Monday, June 21, 2010

If The GOP Tried To Dump Greene Democrats Would Loudly Scream Racism

If The GOP Tried To Dump Greene Democrats Would Loudly Scream Racism

Here's a what if. A black man wins the GOP US Senate primary race by a landslide in a Deep South state. He's the first African-American to be nominated for the U.S. Senate by the GOP in that state since Reconstruction. He beats out the party's favored candidate in the race, a white man. If elected, he'll be the first popularly elected African-American senator from the South. That's popularly elected because in the 19th Century state legislatures handpicked US senators. He's a decorated veteran, and got his degree in political science from a major university. He did everything by the legal book in filing and running for office. He's not the alleged prototypical GOP candidate that's a shill for corporate and wealthy special interests. That's the type of candidate that Democratic election reformers relentlessly rail against.

The two taints on his record are an allegation that he showed an obscene internet picture to a coed. That's a charge, not a conviction, and the accused has not uttered a word about it. The other taint is purely judgment and that's that he's a blithering idiot and unfit to run for let alone hold an office. The U.S. Constitution says something different. Its only requirements for someone to seek federal office are age, residency and citizenship.

Now the instant the last ballot was counted and the black candidate was declared the winner, the GOP branded their party's nominee a fraud, a plant, called his win a dirty trick conspiracy, demanded a federal investigation of him, his filing fee, the ballot count, the voting machines, the registrars, the clerks, the janitors and anyone else who might have looked at a polling place. The Democrats would have flung the R (racism) word would all over the map. It would launch a titanic national crusade to rebrand the GOP as the party with the white sheets in the closet. The GOP would have been rocked back on its heels. It would have to issue mountains of statements, and releases, send its talking head emissaries to all the network shows, to deny the racism charge. The party nominee, of course, is Alvin Greene. And the GOP isn't trying to dump him. The Democrats are. They've gone apoplectic to purge their first and only black nominee for a major Deep South office since Reconstruction. The ACLU has even jumped in the act and demanded that all the voting machines be impounded.

Greene so far has stood his ground, and there is as yet no smoking gun proof of wrongdoing by him or dirty tricks by the GOP, or any other mysterious hands to justify canning Greene.

South Carolina Democrats deny and downplay any talk that race has anything to do with their mighty effort to oust Greene. But the hard fact is that Greene is black. He's their candidate, and if he were to get the boot, the replacement nominee likely would a white Democrat. This would mean only thing. The general election match up for the South Carolina US senate seat would pair the usual suspects of the past thirteen decades against each other. That is two white men. The Greene comedy of political errors and its racial implications for Democrats might not be much of an issue for the Democrats if President Obama's win had opened the Democratic Party floodgates for black Democrats for major offices in the South (or anywhere else). It hasn't.

The wheels have rolled backward. A record six black candidates claimed Democratic Party nominations in the 2006 midterm elections. This year, no more than four had a reasonable chance to be nominated. Greene so far is the only one that has made the final primary election cut for the Democrats. If they have their way, they not the GOP, will cut him out. Maybe the GOP should scream racism about that.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson
is an author and political analyst. His new book is How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge (Middle Passage Press).Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter.
For more please visit

No comments: