Ever since the prominenti of the Illinois GOP ditched Jack Ryan as their candidate for the Senate, their efforts to win this election this November have descended into an embarrassing farce, a farce the national Republican party cannot afford in this election year. Now, of course, they have finally selected…Alan Keyes. Now, Ambassador Keyes is a fine man in many respects, and American politics could do with a few more politicians like him, politicians who are prepared to speak their mind – and damn the consequences.
That said, his candidacy looks like a blunder, not just locally, but nationally. The wise folk at The Economist explain the problem:
“The Republicans’ fatal mistake was to think that the best way to counter a black man was with another black man. The point about Mr Obama—as the Republicans might have realised if they had paid greater attention to his speech in Boston—is that he is a post-racial candidate. Mr Obama is the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas who was brought up by his white mother and grandparents in Hawaii and South-East Asia. He appeals just as strongly to white suburban voters as he does to blacks. Over the past few years, the Republicans have made serious attempts to court blacks. Mr Bush gave blacks two of the most senior positions in his administration, secretary of state and national security adviser. But the Illinois Republican Party’s decision to choose Alan Keyes is not a serious attempt at outreach. It is a ridiculous parody of it—and it will result in a crushing defeat this November.”
I’m afraid so.