The Republicans need an elected black token

I’ve already touched upon the odd transformation of Michael Steele from when I first became aware of him as the Republican Nominee for Senate, and Great Black Hope, in Maryland in 2006 to his current role as punching bag as the “Token Black” face of the Republican Party as RNC Head.  I’m beginning to suspect something — this is a bad role for him.  I am all for Tokens — it’s the only way to move forward at all for a party that’s become hampered by a lack of diversity — but the RNC Chair is a bad position for “Token”.  Particularly right now, when he’s getting face time because of the leadership vacuum due to the level of Republican depths.   (Quick!  Name the Head of the DNC!  If your answer was Tim Kaine, it’s because you know more than the average person does.)   The problem is the position is “Party Hack”, and in the currently distilled Republican Party, it’s not a fit.

Once upon a time, Colin Powell served up a Presidential boomlet for 1996.  In part it was due to his political ambiguities.  But he eventually came out as a Republican, and was then ushered forward to a great prime-time address at the GOP Convention for Bob Dole.  He was never going to be nominated by the Republican Primary voter for President — even then, your Rush Limbaugh was gnawing his teeth at some of his social stands and his cry outs for Moderation.  So it was that when he endorsed Obama for president, I read the question in blogoland from reasonable people “Why was he a Republican in the first place?”  I can’t speak for Colin Powell, but I can pretty well guage a good answer.  He came up in Career Military Culture, which tends to align you with the Republican Party.  His particular career rise came through Republican administrations.  There isn’t any clear reason he would be a Democrat.  And, from a racial position, I’m guessing, he rejects a stance of “Victim-hood” associated with your Jesse Jacksons as being detrimental to Individual Achievement.

I won’t say that the Republican Party needs to elect a Colin Powell — he was always doomed to be too bipartisan for this particular role.  But they do need to elect a black Republican.  I’m thinking that they’d be in good stead if they somehow could get JC Watts to run for the Oklahoma Senate seat, as some polls have put into that slot in the presumed possible retirement of Tom Coburn.  Think about it for a moment:  he would be the only black Senator in the chamber — as Roland Burris gets the bum’s kick out in the upcoming Illinois Senate Primary–, and he would be a Republican.  And he would not be in the position of Michael Steele, embarrassing himself, because his job is not literally “Party Hack”.

But JC Watts has deferred any political race.  So, for this sake, the Republicans have this guy in Texas.  You heard him in non-primetime at the 2008 GOP Convention.  I do not find JC Watts embarrassing, even as it was comediac that he was the chosen Fox News commentator for a Democratic Primary Debate for 2004 co-sponsored by Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus.  (Funny, you guys at Fox).  Michael Williams, on the other hand…

But I guess he’s a better face for “Black Republican” than Alan Keyes.  Who left the Republican Party to spear-head the Obama Birth Certificate fight.

Anyway, I guess those are the GOP’s options.

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