And yes, there are political implications. In the midterm elections, Democratic candidates carefully avoided doing anything to mobilize the black vote, fearing that this would just encourage turnout by rural whites. But the rural whites turned out anyway, while blacks didn't. In Louisiana, black turnout — the result of a determined get-out-the-vote operation, perhaps helped by Mr. Lott's remarks — was the key to Ms. Landrieu's unexpected victory. Might I suggest that this tells us something?YES. Yes, I think it does. Word to the wise: the demographic trends favoring the Democrats in the coming years won't help if they don't get out the minority vote. It might lose them white, rural, conservative voters, but Krugman is right... they were lost anyway, and the dirty little secret is that Democrats might not really need them.
If I were leading the Dems, I'd be getting real loud about this. Not just to the faithful, but to minorities. If they get the idea that they can make a real difference, and propel a candidate to office that will respect their interests, the Democrats would be significant players all over the map. The Republicans learned this long ago with the evangelical christians; perhaps its time for the Democrats to learn as well.