When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) named Rep. Tim Scott (R) to the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jim DeMint (R), many news outlets rightfully highlighted that this appointment makes Scott the first Black Senator from the South since Reconstruction.
However, when reminded of the historic nature of her decision Haley quickly responded with: “It is important to me, as a minority female, that Congressman Scott earned this seat. He earned this seat for the person that he is. He earned this seat with the results he has shown.”
She also said to The Daily Caller about her decision: “I can tell you that it’s one that I’m very proud of; It’s one that I feel very confident in, and it’s one I think will be great.”
Haley is obviously trying to silence skeptics, though I’m not sure whether she’s referring to the ones that exist within her own party, the other side, or maybe both. Her conservative brethren are more direct.
Blogger Glenn Reynolds wrote: “So with Tim Scott’s appointment, the GOP has the nation’s only Black senator and both of its two Latino governors. Kinda busts the racial narrative, doesn’t it?”
This sounds mighty White and plenty devoid of reality, hence why Republicans struggle to attract minority voters despite its diverse body of elected officials including Indian American governors Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal, Cuban American senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and other Latino governors like Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez.
Sure, it looks nice and kudos to them for doing more than the Democrats on that front. Unfortunately, the GOP still fails to get a darker face perpetuating the same archaic and often alienating viewpoints we’re used to hearing from older, White men isn’t going to lure minorities en masse. But, according to our new and only Black senator, though, all the GOP has to do is better market their ideology to fix that quandary that’s long plagued them.
During an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point, Scott said of the GOP’s challenge in luring minority voters: “What we have to continue to do is work through the process of marketing and the ideas that we represent. I believe America is still very much a center-right country. And so what we have an opportunity to do is to walk into new places, new territories, and simply say the plan is clear, the way forward is clear and market ourselves effectively in new places.”
How many times have we heard this in the past and has anything ever changed? Like, brother, can you spare a clue? Sister, do you have some sense to spare? Universe, can you send this man a sign?
There is plenty of new data out that suggests that America’s political future looks far more favorably to liberalism than conservatism. Scott, with his religious conservatism, anti-gay viewpoints and past attempts to remove entire families off of welfare should one try to strike might bode well in South Carolina in the interim, but how far can politicians with similar beliefs fare in larger states with a more varied population?
And while marketing can do wonders, what kind of evil genius can make cutting funding for HIV/AIDS and impeaching President Obama look appealing to Blacks, Latinos, and women? Or for that matter, to younger Republicans?
Tim Scott is fortunate because as Haley astutely pointed out, ”I have no doubt that he will fly through 2014.” More than likely he will, but what about the others elsewhere? If this year’s election taught us anything, it’s that the out of touch will increasingly suffer at the polls. That’s because no matter how you dress up your ugliness, ugly is ugly.