Pardon me for being a little cynical - actually, a lot cynical - about the Republican's new choice for national chairman.
The problem isn't their futile outreach to black and other ethnic minorities, or the relative lack thereof. The problem is their politics. Putting on a blackface, so to speak, isn't going to change that.
Michael Tomasky, whom I especially like because he must explain the vagaries of American politics to an English audience, gets to the heart of things:
In many ways, I feel sorry for Steele. He's being set up to fail, given the changing tide in America politics (not to mention, demographics) and the general repudiation of GOP principles in the last election.
I find this pathetic and hilarious: "Golly, America has elected this black president. Well, we have, like, maybe 10 black Republicans across the entire country, so let's choose one as our figurehead." I exaggerate a little, but in essence, the GOP headed titularly by a black man is the rough equivalent of China being run by a Yugur.
... Aside from which, the assumption that a black Republican candidate will know "their interests and needs" is entertaining. I seem to remember a lot of Republicans complaining last year that the idea that black people would vote for a black presidential candidate was not evidence of a similar assumption but of the "fact" that black people were reverse-racists.
The GOP chairman doesn't articulate a platform, as much as he raises money. We'll see how Steele plays to the party's rock-ribbed neocon wing in the South, the Joe Six-Packs and Joe the Plumbers who we all know love black people so much.
And if all else fails, Steele at least has some ideas on how to roundup the Democratic vote. So it's a win-win no matter what. Continue Reading »