January 24, 2006

AIN'T GONNA WORK ON HILLARY'S FARM NO MORE (via Gene Brown):

Hillary's Plantation: Hillary Clinton reveals her fear of Condi Rice (SHELBY STEELE, January 23, 2006, Opinion Journal)

A great achievement of modern liberalism--and a primary reason for its surviving decades past the credibility of its ideas--is that it captured black resentment as an exclusive source of power. It even gave this resentment a Democratic Party affiliation. (Antiwar sentiment is the other great source of liberal power, but it is not the steady provider that black and minority resentment has been.) Republicans have often envied this power, but have never competed well for it because it can be accessed only by pandering to the socialistic longings of minority leaders--vast government spending, social programs, higher taxes and so on. Republicans and conservatives have simply never had an easy or glib mechanism for addressing profound social grievances.

But this Republican "weakness" has now begun to emerge as a great--if still largely potential--Republican advantage. Precisely because Republicans cannot easily pander to black grievance, they have no need to value blacks only for their sense of grievance. Unlike Democrats, they can celebrate what is positive and constructive in minority life without losing power. The dilemma for Democrats, liberals and the civil rights establishment is that they become redundant and lose power the instant blacks move beyond grievance and begin to succeed by dint of their own hard work. So they persecute such blacks, attack their credibility as blacks, just as they pander to blacks who define their political relationship to America through grievance. Republicans are generally freer of the political bigotry by which the left either panders to or persecutes black Americans.

No one on the current political scene better embodies this Republican advantage than the current secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. The archetype that Ms. Rice represents is "overcoming" rather than grievance. Despite a childhood in the segregated South that might entitle her to a grievance identity, she has clearly chosen that older black American tradition in which blacks neither deny injustice nor allow themselves to be defined by it. This tradition, as Ralph Ellison once put it, "springs not from a desire to deny the harshness of existence but from a will to deal with it as men at their best have always done." And, because Ms. Rice is grounded in this tradition, she is of absolutely no value to modern liberalism or the Democratic Party despite her many talents and achievements. Quite the reverse, she is their worst nightmare. If blacks were to take her example and embrace overcoming rather than grievance, the wound to liberalism would be mortal. It is impossible to imagine Hillary Clinton's "plantation" pandering in a room full of Condi Rices.


When the long term health of your party depends on maintaining the social diseases afflicting its base, you're in deep trouble.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 24, 2006 10:23 AM
Comments

Democrats, the party of victims. If you're not one now, join the party and we'll help you become one.

Democrats, the ambulance chasers of politics.

Posted by: Genecis at January 24, 2006 11:53 AM

And weakining the power of your country to defend itself. now there is a double whammy.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 24, 2006 12:05 PM

It's worse than being in trouble. It's being European.

Posted by: Peter at January 24, 2006 2:35 PM

Orrin: Nice headline.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am,
But everybody wants you
To be just like them.
They sing while you slave and I just get bored.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 25, 2006 5:17 AM
« YOU'VE BEEN WARNED--SHIFT RIGHT: | Main | SPEAKING OF BLACKS VS. LATINOS... (via Glenn Dryfoos): »