Wednesday, May 23, 2012


On Monday, National Review Online posted an article by Kevin Williamson that portrayed the Republican Party as more or less singlehandedly responsible for the advancement of African-American civil rights, with the resistance to that advancement being overwhelmingly attributable to Democrats. Yup, according to Williamson, the GOP has always been the pro-black party and the Democrats have always been anti-black. I'd rebut this pathetic attempt to win non-white voters to the Republican Party, but it's already been eloquently and thoroughly debunked by Jonathan Bernstein, by Adam Serwer, and (most thoroughly) by Jonathan Chait. I have nothing to add to their fine takedowns.

What's odd, though, is that two days after the posting of the Williamson article, we have an electoral result that actually seems to support Williamson's thesis: President Obama failed to crack 60% yesterday against "uncommitted" in the Kentucky Democratic primary and against a white nonentity in the Arkansas primary, two weeks after failing to crack 60% against a white felon in the West Virginia Democratic primary.

Now, plenty of us on the left -- Alec MacGillis, Zandar, BooMan -- are perfectly willing to say that this reflects lingering racism among fairly conservative voters in Appalachia and the Upper South who still regard themselves as Democrats, and are still registered with the party. We say this even though we believe that the Democratic Party as a whole is far more committed to racial justice than the Republican Party.

But when right-wingers are handed electoral results that could actually be interpreted as supporting their Dems-are-the-real-racists! thesis, what do they say? Let's go to Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media:

I Told You They Would Blame Obama's Awful Kentucky and Arkansas Results on Race

Wait -- shouldn't these guys be the ones blaming the results on race? Aren't they the people who think Democrats have cornered the market on racism? Weren't they just saying this two days ago?

Ah, but you have to understand: given the choice between trying to win over African-Americans with honey or vinegar, they just can't stick with the honey. They could say, "See? Racist Democrats insulted Obama" -- but they'd rather say, "Oh, that pathetic Obama is such a loser." They'd rather insult the first black president, a guy who has near-universal African-American support.

Really, they just can't help themselves.

1 comment:

BH said...

FWIW, living in "flat Appalachia" (the Tx-Ok border) as I do, I agree that the Ky, WV & Ark primary results reflect no more than the last faint squawks of the old southern white Dems. More to the point, though: for purposes of the general election, surely no one of consequence thinks any results from any of those 3 states means a damn thing. They'll go red in the general, just like they all 3 did last time. So who effing cares?