IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

How not to make friends and influence people

David Horowitz
David Horowitz

The Republican National Committee's spring meeting is underway in Los Angeles this week, and one of the top items on the agenda is the party's drive to "broaden the GOP's appeal with voters" and "reach out to new voters, specifically Asian Americans, blacks, Hispanics and young people."

Those certainly sound like sensible goals, especially for a party that's struggling with low popularity, a tarnished brand, and a narrowing base of support.

But to help "broaden the GOP's appeal with voters," the Republican National Committee has turned to a rather motley crew to offer the party guidance. As we discussed yesterday, one of the invited guests at the spring meeting is former Vice President Dick Cheney, but he won't be alone.

In addition to Cheney, Priebus told national committee members that influential conservative opinion makers Hugh Hewitt, David Horowitz and Larry Solov will also address the RNC's spring meeting.

Oh, for crying out loud.

Look, I don't blame the RNC for wanting to "reach out to new voters, specifically Asian Americans, blacks, Hispanics and young people." I also don't blame the RNC for seeking guidance from others, since folks inside the Republican National Committee clearly don't know how to broaden the party's appeal on their own.

But even if we put Cheney and his record of spectacular failures aside, if the RNC expects to receive worthwhile guidance from David Horowitz and Hugh Hewitt, I have some bad news for Reince Priebus and Co.

Horowitz, for example, is one of the nation's most abrasive anti-Muslim activists, a notorious conspiracy theorist who's dabbled in some ugly racial politics, and someone who believes political correctness will lead to a "totalitarian future." He's also written books with titles like "Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes" and "The Race Card: White Guilt, Black Resentment, and the Assault on Truth and Justice."

And who better to help broaden the RNC's appeal than the guy who wrote "Hating Whitey"?

Hewitt, meanwhile, is a well-known far-right radio host and blogger who spent parts of 2012 telling Republican voters that there was a media conspiracy to skew polling results. A compilation of Hewitt's greatest hits is challenging, but note that 20 years ago, when he helped oversee the creation of the Nixon Library, he wanted to screen researchers who could make use of the facility, restricting those he deemed insufficiently conservative.

He went on to become an enthusiastic Romney cheerleader and over-the-top critic of President Obama. In 2008, Hewitt reflected on a college football game and said, "[I]t's probably the last football game we'll ever get to see before the United States gets blown up by the Islamists under Obama."

My personal favorite Hewitt moment came in 2005, when the Republican pundit tried to shield George W. Bush from blame over the response to Hurricane Katrina, instead blaming reporters who he said failed to warn New Orleans in advance about the severity of the storm.

The RNC sure knows how to pick 'em.