Wednesday, January 28, 2009

RNC: Rock Bottom Coming Any Day Now

For whatever reason, I've been following the race for the new Chairman of the RNC especially closely. Many bloggers have found that little campaign to be an exercise in unintentional comedy - and I'd have to agree - but I think it also happens to be fascinatingly microcosmic of the GOP's larger need to reorient given the new political environment.

I was almost certain after the election that Michael Steele, the African American former Lt. Governor of Maryland, was a sure thing. I felt this way because the Republican brand had become such poison to the minds of... well pretty much everyone outside of Southern White Men.

I figured, because it was statistically evident, that Republicans would realize that they couldn't continue to hemorrhage Latinos, white Catholics, and suburbanites from their caucus. I imagined that, if only out of the need for self-preservation, that RNC voters would elect someone that could help reinvent the GOP as a legitimate national party.

Steele, in addition to being a token minority in the GOP, also happens to be pretty smart and charismatic. He's also from a 'northern' state, one with a huge suburban population that has become non competitive for the GOP.

Given the leadership vacuum in today's GOP, Steele seemed like a sensible choice, one that would have mirrored (image-wise, to become a national party) what the DNC did (substance-wise, to become a national party) under Howard Dean after Kerry's loss in 2004.

After Gingrich opted out of the RNC race to sort of? back Steele, I figured Steele's chances had only improved. Gingrich is a huge mark for Bobby Jindal and it seemed intuitive that RNCers would start orienting themselves to take advantage of some of their younger rising stars.

But that's not what has happened at all...

Nobody's getting whipped into line for this. In fact, the race has seemed to grow more fractious over time.

On one end you have nonmember candidates like Steele and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. On the other you have several current or former heads of state party organizations including Saul Anuzis (Michigan), Katon Dawson (South Carolina), Mike Duncan (Bush's appointment, formerly head of the Kentucky GOP), and Chip Saltsman (Tennessee).

This Perry Bacon Jr. article
in the Washington Post indicates that RNC voters are reluctant to vote in a nonmember. It also says that Chip Saltsman's 'Barack the Magic Negro' giftbag has effectively killed his chances, contrary to reports of a reactionary boomlet in favor of his candidacy after news of the giftbag leaked. That leaves Azunis, Duncan, and Dawson. (Never mind that Dawson has struggled to explain his long-standing membership in an all-white country club. Guess it hasn't been as big a media-issue as the Saltsman CD)

How interesting it is that so many RNC voters have decided to disqualify the two African American candidates. The rationale for Steele I stated above. Blackwell, for his part, recently racked up the endorsements of many of the major influentials of the conservative movement including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Pat Toomey, Phyllis Schlafly, etc.

But none of that seems to matter since RNC voters have decided to discriminate against nonmember candidates, regardless of qualifications, conservative credentials, potential effectiveness...

Why do you think that is?

Giggle away.


Red said...

I'm glad their malfunctioning away. The longer they sit around contemplating their navels and completely effing up, the more time we have to clean up the mess they made of this country.

Anonymous said...

They don't like Black people.


E said...

I don't believe it!