Various commenters accused me of being unfair to Dinesh D’Souza in accusing him of racism for his attempt to reduce his policy disagreements with Barack Obama’s to the President’s “anti-colonialism” as the son of a “Luo tribesman.” (That seems to be an especially dark-skinned variety of Luo.) I hadn’t mentioned the frankly racist items in the Darthmouth Review that jump-started D’Souza’s wingnut career, but no doubt that material, along with my hostility to D’Souza’s politics, influenced my interpretation.
So let’s listen to David Frum, who can’t reasonably be accused of liberal bias:
When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral. … Nothing more offends conservatives than liberal accusations of racial animus. Yet here is racial animus, unconcealed and unapologetic, and it is seized by savvy editors and an ambitious politician as just the material to please a conservative audience. That’s an insult to every conservative in America.
If an insult is an untruth told with intent to offend, Frum is wrong when he says “every conservative,” unless he wants to define “conservative” in a way that excludes racism. Newt Gingrich has sound judgment about what appeals to right-wing Republican voters, activists, and donors; his delighted embrace of D’Souza’s frank bigotry seems to me to justify my belief that racism appeals to at least a large chunk of the remaining Republican base.
The question is when, if ever, the adult supervision will start to make itself felt in the GOP. I’m glad Frum is trying. And Byron York, who seems to have no principled objection to race-baiting, thinks this particular instance is tactically unsound. Andy Card finds Gingrich’s comments “unhelpful.” Talk about harsh!
But it will take much more than David Frum to clean the horsesh*t out of the Republican stable. It will take small navigable river, and a hero. Neither is in view from where I sit.