3/05/2007

The Republicans' Small Tent

Looks like Ann Coulter just gave the GOP another black eye. Ever wonder why minorities don't vote Republican? It's because of crap like this.

For those who don't know the story, Ann Coulter spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference a few days ago. She then decided to take the low road when talking about John Edwards by saying:

I was going to say something about John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot."
Lovely.

Naturally, her remarks set off a firestorm of criticism among Democrats and liberals. Fortunately, the GOP frontrunners wisely denounced Coulter's remarks shortly thereafter. However, Coulter remained defiant when later asked to comment on her original incendiary remarks:
C'mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.
(I'm sure the joke is even funnier in person.)

Here is a very good quote from the Politico commentary I linked to above:
It is not "caving" into political correctness to distance and indeed condemn such remarks as unworthy of a political event like [Conservative Political Action Conference]. To the contrary, it is altogether fitting that a group that ostensibly searches for the best in conservative ideas, rewards political courage and encourages intellectual debate, should be able to differentiate the amusing from the offensive, and the clever from the vile.
There is an obvious pattern here that plagues the GOP. While I'm certainly not saying that all Republicans are bigots, I will go on the record as saying that the Republican Party is less hostile to such attitudes than the Democratic Party.

Think about Nixon's "Southern Strategy." Where do you think all those segregationist voters went when the Democrats and Republicans basically switched parties in the 1960s? Think about "conservative icons" like Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, Jim Sensenbrenner, Conrad Burns, David Duke, and James Inhoffe. Nobody wants to come out and say it, but I think voters with racial, sexual, or religious prejudices know which political party keeps their bread buttered. When Coulter spewed her nonsense, you did not hear a single member of the audience repudiate her remarks. Instead they laughed off her brazenness. You can find the clip here (courtesy of Not Very Bright).

The reason why minorities don't vote Republican is because the Republican Party seems to embrace these kinds of people. Until you hear voices of condemnation from within the Republican Party, people on the outside are going to assume, fairly or not, that Ms. Coulter speaks for the majority of Republican candidates and voters. And since she is able to sell so many books and generate such large audiences, who can blame them? And even worse, Coulter and her contemporaries (Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Melanie Morgan, Michelle Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, etc.) proclaim themselves to be in the "mainstream" or a product of "Middle America." But their rhetoric is often a major turnoff to a lot of people.

Republicans may talk about being "the party of Lincoln" and the party with the "big tent," but to a large segment of the population, that tent is awfully uncomfortable if you're not a straight White Protestant male with a pick-up truck or a net worth of more than $150,000. Someone needs to freeze these bile spewing, flamethrowing bigots out of the political dialogue. Period. The Republican Party will never be taken seriously by Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, immigrants, homosexuals, the disabled, and even women until these noisemakers are silenced.

2 comment(s):

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

I think this is an excellent point.

Who wants to be part of a party like that?

I guess the GOP can say the same for Democratic firestorms like Al Sharpton when they come down hard on how racist white people are. Tit for Ta...

...but Coulter takes it to a whole new level offensiveness.

I like Giuliani, but I don't like his party.

Dang...how come we can't have an Obama/Giuliani independent ticket or something?

That Would Rock!

Steven Mueller said...

It does bring an excellant point.

For every Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh there is an Al Sharpton and Janeane Garofalo.

But Coulter did not bring a whole new level of offensiveness. Simply more of it.

When I heard her sat those remarks, all I could do was shake my head, and ask out loud "why did you say that?" But the sad truth is that it causes people to buy more of her books. And contribute more money to the party.

Same way with Moore and other hollywood types contributing money to the Democratic party.

Hmmm, Chuck Hagel and Tom Vilsack on a ticket perhaps?

Copyright 2007-2008 by Anthony Palmer. This material may not be republished or redistributed in any manner without the expressed written permission of the author, nor may this material be cited elsewhere without proper attribution. All rights reserved. The 7-10 is syndicated by Newstex.