The only thing they didn't do was promise to "tote dat barge and lif' dat bale."
"They" are the three Democrats presidential wannabees who abjectly and profusely apologized to the NAACP for skipping its candidates' forum in Miami Beach.
As political theater goes, the display may be more nauseating than Dubya fishing off the Democrat pier for the minority vote. But it was more than nauseating.
It was the zenith of political pandering, cowardice, and racial blackmail.
Democrats Like Step ‘n’ Fetchit
On Monday, the NAACP's preposterously monikered monarch, Kweisi Mfume, laid down the law:
"If you expect us to believe that you could not find 90 minutes to come by and address the issues affecting our nation," the Associated Press reported, "then you have no legitimacy over the next nine months in our community."
That did it. On Thursday, the three showed up. It's hard to say who was worse, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, or Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Said Kucinich: "Now I'm here to let you know that while I have a 100 percent voting record, I'm also 100 percent for the NAACP." Kucinich explained that he skipped the group's candidates’ forum because had to cast a vote on the floor of the House. But that was no excuse.
Reported AP, "Then the moderator goaded him into offering an official apology, saying: u2018We have heard the explanation, does the congressman need to say something else?'"
Replied Kucinich: "I'm very sorry I wasn't able to be here, amazing grace, how sweet it is, once was lost, now I'm found."
What disgusting cowardice. Kucinich was paid to make those votes, not bloviate at the NAACP convention.
Here's Gephardt: "I'm sorry I was not here when you had the joint appearance the other night. I had a long standing conflict that I could not get out of, and I apologize to all of you for not being here and I thank you for letting me be here."
Again, fear won.
Now, here's Lieberman. A leader, he lamented, "must believe that the causes that he or she fights for, the stands he or she takes, the decision he or she makes are right. That's leadership. But leadership also means being able to admit when you are wrong. And by not coming Monday, I was wrong. I regret it and I apologize."
Radical blacks like Mfume have a name for a man who truckles, cajoles, and apologizes for nothing: Step ‘n’ Fetchit.
The GOP Comes Next
These wheedling confessions aren't just commitments to "black issues."
They're promises to buy the black vote with costly federal programs, and to shill for the NAACP, a racialist organization of statists, old-timey leftists, and Reds who would dismantle what's left of the Constitution and the Republic.
Worse, the GOP will try to outbid the Democrats. It will fail, but the gesture will do three things: expand socialist programs that concentrate even more power in Washington, raise confiscatory taxes on the "wealthy" to pay for the programs, and broaden discriminatory laws that unfairly enrich and empower blacks at the expense of whites and Asians and everyone else.
The apologies are worthless, for the NAACP won't go for Republican grifters as long as it has the Democrat species. But Mfume got what he wanted:
Three white lawn jockeys.
July 19, 2003
Syndicated columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va.