The Corner

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More Lott Fallout: Splitting The Base


Add to the long-term damage we can expect from the Lott affair the self-inflicted damage the White House risks doing with its conservative base. Conservatives are split over whether Lott ought to step aside. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and our own beloved Mark Levin no doubt speak for plenty of conservatives who are defending Lott, in part, because they can’t stand what they see as a capitulation to the dishonest grievance industry. Many of us fault the senator for handing the industry a race card and are unwilling to sacrifice a principled conservative agenda in an attempt to save him. The White House’s reaction to the controversy appears likely to alienate the entire conservative base. The president isn’t defending Lott and if he winds up similarly unwilling to defend the race-blind agenda conservatives have long championed, the movement will once more be unified–in opposition to his complete surrender to the race-baiters.