June 10, 2013

Meet Chad Connelly, former director of the South Carolina Republican Party. Before he was a full time political boss, he was a sales director for Amway. What do Republicans do with state directors who are under fire from disgruntled tea party members? They promote them, of course!

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has just announced the hiring of a Tea Party Southern Baptist to strengthen its ties with the Evangelical community, Chad Connelly. Connelly, 49, is a motivational speaker and until his resignation to work for the RNC, was the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. The Southern Baptists (SBC) are perhaps among the most anti-gay of all Christian sects, and represent about 16 million Americans, the second-largest group of Christians in the U.S. after Roman Catholics.

Connelly, who has been described by a local South Carolina paper as “a chronic liar,” and reportedly believes America is a Christian nation, there is no separation of church and state, and somehow only one person died on the Mayflower — “a sailor who cursed and mocked the Pilgrims’ efforts” — will be the RNC’s director of evangelical outreach.

Here's the problem, as David Badash notes. Republicans don't have a problem with Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists love Republicans. The 2012 postmortem of the election indicated that the GOP should do everything it could to connect with Latinos:

The RNC’s 2012 “autopsy,” a report meant by RNC chair Reince Priebus to be a blueprint to get the GOP on track, recommends the “RNC should consider hiring a faith-based outreach director to focus on engaging faith-based organizations and communities with the Republican Party.”

All other references to “faith” in the report focus on the Hispanic community:

“The RNC must improve how it markets its core principles and message in Hispanic communities (especially in Hispanic faith-based communities).”

“Engage the Hispanic faith-based community in our efforts.”

Based on that, and the College Republicans' report last week warning the party about their attitudes on gay rights, a conservative Southern Baptist guy who hates gays and promises to recruit even more Southern Baptists while ignoring the Latino community should be exactly what the RNC needs to succeed, don't you think?

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