The Washington Post (pretty-good journalists, many shallow analysts and lousy op-editors) reports in “Debate No-Shows Worry GOP Leaders”:
“Key Republican leaders are encouraging the party's presidential candidates to rethink their decision to skip presidential debates focusing on issues important to minorities, fearing a backlash that could further erode the party's standing with black and Latino voters.”
"We sound like we don't want immigration; we sound like we don't want black people to vote for us," said former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), who was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. "What are we going to do -- meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we're going to be competitive with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote."This just in! (--since… ooh …forever?):
Everybody in politics meets in a club and decides whether or not they need the support of this or that voting-bloc. But not only does the GOP sound “like we don't want immigration” the GOP has acted against immigration. It has also done its best to suppress the “black vote”.
And these words of complaint reveal the GOP’s inherent racial and cynical attitudes—the people you are talking about, Jack, the votes you think should be now be courted as the GOP faces a major political setback in 2008, are in fact American citizens! Sure they might be Hispanic or dark-skinned, but they are Americans with a right to vote—just like white folks!
What the GOP doesn’t want is 'ethnic' people voting for Democrats, because Democrats tend to serve (or at least attempt to serve) blacks' and Hispanics' political and economic needs, as Americans.
All the GOP does and has ever done is to pander to them to gain power and then not just ignore them, but actually legislate against their interests (which often happen to be national interests too—like decent wages and health care and job safety and fair legal representation etc.).
Vote for Alan Keyes, he’s black, like you!—what more reason do you need? (Never-mind that he’s certifiable, regardless of his political affiliation).
"For Republicans to consistently refuse to engage in front of an African-American or Latino audience is an enormous error," said Newt Gingrich. "I hope they will reverse their decision and change their schedules. I see no excuse--this thing has been planned for months, these candidates have known about it for months. It's just fundamentally wrong. Any of them who give you that scheduling-conflict answer are disingenuous. That's baloney."Not because Gingrich thinks African-Americans or Latinos have relevant social and economic concerns that the GOP is best-equipped to address when in power, but because the GOP is simply going to lose their votes (such as they are) and lose in the elections--big time. Gingrich knows politics in general and GOP politics in particular (and he has his future relevance to consider).
It’s touchingly ironic really, this panicked appeal for votes; it’s as though the GOP (which manipulated and stole two presidential elections and numerous state and local ones too by various illegal means) apparently has a rekindled faith and fearful respect for the voting system they’ve worked so hard to dismantle.
"What's the win?" said the [GOP] adviser, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. "Why would [the candidates] go into a crowd where they're probably going to be booed?"Why indeed? I think that says it all.