It’s not just the Democrats. The Republican National Committee is engaging in a “war on whites,” GOP Rep. Mo Brooks suggested today, while expressing pride for coining the racially charged “hyperbole.”
In a joint appearance on Dale Jackson’s talk-radio show based in Huntsville, Ala., I read Brooks a paragraph from the Republican National Committee’s postmortem analysis of the 2012 election. I identified the source, and explained to Brooks that the passage echoed a statement I made on Fox News Sunday that he had mischaracterized as part of the Democratic Party’s “war on whites.”
If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs, or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.
Brooks replied, “By golly, we should not be dividing people as you just have in your commentary by race, by nationality, rather we should talk about “¦”
I interrupted. “That was not my quote. That was your party’s quote. That’s the RNC “¦”
Brooks cut me off. “I don’t care that you made the statement or somebody else made the statement that triggered my remarks, but that statement — that argument — is playing hand in glove with the Democratic race-baiting strategy, and it has to come to a stop.”
Brooks’s jab got a chilly reception at the RNC. Spokesman Sean Spicer emailed, “We are on the right side of the issues, but as the report noted we have to take our message to every community in America.”
Brooks would be happy to know the RNC’s effort to appeal to Hispanics essentially stopped after the release of its watershed report, the work of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and a handful of other party leaders who interviewed more than 2,600 fellow Republicans nationwide.
The so-called autopsy, officially called the “RNC Growth Opportunity Book 2013,” notes that other minority groups consider the GOP unwelcoming, and catalogues the steep decline in support since President George W. Bush earned 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. “As one conservative, tea-party leader, Dick Armey, told us, ‘You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you. We’ve chased the Hispanic voter out of his natural home.’ “
Not only did Brooks dismiss the idea of appealing to Hispanics, he said doing so was divisive, and he challenged me to “name a politician” who does so. I said, for starters, Bush, the former Texas governor and president, a Republican who aimed rhetoric and polices toward the Hispanic community, and was rewarded for doing so.
I then asked Brooks if he thought the President Obama was a bigot. I don’t think he directly answered the question; there was a lot of crosstalk. This much I heard:
Democrats have a strategy to appeal to blacks based on race. The Democrats, as evidenced by Nancy Pelosi’s comment recently, [are] also appealing to Asian-Americans based on race. Now, to appeal to people based on race, there has to be a victim race. Well, if there’s going to be a victim race, there also has to be an oppressor race, so by inference the Democrats are saying that the oppressor race is the Caucasian race. “Otherwise, there is no racism. And it’s wrong what the Democrats are doing, and I hope you feel that it is as repugnant as I do.
Throughout the appearance, I told Brooks that both parties appeal to racial blocs, and have done so throughout history, but that phrases like his “war on whites” and the Democratic Party’s “war on women” are hyperbolic and divisive. At the top of the interview, Brooks addressed that last point.
“I used hyperbole that forced the media to cover it. Quite frankly, it got more coverage than I thought possible, and what is the “it”? The “it” is that the Democrats have intentionally engaged in a political strategy to divide America based on race, and they’re implementing that strategy. I never thought that we would get that kind of exposure.”¦ I’m very, very pleased that the American people now have this as a discourse.”
He is actually proud of himself.