NYT discovers record number of black Republicans running for Congress
posted at 11:36 am on May 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
For the past year, the national media has attempted to paint the Tea Party movement and opposition to the Democratic agenda as based in racism, a reaction to the election of the first African-American President in November 2008. As the New York Times discovers, the reality of the opposition makes that very difficult to believe. Republicans have fielded a record number of African-American candidates for Congress, most or all of which have entered those contests with enthusiastic Tea Party support. And for that, the candidates credit … Barack Obama?
Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials. …
But now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.
Party officials and the candidates themselves acknowledge that they still have uphill fights in both the primaries and the general elections, but they say that black Republicans are running with a confidence they have never had before. They credit the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.
“I ran in 2008 and raised half a million dollars, and the state party didn’t support me and the national party didn’t support me,” said Allen West, who is running for Congress in Florida and is one of roughly five black candidates the party believes could win. “But we came back and we’re running and things are looking great.”
But interviews with many of the candidates suggest that they felt empowered by Mr. Obama’s election, that it made them realize that what had once seemed impossible — for a black candidate to win election with substantial white support — was not.
West called the media narrative about Tea Party racism “fiction,” although the Times does its best to keep the fiction alive. The article says that videos show signs with “racially inflammatory language” at rallies, but West scoffs:
The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. “I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos,” said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. “There is no violence or racism there.”
There was more violence at May Day rallies this past weekend than there have been in over a year of Tea Party rallies. Did the New York Times cover those and assign them to the entire liberal politisphere in the manner they do here with conservatives? Did they link that violence to the immigration-reform movement in the same way they have with no violence at all at Tea Parties with its attendees?
The same media double standard is true with the supposed racism they keep reporting at Tea Parties. These rallies back candidates like West, Princella Smith, Vernon Parker, Ryan Frazier, and others. They support these candidates for the simple reason that these candidates best represent their views on governance, fiscal policy, and national security. Will they all win? Probably not, although this year looks better than most, but it shows that conservatives have no barriers to entry except on policy and philosophy — just like any other political movement. The media spin on Tea Parties and conservatives has gotten very, very threadbare — and increasingly desperate.