Sunday, January 11, 2009

Washington Monthly: GOP's problems with race systemic

Steve Benen doesn't think electing a black RNC chairman will help Republicans cut into the minority vote. He's probably right. But otherwise, wrong. Because our problems with race aren't of the systemic nature he suggests. They're born of structurally systematic issues; not ideological concerns. There's the perception (growing, especially among Hispanics) that the GOP simply doesn't care about immigrants. Some of that reputation is deserved, but much of it is not, particularly because Democrats have sticky issues on immigration, as well (e.g. union, minimum wage conflicts etc.,).

Further, it's important to break down the structural components. The GOP's problem hasn't been appointing blacks at the top of the ladder; it's recruiting blacks at the grassroots level. Until the party can build minority support and candidates at its roots, its branches will never fill. Do you think voters in inner-city Philadelphia give a shit about Michael Steele?