JONATHAN CHAIT JULY 16, 2010
The Republicans' new non-white candidates have drawn a lot of attention, but Peter Beinart notes that the party's religious litmus tests remain in full force:
Jindal was raised Hindu and converted to Catholicism; Haley is a Sikh who became evangelical. There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversions. But both also seem aware that maintaining the non-Western religious traditions of their birth would have imperiled their political careers. In 2007, when Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognizing the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali, Jindal abstained. Before running for governor, Haley noted that her family attended a Sikh Temple as well as a Methodist Church, but today she studiously avoids any reference to being born Sikh and as the campaign has progressed, her website has been updated to stress in increasingly emphatic terms her devotion to Jesus Christ.
He also has a nice rebuttal of the absurd Noemie Emery:
As the conservative columnist Noemie Emery recently declared, “Diversity has struck the Republican Party, but to the parties it means different things. Democrats see it as an end in itself…Republicans see it as the means to an end, i.e., more good candidates…Democrats organize themselves by identity interests; Republicans by ideology.”
On one level, Emery’s statement is absurd, since if Democrats really saw diversity as “an end in itself,” which matters more than ideology, they’d be supporting the Republicans’ female, minority candidates over their own white male ones.