Michael Zak Makes Good
Zachary Roth has a short write-up on Michael Zak, the amateur historian who wrote the “Heroes” section of the new GOP.com, which focuses to a confusing degree on obscure 19th century black Republicans. Zak’s involvement with the site was no secret — he is credited at the bottom of the biography pages — but I’m impressed that he got the job. Anyone who’s covered Republican National Committee events in D.C. has probably met Zak. I first encountered him at the Jan. 5 debate between RNC chairman candidates, when Zak buttonholed me to pass on a business card and hold forth on the GOP’s long history of racial progress. I gave him my business card; soon, I started getting emails like this.
This is, in Republican circles, fairly uncontroversial stuff. Liberals don’t take it very seriously — the racist Southern wing of the party started seriously jumping ship in 1964, after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and “the party of Barack Obama used to be racist” is not that compelling a message to black voters. But Zak, who is not shy about handing over a business card and talking about his qualifications, managed to convince the RNC that he was the man to make this case on the party’s Website.
Another Zak email, illustrative of the “Democrats are the real racists” line: