Wednesday, November 03, 2010

As the Worm Turns

One of the upshots of last night's election is that there will be a grand total of zero Black senators in our glorious, color-blind nation (I guess part of being color-blind is I have to not notice that). In fact, we haven't elected a Black person to the Senate since, well, Barack Obama in 2004. And he's otherwise indisposed at the moment.

But the news isn't all bad in terms of Black political achievement. Republicans will be sending their largest contingent of Black Representatives to the House since Reconstruction ... 2! One of whom, Allen West (R-FL), is a war criminal (he resigned from the armed forces after being convicted in a military court of assault and misconduct for shooting a pistol off next to a bound detainee)!

Jamelle Bouie asks whether either West or Tim Scott (R-SC) will gain significant African-American support, before remembering that "black people aren't pure identity voters and don't support politicians with policies they oppose."

In all seriousness, it is a good thing that Republicans are running more Black candidates. It seems like the GOP realizes that, with a Black President, it can't be seen as an all-White party anymore. And while its outreach (such as it is) to the Black community hasn't been particularly successful (as Bouie points out, the key factor influencing Black votes -- like all of us -- is whether they largely support or oppose the policies of the party or candidate in question), it is undoubtedly a good thing that opportunities are opening up for Black Republicans within the Party.

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