There is not a single racial minority among the 20 most senior officials who run the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and National Republican Senatorial Committee — the three wings of the GOP apparatus charged with promoting candidates and winning elections. […]No, really!
One former RNC field staffer, who is Hispanic, described a culture of cynicism among his predominantly white colleagues when it came to minority outreach. He said that in his office, whenever they were notified of a new Republican outreach effort, they would pass around a Beanie Baby — which they had dubbed the "pander bear" — and make fun of the "tokenism."
He also recalled a Mitt Romney rally last year featuring Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, during which the staffer and his coworkers were tasked with finding Hispanics in the crowd who they could place on stage for the benefit of the TV cameras. It's a common, bipartisan practice in campaign politics — but one that his colleagues resented.Anytime you have to explain to someone that your crowd is "not racist," but, you may have a problem. Anytime you try to hold a panel discussion on how not to be a racist only to have it interrupted by racists, you may have a problem. Anytime your minority outreach efforts have been assigned their own mocking Beanie Baby mascot by the office staff, you might just have a problem. (Then again, asking staffers to go out and find Hispanic Mitt Romney supporters in the crowd does sound like a special kind of torture.)
"My white peers were clearly not understanding what a powerful image a Hispanic senator standing in front of a sea of Hispanic Romney supporters would be," he said. "They grumbled about it, treated it like a chore. Not racist or anything like that, just didn't understand why they were doing it."
This points to the rather awkward problem faced by the GOP in their new "minority outreach" efforts. They know they're insincere, and everyone else knows they're insincere, so the entire episode has the element of farce built into it from the get-go. While Reince Preibus touts his new $10 million plan to have actual Republicans go out and talk to actual black and brown people, $10 million is not much of an ad budget when the rest of your organization has gone all-out on mocking and despising the very concept of diversity for more decades than most of your target audience has been alive.
Also a core part of this story: The ongoing cat fight between ex-RNC chair Michael Steele and the suit-wearing pickled egg that took over that slot, Reince Preibus. Steele's obvious disgust at Preibus and, by extension, the entire party apparatus propping him up gets funnier the longer it goes on.