CPAC 2014: Empty Rooms, Emptier Rhetoric.

This room is actually full.  Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

This room is actually full. Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

Last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) was the annual gathering of the tribes of Right-Wing Nation.   Everybody who’s anybody in that crowd was there if they were on the good side of the event’s organizers.  Anybody  on their bad side wasn’t invited.

Apparently Blacks are on CPAC’s bad side.  The 2012 election results revealed the grim truth that the Republican Party has become an old, male, White and Southern vessel, much ado was made about how more had to be done to make outreach to those Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color whom don’t find the Grand Old Party one they feel welcomed to be part of.   With that backdrop, CPAC conducted a minority outreach panel discussion.

The problem was there weren’t many minorities in attendance.   Or anybody else either.

The panel’s theme was GOP outreach to minority communities and the panelists were Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and three Black political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson.   All benchwarmers and nobodies.

None of the Black conservative All-Stars were there.  Ben Carson and Allen West would have showed up but couldn’t take a break from the shoe shine stand.   Mia Love was watching some White woman’s kids.  David Webb was parking cars.  Tim Scott was bussing tables and Artur Davis was frying chicken.  Herman Cain and Crystal Wright couldn’t get off their day jobs at McDonald’s. Those burgers ain’t gonna flip themselves!

Conservatives don’t have a diversity problem.  They don’t even believe in diversity.  They believe they have a messaging problem.  They have a lack of Blacks who think as they do and can carry their message back to other Blacks.   An auditorium of row after empty row of chairs may look embarrassing to those outside of CPAC, to those inside CPAC, it’s not embarrassing at all.  Opening their arms to invite more people of color in sounds nice in theory, but as a priority it isn’t one.

For years Carson, West, Cain and their ilk have yammering like kindergarten kids cranked up on too much sugar in their cherry Kool-Aid how Blacks are taken for granted by Democrats.  How Blacks are played for suckers by Democrats.  How Democrats treat Black like slaves and keep them on their plantation.

“No, I don’t want Dr. Carson as a running mate. I’M a doctor!”

Here was an opportunity to show 30 million African-Americans what the conservative alternative is and they LITERALLY COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP!   Outside of the Republican National Convention, CPAC is the biggest gathering of American conservatives and if they don’t care how old, how White and how unrepresentative of the country their movement is people of color won’t either.

A word about Dr. Ben Carson placing third in the CPAC presidential straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Big deal.   Carson is the current Great Black Hope of the White Right with some fantasizing he would be a Hillary stopper as he could dent her percentage of the African-American vote.

That’s a fantasy shattered by the reality that Carson would have to step out of his CPAC/Fox News comfort zone and actually face skeptical audiences unimpressed by his vagueness and real journalists who won’t pitch him slow rollers across the plate.   If “lack of experience” is a rap Republicans have hung around Barack Obama’s neck,  he looks like a Washington lifer compared to the callow Carson who has never run for any elected office, never served in a presidential administration and doesn’t seem to have any policy positions.  Even Horny Herman Cain was more qualified.

Carson is the featured Flavor of the Month.  He soaks up the adulation of the White Right like cornbread does gravy, but like cornbread, he’ll crumble under the pressure of an actual presidential campaign.

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Last 15 Minutes of Ben Carson’s Ego Trip

"Why yes, I AM pretty great."

“Why yes, I AM pretty great.”

So Dr. Uncle Ben Carson really thinks because he was publicly rude to President Obama that’s all it’s going to take for White conservatives to tap him as Obama’s successor in 2016?

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering Carson continued to drop broad hints he’s still flirting with the idea of running for president.

“Let’s say you magically put me in the White House,” Carson said to wild applause from the conservative crowd.

It would probably take an act of magic to put the 62-year-old neurosurgeon in the White House.  Carson has no experience in politics and not many known positions besides advocating for a flat tax and repealing Obamacare.

Carson has been lapping up all the love he’s received for showing up President Obama last month, at the National Prayer Breakfast, but he’s only been speaking to admiring audiences.  Cal Thomas, a conservative columnist says Carson should be apologizing instead of boasting.

“If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him,” Thomas wrote on the Fox News website,  “Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive.”

Humility isn’t one of Carson’s strong suits.  It might be worth to for Carson to step into the ring of presidential politics to see how he handles being worked over by experts.

I got news for you, Doc. No matter how much you enjoy having your over-sized ego stroked by the acclaim and applause of White conservatives, they will NEVER allow another Negro no matter what his politics are anywhere near the Oval Office unless he’s carrying a tray or emptying the waste baskets. You need to slap yourself back into reality. You aren’t that  important.

There is a die-hard contingent among conservatives that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of a Black man (or woman) in a place where they are not only treated as equals, but are in a position of power and authority as well over them and they cannot abide that notion.

“I’m a doctor, dammit. Not a politician.”

No matter how benign and harmless and respectable a Carson or Scott present themselves, they will not be accepted as equals.   The Republicans are making overtures to woo Latino votes.  Black folks?  Why bother making the effort?   We are far more useful to the Right in our traditional roles of scapegoats and boogeymen.

Carson is intelligent, a brilliant physician, a skilled surgeon and a total doofus with issues of vanity and exaggerated importance when it comes to understanding politics.   He is totally in over his head.  No way do Karl Rove or the Koch Brothers turn to a complete neophyte as the GOP standard bearer in 2016 no matter how many deep French kisses Carson gets from Hannity and Limbaugh.   With the possible exception of Marco Rubio, whose rising star seems to indicate a place on the ticket as a vice-president, the power brokers and the kingmakers of the Right want a White Man back in the White House.   Not just a Black man who says what Whites want to hear.

Doc Carson’s 15 minutes in the political spotlight are tick..tick..ticking away…