Frum’s double standard on racial atonement
Regarding Trent Lott’s inadvertent endorsement of the 1948 Dixiecrat platform, David Frum worries that in order keep his job as Republican leader, Lott will have to surrender to the liberal and black agenda in Congress. Thus Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman has demanded that Lott must “make clear his commitment to racial equality, [must] meet directly with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and show that he understands the hurt his comments have caused.” Another Democrat proposed that Lott earn forgiveness by backing an increase in the minimum wage and federal housing programs, and an expansive prescription drug benefit. And there are several other racially charged issues coming up in the next two years, like welfare reform and racial preferences, that Frum thinks will also be compromised by Lott’s need to “pay” for his indiscretion.
As I was reading about Frum’s concerns, I suddenly remembered something he said a few years ago, that America’s history of racial discrimination obligates it to maintain large scale nonwhite immigration. But if our past racial sins require us to commit national suicide for the sake of minorities, as Frum evidently believes, then, by his own logic, why shouldn’t Lott’s racial indiscretion require him to go along with a little pro-minority log-rolling? Why does Frum support racial atonement in the one case and oppose it in the other? Or, to put it another way, why does he care more about defending the conservative agenda in Congress than he does about preserving America’s very existence as a distinct nation and culture?