The Democratic leadership still hasn't learned any lessons. A newspaper article, "Recasting Republicans as the Party of Civil Rights," summarized how GOP strategists are reaching back to the party's antislavery roots in an attempt to lure black voters. Of course, they don't have much to talk about regarding civil rights for the past 100 years or so when it, as one historian said in this article, "became the bastion of white solidarity, white comfort." So, why not go back to slavery? Part of the GOP strategy is to remind voters that Democrats once embraced slavery. Of course, this is all part of Karl Rove's long-term strategy to gain more of the black vote for the Republican party.
We've already started to see this GOP strategy come through in some of President Bush's speeches, especially during the presidential campaign. And a "2005 Republican Freedom Calendar" highlighting key moment's in its civil rights history has been distributed to Republican party leaders.
The Democratic response: "The Republicans are running the risk of spinning themselves...African Americans are not going to be swayed by glossy calendars or references to century-old leaders."
I hope that is true, but in the past couple of years, through all the mushroom-cloud hype leading up to the invasion of Iraq, I've learned not to underestimate what the Republican party can accomplish through its marketing prowess.
Will the last Democrat to leave the room please turn out the lights?