Josh Kraushaar ("The diversity myth," Sunday) has completely misdiagnosed the problems of the Democratic Party. Except for the brief period from 2006-2008, the party has been dominated by the conservative Democratic Leadership Council, whose objectives are to make Democrats look more like Republicans. The high concentration of poor urban people in minority districts mitigate against the selection of minority conservatives. Minority candidates with liberal resumes, like Manan Trivedi, are often the victims of gerrymandered districts, which help assure their defeat.

Kraushaar and I agree that gerrymandering is the catalyst of the Democrats' minority problems, but he fails to draw the connection between the apologetic liberalism of the DLC and the emergence of Democratic candidates of color in more conservative suburban and rural areas, where minority populations have also grown. Democratic candidates have been further crippled by the lackluster national campaign leadership of Tim Kaine, which has so far refused to put boots on the ground, or to create a national message that contrasts its programs with those of the "just say no" conservatives.

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park