The GOP’s African-American Problem

The more I think about it, the more I think the GOP’s going to pay a real and potentially long-lasting price for the discussion underway in Mississippi about race and party. So it’s the subject of my latest TPMCafe column out today.

I was particularly interested in this piece in isolating and highlighting the implicit argument of conservatives that the GOP was forbidden to reach out to minority voters on the basis of anything other than pure conservative ideology, lest either side of the bargain be corrupted by the suggestion government could do anything positive for them. To an amazing extent, Republicans seem to have forgotten (or want to forget) that the GOP’s conquest by the conservative movement at the same time the Democratic Party embraced civil rights laws and the Great Society programs radically reduced Republican support levels among African-Americans, and they really have never recovered. More of the same is not going to produce a comeback.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.