News from Michigan


Time to dial back to our March issue and read some sharp observations from contributing editor John Pitney:

A great unreported story in American politics is the silencing of overt debate on racial issues. When was the last time a major GOP politician came out squarely against racial preferences? After the Supreme Court upheld discriminatory admissions policies in the 2003 decision Grutter v. Bollinger, few Republicans had anything critical to say.

While Republicans have little chance at the black vote, they do hope for a share of Latinos. Although some surveys suggest otherwise, they think an attack on preferences would scuttle their Latino prospects. They also face pressure from business, which has surrendered on the issue. Discrimination in the name of diversity helps executives avoid protests and boycotts, and they cringe at the idea of revisiting the question.

All true, but grassroots voters are apparently another story. Michigan's measure restricting affirmative action is winning big, despite what National Review calls "open opposition, or at best apathy, by official Michigan Republicans."