With the 2012 presidential election quickly approaching, all of America’s politicians are anticipating a gritty battle for the White House. President Obama, whose approval numbers have declined significantly since he took office, is steeling himself for a dogfight as Republicans suss out who they’re going to nominate to go up against him.
But all of this was to be expected, of course. A bit more interesting this year in the lead-up to the big election is the behind-the-scenes discussions among Black Republicans about how to rally more Black conservatives. Can it be done in time to beat Obama?
According to Rep. Allen West, it can. We’ve mentioned West, an African-American Republican representing Florida, in this space before. He’s a far-right former Marine who was discharged after using questionable interrogation tactics in Iraq. He’s also said he “can’t stand” President Obama. West, along with another Black Republican congressman who won election in 2010, Tim Scott, from South Carolina, believes now is the time for more men and women like him and Scott.
As the keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., last month, a spot Sarah Palin turned down, West said, “Liberal progressivism evolved after our Constitution. It has repeatedly failed all over the world. So why do we think it could be successful here in the United States of America?”
For his part, Scott said in a recent interview that if “Black people vote their issues, they will vote Republican more often than not.”
The subtext of Scott’s statement, of course, is that when Blacks vote for Obama, they aren’t voting for politics; they’re voting for their race. That’s a remarkable statement coming from a man whose party is actually seriously considering Mississippi governor Haley Barbour as a presidential candidate. In case you’ve forgotten, Barbour is the one who said he doesn’t remember Mississippi “being that bad” in the days before the civil rights era.
Good luck getting Blacks to vote for that ignorant bigot.