The Late Great Congressional Black Caucus

Very soon the nation’s capital will witness discussions and debates about the major issues of our day, along with wall-to-wall parties. It will be the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus–the “conscience of the Congress.” It may be the last time the CBC can wear that title in truth. What?
That’s right, the CBC is on the cusp of its largest membership ever and for the first time there may be three–count them–three Black Republican members of Congress serving with 44 or more Black Democrats, and one of the Republicans is already planning its destruction.
There have been distinguished Black Republicans in Congress in this modern era. The first Blacks to ever serve in Congress were Reconstruction Republicans. Even in the 20th Century, Chicago’s Oscar DePriest was a Republican.
Blacks were Republicans because Pres. Lincoln freed the slaves, and the Democrats represented the interests of the slave owners.
Then, after Pres. Lyndon Johnson, pressured by the Civil Rights Movement, passed the Voting Rights Act and other important laws, the Republicans then saw and exploited White hatred for Black people with Pres. Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” which flipped the script, replacing White “Dixie-crats” with White Republicans. Black voters then migrated wholesale to the Democratic Party.
The Congressional Black Caucus was founded in 1971 with a handful of Black Democrats in the House of  Representatives. The CBC has grown to 43 members and promises to increase to as many as 46 Black members after the 2012 elections.
Now, for the first time in history, a Black female Republican–Saratoga Springs, Utah Mayor Mia Love–is a shoo-in to be elected, and she promises to join the CBC and wreck it. There are currently two Republican members of Congress: Reps. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida. West is a member of the CBC, Scott is not.
Before Scott and West were elected in 2010, there have been a handful of Black Republicans in Congress since the 1990s. The most prominent of them was Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma. Watts rose higher than any Black man in Republican history. He became Chair of the House Republican Caucus, the fourth highest position in the party.
Watts resigned from the leadership and retired from Congress without explanation, but I reckon it was because of his frustration at the racism he felt behind closed doors from his fellow Republicans. Watts did not join the CBC, but his contemporary Rep. Gary Franks (R-Conn.) did, but he was marginalized in the organization because of his contrary views. He was not permitted in CBC strategy meetings. He was not even allowed to attend the first 30 minutes of the group’s weekly Wednesday luncheon meetings. But he was alone then.
I thought I was the only one thinking that if Mia Love gets elected this November, beginning with her inauguration in January 2013 she would bring about the subversion of everything for which the CBC stands. But she has already said so publicly. She would not be alone however.
I figure she will persuade Scott to join her and West as members of the CBC. Together the three of them will be able to form a contrarian caucus within the CBC. That is, with three of them working in concert, as White Republicans have done for the last four years, they will oppose anything even mildly progressive the CBC even considers. But I thought she’d keep her scheme a secret until she was ready to attack. I was wrong.
“Yes, yes. I would join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out,” Love told the Salt Lake City Deseret News months ago.
If she’s got two other open GOP members of the CBC supporting her, along with conservative Democrats in the CBC like David Scott of Georgia and Greg Meeks of New York, the Democrats will not be able isolate them all. They will get on committees, water down policy positions, and by their infiltration, report back to the White Republicans what the CBC–the “conscience of the Congress”–is planning next.
Love, who is the daughter of Haitian immigrants, has not even been to her motherland since the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, which rocked the country killing 316,000 of her “family” members and ruining the lives of millions more. She has not done anything publicly to raise one dime for innocent Haitian victims, even as dozens of Blacks and Whites with no ties to that land have given millions.
I’m sad to say, Mia will not bring any “Love” to the Congressional Black Caucus when she’s elected in November, only chaos and gridlock. Bye, bye, CBC.

One thought on “The Late Great Congressional Black Caucus

  1. While some will claim that powerful and well moneid behind the scenes actors are guiding a conspiracy to astroturf Tea Party resistance to Speaker Straus’ re-election to that office, Alic Linahan gives us a list of on how to win the race that isn’t.When Joe Straus, the current Texas Speaker of the House, has to hire a team of consultants to hold his position you know there is something going on in Texas. Politics as usual does not appear to be happening. Some of these consultants are powerful long time players in Texas politics. Straus’ expensive team of hired guns includes Gordon Johnson, Karen Hughes, Cyndi Krier Taylor, Bryan Eppstein, Keats Norfleet, Jason Johnson, Reb Wayne, Eric Bearse, Allen Blakemore, Craig Murphy, Chris Turner, Steve Ray, Jordan Berry. Bill Bragg, and Marc DelSignore. (Hat tip to Mike Hailey, Capitol Inside Editor, December 23, 2010)The most prominent, and likely expensive, name on that list is Karen Hughes, who has been on Straus payroll since last year. She is one of Geroge Bush’s closest advisors both as Governor and President.Gordon Johnson, who heads up the team, .Straus also hired lobbyist Gordon Johnson to serve as senior counselor. Johnson has de-registered as a lobbyist, although his partner and brother, Rob Johnson, appears to be staying in the lobbying game. And all of Gordon Johnson’s recent lobby clients — all 17 of them — remain clients of Rob Johnson.Cute.You give $42,000 to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee AFTER you name hi to the spot and AFTER he changes parties, then he investigates you.Then you hire as your Senior Consultant a Lobbyist Johnson has worked for the last 22 years as a principal in the Austin law firm Johnson and Johnson, founded by his father, former House and Senate Parliamentarian Robert E. Johnson, and his brother, Robert E. Johnson, Jr., in 1984. His work includes administrative practice before various state agencies and legislative research and bill drafting. His legislative experience includes staff positions with Representative Pete Laney and Senator Peyton McKnight. Johnson has de-registered as a lobbyist to take on this new role with the Speaker. Lets tell this buttwipe that change means doing things differently.