Tomato Tomahto

[Content Note: Racism.]

So Prominent conservative thinker [sic] Bruce Bartlett, who made a decades-long career out of being a rightwing ideologue, has written a long piece about how he realized awhile ago that US conservatives were closing themselves off from facts that challenged their beliefs and was persona non grataed for sounding the alarm.

Krugman calls Bartlett a mensch for his confession. Or whatever it is.

I don't disagree with Krugman very often, but I'm not sure I agree that it's time to "hail Bruce Bartlett" for showing evidence of the very insularity he's condemning, since, not for nothing, every sentient liberal I know has been making the same observation for a decade.

I mean, good job for catching up, Bruce Bartlett! Yay for you!

But I'm not exactly ready to genuflect in awed reverence to a guy who, in a piece bemoaning conservative detachment from the reality-based community, writes, as evidence of his own alleged connection to reasonable thinking:
Seeing the demographic trends toward an increasingly nonwhite electorate, which were obvious in easily available census projections, I decided to write a book about how Republicans could deal with it. I concluded that the anti-immigrant attitude among the Republican base was too severe for the party to reach out meaningfully to the fast-growing Latino community. Recall that Bush's proposal for immigration reform was soundly rejected by his own party.

If Republicans had no hope of attracting Latino votes, what other nonwhite group could they attract? Maybe the time had come for them to make a major play for the black vote...

The best way to get Republicans to read a book about reaching out for the black vote, I thought, was to detail the Democratic Party's long history of maltreatment of blacks. After all, the party was based in the South for 100 years after the war, and all of the ugly racism we associate with that region was enacted and enforced by Democratic politicians. I was surprised that such a book didn't already exist.

I thought knowing the Democratic Party's pre-1964 history of racism, which is indisputable, would give Republicans a story to tell when they went before black groups to solicit votes. I thought it would also make Republicans more sympathetic to the problems of the black community, many of which are historical in their origins. Analyses by economists and sociologists show that historical racism still holds back African-Americans even though it has diminished radically since the 1960s.

So I wrote Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past. Unfortunately, it was published the day Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses.

...After the failure of my race book, I turned my attention again to economics.
It's hard to believe such a great book could fail! Oh well, I'm sure it was definitely because Obama won the Iowa caucuses and not because even newborn kittens can intuit that black USians would rightfully hold in contempt a condescending white paragon of arrogance who believes people of color need their histories explained to them by white conservative men.

Maybe it's okay if we don't call Bartlett a fucking hero for stating the manifestly obvious and being only slightly less up his own ignorant ass than the rest of his ideological compatriots.

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