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Denial is a power thing

Mehlman whips yet another unbelievable statement out of his ass

“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.”
— Amazingly heterosexual, genuinely “apologetic” RNC head Ken Mehlman

He has no f*cking shame, does he? But his message is selling to a select crowd of color that’s on the payroll.

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.”

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,, which was relaunched yesterday with new interactive features and a history section called “Lincoln’s Legacy.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean spoke to the NAACP yesterday and said through an aide: “It’s no coincidence that 43 out of 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus are Democrats. The Democratic Party is the real party of opportunity for African Americans.”

The Freepi were all over this one. Some are mad at Mehlman for “caving.” I wonder how the black wingnuts at Project 21 feel about some of these statements…

Actual Freeper Quotesâ„?

“It was extremely effective, I doubt that it was entirely ethical, but it IS politics.”

“Until the Democratic Party apologizes for slavery and Jim Crow– that’s how we got where we were by 1972– Mehlman has no business apologizing for the Southern strategy.”

“This won’t satisfy them and is a waste of time. If Mehlman were ethnically African he would be declared “non-black” for being a Republican by this crowd.”

“When does Howard Dean admit that the race-baiting that the DNC does among the Black community was wrong? What’s that? Oh, right. They still actively do it.”

“This is truly a moronic approach. It was no more wrong for the Republicans to play the race card than the Democrats. Indeed it is the Democrats who have most consistently stirred up racial hatred and division for political advantage. The Republicans did nothing more than pick up the broken pieces that the Democrats threw away when they abandoned their former Jim Crow allies and jumped in bed with the civil rights movement, abruptly switching sides after a hundred years of oppressing blacks. It’s fair to say that southern whites were a lot more openly racist when they were allied with FDR than they are now, as Republicans. What Mehlman should be doing is appealing to blacks’ self interest instead of confirming all the lying Democrat stereotypes about race. What have blacks gained by selling their votes to one party for a mess of pottage? What have the Democrats given them in return for their unprecedented 95% support?”

“I don’t understand why the dumba– Democrats should be our model. Democrats play to their fringe and refuse to be accountable; their result is continual losing. Republicans are aware of both their base and the swing voters, while recognizing the need to keep expanding that base. If that takes an apology — especially for something which never was all that nice — so be it. More votes for us.”

“The only question I have is whether conservatives want to expand the base, or whether they want to continue complaining about how the black community does not vote in their best self interests. No party is perfect on race. The Republican party, imo, has a far better record but it DOES have it faults in past. Acknowledge them, make no excuses, apologize and build new communication. I have no fault with the approach so long as it is rooted in fact. If Republicans start apologizing for what they didn’t do, I’d have a problem. The Republican Party under G.W.B. is the first in my memory to make SERIOUS efforts to change the status quo of the voting patterns. This is a part of that effort and there is nothing morally wrong in this approach. Quite the contrary.”

“”Hispandering,” however, is perfectly acceptable. That is called “strategery.” Hopefully the Hispanics are not as sharp as the blacks and will think the GOP actually cares about them. I’m sorry, but I can’t keep up with all the pandering any more.”

“Totally moronic.”

“Yeah, let’s get them pork! Buy `em off! That will make them vote Republican! And it’ll make the GOP even less conservative. What a great idea! /sarc”

“Will these guys ever learn, this will be in the NAACP hit ads against Republicans next year saying you see we told you the white christian party exploited race to win elections.”

“Agreed! And this is so like the Republican Party, to pull up something almost no one was thinking about, and putting it up on the radar. (Or, maybe they know a s-storm is coming, and they want to get out in front of it.)”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding