The Party of Hate Strikes Again
Faced with the prospect of a woman or African-American opponent in the 2008 presidential race, the Republican Party back in February initiated diversity training of sorts. The RNC commissioned focus groups and polls to learn how to safely attack either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton because, as GOP strategist Kellyanne Conway put it, "You can't allow the party to be Macaca-ed." Sadly for the Party of Hate, top Republican officials in Nevada and New Mexico didn't read the memo.
Over the weekend, the GOP removed Didi Lima, its communications director in Clark County, Nevada. Both the Republicans' spokesperson for the most populous county in the state and co-chair for John McCain's Nevada Hispanic Leadership Team, Lima on Thursday failed to exercise what Conway earlier deemed "less deafness and more deftness in dealing with a different looking candidate." As USA Today reported:
"We don't want (Hispanics) to become the new African-American community," Lima told The Associated Press. "And that's what the Democratic Party is going to do to them, create more programs and give them handouts, food stamps and checks for this and checks for that. We don't want that."
"I'm very much afraid that the Democratic Party is going to do the same thing that they did with the African-American culture and make them all dependent on the government and we don't want that," she said.
Lima's departure follows on the heels of the resignation last week of Fernando C. de Baca. Chairman of the Republican Party in Bernalillo County, New Mexico's most populous county, de Baca predicted John McCain would do well in his state:
"The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors. African-Americans came here as slaves. Hispanics consider themselves above blacks. They won't vote for a black president."
As the national and state polls clearly show, de Baca is wrong. Obama has enjoyed leads as large as 40 points among Hispanic voters nationwide. And for now, the battleground state of New Mexico is leaning his way.
Sadly, Lima and de Baca's missteps in the Southwest are hardly isolated events for the Republican Party in this year's election. On Thursday, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachman cited an article blaming "blacks" and "other minorities" for the Wall Street financial crisis. In Virginia, Congressman Virgil Goode, who previously hurled anti-Muslim slurs at his Minnesota colleague Keith Ellison, is airing ads depicting his lily-white Democratic opponent as dark-skinned and bearded. Meanwhile, Fort Hill, South Carolina mayor Danny Funderburk forwarded an email proclaiming Barack Obama the anti-Christ because he was "just curious" if it was true.
And it's not even October yet.
As I wrote last year ("The Party of Hate"), "the only message seemingly uniting Republicans is disdain - of immigrants, of blacks, of gay Americans and above all, Muslims." Alas, Kellyanne Conway's diversity training for Republicans was just a smokescreen for the Party of Hate.