Republicans can’t seem to recruit minorities

This morning Politico.con ran a story highlighting a problem that many of us suspect will keep getting worse before it can hope to get better: There aren’t any minorities running as Republicans in ’08.

Just a few years after the Republican Party launched a highly publicized diversity effort, the GOP is heading into the 2008 election without a single minority candidate with a plausible chance of winning a campaign for the House, the Senate or governor.

At a time when Democrats are poised to knock down a historic racial barrier with their presidential nominee, the GOP is fielding only a handful of minority candidates for Congress or statehouses — none of whom seem to have a prayer of victory. [Link]

Ouch. Amit Singh isn’t going to like hearing that he “doesn’t have a prayer,” but in my personal opinion (which I believe to be objective in this case) his resume is pretty thin for a candidate vying for a seat that the Democrats have held since 1991. The problem is that Republicans don’t attempt to recruit minorities in any visible way. In fact, when you can hold up Rush Limbaugh as an example of a Republican who sings the praises of a minority Republican as President (he’s a huge Jindal fan), you know you are in trouble.

Jack Kemp, the former Republican congressman and vice presidential nominee, says the culprit is clear: a “pitiful” recruitment effort by his party. “I don’t see much of an outreach,” he said. “I don’t see much of a reason to run.”

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p>A former black GOP candidate who declined to be identified by name offered a slightly more charitable explanation. He said the party is so broke and distracted that wooing strong minority candidates is a luxury it simply cannot afford right now. [Link]

And then there are the “defections.” Ashwin Madia, who is running in Minnesota, used to be a Republican in college, but now has a real good shot at being elected to Congress as a Democrat. Another problem is that among Asian American minorities, the majority of Republican inroads are among the first generation immigrant population. Vietnamese Americans for example, usually vote Republican in high percentages because of post-Vietnam War politics. It is doubtful that this trend will hold with their children. Limited exit polling data has shown that young South Asians overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and thus will be more likely to run as a Democrat if they enter politics. No doubt that eight years of Bush probably has something to do with the recruitment efforts in ’08 as well. Arnold and Newt may be right. Before the Republicans can recruit minorities they may need to change their brand.

89 thoughts on “Republicans can’t seem to recruit minorities

  1. re: the Southern Strategy and “it’s all about coddling racists”; there is an alternative view on what exactly happened in the 1960s that flipped the South from Dem to GOP…..The 60s, many argue, was the birth of Punitive Liberalism.

    c’mon vinod. that’s a load of revisionist garbage. perhaps a passive endorsement of Liberal Fascism completes the theory? it’s revisionist sophistry masquerading as analysis. what bollocks.

    lieberman is an I-CT by the way.

  2. Republicans can’t recruit minorities because their underlying tenets stand in contravention to general minority interests.

  3. 52 · No von Mises said

    c’mon vinod. that’s a load of revisionist garbage. perhaps a passive endorsement of Liberal Fascism completes the theory? it’s revisionist sophistry masquerading as analysis. what bollocks.

    it would have been nice to see a substantive response to the policy shifts in the quoted article rather than a directed, personal attack…. too much to ask at times, I suppose.

    lieberman is an I-CT by the way.

    true… he’s Ex-Democrat

  4. why is this

    re: the Southern Strategy and “it’s all about coddling racists”

    in quotes? by putting it in quotes, you are suggesting that the race-based reorganization of political alliances is inaccurate, a false narrative or so disputable that the ‘backlash towards Punitive Liberalism’ meme becomes plausible. it’s an ahistorical premise.

    and as for this sentence:

    And the South – for whatever set of reasons – is/was generally the most patriotic part of the country and thus the most turned off by such arguments.

    care to support your claim that the South is or was the “patriotic part of the country”? is there a reason why you are using “patriotism” instead of ethno-centric nationalism as a crutch for your argument?

