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Rant. Muse. Eat. Sleep. Recycle.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kobe and the GOP: will they ever learn the lesson?

I love basketball. I appreciate the athleticism and skill of guys who play professional ball and I am a diehard apologist for bad actor athletes like Ron Artest, Allen Iverson and Shawn "Never Met a Baby I Didn't Make" Kemp.

But, my love has limits. When Kobe Bryant broke the deal -- which was to respect the game -- I had to let go of my affection for Kobe and, more importantly, more than two decades of being a Lakers fan. It was not something I decided lightly. I believed in Kobe when he cheated on his wife; I believed he didn't rape that young woman. I looked the other way when he feuded with Shaq. But, when he decided to break up a championship team because he "wasn't the man", I realized that his was not the star I wanted to be hitched to. Yes, tell me my priorities are WAY the hell out of whack, but to say that you have to admit I have priorities.

Where are the priorities for conservatives who are being bamboozled by the GOP? What happens when you say 'up' and the party goes 'down?' You say 'stop' and they say 'go?'

If conservatives such as Andrew Sullivan can honestly believe lame-ass apologies such as the one he wrote for Time magazine (nutshell: 'Conservatives were wrong about the Iraq war, but it's still early so we might be right after all'), where is the responsibility that is touted so much, so often and so loudly?

Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Katherine Harris, Claude Allen, Marvin Bush, William H.T. Bush, Halliburton -- and the hits keep coming. The biggest hue and cry from conservatives was against the press for "making an issue" of Dick Cheney blasting a guy with a shotgun -- from his car.

When do modern conservative principles get violated? Bush has racked up more debt than ANY president in history. In fact; his debt is bigger than ALL the combined national debts of any president in history. Forgive me if I misremember Politics 101, but I thought conservatives didn't care for that kind of thing.

As I understand it; conservative star players have cheated, lied, spied, stolen, been responsible for thousands upon thousands of deaths and yet many still want this to be a one-party system?

Believe me, I WANT conservatives, because I need a counterpoint. I just don't want today's emboldened conservatives who honestly think they know what's right for me -- and will endorse a political party that wants to stay in power at ALL costs. I want the conservatives who really value human life -- sorry pro-capital punishment and anti-abortion don't fly. I want the conservatives who don't hark back to the turn of the 19th Century to cast Democrats as racists.

And, if race is the forum, conservatives can't speak honestly to me. It's either the distant past or obfuscation. I KNOW about Byrd. But, don't piss on me and tell me it's raining because Howard Dean didn't have any black people in his brain trust. The GOP has a few HUNDRED Howard Deans -- but where is their John Lewis? Where is their Barack Obama? Where is the Donna Brazile of the GOP? Why is billionaire Oprah Winfrey a Democrat? Malcolm X said you cannot have an effect without a cause; you don't have a leg to stand on when you say those horrible liberals are keeping us down while the conservatives want to give us a hand up. Any true conservative would see that as a false argument -- the "hand up" is coming from ourselves. We are electing us and we are learning the political process. If there are racist liberals; they have only impeded; they haven't halted. In the GOP, black candidates appear to have been halted at the gate.

I have to ask, what is the cause for that effect?

Ronald Reagan arrested more black people and put more of us on the streets than Jefferson Davis. What do you think those incarcerations and that homelessness engendered? That's recent history.

Bush has FEWER African Americans in his White House tenure, NOT more than than Clinton. That's today.

The Republican party has had three (3!) congressmen elected since 1929: JC Watts, Gary Franks and Oscar DePriest. There have been 84 Democrats. And, at least one of those Republicans was not happy with his party. Watts complained about his treatment in the GOP. In the other house, there has been one GOP senator in the modern era, Edward Brooke -- who, of course, is outnumbered 2 to 1 by Dem senators.

The overall theme for Dems looks to be inclusion because I can see it. Cause/effect. Anyone with eyes can see it. There are people in real positions of power who look like me -- they are not just "consultants" like Walter Williams, appointees like Colin Powell or outsiders like Alan Keyes. There is no reason for me to indict the Dems because of a few bad apples; I know they're not perfect and my job is to keep them honest and accountable. But the GOP bushel looks rotten through and through.

If I were a black Republican, I'd be asking myself why I want to support a party that marginalizes me.

It's good to re-assess your values sometimes. I did it and turned away from an 81-point scoring machine. But, I feel so much better about myself.


link | posted by Jae at 7:50 AM |


2 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye commented at 10:51 AM~  

Wait until Craig reads this!

Blogger CB commented at 5:16 AM~  

I don't like Kobe because, as you suggest, it's all about Kobe all the time. If I were an NBA GM (for a long time this was my dream job), I would never go after AI, Kobe, Artest...because they don't make those around them better, they don't help their teams.

Paul Weyrich wrote an artilcle that I will paste here that speaks to your point, albeit from a different perspective. It is worth reading http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/weyrich/060318.

I am frustrated by spending, political expediency over principle - The Dubai Ports World deal and immigration readily come to mind. Not that there are clear answers to be found in either case, but rather than leaning on principle, Republicans have gone native and stuck a wetted finger in the air for answers - that bugs me.

What troubles me more is the tendancy to acquiesce to the xeophobic and jingoistic agents found on both sides of the political divide by the GOP elected officials.

The Republican party is far from the motherland for many black conservatives, although it is coming closer to the shores of native soil and occasionally appears as if it might dock there. The Democrat ship is steaming away from my home at flank speed, its orders are never to return. I may at least be able to make a swim for it from the deck of the vessel on which I am a stowaway.

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