I usually make an active effort to ignore race and all considerations thereof. In this case, though, the situation is so glaring that I have to say something which might well be racist. Bear with me, please.
Why do African-Americans vote repeatedly for nakedly corrupt politicians?
Earlier this year New Orleans re-elected Ray Nagin, Jr.- known before Katrina as the puppet of land development lords and after it as America's most incompetent mayor.
This november John Conyers of Michigan, Charles Rangel of New York, and Shelia Jackson Lee right down here in Texas all got re-elected- despite Conyers's naked partisanship on the Judicial Committee, Rangel's call for a universal draft, and Lee's naked personal corruption.
And last night New Orleans re-elected William Jefferson. During Katrina Jefferson hijacked a Coast Guard rescue chopper to survey his own house for several hours- then returned to Washington without a backward glance at his drowning, starving constituents. This year a FBI search turned up $90,000 in Jefferson's kitchen freezer. He's currently under investigation for bribery. Yet even running against a fellow Democrat, an African-American Democrat, a female African-American Democrat, he won with 54% of the vote.
I have to ask: is there something about black skin that makes a person want to support the candidate who most obviously abuses power once they're in office?
... no. Obviously not. If so, more than 9% of African-Americans would have voted for George W. Bush in 2004. Likewise, I doubt many black people voted for Tom DeLay. No, this is just a personal perception problem, and for that I must apologize.
Also, in the Georgia primary election this past May, a mostly black district turned out Cynthia McKinney- the Congresswoman who lost election in 2002 after going on a conspiracy-theory, Elders-of-Zion rant, then somehow got her office back in 2004. You probably know her best for punching out a Capitol security guard who dared to think that she was mortal enough to have to go through the metal detector like everyone else.
Well, she's out of office now. Ironically, her last act in office was to do something honest, something Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said will never happen under her leadership. McKinney filed a bill of impeachment against George W. Bush.
(With hours to go before the expiration of the 109th Congress, making it nothing more than an empty political gesture from someone who hosts 9/11 conspiracy meetings claiming that Bush ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center. And despite this, it's likely as close as the Democrats will come to saying that Bush did anything wrong...)