Facing the tightest national election since 1960, Democrats have rolled out the race card to boost black turnout.
Answering a question on racial profiling at the October 5 vice-presidential debate, Senator Joseph Lieberman said a black presidential adviser was “surrounded by police for no other cause than anyone can determine, than the color of his skin.” In fact, on September 6, cops stopped White House aide Bob Nash and his wife in their blue Infiniti 43 minutes after a black Infiniti was reported carjacked nearby. Authorities sought a vehicle with temporary license plates — as Nash’s had. “The only thing that was ever profiled in this incident was the car,” Montgomery County, Maryland, police captain William O’Toole told the Associated Press on September 26. Nine days later, Lieberman ignored these details.
In an October 8 senatorial debate against New York Republican Rick Lazio, Hillary Clinton said she would oppose Supreme Court nominees “who would vote to overturn Brown v. Board of Education.” Huh? Mrs. Clinton surely understands that this 1954 school-desegregation decision is accepted by Americans from Jesse Jackson to Jesse Helms. This civil-rights landmark will be overturned the day the Empire State Building capsizes. Meanwhile, why not fabricate racial jitters?
Despite high oil prices and missing nuclear secrets, the Energy Department launched an internal racial-profiling probe on October 9. Wen Ho Lee aside, Energy is no hotbed of bias. Still, why not excite blacks with an atomic crusade against racism, however illusory?
The same day, Democratic chairman Joe Andrew announced plans to have Lieberman exploit the truck-dragging death of James Byrd, a black man murdered by white racists in 1998. Andrew told reporters, “We’re going back to Jasper, Texas and talk about hate crimes.” Despite CNN’s broadcast of Andrew’s statement, a Lieberman press aide mysteriously claimed news of his trip “was misreported.” Added spokesman Dan Gerstein: “We were never going to Jasper.”
Democrats also amplified the racial rhetoric late in the 1998 general elections. “When you don’t vote, you allow another cross to burn,” said one commercial on black radio stations in Missouri. “When you don’t vote, you allow the Republicans to give tax breaks to the wealthy while threatening Social Security and Medicare.”
As The Weekly Standard reported, Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) mailed Election Day postcards to black voters. They showed cops terrorizing blacks in the Jim Crow South with German shepherds and batons. “A Voteless People Are a Hopeless People,” the cards read.
South Carolina state senator Robert Ford, a black Democrat, aired a radio ad that denounced nonvoting blacks as “no different than the Ku Klux Klan” since Republican Gov. David Beasley’s potential reelection would “take away 50 years out of the civil-rights movement.”
GOP chairman Jim Nicholson, in contrast, properly repudiated a Racially tinged Missouri TV ad from the independent Republican Ideas Political Committee. It featured a white mother who pulled her son from public school partly due to “a bit more diversity than he could handle.”
“I am taking this opportunity to condemn the ad — forcefully and without equivocation,” Nicholson wrote Joe Andrew last September 20. Andrew, in comparison, reignited the Jasper controversy.
The Democrats’ ugly racial appeals are typically ruthless. Gore-Lieberman campaign manager Donna Brazile last July called its Nashville headquarters “the slaughterhouse” and said its staff “may look like gentle people. But they are killers.”
While Democrats attack the GOP with meat axes, Republicans usually defend themselves with oyster forks. However, the RNC just deployed some new weapons, namely four radio spots aimed at urban black voters. These ads promote tax cuts, entrepreneurship, school choice, and pension reform. These issues should resonate.
Sixty percent of blacks support school vouchers, surveys say, yet key Democrats insist poor blacks attend collapsing government schools while sending their own kids to safe, high-quality private classrooms.
An average black male born in 1990 has a life expectancy of 64.5 years but cannot collect Social Security pension benefits before age 67. Until Albert Gore invents a Resurrection Tax Credit, black men would fare better under George W. Bush’s plan–which would allow Americans to invest their own payroll taxes in private accounts they would own, control, and pass down (impossible today).
Bush’s market-friendly drug proposal would leave pharmaceutical companies free to improve treatments for diabetes and hypertension, two diseases that disproportionately shorten black lives. Gore’s Hillary-style plan would ensnare America’s medical labs in miles of red tape.
Black voters have two clear options: Republicans offer hope, while Democrats peddle fear itself.