Selling minority voters down the river

There’s an interesting dynamic shaping up in the U.S. Senate race on the Democratic side. It seems the message being presented to minority voters is one of “we want your votes for our side every other November, but in this case we want you to vote for the white guy – we know what’s best for you.”

Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland pointed out that the Maryland Democratic Party tweeted their support of Senator Ben Cardin through this video featuring Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, despite the fact that State Senator C. Anthony Muse is also in the race (as are a host of other, mostly perennial candidates.) Obviously they don’t have something like Rule 11 in the Maryland Democratic Party. (Actually, according to Brian, yes they do.)

So where are the catcalls for Baker as an “Uncle Tom” or “Oreo”? He’s supporting the white guy over a qualified black candidate from his own county who’s biggest claim to fame of late was objecting to the Congressional redistricting map because it didn’t do enough for minorities.

Of course, two of the leading GOP candidates in the race have their own take on the situation as well.

Richard Douglas announced in a release that:

Incumbent Ben Cardin is being abandoned by his own base. African-American Prince George’s County Democratic State Senator Anthony Muse has entered the U.S. Senate primary against him.

Mr. Cardin’s oft-asserted electoral ‘invincibility’ is a myth (and) Muse’s challenge confirms it.

Added Dan Bongino:

I am not surprised that State Senator Muse, a representative of the citizens of Prince George’s County, has entered the US Senate race given the fact that Senator Cardin has done virtually nothing for Marylanders residing in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City with respect to education choice and job growth.

Since I wanted to get this out, I’ll just have to be curious what the two minority candidates in the GOP Senate race (Robert Broadus and Corrogan Vaughn) think about this development?

I’m all for contested primaries on both sides, but political insiders hate them because there’s money spent which might be used for the general election campaign and the infighting often provides fodder for the opposition to use on the eventual primary winner. So the Democrats’ willingness to endorse a candidate in the race pre-primary is unsurprising as par for their course. Our job is to exploit it as they would a fight on our side, and I think we have a very valid point.

The general assumption seems to be that anywhere between 80% and 95% of minority voters will vote for the Democrat in an electoral contest, regardless of race.

(Of course, that’s assuming they know who the Democrats are: citing the Voting Rights Act, the Obama Justice Department refused to allow the city of Kinston, North Carolina to adopt nonpartisan municipal races despite the fact only five municipalities in North Carolina still hold them and voters adopted a resolution in 2008 to scrap partisan city elections by a nearly 2:1 margin. Democrats have held every city office since the days of Reconstruction and make up the most of the registered voters. As well, nearly 2/3 of the voting population is black.)

But what if that percentage came down ten or twenty points, enough so that the Democratic party couldn’t take them for granted and Republicans wouldn’t simply write them off? Republicans point with justified pride to their role in passing civil rights legislation over the objection of southern Democrats, but since the days of the Great Society blacks have mainly remained electorally in the Democratic plantation. One has to ask what they’ve received for 50 years or more of unbroken Democratic support?

We know Democrats worry about black Republican candidates in Maryland breaking their stranglehold on minority voters, but pushing them to vote for the entrenched white guy in a primary? Yep, that’s the definition of being taken for granted.