Why Can't the CBC Be Like the Tea Party?

CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) (Getty Images)
CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) (Getty Images)

Is there any good reason for the Congressional Black Caucus' failure to exert the same political influence as the Tea Party? If you ask Loop 21's John Wilson, there are at least three.  He considers that poll after poll shows that most of mainstream America doesn't support the conservative group, and analyzes why it still has so much power.


The three reasons the CBC doesn't measure up:

1. Wrong message: The Tea Party showed that there is tremendous power in a cohesive voice, whether it be informed or not. While the CBC is indeed focused on issues affecting black citizens, they have not a particular issue that black voters can rally around …

2. Wrong leader: Not to slight CBC Chair Rep. [Emanuel] Cleaver, but steadfast leadership isn't synonymous with invisible. While Cleaver is known as an even-keeled, good-hearted, intelligent leader, that just may not cut it at this time with black unemployment at nearly 18%, the highest it's been in 27 years. Where's the Tea Party outrage? Where's the Tea Party emotion? …

3. Not disruptive enough: The CBC must disrupt the normal course of business in Democratic politics if it wants to have an outsized influence. You can't ask for power; you have to take it. And by that I mean hit the Democratic party where it hurts: Wherever they need black votes the most …

Source: Loop 21.

Interestingly, "wrong race" didn't make the list. If the CBC were to change its tone and tactics in the way Wilson suggests, could it really be just as powerful as the Tea Party? Or would something about the group and its agenda — no matter how it was packaged — still strike many Americans as just slightly off color?


Read more at Loop 21.

In other news: VIDEO: Cain on Tea Party Racism Allegations.