Another damascus road conversion

Posted: Aug 18, 2000 12:00 AM
I'm thinking of declaring myself a black Democrat and walking out on the party in disgust. It now turns out Sen. Joseph Lieberman supported Proposition 209, the California initiative that prohibited the state from engaging in race discrimination for or against any race. Though Gore's running mate had once said Proposition 209 sounded like "a basic statement of human rights policy," he recently called an emergency conference with the congressional black caucus to explain that when he said that he did not understand what Proposition 209 would do.

So where are all the angry resignations from the Democratic Party? There were more phony walk-outs from the Republican Party two weeks ago -- for incomprehensible reasons, in light of the fact that the Republicans have always opposed race discrimination by the government.

During the Republican National Convention, The New York Times ran the vague calumnies against the Republican Party by an alleged "former Republican" on its op-ed page. A certain "Faye M. Anderson" claiming to be the erstwhile "vice chairman of the Republican National Committee's New Majority Council" denounced the Republican Party as "master illusionists" who produced "a parade of African-American and Hispanic speakers" who have "taken center stage, a made-for television illusion of inclusion."

Now I'm all for the tiniest and most irrelevant Republican groups, but it has to be said that the Republican National Committee itself is composed primarily of 20-year-old kids putting out talking points for other 20-year-old kids to recite on low-viewership cable TV shows. Until now, I didn't even know there could be committees below the RNC.

In any event, Ms. Anderson, the Republican Party little-wig, declared: "Earlier this year, I made a noisy exit from the Republican Party in an effort to send a message to party leaders." Her "message" was that, well, essentially that the Republicans are racists.

I hate to accuse anyone of megalomania, but Ms. Anderson's belief that her departure was "noisy" may be somewhat overstated, inasmuch as no one has ever heard of her. Her "noisy" departure was heard, however, by The New York Times (which has a sensitive barometer for these sorts of things).

The substantive points on which Ms. Anderson ("former" Republican) accused the Republican Party of racism were -- funnily enough -- many of the same things Democrats are constantly harping on, such as Bob Jones University and the Confederate flag. But Ms. Anderson unleashed an all new one, as well: She claimed to be hopping mad about "the Republican National Committee's gala at the ancestral home of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy."

For openers, it's just a house. And apparently a nice one. Jefferson Davis' home was one of the weekend "getaways" recommended by The Washington Post in 1988, with this cheerful description: "Don't miss this wartime home (1861-1865) of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family, faithfully restored to its summer decor."

But moreover, Jefferson Davis was a Democrat. Somehow our "former" Republican here isn't testy with the Democratic Party for that. No demand for an apology from Al Gore for Jefferson Davis. And while we're reliving historical grievances, Al Gore's father voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Where is the Gore family's contrition for that vote? (It might be a long time coming since Al Gore has taken the principled position of lying about it. He has claimed his father lost his seat because of his conscientious vote for the Civil Rights Act).

All these Damascus Road conversions are nothing but liberal street theater, consistent with the Democrats' culture of dishonesty. (One starts to wonder if there are any lifelong Democrats since all the Democrats you meet claim to be "former Republicans" who left the party in disgust.)

I was tempted to write a letter to the Times to inform them they've been the victim of a hoax, but I suspect this information would not floor them. There will probably be another ersatz "former" Republican on the op-ed page next week -- some phony who once registered as a Republican and intends to use that curiosity combined with a later sorrowful resignation to create the illusion that we are witnessing a vast migration from the Republican Party over this or that issue.

Larry Rockefeller, Lawrence Walsh, Arianna Huffington, the list of Damascus Road conversions goes on -- this is the one hoax the media can't help falling for because if anyone in the media were a Republican he'd be resigning from the Republican Party for the exact same reason!

Just remember: The Republicans used to wheel out Democrats for Bob Dole, and it didn't help him either. The left's race-baiting is a last-ditch attempt to save Al Gore from the only real poll on what American people thought of Bill Clinton.