The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Proud to be the Party of Lincoln

There are two African American men seeking the gubernatorial nomination of the GOP for an '06 general election. Yesterday Mr. Dotson informed me that HoFer Lynn Swann announced he'd take on the former LG and the former GOP candidate for Governor Bill Scranton (son of the GOP moderate icon from the '60s) for the nod from the PA GOP. Of course he's not the only African-American seeking statewide office in '06. Michael Steele is poised to bleed a little bit of the blue out of Maryland's Congressional Delegation when he takes Paul Sarbanes seat just over the river. And Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has been running for Governor since November 8th 2002. Blackwell is currently leading in the polls against GOP AG Jim Petro and GOP State Auditor Betty Montgomery.

I've always been proud that our Commonwealth was the first in the union to elect an African-American to be governor, even if that guy happened to have sat on the other side of the aisle. It makes sense that this American milestone came from the Old Dominion. Will the grandson of a Pakistani immigrant ever become Prime minister? Will the French ever rally behind someone of Algerian heritage? Probably not. Will an African American, whose ancestors came to this continent on a slave ship, within our lifetimes become President of the USA? Absolutely. And when she does, I believe she'll look back to men like Ken Blackwell, Doug Wilder, and Michael Steele and realize their extraordinary lives blazed her path. I'm excited to be awake enough to see it happen.

Of course, there's no affirmative action within the GOP. Both of these men have tough races ahead of them and to get to GOP nod you have to earn it. But just because Herman Cain didn't get the nomination for the '04 Senate contest in GA doesn't mean his candidacy wasn't a step forward. Blackwell, Cain, Steele, Swann (and hopefully someday soon Mr. Paul Harris) take rather large steps for themselves towards political power, but enormous leaps for the American people as a whole.

P.S. what are the good blogs to read to get a sense of what's going on in Ohio? Who is Ohio's Chad Dotson?

Here's a Lynn Swann website, note it still talks about his run for Governor in the subjunctive. But it's official alright.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course, there's no affirmative action in the GOP"?

Umm, I don't think that's quite accurate. I seem to recall how when GWB offered up Harriet Miers for the Court, he focused on her being a woman (as did Mrs. GWB). If a Democratic president did that, it would be called affirmative action. Same with Al Gonzoles being up for AG, and Rodney Paige for Ed Secretary. Sure, Powell and Rice were quality picks, but race and gender sure as hell mattered with their selections.

Ironically, the "party of Lincoln" (can't you find a black-friendly white guy whom black people can actually see?) was the party that initially supported many affirmative action elements when JFK/LBJ proposed it, while the Dems blocked it.

-- Conaway

11:55 PM

Blogger Steven said...

Conservative friends in the General Assembly tell the Blue Dog the Democratic Party only tolerates the Black Caucus.

Of course, in the name of affirmative action... err, I meant to say non-actions.

~ the blue dog

6:17 AM

Blogger Sam McCord said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:34 AM

Blogger Sam McCord said...


I disagree with your representation of Sec. Paige and AG Gonzales. Harriet Miers court nomination is an interesting hiccup, but probably produced by cronyism than affirmative action. If he'd wanted to pick a woman, any woman, he could've found one that would've been embraced by the rest of his party. Do race and gender matter? Yes, I'd agree with you. What I hoped to avoid was giving the sense that it's the only thing that matters, or that it matters so much that it should affect who the party nominates. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't at a guy who came from a poor black neighborhood and grew up in a post-Brown but still culturally intolerant era and recognize his accomplishments in that light. And in that sense, I don't find it ironic at all that the GOP initiated and carried through many Civil Rights reforms.

10:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blue Dog,

That was my sense back when I was a Dem. Not just he GA caucus but the DPVA black caucus too. Blacks were expected to fall in line with the party for little in return.

