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RNC strategy for African American outreach: internal affirmative action plus more bureaucracy

RNC strategy for African American outreach: internal affirmative action plus more bureaucracy

I’ve just begun to comb through the newly released RNC’s  “Growth and Opportunity Project” report, co-chaired by a group including Ari Fleischer and Haley Barbour. Reading through the methodology, and paying particular attention to the section on African Americans, has left me absolutely fuming.

The report combined interviews with GOP and independent pollsters, politicians, a Hispanic republican voter poll, and voter focus groups in order to learn how to fix what they term “record low” public perception of the Republican Party. Their methodology leaves much to be desired, relying heavily on those within their own circles, and focus groups are notoriously shallow in terms of depth of insight. Nevertheless, at least the group is a step toward acknowledging at least that there is a problem.

LI readers might consider themselves privy to a sort of case study for how the GOP has dismissed and ignored African-American candidate for Congress Paul McKinley (IL-02). Therefore I’d welcome your reaction to the RNC’s findings on “African Americans”:

  • “Similar to the approach it must take with other demographic communities, the RNC must embark on a year-round effort to engage with African American voters. The engagement must include not only persuasion based upon our Party’s principles but also a presence within community organizations.”
  • “…the Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.”

And includes these recommendations:

  • “The RNC should hire African American communications directors and political directors for key states and communities across the country.”
  • “Establish a presence in African American communities and at black organizations such as the NAACP. We are never going to win over voters who are not asked for their support. Too many African American voters have gotten in the habit of supporting Democrats without hearing anyone in their community making a case to the contrary.”
  • “The RNC should create a program that is focused on recruiting and supporting African American Republican candidates for office.”
  • “The RNC must improve on promoting African American staff and candidates within the Party. The GOP should utilize African American elected officials as surrogates both in their communities and with the national media. At the staff level, the personnel should be visible and involved in senior political and budget decisions and not be limited to demographic outreach.”

These findings and recommendations strike me as shallow: more bureaucracy in the form of hires and programs, girded by platitudes  that essentially say, “they really belong with us so let’s hire some of them and support them in running for office.” Not exactly groundbreaking stuff.

We at LI know what’s groundbreaking: not a superficial hire at the RNC but a candidate like Paul McKinley who’s carrying the load of the tired Republican brand into his community and rejuvenating it. His complete non-support, and in the case of the Illinois GOP, downright abandonment, by the Republican powers-that-be is worth studying more than this entire report’s “findings” on African American outreach.

Wake up, RNC. There’s a revolution going on and your brand isn’t going to stick around with recommendations like “hire some of the minorities.” This ought to be a party about ideas, ideas that you seem to have forgotten are more important than embracing the left’s separation of our American populace into demographic interest groups. You don’t need focus groups, you need a complete cleaning of house.


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Hate…hate…hate to say it, but a lot of that smacks of affirmative action.

Of COURSE find and promote good candidates…of whatever freaking color!!!

And THEN keep them around, and keep them directed and responsible.

Seems like a no-brainer.

The RNC is deluded. Why don’t they focus on getting the 4 million + voters who stayed home during the 2012 elections back to the polls instead of jumping on the dim diversity bandwagon?

Sheer stupidity.

The RNC will never get the votes of a majority of so-called “minority” voters so they should concentrate on getting their own constituents to turn out by standing up for their values.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to wyntre. | March 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

    The stupid sonsobitches running the RNC haven’t got a clue. Instead of pandering to blacks, they need to pander to conservatives. If those paths cross, great. If not, tough. The petulance, tantrums and demands that is are significant earmark of black American behavior ideology should not be rewarded and encouraged. If the RNC wants to court a minority, start with Hispanics. Their value system is much more parallel to traditional American values and ethics than black America’s are. The same is true of many Asian cultures. Conversely, black America is pretty much a lost cause.

    But the only real way to ever grow the RNC rolls really isn’t about race or “diversity” and all that happy horsepile. It will require blasting back at the rats and the media everytime they tell a lie, which is 24/7/365. Until the RNC grow a spine and do that, all they’re going to do is give away the farm. This “project” is a case in point. I cannot think of a more worthless venture. But that’s the RNC.

Henry Hawkins | March 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Token minorities! That’s what we need!

Romney spoke to the NAACP last summer and Obama didn’t! Obama sent Biden and all he had to do was mention Republicans going back to the old days!

great unknown | March 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Strange how, almost invariably, anything the RNC says or does is counterproductive. Maybe they should move their offices out of the beltway; say, to Alaska.

