The Bigot In The Room
I saw Pat Buchanan today refer to Frank Ricci as "an American hero" on Hardball. His opponent in the debate, an NAACP lawyer, was measured and calm. But he never brought up what Buchanan wrote just a couple days ago in talking about the GOP's strategy for victory in the future.
In 2008, Hispanics, according to the latest figures, were 7.4 percent of the total vote. White folks were 74 percent, 10 times as large. Adding just 1 percent to the white vote is thus the same as adding 10 percent to the candidate's Hispanic vote.
If John McCain, instead of getting 55 percent of the white vote, got the 58 percent George W. Bush got in 2004, that would have had the same impact as lifting his share of the Hispanic vote from 32 percent to 62 percent. [...]
Had McCain been willing to drape Jeremiah Wright around the neck of Barack Obama, as Lee Atwater draped Willie Horton around the neck of Michael Dukakis, the mainstream media might have howled. And McCain might be president.
If only John McCain race-baited more, if only Republicans, who have practically nobody but Southern white men left in their party, made MORE overt moves toward Southern white men, then they would receive electoral glory. As Ta-Nehisi Coates says:
There are a couple problems here, I'd submit. One is that Sotomayor isn't black (except in Baltimore.) She's a Latina. Amping up the race-baiting isn't just going to turn off black people (most of whom are already turned-off) it turns off Latinos also.
The second problem is that it likely turns a significant portion of white people also. The GOP's problem isn't that it needs to shore up Alabama--at least not yet. It's problem is, well, basically everywhere else that isn't Alabama. I don't know how bashing Sotomayor makes you more competitive in, say, Colorado or Oregon. I'd assume the opposite.
Altogether, I think this is awful political advice. But it's about what you'd expect from the guy who, as one of Matt's commenters note, told us that Sarah Palin would steal women from Obama. You don't have to be right to do Buchanan's job. Or even sincere. You just have to be very loud.
Pat Buchanan is a bigot. He provides a bigoted viewpoint for hours per day on a supposedly liberal network called MSNBC. Why is that tolerated, like ol' Pat is just a crazy uncle?
...Rachel Maddow is laying into Buchanan right now, it's pretty lively.