With an empty suit as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, I know you can feel the magic in the air. Now the speculation on who will fill the vice presidential slot has begun. Predictably, a number of the prospective candidates are black and brown, at least nominally.
It is safe to say that Mitt Romney - the whitest man ever, as Bill Maher described him - will make some so-called bold move (or cynical, depending on your point of view) to spice up the campaign and generate some interest. John McCain tried that with Sarah Palin in 2008, and we know how well that worked out.
As an empty corporate suit with a Swiss bank account and a car elevator, Romney is not scoring any points among the common folk in the age of rising inequality and hard times. And the GOP - the party of voter ID, forced ultrasounds, contraception bans and xenophobia - looks increasingly like a mix between Christian Taliban and a nascent fascist movement. The Republicans are owned by billionaires filled with greed and a desire to shape the nation in their own perverted, twisted image. Their world is one in which government is privatized and the rich thrive on the backs of the poor. And in their world, black people are put back in their place and women put aspirin between their legs.
And while the rich are running the show and pocketing the nation’s wealth, they throw a bone to poor and working class whites - who will never benefit from GOP policies - in the form of guns, Jesus Christ and the culture wars.
In today’s Republican Party, Ronald Reagan wouldn’t make it out of the gate. Barry Goldwater wouldn’t have a progressive’s chance at a CPAC conference. Moderates and liberals have long fled what is now a white nationalist party. And yet, within this context, a handful of black and brown faces remain in the party, clinging to their honorary club membership.
These individuals are promoted as up-and-coming rising stars, although they have not demonstrated any ability short of distancing themselves from the communities that birthed them. They provide cover to white racism by cosigning racist policies, and proclaiming, like George Zimmerman, that they cannot be racist. A number of them are being considered for Romney’s running mate.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is on that list, but his lack of charisma and bizarre response to Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech all but disqualify him. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, of Indian descent like Jindal, is unpopular and plagued with scandal. Florida Congressman Allen West is apparently mentally unstable, and in any case, too busy burning Communists at the stake to run for the VP slot.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Governor Susana Martinez (R-New Mexico) are faced with the dilemma of joining a party that loves to punish Latinos. And the party would question their citizenship and demand they produce their papers.
The last person, Condi Rice, leads in a poll of vice presidential choices, but really doesn’t belong on this list because she apparently has a conscience.
These water carriers for the most atrocious conservative policies provide a happy face to the GOP. Surely, as Romney etch-a-sketches his way back to the center, Republicans are thinking that a brown or black face on the ticket will help them with moderate and independent voters. Perhaps they will even skim off enough voters of color - those who have an ID and are still eligible to vote, that is. Given the extremist nature of the Republican Party, this strategy is likely to fail.
Nevertheless, the purveyors of intolerance always manage to enlist support from representatives of the groups they scapegoat. This means some women Republicans will act as surrogates for Romney and endorse the subjugation of women. And black, Asian and Latino conservatives will support the right-wing madness of the Tea Party.
Black conservatives either have remained silent or have openly supported voter ID laws that embrace the spirit of Jim Crow. And now, while ALEC has divested itself of the voter ID issue, a group called the National Center for Public Policy Research has assumed the mantle. A climate change denier, NCPPR is funded by ExxonMobil and a number of rightwing foundations.
Once embroiled in the Jack Abramoff scandal by funneling millions of dollars at his direction, NCPPR has an initiative known as Project 21, a black conservative group. According to their website, Project 21 “promotes the views of African-Americans whose entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family and commitment to individual responsibility has not traditionally been echoed by the nation’s civil rights establishment.” In other words, they support atrocious policies such as voter ID.
There is a reason why blacks and Latinos are not Republicans. They are not brainwashed as Herman Cain suggested. Rather, they vote their interests, which by the way do not include white nationalism and soiling the legacy of the civil rights movement. Opportunistic and not encumbered by a sense of decency, some people will do anything for a buck and promises of fame. And a few are even gunning for a place on the presidential ticket, in a party that shows utter contempt for those who look like them.
Posted: Friday, 27 April 2012