Jonah Goldberg

If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more "racist."

The scare quotes are necessary because I don't think the Republican Party is racist now (and, historically, the GOP has a lot less to answer for than the Democratic Party does).

But that hasn't stopped a lot of people from slandering Republicans as racist for one reason or another.

Right now, many in Washington -- particularly the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus -- insist that Republican attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are racist and, yawn, sexist. The basis for this claim is that some Republicans are calling Rice unfit for the soon-to-be-vacated job of secretary of state. More specifically, they're cross with Rice for what they contend to be her dishonest and incompetent handling of the Benghazi scandal.

And, because Rice is a black woman, well, blah, blah, blah Racism! Sexism!

Never mind that Republicans haven't had a white secretary of state since Lawrence Eagleburger concluded his term two decades ago. Never mind that Republicans appointed the first black secretary of state ever (Colin Powell) and the first black female secretary of state ever (Condoleezza Rice, arguably the star of the GOP convention in August).

Also, never mind that Rice's handling of Benghazi -- and several other matters -- can quite defensibly be dubbed incompetent.

But that doesn't stop Democrats or liberal pundits from crying racism.

Just consider some recent examples from over the summer. When Mitt Romney visited Michigan, he joked about not needing a birth certificate to prove he was from there. Not very funny? OK, sure. Poor taste? Eh, maybe, I guess. "The basest and the most despicable bigotry we might be able to imagine"? Errr, no. And yet that's what one respected "expert" on race, Michael Eric Dyson, called it on MSNBC. Rather than show some skepticism at the claim, MSNBC host Alex Wagner agreed that Romney was "scraping the very bottom of this sort of racist other-ist narrative."

At the GOP convention, MSNBC host Chris Matthews explained that "Chicago" was a racially loaded code word. Fellow host Lawrence O'Donnell said Republican convention speakers were reaching "for every single possible racial double entendre they can find." His sole proof? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a joke about Obama playing a lot of golf.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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