The problem with Ashcroft: … and the issue seemingly lost on those who believe he doesn’t have a “racist” bone in his body is plain as day to Norman Solomon.

In the New York Daily News, Stanley Crouch noted that Southern Partisan introduced the interview by touting Ashcroft as a “champion of states’ rights and traditional Southern values.”

Crouch pointed out: “Those are code words for white supremacist ideas about the Civil War, segregation, genetics and so on. Code is now very important, even to those in the boggiest wilds of the far right. They, too, know that in politics it might be best to move under camouflage until you get where you want and can begin opening serious fire against your enemies.”

Right now, if John Ashcroft gets where he wants, he’ll be moving into the office of the attorney general of the United States.

In the Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has been eloquent about what’s at stake. “The nation’s top law enforcer cannot be someone who vacillates between civil rights and Civil War fantasies,” Jackson wrote. And he concluded: “When Ashcroft says the traditionalists must do more, America should tremble. The nomination is so perverted, it should follow the final path of his Confederate heroes. It should be driven off in a scorched-earth campaign.”

But John Ashcroft and his strongest allies — on Capitol Hill and in the news media — are going all out for Senate approval of his nomination. They have plans. And they’re not just whistling Dixie.

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