Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Congressional Black Caucus Attacks President Barack Obama

Boyce Watkins

It seems that the Congressional Black Caucus has a bone to pick with President Barack Obama. The 43-member group recently agreed to boycott a vote on a financial overhaul measure as a sign of protest toward the Obama Administration. The bill easily passed, but Rep. Maxine Waters made it clear that the caucus could cause trouble for future Democratic bills by voting with the Republicans. The protest was in response to what the CBC considers to be a blatant disregard for African American issues by the Obama Administration.

In response to the recent actions by the CBC, I only have one thing to say: Great move.

While I applaud the Congressional Black Caucus decision to stand tough when dealing with the Obama Administration, this move is not without it's problems. As the CBC swims into the dangerous realm of critiquing President Obama, a few points should remain clear:

1) The CBC is not attempting to tarnish Barack Obama's presidency. By standing strong, they are helping him to do his job more effectively: In politics, only squeaky wheels get oiled. Representative Maxine Waters has become Obama's new Jeremiah Wright, as she has made the Obama Administration uncomfortable by asking all of the really tough questions and calling for Presidential accountability. The problem is that unlike Jeremiah Wright, President Obama can't get rid of Maxine Waters, who is an entrenched figure in national politics. Waters, as well as Rep. John Conyers, understands that if you don't negotiate tough on Capitol Hill, you are going to get ignored. Thus far, the president has largely dismissed nearly all concerns of the African American community, in large part because he knows that black people are never going to complain about his performance. Barack Obama could join the Ku Klux Klan and African Americans would still give him a pass. By holding the president accountable, the CBC is doing its job of ensuring that its black constituency is near the top of the president's list of priorities, since he has thus far spent his time catering to those who hate him the most. George Bush was a terrible president, but at least he took care of his friends.

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