Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Steele vs Steele

A good conversation is developing tonight over at Riehl World View over criticism of Michael Steele's comments to a group of young black Americans.  Steele candidly told them that the GOP simply hadn't given black Americans a good reason to support the party's candidates in the past. 

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told a group of students that African-Americans “don’t have a reason” to vote for Republicans.

Steele was asked Tuesday night during a speech to roughly 200 students at DePaul University why African-Americans should vote for GOP candidates.

“You really don’t have a reason, to be honest,” Steele responded, as was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. “We haven’t done a very good job of giving you one.”

Dan thinks we need to have a more candid discussion about our willingness to do what it takes to attract more black voters, and he's right, I think.

1). The Democrats cannot win without a monolithic black vote. The GOP can, and has, but the Democrats can't.

2). The GOP needs to understand that if they're going to win the support of any voting bloc, they have to convince at least a significant portion of the bloc that their vote benefits them. It's basic salesmanship--you don't make the sale unless the customer is convinced that the benefit of the purchase (lower taxes, stronger families, secure borders, higher wages, is worth the cost(vote). Steele says the GOP hasn't done a good job of salesmanship, and I think he's right.

4). Poll after poll after poll shows that black voters are closely aligned with GOP positions on a lot of key issues. When the economic and demographic cross tabs are examined, the alignment is even stronger. Married, middle-class, church-going black Americans are just like most other married, middle-class, church-going Americans. There are a lot of people with center-right leanings that aren't being reached, and the GOP is responsible for doing the reaching. That means if the GOP finds a way to reach those voters, a big chunk of that monolith can be chipped away.

5). I know the MSM meme about the GOP being a bunch of white closet racists is false, and that their continued use of the mantra is patently unfair. That's just too bad--life's not fair. If you have to beat the guys in the striped shirts to win the game against other team, find a way to do it. Quit whining, and get it done.

That said, there are plenty of other reasons why Steele should be replaced after this cycle. The lavish and conspicuous spending is one thing. The committee's support for Scozzafava, Crist and other RINO's in contested primaries is another. There is no reason why the national committee should be spending precious resources in primaries. Period. He's a poor tactician, but I think his strategy for peeling off more black conservatives is a winner.