Re: America the Doomed,
I can see why many Americans would not join the Tea Party because to prevent the things you listed because the GOP/right wingers did a pretty good job of wrecking the country's economic, geopolitical, and moral standing. I think some of the things that happened under Bush-Cheney showed a disdain for the Constitution and the American people and ideals far greater than anything Obama has been accused of doing. Regarding morals, I think the values campaign of the GOP has been one of the biggest hoaxes, but smartest political tricks, they've ever pulled off. The idea that the GOP is somehow morally better than the Democrats is laughable. I'm not going to list the scandals, I'm sure you are familiar with them.
Re: Black Conservatives,
Most of our perspectives on this topic are shaded by our ideological leanings. What you see as being bold and independent, I see as being cynical, opportunistic, and for some self-loathing. If some of these black conservatives truly believe that left wing policies are going to lead African Americans and the US to doom why don't they work harder at engaging and tailoring their message to their supposed target audience? This is something that black conservatives have largely failed to do. IMO, black people aren't the target audience of the majority of them, their white patrons are. And having a few dark faces sprinkled among a sea of white faces puts some conservatives at ease that their policies or positions aren't racially insensitive.
You see them as courageously fighting peer pressure. For a good deal of them, I imagine they are being contrary just for the hell of it, or to make a quick buck. A black conservative is sure to stand out in a crowd more than a black liberal. Some are quick to tell many blacks to have a thick skin or to dismiss racist or perceived racist slights, but some of these people can go on for days about how bad black people are treating them. I think that's b.s. geared more for white ears and purse strings than to apply conservative solutions to black urban/rural problems or issues.
With Bill Cosby, I think there are quite a few black people who agree with him. He came to MD a few years ago and spoke at a black event, reported in the Post, and got a lot of applause. I don't think its necessarily an issue of what Cosby says for many blacks, its how he says it and who it seems to be directed to. I don't think he needs to come off like a cranky senior citizen or talk down to people. There was a whiff of classicism in some of his statements and that opens him up to criticism that he is unfairly targeting the black poor, and that his message isn't a constructive one, but is being used like a bludgeon.
I don't think Cosby is necessarily in the avowedly black conservative/right wing camp like Armstrong Williams, J.C. Watts, Shelby Steele, Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell, Larry Elder, John McWhorter, Jesse Lee Peterson, Walter Williams, Angela McGlowan, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, etc. It is many of these that I have a problem with because they don't build bridges they just hurl bombs a lot of times. Like calling Jesse Jackson a shakedown artist or referring to some civil rights leaders as poverty pimps. Or they just co-sign or ignore racially insensitive comments or behavior from their white colleagues. And Michael Steele is in a league of his own with some of his comments.
There have been many polls taken and I agree with the findings that many African Americans tend to be socially conservative in some of their views. I think the GOP has largely failed to capitalize on that because they've had a lot more success using issues perceived as 'black' like crime, affirmative action, and welfare as wedge issues to get white support for some 40 years.
Re: Black Presidential Candidates
Forgot to mention Shirley Chisolm, Lenora Fulani, and Cynthia McKinney. I can agree that many blacks probably thought that the other black candidates didn't have a chance and perhaps that was why they garnered soft or almost zero support. However, I doubt many black people thought Jesse Jackson really had a shot to win in 1984, but got behind his campaign. Now I'm sure that Jesse's civil rights record also inspired a lot of black support. Not sure about 1988-he might've been seen as a more legit contender then but I'm not sure. And Obama pretty much secured the black vote after Iowa when he proved he could win white support. But the point I was getting at was that these actions don't suggest that blacks are mindless drones who vote just for racial reasons alone. They try to vote for someone who they feel can be represent their interests but also win. And for the last 40 years this hasn't been the GOP for the majority of black people.
What you're leaving out about the GOP vote for the Civil Rights legislation is what happened to both parties after those votes. Many of the segregationist Democrats jumped to the GOP and changed the complexion of that party to harder right and more Southern. And Nixon, seeking to steal George Wallace's thunder; Wallace remained a Democrat though he ran for president as an independent in 1968 at least; not sure about 1972. Anyway, Nixon concocted the Southern Strategy to play on racial fears and resentments and almost each GOP presidential campaign since has used some version of it. I think Sarah Palin's paen to 'real' America was the most recent version of it. This type of dividing, smearing the cities and the coasts, while lifting up the heartland and the south, the small town over the big city. And generally what color of people are associated with each? Also, the 'hockey mom' stuff, these were soft cultural cues, a way to identify with other whites without openly saying so. She was much more polished at it than Hillary who stumbled when talking about 'hardworking white Americans' as if no one else works hard in this country.
I don't think its simply a matter of blacks supporting Obama as the reason why more aren't joining the Tea Party. I think its the party itself, what it seems to represent, and who is leading and/or speaking for it. It isn't a general citizen's revolt and I doubt that the Tea Party has reached out to black communities or other communities in any concerted efforts. I don't think the various Tea Parties really want to in any event.