The Righteous Right`s Foul-Up: The Fall-Out Begins

As I

here last week (sigh), the Democrats
enjoyed a very merry Christmas (oops,
make that "a jolly golly holiday") unwrapping the
unexpected present gift-wrapped  for them by the
Righteous Right

: note in this December 24 Chicago Sun
Times column, John O`Sullivan`s first public
criticism of
National Review – v-e-r-y
in its frenzy to
condemn Trent Lott for his 100th birthday party
effusion, which most Democrats had been willing to

With the enthusiastic
aid of the liberal media, Democrats are now setting
about delegitimizing both a large portion of the GOP
base and the last 38 years of GOP history.

Indeed, the biggest
problem facing the Democrats is an overly target-rich
environment. There are lots of Lotts among Republicans.
Like a barracuda approaching a school of sardines, the
Democrats are having trouble staying locked on a single

Should they pursue
Attorney General

John Ashcroft
, Senator

George Allen

Senator Jeff Sessions
(R-AL), Congressman

Cass Ballenger
(R-NY), Senator

Conrad Burns
(R-MT), or even male ingénue

Bill Frist
(R-TN) (who was chosen to replace Lott in
part because he`d never run for office until 1994—or
even voted until 1988—and thus has had little time to
develop a rap sheet of “insensitive"

And the main response
that GOP publicists like the Wall Street Journal
editorial page (December 28) can think of is—Lott-style
witch hunts against Democrats like

Robert Byrd

Gentlemen, why is it
necessary to remind you that the Republican Party
cannot win a war of attrition fought on this particular

But at least bashing
Byrd is a better Republican response than mass purges of
Republican officeholders–which, incredibly, is what
Editorial Page staffer Brendan Miniter is

for (December 23):

"Trent Lott is gone as
leader, but if the GOP wants to prove its commitment to
equality, it will have to find the little Lotts who lurk
about in the party and make sure they no longer feel

The longer-term
fallout will be to delegitimize the Southern Strategy
that has

served the Republicans well
for decades. Indeed, the
Washington Post just came up with a new name for
the Southern Strategy: the GOP`s "
tainted recent past

Time Magazine`s

Jack White

"The sad truth is that many Republican leaders remain
in a massive state of denial about the party`s
four-decade-long addiction to race-baiting. Republicans
won`t make any headway with blacks by bashing Lott if
they persist in giving Ronald Reagan a pass for his
racial policies. The same could be said, of course,
about such Republican heroes as, Barry Goldwater,
Richard Nixon or George Bush the elder, all of whom used
coded racial messages to lure disaffected blue collar
and Southern white voters away from the Democrats. Yet
it`s with Reagan, who set a standard for exploiting
white anger and resentment rarely seen since George
Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door, that the
Republican`s selective memory about its race-baiting
habit really stands out."

Lott, Reagan and Republican Racism,
Dec 14, 2002

The trick is to pound
in that—although white Southerners` votes are
technically equal to all others—everyone who is
acceptable in polite society knows that`s just some

legal loophole
in the Constitution. Nice people know
it is immoral to pursue white


Democrats are locked

affirmative action
and other racial policies that
are detrimental to the interests of the white
four-fifths of electorate. So it`s extremely convenient
for Democrats to rewrite history and rule out of
acceptable discourse all of those issues—which otherwise
help Republicans win.

The beauty of this
trick is that zero facts or logic are required. The goal
is not to win a debate, but to prevent debate from ever
taking place.

The Washington
provided a classic example of this
delegitimization in its December 22 front-page story

"GOP Pins Its Future on Wooing Minorities."

For example, Thomas
B. Edsall wrote, campaigning against racial quotas
helped Jesse Helms` win a tough Senatorial race in 1990.

"In 1990, media
consultant Alex Castellanos produced the Helms
reelection commercial showing a white man`s hands
ripping up a job rejection slip as the narrator said,
`You needed that job . . . but they had to give it to a
minority.` … Castellanos, [send
him mail
] asked if he would use in 2004 an ad along
the lines of his famous `white hands` commercial of
1990, said: `The world has changed. That was 100 years

In fact, of course,
the 1990 commercial was simply

telling the literal truth.
The whole point of
racial preferences is to give jobs to minorities that
otherwise would have gone to whites. That`s


But now opposition to
affirmative action has been redefined as part of that
“racially-tainted” Lott era.

Two months after the
election triumphs of November—victories won essentially
by what VDARE.COM calls the “Sailer
,” getting more whites to show up at the
polls, especially in the South—the Righteous Right
commentariat appears to have succeeded in demoralizing
Republican campaign managers, always a

bunch, and in inflicting a permanent wound
on its own party.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily

December 29, 2002