Friday, July 15, 2005


southern strategy

My quick & very late take on Ken Mehlman's "apology" to the NAACP over the GOP's use of the Southern Strategy:

Does that man honestly expect us to believe that the Southern Strategy is not ongoing? And I don't mean just with the gays (althought that's certainly part of it). The racial code language, explicit policies, and symbolic gestures of the GOP did not die with Nixon.

Ronald Reagan helped fuel it with his "welfare queens," support for Bob Jones U's tax exempt status, and campaign-launching state's rights speech near Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Bush the Greater and Lee Atwater brought it to its zenith with their little W. Horton ad.

And Bush the Lesser consolidated it with his silence on the confederate flag and Rove's smears against McCain's "black" adopted daughter.

Not that this post matters. Mehlman lives in his own Bizarroland. Hell, even Limbaugh's criticism of Mehlman was probably planned well in advance to make the RNC seem more centrist. Limbaugh, after all, has his own issues with race. And yet he's a permanent and visible cog in the Republican noise machine.

I trust that the NAACP folks realize that the speech isn't even really for them (us). It's directed at "tolerant" white middle of the roaders and the media that caters to them. The GOP doesn't care a whit that they can't seem to break 10% in the black community. It's all spin, rhetoric, the application of PR-influenced "branding" and disinformation with these folks. As long as they can claim they aren't doing exactly what they are doing -- and get away with that -- they will continue to win.

Shorter Mehlman: "Who do you believe - me, a closeted gay working for a virulently gay-baiting organization? Or the evidence in front of your face?"

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