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What's more surprising: Michael Steele or Barack Obama?

  1. Feb 2, 2009 #1

    LowlyPion

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    What's the more surprising: Michael Steele or Barack Obama?

    Truly the historic note has been struck by the inauguration of the first African-American President. How likely was that? The tears of Americans on election eve who never thought in their lifetimes, and the outpouring, and attendance at the Mall for the inauguration, were ample testimony to the rara avis of it all.

    But is maybe the election of Michael Steele as the Republican Party Chairman a more surprising outcome?

    True he was helped no doubt by the incredibly insensitive Christmas CD circulated by one of the contenders for the same job with a "Barack the Magic Negro" diddie included, and by the runner-up in the election, who only the week before apparently resigned from his white's only country club, but that climate of participation only seems to suggest his selection is possibly a more bizarre bedfellow moment than Obama's victory.
     
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  3. Feb 2, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    I think it suggests that their media advisors and damage limitation specialists are being paid.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2009 #3

    LowlyPion

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    It is unusual that the heads of both parties are now African-American.

    In the case of Barack Obama that really is fundamental change. Change adopted and embraced by the country in the General Election and the approval polls since.

    Perhaps the selection of Steele however is an attempt by the Republicans to Oreo, themselves leaving blacks for the most part no real voice or affinity for the party still?

    I was reading a Rasmussen poll suggesting that Republicans think they have been too moderate and that Sarah Palin is a better model to follow for the future than someone like McCain. (55 - 24)

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/pub..._gop_s_conservative_direction_democrats_don_t
     
  5. Feb 2, 2009 #4

    mgb_phys

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    He is chairman, more an adminsitrative than politcal role? It's not likely that he is their next presidential candidate. It's also a role that isn't very visible to the voters, or even to party members unless they want him to be.

    That normally just makes you look bad. The UK labour party (the supposedly left) found itself with no senior women members and was fighting an opposition that had a famous women prime minister for a decade - so it invented a cabinet level secretary for 'womens affairs'. Needless to say it didn't go down very well.
     
  6. Feb 2, 2009 #5

    LowlyPion

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    I grant that it is not necessarily a stepping stone to great office. And it seems to be where the parties tuck candidates that have failed electorally (Dean being the latest Democrat for instance, and Steele having failed in a Senate bid), but still is seems bizarre to have the Republicans trying to be minority hip.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2009 #6

    russ_watters

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    Something is historic just because it hasn't happened before - it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it is possible or surprising. So historic doesn't mean surprising. And I wasn't very surprised.

    To me, the disbelief that many people - especially blacks - had about this speaks to an improper disbelief in the American Dream. One good thing about this, though - it takes away the excuses.

    Regrading Michael Steele, mgb is right - it's marketing and also not very surprising.
     
  8. Feb 2, 2009 #7

    LowlyPion

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    I guess the Republican house isn't totally down with Steele as Chairman.
    http://www.davidduke.com/general/go...as-chairman-of-the-republican-party_7443.html

    Maybe the Republcans are just bent on marginalizing themselves even further?
     
  9. Feb 2, 2009 #8

    LowlyPion

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    Of course it doesn't. Not today. And not even election eve.

    Except of course I can remember a time that the suggestion that either of these things would happen would seem more like something Nostradamus would come up with than what more recent developments in this country would permit.

    I note it wasn't all that long ago during the election that there was a thread here wondering if Obama didn't win whether a black ever could.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2009 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Steele is also allegedly the most moderate Republican in the house. I think with the 2006 and 08 elections, they realize that the party of Bush, Rush, Duke, Rove, DeLay, Cheney et al is dead, so they are doing what they can to avoid further promoting the image of the party of fringe extremists.
     
  11. Feb 2, 2009 #10
    i think Obama is more surprising. the republicans have an established track record of putting blacks in important positions. when i think back to Clinton's era, the first thing that comes to mind is Jocelyn Elders.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2009 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    However, with his appearance on This Week, this week, Jim Demint has convinced me that not all Republicans can be salvaged; or should be.
     
  13. Feb 2, 2009 #12

    LowlyPion

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    Poor Jim Demint has only memorized the one line he thinks plays well in his state. "We don't want a government directed economy." He's apparently satisfied to see a toilet based economy - the fruits of his and his handler Lindsey Graham's spending during the Bush years.
     
  14. Feb 2, 2009 #13

    LowlyPion

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    While it may be true that there has been tokenism in both parties, one needs to be under the influence of hallucinogenics to ever think that the Republican party has been the party of Blacks in the last half century.
     
  15. Feb 2, 2009 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    Upon signing the Civil Rights Act, LJB declared that they had just cost the Dems the South for the lives of everyone present. True or not, the South has belonged to the Republicans ever since.
     
  16. Feb 2, 2009 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't know the exact numbers without looking it up, but since then and until 2000, blacks voted democratic by something like 90%. There was a ten percent or so drop for the first Bush election, but obviously the numbers rebounded with Obama.
     
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