I get asked sometimes, “Jeff, why do you hate Republicans?”
Frankly,, that question puzzles me. I have never said I hate Republicans. Because I don’t. I don’t like lot of Republicans, but that dislike grows with the distance between local level and national Republicans. The further up the political food chain you go the less likable Republicans get.
After last year’s electoral shellacking some of the smarter members of the Grand Old Party came to recognize they had a serious image problem with people of color. They resolved to do something about that. They needed to fix the image. Never mind the awful policies or the awful personalities articulating the policies. The rebranding of the Republican Party wasn’t going to be about coming up with a better brand of dog food. The goal was to convince the dogs that they just weren’t getting the message.
A better question would be, “Why do Republicans hate me and anyone that looks like me.”
The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, whose name sounds like a shampoo ingredient, laid out his master plan to win over Blacks, Latinos and Asians who had gone big for President Obama and the Democrats in 2012.
While Democrats benefited from well invested and expansive political operations in states across the country in 2012, Priebus acknowledged the Republicans faced a deficit in that area and said the GOP would combat shortfall by launching a $10 million initiative dedicated to outreach in minority communities.
“The Obama campaign lived in these communities for years. Their relationships were deep. They were authentic,” Priebus said. “We’re going to be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year which will include hundreds of people, paid, across the country, from coast to coast, in Hispanic, African American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in, going to community events, going to swearing-in ceremonies being a part of the community on an ongoing basis paid for by the Republican National Committee, to make the case for our party and our candidates.”
Yeah, you have fun with that, R.P. Priebus may be sincere in broadening the GOP base, but not everyone is on board with the initiative. Some to ridiculous extremes.
Jim Gile, a Republican commissioner in Saline County, Kansas, used an offensive racial slur during an argument with a fellow commissioner, but he wants everyone to know that he isn’t a racist because he’s “built Habitat homes for colored people,” and also that he has a black friend:
In a recording made by County Clerk Don Merriman of the study session, Gile, who is white, can be heard to say the county needed to hire an architect to design the improvements rather than “nigger-rigging it.”
His comment brought laughter from others in the room. Salinan Ray Hruska, who attends most commission meetings and study sessions, asked Gile what he said.
“Afro-Americanized,” Gile replied. . . .
Gile said he grew up around the term, but it is something he shouldn’t have used.
“I am not a prejudiced person,” Gile said Friday. “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.”
Gile said he also has a close friend whom he regards as a sister who is black.
Damn man, could you fuck that up any worse?
It would be a mistake to allow one idiot Republican nobody in Kansas to cock up the entire idea of outreach, which is a good idea. It shows there are people left in the GOP who actually get it that there’s a problem here. The thing is the Republicans have spent such a long time dividing the country along racial lines and appealing to fear of “the other” that they can’t just turn on a dime and become the party of openness and diversity. It’s like squeezing your feet into shoes one size too small. It’s a bad fit.
When you’re a political party who’s been wiped out in consecutive presidential elections and you’re tired of being called old, White and racist, who you gonna call? The Super Six G.O.P. Outreach Team!
Rep. Don “Wetback” Young
Jim “the Nigger Rigger” Gile
Dr. Ben “Gay Marriage Will Lead to Pedophilia and Bestiality” Carson
Sean “Ben’s Ass and My Lips” Hannity
Sen. Rand “Hey, I Love the Civil Rights Act” Paul
Sarah “Shuck and Jive” Palin
and Reince Preiebus as Professor X.
It’s hard to clean up the image of a party that lives and thrives on racial baiting and the politics of polarization
These half-assed efforts at “outreach” might be a sign Republicans just aren’t any goddamned good at this sort of thing.
- GOP Official Apologizes To ‘Colored People’ For Using Racial Slur (thinkprogress.org)
- Priebus: RNC to spend $10M on minority outreach this year (thehill.com)
- GOP outreach to African-American voters: ‘It’s going to take more’ than talk (tv.msnbc.com)