RNC: Constitution was right to count blacks as 3/5ths a man and allow slavery

I wonder whether Michael Steele agrees with his own organization on this one?

Today, Obama gave his national security speech at the National Archives, which houses the U.S. Constitution. Trying to be clever (which they’re not), the RNC tweeted an attack on Obama for his belief that slavery was a “fundamental flaw” in our constitution, we learned via the Media Matters Action Network. Apparently the RNC does not believe that the Constitution was wrong to permit slavery:

RNC: as he prepares to deliver remarks in hall that holds the constitution, flashback obama: “constitution flawed” http://bit.ly/tFL7O #RNC [Twitter, 5/21/09]

FACT: Obama Explains The Constitution’s “Fundamental Flaw” Was Slavery. The out of context video the RNC links to contains audio from a September 6, 2001 program called “Slavery and the Constitution” on WBEZ Chicago. On the show, Obama explained that the “fundamental flaw” was “Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the framers.” In addition, the framers did not “see…it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth.” [WBEZ Radio, accessed 5/21/09]

As MMAN notes, George W. Bush, Colin Powell and Condi Rice all said similar things. But, they might not be considered Republicans anymore. It’s hard to tell who is and who isn’t these days.

To be clear, when it was written, the U.S. Constitution allowed slavery and counted slaves as three-fifths of a person. It took the civil war to remedy that provision. But, in the warped world of the RNC, Obama is wrong to think of slavery as a “fundamental flaw.” What would the RNC call it?

I’m willing to wager that even among the 20% of the public left in the Republican party, probably only a third at most might agree with the RNC that the Constitution was right about slavery.

NOTE FROM JOHN: Joe’s criticism is really unfair. The RNC considers minorities at least 4/5ths a man nowadays.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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