  5. Why should you feel that no one else but you should benefit from the taxes that you pay?

    I can give you an Australian perspective. Many Australians (not all) believe that giving handouts is tantamount to being Robin Hood – robbing the rich to give to the poor. We have quite a few dole bludgers and centrelink is the favourite scapegoat. The system is corrupt and many more people would be seeking and workgin in gainful employment if the dole and sundry benefits were to be removed. User pays is probably the best system and ensures that each one puts in their fair share. Netherlands is a small country and had a relatively homogenous poplulation with similar values. Hence sharing is an easier exercise. Read Hofstede and Trompenaars. In simplistic terms USA has a higher masculine index than Netherlands and hence the variation. Someone said – Taxes are the price of civilization but the % of taxes is questionable. I would be happy to pay 10% but it is 40% here :(

  6. Skocpol’s point is an interesting one — support for high taxes in Scandinavian countries remains rather consistent, at least in part because everyone has access to its attendant social benefits. Gross simplification of course; there’s also the notion of ‘economic solidarity’ (it comes up in academic literature on redistribution in diverse societies, i’m not making this up ;-) ). Crudely speaking, in more diverse societies (specifically where there are diverse groups with limited interaction) economic solidarity is diminished, and one doesn’t want one’s taxes to “help the other”.

    The US and Canada have relatively decent notions of economic solidarity across cultural boundaries — so support for taxes, at current levels, is ok, but often threatened, as Skocpol points out, when programs only clearly benefit one group. In Scandinavian countries, economic solidarity is stronger, due in large part to homogeneity, but also because of benefits even the rich partake in.

    There is a bit of US exceptionalism in terms of perceptions (especially academic) when it comes to taxes and redistribution, because of the enduring cultural trope of ‘the american dream’ and any station in society being open to any individual based on their own effort. How does this help? Well, I’d posit that it allows the US to not rely on higher levels of redistribution to escape significant instability due to high levels of inequality. One of the most self-serving arguments one could make for economic redistribution is, in fact, to reduce the harsher edges of economic inequality is societal stability (ref. World on Fire, Amy Chua). Perhaps unique cultural/historical circumstances permit the US to get by and less competent, and less extensive redistribution and escape the instability other countries would normally face with such gini coefficients. Ie: the US has gini coefficients closer to a lot of unstable developing countries, than Canada or Europe.

  7. err, let me rephrase that last bit:

    One of the most self-serving arguments one could make for economic redistribution is that by reducing the harsher edges of pure capitalism (severe economic inequality) one can ensure societal stability — ie: prevent the masses from looting you (ref. World on Fire, Amy Chua). Perhaps unique cultural/historical circumstances permit the US to get by on less competent, and less extensive redistribution (relative to Europe/Canada/Australia) and escape the instability other countries would normally face with such gini coefficients. To wit, the US has gini coefficients closer to a lot of unstable developing countries (0.45), than Canada or Europe (0.2-0.25).

  8. There we go more of that Republicans are racists BS. BTW, which party has a senator who is a former KKK member, hmm?. Which party supported the KKK terrorizing Southern blacks? and which party was the one that ended slavery?.

    Who were the ones that published an offensive cartoon of Bush and Condi Rice? Who called Clarence Thomas an “uncle Tom”.

    There are a lot of moderate blacks who would vote GOP, but are derided as uncle Toms by the so called “liberal” faction and their voices are not heard. Bush has had more POCs in his cabinet than Bill Clinton. Man you lefties make me sick. You people are just stuck on stupid.

    To AnjaliToo, So blacks breaking 90 to 10 for Obama for no other reason than his skin color is not racist,right?

  9. 57 · jackal said

    One of the most self-serving arguments one could make for economic redistribution is, in fact, to reduce the harsher edges of economic inequality is societal stability (ref. World on Fire, Amy Chua).

    i personally am very sympathetic to this line of argumentation, especially since it shores up support for prudential redistribution. however, if the general belief in the US is that equal opportunity/level playing field is a constitutional requirement, then the government is obligated to assure that as far as possible (regardless of whether there is a plausible prudential argument from social stability/cohesion/capital). just want to clarify that the quote from skocpol is a descriptive claim, and probably not a normative prescription she is making. her history of the welfare system in america (rehearsed in several articles online) is a short and coherent read.

  10. 59 · DesiDude said

    ush has had more POCs in his cabinet than Bill Clinton

    i don’t see how tokenism in the bush cabinet shows his solidarity for POC overall, when his policies act against the socioeconomic interests of POC. i think the hispanic community, at least, has shown consistent support for the clintons. perhaps they are better arbiters of their fate and interests than you? as far as the black question is concerned, given the dynamics of unfair representation and voter suppression in this country, it is not entirely unfair for black people to vote obama. it is a political act with deep resonance. besides, even his detractors will agree that he is a very competent and formidable opponent. given that blacks traditionally vote democrat, and that clinton and obama are not that different on core democratic issues, then choosing obama over clinton for making a political point/correcting a historical injustice is not racism. and those who deny that clarence thomas has deep-seated psychological issues that seep into his public life, please steal a few pills from limbaugh’s medicine cabinent. it won’t hurt him any, and it’ll probably do you a world of good.

