith based initiative put a chisel point on one of them and smacked it good. Another is the Dem's warm embrace of gay marriage. People of faith within the black community (and especially those of the Baptist persuasion) look at that embrace with, let's say more than moderate, distaste.

Watch the Steele race in Maryland. He's being targeted for attack precisely because he is their worst nightmare. A black man with actual moral principles is a fearsome sight to the Dems - and to the race pimps with a Rev. before their names and child support payments for their little "oops" offspring due.

It's a bit like watching the progress of a glacier, though. Better not be in a hurry.

Knucklehead said...


I'm going OT here but a speculation has been rattling around in the ample empty spaces of my cranium.

I haven't looked into Clinton's "Sistah Soljah" moment enough to have any clue if it was completely spontaneous and "honest" or a contrivance for political effect. Either way it was almost certainly played for political effect - after the fact contrivand if you will even if was originally spontaneous.

Here's where I'm going with this. The Dems are not total morons. It has to be evident to at least some of them that they are losing elections because they are losing the electorate.

It must be reasonably obvious to at least some of them that the relentless stance of shrieking objectionism and obstructionism is not a method for regaining large pieces of the electorate.

Yet another bit of "obvious at least to some" is that increasing the size of the electorate (getting out the votes) is very possibly pretty much tapped out. There just aren't enormous numbers of people who would not ordinarily vote who can be driven to go vote and the conditions under which this is not entirely true tend to be advantageous for both sides. Any issue that is important enough to get typical non-voters off their butts will be a double edged sword.

So the question becomes what can the Dems do, in time for next election, to bring large numbers of voters back to their side. They seem to be having enormous difficulty coming up with ideas to solve any of the problems the electorate finds important, or generating any "get the angry off their butts" type scandals that would work for them without also working for the Republicans.

Scandal has the advantage of being able to move voters quickly. That is why they so desperately want one. But they don't seem to be succeeding and time is running short. Scandals can also be stalled for a while even if they were to find one.

So what does that leave them? Perhaps a "Sistah Soljah Moment" writ large. Amp up the hissey-fit shrieking, pin as much of it as possible in the public's minds as "the Republican's fault" and then make a last minute dive back toward "niceness and puppies".

I don't know enough about the machinery of party politics to know if that is represents a "feasible act of desperation" or not. And even if it does I suspect the Dems may have already wound the knob too far, but the idea has occured to me.

Is it tin-foil hat stuff on my part?

David Thomson said...

“Is there any real hope that the black voting block will fragment any time soon?”

A major fragmentation is not required to doom the Democrats in 2008. A mere increase of three ot four percent switch to the Republican presidential candidate is probably enough to destroy the Democratic nominee.

RogerA said...

Was Jesse Jackson there? I am assuming not, because I know he would not have missed the chance to get a headline--Interesting that Lowrey was there; in the recent King Biography, it was mentioned about a struggle between the King family and the SCLC for "ownership" of the King legacy.

I DO wonder was Mrs. King's wishes were for her funeral.

Rick Ballard said...


If we could figure out a unifying theme for Dems we could probably pocket a tidy sum bu selling it to them. There are undoubtedly a very large number of moderate Dems. In fact, I would not hesitate to place money on the affirmative side of a wager stipulating that moderated Dems constitute the largest segment of Dem voters.

They don't put their money where their mouth is and they aren't aggregated tightly enough to be a worthwhile segment for local and (most) statewide elections. No money and no concentration mean no voice. If you study Hillary's fence straddling two faced hypocrisy you understand that she (because she wants a nationwide office) actually targets the moderates. Yet she is forced continually into incoherence by the feminists, the blacks and the 13%ers. Where Bill was a competent and genial liar, Hillary is very clumsy - you just know she's lying when there was always an outside chance that Bill might mistakenly tell the truth.

If you want a very nice example of the incoherence of the Dems a study of opposition to Casey's run against Santorum in PA is as good an example as any. Casey is pro-life, ergo, the pro-abortion feminist lobby is spending energy throwing mud at him. It doesn't matter that he's the only Dem with a chance against Santorum - he's just not the right kind of Dem, so it's better to sit in the ashes and wail. PA is a pretty expensive state and Casey has raised $4 mil, with $3mil on hand but Santorum has $7.75 mil on hand. Money is going to count in this one and the Dems just aren't going to raise enough for a pro-life candidate.

The rhetoric is all about money and the 13%ers are currently the only source of significant dough. It's just not going to change fast enough to warrant changing the rhetoric.

Knucklehead said...


A major fragmentation is not required to doom the Democrats in 2008

My first inclination was to point out the more immediate concern of 2006. Then it dawned on me that the house and senate seats controlled by the black vote are virtually safe forever.

On the other hand, as Rick pointed out, the MD race matters in the overall progress of the glacier.

I'd prefer they seal their doom this year but the black vote can't accomplish that. Whoever that Gerry Mander guy was, he sure fixed things.

2008 it is. The one article I've seen recently (today?) said that Bush got 9% of the black vote in 2000 and 11% in 2004. Any ideas what the tipping point is? I'd guess that if anything close to 16% or so of the black vote become open to access by Republican POTUS candidates (and candidates for Governor in some states) that would spell something awful close to DOOM for the Dems.

No wonder they play the race card with such abandon. It has worked so well and it is nearly the last trump card they hold. Social Security is THE final trump card the Dems hold.

Buddy Larsen said...

Think Carter was bad?

David Thomson said...

“In fact, I would not hesitate to place money on the affirmative side of a wager stipulating that moderated Dems constitute the largest segment of Dem voters.”

