Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Novak's Night Sweats

Remember back in May when Robert Novak wrote his gloating column about the Democrats' "worst nightmare"?

He was talking about the candidacy of Michael Steele for Senate in Maryland. His thesis was that Steele, who is black, has Dems shaking in their loafers since they might lose the "black vote" in the state. Putting aside his faith in the grotesque commodification of black opinion to serve the goals of his "heckuva job, Brownie" political party, Novak looks like he might wake up on the wrong side of the bed come November.

With less than a month to go, polls indicate that Democrats are sleeping just fine, thank you very much. The Democratic candidate, Ben Cardin, has a 7 to 8-point lead over Steele based on the last 10 opinion polls conducted. It's about the same Democratic margin as has existed in the race since the summer.

Perhaps the Republicans' worst nightmare will be waking up to the reality that they can't just buy off black voters by putting a black candidate on the ticket and crossing their fingers. It doesn't erase the GOP's long history of racism—or the impression that Bush & Co. just "don't care about black people".

Unfortunately for Novak, black voters aren't quite the idiots or sheep he hopes they are. If the Republicans want to attract black voters, they might want to start by advocating and enacting policies that help the black community. For a change.

Baby steps.
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