Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sweet Dreams for Dems

Robert Novak has a new column on the candidacy of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, who is running for the Senate in Maryland. Steele's secret weapon? He's black.

If he wins the election, says Novak, "Steele will become the first black Republican elected to the Senate in 32 years. That is the Democrats' worst nightmare." With all due respect to Robert Novak, the Democrats' worst nightmare would be a repeal of the 22nd Amendment. A black Republican in the Senate rates somewhere below that.

Novak's reasoning takes the putatively Democratic line and reduces the black voter pool to a commodity—a commodity over which the Democratic Party has heretofore had a "hammerlock." For Novak, what matters is that this hammerlock be broken. He's apparently uninterested in the prospect of increasing the black Republican membership in the Senate from its current level of zero to an embarrassing one for any reason other than it might piss off the Democrats. He strikes no note of concern over the lack of diversity in his party, nor does he wax philosophical about the possibilities of a racial glasnost in the GOP. All that matters is harnessing the unthinking beast of Maryland's black vote for the Republicans.

Now, a genuine commitment on the part of the Republican Party to be inclusive of racial and cultural minorities (that means gay people, Novak—boo!) would truly be a nightmare for the Democrats. Last I checked, Pelosi and her friends were sleeping like babies.
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