Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's interesting that your Frank quote doesn't mention the elephant in the room - race.

It's no accident that when the Democratic Party in the US began to be seen as the party of blacks, the white working class began to turn conservative.

Now, would you say that this is one of the "mistakes" of the left? I wouldn't. The civil rights movement in the US is exactly the kind of thing we need a left for.

I am sympathetic to arguments that specific programs for equalizing economic and social outcomes by race were implemented in ways that put much of the cost onto white urban working classes (school desegregation, for example) while bypassing more affluent suburban communities. And that implementing many of these programs through the courts instead of through legislation allowed opponents to portray those initiatives as undemocratic power grabs.

But this brings up the real issue - what would you have done as an alternative? What policies would you have proposed that brought about racial equality without imposing undue burdens on the white working class? What was the right political strategy to get those programs passed while keeping the white working class inside the Democratic tent?

You just simply can't escape these issues, no matter how uninteresting you think they are.

by TGeraghty on Sun Oct 30th, 2005 at 08:46:32 PM EST

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