In the wake of Henry Waxman's announced retirement, Roll Call columnist David Hawkings has a piece on the paucity of leadership in the Democrat caucus:
It's not really worth the read, but one thing does stand out: In analyzing who might be the future Democrat leaders in the House, he mentions some 30 names.
Of those, only one, Bobby Scott, is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Indeed, the current assistant Democrat leader, James Clyburn, doesn't merit any recognition in the piece. (Pelosi "created" the position for Clyburn in 2011, as a sop to the CBC)
Yet almost 25% of the Democrat caucus ( 43 of 200) belong to the CBC. It is the single largest voting block in the Democrat caucus, yet it wields very little real power.
Statisticians would consider this either an anomaly, or look for the root cause of this aberration. We already know the answer..It's the Voting Rights Act, which mandates, among many unconstitutional abuses, so called "majority-minority" districts.
And so we witness scores of black Democrats elected to the House, and re-elected, and re-elected, and whose only major accomplishment these last 5 years has been to see who can grab the most face time on camera with Obama at the State of the Union.
Indeed, the seniority list in the Democrat caucus is top heavy with CBC membership. House Democrats refuse to end seniority as the sole qualification for committee chair/ranking member, yet most of these people are far too stupid to be given such power.
And so we end up with Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Corinne Brown, John Conyers, Alcee Hastings, Charlie Rangel, among many..who do absolutely nothing for their constituents or their country except occupy space, and occasionally airtime.
And when they do finally decide to leave office due to death, retirement, or indictment, they usually manage to install a relative in their seat.
Democrats pushed the VRA for the obvious reason that it plays, on the surface, to their largest constituency. Republicans were cynically happy to go along, because it concentrates black voters in a few districts, greatly increasing the chances for Republicans in the adjacent districts.
We have thus created a vast new plantation system for black House membership, and we are hurting African-Americans in the process, as we are depriving them of any chance at competent, responsive representation.
When we have a GOP controlled Congress,and a Republican president, among the first things conservatives should demand is the immediate end of the VRA. It is blatantly unconstitutional, and that alone is grounds for repealing it.
But we can't continue to complain about the near-monolithic stranglehold the Democrats have on black voters, unless we are first willing to take a stansd.