I noticed there was a spike in traffic to my post endorsing Chip Saltsman as the next RNC chair. I was wondering what that was all about. That is until I had Dave comment. I didn’t know at first what he was talking about because I hadn’t really been reading political news of late. I learned what the hubbub was all about.
RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.
Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members.
“I look forward to working together in the New Year,” Saltsman wrote. “Please enjoy the enclosed CD by my friend Paul Shanklin of the Rush Limbaugh Show.”
The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”
Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.
The song, which debuted on Limbaugh’s show in late March 2007, latches onto an opinion column in the Los Angeles Times of the same title. That column, penned by cultural critic David Ehrenstein, argued that Obama could serve as a balm to whites who felt guilty about past treatment of African Americans.
I am going to say right now that I believe sending this CD out was an error in judgment. I personally would never send anything like that out. I think the song, even though it took on the name of a liberal op-ed, is still in poor taste. Do I believe Chip to be a racist because of this? No.
Chip Saltsman needs to admit that this was a mistake, he screwed up, but instead he is pointing out liberal media bias. I agree. This is an example of media bias when a liberal op/ed writer, David Ehrenstein, gets a pass, but Paul Shanklin does not. Is this fair? Of course not.
But it doesn’t matter. It isn’t going to matter with the public at large, and likely won’t matter with RNC committee members. All it does is reinforce a negative stereotype of the RNC. Our debate needs to be about substantive issues and policies, not crap like this. It takes time and attention away from what is really important. This song may have been appropriate (not really) on Rush Limbaugh’s show, but not as a stocking stuffer for RNC committee members.
I still believe that Saltsman’s vision for rebuilding the RNC is an excellent plan and his type of experience is what we need, but his bid for the chairmanship of the RNC has likely gone puff.