As a man who has done more to destroy the Republican party than anyone before him, it’s interesting to note his thoughts on the image problem for Republicans. While not mentioning the specter of racism directly and his party’s vicious race-baiting during the 2008 election targeted at both Latinos and Blacks, he actually sorta went there. At least on the immigration issue, which surprised me. While his criticism of his own party is pointed if sorta subtle, I happen to agree: the party will continue to shrink into a regional, 1 race party in an increasingly diverse and multiracial nation if it continues on its current path of ignorant & racially polarizing politics. Because ultimately racism is a turnoff not only to minorities but to non-racist right-thinking whites. That’s um, probably the majority of the United States. Here’s what Bush had to say yesterday in his last press conference (woo chile – thank you Jesus), FYI (emphasis mine):

QUESTION: You said in an interview earlier this weekend one of these exit interviews…

BUSH: This is the ultimate exit interview.

QUESTION: … you think the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive. Who needs to hear that message inside the Republican Party?

BUSH: Yes, you see, I am concerned that — in the wake of defeat, that the temptation will be to look inward and to say, “Well, here’s a litmus test you must adhere to.”

This party will come back. And — but the party’s message has got to be that different points of view are included in the party.

And, take, for example, the immigration debate. That’s a — obviously, a highly contentious issue.

And the problem with the outcome of the initial round of the debate was that some people said, “Well, Republicans don’t like immigrants.” Now, that may be fair or unfair, but that’s the image that came out.

And, you know, if the image is “We don’t like immigrants,” then there’s probably somebody else out there saying, “Well, if they don’t like immigrants, they probably don’t like me, as well.”

So, my point was that our party has got to be compassionate and broad-minded.

While Bush’s policies on issues like education, Katrina, war and the economy have hit African-Americans disproprotionately hard, I’ve never thought that Bush himself was racist. No racist would have appointed Gonzales, Rice and Powell for example. These were no mere tokens but exceptionally talented (if misguided at best) people who happened not to be white. Bush deserves to be dismissed as a voice in the Republican party. He’s done the kind of harm that will take generations to repair. Yet on this point, he’s dead on. AND the Democratic party can continue to win if they actually dance with them that brung em which is Latinos and Blacks. Without our unwavering support, there is no path to victory and to prosperity for America.

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