The headline declares: “Ideology steers RNC chairman race.” Except there aren’t any ideological differences between the candidates. They are all pro-life and all appalled at President Bush’s fiscal laxity. Rather, the race seems to be an argument about who has the worst history in regard to their respective organizations and who might be the most harmful to the party’s prospects for a rebound. So far there are a few contenders.
In that vein, the current RNC Chair pronounces himself “shocked and appalled” by competitor Chip Saltsman’s racial “joke” (a CD containing “Barack The Magic Negro” and the “Star Spanglish Banner”). Saltsman contends it is no big deal and Republicans have “good humor and common sense.” So far Saltsman isn’t getting much support or sympathy.
And really, it’s one thing to lose an election, be relegated to minority status, and fall behind in technology and party organization. But it’s quite another to become reviled, teetering on the brink of public ostracism. If RNC leaders can’t determine what is appealing to minority voters, they should at least determine what is hurtful and hateful. Frequenting whites-only clubs and indulging in adolescent racial jokes fall into the latter category. We’ll see if the RNC can steer clear of a public relations train wreck when they vote for their new chairman in January.