Thursday, May 20, 2010

Year of the Black Republican?

As 2010 is being dubbed as another 'Year of the Black Republican', I think it's time for me to re-evaluate my feelings towards this rather small demographic of black folks.

Let me be honest: black republicans aren’t my favorite bunch of black folks in the world. I do have a habit of viewing them with in a snide manner. However, I’m not completely sure I can run them through the mud like their more liberal counterparts do.

I do think that there is currently an opportunity for black republicans within the tea party and the Republican Party at large. The Tea Party, who have been branded – rightfully or not – with the label ‘racist’, are logically in the market for some black folks. Looking for recognition, it makes sense for politically minded black republicans to want to align themselves with the movement and their campaign. Yet, at what cost? I can’t fathom being positioned as a means for much limited ‘racial inclusion’ is really worth the support of any group, but then again I’m not a politician. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of the black republicans recruited end up being miniatures Michael Steele replicas. It would truly be a sense of poetic justice, but it would also make me even more frustrated than I already am.

There is one aspect to black republicans that I find interesting. They provide a necessary kick to Democrats, who seem to have taken the black vote for granted for too long. As much as I may be liberal, I don’t care for considered as a vote that’s already in the bag. I’ve often heard people in my community say that they are only remembered ‘around election time’, and as far as I’m concerned, they are correct. Should the Republicans gain ground in black communities – most likely those with well-to-do blacks. I don’t foresee people who live in places that rank lower on the economic scale jumping ship – hopefully the Democrats become more accountable and active in regards to their black constituents.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Impressions on Kagan

President Obama has recently decided on Elena Kagan, currently the Solicitor General, to be his nominee for the post Justice Stevens has on the Supreme Court.

I likely may not be the first to say this but here it goes: Could we please not have a bloodbath like we did when Sotomayor was nominated? When I first heard of Justice Stevens’ decision to leave, I felt the same political seasickness I’ve been feeling for a while now. The sum of my thoughts was: “here we are, Obama has another open seat to full and we’re going to just repeat the same battle from a year ago”.

However, with his nominee out in the open, has my seasickness has yet to be relieved.

First and foremost is her record, or perhaps lack of one. I agree with numerous other commenters who’ve said that this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, no one has a clear idea on how she’ll swing on the bench. We can guess that she’ll further Obama’s left-leaning agenda, but because she hasn’t been a judge, we don’t know much about her stance on certain hot button issues. On the other hand, there isn’t much to fuel the fire and brimstone that is bound to be coming her way.

Secondly, it appears that people on both sides of the fence like her. A good number of Republicans voted for her during her appointment for Solicitor General, so should they decide to bend the other way, things will get interesting as we watch them back track. Yet, spin that dime around and we have reports of folks from both parties who dislike the woman.

Of course, her lack of a paper trail and history with folks who aren’t of the liberal persuasion are on the list of reasons for why Obama picked her. I would imagine if I were him, I’d want someone who could possibly fly into the seat without being the target of so much flak. Given the political climate of recent months, the fact that we’re going into an election year – one that the Dems aren’t too sure they can pull out ahead in, and the precedent set for the treatment of Obama nominees, I wouldn’t want to waste too much time fighting another battle over matters like these.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s far too early for me to be comfortable with her. As her life gets pulled through the teeth of the media – of which I’m sure it will – I’ll pay close attention and choose where I’d like to settle. Until then, I’ll stay in my little boat and try not to lose my lunch.