Goodwin - granted Gonzales and Paige had were Friends of GWB so that mattered more than race/ethnicity. But, when the Dems initially opposed the AG nomination, Orrin Hatch & Co "played the race card" by daring the Dems to attack a Latino nominee. It seems that you're making a case for the virtues of "qualified diversity" against bean-counting affirmative action. If so, then I think that it seems wholly consistent with GOP practice and rhetoric.

-- Conaway

12:47 PM

Blogger GOPHokie said...

Both parties use the diversity card whenever they can. The dems just do it alot better and their attempts usually work better than the GOPs.

1:10 PM

Blogger Sam McCord said...


I'm not so sure I'm even making a case for qualified diversity. I'm basically saying that African-Americans running for statewide office is a good thing. I'm not talking about strategery. It's a sign than things are changing, even, dare I say, improving in America. I'm glad that the most prominent ones in this election cycle are all Republican (so far). There's room for agruments about freedom and opportunity but I think that can wait for another day.

2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's a sign that things are changing, even, dare I say, improving in America."

I wholeheartedly agree. There's not been a better time than now to be black [and other] in America on many fronts. My hope is that these candidates continue to get full backing from the GOP. If that happens, [minority] people will take notice...

-- Conaway

3:39 PM

Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

Conaway: I almost always advocate a colorblind view of the American polity for many reasons, but if I lift my blinders for a second... look at how many of the intellectual heavyweights in political thinking are Black.

I can't think of a heavyweight, other than fat, Liberal thinker. Yet, there is Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Condoleeza Rice and who am I forgetting... Kind of interesting.

11:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My blog as well as many in my blogroll will give you an excellent overview of Ohio politics.

Make sure to visit Ken Blackwell's site!

8:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

JAB - I agree that the Right has many more heavyweight black thinkers who are also in the realm of doers than the Left. It seems to be reflective of a division-of-labor thing as the thinking Black Left is mostly made up of high-profile academics like Cornel West and Skip Gates, who don't engage in the so-called "low-brow" world of politics like Williams, Keyes & Co. This is probably reflective of the conservative movement as a whole in which many intellectuals/academics are actively involved in electioneering or at least policy advocacy. In part, it's because the conservative movement actually has definable tenets against which or for which arguments and actions can be made.

As for the black presence, inherent in conservativism are messages about race & ethnicity (either colorblindness or the irrelevance of color), and given the prominence of race/ethnic/gender thinking on the Left, it's easier for a Black conservatives to define themselves for their views and against the black and white Left. Black conservatives/Republicans will continue to outshine their liberal/Democratic counterparts because the Right puts its money and power behind thinkers to act and actors who think.

-- Conaway

10:10 AM

Blogger theolddominion said...

When the boys from Virginia went out to fight the armies of the tyrant Lincoln, they took with them a new flag. It had on it the seal of Virginia. It is a shame that any Virginian would be proud to be the party of Lincoln. I'm beginning to think ya'll aren't from Virginia.

4:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all of us were exactly displeased by what that "tyrant" did. My family's been in Virginia for at least 200 years (antebellum), and let's just say that without the defeat of those "boys from Virginia," it would be a bit harder for me to antagonize you neo-Confederates. I love VA and its history, but I love the truth a bit more...

-- Conaway

7:15 PM

Anonymous NOVA Scout said...

Clearly the commenter "theolddominion" is either pulling our leg or is a Democrat. No invite to him for our GOP Lincoln/Reagan Day celebrations in February

10:50 AM

Blogger theolddominion said...

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz:

Article Thirteen

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.



This amendment to the Constitution relating to slavery was proposed by the Thirty-sixth Congress on March 2, 1861, when it passed the Senate, having previously passed the House on February 28, 1861.

And was fully supported by Lincoln may I add.

But he just wanted to end slavery. Didn't he?

But I guess you neocons aren't talking about slavery. You're just talking about the expanding federal leviathan which, through a love affair with Bush, is all that the country is getting, and can be traced back to Lincoln.

Read up on your history and you may find some truth. It isn't taught in state funded institutions. Oh, how are you enjoying my tax dollars up at your public institution?

2:11 PM


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