James Taranto claims that November 6th is the formal end of the civil rights era in American politics. He is worth quoting in full:
"Let history record Nov. 6, 2003, as the day on which the civil rights movement in America drew to a close. For that is the day the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the following sentence, in an article on the judicial nomination of Janice Rogers Brown:
Prominent blacks charged President Bush deliberately chose a conservative black woman so it would be harder for senators to vote against her.
Having long ago achieved the indisputably noble goal of ensuring that America lives up to the promise of equal justice under the law for all citizens regardless of race, the civil rights movement turned to the more dubious pursuit of "affirmative action." Now, however, they are complaining that blacks receive favorable treatment. Lamenting President Bushs choice of a black woman, and senators discomfiture in voting against her, are leaders of such venerable civil-rights organizations as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Council of Negro Women.
The civil rights movement has a proud and grand history. Now that its leaders are reduced to carping over what used to be termed "reverse discrimination," it seems safe to say that the problems that necessitated the movement are history as well."