Racial Entitlement

Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has declared that he’s going to fix the GOP’s minority problem and that this monumental shift will be his legacy.

Reince Priebus is staking his legacy as Republican National Committee chairman on improving the party’s performance with minority voters.

“I just sort of reached a boiling point on the issue,” Priebus told The Hill in an interview at RNC headquarters on Friday. “I want to fix these problems.” [...]

“Our legacy is going to be that we were the RNC that actually turned the talk into action and cared most about moving the dial, not a couple of good stories that we could spin out and have a few good days here and there, but have a long-lasting change for the future of our party and our country,” he said in an interview. [...]

“In order to start winning presidential elections, I think we have to start winning over people’s hearts,” Priebus said. “It’s an emotional vote and it’s a cultural vote. I think at times we divorce ourselves from the culture. We shouldn’t.”

This is a noble goal and well advised if they’re interested in winning back the White House, but I wish him the best of luck because he’s going to need it.

Priebus announced his intentions mere days after Supreme Court Justice Scalia went on a tirade and described the Voting Rights Act as a racial entitlement, and while I wouldn’t necessarily link the words of a Supreme Court justice to the Republican party, even if Scalia himself is more or less a poster child, I don’t have to do so because the communications department of the RNC (Fox News) will leap to his defense for me.

Which brings me to my next point — how many movers and thinkers in the conservative movement nodded their head in agreement as they read and listened to Scalia’s words?

I can only speculate, but I would I guess quite a few did. And if there were any cringes to be had, they would have spawned out of fear that his words may threaten the party’s image or that members of the Lunatic Base may enunciate their agreement, not because they believe he was wrong. I feel that is a safe assumption given that the establishment of the Republican party also firmly believes that President Obama won the 2012 election because he promised to hand out more “free stuff” to the 47 percent. These are two ugly heads attached to the same hydra.

Dispatching Paul Ryan to deliver The Gospel of the Free Market to minority neighborhoods or instructing Macro Rubio to produce a Harlem Shake video in the halls of congress while reciting a few lines from Tupac is not a substitute for looking inward and changing how you personally view fellow human beings. And if Reince Priebus really intends to stake his legacy of fixing the party, he and the rest of the party faithful should begin with an exercise in self-examination.

While we’re on the subject of racial entitlement, the NAACP released a statement yesterday addressing Justice Scalia’s remarks.

“Democracy is an American entitlement. Voting rights protection is an American entitlement. Guaranteed access to the ballot box is not the right of one race, one age group, or one economic class. Assaulting the Voting Rights Act, on the other hand, is an assault on America’s ability to be America for all Americans,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP. “While much has changed since 1965, the record is clear that discriminatory election practices still exist in counties like Shelby County and states like Alabama.

“Justice Scalia should refrain from speculating on the thoughts and motivations of the Congress and defer to the judgment of the overwhelming bipartisan majority that voted for reauthorization in 2006.”

It has been less than year since former presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to the NAACP and decried people who simply want more “free stuff.”

(h/t Kush Arora)
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  • Victor_the_Crab

    Didn’t the Republicans try reaching out to minorities with the guy preceding Priebus, Michael Steele? How’d THAT work out, hmmm?

    • muselet

      If the R establishment—and the TPers—had let Michael Steele do his job, the GOP would almost certainly have in place as effective an outreach program for minority voters as possible, given the party’s platform. And I say that as someone who is emphatically not a fan of Michael Steele.

      –alopecia

  • muselet

    “In order to start winning presidential elections, I think we have to start winning over people’s hearts,” Priebus said. “It’s an emotional vote and it’s a cultural vote. I think at times we divorce ourselves from the culture. We shouldn’t.”

    Yes, those people are all emotional and stuff. They don’t vote based on candidates’ policy positions, they vote based on which candidate can dance the Lambada or quote rap lyrics. *headdesk*

    As I’ve said here many times before, if I were any paler I’d be translucent. And I’d like to take this opportunity to beg Reince Priebus to please shut up. Not because he’s embarrassing himself and making his political party irrelevant—I’m more than fine with those things—but because he’s making us sane honkies/gabachos look bad.

    –alopecia

  • http://www.facebook.com/samella.williams Samella Williams

    Michael Steele would not have made a difference. We are not stupid.

  • jlaurence22000@yahoo.com

    Isn’t the American political system based on a separation of powers? To an outsider, Scalia’s recent comments on the voting motivations of Congress cast the entire democracy into doubt.