Saturday, March 16, 2013

In Fits and Starts

I'm happy that CPAC is having sessions on appealing to Black voters. I really am. And the "Frederick Douglass Republicans" line strikes me as a better approach than most. Sure, "Democrats are the party of the KKK" is not actually going to persuade anyone, but baby steps, right?

Still, I find it hilarious that this session dissolved into chaos after a group of white supremacists came in shouting about how appealing to Black voters constituted oppression of White Southerners.

Amazingly, the panel host tried to defuse the situation by saying that Douglass "forgave" his slavemaster. That only prompted the belligerent Whites to reply "For giving him food? And shelter?" And then we were off to the races (so to speak).

And this, in a nutshell, is why Republicans can't appeal to Black voters. It's not that there aren't people genuinely interested in trying. And it's not that there aren't people who are thinking hard and critically about how conservative policy priorities might benefit, or be made harmonious with, the priorities of the Black community. It's that there is a significant cadre of conservatives who are so attached to White racial resentment that they find this whole project offensive, and the conservative movement has proven unable to keep that element out of the fore.