Congressional Black Caucus: “Unleash us” on Obama
The Congressional Black Caucus, a mostly Democratic caucus in Congress that focuses almost exclusively on the black community in America, is not particularly happy with the President. So while the President is on a midwestern bus tour, the CBC is on a permission tour.
Meaning? Well they’re politicians seeking permission from the black community to “unleash” on the President according to Rep. Maxine Waters.
"We don’t put pressure on the president," Waters told the audience at Wayne County Community College. "Let me tell you why. We don’t put pressure on the president because ya’ll love the president. You love the president. You’re very proud to have a black man — first time in the history of the United States of America. If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us."
The problem, Waters said, is that Obama is not paying enough attention to the problems of some black Americans. The unemployment rate for African-Americans nationally is a little over 16 percent, and almost twice that in Detroit. And yet, Waters said, the president is on a jobs-promotion trip through the Midwest that does not include any stops in black communities. "The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too," Waters said. "We’re supportive of the president, but we’re getting tired, y’all. We’re getting tired. And so, what we want to do is, we want to give the president every opportunity to show what he can do and what he’s prepared to lead on. We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is. We don’t know why on this trip that he’s in the United States now, he’s not in any black community. We don’t know that."
She joins the rest of America wondering “what the strategy is”. The President has talked all around it, but as usual, has offered nothing concrete, nothing in writing and certainly nothing the CBO could score. That would provide a record, and it appears this President wants to avoid such things. It would also provide leadership, something this President has avoided like the plague during his tenure.
The CBC still loves him, but they just don’t think he’s doing as well as he could (a sentiment shared by many in varying but overwhelming degrees). So, fingers firmly in the wind, the CBC is asking permission to launch on the Prez:
As she discussed her dilemma — frustrated with the president but hesitant to criticize him lest black supporters turn on her — Waters asked the crowd for its permission to have a "conversation" with the president. "When you tell us it’s alright and you unleash us and you tell us you’re ready for us to have this conversation, we’re ready to have the conversation," she said. Some members of the crowd immediately voiced their approval.
"All I’m saying to you is, we’re politicians," Waters continued. "We’re elected officials. We are trying to do the right thing and the best thing. When you let us know it is time to let go, we’ll let go."
"Let go!" some in the audience yelled.
Indeed. But don’t expect the same sort of treatment the CBC would give a GOP leader to be “unleashed” on Obama.
It is interesting, though, to analyze situations like this and to realize that there are very few if any constituents who are pleased with the President’s performance and leadership. All have different reasons – to far left, not left enough, etc. – but almost all seem to agree he’s provided little if any leadership during his presidency.
As for the CBC and their constituency – they’ll still vote for Obama and will support him to the bitter end, which many hope is January of 2013. However, like many communities of voters on the left, their enthusiasm isn’t at all what it was when it was Candidate Obama they were supporting. And that lack of enthusiasm could be fatal to Obama’s reelection hopes next year.