Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Disturbing Pattern on the Rise ...

US Representative Barney Frank endorsed Deval Patrick for governor yesterday, and took the opportunity to chastise Massachusetts Democrats for failing to support blacks for high office.

Frank, a Newton Democrat, said that so far this year, it is the Republicans who have nominated blacks from their party for governorships -- in Ohio and Pennsylvania -- as well as a US Senate seat in Maryland.

This is interesting. Patrick is ahead in the polls for the longest time without formal support from his state party, which gets bugged out over the prospect of Massachusetts first Black Governor and throws a third spoiler in the mix. Patrick has been suffering from split polling ever since. Fishy.

Then, in New Orleans, incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin - another Black Democrat - manages a comeback and win ... but, without the support of party bosses who underestimate Black voter resilience and White voter support for a Black candidate ... gets fishier though ...

In Maryland, Democrats may once again blunder by picking a White statewide candidate over a highly qualified Black candidate and lose a Senate seat. Mfume is outraged, state Black Democrats are fuming privately, and there are whispers that the powerful African American voting bloc in MD may take a second look at Steele, a Black Republican ...

But, even more bizarre is that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi demands embattled Congressman William Jefferson's (D-LA) resignation from the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, even though he hasn't been charged with anything nor are there any present ethics charges against him. Simply put, he is, as former White House Counsel Lanny Davis put it emphatically on NPR's News & Notes w/ Ed Gordon: "100% innocent. 100% innocent until proven guilty." Yet, Jefferson gets stronger backup from Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) who asks for all of Jefferson's stuff back. Where's Jefferson's White Democratic colleagues when he needs them?

Congresswoman McKinney (D-GA) gets slammed with a grand jury investigation for tapping a Capitol Hill police guard with a cell phone - as ridiculous as her reaction was - but, her White colleague Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) gets quietly whisked away to rehab after drinking, driving and crashing into Capitol Hill barricades. Where's his investigation?

And, oh yeah, suddenly TIME columnist and touted liberal commentator Joe Klein starts beating up on key Black Members who are in line to gain House Committee Chair seats.

All the while, the Republican party is pushing and nominating high-profile statewide Black candidates in major battleground states.

Something's not right ... and the GOP is quietly taking advantage of the situation. Democrats beware.