As everyone here would know, the Southern Strategy, developed during the Goldwater/Nixon era was the tide that lifted the foundering Republican boat. As early as 1970, Kevin Phillips, the man who refined and exploited this approach, noted:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html...s-southern.pdfFrom now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that...but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.
It was like a gift from God....and delivered the GOP the electoral college votes they required.
The mealy mouthed Ken Mehlman, pandering to the NAACP in 2005, delivered an empty 'apology':
Little to nothing came of it though; like the war on gays, the GOP persistently stuck with the notion through 2008, even the cracks were beginning to show."Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization... I am here as Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
Now the party of old white men and screaming fundamentalist harpies is at a crossroads. Will they try to revive the glory days when every trailer dweller with a confederate flag could be counted on to register their protest against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.......or will they risk the loss of some of their white support in the south by actually figuring out a way to appeal to non-white voters.
Or is it too late....as it seemed to be even by the time Mehlman at least let that dirty little secret out of the bag?