  11. To portmeaneau, don’t see how tokenism in the bush cabinet shows his solidarity for POC overall

    Tokenism, huh? Great so what things other than “Tokenism” have the Democrats done for POCs

    when his policies act against the socioeconomic interests of POC

    And pray, what actions of Bush have hurt the socio-economic interests of of POCs. In fact Clinton, and other democrats have hurt POCs, by encouraging welfare-dependency and leading to missing father syndrome among blacks. Bill Cosby’s “pound-cake speech reflects on that. Try reading it.

    as far as the black question is concerned, given the dynamics of unfair representation and voter suppression in this country, it is not entirely unfair for black people to vote obama

    More leftist moonbattery, what “unfair reprsentation” are you talking about. Blacks have full voting rights since 1865. In fact blacks had equal voting rights long before women did, for example. So in that case, what is wrong with poor white folks to vote Clinton or McCain, as they feel that Republicans or centrist democrats best represent their interests

    democrat, and that clinton and obama are not that different on core democratic issues, then choosing obama over clinton for making a political point/correcting a historical injustice is not racism. Huh, the historical injustices had been erased since 1964 since LBJ signed the civil rights act. In any case voting for a socialist does not correct any “historical injustice”

    and those who deny that clarence thomas has deep-seated psychological issues that seep into his public life, please steal a few pills from limbaugh’s medicine cabinent. it won’t hurt him any, and it’ll probably do you a world of good.

    Soooo, lets see here racism is fine as long as it is from the left right? Maybe YOU should steal a few pills from the KOs Kommunists and Karl Marx’s medicine cabinet. It will do you a lot more good.

    And incidentally I am amused that you have not responded to the fact that the Democratic party has a KKK member (Byrd) who just endorsed Obama and he seems fine with it. Happy day KOmmie.

  12. To RahulS, Sure I thank LBJ for signing the civil rights legislation and making life equitable and fair for POCs. But subsequent Dem politicians have squandered the civil rights legacy by encouraging welfare dependency. And if someone like Clarence Thomas calls on folks to shed this mentality, they are called Uncle Toms by the left.

    To Meena, Yaaaawn, just like Fascism and Racism are the left-wingers Godwin’s law.

  13. Re: Black voters and “traditional values” I understand that African Americans do not vote with their church-going values. My comment was that if the Republican Party were a little more clever on its diversity and civil rights policies, they would have an easier time appealing to moderate to conservative POCs, including African American voters. Until Bush’s foreign policy, this was also certainly the case for most (non-African American) Muslim voters. My larger point was that the Republican Party, in the name of wedge politics, often takes positions that are “deal breaker” positions for many POC communities.

    Re: West Virginia and Kentucky voting patterns I concede West Virginia (although I do not think the voting habits/patterns in that part of the rust belt are as bellweather or scalable as say, Ohio). And, I stand by my Kentucky comment. I’ve assumed throughout this conversation that we’ve been talking about electoral politics from 1970s/80s onward, since that’s the last time we saw a massive reorganization of the Republican Party. Of course, at the end of the day, elections are not only about the party, but also about the candidate. It is UNSURPRISING that Bill Clinton carried both states when running against George I. I would be more interested to see how a B. Clinton/Reagan contest would have turned out.

    Re: Economics and voting Poor white people vote Republican, also, especially post-Jimmy Carter. We also know that rich people break for both parties. The economic-interest argument is not sufficient for explaining demographic patterns in presidential elections post-1980.

  14. The GOP has gotten lazy. They haven’t laid the foundation for, well, anything these past eight years. Razib’s points are well taken (Andrew Stuttaford makes the same points at NRO), but, success has many imitators and if the GOP were more successful (i.e., had governed according to their purported principals and held the line on spending and new entitlement programs) we would likely be seeing different trends.

    We better do some good groundwork while we are out of power. Why stay with the GOP when I am so disgusted? Oh, I dunno. I left the Democratic Party, and enchanted with the GOP, and might as well just do my own thing, and hang out until I can find someone I actually want to vote for.

