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 February, 2008


 Republicans Are Lacking a Minority Candidate

Race Plagues Republicans
By Al Owens

It had to happen sooner or later. Race has crept into the Republican presidential campaign.
Ok, it hasn’t really crept. I’m creeping it in.

I know I’m not exactly qualified to say this, but what the Republicans need is to make race an issue. That way, voters will finally pay some attention to them. Otherwise, all of the Republicans seem to be running for second place in November.

Last week, Mitt Romney somehow thought he’d pick up some black support by singing that old Negro spiritual, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Mitt won’t get my vote. But the people who’ve just awakened from a coma they’ve been in since 1999 – have jumped on his bandwagon.

The Democrats, who really never overtly engaged in racial politics, before the primary vote in South Carolina, got out the vote. They set voting records down there, only because the 24 hour news cycle invented race as an issue.
The Republicans need to fashion some kind of racial divide of their own. Problem is they’re all white. And that’s a big problem.

If there’s a woman, and a black man running for the highest office of the land, they’re living proof that change will occur if they get elected.

All of the Republican candidates, except for the varying degrees of male pattern baldness (save Mitt Romney) project the kind of sameness that Americans don’t seem to be buying a lot of these days.

One of those guys needs to announce he’s really the bastard son of a Rottweiler and a parakeet to liven things up.
Surely somebody in the Republican Party has looked over at the Democrats and gotten shivers.

The two leaders are a woman and a black man. The Democratic white men have been dropping like flies.
Dennis Kucinich recently pulled out of the hunt with less than 0 percent of the vote. John Edwards is getting desperate. I’ve heard he’s gone out and joined a black choir.

These are troubling times for Republicans. They’d mysteriously let one black “candidate” into their midst. During a couple of their debates, Alan Keyes curiously appeared and proved, once again, he’s as crazy a coot.
The tone deafness of the presidential candidates on that side of the political equation is startling.

They repeatedly try to tell their constituents they’re listening to them, but that they don’t read the polls. Well, the polls tell them that most sane people (including Republicans) don’t want our troops to stay in Iraq past Wednesday.
But the current crop of Republican candidates still clings fast to the notion that we’ll be patrolling the streets of Bagdad until Chelsea Clinton’s great-great granddaughter runs for the Senate.

They just don’t seem to understand how silly they sound by improvising that old George Bush saw, “Stay the course.”

At the Republican presidential debate the other night, all of the candidates showed their distinct inability to navigate through their own mine field, by sloughing off question about that poll that says six in ten Americans think it was a mistake to have removed Saddam Hussein in the first place.

Tim Russert’s question, posed in a roomful of Republicans, even drew applause. None of the answers (except for Ron Paul’s) drew more than silence. That’s because the Republican candidates were trying to out Rambo each other. “It was a very bad idea. It wasn’t worth it,” Paul answered matter-of-factly, as applause nearly drowned out the rest of his answer. You’da thought Paul had just claimed he was dating a black woman.

No wonder there’s so much talk about the contrast that will take place when the Republicans and Democrats finally do settle on a presidential nominee.

But I challenge you to watch an upcoming Democratic debate, and then one of the Republicans.
The Democrats speak freely about the war, and their aversion to it. They discuss jobs; schools; health care; the rising cost of gasoline. You know. It’s the stuff we deal with everyday.

While the Republicans, when they do discuss the war, only speak in terms of a “victory” that now seems unattainable unless there is no end to our involvement in Iraq. They discuss their desire to end abortion; permanent tax cuts for corporations; and Rudy Giuliani’s adroit handling of peep shows on Times Square.
Yes, there’s a contrast. The Republicans somehow throw the “future of the country” in with issues that were first discussed by Ronald Reagan.

Rudy Giuliani is promising to resurrect Reagan and prop his body up in the Oval Office for daily tours, if he’s elected.
John McCain advocates a cure for the common cold.

Mitt Romney doesn’t like Corn Flakes. He prefers Chittlin’s.

The Democrats all look like the future. The Republicans all sound like the past.
They all need to come up with an Asian grandmother, or a snapping turtle in their genealogy, if they have any hopes in the fall.