I guess this is what happens when you cheat and lie so consistently that even the Traditional Media have to admit they know what’s going on.
Of course, the Republicans walk right into the trap, “only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air”. They’ve got a bumper crop of candidates vying to become the Howard Dean of the racist, homophobic, xenophobic creationist party. (If only we could add “the war party.”)
Leading the pack in a certain sense is Chip Saltsman, formerly Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager, who famously distributed a music CD to party members that included comedian Rush Limbaugh’s parody song “Barack the Magic Negro”.
Some Republicans considered this in bad taste; a larger percentage considered it bad PR. Mike Duncan, the current RNC chairman who hails from the enlightened state of Kentucky and is running for re-election, said:
The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party. I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate, as it clearly does not move us in the right direction…
Ken Blackwell is another candidate for RNC chair. You’ll probably remember him best, or worst, as the Ohio Secretary of State who rigged Bush into the White House in 2004. Lately he’s been in the news as an African-American asked to comment on Saltsman’s CD. Predictably, Blackwell, who’s reached the semifinals of the Ward Connerly Imitators Championship while simultaneously racing for the RNC chair, blamed the media for the to-do over the CD.
Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president…
Absolutely. There were no racial issues, no hypersensitivity, before the country made the mistake of electing Obama. Now we’ve gotta deal with this extra layer of stuff. If only we’d elected Strom Thurmond back in ’48, none of this would have happend, eh?
Presumably the complete lack of African-American faces among the Republicans in Congress is balanced by the big-tent inclusion of two black contenders for RNC chair. Along with Blackwell, whose loyalties have been proven under fire, there’s Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, who you kinda figure doesn’t have a real chance. Consider, for example, his statement on the Saltsman CD.
…we must be mindful that self-inflicted wounds not only distract us from regaining our strength as a Party, but further diminish our credibility with an increasingly diverse community of voters. As RNC Chairman, I want us to be a lot smarter about such things and more appreciative that our actions always speak louder than our words.
Smarter? You’re running on making the Republican party smarter?? And reality-based??? Okay, well, good luck with that endeavor. It seems a little out of step to me, but what do I know about Republicans?
But all this is the kind of stuff the TM has traditonally lapped up, the horse-race aspect. No need to insert any information or analyze a statement’s truth or falsehood; just report speculation passed in a cab or a bar and call it a day. What’s really encouraging, for a normal citizen at least, though some Republicans will be unhappy, is to see the media reporting critical information, putting copies of contested ballots on the web in a standard format in case claims of impropriety arise.
No longer do we assume that our fellow citizens are as committed to democracy as we are. This is an advance, because it brings our internal models closer to reality. In The Temple and the Lodge, Baigent and Leigh remark:
One has attained a measure of wisdom when, instead of exclaiming “Et tu, Brute!”, one nods ruefully and says, “Yes, it figures.”