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The GOP’s ‘Magic Negro’ flap
A parody about Obama shakes up the Republican leadership race
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hip Saltsman, a candidate to lead the Republican National Committee, sent a Christmas CD to RNC members that included a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro,” said John Avlon in The Daily Beast, but that’s just the “latest sign of Republicans’ tone deafness when it comes to race.” The overwhelmingly white GOP will have to come up with “something better than cynicism or sarcasm” if it wants to survive in “the Age of Obama.”

Well, the RNC makes its choice next week, said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial. And if Republican leaders are “stupid” enough to pick “Saltsman and company”—party members who think a “song mocking the race of the next president is all good, clean fun”—the GOP “is going to be in the wilderness for a long time.”

The song, performed by “parody artist Paul Shanklin” to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” isn’t a display of racism, said Paul Mirengoff in Power Line. It’s based on a Los Angeles Times op-ed by liberal black writer David Ehrenstein, and aimed not at Obama but at “the decidely non-magical Al Sharpton” character who narrates the song. Still, the RNC needs a chairman who isn’t so “tone-deaf” as to open the party to such “easy shots by our enemies.”

“Oh, give me a super-sized break,” said Michelle Malkin in her blog. The outrage from the left, “after eight years of ‘F**k Bush’ bumper stickers and ‘Kill Bush’ assassination chic and Bush-or-Chimp parodies,” is bad enough. But the  “overreaction of some on the right is even more gag-worthy.” Current RNC chairman Mike Duncan “professes to be ‘shocked’ and ‘appalled’”—let’s hope that’s not “the kind of GOP ‘leadership’” we'll get for the next four year.

The forced outrage from GOP leaders is bad, said Adam Graham in Culture11, but the RNC “blabbermouth” who leaked the contents of Saltsman’s private Christmas gift is worse. Saltsman is now finished in the RNC race, but the party is the big loser. The only real winner is Ken Blackwell, a black contender for RNC chairman, who became a “top tier candidate” after he was “savvy” enough to criticize the media’s “hypersensitivity” over the song.

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