JASON RILEY: IDENTITY POLITICS AT ITS WORST….
The field of Democratic candidates to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D., Ill.), who resigned last week amid a criminal probe of his financial activities, was already more than a dozen strong. And it got bigger yesterday when former Rep. Mel Reynolds, who held the seat from 1993 to 1995, announced he would try to win it back.
Mr. Reynolds’s bid is a long shot. He too resigned from Congress in disgrace and went to jail for bank fraud and sex with a minor. But what worries the black Democratic establishment is that Mr. Reynolds is another black candidate who could further split the black vote and enable the seat to go to a white candidate, namely former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who served in Congress from 2009 to 2011.
Politico reports that “some black officials have met Halvorson’s entry into the race with outright hostility.” Delmarie Cobb, a Democratic consultant who worked for Mr. Jackson, said: “The battle we have is that we can’t afford to lose a black voice in Congress.” Really?
Blacks comprise a slight majority of Mr. Jackson’s district, which is safely Democratic. The winner of the primary election will almost certainly win the seat and become one of Nancy Pelosi’s reliable soldiers. The color of the winner’s skin will have no impact on any of this.
The reality is that America is a majority-white country with a twice-elected black president. Racism surely still exists, but apparently not enough of it to keep one black man from occupying the White House and another one from running the Justice Department. Yet liberals want us to pretend that 2012 is 1954 and black people need a racially separate political base?
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