Time for the GOP to Disown Chip Saltsman

Hey, you know what Republicans need? More racially charged baggage weighing them down while the liberal establishment works feverishly to paint the GOP as a band of increasingly irrelevant dinosaurs clinging to their irrational hatred and bigotry with every ounce of their rapidly waning strength.

Enter Chip Saltsman.

Chip Saltsman is the former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, and is currently in the running for national RNC Chair. I missed this story while diligently maintaining my holiday sugar high, but James Richardson was around to summarize why Saltsman is an utterly embarrassing drag on the GOP:

In an exercise of political suicide, Republican National Committee Chair hopeful Chip Saltsman distributed a controversial CD by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin to national committee members this month for Christmas.

First played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular, though often taboo, radio show, the 41-track CD, entitled “We Hate the USA,” featured the racially-charged song “Barack the Magic Negro.” After all, nothing says “Christmas” like racial insensitivity…

Defending the ill-conceived Christmas goodie bag as a good humored joke, Saltsman told The Hill: “Paul Shanklin is a long-time friend, and I think that RNC members have the good humor and good sense to recognize that his songs for the Rush Limbaugh show are light-hearted political parodies.”

HA HA, get it, “negro” is a funny word.

Much like his fellow candidate for RNC Chair Katon Dawson, Chip Saltsman assumes his history of social and political relationships with minorities absolves him of all past, present, and future charges of racism. He expects that calling the songs on the CD “light-hearted political parodies” will further insulate him from politically disruptive accusations. And when that failed, he actually tried to argue that the phrase “magic negro” was fair game for anyone (read: white conservatives) to toss about because the media let it slide when black liberal David Ehrenstein titled an article “Obama the ‘Magic Negro.'” Double standards, you know.

Chip Saltsman isn’t just feeding the liberal narrative of a racist GOP, he’s laying out an all-you-can-eat buffet spread. The liberal political machine lusts after this sort of fare with an obscene passion, and maladroits like Chip Saltsman treat the loudest voices on the left to exactly what they hunger for: more fuel for the myth that the GOP is the party of intolerance and bigotry.

At best, Chip Saltsman’s Christmas gift to the members of the RNC was racially insensitive, politically clumsy, and just all around ill-advised. Whatever his intentions, Saltsman’s appallingly immature decision to distribute the CD speaks far louder than his graceless defense of his blunder. He is a political strategist, not a radio blowhard who uses terms like “Negro” to shock his audience into listening for another hour.

Saltsman demonstrated an atrocious error in judgment and a profound failure to anticipate the consequences of his actions.  Fortunately this time, one of those consequences was the fizzling of his campaign for RNC chair.


3 Responses to “Time for the GOP to Disown Chip Saltsman”

  1. Monty Parks on December 29th, 2008 10:00 pm

    No, it isnt just bad taste or poor judgement. It is a reflection of the type of leadership at upper levels of government in this country. With wars on two fronts, an industrial tragedy, and other demanding problems, our RNC leadership is still picking at the scab of race. It is a dangerous wedge to drive into a citizenry that must pull together as a united state. It transcends ignorance. It borders on terrorism. It is the type of event that our enemies love to see. It is an intentional attempt to distract us from solving problems that are threatening our country.

  2. Jenn Q. Public on December 30th, 2008 5:36 am

    Monty, until Chip Saltsman straps on a suicide bomb or opens fire in a crowded plaza, you’re overreaching to say anything he does borders on terrorism. That said, I appreciate that you’re among those willing to call Saltsman out. (See the comments at Hot Air for Daily Kos-worthy outbursts from supposed conservatives contending that “negro” is simply a descriptive term that should be just as socially acceptable as “black” or “African-American.”)

    I’ve avoided labeling Saltsman’s CD gaffe intentional largely because the alternative is too disheartening. Until someone offers me evidence to the contrary, I’m calling it an act of supreme stupidity that reveals how ridiculously unprepared Saltsman is to lead the RNC.

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