The editors of The National Review pan the RNC’s autopsy report which details how the party will reach out to minorities.
But the action items recommended to address these issues are heavy on committee formation (e.g., a “Growth and Opportunity Inclusion Council” with representatives from the African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Native American, and “other” communities) and tokenism (the report’s No. 1 recommendation for reaching out to minorities is to put minorities in charge of outreach). To implement this aspect of the document, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has promised to establish dialogues with groups such as LULAC, La Raza, and the NAACP, which strikes us as unhelpful and willfully blind to the fact that such groups are ideologically opposed to Republican principles. A truly conservative minority-outreach strategy would severely weaken these groups by challenging their claims to represent their respective ethnicities.
What the editors of the Review appear to be saying is that groups such as La Raza and the NAACP will be unresponsive to any conservative outreach effort because accepting conservatives into their ranks would challenge their own power derived from being the sole representatives of their respective ethnic groups. In my opinion, this is a more articulate way of throwing out the “reverse racism” card, because they’re alleging that groups such as the NAACP are only interested in furthering their own importance at the expense of conservative (read: white) voters.
Ironically, the assumption on the part of the RNC’s pathologists that organizations such as the NAACP represent African Americans as if they are a monolith governed by a single body serves as an example of why their plans are doomed from the outset, and the reasons for that have little to do with those outlined by The National Review.
The Review editors also went beyond appearances and criticized the RNC on policy prescriptions as well and, as you can imagine, their objections inevitably focus on the issue of race.
Where the report does get into policy — most notably on the issue of immigration reform — its analysis is shallow and its recommendations opportunistic. Much is pinned on the empirically dubious claim that George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and a nexus is drawn between this factoid and the former president’s conciliatory rhetoric on immigration. But nowhere does the document offer a substantive argument in favor of the kind of comprehensive immigration reform on offer in Washington, or even come close to demonstrating that support for such a program would accrue Republicans more votes than it lost them, considering that Hispanics are often ideologically liberal for reasons beyond immigration.
Of course Hispanic voters care about issues other than immigration, but it seems obvious to me that The National Review is implying that Hispanics are ideologically liberal anyway because they just love Free Stuff. It’s the only reason the editors would throw out the term “ideologically liberal” with a specific reference to the race of the voters.
The RNC can expect to receive no help from the elements of the party that actually have a role in shaping the opinions of their base.