When one thing happens that means there's usually nothing to see here. Two things? A coincidence. But when I was looking at my third "Hey, world! Did you hear that thing Rep. Maxine Waters of California said!" that's a trend, buddy. Over the weekend, Rep. Waters told a crowd that they needed to be fearless in their defense of issues and ideas they hold dear. That they should never allow themselves to be cowed or intimidated. In fact, she said she was afraid of no one, not even the Tea Party, then promptly shouted that "the tea party can go straight to hell."
From The Hill:
“This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned -- the tea party can go straight to hell,” Waters said, according to Los Angeles television station KABC.
Interesting. Have our Congressional Black Caucus members recently decided to embrace the progressive/liberal wing of the Democratic base and go full bombast for conservative bombast in the war of words? Did Bill Maher's "Donner Party" thing happen and no one told me?
From The Daily Beast:
With a stinging budget defeat behind them and unemployment in the black community soaring to 16 percent, members of the Congressional Black Caucus say they’re done waiting for Barack Obama to fight their battles for them.
Instead, the 43 African-American lawmakers say they’re taking matters into their own hands and will carry the fight to Tea Party Republicans, whom they blame for Obama’s latest lurch to the right.
“The Tea Party discovered something. That is if they organize, if they talk loud enough, if they threaten, if they register to vote and elect a few people, they can take over the Congress of the United States,” said Rep. Maxine Waters. “They called our bluff and we blinked. We should have made them walk the plank.”
Holy crap. They are doing it. They're really doing it. They're going to try to match crazy for crazy.
As WONDERFUL as this all is, there's one (big) problem.
It's not good enough for the CBC to go crazy on its own as the CBC has gone crazy before and NO ONE LISTENED.
(I had to cite wiki entries on this because that's how little the press cared that it was CBC members who lead the charge on challenging the recount in 2000, or how only four members of the CBC voted for the Iraq War resolution in 2002.)
During both of these events which incredibly altered American society (and for the worst, in my -- and many others -- opinions), the CBC was on the right side of history. They pushed back against the nightmare that was the presidential recount in Florida and they rallied against the war in Iraq. But it's not good enough, sadly, for all the black people in the House of Congress to go crazy. They've pushed forth with righteous anger as the conscious of our political bodies before and got A) no press attention and B) no respect. Unless the CBC can recruit some mainstream, white Democrats with something to lose to go for broke and take the crazy to the crazies Maxine Waters' Great One-Woman-Rebellion of 2011 will be just that.
So who's with them? Who is going to take the heat, stamp their feet, put up their dukes and throw down for what they believe in? The CBC says they're game, but who else is in? Without the support of other progressives, other liberals, other Democrats, other representatives of minority groups, the working class and women, without some white people we're back in 2000, watching CBC members plead for SOMEONE to give a shit about people who were disenfranchised from their right to vote during the Florida recount, looking for the senator who would never come to sign on to their challenge. Without a coalition, we're back to another "oh, look what the CBC is doing again" and nobody in the media caring.
The CBC can't do this alone. Crazy doesn't need a caucus. Crazy needs an army.