Yesterday, during an interview with Newt Gingrich on his radio show, Dennis Miller had an idea about how to unite the Tea Party and the GOP. “Would it not be a deft tactic to make Sarah Palin the RNC [chair]?” Miller asked. But Gingrich didn’t agree, saying that current RNC chair Michael Steele “is doing a good job.” And the former Speaker added one other supposed benefit:
GINGRICH: And I think overall he is a very impressive guy despite the fact — in fact, I think one of the reasons the elite media attacks him is it drives the left crazy to have an African-American chairman of the RNC because then they can’t attack the RNC for being racist.
It’s reasonably implausible to say, “Go look at that racist chairman Michael Steele.” And so I think that they try to find other ways to attack him because I think they realize that he’s the beginning of a genuine threat.
The color of the chairman’s skin does not inoculate the RNC from perceived racist acts — such as posting a racist photo of President Obama on its Facebook page. And last year, RNC chair candidate Chip Saltsman distributed a CD that contained the song “Barack the Magic Negro.”
Gingrich himself hasn’t been afraid to level the “racist” charge. Last year, Gingrich said then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor should withdraw her nomination to the Supreme Court because she is a “Latina woman racist.” He later walked back that claim, saying she is a “racialist.”
Steele himself isn’t shy about using the race card either (despite claims that he doesn’t “play the race game”). The RNC chair said last year that Obama won the presidency because of his race. “He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office,” Steele said. And during a recent scandal in which RNC donor money was used to pay a $2,000 bar tab at an L.A. strip club, Steele agreed that he has a “slimmer margin for error” as the RNC’s chairman because he is African-American.