This part of Dr. (as long as Condo keeps using it, I’ll use it for Howie) Howard Dean’s comments Sunday aren’t getting as much play as his calling Fox News a Republican propaganda machine, but it should.
Dean…sharply criticized the Republican Party, which he said has yet to support reauthorizing certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act that expire in 2007.
After barely registering a double-digit showing among black voters nationally in last fall’s election, the Republican Party has intensified its efforts to recruit African-American supporters. Chairman Ken Mehlman is engineering the party’s most aggressive outreach to black voters, frequently speaking in churches and to community groups in an effort to improve the party’s performance before the 2006 mid-term elections and the 2008 presidential race.
Dean said Republicans should not “pretend” to be genuinely interested in courting African-Americans until the party makes a clear statement on the Voting Rights Act.
“The chairman of the Republican Party, as you know, has made a big deal about attracting African-American voters,” Dean said to people attending the conference. “And this is a litmus test. If you aren’t going to support the extension of the Voting Rights Act, I don’t know what right you have to go to a black church and show your face.”
But like so many things Republicans have the gall to do, this one appears to be working. More blacks are switching parties, due in large part to the GOP going after members of black churches. Black Christian fundamentalists must not be any better at resisting cynical Republican manipulation than white Christian fundamentalists.
If you don’t think so, check out the comments of Rev. O’Neal Dozier, the White House’s “go-to” African-American, posted earlier.