Monday, October 18, 2010

Threading the racial needle

The New York Times explains the Democrats' strategy for the election - appeal to blacks without letting white voters know that that is their plan.
A flood of black voters in North Carolina’s Eighth Congressional District two years ago helped Barack Obama become the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry this state since Jimmy Carter and lifted the party’s Congressional challenger, Larry Kissell, to victory.

Without Mr. Obama atop the ticket this year, Mr. Kissell and a number of other vulnerable Democrats, mostly in the rural South, face the challenge of reviving the spirit of 2008 for black voters without alienating right-leaning white majorities in their districts.
That's the problem with coalition politics - you may have groups within the coalition who are not natural allies. However, it might also be the time for black voters to realize that the Democratic Party has not delivered for them. They've had control of Congress for four years and complete control of the government for almost two years. And black voters may well be asking themselves if any of the programs instituted in that time have truly helped them. With unemployment in the black community at 16.1% is close to double that of whites. And has support for Democrats for over forty years truly helped black children stuck in terrible schools? Which politicians are the ones opposing reforms that are improving those schools?

Meanwhile, James Taranto looks at how Barack Obama seeks to gin up fear while pandering to "tribal attitudes" while blaming his political opponents.

While the Democrats like to divide the electorate into various ethnic groups and appeal to them individually. Maybe it's time to appeal to groups all together and not try to thread the racial needle to appeal to blacks in one group while hoping that whites won't mind.