It was called "the southern strategy," started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters.
Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was "wrong."
"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
So, is Mehlman just admitting that the only reason the GOP is "reaching out" now is that they've realized they can't win votes by being hate-mongers? Hmm.
But enough negative spin; what we need to remind some of our more conservative fellow Georgians about is that certain policies of the GOP hurt them as much as the African American community.