Distances Itself from Redstate Racists

The national GOP doesn't like Redstate, and that's not really a surprise since Ken Mehlman knows that fanatically racist communities don't sell to their suburban soccer Moms.  As much as we bitch about Democratic insiders, the Republicans have a much tougher time on the internet, and will for the foreseeable future.  In a post on why the RNC can't build a personal fundraising page, here's a comment Mike Turk, who worked at the RNC on this project:

As the immediate past eCampaign Director for the GOP, and the eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 04, I may be one of the only people who can answer this directly.

We started to build this in January of last year.  The plans for the launch of last spring included two things that have never made it to the light of day - a viral fundraising component, and a "MyGOP" functionality that would have let activists build a MySpace-like site on    Practical reality set in, however, and killed both.  The trouble with the MyGOP concept was the conflict it created with incredibly tight internal controls on message.  

When we were forced to pull a Social Security Testimonials tool off the site because someone dared to use the word "private" instead of the more acceptable "personal" accounts, it became apparent that our internal tolerance for self-expression would not allow that sort of openness.  Arguments that restrictions of that nature are ridiculous and hamper our ability to be effective online were met with stony silence.  In the end, MyGOP went nowhere.

The fundraising tool was a different problem altogether.  The fact is, allowing that sort of functionality causes a slew of legal problems that the FEC (and clearly the Democrats) have not considered.  We looked at developing an ActRed site, but the legal restrictions prevent a national committee from doing so.  It could be done by a third party, and I undertand several are working on the concept.  Unfortunately, the RNC is bound by FEC laws, not to mention our party rules, and would run afoul of both.

As far as I know, a viral fundraising tool is still under development.  However, given a tendency within the RNC to view the site as nothing more than a communications vehicle - a really, really, expensive brochure - I'm not sure when that may get done.

For anyone who is casting aspersions on Patrick Ruffini, I would caution against that.  Patrick is pretty much the only friend we have in that building.  That's the reason I suggested they hire Patrick when I left. Patrick gets this stuff.

Unfortunately, Patrick has an enormous task ahead of him.  He has to convince a generation of political professionals to see the net as a community, rather than an audience.  It's a tough job, and he needs our help, not our derision.

Yes, he has a really really really tough job, because the Redstate community is racist. Even as celebrates black history month and Bush spoke at Coretta Scott King's funeral, here's what their netroots 'audience' had to say:

Why is it that we have to accept the Pantheon of the Left and see their funerals televised -- from Wellstone to Mrs. King?

Coretta Scott King's funeral is apparently 'our' funeral, instead of a memorial to national hero.  Is it any wonder the GOP wants an expensive brochureware site?  If you ask me, that's the right strategy, unless they want an RNC fundraising page dedicated to 'Strom Thurmond was right the whole time' fund by Trent Lott's internet savvy political heirs.

Tags:, Ken Mehlman, Redstate (all tags)



Re: Distances Itself from Redstate Racists

I love how they thought about giving their supporters a voice, and then realised that their supporters would say something even slightly off message (personal vs. private accounts) that would knock down the whole moderate facade of  They would reveal their racist, bigoted supporters who live online and vote/donate to GOP candidates.

by DaveB 2006-02-14 08:45AM | 0 recs
It's a built in advantage for the left.

The Internet's two-way many-to-many abilities suit a spherical organizing model better than a hierarchel one. Their top-down approach has little use for bottom-up chatter. It makes it a lot harder for them to fully use the internet. A similar problem exists for the telephone as well. They prefer one-way broad and narrow cast media. When it's two-way that means that there has to be someone on the other end listening.

by Jeff Wegerson 2006-02-14 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself from Redstate Racists

No they are not, they are still giving tax cuts to the rich.  This is a racist strategy because blacks rely heavily on social programs, and with tax cuts they aren't going to get them. Also, Alito worked hard against affirmitive action in the Reagan justice dept and he was just elevated to the Supreme Crt by the conserv Dems and the 55 conserv rep. Lastly, the prescriptive drug benefit which privatized medicare, that was enacted took money out of medicare, and poor seniors have to pay part of their health care out of their pockets.  It partially privatized medicare.  This disproportiately affected blacks.  Instead overt racist like in the 60's and 70's with their confederate flags on the back of their trucks, they are sofisticated racist like TR and Woodrow Wilson were.

