The holiday fog is clearing, and I just read two stories that emerged over the past week that really make me wonder if the GOP thinks blatant racism is the true ticket for the comeback of their party.
Both stories involve candidates seeking to become the next Chair of the Republican National Committee. Yes, remember the battle we Democrats enjoyed back in late 2004 and 2005, after our own stinging defeat to President Bush. This year, it is the Republican’s turn to elect a chairman. The Democrats will choose a new chairman too, but, as is always the case when a party is led by an incoming President, the chair will be named or selected by the President-elect without any competition. In our battle in 2004, the choice was between the discredited “New Democrats” in the mold of Terry McAuliffe, the outgoing chairman of the DNC, and outsiders and reformers like Howard Dean, who eventually won the chairmanship.
The Republicans’ battle this year is shaping up to be the Racist Whites vs. the Black Candidates. One of the candidates (Katon Dawson) is a member of a whites only country club, and another (Chip Saltsman) sent out, as a Christmas gift, mind you, Rush Limbaugh’s racist “satirical” tune “Barack the Magic Negro” on a CD to all RNC members. If one of the GOP’s challenges in opposing Obama in the coming years is not appearing racist, they are sure off to a horrible start. I have to think, given the firestorm this has caused, the black candidates for the RNC Chair, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, are heavily favored right now.
But who knows, perhaps racism in the GOP is more pervasive than we thought, and they will go ahead and elect Dawson or Saltsman anyway. Or maybe that will appear too overtly racist for the image conscious in the GOP, so they will reelect current Chair Mike Duncan, who is also a candidate, despite his massive record of failure (the loss of the Presidency and Congress over 2 years, as well as the majority of the Governorships).
For me, it doesn’t matter what they do. They are still ideologically bankrupt no matter who they choose.