Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If the GOP is going to do some “soul searching”, they need to admit a few things to themselves.

Namely, they need to understand the difference between personal attacks and political criticism. Republicans have so blurred the distinction between these two very different things that they actually do not understand there is a difference. Catch the last quote in this bit from HuffPo.

In private, GOP officials admit to being at a politically dangerous crossroads when it comes to minorities. Reaction to Chip Saltsman's distribution of a CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro" has been mixed. James Richardson, a former RNC staffer, called it "political suicide." Current RNC chair Mike Duncan said he was "shocked and appalled." But Ken Blackwell, the African-American former Ohio Attorney General and another candidate for the chairmanship, dismissed criticism as "hypersensitivity in the press."

"Look, the GOP needs to be inclusive and more sensitive," a high-ranking Republican explained to the Huffington Post. "On the other hand if we are going to fall apart in pieces every time someone yells racism than we are going to lose the next four years.... Because that means that the left is allowed to talk about race but we are not. There has got to be a way to talk about the president's agenda without falling into this trap."

This guy seemed to be talking about whether or not something gets tagged as racism. Fair enough. If I were him, I wouldn’t like it if a valid criticism of the Obama administration was met with cries of “racist!” That would sort of be like what the Republicans do now with cries of “class warfare!” in response to any criticism of their social policies, such as, oh, any attempt to privatize Social Security. That kind of knee-jerk response is classified as an “inappropriate red-herring” in my mind, no matter which side is doing the freak-out cries of victimization as a way of clouding the issue. So, as far as this goes, I am with this guy. But then he says this.

“There has got to be a way to talk about the president's agenda without falling into this trap.”

Uh, excuse please? It seems to me there are unlimited ways of talking about (soon to be) President Obama’s agenda without bringing race into it. It’s called “discussing the issues.” Republicans really ought to try it some time. It actually might work and we might actually get something done here for the actual good of the country that isn’t being tallied as scoring political points off one’s enemies. And a debate about whether or not a political “joke” song titled “Barack, the Magic Negro” is or is not racist is not “discussing the issues.”

Jerk... Even when a Republican is trying to make sense and make a good point, they usually seem to screw it up.

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