David Sessions is one of the few right-wingers trying to lift the Curse of Richard Nixon:
How A Racist Blended In: As I followed—and I confess, participated in—the mini-firestorm on Twitter over John Derbyshire’s vile Taki Magazine post last night, I started wondering what the point was. National Review is severing ties, but has anything been accomplished? Derbyshire is nearly 70 years old, and has apparently been a self-described racist for many years; I highly doubt one more public shaming is going to disabuse him of his views. I also doubt if it’s going to cause anyone in the conservative camp to do much soul-searching; in fact, for those who think Derbyshire-type thoughts, the episode only confirms the alternative-universe narrative that truth-telling white people are always victims of political correctness.
The temptation for liberals would seem to be to use this incident as an example of the deep-seated, thinly-veiled racism many of them believe are driving forces behind conservative politics…. [A]s John Podhoretz pointed out on Twitter today, Derbyshire has been writing stuff nearly this vile on The Corner for years, and other NRO writers have sometimes called him out in the same place while National Review’s leadership did nothing about it besides bray about how liberals complain too much about racism….
Just to be clear, I am not calling anyone else at National Review racist. Even if they do protest way too much, many of their observations about vapid media coverage of race are valid. But the kind of stuff you read there is frequently so racially charged, often in such a logically twisted way, that it can only be understood as a a partisan reaction to an issue on which the ‘enemy’ (liberals) is widely seen to have the moral high ground. The 2008 presidential campaign was a constant sideshow of bloggers on The Corner pouncing on anything Obama said that could somehow be twisted into a racial remark and using it to support the ludicrous D’Souza-esque meme that Obama holds white, middle-class America in contempt.
And then there’s Victor Davis Hanson, a one-man blizzard of bristling, line-toeing racial commentary. For example, this incomprehensible essay that accuses Barack Obama of “racial tribalism” and “race-based strategy” and Michelle Obama of being “race-obsessed.” Apparently Hanson is the one who is obsessed: he’s been on these themes for years now, touting the Obama campaign’s “racialist message,” contorting every offhand Obama remark into a statement smoldering with racial subtext and repeating the litany virtually every time he writes about race, which is constantly. He has also charmingly argued that Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama, and the Democratic Party “have done more to destroy racial relations than all the David Dukes in the world.”
Outside Hanson’s compulsive accusations of Obama racism, just browsing at random, we find Michelle Malkin hyping the New Black Panthers… Jonah Goldberg slams America’s “race industry” for its crime of keeping Jim Crow laws too fresh on its mind…. I am pointing out the type of dialogue that surrounds NRO…. It shows no reservation about caricaturing/over-interpreting a black president’s statements and policies to paint him as a racial aggressor. It consistently addresses the topic of racism in a glib, dismissive, or superior tone. I cannot recall—and could not find in several hours looking through the NRO archives—one substantial piece of writing that addressed racism in the U.S. as anything besides a minor, unimportant problem…. Keeping a racist on your masthead long after you know he’s a racist goes a long way toward undermining all that hypersensitivity about conservatives being called racist. I can’t really improve on Josh Barro’s line from last week:
Conservatives so often get unfairly pounded on race because, so often, conservatives get fairly pounded on race. And this is the Right’s own fault, because conservatives are not serious about draining the swamp.
Not draining the swamp--nay, flooding the swamp--was electorally-convenient for Democrats until Harry Truman and Hubert Humphrey redirected the party after World War II, and has been electorally-convenient for Republicans from the mid-1960s up until the present day…