For many of us who watched the whole unfolding six or seven hours of Drudge build up, video leaks and Daily Caller ‘Exclusive’ all building to the Hannity episode it feels like something very weird just happened. Surreal, bizarre, self-parody, take your pick. Race has been a key division along partisan lines in American politics for roughly half a century. But the intensity has ramped up and in ways I do not think are wholly explicable through by the presence of a black president. You can also see it in the hyped up efforts at voter suppression.
What’s changed? For decades black America was, paradoxically, a net electoral advantage for the Republican party. Blacks were the sheet anchor of the Southern Strategy and a key part of the division in American society along which Pat Buchanan famously said the party could cut the country in half and have the bigger part. And yet suddenly, it’s not clear they’re an electoral advantage. Combined with Hispanics, non-white America is growing each year as a percentage of the population. And the slice of the population you can whip up into hysteria and grievance over their presence as an essential part of the fabric of America is in demographic decline.
This is all scary. It makes people do silly things.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.