    *I wish we would pay more attention to competence in politics instead of a politician who says the perfect things to the base. Anyway, if I were a Dem, I would be happy right now. You have a lefty Dem, a moderate lefty Dem and a conservative Democrat running. Win-win-win.

    *I hate that Thomas Frank stuff. People decide what their own interests are, not some sociologist full of bunk about how some economic policies are better for x individual. If I want to vote against ny economic interests, than I guess that’s not my priority, eh? Funny how I get to do that in a democracy.

  15. Last correction: Conservative Dem = McCain. Hey, you have some blue dog Dems that are to the right of the guy. Like I said, win-win-win.

    *I have to send you some money, right? It’s pledge week or something.

  16. 53 · HMF said

    general minority interests.

    What are “general minority interests” ? And of those, what are not met with a Republican admin. If not all doesn’t many republican values of morality,religion and family values gels with desi culture ? So unless you are poor( which many desis are not unlike AAs and Hispanics ) what is not attractive about Republicans for desis as long as your self-interests are met ?

    But I do agree that Republican leanings on whites and race probably puts off minorities who consider themselves as “American” as their white brethren without any of their characterisitics. Now is that the only reason for desi shunning Republicans ?

  17. If not all doesn’t many republican values of morality,religion and family values gels with desi culture ? So unless you are poor( which many desis are not unlike AAs and Hispanics ) what is not attractive about Republicans for desis as long as your self-interests are met ?

    Presumably desis have interests beyond “Republican values of morality, religion, and family values.” There is quite a bit that is unattractive to desis about how the Republican Party has behaved in office over the past 12 years, but the same can be said about the feelings of some desis towards the Democrats. I the this attempt to box POC groups into one party or another is short-sighted.

    Thanks for the link to the lecture — personally I prefer Lakoff‘s work for framing the conversation,

  18. personally I prefer Lakoff’s work for framing the conversation

    just an FYI, my psychologist friends who work in analogies and framing say that lakoff’s academic work in this area is crap and not really mainstream (as it, it’s lakoff and his former grad students). though of course they agree with the overall slant of his politics….

  19. razib, from an academic perspective your critique is right (and from that same perspective, the lecture BJ shared was really interesting and focused on an entirely different area of morality and how different people define that concept/term for themselves). From a “trade book” perspective, I think his [Lakoff's] work is a good primer on framing. However, like Gladwell’s Blink and Levitt’s Freakonomics, academically the analysis is not always up to snuff, nor is it necessarily “mainstream.” Although cursory and not always entirely accurate, they’re interesting introductions for the layperson.

  20. desi dude, i did not want to respond to your #62 just because of the sheer misguidedness of that comment, but here is an article i was reading that is an approximation of the answer that i would give you. but again, the gem from your post that deserves highlighting is this one:

    Huh, the historical injustices had been erased since 1964 since LBJ signed the civil rights act. In any case voting for a socialist does not correct any “historical injustice”

    was prejudice against dalits automatically erased after the indian constitution came into force? several studies show racial prejudice operating in education, workforce etc etc — but any responsible individual would acknowledge that. since you don’t seem to be aware of that or bush’s tax cuts that favored the wealthy (generally NOT poc’s for a variety of structural reasons that don’t exist in your version of america/american history) or his govts. security agenda that may target poc disproportionately or his taking away money from the programs that could have helped the deserving needy to finance an ill-conceived war. or increasing our deficit or creating the atmosphere where oil prices have rises – all of which affect poc and low-income american asymmetrically. and i am not at all making a case for low-income whites to vote one way or another — they may choose to vote in their most urgent interests – economic or social or even racist. this is a democracy, and everyone is allowed to make a choice. people will hopefully get the government they deserve. i’ve seen some very erudite and educated defenses of conservative policy, but unfortunately comment #62 seems to be rooted in weird fantasy america where (the legacy of) racism and prejudice are eradicated by the stroke of a pen, and the sole cause of welfare dependency is government aid. or where voter suppression after 1865 never occurred.

    as far as welfare dependency is concerned, maybe providing real educational support for low-income americans/health care/economic opportunity

  21. 70 · Bridget Jones said

    53 · HMF said
    general minority interests.
    But I do agree that Republican leanings on whites and race probably puts off minorities who consider themselves as “American” as their white brethren without any of their characterisitics. Now is that the only reason for desishunning Republicans ?