The majority of so-called moderate Democrats are economic illiterates. They instinctively reject the radical leftist agenda (especially its cultural aspects)---but believe that the Democratic Party best represent their economic interests. These voters have been conned by New Deal ideology. I am utterly convinced that the nation is 25% less wealthy today because of the influence of Democratic economic policies. The Republican Party is literally the the best friend of the nation’s poor. Unfortunately, few people understand what I’m talking about.

David Thomson said...

“The one article I've seen recently (today?) said that Bush got 9% of the black vote in 2000 and 11% in 2004. Any ideas what the tipping point is? I'd guess that if anything close to 16% or so..”

There is virtually no way that a Democratic presidential candidate can win if their Republican opponent captures a mere 16% of the black vote! This is just how important the black vote is to the Democrats in a national election.

Knucklehead said...


I can't find it now but I saw what seemed an honest analysis of what Bond said that suggested the WND article was a bit overwrought and inaccurate.

What he actually did, IIRC, was a bit of rhetorical slight of hand. The trick goes something like this. First equate the confederate flag with the swastika. Then start calling the confederate flag the confederat swastika. Then associate Republicans with the southern state catfights over flying the confederate battle flag along with the American flag.

Now, without specifically calling Republicans Nazis but, rather, saying they wish to have the "Confederate Swastika" flying alongside the American flag, you've pasted a swastika on Republicans.

The WND article misquotes Bonds. Regardless of the misquote, however, that rhetoric was uncalled for at a funeral attended by a Republican POTUS. No sense of decorum.

I heard an NAACP spokesman defending Bond yesterday. His entire defense, stated a number of ways, was that blacks have a right to vent their anger wherever and whenever they see fit. Sorta like Moslems, I suppose. A very weak defense.

Eric Blair said...

Well, the Senate race in PA is a little closer than you might think, If the state votes even close to what it did in the 2004 election.

HOWEVER, the Republicans have found their Gubenatorial candidate in Lynn Swann, the former star Pittsburgh Steeler football player. If Swann is at all articulate, he's probably going to beat Ed Rendell and Santorum will ride along on his coattails. Swann probably has Pittsburgh sewn up. He'll probably detach a good chunk of Philadelphia county from the Democrats, if he's smart about it.

It will be an interesting election this year in Pennsylvania.

If he wins, and is halfway decent as a Governor, look for him to run for president in 2012. (Like Corzine in New Jersey)

Rick Ballard said...


Isn't Rendell a little too much of a "big tenter" for the lefties? I appreciate your remarks on where PA was in '04 but midterm turnouts are usually significantly lower than Presidential years and the "walk around" money that's used to buy votes in Philly is a bit low. Can Rendell and Casey buy enough votes in Philly to swing it - even if they had the dough?

The other factor is Philly coming in with more votes than voters again - was anything ever done about that?

terrye said...

I thought the behavior of a lot of those socalled civil rights leaders at the funeral was tacky as hell. It made them look dumb. I mean come on, after Wellstone one would think they would catch on to the fact that a funeral is not a political rally. And we do see more and more blacks running as Republicans. Guys like Swann will help the GOP a lot more than Carter will hurt it.

And David, if Republicans really do run on killing the New Deal it will help not hender Democrats.

The truth is most of those entitlements do not go to the poor, they go to the middle class and to think they go on living in the style to which they have become accsustomed without those programs is naive.

BTW the New Deal was not just about welfare it was the FDIC and SEC and a host of economic safety nets that brought a stability to the market which had never existed before.

In fact this kind of yearning for the good old days when happy go lucky orphans worked in sweat shops and poor old people without relatives were left to fend for themselves while black people had no rights to education etc is not exactly a step forward for the just plays into the moronic stereotypes that demagogues like Carter throw around all the time.

Eric Blair said...

Rendell knows how to deliver the pork. That gets attention. He solved the SEPTA strike by buying off SEPTA with state funds, while at the same time getting the Union to pay a teensy-bit of its health care premiums. Both sides got something they could live with, so that was that. The current Mayor of Philadelphia, John Street, was no where to be seen, as he really couldn't take a stand, since he would have been vilified no matter what he did. So, Rendell is the default candidate, and there isn't anybody who's going to challenge him.

Yes, people may stay home, but I figure they'll stay home in the same proportions, such that it wouldn't change the vote.

Oh, about all the dead people voting in Philly? No, not a damn thing has been done about that. Nobody seems to care, not even the Republicans, really, although there is a bill in the PA legislature right now to require ID's to vote. The usual suspects are for and against it. It may pass though.

Certainly the local alternative weeklies (Philadelphia Weekly and The City Paper) are against it, because like, women and minorities will be hardest hit. There is daily free paper called "The Metro" (apparently some sort of franchise thing originally started in Sweden) that had a 'man on the street' question about it, and it really shows the generational divide. Two older black men said, yes, because ID's are required in everywhere else, why not voting too, while two 20 something white college kids basically parroted the Itsallanevilrethuglicanplotbykarlroveandchimpymcbushhitlerhalliburtonwhohatesblackpeopleandgaysandwomenandbushisapoopyheadtoo line.

Eric Blair said...

Hmmm. Curious. There seems to be a character buffer limit on the size of character strings that do not have spaces in them.

Buddy Larsen said...

Lynn Swann--from what I've seen, he is putting together an extremely high-quality, high-road, political brand. Back him with vigor!

terrye said...


Yep the other Republican backed out and he has a shot at it.