DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP, TNC
Ta-Nehisi Coates on the selection of Michael Steele as RNC chair:
... I think the proper response is a salute. I have no idea whether Steele will be any good, but I think his selection marks the start of excising the Obama is a M00zlim contingent of the party. I am, perhaps, being too optimistic. But I maintain that you have to begin somewhere....
If we take "Obama is a M00zlim" as shorthand for "non-whites are the enemies of 'normal Americans,'" then I'd like to point out something posted just this morning by Erick Erickson at RedState, who embodies the spirit and essence of the modern GOP, and argue that that contingent is as strong as ever:
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights ("LCCR") is a far left interest group.
The group opposed conservative judges. The group agitates for card check. The group is in favor of the Fairness Doctrine. It is chiefly an agitator for affirmative action programs and tries to pressure banks into giving high risk loans like those that caused the housing crisis. If you oppose them, they label you a racist.
LCCR operates like ACORN. And the Senate Democrats are about to give the $90 million of your money....
I'll let you go to the post if you want the details of this nefarious alleged conspiracy to funnel money to a long-established civil rights organization, which I haven't verified, but I see that the post is eagerly cited by Michelle Malkin, who then plugs a column she wrote last week about ACORN entitled "Stimulus Slush Fund for Housing Entitlement Thugs."
"Thugs"? Uh-huh. Yeah, the Republicans are really backing away from the racism, aren't they?
Steele's selection is meant to position the GOP as post-racist; it's not meant to change the party's approach one iota, any more than Steele's runs for office, or the various runs of J.C. Watts and Alan Keyes and Ken Blackwell and others, were meant to change the party's approach. If anything, it's all meant to reinforce various Republican memes, most prominently the meme that the Democrat(ic) Party is the party of racism, with a "plantation" mentality. According to this meme, Dixiecrat segregation and post-civil-rights-era affirmative-action and social-safety-net programs are two sides of the same coin -- and, yes, this is a thesis Republicans advance with a straight face.
And I should add that anyone who thinks a Steele chairmanship and Republican racism are incompatible should note that the party's zeal for Sarah Palin, and zealous defense of her daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy, hasn't precluded best-seller status for the new book by Ann Coulter, who's promoting it by calling single motherhood "a recipe to create criminals, strippers, rapists, murderers," to the delight of the same Republicans who cheered Palin. Republicans never let the risk of hypocrisy spoil a truly satisfying group slander.