December 28, 2008

Republicans: Tone Deaf, Indifferent to Blacks

RNC chairman condemns controversial Obama song -

This little tempest in a teapot highlights two issues:

Issue 1: Republicans have the appearance, if not the reality of being tone deaf.  Sending out to RNC members a parody CD titled "We Hate America"? that's full of parodies of liberals and pushing the point that they are less patriotic? Asinine.  We just got done with an election in which a clear message was that Americans are sick of the partisanship and want policy makers to get down to the business of problem solving.  This incident sends the message that republicans don't get it.

Issue 2: this is the smaller deal, simply because republicans don't care, but the Magic Negro stuff merely highlights what is really a fact about the party which is that we don't see blacks or black issues as a constituency to attract or collaborate with in terms of the party's aspirations for governance.  We would not make such a mistake with the Jewish or Catholic constituencies, but we exhibit this kind of casual indifference to black voter sensibilities quite a bit.  The message that comes across is that our governance ambitions don't include blacks.

Issue #1, if uncorrected will certainly see the republicans in the wilderness for some time to come.  Issue#2, left uncorrected, will leave the party perpetually vulnerable to the charge of being willfully callous and indifferent to blacks as a political constituency.