It appears that the Republican party is interested in re-branding their image. For some strange reason — I’m not sure if getting their asses kicked in the last election means anything — they’ve decided that there’s a need to be more inclusive, respectful, and mindful of minority voters. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus hinted at this new strategy, much to my astonishment while attending a function hosted by Black Republicans in Brooklyn last Friday, while attending an outreach to black voters hosted by black Republicans in Brooklyn, New York last Friday (yes, I’m as shocked as you to know that there are indeed Black Republicans living in Brooklyn).
But of course, as irony would have it, not everyone in the party is on the same page when it comes to the aforementioned project. Heck, one only needs to look at what happened on the very same day while Black Republicans attempted their version of Negro outreach at CPAC (read here). Last Monday, as fate would have it, on the very day the RNC’s plan to spend $10 million towards this effort, President Obama nominated Thomas Perez, a Hispanic, to be Secretary Of Labor. A good move considering the lack of diversity within his cabinet; but, don’t tell that to the likes of Rush Limbaugh for whom the temptation to be a racist buffoon was hard.
This from NBCLatino:
Rush Limbaugh’s reaction to the nomination of Thomas Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor by President Obama left even fellow Republicans scratching their heads, after Limbaugh likened Perez to both Hugo Chavez and a member of the Ku Klux Klan in less than two minutes on his radio show.
“This guy’s name is Tom Perez and he may as well be Hugo Chavez, and that is not an exaggeration,” Limbaugh began, saying Perez was “the guy in the Department of Justice in the civil rights division who made the call not to prosecute the New Black Panthers.”
Limbaugh said listeners should imagine George W. Bush nominating someone who didn’t prosecute the Ku Klux Klan when they engaged in voter intimidation. “And then after not prosecuting klanners for that, then imagine what would happen if Bush turned around and nominated the Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan to a cabinet position where he would be deciding on discrimination lawsuits,” he said. “There would be unmitigated hell to pay – if George W. Bush put a klansman in his cabinet there would be hell to pay, that’s essentially what’s happened here.” (source)
For his remarks, Limbaugh came under heavy fire from Republicans (I see you Michael Steele). And much like the revelation of black Republicans living in Brooklyn, I was surprised. With Limbaugh being the de facto leader of the Republican party, this pushback is significant. To me, it signals that my right-wing friends are as serious as colon cancer about winning over minority voters for the next election cycle. However, the cynic in me says that will have very little success. Why? Because it’s going to take more than $10 million to erase the many years of vitriol they’ve hurled at people of color. Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, this point was made quite clear. The question I have, however, is where was this pushback against Limbaugh’s racist comments for the last four years?