Maybe the “R” really does stand for Racist.

Filed in National by on December 28, 2008

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.

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  1. Caffeinated Thoughts | Saltsman’s RNC Bid Goes Puff | December 28, 2008
  1. nemski says:

    Read David Broder’s op-ed today where he writes that the “congressional Republicans, whose shrunken ranks are increasingly dominated by right-wing Southerners who care not what their stance does to harm the party’s national image. “

  2. Unstable Isotope says:

    I agree nemski that they just don’t care anymore, but I don’t think they’ve cared about the direction of the country for a long time. Why else would they endorse disastrous war, disastrous economic policy and torture?

    The RNC should be really embarrassed by their candidates. They have two failed candidates and two racists. I don’t think you can say that any of these candidates address the issues that Republicans are facing to become a national party again. Steele and Blackwell are both hardcore cultural conservatives who completely turned off the voters of their respective states.

    Well, Blackwell is now defending Saltsman. So I guess everthing’s ok now *snort*.

  3. pandora says:

    Talk about living in a bubble. That three leg stool the Republicans love to talk about has lost two legs. The Southern Strategy – and all the ugliness those words imply – is alive and well, and obviously quite comfortable, in the Republican Party.

  4. Unstable Isotope says:

    I wonder what our Delaware Republicans think of this? Are they upset? Embarrassed? Supportive? I would want to hear what a DE GOP member would say about Salstman or Dawson and the direction of the national GOP before I would ever think of supporting them.

  5. anonone says:

    Hey U.I.,

    If they haven’t been embarrassed so far…

  6. anonone says:

    By the way, as an Obama voter, I am disgusted by the selection of the homophobic bigot Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration.

    As an American atheist, I am disgusted that we even have an “invocation” at what should be a secular government event.

  7. Joanne Christian says:

    UI-I am flummoxed. I wanted to take a breath, circle the wagons, and see just what we are all about, and where to from here. I know national GOP can’t really take the time off to search…..but I can……

  8. Joanne Christian says:

    Saltsman went “poof” off my list a LLLOOONNNGGG time ago. My vote and values are private. Hawking Huckabee diminishes values to a proclaimed, self-righteous, intensive, unilateral lifestyle, instead of a private code of ethics, character, and integrity that needs no introduction–or indoctrination. But hey, nobody listens to me. Next……

  9. David says:

    We have a great candidate Joanne, Lt. Governor Steele. I love Sec. Blackwell, but he does not have the track record of party building that Steele has.

    I think some people pushed Ken Blackwell to run because Steele was gaining so much traction. It is an old trick they play in the south; play us against each other. Fortunately, there is less racism in the GOP than the Democrat Party. You would never see 20% of white GOP primary voters going to vote with race being the primary issue. President elect Obama had a closer race in the Democrat primaries than the general election. Remember where racism still resides.

  10. David says:

    You can’t call Lt. Gov Steele and Sec. Blackwell failed candidates. They were statewide elected officials and have an impressive record of success which I would compare to the writer of that comment. Yes, they did lose an election due to outside trends, who better to fix the problems the GOP has than someone who saw them first hand? They know how to win. They know what it is like to lose. They are in the arena.

    It is the consultants who have never been in the arena that I am skeptical of. They are the second biggest problem the party has. They only know how to divide. They only value money not values and ethics. They scoff at presenting ideas. If the RNC puts one of those guys back in charge after there ilk lost us everything, we’ll deserve them.

  11. liberalgeek says:

    To an extent, I agree that Steele would be a reasonably good candidate. From a “loser” perspective, remember that Howard Dean lost the Presidential nomination and won the chairmanship. Granted, Steele doesn’t have the name recognition of Howard Dean.

    I fear that the African-American community (one of the groups that must be brought into the fold) will see this the way that Hillary voters saw the Palin selection, as a tone-deaf pander. Steele is better than Palin, but if it feels like a stunt, it will be all over for Gov. Steele.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    Steele and Blackwell are failed candidates of a failed GOP strategy — 2004 was supposed to be the year of the black republican with Swann, Steele and Blackwell running for major offices in their respective states. Each lost very decisively. And with them, came the end of the push to make the GOP tent bigger — at least for black people. Steele especially had to pretend he was a Democrat (at least hide the fact he was republican) in Maryland to lose so decisively. And, in point of fact, once both Steele and Erlich were booted out, Maryland went back to being fairly comfortably Democratic. Another Steele failure of “party-building”.

    Even in a year when they showcased their black candidates, the GOP couldn’t find their way past their southern strategy roots to vote for these guys. Remember who uses racism to win elections.

  13. David says:

    Wrong, remember that was 2006 which turned out to be a pretty rotten GOP year. I am sure they wish they could have run in 2004. Remember 2 of the 3 were office holders.

    No.12 LG, I don’t support Lt. Gov. Steele because he is black anymore than I presume you supported President-elect Obama because of his African heritage. Therefore I don’t care if someone thinks it is a stunt. He will get the job done. It is not about getting blacks to vote for the GOP. Granted it would get the blacks who voted for Bush back. It is about getting the Hispanics back, and suburban and exurban white voters. The man has a plan for that. Yes, in the long run, we need to get a greater share of African-Americans, but with the advent of Obama it will be at least 8 years unless he really goofs up (which I hope he doesn’t).

  14. cassandra_m says:

    I was wrong about the year — it was 2006 — but not wrong about the decisive defeats of these candidates who weren’t especially well supported by their own party. 2 of the 3 were office holders who found their party’s glass ceiling, I gather.

    But enjoy your delusion about Steele having a plan to get voters back!

  15. David says:

    They were well supported by their party. The problem in Ohio was that a combination of Governor Taff and President Bush was too much for anyone to overcome on a statewide basis. Even Mike DeWine lost his reelection bid.

    Lt. Gov. Steele had a close race not a decisive blowout unless the term has no meaning. I don’t really expect you to believe or care about his plans. He is the enemy as far as you’re concern

  16. cassandra_m says:

    Cardin — 54%; Steele –44%
    Strickland — 60.5%; Blackwell — 35.6%
    Rendell — 60%; Swann — 40%

    No close races among them. Which won’t stop you from trying to revise the history. Each of these R candidates was beaten quite decisively. And Steele’s plan is largely about doubling down on what has already failed, which is not a strategy for broadening the tent.

  17. anonone says:

    Those are FACTS, Cassandra_m. You know our repub friends like Dave HATE FACTS. Particularly, cold and hard ones.

    They’d much rather just make stuff up.

    And this cracked me up: “Even Mike DeWine lost his reelection bid.”

    Like it was even close:
    Sherrod Brown : 55.88%
    Mike DeWine: 44.08%