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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 21, 2005 / 14 Taamuz, 5765

A GOP olive branch to black voters

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Woody Allen once said something about how 80 percent of life is showing up. At the time, I had no idea what the heck he was driving at. The world of politics has helped me understand.

A good example of Allen's wisdom is offered by Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's convention in Milwaukee last week (July 14). The very fact that he showed up gave prominent voices from both political extremes something to hate.

Liberals could hate that he was not President Bush, who has spurned the group's invitations since he spoke to them as a candidate in 2000. His NAACP audience was polite that summer, but the group's National Voter Fund later ran a TV ad that portrayed Bush as unsympathetic to the dragging death of a black man in Texas.

Bush was not amused. The NAACP ad was about as fair to him as the 1988 "Willie Horton" ads that savaged Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis as soft on convicted murderers and rapists.

So, while Bush spoke last week to a reliably friendly audience of black capitalists at the Indianapolis Black Expo Summer Celebration, Mehlman spoke to the NAACP, which gave right wingers like Rush Limbaugh something to hate.

Limbaugh, who refers to the group as the "NAALCP, the National Association for the Advancement of LIBERAL Colored People," was appalled that Mehlman would "go down there and basically apologize for what has come to be known as the Southern Strategy, popularized in the Nixon administration. He's going to go down there and apologize for it. In the midst of all of this, in the midst of all that's going on, once again, Republicans are going to go bend over and grab the ankles."

Well, however familiar Limbaugh may be with ankle-grabbing, Mehlman did not join him. Instead, Mehlman stood tall, taking his audience back to the days before the 1960s, back when the races were better represented in both parties than they are today, and he explained why he wanted to bring those days back.

In the 1960s, Richard Nixon launched the "Southern Strategy," later updated by Ronald Reagan and others, to use racially-coded wedge issues like state's rights, school busing, school prayer and "crime in the streets" to break up the majority coalition that Democrats had enjoyed since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Whereas some Republicans abandoned black voters and tried instead to benefit politically from racial polarization, Mehlman said, "I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Good for him. Mehlman's words sounded like the deathbed apology uttered by former GOP chairman Lee Atwater, campaign manager for George H.W. Bush, for using race to savage Dukakis. At least Mehlman apologized while he was still healthy.

But, politics, as the old Chicago expression goes, ain't beanbag. I don't think anyone at that NAACP convention realistically thinks either party is going to stop playing the race card or any other underhanded card if they think that's the only way they can win.

Mehlman's outreach efforts probably are aimed just as much at the larger audience outside that hall, like the white swing voters who want a less-scary, less-polarizing Republican Party than the Limbaughs care about.

For today's Republicans, the southern strategy has played out. Its benefits have reached the saturation point in today's racial-ethnic demographics. "We can't call ourselves a true majority unless we reach out to African-Americans and make it the party of (Abraham) Lincoln," Mehlman said. Translation: You can't build a true Republican majority with today's population demographics on wedge issues alone or, at least, not with the old wedge issues.

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Last November, Bush actually increased his black turnout from 8 percent four years earlier to 11 percent nationally and as high as 14 percent or more in some key battleground states. He also increased his Hispanic turnout to 44 percent from 35 of their vote, according to the Associated Press and TV network exit polls, although other pollsters have disputed those numbers.

Much of that minority increase came from quiet but persistent grass-roots outreach by Mehlman, who ran Bush's campaign, and others like Karl Rove, Bush's chief political guru, to black and Latino America's most conservative folks, regular churchgoers.

Issues like gay marriage, private school vouchers and federal funds for faith-based initiatives drove a new wedge between some conservative minorities and Bush's Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry. The old southern strategy aimed to divide the country in two and take the bigger piece, the white piece. If anything, a new red-state strategy emerged in 2004 that divided the country against an even smaller minority: homosexuals who want to marry one another.

Woody Allen was largely right. Mehlman scores a lot of points by simply showing up. His outreach efforts are an olive branch to black voters and a Trojan horse to his counterpart, Democrat Party Chairman Howard Dean. To win nationally, Democrats have to do more than react to the Republicans' chipping away at their base. They have to do a better job of showing up in places that feel overlooked.

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