Among all the talk about hope, change and the surge of newly inspired ethnically diverse voters last election, it turns out, uh not so much.
New Census data released this week revealed that while the actual number of new voters inched up, statistically (taking into account shifting population demographics), there was minimal or no change in voter turnout overall.
And when you break it down by race, the reality is that while 95 percent of blacks cast their ballot for President Barack Obama, there was no significant increase in black voter turnout overall. According to the Census:
“Relative to the presidential election of 2004, the voting rates for blacks, Asians and Hispanics each increased about 4 percentage points.”
Not much to write home (or dance down the church aisle) about. Ironic though, because I distinctly recall how the mainstream media and Democratic operatives routinely attempted to diminish the gains President Bush made in the black community by incessantly repeating that he “only” got 11 percent of the black vote in 2004. Well, that was a 3 percent increase from 2000. So Democrats, with candidate Obama as their standard-bearer, bested Bush by 1 percent.
The only group to actually show a significant statistical increase were 18-24 year-olds - about 8 percent since 2004.
The ironic news comes on the heels of a week where the topic of race and racial double standards played out like a politically incorrect theater act no one would dare put on Broadway. From the president’s “historic” NAACP speech oozed over by the mainstream press where he invoked terms he hasn’t used since his “historic” campaign speech on racial unity last year; to when the RNC’s first black chairman addressed the same crowd promising to throw out the party’s how to speak to black people manual only to be roundly criticized by conservative bloggers for joking about his “y’all come.. fried chicken and potato salad” approach to black outreach; and (my personal favorite) National Black Chamber of Commerce president Harry Alford’s very public dressing down of Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, after she revealed the hypocrisy of establishment liberals who accuse conservatives of pandering to minorities by touting two other black studies that had nothing to do with Alford’s testimony. The shameful, condescending way in which Boxer “handled” what Alford had to offer about the impact (or lack thereof) Congress’ “green jobs” legislation was having on small businesses, amounted to an attempt to put him in his place, Alford insisted. And he wasn’t having any of it. He told Boxer:
“Madame chair (he made sure to address her the way she prefers), that is condescending to me. I’m the National Black Chamber of Commerce and you’re trying to put up some other black group to pit against me.”
Still miffed at his treatment by Boxer, on Monday night Alford told FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly:
“It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He’d go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn’t going to jump into.”
Is it just me, or is it obvious that the more things “change,” the more they stay the same.
-Tara Wall is a news anchor and political analyst at The Washington Times and editor of TheConservatives.com