Avedon Carol brings up a good point about the "Southern Strategy":
And I'm tired of hearing that these Republicans aren't "really" racist because of the southern strategy, which is "just" a political strategy and nothing to do with where their hearts are. Look, you don't decide on a strategy of deliberately encouraging racism, of exploiting it and even using rhetoric that is intended to stir it up, with all of the horror that that entails, if you actually regard black people as human beings who deserve to be treated with the respect that is due any human being.I've said before that I don't necessarily consider the Republican party to be racist, just that they are willing to make racist appeals (albeit in coded language) for electoral advantage. Avedon brings up the valid point that it takes a certain level of dehumanization to consider appealing to a dehumanizing philosophy in order to achieve political power. In other words, the fact that Republicans have been willing to appeal to the cockroaches who think black people are inferior means that they are willing to view them as inferior to (or at least not as important as) the people they are trying to woo. It is a tactic that is demeaning to the rank-and-file of the Republican party as much as it is to those on the downside of the racist divide. There are good Republicans with good hearts. They don't deserve to be associated with this kind of philosophy. The leadership of the GOP bears the responsibilty for dragging them down into the mud with them. I think many on the rightward side of the blogosphere understand this, which is why they lept so harshly on Lott when this all started. The question is this: are they willing to widen the scope of their outrage beyond the immediate embarassment that is Trent Lott or will they continue to deny that there is anything to be outraged about?