I was in Florida when Rubio was trying to break out and exciting audiences and the Fla Rep establishment was calling Fire Inspectors to harass his campaign for exceeding building capacity. Christ had been anointed by the Powers that Be and that was supposed to be it. Tone deaf until hit in the head.

The RNC wants to keep its snout in the trough but not as deeply as the DNC. It’s just not a winning message. The Tea Party message resonates with voters but diminishes power to consultants and DC.

The Elite Republicans will not succeed because of their most important (but never mentioned) rule to cover their own asses and protect their interests.

    great unknown in reply to arnonerik. | March 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    And if the candidates don’t win, it’s their fault. At least, if they did win, they wouldn’t quit in middle of their term.

Not only are the findings “shallow,” they are unrealistic.

In fact it appears to me to be the Republican version of affirmative action which everyone with a couple of neurons to rub together realize how much of a failure that it has been.

Addressing the root cause OTOH could affect a solution.

Sadly, the GOP is way out of touch with the big picture…

Reince Pribus = minor leaguer.

Any of these bright bulbs ever hear of Colion Noir, Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Condi Rice, Allen West, J.C. Watts, Deroy Murdock, Herman Cain, et al???

Want to reach out to PEOPLE, look above (just in case Repubs that means ^^^^^^^^ that way)?

I know, some asshole lefty reading L.I. is bound to say..They’re RACISTS, look at ALL those BLACKS! Not PEOPLE, just BLACKS

    Paul in reply to JP. | March 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    If you want people to stop making the distinction between race, then STOP MAKING THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN RACE.

    Even to “head them off at the pass.” It just demeans your post.

    Remember the “Smelly Fart” test: Who smelt it, dealt it.

      Good fellow, I may not have made myself CLEAR to use YOUR CAPS!



Key question – what is it going to take to increase the GOPs share of the African American vote from 5% or below to around 30%? I can’t think of a single thing. There is nothing that is going to win the GOP a meaningful piece of the AA vote. Women and Hispanics are categories that the GOP can do better with, along with Gays and white working class men, but the African American vote is locked up by the DNC.

    herm2416 in reply to bawatkins. | March 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Here is my problem with your logic: what if I’m well-educated, middle class, employed, female, black, and gay? Where would you place my vote? With the educated? The middle class? Female? Black? Gay?


    There is no ballot I’m aware of that shows demographics. I say–appeal to VALUES and not skin tone, gender, sexual predilection, education, caste, etc. You will reach many more, and insult far fewer, people that way–when common values, and not demographics, are addressed.

    What demographic wishes to be addressed based solely on a demographic? I am white, upper middle class, Christian, female, heterosexual, middle-age, mother, homeschooler, well-educated, small business owner.

    Now, how would you address me, if you are seeking a particular demographic? Address ME, not a demographic, I’ll respect what you are saying far more than if you are addressing me only because I am a woman or middle class or Christian!

      Henry Hawkins in reply to herm2416. | March 19, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Well said. What outreach program brought Herman Cain or Allen West to conservative thinking? None. It was the inherent sense of it that drew them to it, just like everyone else.

      The choice is one of three:

      1. Promotion – Use standard marketing ploys to sell yourself to the desired demographic(s).

      2. Attraction – Let the self-evident value of your principles and actions draw the desired demographic(s) to you.

      3. Some combination of the two.

These people think in terms of a Power Point presentation. It is the way their minds function.

We are screwed. Microsoft has destroyed us

Midwest Rhino | March 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm

So Hollywood, network media, and the lying left succeed in spreading the BS that Republicans are are old white racists…. So now the conclusion is we need to be more like the Democrats? Try to get a quota, try to appease based on race, admit we really are what the propaganda claimed?

We should go on the attack as Romney did (sorta) in debate number one, and not accept lying leftists to run the debates (or national dialogue), as we did in debates two and three. Romney stopped his attack and took the last week off, while not very conservative Chrissy made out with Obama.

Supposedly it was Romney’s personal decision to not continue to attack Obama on Benghazi … which left him looking like a cowering wimp, (with a little help from Crowley). I think Romney would have won if he had taken it to Obama for lying to the UN and the world about “that video”, blaming our free speech for their terrorism.

