Politics, Race

Why did Bobby Jindal loose the New Orleans governor’s race? The Black Commentator argues that it was a mixture of solidarity with the democratic party among the Black voters and a racist reaction against the Republican Party by rural Whites. The article sees the vote as a repudiation of both Republican and Democratic efforts to court the swing vote.” They argue that Bobby Jindal is part of a Republican affirmative action campaign designed to recruit conservative minorities in order to boost the party’s image.

In the Nineties the Bradley Foundation, the Party’s most sophisticated propaganda factory and think-tank funder (half a billion dollars in rightwing grant-making since 1989) began pressing GOP leaders to aggressively groom selected members of racial minorities for the dual purposes of (a) creating the illusion of a conservative, alternative” non-white (especially Black) leadership, and (b) assuaging the anxieties of white swing” voters unwilling to associate with an overtly racist party. Minority recruits were placed on a dizzyingly fast track to Republican prominence.

Bobby Jindal was just what the New Orleans Republicans needed after David Duke, or so they thought … Unfortunately, outside of the suburbs, rural Whites weren’t worried about looking racist, and Jindal got far less than the 2-to-1 lead he would have needed to overcome the solidly Democratic Black vote. However, the article argues that the Democrats can’t count on the Black vote to pull them through next time, especially if the Republicans revert to appealing to the racism of rural Whites. Not, that is, unless the White leadership of the Democratic party is willing to share some power.

Seems like Dean might not have been so far off in his Confederate Flag remarks, but at the same time it looks like he would be better off trying to ensure the loyalty and support of minority voters, rather than chasing after swing” votes.