In an idea that apparently came from the movie Bulworth, new RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that the party will make a hip-hop outreach to minority voters. I personally can’t wait to hear Mitch McConnell to bust a rhyme about tax cuts on the Senate floor.
According to The Washington Times Steele said, “There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region – young, Hispanic, black, a cross section … We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.”
He continued, “Where we have fallen down in delivering a message is in having something to say, particularly to young people and moms of all shapes – soccer moms, hockey moms. We don’t offer one image for 18-year-olds and another for soccer moms but one that shows who we are for the 21st century.” This is an example of Republicans living in denial. Did it occur to Steele that the problem isn’t the delivery, but the message itself? The problem that the Republican Party has is that they are on the wrong side of many issues that are important to minorities.
I don’t think a rap on immigration reform is going to fix the fact that the Party’s stance on the issue has caused Hispanic voters to desert the party in droves. African-Americans are not going to vote Republican because of hip-hop packaging of the same unappealing proposals. This idea is born out of the same belief that led to the McCain selecting Sarah Palin for the ticket. Republicans think that people are stupid. The logic behind selecting Palin was that women will vote for another woman, just as putting a hip-hop message into the GOP will attract minority voters.
How is this new hip-hop initiative going to play with the party’s white, country music loving, God fearing, NASCAR base? I would guess not very well. Steele’s idea could alienate the base of the party. The Republican Party is still in denial. They need an ideological makeover, not an image makeover. They are trying to look for the easy way out, while unwilling to face the reality that they need to rebuild their party, and that takes time. If anything these cynical stunts will cost the GOP more votes in upcoming elections. People aren’t that dumb. Even though, Ice, Ice, Baby was a hit, everyone knew Vanilla Ice wasn’t a rapper. The GOP’s problem is that they don’t even have the political equivalent of Vanilla Ice in their stable. This is another bad idea from desperate party in decline.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association