Monday, December 30, 2002
It's been a surprisingly busy day today, so blogging has been light (so far). But the system is crashing, so I thought I'd comment on the latest troubles in the Democratic House leadership. It seems Nancy Pelosi doesn't understand black folks. Worse than Lott she is. And funny thing: the CBC has a point. Here's the money quote, from a leadership staffer:
"[I]f the Black Caucus is complaining about Pelosi not picking a person of color, and that seems to be their only complaint, they're being just as closed-minded as they claim Pelosi is. I mean, Matsui is a person of color."
Earth to Democratic Leadership: the only people who think this way are rich liberals and college kids. The vaunted "Rainbow Coalition" exists entirely in their minds. Americans of Japanese descent and American blacks have, to a first approximation, no interests and no culture in common (except in as much as they are all Americans, a characteristic they share with Republican-leaning groups and therefore not particularly germane to this kind of analysis). If you doubt this, run a little test. Who do you send out to rouse black voters in a close Louisiana Senate race - a black House Democrat, or a Japanese House Democrat?
Bill Clinton, our first Black President, could square the circle of putting together the money elite and the popular base of the Democratic Party. Dick Gephardt never quite connected with the money crowd, but at least he had a feel for the voters. Pelosi is a pure creature of the money elite. She actually thinks black voters - and politicians - think like they teach they do at Berkeley.
All around the country, in the most durably Democratic areas, Democratic hegemony is coming apart because of the disenchantment of black voters and their alienation from the party elite. That's what sank the Dems in the last NYC mayoral race. That was the primary dynamic driving the last LA mayoral race. And Al Sharpton is revving up for a Presidential run in 2004. It's going to be ugly, folks.