Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Mathew Yglesias disagrees with Avedon Carol that, without appeals to racism, the GOP could not hold the south. I'm not entirely convinced of that myself. It may have been true at one time that, to win the south away from the Democrats, the Republicans had to deliberately appeal to the Dixiecrat contingent. But time passes and things change and many in the south may be as turned off by these appeals as used to be turned on by them. Indeed, the Southern Strategy could end up being a major liability for the GOP if the party doesn't eventually disavow it. This may be a case of momentum more then necessity. The GOP may be afraid to truly cleanse itself of these kind of appeals because doing so would be a shift into uncertainty. So they keep doing it, even when it may no longer be necessary. It may be that they will only change when it starts to hurt them more then it helps. The Lott situation may be the first intimation that that time has come.

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