Let me say something about black conservatives. To be respected, you've got to give respect, and that's something that many black conservatives have not done in regards to the black community. Supported by white right wing institutions, be it the Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute, newspapers, FOX News, or other right wing organs many black conservatives lambaste the black community largely for the benefit of their white patrons instead of honestly trying to build bridges in the black community or using conservative solutions to address continuing community problems. Browbeating the group you say you want to convince to join your side is not the best approach.
So, what you call vilification, I call telling it like it is. Don't get me wrong, many liberal blacks are also supported by white patrons too, but at least the Democratic party has made symbolic gestures and thrown the occasional policy bone in the black community's direction. They have made an effort to at least speak the language of the community, if not fully understand its heart, respect its mind, or acknowledge, and value its soul. What has the GOP done, or the black conservatives, in particular, to garner the black vote? Merely called the GOP the party of Lincoln and that's that. They don't even talk about enterprise zones anymore, their one major urban initiative that seemed at least heartfelt though its effectiveness was doubtful. To be honest, I don't think a majority of white GOP politicos want black votes. They've had too much success playing of white fears about black people to really want black votes. Almost any attempt at outreach is to allay the concerns of some white independents about the GOP's specious racial past.
A few years ago I would've contended that the GOP would also feel Latino voters were more desired than black votes, because they could still use a modified Southern Strategy with Latinos to keep them separated from blacks, but with this hue and cry about immigration, I'm not sure that's the case anymore. Well, with the moderate, corporate side of the GOP I could see more interest in securing Latino votes because they are thinking long term. But the GOP moderates are receding into the background and allowing the louder, angrier, nativists among the GOP to emerge.
It's funny that many black conservatives and their white allies will say these people are being victims for being 'independent' and 'bold' bu turn a blind eye to any talk about the root causes of poverty or the idea that racism didn't end in 1965. The only black people who are victims are black conservatives. And for many white right wingers, IMO, the only true victims today are white folks. Now some might say its white working class folks, but I believe a lot of the GOP elite believe the white middle class and the white elite are the true victims. The white poor and working class are just chess pieces they move on a board.
And now with McConnell and Barbour and the Confederate veterans issue, it just shows how tone deaf the GOP continues to be regarding black people, and how some appear to be gleeful in dismissing black people-either their history or their concerns. Black support is strong for Obama because he is the first black president, but also because of his campaign positions, and the historical relationship the Democratic party has developed with the black community since the 1960s. Despite what Rush Limbaugh and others infer, blacks aren't mindless drones who vote based on race alone. Douglass Wilder, Carol Moseley Braun, and Al Sharpton didn't get much black support in the Democratic primaries at all, and black people didn't bolt from the party when Jesse Jackson was passed over even for a VP nod in 84 and more importantly in 88. And Alan Keyes probably got zero to negative black support during his presidential runs. Who Obama was, what he represented, and what he seems to embody, inspired many African Americans to support him in record numbers. But they also gave strong support to Kerry, Gore, and Clinton before Obama.
I find it funny that some whites can easily see how blacks are always racially motivated, but can never fathom if they themselves are in turn, when it comes to politics or anything else. Some whites are quick to charge blacks or other non-whites with playing the race card, but never believe that whites could play this 'card'. Personally I've never liked the terminology because it reduces real pain and loss caused by discrimination into some type of cynical game that non-whites inflict on hapless, innocent whites, which is bullsh*t IMO. If there is a race card, some elite whites centuries ago created the card, heck, they created the whole deck.
One more thing....about the town halls. I think you glossed over the fact that many of the people causing a commotion at the town halls weren't simply their to talk about their concerns or state a case, they were there to hurl insults at Congresspeople and accuse them of being communists, socialists, or Nazis. Of course they have the First Amendment right to do so, but let's be real and call it like it is. I don't have a problem with people expressing their displeasure in a public forum, but at the same time, some of these people were out there just to cause a disturbance and prevent other citizens from speaking, expressing their views, or allowing the Congressperson to explain health care legislation.
It's not about soft balling people or not talking hard questions, of course you're totally oblivious to the warm and fuzzies Hannity gave Dick Cheney during the Bush years or the T-ball games he played with Sarah Palin. And I'm sure you got steamed about how the leftist media mistreated poor Sarah Palin. But you're not so sanguine in terms of seeing skewered treatment of President Obama. It's about being respectful and acting like a responsible citizen, which I felt many who participated in the health care forums did not do. And I feel that some who participate in the Tea Party rallies also do not do.