Thursday, April 22, 2010

GOP chairman: African-Americans not given good reason to vote for party.

I honestly wonder how long Michael Steele can soldier on if he keeps saying things like this.

Why should an African-American vote Republican?

"You really don't have a reason to, to be honest -- we haven't done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True," Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told 200 DePaul University students Tuesday night.

And the reasons he gives for saying this?

"We have lost sight of the historic, integral link between the party and African-Americans," Steele said. "This party was co-founded by blacks, among them Frederick Douglass. The Republican Party had a hand in forming the NAACP, and yet we have mistreated that relationship. People don't walk away from parties, Their parties walk away from them.

"For the last 40-plus years we had a 'Southern Strategy' that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South. Well, guess what happened in 1992, folks, 'Bubba' went back home to the Democratic Party and voted for Bill Clinton."

I don't disagree with the sentiments that he is expressing, Nixon did indeed implement the "Southern Strategy".

However, I am puzzled that he can make this entirely sensible point whilst also espousing the need to listen to the Tea Party movement.

"I have advised our state chairs: Don't turn your nose up, or turn away those who are active in the Tea Party movement. Embrace them. Welcome them. Talk to them," Steele said. "Those activists have now become a very large part of our voting bloc. They represent a third or more of the voting age population, so they're going to have a profound impact on elections and in some cases in the primaries this November and this spring. Both parties had better pay attention."

What are the Tea party movement, if not a collection of disgruntled whites wanting to "take back our country" from the first ever black president?

Steele is making the sensible point that the Republicans have for far too long centred their message on the white Southern vote, but then he asks that the party listens to the Tea Party movement who seem, to me, to be the latest manifestation of that strategy.

It's a contradictory message. He appears to be trying to ride two horses which are moving in opposite directions.

Click here for full article.

No comments: