Jonathan Chait

Does Racism Hurt The GOP?

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David Frum points out the obvious racial incitement on the Drudge report:

I've heard Republicans in private deplore the racial incitement that too often substitutes for conservative talk. But in public, who has a word to say when the popular home page of the DrudgeReport strings together local news headlines of college-student rowdiness over Memorial Day to create a (false, obviously) image of the Obama administration licensing a nationwide eruption of African-American anti-white violence?

UPDATE: MIAMI 'WAR ZONE' DURING URBAN WEEKEND ...

'I was scared for my life' ...

Poet 'Da Real One' Gunned Down In Front Of Miami Poetry Cafe ...

Violent crime explodes in Myrtle during Black Bike Week; 8-hour hell ...

Rib Fest At Rochester beach turns rowdy ...

Riot On Long Island ...

Urban Melee In Charlotte ...

Chaos causes DNC concern for convention ...

Unruly urban crowd shuts down Nashville water park ...

Emanuel shuts down packed Chicago beach; 'heat-related illnesses' ...

REPORT: 'Dozens of gang bangers' ...

TEEN GANGS UNLEASHED ON BOSTON BEACH

Obama cracks down on civil rights abuses by big-city police departments ...

Mainstream conservatives confine their criticism of racism in American life almost exclusively to anti-white racism or anti-black racism by people who are not members in good standing of the conservative movement. It's admirable to see Frum take this on, though I don't really consider him a member of the conservative movement in good standing himself.

But the odd thing is that Frum includes this important point within a tactical argument for why Republicans must not blow their chance to win the 2012 election. ("Obama could lose if -- and here's the big if -- Republicans do not blow the opportunity by presenting themselves as Medicare-annihilating racist maniacs.") Does Frum really think the incitement of white racial paranoia by conservatives who aren't on the Republican ticket actually hurts the party? Or is he couching his case in tactical terms because he doubts Republicans will buy it as a moral proposition?

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