We don’t need pasty old white men like almost a Democrat McCain out there shooting down advances made by Rand Paul. Grahamnesty is standing up on Benghazi, for now at least. But these guys always want to surrender and deal, and surrender again, even on winning positions.

We need to take it to the racists on the left, and expose their ugly side when they go after conservative blacks in such vile ways. And exposing the incompetence of the left from Benghazi to Obamacare should not be so difficult, if they’d quit trying to be so polite. The conservative energy is out there, but pent up because our “leaders” keep surrendering and kissing up to media or Hollywood imagery.

No “path to citizenship” for illegals. Biometric ID, taxes and fines, maybe that comes with some kind of temporary legal “status, but it precludes ever being citizens or voting or entitlements. As with their attempt to ID and register gun owners (for later confiscation) .. perhaps we need to ID the illegals, let them work on green cards for two years. Make the left defend wanting open borders as our economy falters.

The left may not want solutions, they want campaign talking points. Offer temporary visas to bring them all out of the shadows (as if they are in any shadows, even the violent ones are set free).

The GOP establishment goes out of its way to placate the Democratic Party, the media and people who would never vote Republicans in their lives. At thge same time, it out of their way to alienate its base.

The greatest enemy of conservatives is not Obama or liberal Democrats. It is the GOP establishment.

I lean more and more libertarian each day. It’s this kind of bull sh*t that has me and a lot of other Republicans here in Kentucky’s 4th congressional district going there.

To wit, we elected Rand Paul over the establishment’s choice. Then we elected Tom Massie in the primary (and general) over the establishment’s choice to serve in the House.

I don’t think our drift to the libertarian side is a strictly Kentucky thing, either. I certainly hope not.

Is the Senator from that same Indian Tribe as Governor Jindal?

Henry Hawkins | March 19, 2013 at 12:22 am

As bad as it is to decide to pander to minorities only to win elections – something the GOP excoriates Dems and libs for – they’ve managed to make it worse by announcing it publicly in advance.

A_Nonny_Mouse | March 19, 2013 at 2:03 am

I’d be happy to see the Republican Party publish a little pamphlet, maybe titled “What We Believe”. Sort of a civics lesson on how/why the USA was established; what the Constitution says and doesn’t say; why we have three branches of government; what the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments guarantee to citizens; and THEN describe how and why the Republican view of “The purpose of government and the appropriate limits of its scope and power” is different from (and better than!) the Democrat view. (*)

Once this booklet is printed up, future GOP candidates would have a great little handout for their rallies (not to mention a handy list of talking points, too).

= = = = =

(*) Maybe if the GOP Establishment were to go on a week’s “retreat” and focus on hashing out their core beliefs, they’d find they really do have some. Right now, a casual observer would be hard-pressed to discern what “Republican beliefs” really are. All I see is “announce a principle, then cave on it”. It’s not impressive.

IMHO the answer here is the same as the answer that Havel and the Velvet Revolution discovered. Ignore them, the Senate RNC, going about your business even through you know, at any time, you will be attacked and persecuted. The T.E.A. Party has their finger on this pulse by encouraging fresh Republican participation in the local parties. Promoting people into leadership at the local, county and state levels in steering the Repubs toward sanity and fiscal responsibility.
How does this translate to a McKinley or a Mia Love? Well, in Utah, it appears that the locals have been in revolt. Look up Sen. Hatch’s actions to secure his primary and you will see what is at stake and to how it is playing in the local, county and state parties. Forget about appealling to the monolithic black voting block. Work with likeminded inidividuals as any Republican would. Sit down with McKinley, even if you are too scared to visit him in his office, talk over his ideas. Look into why he thinks he can make a difference and give him support that he cannot provide himself. Leaflets, billboards (I can see it now a big sign with his picture underlined with Uncle Tom with an attribute to a local Machine white guy) and walking money to the less corrupted local clergy. Above all, don’t go in and tell him how to do things but learn how he is going about his business. Get a few articles into the black press about this “weird guy” in Chicago who believes that a black ward can elect a Republican.
If the TP could get a Palin, a West or any other moderately recognizable leader to lend a visit (a la Breitbart), a fund raiser or just plain support to a McKinley it just might raise the bar to the ChiCom Machine. Force the Machine to spend more and more of their corrupt capital on preserving their status quo. Wisconsin come to mind?
The top downers from the beltway need to be spread thinner and thinner until they are forced to compromise with us flyovers.

More tokenism, less filling.