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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The Full Conspiracy - Unmasked

Mickey Kaus has the notion that Sidney Blumenthal fanned the flames of the "Lottroversey", although others credit James Carville. Here, sent by one of my shy but astute readers, is a fascinating article that may explain their special sense of urgency in tarring all Republicans as racist:

Lott's gaffe comes amid GOP outreach to blacks

...But the Lott controversy exploded at a moment when, for the first time in decades, Republicans have a chance to attract significant support from blacks.

That opportunity is rising from a new generation of young African Americans, which polls show is starting to pull away from the Democratic Party and is open to conservative Republican ideas on issues such as school vouchers, faith-based social services and partial privatization of Social Security.

But these young black voters have not aligned with the Republican Party; they consider themselves independents.

"They're at a crossroads," said Donna Brazile, a veteran African-American political operative who ran Al Gore's 2000 campaign. She has warned Democrats that they could lose a significant share of the African-American vote to Republicans in coming elections.

...emerging demographics offer Republicans some hope.

"There is a changing of the guard going on in the African-American community," said David Bositis, an analyst of voting trends at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a liberal Washington research center on African-American politics.

The younger they are, the less likely African Americans are to call themselves Democrats, according to the center's polls. The ranks of blacks calling themselves Democrats drops steadily with age, from 75 percent among those 65 and older to 54 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds.

Similarly, polls for the Democratic National Committee this year discovered a small but growing number of young African Americans, particularly men, who had turned away from the party. That trend contributed to lower turnout among blacks and to Democratic losses in November's elections, party insiders believe.

The younger African-American voters are, the more hospitable they are to Republican ideas.

For example, a recent poll for the Joint Center found that 57 percent of blacks support the use of taxpayer-financed vouchers to attend private schools. Overall, Bositis estimated that 30 to 40 percent of African Americans support the conservative Republican agenda on issues such as education, Social Security and allowing the government to help faith-based charities do social work.

But they're not turning — yet — to Republicans.

"Establishing trust is no small thing," Bositis said. ...

A fact well understood on the Democratic side. The party of racial division? You choose.

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