Welcome to the Rethuglican Circus–It’s the Small Tent to the Right

From Adam Serwer at The American Prospect:

In some ways, the race for RNC chair was terribly predictable. […] I predicted that if Obama won, the monochromatic GOP would be desperate to field an RNC chair with a black face, and so they would pick Michael Steele. While Ken Blackwell struck all the right positions, the party had already been burned by a doctrinaire conservative who wasn’t very smart.

Steele is smart. From the beginning of the race, he plucked exactly the right strings. In an interview with the Washington Times, he decried “country Club conservatives,” a move made more meaningful by [Katon] Dawson’s entrance into the race. [Dawson had to quit his membership in an all-white country club.] From Sarah Palin, such complaints rang false; despite her populist tone Palin wanted to be a part of the country club set as much as anyone. But from Steele, it sounded genuine.

But Steele, like Blackwell, struck his own Faustian bargain with the racist impulses of the GOP.

Original DVD cover.

He alleged that Barack Obama “played the race card beautifully” during the election, adding that the GOP shouldn’t go easy on Obama “just because the President of the United States happens to be a black man.” Both of these views put him at odds with the majority of black folks in the country, who are solidly behind the president and who won’t countenance outreach based on the idea that Obama had it easier because he’s black. The subtle implication was that the party could change its face, even if it didn’t change its tone.

When former RNC candidate Chip Saltsman sent around a CD to RNC donors containing Paul Shanklin’s song “Barack, the Magic Negro,” Blackwell took that Faustian bargain to the bank, alleging that everyone was being too sensitive. Steele fumed in silence, expressing his frustration only to bloggers from the Center for American Progress.


But Steele, loyally obeying the 11th Commandment, (“Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican”), didn’t step into the breach, he stayed silent. In doing so he showed an unwillingness to curb the GOP’s most harmful impulses, even when he knows they’re hurting the party. As RNC chair, he’ll have to find someway to rescind the implicit agreement he made at the beginning of the race to be the mouthpiece for traditional Republican views on race.


Reaching out to minorities from the party of Rush Limbaugh won’t be easy, even if the GOP weren’t in the midst of an identity crisis. And Steele will have to contend with the fact that man he has to spend the next four years tearing down is the same one he owes his new job to.


Filed under 2008 election, Barack Obama, humor, movies, parody, politics, Racism, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

20 responses to “Welcome to the Rethuglican Circus–It’s the Small Tent to the Right

  1. jeb

    Steele has indeed made a deal with the devil. There are so many GOPers who really believe Barack won because of the color of his skin. They can’t believe, nor accept, that he brought a concept of unity that the country was desperate for after the disaster of the last eight years.

    As we get deeper into the Obama presidency, it will be difficult for some of them to refrain from expressing their biases and ignorance when referring to the President. Steele is going to wind up having to do a lot of damage control.

  2. i like this question that FoundingFatherDAR asked over at the big orange:

    Will some Republicans accuse Steele of only getting the job because of “affirmative action”? Because that’s an accusation that came out as to why Obama became POTUS.

    i don’t understand why anyone who isn’t a wasp would put their eggs in the rethuglican basket.

  3. jlms qkw - jenn

    i simply do not understand why any person of color or any gay person would be a republican. does.not.compute

    thanks bunches nonnie!

  4. i don’t understand it either, jenn. i guess it comes down to self-hate. those who are members of minority groups are like abused women who bend over backwards to make excuses for their abusers.

  5. there will be no escaping the steele got his job because — route. but who cares – the more the rest of the idiot GOP in congress digs their heels in and kiss Rush’s ass – it almost doesnt matter who runs this “circus”

  6. Alfie

    Actually there are gays and other minorities in the GOP for the same reason many of the whites are there. As Americans they believe in lower taxes, harder stands against crime and more economic opportunity.
    Sadly in the two party system we have the real meat is never served up even now with the economic crisis.
    And for a fuller disclosure on Steele. He has spoken against the GOP and the Bush Admin. loud and clear. It’ll be sad if people get caught up on his skin tone just like it is to harbor those thoughts on BHO.
    Steele will serve the position well and if certain GOP nationals like Romney,Pawlenty and Sanford step up and over the relics you’ll have a party that none of you would vote for, but would have to admit a glimmer of respect for.