by mleflo2 2006-02-14 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself

You really want to see how racist those RedState folks are? Take a look at their discussions on immigration. The RedStaters make no effort to mask their bigotry. Part of the right's strategy in the debate on illegal immigration is to refer to immigrants as "illegals." Not "illegal immigrants." Because this brands the person as illegal. Not their immigration status, their humanity.

by bluenc 2006-02-14 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself

But what's more racist than denying school choice to minorities?  What's more racist than denying health care to seniors?  What's more racist than giving tax cuts to millinoaires while minority children don't get health care?

by mleflo2 2006-02-14 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself from Redstate Racists
I used to hang out at Redstate a bit, hoping that there was some potential for constructive dialogue.  Nope.  They are wingnuts thru and thru.
They separate themselves from the Free Republic crowd by speaking in complete sentences and not drooling on their keyboards, but ideologically they are in the same camp.
by global yokel 2006-02-14 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself from Redstate Racists

Especially, the ones with the confederate flag decals on the back of their pick up trucks, huh?  Well that is not good on your part and they rather get a tax cut than give minority children health care, especially in MO,KY, WV, and OH.

by mleflo2 2006-02-14 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Distances Itself from Redstate Racists

Have any of you guys seen their posts on Islam and Muslims? Even worse than the Coretta Scott King stuff.

by musa 2006-02-14 12:55PM | 0 recs
Racist or classist?

I'm tired of hearing progressives complain that Republicans are racist.  Is a real racist, someone who longs for the days of white hoods and segregated lunch counters, more likely to vote Repub than Dem?  Yeah, probably.  But in all the examples that have been cited in this thread, I think that calling the GOP racist misses the point... they are classist, not racist.  The tax cuts didn't hurt 100% of black people nor did it help 100% of white people.  It did, however, hurt 100% of poor people and help 100% of rich people.  School choice hasn't been denied to minorities, it has been denied to children who live in poor cities.  Personally, I don't think W. spends his meetings with Condi thinking 'dammit, I can't believe I have to listen to what this dumb black person has to say.'  

And besides, when Dems yell 'racist,' do you think that resonates with any Independent/Undecided voter?  Or even worse, do you think it resonates with Republicans who might be inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate, if the national party is calling you a racist because you have voted Republican in the past?  

I'm not saying there aren't racist people out there, that race relations in this country are all wine and roses, or that W. wouldn't have replied to Katrina a bit faster if it were Seattle that got hit instead of New Orleans.  But I am saying that by focusing on the race aspect of these things we overlook the much more important discussion of class that we should be having.  

by alydar 2006-02-14 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Racist or classist?

This is the same retoric that the people in the Mnt states and southern states cried when Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were president.  They weren't overt racist like in the 19th century but sofistocated racist, that gave support to rise of segregation. And the same sophistocatic racist say it is states rights to fly the confederate flag in SC as long as it isn't on state grounds.  There is racism but it is sofistocated not overt.

by mleflo2 2006-02-14 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Racist or classist?

I'm not interested in whether there is sophisticated racism or overt racism or whatever you want to call it.  I'm saying that the racism part of it is much less of an issue than the income-level part of it.  It is like worrying about who is going to pitch Game 7 of the World Series in the coming year when your team finished dead-last the previous year.  Yeah, fine, we don't have a Game 7 pitcher and there is still racism in this country.  But let's first figure out how to catch and hit the ball, and figure out how to get a decent education and health care for poor people.  I guess it is an issue of priorities.

You bring up a good point with the racist attitudes of the past, but I think I'm more inclined to take a pragmatic tack and say, hey, playing the race card doesn't work any more, so its not a good way to get things done.

by alydar 2006-02-14 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Racist or classist?

But racism and classium goes hand and hand and we need a better job to get past the security level threshold or both racism and classium will stay and the GOP will stay in power.  This goes for Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner and the Congressional Dems.  And following the GOP like they did in 2002 in authorizing the war in Iraq doesn't cut it.  

by mleflo2 2006-02-14 04:10PM | 0 recs


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