There has been a lot of talk recently about the GOP need to change their “messaging”. The much touted “autopsy” conducted by Party leaders after the election concluded that their policy platform was not so much the problem as the way it was communicated. The theory was that the Party platform just had to be communicated more effectively: with language that was sensitive and inclusive. After all, this was not the Party of old angry white men – it was a Party that wanted to include all Americans. So how has the communication been going since then?
In the space of a week or so, we had Republican Congressman Don Young discussing the issue of immigration and relations with Hispanic-Americans in as sensitive a manner as he could muster using the term “wetbacks”. When Party leaders denounced his use of the racial slur (Sen. Rubio was notably silent), Congressman Young refused to apologize, but did offer the sensitive explanation that the racial slur used to be acceptable when he was younger. Many of the old angry white men in the Party agreed.
Michigan Republicans further cemented their reputation as being a safe harbor for bigots later the same week when one of their own, Congressman Agema, used his official Facebook page to sensitively communicate a hateful diatribe against gays, including such notable lies as attributing nearly half of all murders being attributable to gays. After all, Agema argued, it was not a position inconsistent with their Party Platform (he is a member of their Platform Committee).While some national leaders in the GOP denounced the bigoted actions of Agema, they have not removed him from his Committee position. Michigan Republicans for the most part have been supportive of Agema. For example, the Party Chairman has refused to call for an apology or resignation, saying it was all up to Agema and his family. Agema remains the most tangible sign that the GOP remains the party most inclusive… of all bigots.
This “communication” thing they have may need some fine tuning.