September 24, 2007

Krugman Spews Race-Baiting Bile

Every now and then, liberal commentators have to pull out the same old template to comment on Republican racism. Never mind that the position is untrue -- it is holy writ among the Left, and must therefore be preached upon regularly.

And so you get this old chestnut from Paul Krugman.

Republican politicians, who understand quite well that the G.O.P.’s national success since the 1970s owes everything to the partisan switch of Southern whites, have tacitly acknowledged this reality. Since the days of Gerald Ford, just about every Republican presidential campaign has included some symbolic gesture of approval for good old-fashioned racism.

Thus Ronald Reagan, who began his political career by campaigning against California’s Fair Housing Act, started his 1980 campaign with a speech supporting states’ rights delivered just outside Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered. In 2000, Mr. Bush made a pilgrimage to Bob Jones University, famed at the time for its ban on interracial dating.

And all four leading Republican candidates for the 2008 nomination have turned down an invitation to a debate on minority issues scheduled to air on PBS this week.

Ah, yes -- the liberal intones the mantra: Republicans are racist.

But let's look at those examples Krugman cites.

Yes, Reagan did oppose the Fair Housing Act -- but not on the grounds that discrimination was a moral good, but rather because of a belief that the government should not be regulating how private individuals control their own property. Having watched an elderly family member suffer through an investigation of her refusal to sell her home to a black couple with lousy credit (they wanted a 75 year old woman to finance the sale herself for 10 years because they could not qualify for a mortgage with a bank) before selling to a white couple with cash in hand, I can't help but sometimes feel that the government has no business in this field.

For that matter, the Philadelphia, Mississippi speech --w hcih came after teh GOP convention, not at the beginning of his presidential run, reflected the same themes that Reagan had been addressing for years, as California Governor, as a radio commentator, and as a candidate for the GOP nomination. While the choice of Philadelphia Mississippi may have been questionable, it was not chosen because of its racial symbolism. Rather, it was chosen because of an invitation from a leading Republican congressman whose district included Philadelphia -- Trent Lott.

And as for Bush visiting Bob Jones University (a place which I believe no civilized individual should patronize), I can only note that he spoke to many groups in many places in South Carolina. I'm curious -- will Krugman insist that n Democrat speak at Columbia University this year (or in any future year) because of the platform given to Mahmoud the Mad this week? Will he label any candidate who does speak at Columbia as objectively pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic? I think we know the answer -- so why does speaking at BJU indicate that the candidate is somehow racist or insensitive? Could it be that Krugman is warm to terrorists and cold towards Jews?

And as noted recently by many major outlets, the GOP candidates turned down the PBS debate because it comes two days before the quarterly fundraising deadline. But Krugman would prefer to impute racism where none exists because it fits the template.

The GOP has, throughout its history, done more to provide opportunity for racial and ethnic minorities than the Democrats. What's more, it has done so without pandering to racial separatism, but rather by appealing to racial equality. But that won't make the cut in a Krugman column -- because it doesn't fit the template.

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That explains his Fair Housing Opposition. But what about his opposition (with the current vice president) to the Civil Rights Act and to the 1965 Voting Rights Act? Or to sanctions against S Africa? If it were one example, that would almost be worth rebuking Krugman. But there is a lot of evidence. Reagan had a Southern strategy -- and believed it too.

|| Posted by sk, November 14, 2007 01:58 PM ||

Some simple, non-racist reasons for those positions

1964 Civil Rights Act -- do I, as a business owner, have a right to determine with whom I will do business.

Voting Rights Act -- Given that there were sections intended to expire in 1970 that were continually renewed to punish the South even after the elimination of the practices designed to eliminate the black vote, Reagan was right that it was humiliating to continue to subject the Southern states to special supervision not required of other states. The argument is as valid today as it was then. See the following:

Sanctions against South Africa -- There were strategic considerations there, including communist regimes in both Angola and Mozambique. As flawed as South Africa was, stopping the spread of Communism was more important in the eyes of Reagan, the ultimate anti-Communist Cold Warrior.

A Southern Strategy to get southern votes? Funny, I seem to recall a 1976 Southern Strategy (and a 1992 Southern Strategy used by the Democrats to keep those same moderate/conservative voters. Were Carter and Clinton racists for campaigning for those voters? Is Howard Dean a racist for appealing to them today? If the Democrats wish to renounce the votes of 1/3 of the US, I'm all for that.

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