How Come Tom Edsall Can Talk About The Sailer Strategy And I Can`t?
Among the most interesting of the
countless postmortems on Republican
Scott Brown`s victory over
Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts Senate race was
veteran Democratic journalist Thomas Edsall`s
Ghost Story in
The New Republic on January 20, 2010.
article is one of the more realistic (if inadvertent) works
of political advice the GOP has received—outside of the
pages of VDARE.com. From
a tsk-tsking Democratic perspective, Edsall outlines the
inexorable logic of what
Sailer Strategy: as the non-white percentage of the
the Republicans must (and can) win a growing share of the
Of course, the Republican leadership (such
as it is) will find Edsall`s insights offensive rather than
illuminating. They are less likely to comprehend them than
to try to refute them, by more brilliant stratagems such as
Michael Steele head of the Republican National
everyone knows, the United States is undergoing a
demographic transformation. Non-Hispanic whites are
become a minority by the year 2042. This shift underlies
the theory of a Democratic realignment:
Pro-Democratic groups are growing while the
pro-Republican white population is declining."
Edsall goes on, however, to note that just
twelve months of the Obama Administration demonstrated to
many white voters even in liberal Massachusetts that they
might not be happy with their ordained future. Over the
course of 2009, he says,
ceased to think of Obama as a protector of their
Over the years, Edsall has repeatedly
tried warned liberals that the diabolically clever
Republican leadership is going to attempt to please the
white majority by acting as
"a protector of their
would make sense. But I`ll believe it when I see it.
Heretically, Edsall points out that these long-term
demographic trends don`t automatically require whites to
continue to vote for their own despoiling:
"There is evidence,
however, that trends that have recently boosted Democratic
prospects may also be a key factor in undermining the
capacity of the population for empathy, and, thus, its
receptivity to programs like health care reform."
In fact, racial diversity is, by its
nature, politically divisive. Edsall cites, as
"painful to those
committed to diversity and equality", the
findings of Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam
(whose work I repeatedly
publicized when it was finally released
years ago). Putnam`s
of 30 communities found, in his words, that
"in ethnically diverse neighborhoods residents of all races
tend to `hunker down.` Trust (even of one`s own race) is
lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends
"Putnam`s findings offer critical insight into the
explosive growth of the Tea Party movement and the
strikingly sudden collapse of support for the Democratic
Party. They suggest that the populace, especially the white
populace, is on a psychic hair trigger. The demographic
transformation of the country and the birth of multicultural
America have made this group extremely status anxious…"
Of course, Edsall`s term
“status anxious” trivializes the issue. Instead, we`re watching a
much more fundamental struggle—over resources. As Edsall
"The harsh reality
is many voters consider the health care bill a
multibillion-dollar transfer of taxpayer money to the
uninsured, a population disproportionately, although by no
means exclusively, made up of the poor, African Americans,
Latinos, single parents, and the long-term unemployed.
Providing medical care to this population is an explicit
goal of the legislation, and a worthy goal, but political
suicide in the current environment."
care funding isn`t about status or other frivolities; it`s
about death and taxes.
How does Edsall get away with even this
level of frankness? After all, pointing out the arithmetic
reality of the white vote got VDARE.COM
banned from Free Republic, to say nothing of more
respectable MSM venues.
he`s a Democrat, so it`s okay—his heart is in the right
place. He`s trying to expose the evil racist Republican
he uses scare quotes (such as in referring to
immigrants") and other post-modern gimmicks to give the
impression that there`s no underlying reality, just
Similarly, in his 1992 book
Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics
"Taxes, in turn,
have been used to drive home the cost to whites of federal
programs that redistribute social and economic benefits to
blacks and to other minorities."
Of course, it would have been simpler to
write "Taxes, in
turn, drive home …" The passive voice phrase
"have been used to
drive home" is merely an obfuscation to cater to the
Democratic fantasy that voters wouldn`t notice the burden of
taxes if bad Republicans didn`t mention it.
like most Democrats, Edsall is relentlessly focused on the
past—blaming everything on Barry Goldwater`s Southern
1964—rather than upon the future, where our children
will have to live.
