The Democrat Party can’t be mostly Black nor should the GOP be all White. This blog has been saying that for years. First, I really don’t care too much for political parties because they are about power and control over good governing. If we must have parties, the best ones look like America—they are comprised of a cross-section of peoples and groups or the leaders communicate with everyone.
The “All In With Chris Hayes” show on MSNBC is starting a new segment on race. The promo for the segment features Georgian Julian Bond telling Hayes that Black elected officials need to give up some Black areas to neighboring districts to get White Democrats elected. I love it because you don’t necessarily need Black politicians to serve Black folks (and a few Black Republicans might not be bad for understanding and informative purposes.)
If you take race off the table, congressional districts should be draw in a way where candidates from either major party can win—that keeps them on their toes. The scary fact is that the GOP turned in the early 1990s into a party that often demands that its elected officials not listen to those with other points of view. Look here, officials are paid by all taxpayers—not just the people that voted for them. If you listen to a constant diet of vitriol from left or right zealots, you too would swear that the other side is the devil.
Let’s look that two congressional districts that makeup southwest Georgia. For most of his time in the Georgia state house and the U.S. Congress, Sanford Bishop didn’t have a majority Black district. He won by serving a cross section of people well. Former Rep. Jim Marshall was one of the last southern White Democrats and his seat was important until he started slamming Obama and Speaker Pelosi to keep rural voters. He had to go and he was replaced with a reasonable GOP candidate, Austin Scott. Who knew that Scott would be one of the most conservative members of the House?
In theory during redistricting, members of congress don’t own districts but the General Assembly had no problem lumping more and more Blacks into Bishop’s district because that action made the three contiguous districts more and more GOP. Bishop is a fighter and a true representative; he could represent anyone. But, the Tea Party, Fox News and the far right talk radio has rural Georgia White twisted and negatively brainwashed so can you blame him for accepting more safety. In southeast Georgia, Rep. Jack Kingston took all of Black Savannah to increase the GOP chances of taking Rep. John Barrow’s seat—Barrow is the last White Democrat in the U.S. House from the deep South.
Hey, Democrats would be fine if the people they helped legislatively would simply vote. A surprisingly large number of GOP members of the state legislature have 25% or more Blacks in their districts but folks don’t vote. The deciding factor for the elections in November might be the effectiveness of the Get Out the Voter efforts and that requires money—more cash should be put on the streets than on the airwaves.