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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, November 21, 2002
10:22 PM

USA Today of all places has an original take on the Augusta controversy in an op-ed by Steve Eubanks:

The fact is, most people don't care about the membership policies of an east Georgia golf club. Those concerned enough to spend a few minutes pondering the issue think that Augusta may never have a female member — but so what?

This may come as quite a shock to many Northeastern pundits who thought Augusta's capitulation was only a matter of time....

It's about geography.

Northeasterners, including columnists and commentators who can't bring up the subject without mentioning Hootie Johnson's syrupy drawl, think Augusta should become more "enlightened." Those who live east of Albuquerque and south of the Washington, D.C., Beltway have different ideas. According Kellyanne Conway, The Polling Company's CEO, "on the question of whether Augusta National should keep its membership the way it is, the most notable opposition comes in ... New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

This is indicative of the cultural chasm that continues to exist on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Whether it's political-redistricting lines that Southern state legislatures must have approved by the U.S. Justice Department because of discrimination practices that haven't existed in more than 30 years or bumper stickers on pickup trucks from Tallahassee to Tampa that read, "We don't care how you used to do it in New Jersey," Southerners often take a dim view of the "advice" they get from their Northern neighbors....

The column also confirms that Martha Burk didn't know how right she was when saying she didn't know anything about Augusta. The club has long been welcoming to women, Eubanks writes, and never had a rule restricting when women could play, a common practice at many other clubs, north and south, as recently as this very minute.

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