• AP Photo/The News-Gazette, John Dixon
  • Erika Harold announces her plans to challenge Rep. Rodney Davis in the 2014 Republican primary.

My parents were Republicans. My uncles and aunts were Republicans. They were white. They weren’t stupid. I fault the Tribune‘s Friday editorial “Good Riddance” on one point only. “If the Illinois GOP doesn’t recognize the self-inflicted damage caused by partisans who disparage anyone who doesn’t look or act like a traditional Republican,” said the Tribune, “well, party officials won’t have to scratch their heads as to why they keep losing elections.”

When did Jim Allen, chairman of the Republican Party of downstate Montgomery County, become a “traditional Republican”? My idea of a traditional Republican is Doug Ibendahl, editor in chief of Republican News Watch, who published the e-mail Allen sent it this week, called it a “racist rant,” and declared, “This stay-in-the-back-of-the-bus mentality destroys any hope the Republican Party has for regaining momentum in future elections.”

Ibendahl posted the full, unexpurgated text of the e-mail, in which Allen expressed his views on next year’s race for Congress in Illinois’s 13th District. Allen favors the Republican incumbent, Rodney Davis, who’s being challenged for his party’s nomination by Erika Harold, a black former Miss America with a Harvard law degree.