    Could also be the whole evangelical Christian thing. It’s not easy to embrace a party that’s busy demonizing brown infidels for every problem in the world, when you yourself are brown and an infidel.

    If it were simply a matter of “core values,” I’d tend to agree with your thinking, but the fact is that the Republican party is all about firing up specific interest groups, and two of the major ones (racist bigots and Christian totalitarians) are inimicable to desis. The idea of Republicans having some monopoly on family values, morality and religion is baseless propaganda. Do you really think that Democrats are immoral, anti-family and anti-religion? Maybe anti-religion-in-the-public-sphere-as-per-the-Constitution, but that’s a different story, and one that actually puts them on the same side of members of marginal religions. Republicans are only pro-religion when that religion is a form of Protestant Christianity that is violently opposed to abortion. Likewise, the pro-family label is simply a cypher for a pro-choice agenda. For that matter, the pro-morality nonsense is just a cypher for an anti-gay agenda. So, instead of asking why desis don’t go for the family, morality & religion party, ask why they don’t go for the anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-all-desi-religions party.

    Alternatively, it’s easier to just ignore the rhetoric and consider the basic issue: the Republican party is the conservative party, and so functions primarily to protect and expand the position of entrenched, powerful groups. Since desis are, by and large, recent immigrants who are not an entrenched, powerful group, the Republicans are not going to advance their interests as such, regardless of any superficial appeal that their rhetoric might have.

    I’d add that the handful of desi Republicans I’ve known have all been drawn to the party because they are staunch fiscal conservatives and adherents of free-trade and globalization, and they fear the tax-and-spend-and-protect Democrats will screw up the world economy. None of them seemed at all interested in the culture war aspects. Which is good on them.

  22. To portmeaneau, Please don’t quote your favorite leftist/socialist media pundit here OK. Slate and the rest of the MSM has been in the tank for Obama so much that is is disgusting. Try reading whats on the other side of the fence for once and see if that makes sense

    s prejudice against dalits automatically erased after the indian constitution came into force? several studies show racial prejudice operating in education, workforce etc etc — but any responsible individual would acknowledge that. since you don’t seem to be aware of that or bush’s tax cuts that favored the wealthy (generally NOT poc’s for a variety of structural reasons that don’t exist in your version of america/american history) or his govts. security agenda that may target poc disproportionately or his taking away money from the programs that could have helped the deserving needy to finance an ill-conceived war. or increasing our deficit or creating the atmosphere where oil prices have rises – all of which affect poc and low-income american asymmetrically.

    Prejudice against the dalits,huh? let me tell you what, I come from TN and the prejudice against Brahmins and the so-called “upper-castes” is now ingrained in politics and media. Other than JJ, who is the last Brahmin politician that you saw. The ridiculous 69% reservation is not a discrimination against “upper-castes” huh? And BTW, if you look at the recent events in villages, the worst oppressors of dalits are the so-called OBCs. I am very well aware that Bush tax cuts favored the rich,thank you. And why should it not? The top 5% already pay 26% of the income tax revenue in the US. I mean if I work hard and smart why should I be penalized for my success? And the gov’t security agenda targets POCs? What planet are you living on? Oil prices have risen as leftist environMENTALS like you have prevented drilling for oil in the US. BTW, have you noticed that oil went for $2.30 to $4.00 after the Democrats got into Congress?

    i’ve seen some very erudite and educated defenses of conservative policy, but unfortunately comment #62 seems to be rooted in weird fantasy america where (the legacy of) racism and prejudice are eradicated by the stroke of a pen, and the sole cause of welfare dependency is government aid. or where voter suppression after 1865 never occurred.

    as far as welfare dependency is concerned, maybe providing real educational support for low-income americans/health care/economic opportunity

    What do you think Affirmative Action and Section 8 does, lot of opportunity has been provided to AA’s to join the American Dream. A lot of them have availed that. Unfortunately a lot of them are stuck with blaming “The Man” and not doing anything to improve their lot. For example, 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. Don’t you think that could be one of the reasons for the underperformance of black students. Or the preponderance of drugs and gangs in inner city schools. People have to make an effort to improve themselves, blaming “racism”, “The Man” wont cut it. What fantasy of mine have I put forth. These are facts, not my fantasy. Let me guess, it is you who live in a fantasy, thinking that welfare and Kumbaya will solve everything

