An article at Politico quotes Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway:
Republicans will need to exercise less deafness and more deftness in dealing with a different looking candidate, whether it is a woman or a black man.
If only I could have exercised more blindness before reading that. Apparently there’s a big GOP plan underway to ensure that Republicans aren’t insensitive to race or gender and don’t succumb to “undisciplined messaging” while campaigning against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. David Paul Kuhn writes: “Many expect to be held to a higher rhetorical standard than is customary in campaigns, in part because of perceptions of intolerance that still dog the party.” Has is not been this season’s Democrats who’ve demonstrated a base reliance on the “perceptions of intolerance”? Frankly, the Republicans would have to go pretty far to match the “undisciplined messaging” displayed by Bill Clinton in his effort to convince White voters that his wife was with them. Here’s more:
Republicans will be told to “be sensitive to tone and stick to the substance of the discussion” and that “the key is that you have to be sensitive to the fact that you are running against historic firsts,” the strategist explained.
What about policy and ability? Must the whole country take part in this obsession with “historic firsts” or can we view the identity-poisoned Democratic race as a cautionary tale and move on? Having watched the Democrats use identity as a deadly weapon while pretending to celebrate diversity, I’ve had enough deftness to last me a lifetime.