The GOP’s race problem

Stick with the national chairman who is the poster-boy case against affirmative action, or go back to the runner-up, who since losing the chairman’s race has rejoined his segregated country club?

Like the Aesir, who cheated the Frost Giants out of Asgard and paid for it forever after, the Republicans seem to be permanently stuck with the costs of their merger with the Dixiecrats after 1964.  Yes, it made them the dominant party for a while, but what are they supposed to do now?

Last time they had to pick a national chairman, the Republicans had a choice between an utterly incompetent and ethically challenged black guy and a white Southerner who was a member of a whites-only country club. The white guy resigned from the club – of which some other prominent South Carolina Republicans were also members – but the RNC decided to go with the Michael Steele instead.

That decision isn’t looking so good, with Steele continually putting his foot in his mouth, and trying to cash in on his chairmanship with paid outside speaking gigs and book sales, and telling various easily detectable lies.  Katon Dawson, the white guy, seems to have decided to give the RNC a chance to change its mind and pick him after all.

Except that – ooops! – Dawson managed to rejoin the restricted club in the meantime.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “The GOP’s race problem”

  1. Since when is it problematic for a prominent GOPer to tell outrageous lies and cash in shamelessly at any oportunity? SOP.

  2. Sigh. At least Hugo Black stayed out of the Klan after he resigned…

    The problem, for me, is that Dawson didn't resign until it was brought to the quasipublic's attention that he was a member. If you must have a conflict of interest pointed out to you with a 2×4, you're unsuitable for office — even internal office in a political movement. That's not a defense of Steele, by any means; but then, why should I be defending anyone in the Republican hierarchy after Nancy Reagan's remarks (on more than one occasion, I might add)?

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