12.30.2008

The national Republican party is apparently *desparate* for direction

If you aren't aware of political goings-ons, the Republican National Committee chairmanship is up for grabs right now and we have some real *winners* wading into the race.
Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform and has been a fixture in the D.C. GOP scene for nearly three decades, wants the candidates to appeal to a wider group of Republicans beyond the 168 members of the committee. He also wants to establish the RNC as a body independent of future elected officials.

...

Norquist "has a unique capability to insert himself into whatever the next big thing is," says Republican strategist Rich Galen, a former top aide to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). "It's just Grover being Grover."
Oh yah, yuk yuk, I've seen that from him.

























In case you don't recognize it, that's New Orleans. Post Katrina. But, you know, I'm sure he'll help the right candidate rise to the top. Like...oh, maybe this guy.
RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.
If you never heard the song, you can go here. I'm not embedding that disgustingly ignorant piece of trash on my blog. I don't give a rat's ass *what* it's *supposed* to be, it's gross.

And the reactions he's getting? Well....

LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Peter, Paul and Mary must be spinning around that their own song, of all people, of all groups, you know, to use their "Puff the Magic Dragon." It's tasteful parody. See, it's one thing if Rush Limbaugh wants to use it on his show. It is another thing when an official, especially one who aspires to be a Republican National Committee chairman takes it out of the Rush Limbaugh venue and puts it into a political context. So, it is -- it is not -- that is the message that he wants to send, it is impossible to think he would ever be elected RNC chairman now.

LEMON: But Lynn, I'm getting e-mails from people and notes on Facebook and Twitter saying, you know what, this was taken care of -- wasn't this taken care of during the campaign? People thought it was racist? Rush Limbaugh has been doing this for a year now. Why are you bringing it up? For the fact that your bringing it up is because people like Reid, and you guys, you uncover that someone was distributing it again.

SWEET: Well, that's what makes it different, is that it left the confines of the Rush Limbaugh show.

LEMON: Reid?

WILSON: That's absolutely right. It was sent out to all 168 members of the Republican National Committee. Some of whom -- at least one of whom I was told wanted it out of his house. He didn't want the CD anywhere near him, and he threw it away as fast as could. This is something that the Republican Party is really dealing with right now. They got somewhere between, you know, four and five percent of the African-American vote. You are not going to attract a lot of African-American voters in 2010 or 2012 if you're, well, engaging in this sort of, well, what could be a joke, doesn't really look like, though.

LEMON: Whatever you think of it. I mean, it wasn't real smart to send it out. Come on, let's be honest. I mean, I'm not going to call anyone a racist here, but these are grown men, and you have to suffer the consequences of whatever you do.

You can't have it both ways. There's an old saying, if you have to explain the joke, it ain't funny. And this isn't funny.

Alienating a whole segment of this country may be fine with Saltsman, but he's running for a position where he will be directing and *leading* the Republican Party in an attempt to *gain* votes and *gain* support. And the Republican Party---or at least the 168 people who get to vote for the RNC Chairmanship---has to decide whether they want the RNC's next slogan to be "Barack's articulate and bright and new and clean."

And don't think for a minute it hasn't already affected how people look at the RNC.

Today on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall hosted a segment discussing RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting this year that contained a CD with the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on it. During the discussion, Kate Obenshain, vice president of Young America’s Foundation, defended the song, calling it “a parody.” But Hall, an African-American, quickly interjected, saying there is nothing “funny or amusing” about it:

HALL: Well let me tell you this — if someone referred to me as “Tamron Hall the Magic Negro Anchor Lady,” I would never see it as anything funny or amusing.

Hall later told Obenshain, “you’re not going to win a lot of people over calling them ‘Magic Negros.’”
Now, I'm not a Republican, but a functioning opposition party is a necessity. And I don't think this is how you build a party. But maybe that's just me.

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