On the heels of the debate attended by the Democrat presidential candidates, the Republicans took their turn at the podiums on the stage before a predominantly black audience. They came to pander and bow before those who have absolutely no intention of voting in a Republican primary. They came to belittle the top tier candidates, all four of them, who did not attend.
The moderator, Tavis Smiley, remarked he had been working on this forum for over a year. The forum was presented on PBS and the panel of questioners were all well qualified liberals in good standing. Cynthia Tucker with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ray Suarez from PBS, and Juan Williams of NPR and also Fox News. None ever friendly to Republicans. Cynthia Tucker maintained her sour, stern face each time I dipped into the debate.
Did you think I would choose to watch this exercise in futility over the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy? Please. From what I viewed during commercial breaks, I made the right choice.
Alan Keyes was on stage as a candidate. When did he jump in?
The audience feigned indignation that the top tier of candidates - Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Thompson - called it for what it was and didn't accept the summons for attendance. Where was all this righteous indignation when the Dems refused to debate on Fox News channel, also sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus? There was none. There was, however, lots of high fiving the Dems for being cowed by the far left websites demanding they avoid Fox News.
I heard two questions being asked of the candidates. The first was submitted by a contestant in an Internet question lottery : Since the majority of American presidents, since Abe Lincoln, have been Republican yet most blacks couldn't name a President with a positive legacy for blacks from the Republican party, what would your legacy be? Yeah, that's a wonderful question. From the current president alone, there are many accomplishments for the minority populations yet that would not ever be acknowledged by this woman. Right now, today, there is a record level of home ownership by minorities, record amounts of government money funding public education, record low levels of unemployment and expanded drug payment programs. This president hasn't been shy to expand government programs, which to hear this audience talk, that is all that is important to them anyway. What's in it for me?
Another question I heard posed to the candidates: The House of Representatives fell short of votes for D.C. to be able to have a voting voice in Congress. Also, rigid requirements for voter id at polling places is seen as an attempt to bring about voter suppression. How do you guarantee all people are allowed to vote without discrimination? Well, first on the question of voting rights for D.C. in Congress - it's unconstitutional. D.C. is the District of Columbia, not the state of Columbia. The constitution would have to be changed, not simply voting in Congress on it. And for voter id's being required to vote? Yes. What a concept, right? Everyone can get a picture id, it doesn't have to be a drivers license or costly. Many states offer picture ids as a free benefit.
How come when Dems win elections, like they did in 2006, there is an amazing lack of cries of voting irregularities? How come when Republicans win, all of a sudden all kinds of horrible events were occurring?
I like most of the candidates running for my party's nomination. Most of them, however, are unelectable this time around. This time around, for the Republican candidate to be successful, he has to be able to debate and win over Hillary Clinton. It's as simple as that. He also has to have his first and foremost theme of national security. If the far right continues to moan and groan about abortion and how they'll just stay home if a liberal like Rudy is the candidate, well, it's hello President Hillary. Is that what they want? How about just getting out there and voting for your party? The Dems have proven to be the party of McGovern, part two, and are not worthy of the honor of keeping our country safe.
Mike Huckabee, who is a darn fine speaker, made the remark that he was embarrassed that the top tier candidates didn't show last night. I'm embarrassed he made that remark. It's the primary season. This election cycle has been so over-extended that the debates, to date, have been absolutely meaningless. Certainly this is true of the Republican debates. No one is saying anything. The audience doesn't learn anything of substance in 90 second bites. It's ridiculous.
Tell me something I haven't heard. Tell me what you are going to do, not what you think will placate me. Tell me how you are going to lead, not twist yourself into a pretzel over every issue.
The primary season is all about raising money and polls. In order to win the nomination by convention time the candidates have to speak to their base. After the conventions and the race toward the general election is underway, then more outreach to all populations in this country is the strategy.
You know what I'm embarrassed about, Mike Huckabee? I'm embarrassed that an entire minority population in this free country of ours votes as a block for one political party. I'm embarrassed that this population of voters continues to be taken for granted by the Democrats, over and over again. Exactly what policies were implemented by the 'first black president', Bill Clinton, that so improved the everyday lives of blacks in America?
In the last presidential election, 9% of black voters voted for President Bush. More blacks and other minorities are at the highest of levels of power in this administration.
Who's thinking is more progressive?