Sunday, January 04, 2009

About Jesse Jackson Jr's so-called ' Electability' Problem

We've been discussing over the past week, the appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Blago.

Friday, it was revealed that Senator Harry Reid had his nose all up in Illinois Politics, deeming 3 Black possible candidates - Danny Davis, Emil Jones and Jesse Jackson, Jr. - 'Unelectable'.

I have written in this post HERE, why I thought this wasn't about anyone BUT Jesse Jackson, Jr.

I have always thought the ' electability' argument was bogus from the get go.

Here is Harry Reid on MTP:

IF Jesse Jackson, Jr. wasn't strong enough to defend himself as a sitting United States Senator, in a Democratic Primary in 2010, then so be it.

I have always believed that there would be a Democratic Primary in 2010. And whatever candidate emerged as the victor would be in good shape for the General Election, because the GOP bench is still weak in Illinois, and I don't see it gaining that much strength by 2010.

Our poster NMP said:

This is real trouble for Democrats! True enough Bobby Rush's recent statements were over the top and too heavy handed, but he wasn't lying about the hypocrisy of white Democrats. This is some Dixicrat shit! It's one thing to oppose a racial appointment, but it's a whole different matter to block African Americans from appointment. This is a George Wallace move. Reid all but stood in the doorway of the Capital. I've said it a million times before, but it deserves to be said a million more times. The Democratic Party is a plantation party and Black folks have been far too willing to enslave themselves to it. Whether it's the Democratic political establishment or the so-called progressive arm of the Party, Black folks, whom they depend on, are not well represented in the leadership ranks. They talk at us, down to us or dismiss us and every four years come up with excuse-after-excuse as to why it's not political prudent to run African American candidates statewide.

I agree with this. This is the same old BS that Black folk hear all the time about WHY they can't be considered for statewide office. Instead of the STATE Democratic Party getting BEHIND Black candidates, they decide from ' on high' that 'these Blacks cannot be elected. '

Neither Carol Moseley Braun or Barack Obama was the 'Machine' candidate. They were 'unelectable' outsiders from CHICAGO no less, who won the nominations.

And, about the ' unelectability' of Jesse Jackson, Jr.

I was reading on OpenLeft, and someone brought up a fabulous point about the ' electability' of Jesse Jackson, Jr. The likes of Harry Reid, et al, backed Harold Ford, Jr., and damn near everyone in his family had been arrested, indicted or convicted. But, they supported his DLC behind.

Jesse Jackson only has his father, who, by my account, had never been arrested (on anything other civil rights issues). His brothers are solid businessmen. His sisters have led quiet private lives.

Quiet as it's been kept, Jesse Jackson, Jr. has shown a strong independent streak beginning with his quest for his Congressional Seat. There have been some moves by him that I have questioned over the years, but he's been willing to take risks on candidates that were NOT machine-approved. Some won, some lost, but he still was willing to do it. And, he's been building bridges and reaching out to other communities from the moment he entered Congress. Jesse Jackson, Jr. wasn't the 'Machine' candidate when he ran for Congress. Neither was his wife the 'Machine' candidate when she ran for Alderman. They won IN SPITE OF the 'Machine', not because of it. And, there are those who haven't forgotten that either.

I'm not buying the 'electability' argument. In fact, I believe it's just the opposite. They were afraid of him WINNING the seat in 2010. And once he did that, it would be hard to get him out, unless HE wanted to leave it.

Just call me a tinfoil hat wearer.



Hello there!

You are right that the "electability" problem is constantly tossed up whenever a black politico is being discussed. Blacks are not viewed as "MAINSTREAM"... they are viewed as "niche candidates" who ONLY represent the 14%.

Whenever the white media positions a black candidate as ONLY being in the race as a representative for blacks, that candidate better come out blazing because THIS veiled racist positioning by the media is exactly how the white media fosters the belief that the black candidate can not POSSIBLY represent the other 86% and is DISQUALIFIED from being defined as "mainstream".

Blacks are constantly boxed into a corner and I believe that black public figures need to have shrewd PR strategies in place in order to counter the entire "niche candidate" positioning by the white media.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

P.S. Just a reminder, the voting for The Weblog Awards starts at midnight!

Anonymous said...

It's a little difficult to defend the "electability" issue or chastise people for bringing this issue up in light of the connections to Blago and his insane antics. Had this been an open election and Jackson won the Senate (or any number of black candidates), the issue of electabiliy would have been buried right beside the nagging question of whether or not the country was ready for a black President.

It's Jackson's association with Blago (and his tepid attempt to cover it up...still to be commended at least) that was his downfall. Burris' association with Blago - even if it's as innocent as merely being selected by Blago) has a damning effect as well. While I agree that black folks are clearly not being given their fair representation in the Senate, I'm not so quick to come to defense of ANYBODY rollin' with Rod the Wackojevich.

While we're at it: why don't just kill all this noise now, and get rid of the silly rule allowing Governors to make key national appointees in the first place. Answer...RIGHT THERE!

Brian said...

I would be fine with having Jackson or Burris stand for election... what are they afraid of? If they are so electable... why not allow themselves to participate in a special election?

From what I have read and heard, Pat Quinn would support a special election.

If Illinoians send a Black Senator to Washington, then that would be great. The people would have decided.

But I am totally against having a crook decide. This is a man who had an approval rating in the 20's or 30's Statewide (worst than Bush) BEFORE he was arrested. Among Blacks... his approval is somewhere around 30-35% in the State. So please don't tell me that Blago represents the interests and opinions of Blacks.

It's pure silliness.