The Corner

Derbyshire’s Niceness Theory

If the theory is correct, it is an example of what New Republic writer Michelle Cottle has called the “ricochet pander,” as when Republicans put a lot of black people on stage at their conventions in the expectation not that many black voters will join the GOP as a result but that some white voters will vote GOP because they see an effort being made. I don’t have much against this kind of maneuver, although it can be carried too far. But to work–and I almost hesitate to bring up a point so obvious–the act of pandering has to be popular with the group expected to like the GOP for it. White swing voters, presumably, like seeing blacks at the Republican convention. Where’s the polling that shows these voters like amnesty for illegals? Then again, neither Derbyshire nor Sailer said this was a smart political strategy.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.