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January 30, 2009

Good News/Bad News for Republicans

The Republican National Committee selected a new chairman today. (I was going to be politically correct and say "chairperson", but come on. Sarah Palin notwithstanding, we're talking about Republicans here.) I think there's some bad news and some good news for the GOP in the results.

The bad news: On the day before the vote, Chip Saltsman removed his name from consideration for the position. Chip was the former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's presidential run, and he's also the guy who thought it would be an excellent idea to send out mix CDs around the holidays containing such fabulous songs as "We Hate The U.S.A" (referring, of course, to us evil liberals), "The Star Spanglish Banner", and the smash Rush Limbaugh endorsed hit "Barack The Magic Negro". Saltsman didn't give a specific reason for pulling out of the race, but it's a sad thing because I think it's pretty clear that this was a guy with the creativity, courage, and sharp political instincts necessary to restore some G to the faltering OP. Too bad.

The good news: The RNC eventually voted for Michael Steele, who will be the first African-American to serve as RNC chairman. This is great for Republicans, not because Steele is apparently more moderate and less wingnut, but for a couple of other reasons. First, it only took them six ballots and about a million hours to settle on Steele, which means the party will be totally united with zero infighting. And second, he's black, which means that for the next few years every Republican can answer any accusations that their party is at all racist by invoking the tried and true defense of "we're not racist, we have a black friend!" And since there are currently really no popular or prominent black politicians anywhere on the Democrats' side of the aisle that I can think of, maybe this will even help to draw some African-American support to the GOP. See, Republicans are smart.

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