"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tim Scott Update

A daughter of Indian immigrants, Nikki Haley, the first non-white governor of South Carolina, nominates an African-American, Tim Scott, to be the first black Senator from the South since Reconstruction.   Scott will be the only black Senator in the current Senate.   Cause for celebration, right?

Apparently, not, since Scott is a conservative Republican.   Here's the New York Times:

Mr. Scott’s... politics, like those of the archconservative Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, are utterly at odds with the preferences of most black Americans. Mr. Scott has been staunchly anti-tax, anti-union and anti-abortion.

Even if the Republicans managed to distance themselves from the thinly veiled racism of the Tea Party adherents who have moved the party rightward, they wouldn’t do much better among black voters than they do now. I suspect that appointments like Mr. Scott’s are directed less at blacks — whom they know they aren’t going to win in any significant numbers — than at whites who are inclined to vote Republican but don’t want to have to think of themselves, or be thought of by others, as racist.

Just as white Southern Democrats once used cynical manipulations — poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests — to get around the 15th Amendment, so modern-day Republicans have deployed blacks to undermine black interests...

The trope of the black conservative has retained a man-bites-dog newsworthiness that is long past its shelf life. Clich├ęs about fallen barriers are increasingly meaningless; symbols don’t make for coherent policies. Republicans will not gain significant black support unless they take policy positions that advance black interests. No number of Tim Scotts — or other cynical tokens — will change that.

I'm so confused.   We're not allowed to talk about how affirmative action promotes some African-Americans in work and schools beyond what their test scores or grades or achievements would merit.   But apparently, if a Republican has impressed fellow Republicans enough to be elected to the House and nominated for the Senate, then he's a "cynical token," a pawn pushed forward by his white Republican masters (OK, so Nikki Haley doesn't fit this... say, he's a pawn of a pawn).   In one case liberals demand that we assume that black person A has merit; in the second  case they themselves assume that he does not.   Weird.

Why would any Republican ever read the "paper of record"?   No wonder their business model is in the toilet.

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