The Washington Post has a story out today about how the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is feeling somewhat ignored by the Obama administration. They were expecting that a black man in the White House would give them better access and a great focus on their issues. Instead they are finding that the administration pretty much expects them to be quiet.
"We concluded they were just kind of listening to us and that then they would go back [to their offices] and conclude that we would do nothing," Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), the vice chairman of the CBC, said of one dispute. "Because they had concluded there's a black president in the White House and that, to some degree, the Black Caucus, you know, was constrained in expressing its desires. After a while, we said, 'Hey, we see what's going on and it's nothing.' "
I am not surprised by the CBC’s predicament for two reasons. First, the CBC’s greatest weapon for getting attention has always been the threat of playing the race card. While white presidents on both sides of the aisle are susceptible to this tactic, the tactic looses its sting against Obama. Second, blacks in America view politics through the thick lens of race. As such, many of them will see Obama’s failures as racism working against him, rather than shortcomings in his policies or leadership. This is why Obama still enjoys extremely high approval ratings in the black community despite alarmingly high unemployment. Black will turn out again in large numbers to reelect him 2012 if it is only hinted that racism held him back.
With these two reasons working in Obama’s favor, there is little or no reason for him to be beholden to the CBC in any way, shape or form.
Via: The Washington Post