Posted by: Rick | Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Shirley Sherrod Template

Republican “free market” economic policies are explicitly designed to concentrate the nation’s wealth in as few hands as possible.  As collateral damage, the middle class will necessarily be ground into dust.  Hence, in a democratic system of government, the only way the GOP will be able to hold on to power is by attempting to exploit divisive social issues.

This is because, in economic terms, Republicans have nothing to offer their struggling foot soldiers except slogans.  And — to paraphrase Hillary Clinton — you can’t eat a slogan. 

Filling the void, slick right-wing operators like Andrew Breitbart stand ready to serve up double portions of cultural red meat — but on their own timetable.

Shirley Sherrod scenarios will arise, in myriad forms, for years to come.  Sometimes they will seem to benefit Republicans, sometimes they won’t.  In either case, GOP politicians will be powerless to control them.  They’ll simply have to ride the tiger and try to spin things to their political advantage.

“Flashpoint” racial politics will be a major part of the conservative playbook going forward.  Progressives need to be ready to combat it.



  1. Were the journalists in the Sherrod affair so much different than the blogger? Moreover, are bloggers who provide news not journalists as the “journalists” claimed after getting the story wrong?


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