Scott McConnell has some thoughts on Jim Webb, the paleo Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Webb was once a strong critic of race-conscious affirmative action, which he compared to Jim Crow. His views on the issue have since evolved in a more conventional Democratic direction but not entirely: in his 2006 Senate campaign and his upcoming book, Webb talks about affirmative action as a set of policies designed specifically to compensate blacks for historical injustices they faced in the United States. He remains critical of it becoming a set of policies that benefit all nonwhites while excluding working-class whites. He seems to be suggesting some kind of class-based affirmative action, which isn’t exactly new (outreach-friendly Republicans like Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich flirted with the idea after the Ward Connerly campaign against racial preferences began to take off in the 1990s). But it might be an interesting platform for, say, an Obama-Webb ticket to embrace while trying to put the Humpty Dumpty Democratic coalition back together again.
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