We spend a lot of time attacking people for playing the race-card--I've done my share. But what largely animates this idea that crying racism is an overused tactic (as opposed to say crying antisemitism) is this notion that among polite, thinking people, there are no employers of racism. Racism is the trade of the American savage--the man who flies the Confederate flag, has an undiscovered dead dog under the porch, and lives in West Virginia. This man doesn't walk among the civilized...
We live in a country that may well be offended by racism, but it's equally offended that anyone might actually charge as much.
This has been the white man's irrational burden for a long time. And a favorite past-time of Andrew Breitbart's pathological condition, which he expressed eloquently a couple weeks ago on Real Time with Bill Maher when he said "the worst thing you can be called in this country is a racist." Oh, the victimization. But as Breitbart undoubtedly knows, whether he'd ever admit it, for something to be "racist" doesn't inherently mean that it must also be plainly vulgar. The most divisive racism is that which can be readily defended and spun to protect the delicate sensibilities of the perpetrator of the offense.
That attitude has been coddled and nurtured by the GOP. If Republicans aren't bombing the crap out of something, cutting a tax or fear-mongering Americans along ethnic, racial and sexual divisions, then they're at a total loss and quickly angle to return the conversation to their turf. York's column is an ugly reminder. And it's a big reason the GOP is in the spot its in. Not only are younger generations progressing past old fault lines but "black, Hispanic and Asian voters made up nearly 24 percent of the voters, compared with about 12 percent in 1988." And that number is only getting bigger.
So the GOP has two choices: it can continue to fight a losing battle of division or it can start embracing tolerance. The short-term answer is that they're going defiantly, suicidally with Option B. Which now involves a re-branding effort led by the party's recently crushed presidential nominee and failed leader's brother And then there's Ms. California being used as a botoxed wedge. What we have now is a party that operates like a cult:
Most political parties exist to represent some part of public opinion. But today’s GOP drives away any part of the public that doesn’t represent its opinion.
In many ways, IMO, the Republican Party is acting like an apocalyptic cult — a small number of true believers waiting for some Big Cataclysmic Event that’s going to change everything, to their advantage. For that reason, present reality doesn’t interest them, because present reality is just a temporary aberration (which it may be, but not in the way they think). Thus, movement conservatives brush off opinion polls that show their positions to be wildly unpopular. They don’t need to worry about election losses, shrinking party membership, an aging political base, or senior senators who jump ship. They don’t need to change with the times. They’ll be vindicated when the Mother Ship arrives. You’ll see.
And they must truly believe in the Event, because they’re betting everything on it. In 2000 they still were shrewd enough to market Dubya as a moderate — a “compassionate conservative” who liked to be photographed surrounded by smiling black children. Now they aren’t even pretending to make adjustments to political reality.
With the National Council for a New America coming to a state fair near you, let the pretending commence.