The Wall Street Journal, hardly a bastion of liberal thought, has weighed in on our junior Senator’s recent brush with national fame. Mark your datebooks: Today may be one of the only days that we agree with the Journal’s editorial stand.
Brendan Miniter, the author of the editorial, notes that he began his journalistic career in rural Virginia, where he observed firsthand the impact of the state’s history on its current politics. He notes that while Sen. Allen has made some efforts to reach out to minority voters (for example, this year’s apology for the failure to enact antilynching laws), for most of his political tenure he “has displayed a dismaying indifference to his adoptive state’s racial history. And it is this political tone-deafness that is now weighing down his political future with Southern baggage.”
Miniter concludes, ” A legacy of the South’s long struggle with racism is that today its elected officials must take a stand on racially sensitive issues. What Mr. Allen is finding out is the same thing Trent Lott learned a few years ago: that Southern politicians who don’t appreciate the sensitivity of race issues may pay a political price.”