The Village is sure that any minute now a surge of Moderation will sweep through the GOP and they will turn away from the racism they have used to win every election they have won since 1968 and adapt to a changing population with a new message that will manage to sign up minorities to their crusade to enrich the Walton family, Chase, and BP.
I think for Republicans they may have a point, but very few left in the modern GOP are Republicans, or at least the party that existed before the Civil Rights Voting Act. The descendants of the members of that party probably are ready for this adjustment, and in fact, may have been ready for it in the 1960's. But they are not in charge.
Most of the Republicans in the South, who deliver their votes, used to be Democrats, or, in the case of younger members, their parents who imparted their values to them were. Racist Democrats who went for George Wallace in 1968 and then heard the dog whistles of Nixon and Reagan and went over to the GOP after the Democrats wouldn't tolerate their racism the way Roosevelt did.
They voted for FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson because they knew that they could practice segregation untouched in their home states. But racism was not the dominant value of the Democratic Party. On the national level, the party was committed to many of the same values we on this site hold today, economic fairness, the rights of the working man, support of Unions. But those values didn't matter in the long run. These voters ditched all of that once they knew they weren't welcome as racists in the Democratic coalition anymore. They picked racism over those values, and went to a party that could stomach their ideas.
And now the David Frums and Steve Schmidtts of the world think that the great values of low taxes, military spending, shrinking the safety net, and gutting regulation are so important to our country that these people will get over their racism so they can win elections for what's really important.
They don't get it. Racism IS what's important to these voters. They never cared about the rest of the GOP grab bag of policies any more than they cared about the Democratic ones when they called themselves Democrats. The point was they belonged to a party that supported their racism. And they will be just as willing to ditch the small government party as they were willing to ditch the big government party when it conflicted with their real core value: feeling superior to people who look different then they do.
David Brooks may be right that Republicans are ready to get rid of racism, but the people who colored the South bright red on Election Day are not Republicans. They are the same people who colored it bright blue on Election Day in 1936. And they voted GOP for the same singular issue for which they voted Democratic in that year. Hate. And for these voters, that value is non negotiable.
Anyone evolving from the senseless, infantile, disgusting mindset of racism is always a good thing. I hope the GOP does move away from their racist history, just as I am glad the Democrats moved away from theirs, but if they do, Davids Brooks and Frum should not be surprised if there are a whole lot less "republicans" making that change with them.
They left one party to hate freely, they are certainly prepared to do it again.
6:59 AM PT: Thanks for the Rec list. First ever.