The next article in the magazine – actually a companion piece to Broyles’ — makes the charge that Obama has also betrayed the African-American community. Written by Allison Samuels, it is titled “The Black War Over Obama.” It raises the issue that the new campaign by Princeton’s radical professor Cornel West and talk show host Tavis Smiley to tour the country attacking the president’s policies could spell great trouble for Obama in the election.
Cornel West, Samuels writes, has become “the administration’s No.1 gadfly.” West has accused President of being a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs,” a president who continually caves in to the group a Marxist like West calls the ruling class. Samuels sees a “deep reservoir of frustration, confusion and even rage among many in the African-American community” that West and Smiley tap into. Certainly, there are many valid reasons African-Americans should be upset. Unemployment has affected them at a much greater percentage than it has whites, and in cities like Atlanta, scores of middle-class African-Americans have lost their jobs.
What West and Smiley are doing, Samuels writes, could “discourage black voters from turning out” in the 2012 election. Most observers believe the majority of African-Americans will hold the line and vote for the president, but perhaps not in the numbers they did in 2008. That means in a close election areas that might have ended up in the president’s column could very well go for the Republican presidential candidate, whoever gets the nomination.
It is the very same effect that could lead Jewish voters in key states like Florida to vote in a smaller proportion for the president, so that the Republican might then also win that state. In the coming special election in New York City for former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat in the House, former Mayor Ed Koch is campaigning for the Republican candidate. He is arguing that Jews have to teach the president a lesson to not take their vote for granted, because of Obama’s disastrous policies towards Israel. This coming national election, Obama won’t find Ed Koch or Marty Peretz touring Jewish communities around Miami and West Palm Beach campaigning for him as they did in 2008.
At any rate, Samuels cites the Washington Post/CBS poll that shows that the number of African-Americans who believe that Obama has helped the economy dropped from 77 percent in October to almost half that number! As she puts it: “That’s not the kind of news the president’s reelection team wants to hear heading into a campaign year.”
Whether or not West is motivated by the personal slight he suffered at Obama’s refusal to meet with him to hear his views, or whether other African-American would-be leaders like Al Sharpton convince West and Smiley to reconcile with the president, does not change the economic reality. Obama’s policies have hurt all Americans, including those in his own 2008 base.
So while many of us consider Obama a leftist with a strong social-democratic agenda, and even though leftists like Broyles see him as a closet Republican, the economic reality alone bodes ill for the president. So I salute Mr. Broyles and Cornel West and Tavis Smiley for their strong attacks on Obama’s lack of leadership and on his policies. Their stance will help him lose and cause Obama’s natural constituency to stay home on Election Day, thus assuring a Republican victory in 2012. So, please — keep up your good work!