The Corner

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The Revenge of Identity Politics


David Brooks is well worth reading today, on identity politics eating its young in the Democratic race (though I have to assume he meant to describe Ward Connerly, not Ward Churchill, as an opponent of affirmative action).

His final point brings to mind a very striking quote from one of Senator Clinton’s pollsters over the weekend. Brooks writes: “This dispute is going to be settled by the rising, and so far ignored, minority group. For all the current fighting, it’ll be Latinos who end up determining who gets the nomination.”

As my colleague Pete Wehner pointed out yesterday, Clinton pollster Sergio Bendixen responded this way last week when asked by Ryan Lizza why Mrs. Clinton seemed to be doing so well among Hispanics:

“The Hispanic voter—and I want to say this very carefully—has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.”

With virtually no substantive disagreements to separate them, I suppose it was inevitable for the Clinton-Obama contest to devolve into this mess, but what a nasty show. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.