Monday, May 10, 2010

The RNC Puts Its Shoe In Its Mouth...Again

President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.  And the RNC and its chairman, Michael Steele, have pulled another minority endearing statement out of their bag of faulty tricks by condemning Kagan for having praised the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1993.  Kagan quoted Marshall in his 1987 Constitutional Bicentennial speech.  Kagan quoted Marshall for saying that "The Constitution as origninally conceived and drafted was "defective" and that the Supreme Court's mission was to "show a special solicitude for the despised and the disadvantaged."

Marshall went on to say,

"the government they (the Framers of the Constitution) devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.  When contemporary Americans cite "The Constitution," they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document's preamble: 'We the People." When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America's citizens. "We the People" included, in the words of the Framers, "the whole Number of free Persons." United States Constitution, Art. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. Women did not gain the right to vote for over a hundred and thirty years. The 19th Amendment (ratified in 1920).  These omissions were intentional. The record of the Framers' debates on the slave question is especially clear: The Southern States acceded to the demands of the New England States for giving Congress broad power to regulate commerce, in exchange for the right to continue the slave trade. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the "carrying trade" would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States."

When Michael Steele stated recently that the GOP has not "done a very good job" giving African-Americans a reason to vote Republican, did he intend then to adjust course and start doing a good job?  If so, he must have forgotten, or changed his mind, or decided to place a higher priority on attacking President Obama nomination.  Considering Steele's habit of sticking his foot in his mouth, I can only guess why he did it again.  My guess is he and the RNC wanted to attack President Obama above all else and, as usual, suspended his mental capacity while doing it.

Great job!  These blunders and kowtowing to the GOP's radical base may carry their Teabagger candidates in the Fall primaries but other than a few possible exceptions like Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Minnesota, they will surely get whipped in the general election.

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