The Republican National Committee had what seemed like easy advice for the rest of the GOP after the 2012 election: Stop inflaming racism and expand the voter base beyond male, white America. After a disastrous few months since the RNC autopsy report, they tried again Thursday, with an event celebrating the “rising stars” in the Republican Party.
But Republican leaders worry its already too late, as Politico reported on Friday, “influential Republicans told us the party is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7, the day after the disastrous election.” Republicans have repeatedly gotten in their own way of appealing to Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans. Here are just a few examples:
1. Voted to deport DREAMers: With DREAMers standing in the room and booing, 221 House Republicans voted to defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would effectively resume deportations. Meanwhile, comprehensive immigration reform has come to a grinding halt in the House, which has split on whether to include a path to citizenship.
2. Suppressed minority votes: Immediately after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, Texas moved to enact a voter ID law and North Carolina rolled out a series of voter suppression bills. Texas has now joined a case to permanently undo Voting Rights Act protections. It doesn’t help matters that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called the Voting Rights Act a perpetuation of “racial entitlement.”
3. Dismissive and racist language: Republicans haven’t figured out a way to keep Rep. Steve King (R-IA) quiet, since the congressman refuses to apologize for calling immigrants drug mules. But it’s not just Steve King. In private King insists his colleagues agree with him, while Rep. Don Young (R-AK) used the word “wetbacks” to describe Hispanics. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) has made a case against multiculturalism, saying, “there’s only one race here, it’s the American race.”
4. Boycotting Spanish-language TV: Due to its invented controversy involving networks broadcasting Hillary Clinton documentaries, the RNC said it will boycott Spanish-language networks Telemundo and CNN Espanol for 2016 debates, too.
5. Insensitivity on Trayvon Martin: Texas Governor Rick Perry reacted to George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict for the death of a black teen by insisting the justice system is “color blind.” Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) told African-Americans to “get over it.” King blamed Obama for Zimmerman even having to stand trial for Martin’s death. And Florida Governor Rick Scott has refused to even open debate on the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
6. Tea Party condescendingly talks race: Even as he attempted to broaden the Republican party’s appeal to black voters, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) condescendingly discussed the history of civil rights and discrimination during his April speech at Howard University. Paul, who once admitted he opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recently explained he doesn’t “think there is any particular evidence” of black voters being prevented from voting.
7. Relied on racist author’s Heritage study to fight immigration reform That former Heritage author Jason Richwine earned his Ph.D for a racist dissertation linking race and IQ has not stopped Republicans from heralding Heritage’s discredited findings on immigration.
8. Pursued rabidly anti-LGBT agenda: Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has stood by his position of viewing LGBT people as “soulless” and “self-destructive.” The RNC also unanimously passed anti-LGBT resolutions without any debate in April. Neither shows Republicans are serious about showing LGBT Americans “we care about them too,” like the RNC stated.
9. Ignored uninsured voters: Latinos have among the lowest rates of health coverage in the U.S., and also back Obamacare 2 to 1. The GOP has ignored this issue, and haven’t offered any alternatives for the uninsured, even as many of them threaten to shut down the government to block Obamacare.
10. Still arguing for self-deportation: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, invited by Republicans to testify on immigration, is still arguing for self-deportation. Even RNC chairman Reince Priebus slammed this approach as “horrific.”