Conservatives Pan the RNC’s Autopsy

The editors of The National Review pan the RNC’s autopsy report which details how the party will reach out to minorities.

But the action items recommended to address these issues are heavy on committee formation (e.g., a “Growth and Opportunity Inclusion Council” with representatives from the African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Native American, and “other” communities) and tokenism (the report’s No. 1 recommendation for reaching out to minorities is to put minorities in charge of outreach). To implement this aspect of the document, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has promised to establish dialogues with groups such as LULAC, La Raza, and the NAACP, which strikes us as unhelpful and willfully blind to the fact that such groups are ideologically opposed to Republican principles. A truly conservative minority-outreach strategy would severely weaken these groups by challenging their claims to represent their respective ethnicities.

What the editors of the Review appear to be saying is that groups such as La Raza and the NAACP will be unresponsive to any conservative outreach effort because accepting conservatives into their ranks would challenge their own power derived from being the sole representatives of their respective ethnic groups. In my opinion, this is a more articulate way of throwing out the “reverse racism” card, because they’re alleging that groups such as the NAACP are only interested in furthering their own importance at the expense of conservative (read: white) voters.

Ironically, the assumption on the part of the RNC’s pathologists that organizations such as the NAACP represent African Americans as if they are a monolith governed by a single body serves as an example of why their plans are doomed from the outset, and the reasons for that have little to do with those outlined by The National Review.

The Review editors also went beyond appearances and criticized the RNC on policy prescriptions as well and, as you can imagine, their objections inevitably focus on the issue of race.

Where the report does get into policy — most notably on the issue of immigration reform — its analysis is shallow and its recommendations opportunistic. Much is pinned on the empirically dubious claim that George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and a nexus is drawn between this factoid and the former president’s conciliatory rhetoric on immigration. But nowhere does the document offer a substantive argument in favor of the kind of comprehensive immigration reform on offer in Washington, or even come close to demonstrating that support for such a program would accrue Republicans more votes than it lost them, considering that Hispanics are often ideologically liberal for reasons beyond immigration.

Of course Hispanic voters care about issues other than immigration, but it seems obvious to me that The National Review is implying that Hispanics are ideologically liberal anyway because they just love Free Stuff. It’s the only reason the editors would throw out the term “ideologically liberal” with a specific reference to the race of the voters.

The RNC can expect to receive no help from the elements of the party that actually have a role in shaping the opinions of their base.

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  • 1933john

    Why not show John Wayne movies.

  • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

    Uh. I hate to be the one to point this out, but Steven Seagal is actually an aikido teacher, or at least has been in the past. And he’s probably a better teacher than he is an actor. He couldn’t possibly be worse.

    • Lazarus Durden

      And he’s also a Sheriff’s Deputy in Florida I think. Still I can’t imagine he’s coming cheaply.

      • Treading_Water

        He had a reality show as a reserve Sheriff’s Deputy in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. (the suburbs of New Orleans) I bet you could get him to your kids b-day party for little more than an audition for The Expendables 3.

    • JMAshby

      He’s still a fake good guy.

  • bphoon

    The moment Reince Pribus said, “Our principles are sound.” I knew they were done. Once again, it’s not the message itself, it’s how it was communicated that was the problem. Until the GOP gets past this and realizes that their message just doesn’t resonate with enough Americans, they’ll continue losing national elections and having to devise ways to rig regional elections in order to have any chance of winning.

  • http://mdblanche.myopenid.com/ mdblanche

    “Of course Hispanic voters care about issues other than immigration, but
    it seems obvious to me that The National Review is implying that
    Hispanics are ideologically liberal anyway because they just love Free
    Stuff.”

    It’s true though that Hispanics mostly support the programs The National Review dismisses as Free Stuff. They’re also more socially liberal than they’re sometimes assumed to be. Unless the Republicans stop acting like cavemen who want the rest of us to starve, the National Review is correct that supporting immigration reform will be a net vote loser for them.

    Of course Priebus isn’t even going that far. He just suggested using “conciliatory rhetoric.”

  • muselet

    A truly conservative minority-outreach strategy would severely weaken these groups by challenging their claims to represent their respective ethnicities.

    “Hey, you colored people! We Republicans represent you better than other colored people do! Why can’t you understand that? What are you, stupid?”

    I can’t see how a truly conservative minority-outreach strategy could possibly go wrong.

    –alopecia