  7. LOL, man that really gets under your skin when a black guy doesn’t bow down to the crown of liberal victimhood huh?

    This reminded me of you nonnie…


  8. alfie,
    with all due respect, where are all those gays and african-americans and women in elected offices in the gop? compare the stats:

    this is from pew forum:


    protestant: 111 house, 26 senate
    catholic: 98 house 17 senate
    jewish: 31 house, 11 senate (including joe mcliebercain and bernie sanders)
    mormon: 2 senate, 2 house
    orthodox: 4 house
    other faiths: 2 house, 1 senate
    buddhist: 2 house
    unspecified: 5 house


    protestant: 128 house, 27 senate
    catholic: 37 house, 9 senate
    jewish: 1 house, 1 senate
    mormon: 7 house, 3 senate
    orthodox: 2 house, 1 senate
    other christian: 3 house

    how about women?

    house: 17 repubs, 62 dems
    senate: 4 repubs, 14 dems

    there are no openly gay repubs in congress. there are no african-american repubs in congress. there is one hispanic repub senator, and a handful of hispanic repubs in the house.

    while i really do believe that there are decent republicans whose hearts are in the right place (no pun intended), you cannot convince me that electing michael steele as the head of the rnc makes it a diverse party. that is especially true when others in the running send out cds with songs about magic negroes and belong to all-white country clubs. when ads like the ones run against harold ford are applauded by the repubs, don’t tell me how racially sensitive they are.

    michael steele won, because the repubs were embarrassed into electing him. the fact that he didn’t vociferously denounce the magic negro song tells me that he is willing to turn a blind eye to racism in the party he is now supposedly leads.

  9. trm,
    michael steele can do whatever he wants. i could care less. however, don’t hold him up as proof of how diverse the repub party is when the statistics prove just the opposite.

  10. Alfie

    nonnie I was talking about real people on the street. are they the minority ? perhaps,probably. But then again seeing as the dems are the party of labels does it really matter. I’ll stick with people no matter the skin,accent or sexual desire care about America as a whole

  11. Alfie

    Also I find it funny that so many people have a willingness to call steele a tom or token. does anyone on the left have the intellectual honesty or capacity to ponder that given the choices steele represented the best departure from bush et al. dare i say it ? steele represented CHANGE

  12. alfie,
    the dems are the party of labels? i didn’t hear them throwing around terms like fascist, socialist, communist, etc. during the campaign and even afterwards.

    you can’t tell me that capt underpants picked princess sarah for veep for any other reason than to try to grab disgruntled hillary voters. a black man wins the presidency, and suddenly the rethuglican party picks a black man for the head of the rnc. coincidence? i honestly don’t think so.

    are there people of color and gays and other minorities who embrace the conservative fiscal point of view? absolutely, and i can understand that. however, i cannot understand how they can also endorse the social policies of the rethug party that would permanently make the same people second-class citizens.

    steele doesn’t represent change. he represents window-dressing. if he represented change, he would be publicly chastising the blatant racism in rethuglican campaign ads and the comments of rush limpdick. instead, he makes excuses for them.

  13. Nonnie… I almost passed out when I read your line,

    “i cannot understand how they can also endorse the social policies of the rethug party that would permanently make the same people second-class citizens.”

    in principle, it is not the right that wishes to control and enslave (make people second class citizens) it is the left…. how do you not see that?

    No hugs for you today… you get all prayers……

  14. sorry, I meant to follow with, —->in practice however, both sides are full of shi… well, this is family place right…

  15. no, trm, the right is very happy for women to earn less than men in the same exact jobs. they are happy with crappy schools in poor neighborhoods and against affirmative action. they don’t want gay couples to have the same rights as straight couples.

    are both sides full of $hit? absolutely, but we are stuck with them for the time being.

    if you’re mad at me, trm, nightowl is back. maybe she’ll give you some hugs.

  16. oh nonnie… you are completely wrong on every point…. well.. misguided obviously….. understand liberalism, why don’t you understand conservatism….

  17. i understand conservatism. what i don’t understand is right wing radicalism. the rethugs allowed the party to be taken over by the religious right, and they are conservative only in their social views. you may be surprised to hear that i want there to be an opposition party. however, opposition does not mean obstruction, and the rethugs in congress now are being obstructionists. they say no just to say no. i don’t believe that ever single rethug rep in the house believed that the stimulus bill was bad. however, they voted in lockstep. there is no intellectual honesty, just political games.

  18. well Non sweetheart if somethings a bad ida for the country and the citizens they represent don’t want the reparations (stimulus) bill, why should they bow to it? This may make you mad but I hope the republicans vote no for four years straight…everything that marxist wants to do is bad bad bad

  19. Alfie

    Well I know you’re probably busy creating so I won’t beat a dead horse.

    are both sides full of $hit? absolutely, but we are stuck with them for the time being.

    Thanks for that, at least we can agree on that. I will close with my manners but I beg you to NEVER toss me a softball like this

    they (GOP) are happy with crappy schools in poor neighborhoods and against affirmative action.

  20. alfie,
    the horse, at this point, is undoubtedly writhing in agony. however, i just wanted to underscore one thing. i am speaking about those republicans now in the house and some of those in the senate. i respect true conservatives, but i don’t consider those above in that category. i have some philosophical disagreements with true conservatives, but i understand where they are coming from.