Thursday, April 24, 2008

Racial Politics: Obama and Steele

Great piece over at the Politico about the Democratic Party being the new home of racial politics.
Doug Heye draws interesting parallels and highlights Democrat double standards comparing Obama's run for the White House to Steele's 2006 Senate campaign. He also rehashes some of the past low blows from the usual suspects.

The editorial page of the Baltimore Sun dismissed Steele’s experience and used race to do it. Steele, the Sun charged, brought “little to the team but the color of his skin.” cough--Diane Donovan--cough. Four years later, the Sun continued to attack Steele, who had at that point served a full term as Maryland’s lieutenant governor and was running for U.S. Senate. While patronizingly labeling Steele a “likable man and persuasive speaker,” the Sun urged a vote against Steele “on the basis of record and experience alone.”

These attacks dovetailed perfectly with Steele’s opponents and were echoed by The Washington Post, which editorialized against Steele twice in the waning days of the campaign. Dismissing a likable, persuasive African-American on the question of experience sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Watching the attacks on Obama these past weeks, anyone who followed the 2006 elections knows what Yogi Berra meant when he quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

In the 2008 presidential race, Obama should consider himself lucky. He has not been called “slavish” by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Steny H. Hoyer, or an “Uncle Tom” by Maryland state Senate President Mike Miller, as Michael Steele was...

Still, the Obama camp’s outrage over questions it says are race-based — concerning whether a three-year senator has the experience to lead the free world — cannot be taken entirely seriously.

After all, it was Obama — whose presidential campaign has engaged in its own racial rhetoric, “(D-Punjab)” — who questioned Michael Steele’s experience to become one of his colleagues, saying that while Steele is an “affable person” (articulate? clean?), his record was “pretty thin.”

He then urged a predominantly African-American crowd to vote for the candidate with the “longer record of working on behalf of the African-American community.”


Anonymous said...

Oh yea, Steele's press secretary still trying to correct his failures by re-writing history.

Someone should tell him that no one called Steele "slavish" - nobody at all.

He would do well to understand that the "polling memo" he writes about came to only one conclusion about defeating Steele in the Black community - tell the truth about about Steele's love and affection for George W. Bush.

Steele told that story himself when Bush came to Maryland to fundraise for him - as did Karl Rove and the rest of the now discredited Republican scum of the day.

Steele got the cash and all the taint taht money carried.

And it wouldn't serve the argument that Mike Miller apologized for his comments and the apology was accepted - the two later working together side-by-side smiling to get slots into Maryland.

Thank God he didn't repeat the old lies about the ficticious "oreo cookie" incident that never happened.

But what was funny is that he took issue with someone pointing out the experience factor between Steele and exceptionally experienced Ben Cardin. Steele never won a race on his own and held a largely cerimonial position in state government, expecially the way Ehrlich treated him. he did nothing in four years. His education commission shut down quietly with a report on which nothing was done, not one piece of legislation introduced.


Because Steele was running for higher office and he didn't need the headache of defending his right-wing views in a campaign desisgned to hide them.

Mark Newgent said...

So you are admitting the Cardin didn't really run against Steele or his ideas he ran against Bush. Thanks!

A Democrat talking about tainted money! Oh that is rich.

Miller may have apologized, but he did say it.

You miss the point about the comparison, it was about Obama pointing out Steele's inexperience in 2006 then turning around and whinning about people calling his experience into question in 2008.

Also, what about some of these despicable comments From the Nov 2, 2005 column by S.A. Miller in The Washington Times:

"...State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes. 'Party trumps race, especially on the national level,' she said. 'If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy.'

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black. 'Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people.'

On the Uncle Tom thing Marriott said 'That's not racial. If they call him the "N' word, that's racial,' Mrs. Marriott said. 'Just because he's black, everything bad you say about him isn't racial.'
This week, the News Blog -- a liberal Web log run by Steve Gilliard, a black New Yorker -- removed a doctored photo of Mr. Steele that depicted him as a black-faced minstrel. However, the blog has kept its headline 'Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house.' A caption beneath a photo of the lieutenant governor reads: 'I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House.' "

Anonymous said...

I make no claim to what the Cardin campaign did or didn't do. But, being "Bush" is an idea. It's a whole trash-can full.

Nice try. Steele lost because he had no experience or record to overcome his affection for Bush's ideas while running against a far better candidate

Ben Cardin is and was the better leader with more experience to go to the United State's Senate. I am not amazed you didn't try to say otherwise. Which means even you think so.

Miller flapped his gums in anger because Steele was attacking him. You forgot the acceptance of the apology by Steele. Come to think of it, in a peak of real sleazyness from Steele during the campaign, so did he.

Exploiting the incident without admitting that he accepted the apology shows a real lack of character.

Character apparently doesn't count much in the MD Republican Party.

So you're quoting from the Washington Times story? The one that didn't have a single quote substantiating the bizarre claims?

They never, ever said it was ok to attack Steele racially. Never.

Funny thing, I have heard Steele say the same things they did. "Issues are more important than race - politics is a tough place to play."

Show me a direct quote in that story that says what this passage claims:

"...said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele..."

"...including racial jabs..."

You can't show that quote. Because they never said it and they never meant it.

But the Wash Times had no problem making it up and publishing it.

And you included as your evidence some African-American blogger from far outside this state - with no connection to this state - doing something stupid?

I wonder how the Maryland Democrats responded to it.

Do you know?

Do you care? I mean as long as you can spin a message, does the truth matter?