Friday, July 15, 2005

Of Course, It All Depends on the Meaning of "Was" 

Courtesy of our venerated colleague Avedon Carol: we are of course thrilled to learn that Mr. Ken Mehlman is capable of experiencing shame at his party's recent history, and we can hardly wait for him to visit South Carolina and make a speech like the one summarized below to an audience of Nascar dads who voted against John McCain in the 2000 primaries because of his illegitimate black daughter:
It was called "the southern strategy," started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters.

Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was "wrong."

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Mehlman, a Baltimore native who managed President Bush's reelection campaign, goes on to discuss current overtures to minorities, calling it "not healthy for the country for our political parties to be so racially polarized." The party lists century-old outreach efforts in a new feature on its Web site, GOP.com, which was relaunched yesterday with new interactive features and a history section called "Lincoln's Legacy."
To acquaint yourself more closely wirh the GOP notion of "Lincoln's Legacy," click here. Or here.

UPDATE (via our distinguished colleague Gordon at Alternate Brain): After hearing Mehlman's remarks on the Southern Strategy, Rush Limbaugh seems to have experienced that inexplicable tingling sensation he gets whenever he watches Mandingo:
Know what [Mehlman's] going to do? He's going to go down there and basically apologize for what has come to be known as the Southern Strategy, popularized in the Nixon administration. He's going to go down there and apologize for it. In the midst of all of this, in the midst of all that's going on, once again, Republicans are going to go bend over and grab the ankles. They're going to the NAALCP. This is like going into Hyannisport and apologizing to [Sen.] Ted Kennedy [D-MA] for whatever and expecting him to become a supporter. It's like showing up at the [Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-NY]-Joe Wilson press conference in 20 minutes and saying, "Okay, Ambassador Wilson, we apologize. We hope you'll support us. We can't become a majority party until people like you are voting for us." It is just -- it's absolutely absurd.

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