Bush, Swann, and GOP Multiculturalism

Via the Washington Post:

LANCASTER, Pa., Aug. 16 -- Gerry Robinson slowly made his way between the small, round tables set up in an exhibition hall here, as he and a couple hundred supporters of NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann awaited the arrival of President Bush.

Bush spent the afternoon in southeastern Pennsylvania, where he also visited a Harley-Davidson plant, in an effort to shine a light on his handling of the economy and boost Swann's candidacy for governor. Both have been struggling lately.

Polls have found that high gasoline prices and flat wages have left most Americans anxious about the economy. Meanwhile, Swann, a Republican, is facing a 20-point deficit and a huge fundraising gap in his race against incumbent Edward G. Rendell (D).

Sporting Bono-style shades, Bush hopped on a Harley and held an economic roundtable with workers at the company's plant in nearby York. Later, he took a helicopter here to headline a fundraiser that drew 350 people and raised $700,000 for Swann.
Wow. Two fashion disasters in as many days. The Bush administration needs to step it up! If you're going to be a terrible President it's absolutely imperative that you don't LOOK like a terrible President. Here in America, you can count on a large portion of the population not to read about what's going on in the world - but everybody still looks at the pictures.

Fashion aside, the story talks about the difficulties that the GOP is having in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All three states have seen the Republicans nominate African Americans for high office: Swann and Blackwell for Governors of Pennsylvania and Ohio, Michael Steele for Senate in Maryland.

Part of this is the difficulty of being a Republican in a time when Steele himself has admitted that membership in the GOP is akin to a scarlet letter. Part of this is local. Rendell is a popular incumbent governor of Pennsylvania. The Ohio Republican Party is looking pretty corrupt. Being elected as a Republican in Maryland is hard to begin with.

But one has to wonder? Is there anything else to this? I'm not about to propose that the Democratic party is devoid of racists. I'm sure that there are many Democrats that wouldn't vote for a person because of their skin color, nation of origin, sexual orientation, or religion. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there are more people like that in the Republican Party. The sad truth is that bigotry is still a large force in America.

I would give credit to the Republicans for being so forward thinking if I didn't already know that the whole thing is a cynical attempt to peel off a Democratic voting block that the GOP feels is most likely to embrace the 'God and Gays' agenda that they're running on.

Bush may have more people who aren't WASPs in his cabinet than any nation in history, but that's just posturing. How do I know?


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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