The Corner

Stop Waving the Bloody Shirt

I’m with David Frum on this from yesterday:

But Obama? McCain’s attack on him is the equivalent of the William McKinley campaign attacking William Jennings Bryan for having kept company with Nathan Bedford Forrest decades after the Civil War. Yes, the old rebel was an unrepentant traitor. Mostly though, he was all washed up.

Republicans have been fighting this second American civil war for eleven election cycles now. It’s been a good run! But just as 19th-Century Republicans eventually ran out of Union generals from Ohio, so the modern Republican Party has bumped up against the statute of limitations on campaigns against hippies.

McCain needed a bigger message.

Look, the Democrats paid a richly deserved price for embracing the America-hating scum of the 60s, just as they deserved to pay for being the party of slavery and treason. And emotionally I get it — I was just a kid during the 60s, but the very thought of Jane Fonda visiting Hanoi still fills me with physical disgust and if I ever ran into her I’d spit on the ground and turn away. But, justly or not, we’ve reached the point where waving the bloody shirt of 60s radicalism just doesn’t work any more.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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