Poised for black Congress

That's the best thing that could come out of November vote in U.S.

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A quiet revolution is about to happen on November 7. Few in the media or electorate have paid any attention to it. Because I would so like to see it happen, I am reluctant to speak of it for fear that it will freak out the wrong people and thus prevent it from occurring.

No, I’m not talking about my fantasy that 100 million non-voters will turn out to vote for Ralph Nader.

What I am referring to is the strong possibility that the U.S. House of Representatives is about to be taken over by… African Americans!

That’s right. After 200-plus years of white guys running Congress and occupying the White House, get ready for “the black House”!

The Democrats are only six seats shy of winning back control of the House.

All indications are that — thanks to so many Republican incumbents choosing not to run for re-election this year (and back-to-back suicide moves by the Republicans to shut down the federal government and then overthrow a popularly elected president) — the Democrats may just pull it off.

Ace card

The ace card, which Democratic members are privately cheering on, is Nader. I have spoken to aides of a half-dozen members of Congress, and they are all convinced that Nader’s presence on the ballot is going to bring out millions of voters who had planned on not voting.

If that happens, once in the voting booth who do you think those disgruntled, pro-Nader voters are going to plunk for when they gaze down at the section for “Member of Congress” on the ballot? The Republican? I don’t think so.

The 1994 election that gave the House to Newt and the Republicans was decided in 19 districts where the Republican candidate won by a thousand or so votes. A few Nader voters could make the difference.

So how does that put African Americans in control of the House?

Thanks to the seniority they have accumulated, no fewer than 22 members of the congressional black caucus stand to take over the chairs of 22 House committees and subcommittees!

Three of the most important committees in Congress — the House judiciary committee, the ways and means committee and the House intelligence committee — will be led by African Americans for the first time in our history.

Bigoted judges

But wait. It gets better.

Nineteen — yes, 19 — subcommittees in the House of Representatives will have as their chairmen/chairwomen 19 other members of the congressional black caucus!

How cool is that? I never thought I would live to see such a thing. In a week when I have just read that the median black household income is $27,000, compared to $44,000 for whites, and when I read that one-third of African-American men between the ages of 18 and 35 are prohibited from voting in this election because of our bigoted judicial system, the idea that nearly two dozen African Americans might be calling the shots next year in Congress is the kind of good news that rarely comes my way.

Of course, it’s not just that they are black. These 22 members of Congress have, for the most part, consistently voted for labour, women’s rights, education, controls on corporations, cleaning up the environment and standing firm against free/sweatshop trade bills.

They are the first to question U.S. meddling in the affairs of other countries and the last to send our young people off to war.

The black House, my friends, is a good thing for all of us.

This pending revolt actually goes beyond the black caucus. There is also the progressive caucus in the House, a group of 60 or so left-wing Democrats.

And if the Dems get the House, four members of the progressive caucus will become committee chairs and 28 others will take over as chairs of their subcommittees!

There is some overlap between these two caucuses, but it’s safe to say that — combined — there will be six powerful committees in the hands of people who will represent the first line of defence against a Bush (or a Gore) presidency. Wow.

Which brings up another interesting point. The reason these black Democrats have kept winning their seats is because they stuck to their liberal/left guns, even in the face of a country that was seeming to turn to the right.

Want sirloin

Those Democrats who thought the way to survive was to sound “more Republican” wound up losing many of their seats.

The voters aren’t stupid.

If they want sirloin, they sure as hell aren’t going to vote for the hamburger posing as a sirloin.

It’s been just 137 years since the end of legal slavery in America.

I want to wake up on November 8 and witness the ultimate payback time!


From Alternet. Michael Moore wrote and directed the movie Roger And Me and is creator of the TV program TV Nation.

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