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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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    Doug Wright | March 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    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.

    Karensky | March 19, 2013 at 6:57 am

    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.

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