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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Democrats and Race

Andrew Sullivan comments on Democrats and race:

Some of the sanctimony is now beginning to bug me. I'm second to few in believing that Trent Lott should step down as SML. But that doesn't mean I like the racial politics of the current Democratic Party. In fact, the way some far-left Democrats use race is no less repulsive than the way some far-right Republicans do. The equation of opposition to affirmative action or hate-crime laws or any other number of leftist policies with racism strikes me as a massively cheap shot. (I was on WBUR last night and paleo-lib Jack Beatty went straight to that knee-jerk point. Grrrr.)

However, in his next post, Sullivan links to Josh Marshall, who was instrumental in keeping the Lott story alive. An excerpt from Mr. Marshall:

One of the subtexts of the intra-Republican fight going on right now is that congressional Republicans are already looking to push an agenda that is, let's say, racially edgy. They don't want to hit that fight with Lott's baggage in tow.

Ed Kilgore is the Policy Director of the Democratic Leadership Council -- in other words, not exactly like a proxy for Al Sharpton or anything. And today he told me this ...

The angle some people may be missing about conservatives and Lott is that they are eager to pursue a number of things--a scaleback of affirmative action policies, private school vouchers, appointment of conservative judges with backgrounds more questionable than Lott's--that will create some concerns that the GOP is not exactly the reborn Party of Lincoln...

Private school vouchers? Well, I suppose there are folks in the South who advocated vouchers as a way of moving their kids out of integrated public schools. But at least some of us think of school vouchers in the context of failing inner city schools, and have observed that the primary objection seems to be church-state separation, with a sub-text of preserving NEA jobs. When you think of vouchers, do you think of Polly Williams in Milwaukee? The current DLC spin, uncritically recycled by Mr. Marshall, is that you should not.

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