November 30, 2010

JAMES TARANTO: Stuff White People Like: The departure of the only black senator prompts a revealingly clueless commentary. “More interesting is what he leaves out: that the difficulty blacks have in getting elected to statewide office is an unintended consequence of the Voting Rights Act. In the interest of increasing minority representation in the House and state legislatures, the act mandates the drawing of ‘majority minority’ districts. On its own terms, this has worked very well. The size of the Congressional Black Caucus relative to the House is within a few percentage points of the black proportion of the population. Seats in state legislatures and the House frequently are stepping stones to statewide office. But because black politicians need not cultivate a transracial appeal to win office in the first place, they are at a disadvantage when they consider a statewide run.”

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