  23. 59 · DesiDude said

    There we go more of that Republicans are racists BS. BTW, which party has a senator who is a former KKK member, hmm?. Which party supported the KKK terrorizing Southern blacks? and which party was the one that ended slavery?. –Funny how no one says that the party that (allegedly) ended slavery was also the party that ended Reconstruction and made it possible for the South to start Jim Crow segregation. Furthermore, the Democrats of the Jim Crow South then, are the Republicans of today, via Southern Strategy of the late 60s. Who were the ones that published an offensive cartoon of Bush and Condi Rice? Who called Clarence Thomas an “uncle Tom”. There are a lot of moderate blacks who would vote GOP, but are derided as uncle Toms by the so called “liberal” faction and their voices are not heard. Bush has had more POCs in his cabinet than Bill Clinton. Man you lefties make me sick. You people are just stuck on stupid. -I don’t think having Colin Powell as a fall guy (for helping Bush II lie about WMDs in Irag) doesn’t count. To AnjaliToo, So blacks breaking 90 to 10 for Obama for no other reason than his skin color is not racist,right?

    Does anyone READ about American history anymore?

  24. I’ll admit that I don’t really understand desi Republicans. Aside from my impression that few of their policies benefit minorites – after anti-abortion campaigning, conservative Christian family values and an anti-science position, what’s there to love?

  25. 82 · Meena said

    I’ll admit that I don’t really understand desi Republicans. Aside from my impression that few of their policies benefit minorites – after anti-abortion campaigning, conservative Christian family values and an anti-science position, what’s there to love?

    $

  26. 82 · Meena said

    I’ll admit that I don’t really understand desi Republicans. Aside from my impression that few of their policies benefit minorites – after anti-abortion campaigning, conservative Christian family values and an anti-science position, what’s there to love?

    Perhaps free trade brings millions of people to the middle class all over the world. That’s a good Republican thing (although I understand why people would be against this).

  27. Yes, but wouldn’t the anti-science, overall anti-education stance of the Republican party well, undermine the desi voters?

  28. 80 · Huey said

    So blacks breaking 90 to 10 for Obama for no other reason than his skin color is not racist,right?

    One black author claims that Obama is getting 90% of the black vote because of Michelle. If he married a white girl, blacks would go for Clinton. White people love hime because of his message, and his white background.

  29. 85 · Meena said

    Yes, but wouldn’t the anti-science, overall anti-education stance of the Republican party well, undermine the desi voters?

    Republicans are anti-education because more government spending hasn’t helped education (No Child Left Behind). Bush spent way more than Clinton, and the results have been poor. Think about it. Why would Oprah spend $40 million dollars for a school in South Africa, rather than the U.S. People value education more in foreign countries than the poor do here. Sad, but true. I think a better system is where you have a voucher system, which a handful of moderate Republicans would like. Yea, the anti-science turns people off, except Ramesh Ponururu (he even wrote a book about how Stem Cell REsearch is very heinous, unless it doesn’t kill an embryo).

  30. 85 · Meena said

    Yes, but wouldn’t the anti-science, overall anti-education stance of the Republican party well, undermine the desi voters?

    it should be noted that’s there’s also an anti-science left: censoring the iq debate and the gender/science debate (larry summers), forcing crackpot feminist (and race-studies) theories on it by trying to apply title 9, environmental terrorism, anti-genetic engineering, animal rights, and pseudosciences like freud and marx that finds it way into postmodern science-studies, and most-importantly, fake science used in courts of law to restrict breast implants. i’m outraged.

  31. 88 · Manju said

    most-importantly, fake science used in courts of law to restrict breast implants. i’m outraged.

    is your love of large breasts getting in the way evidence-based medicine?

    [i'm kidding. not aware of legal rulings on breast implants, will you provide a juicy link? and also, i wonder how much of NSF's budget is going to "pseudosciences like freud and marx that find [their] way into postmodern science-studies. whereas restrictions on stem-cells have a palpable effect — driving away scientists to europe and putting us behind the competition. universities have a really hard time in making sure their federal money doesn’f finance even a pencil used in a non-kosher project. i do realize the censuring of academics has a chilling effect on research, but larry summers’ effort was very heavy-handed, and i’ve a feeling his investigatory agenda was clarified/manufactured later only to provide a veneer of credibility to his prejudice. at the same time, i do think that some questions become hard to research because of pc-ness associated with left. larry summers could have been much more nuanced in formulating his argument, so it is not easy to grant him the benefit of doubt.]