Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Speaking uncomfortable truths

Check out this post by Kevin Drum.

The short of it: Dean makes a joke about there not being many blacks at Republican events. Some Republicans are outraged over it and claim it is another example of Democratic racism. And who comes to Dean's defense? A nonwhite Republican!

Give me a break. Dean is saying, hyperbolically, that there aren't many blacks or other nonwhites in the Republican party. He's right. I've been to many, many Republican dinners where most nonwhites present have been serving the food. (Or giving the keynote.) If Republicans are bothered when people make that observation, they should try to make it less true.

I know some Democrats cringe when they hear these stories about Dean. But really, what is there to cringe about? As even this Republican admits, Dean's comment was spot on. Why do I get this picture of Howard Dean standing in a shallow pond, waving to a bunch of shivering Democrats on the shore and shouting out, "Come on in! The water's fine!"

If Democrats were to simply stifle their squeamishness anytime another member of their party speaks an uncomfortable truth then maybe those truths would stop being so uncomfortable to speak.


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