CPAC 2014: Empty Rooms, Emptier Rhetoric.

This room is actually full.  Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

This room is actually full. Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

Last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) was the annual gathering of the tribes of Right-Wing Nation.   Everybody who’s anybody in that crowd was there if they were on the good side of the event’s organizers.  Anybody  on their bad side wasn’t invited.

Apparently Blacks are on CPAC’s bad side.  The 2012 election results revealed the grim truth that the Republican Party has become an old, male, White and Southern vessel, much ado was made about how more had to be done to make outreach to those Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color whom don’t find the Grand Old Party one they feel welcomed to be part of.   With that backdrop, CPAC conducted a minority outreach panel discussion.

The problem was there weren’t many minorities in attendance.   Or anybody else either.

The panel’s theme was GOP outreach to minority communities and the panelists were Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and three Black political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson.   All benchwarmers and nobodies.

None of the Black conservative All-Stars were there.  Ben Carson and Allen West would have showed up but couldn’t take a break from the shoe shine stand.   Mia Love was watching some White woman’s kids.  David Webb was parking cars.  Tim Scott was bussing tables and Artur Davis was frying chicken.  Herman Cain and Crystal Wright couldn’t get off their day jobs at McDonald’s. Those burgers ain’t gonna flip themselves!

Conservatives don’t have a diversity problem.  They don’t even believe in diversity.  They believe they have a messaging problem.  They have a lack of Blacks who think as they do and can carry their message back to other Blacks.   An auditorium of row after empty row of chairs may look embarrassing to those outside of CPAC, to those inside CPAC, it’s not embarrassing at all.  Opening their arms to invite more people of color in sounds nice in theory, but as a priority it isn’t one.

For years Carson, West, Cain and their ilk have yammering like kindergarten kids cranked up on too much sugar in their cherry Kool-Aid how Blacks are taken for granted by Democrats.  How Blacks are played for suckers by Democrats.  How Democrats treat Black like slaves and keep them on their plantation.

“No, I don’t want Dr. Carson as a running mate. I’M a doctor!”

Here was an opportunity to show 30 million African-Americans what the conservative alternative is and they LITERALLY COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP!   Outside of the Republican National Convention, CPAC is the biggest gathering of American conservatives and if they don’t care how old, how White and how unrepresentative of the country their movement is people of color won’t either.

A word about Dr. Ben Carson placing third in the CPAC presidential straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Big deal.   Carson is the current Great Black Hope of the White Right with some fantasizing he would be a Hillary stopper as he could dent her percentage of the African-American vote.

That’s a fantasy shattered by the reality that Carson would have to step out of his CPAC/Fox News comfort zone and actually face skeptical audiences unimpressed by his vagueness and real journalists who won’t pitch him slow rollers across the plate.   If “lack of experience” is a rap Republicans have hung around Barack Obama’s neck,  he looks like a Washington lifer compared to the callow Carson who has never run for any elected office, never served in a presidential administration and doesn’t seem to have any policy positions.  Even Horny Herman Cain was more qualified.

Carson is the featured Flavor of the Month.  He soaks up the adulation of the White Right like cornbread does gravy, but like cornbread, he’ll crumble under the pressure of an actual presidential campaign.

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

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Michael “Bojangles” Steele gets served by Massa Rush.

This is a first for me.  I’m going to make a retraction.

A month ago, following his election as the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I sarcastically called former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele the “H.N.I.C. of the RNC.”

For those who may not know, “H.N.I.C.” stands for “Head Negro In Charge.”  Some people change “Negro” to another N-word, but I’m not quite that crass.  At least not today.

I shouldn’t have referred to Steele as a Head Negro In Charge and for that I’d like to apologize.

I should have called him The RNC’s House Negro.   Lawn Jockey. Hankerchief Head.  Maybe Michael “Bojangles” Steele.  Something classy like that.

Seems Steele was dumb enough to think because he was elected chairman of the RNC that he actually ran the Republican Party.  What a silly Negro!

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.” link

“Steele thinks he’s in charge? What a silly Negro.”

Steele had appeared on CNN where he told comedian D.L. Hughley and rapper Chuck D, that he, not Limbaugh, was the de facto head of the Republican Party.

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele took umbrage Saturday night when CNN’s D.L. Hughley referred to radio host Rush Limbaugh as “the de facto leader of the Republican party.”

“No he’s not. I’m the de facto leader of the Republican party,”
Steele said. The RNC chief went on to call Limbaugh, who that very day delivered the keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, a mere “entertainer” whose show is “incendiary” and “ugly.”
link

Steele’s lapse into being uppity drew the wrath of Rush.

“You know who needs a little leadership? Michael Steele and those at the RNC,” Limbaugh said, part of an unusual counter-attack against the elected head of the GOP.

“I hope the RNC chairman will realize he’s not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats don’t nominate our candidates,” Limbaugh said, his voice rising. “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”

“I’m not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don’t want to be,” he said. “I would be embarrassed to say that I’m in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it’s in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it’s in, I would quit. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years.” link

…Andddddd with the message delivered loud and clear from the Mouth That Roared, Steele couldn’t punk out and start smooching Rush’s ample backside fast enough.

Who be de boss ub de Republicans Party?  Not ME, Massa Rush.

“Who be de boss ub de Republicans Party? Not ME, Massa Rush.”

“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. “It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.”

“I’m not going to engage these guys and sit back and provide them the popcorn for a fight between me and Rush Limbaugh,” Steele added. “No such thing is going to happen. … I wasn’t trying to slam him or anything.”

Tune in for tomorrow’s episode of Who’s the Boss? starring Rush Limbaugh as the Most High Lord of the Republican Party and Michael “Bojangles” Steele as the chastised man servant.