Bloggers respond to Bush’s address to the NAACP and talk about the weather.
Talking the talk: Bush addressed the NAACP yesterday for the first time since his election. Protesters heckled him when he acknowledged that “many African-Americans distrust my party,” but he received rounds of applause for promising to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965—which he promptly did later that day.
Some bloggers are ticked that Bush came in peace. Michelle Malkin calls the speech a “squandered opportunity. Bush could have hit back hard at the race exploiters who shamelessly accused him of hating black people and suppressing black votes and causing Hurricane Katrina.” James Joyner at Outside the Beltway also itches for confrontation but admits that “the timing was simply not right” for a fight: “He reached out to a historically great organization that has in recent years sullied its reputation in hopes that its new leadership would return it to its old ways.”
Conservative bloggers reserve their harshest words for the NAACP itself. Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online’s The Corner quotes an eyewitness who found the audience out of touch: “[W]hen he talked about reauthorization of the VRA, which many in the crowd incorrectly think is necessary otherwise blacks won’t be permitted to vote—wild applause. Conclusion: a reaffirmation that the NAACP remains stuck in the 1960s. Any wonder why younger blacks ignore it?” Conservative blogger Gateway Pundit provides a laundry list of Bush policies that he claims benefit African-Americans. “It makes sense though that black leaders like Jesse and Al don’t mention these truths,” he writes. “It would put more pressure on the NAACP to produce rather than blame others for the failings in the black community.”
Before Bush’s speech, Sen. Barack Obama warned NAACP members not to be “bamboozled” by the president’s VRA act: “It’s great if he commits to signing it, but what is critical is the follow-through. You don’t just talk the talk, but you also walk the walk.” KnightHawk at the conservative group blog PoliPundit writes, “That’s a big laugh coming from a black member of the Democratic Party today, sadly most of the audience is probably not in the right state of mind to see this.” Scribes at Martini Republic scoffs at the cynical coupling of the NAACP speech and the Voting Rights Act renewal: “That it wasn’t renewed the second it expired demonstrates how the man’s handlers are willing to turn absolutely anything—common sense, faith, courtesy—into a political circus.”
David Edwin Marco II at Shining Light in Dark Corners thinks the VRA, which focuses on the historically discriminatory South, doesn’t address the disaster areas of Ohio and Florida: “Clearly, many red states have unwritten policies designed to intimidate get out the vote drives and minority voters. The law needs considerable strengthening.”
In a comment on Booker Rising, Mr. Grey Ghost, a black conservative Democrat based in Brooklyn, dismisses the notion that Bush’s appearance will help Republicans in the elections: “Blacks just [v]ote blindly and are way too beholden to the Democratic party for any of them to switch parties, besides the fact that the NAACP doesnt hold any influence in the Black community anyway.” Rude Pundit longs for the good old days of the honorary black president: “Qualitatively, the difference between Clinton and Bush talking to the NAACP is the difference between listening to Carnegie Hall concerts by Gerry Mulligan and Kenny G. They’re playing jazz on roughly the same instruments in the same space. But only one of them gets it.”
Dead heat: A football player in western Kansas collapsed and died after practice on Wednesday. The death toll of the recent heat wave has since risen to 16, and the governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency.
Most bloggers wish they’d listened to Al Gore. On his hip-hop blog, Byron Crawford writes from inside the “weird-ass storm” that shut down St. Louis: “Not to sound like President Bush Mengele, but between the weather and Israel’s ridonkulous crusade against Lebanon, this could very well be the last year evar.” Sleeping Mommy, a mother of three in Oklahoma, looks on the bright side: “they say that with the heat of global warming the ice caps will melt which will trigger events that will lead to the next ice age. So at least we know the heat won’t go on indefinitely.”
New York-based blogger The Man at GOP and the City recommends a simulation: “For those of you who have never been on a Subway in NYC during a heat wave, here’s how to experience it without leaving your home. 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2) Stick head into oven. 3) Have 54 other people stick their heads in as well. 4) Have one person complain that you are touching them.”
Jurassicpork, a commenter at Think Progress, ingeniously connects the dots: “Bush battled global warming because he spoke at the NAACP today, so Hell must’ve frozen over.”