The Corner

James Webb, Barack Obama, and Affirmative Action

Yesterday Senator James Webb (D-Virginia), who’s being mentioned as a veep possibility for Obama, stuck up for the gun-totin’, church-clingin’ white folks in his neck of the woods, saying that Obama’s lack of support there is not because of race, but because of disgust with affirmative action. Webb’s critique here is a bit odd since he himself, pretzel-like, now says he supports racial preferences for African Americans but not for anyone else — a distinction few of his Scots-Irish brethren would make, and, if they did, why would they take it out on Obama, who is an African American? But there’s this core truth underlying what Webb said: The problem for the Democrats is not racism but that these folks are patriotic and socially conservative on a range of issues, and Obama makes them nervous. And rightly so.

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