Saturday, February 07, 2009

Michael Steele Named RNC Chair - Republicans Make a Stand for Change

As anyone who's read this blog might know, on the weekends I love cooking brunch and listening to NPR.

I did pretty well on this afternoon's always hysterical radio news quiz "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" think you know your current events for the week? Click the link and take a shot at this week's quiz!

Tavist Smiley is doing a phone interview with the newly selected chair of the Republican National Committee. A Black president AND a black chair of the GOP in one year? I gotta sit down.

In January I kicked off 2009 with a blog in the wake of perpetually hostile femme-Nazi-freak Ann Coulter's book plug appearance on NBC's Today Show being pulled after viewer outrage promted a flood of calls to 30 Rock.

It wasn't just former Republican National Committee chair-candidate Chip Saltsman's sending out CD's with the song "Barack the Magic Negro" on it to the members of the RNC as a holiday stocking stuffer (it's not his fault, that disengaged schmuck wanna-be power broker didn't even grasp how that affects the perception of the party, he was strictly status-quo....zzzzzzz) that clarified the need for the Republican Party to step back and redefine itself to re-connect with the American electorate.

In 2008 the GOP learned the hard way that it cannot possibly survive as a party that speaks exclusively to privileged white males.

Political novice Sarah Palin's selection as the VP candidate was nothing more than a failed media gimmick designed to try and counter the media fervor and energy that stemmed from the Democratic party's selection of Barack Obama as their candidate for president.

What was the GOP honestly thinking picking an obscure governor of a state with a population of 686,293 people who has difficulty conjugating and thinks Africa is a country as the next person in line for the highest office in the land?

John McCain didn't even select her as his running mate, the party did; and it's now well-known he was privately pissed about it.

Time will tell but I think it's a pretty big statement on the part of the GOP to pick Michael Steele, the first African-American lieutenant governor of Maryland (who lost a bid for former Senator Paul Sarbanes US Senate seat to Ben Cardin) as the head of the party.

It's not going to alter the culture of the party over night, but listening to Steele's interview, its the little things that are slowly going to change the perception problems and branding issues that the Republican party faces looking ahead.

For instance Steele told Tavist Smiley he requested that the daily press briefing the party issues be sent to all major African-American media outlets for radio, newspaper and Internet.

Prior to that, communicating with the media outlets that speak to blacks wasn't even part of the of the Republican agenda. That's the kind of thinking that will have to change if the GOP expects to move forward in the 21st century as a party that has the ability to govern on behalf of all Americans regardless of salary, skin color or religion.

Put simply change is the natural order of the universe and it's time for the GOP to cowboy up.

Steele's appointment is a step in the right direction.

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