“Despite the best efforts of Republican spinmeisters to depict American conservatism as a nonracial phenomenon, the partisan impact of racial attitudes in the South is stronger today than in the past.”
Republican politicians… have tacitly acknowledged this reality. Since the days of Gerald Ford, just about every Republican presidential campaign has included some symbolic gesture of approval for good old-fashioned racism.
And the cynicism of the “Southern strategy” introduced by Richard Nixon, which delivered decades of political victories to Republicans, is now starting to look like a trap for the G.O.P.
[Republican] contenders have snubbed not just blacks— but Hispanics…. If this sounds like a good way to ensure defeat in future elections, that’s because it is: Hispanics are a rapidly growing force in the electorate.
And both Hispanics and Asians, another growing force in the electorate, are getting the message. Last year they voted overwhelmingly Democratic, by 69 percent and 62 percent respectively.
In other words, it looks as if the Republican Party is about to start paying a price for its history of exploiting racial antagonism. If that happens, it will be deeply ironic. But it will also be poetic justice.
-Paul Krugman, "Politics in Black and White," New York Times 24 September 2007.
H/T BfP and Shannon