11.02.2006

"Ironic and Unfortunate"

Yes, Mr. Mfume, it certainly is.

"It is ironic and unfortunate that the Democratic ticket for the four major positions in 2006 looks like the Democratic statewide ticket for the four major positions in 1956," Mfume said in this week's Afro American, his first public comments in weeks.


See the quote in context in this article.

I can't really say anything other than, I told you so.

Repeatedly, in fact. I said over and over again, that neither of the primary Candidates were safe bets. People said Mfume would lose to Steele easily, which I disputed. They said Cardin would easily beat Mike Steele, that the Black vote would not desert Cardin. I said repeatedly that Maryland Democrats needed to focus on the Black vote, which means ELECTING Blacks to the statewide ticket.

Yeah, yeah, Anthony Brown. Brown is great and I hope to have him as Lt. Governor. However, Brown's candidacy is the not the band-aid some in the local party seem to think it is.

The wound is much too large and the Democratic party in Maryland has played into the GOP narrative from the second they decided to ignore Mfume's candidacy. Worse, they ignored Mfume in favor of a white, unenthusiastic, policy wonk.

I heard the reasons too. "ROVE WILL ATTACK MFUME OMG !!!!!!" "ROVE WANTS MFUME TO WIN!!" "STEELE IS HANDPICKED BY ROVE TO BEAT MFUME!!""

Craziness of course, but stated often over at DailyKOS (is it me, or has that place become a logic vacuum as of late?), where supposed "progressives" argued against Mfume, the much more progressive candidate. But back to the Rove issue. If Rove was so meticulous in picking Mike Steele, don't you think the Maryland Democratic party could have been a bit more, ummm, thoughtful about their choice (and they did choose, Cardin outraised Mfume by BUCKETS of PAC cash).

If the Maryland Democratic party didn't like Mfume for whatever reason, couldn't they easily have found another Black Senate candidate they could endorse? Perhaps Rep. Cardin wasted all of his persuasive power on the Democratic Party bigwigs.

Either way, it is, as Mr. Mfume says, "Ironic and Unfortunate" that the Maryland Democratic Party missed a chance to win back the confidence of it's most loyal voting bloc. While I still feel that the Black vote will be overwhelmingly Democratic, ending with a Democratic sweep in Maryland, we would do well to remember that the Lt. Governor will not be the last Black Republican candidate to run statewide in Maryland. Realizing the stakes, I should hope Democrats act and vote accordingly the next time around.

1 comment:

Stephanie Dray said...

What I think is unfortunate is the way Mfume has chosen to deal with this. I hesitated a long time in the booth over whether to vote for him or not. I would have been happy with either vote. Now it would be very difficult for me to support Mfume for anything. He has behaved abominably.

I would be hard pressed to vote for Mfume because of the color of his skin, when I have concluded that he does not represent me or my interests. I have also concluded that he does not represent the interests of those he purports to serve.

You are probably right that having an AA at the top of the ticket would have helped in this election. It would have helped a lot. But I'm not positive that Mfume was the candidate to have done that. Give me Elijah Cummings. Give me Anthony Brown. Give me Glen Ivey.

I think that most Democrats who vote in primaries don't know anything about the balance of electoral power, or who has taken who for granted, or what the overall ticket is going to look like.

They go into the booths and they vote for the candidate they know or like. Or, conversely, they vote against the candidate they have heard the worst things about. And sometimes, the most tuned in voters, vote for the candidate they think has the best chance of winning.

In this case, for whatever reason, the equation that voters ran through their heads came down on the side of Ben Cardin.

I'm not sure this is a failure of our party, this is a failure of Democracy, and a better system has yet to be found.

Better recruitment for candidates in minority communities might be the solution.

P.S. I think you're right about the Daily Kos.