Edsall, who spent 25 years as one of the
premiere political reporters and is now a Columbia
Journalism School professor and a writer for the
Huffington Post, is a nostalgist for the New Deal
days—when politics (owing in large measure to the nationally
unifying benefits of
1920s immigration cut-off) revolved around class rather
Chain Reaction, Edsall informed the Democrats:
issues of race and taxes have permitted the Republican Party
to adapt the principles of conservatism to break the
underlying class basis of the Roosevelt-Democratic coalition
most popular reforms, such as Social Security and
unemployment benefits, were politically successful because
they provided the average voter with insurance against the
randomness of life.
for instance, is almost 93. When he retired three
decades ago, he didn`t particularly expect to live to such
an age, but having old-fashioned
benefit" pensions from both Lockheed and Social
Security has allowed him to live in modest comfort without
worrying perpetually about living too long for his savings.
In contrast, many of the programs begun or
expanded in LBJ`s era, such as
stamps and welfare, functioned less as insurance than as
redistributionary incentives for the kinds of anti-social
behavior, such as having children out of wedlock, that some
races were more prone to than others.
Edsall wrote in
"Together, the twin
issues of race and taxes have created a new, ideologically
coherent coalition by pitting taxpayers against tax
recipients, by pitting the advocates of meritocracy against
proponents of special preference, by pitting the private
sector against the public sector, by pitting those in the
labor force against the jobless, and by pitting those who
bear many of the costs of federal intervention against those
whose struggle for equality has been advanced by
interventionist government policies. "
Personally, I`ve long felt that Edsall`s alarums sounded
like an awfully good strategy for the GOP—politically, but
also morally. After all, what`s the point of majority rule
if not to benefit the majority?
"In a steady
evolutionary process, race and taxes have come to intersect
with an entire range of domestic issues, from welfare policy
to civil-service testing, from drug enforcement to housing
regulation, from minority set‐ aside programs to the decline
in urban manufacturing jobs, from prison construction to the
globalization of economic competition, from college
admissions standards to suburban zoning practices, from
highway construction to Federal Communications Commission
licensing procedures. "
Edsall published a follow-up to
Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive For Permanent Power,
contained more inadvertently good advice for the GOP on how
to take advantage of the inherent weaknesses of the
Gintis, an unusually realistic leftist economist,
explained in an Amazon review:
characterizes the Democratic party as (a) an uneasy and
unstable alliance of minorities and the poor, who have
serious economic issues on the one hand, and liberal,
affluent elites with interests in new age values and
individual liberation on the other. … Liberal values, he
argues, have led to the election of Republican mayors and
governors, as for instance, noting that Dinkins in New York
was so ineffective that he was followed by four successive
the problem with Edsall`s analysis was not
his logic, but the
GOP`s. Republicans controlled Congress and the White House
in 2006. So, what Machiavellian scheme did the GOP brain
trust throw its weight behind? The
McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill!
And what did the Bush Administration do in
2007 to show white working class voters that it was on their
side? Well, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sued the Fire
Department of New York, which had sacrificed
343 men on 9/11,
for discrimination in the ludicrous
A Clinton-appointed judge has now ordered
the FDNY to implement a 60 percent minority hiring
would be a perfect issue for the Republicans to use to
follow up the momentum they garnered among Northeastern
white Catholics in Brown`s election.
that the GOP—unlike in Edsall`s nightmares—was, as so often,
self-destructive side in
Edsall concludes his
New Republic essay:
"And, so now a
Democratic Party that seemed poised for electoral greatness
has reverted back to the debilitating political condition
that ailed it during the 1970s and 1980s. It is increasingly
perceived as too liberal. It must convince the white working
class that it will protect its interests—not just those of
the very rich and very poor."
Personally, I think that Edsall may be too
gloomy about his party`s prospects. In reality, the
Democrats don`t have to convince whites that they`ll
good at protecting
their interests in any absolute sense.
They just have to seem
no more anti-white than the Republicans.
How hard will that be?