Four years ago, Bobby Jindal delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s first State of the Union address. The weirdness of Jindal’s address (we must stop magnetic levitation trains and volcano monitoring!) tended to overshadow the fact that, in the immediate wake of the inauguration of the first African American president, the Republicans selected a token minority in an obvious effort to mask their status as the all-white, all-the-time party.
It was the party’s first attempt at outreach. But as with the highlighting of Ted Cruz, Allen West and Nikki Haley, the Republican Party is all about tokenism and has never had any interest in moderating its position to appeal to the values and needs of minority voters. Specifically, the current attempt at outreach assumes that women and minorities are so superficial and self-destructive they will ignore their own social and economic best interests simply because there’s someone who looks like them at the forefront of Republican politics.
Naturally, this is why Rubio delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union. But make no mistake, there is practically nothing in common between Marco Rubio and the people who the Republicans believe will be fooled by their shallow, cosmetic attempt at minority outreach. [continue reading here]