Head of North Carolina GOP compares Hillary Clinton & Democrats to KKK

Well, I can’t remember the last time I did a post about the KKK…wait, yes I can.  Anyway, it’s time for another one, I guess.  Damnit.

Anyway, today’s inappropriate Klan reference comes to us courtesy of Hasan Harnett, the Chairman of the North Carolina GOP.  About two weeks ago, Harnett posted these two lovely tweets:

Yes, because clearly, this is a sensible comparison: the former Secretary of State to the KKK.  Right.  Okay.

First off all, the information here is just straight up wrong: the KKK was never founded as the “militant wing of the Democratic party.”  That’s just not true.  There were, unquestionably, racist Democratic politicians who were members of the KKK.  However, it’s worth noting that the worst of these offenders are either long deceased or left the Democratic Party.  It’s also worth noting that there has been a massive political realignment since the founding of the KKK, in which most social conservatives, and particularly those with the most offensive views of race, left the party, as they no longer felt welcomed.  Incidentally, this is a correct feeling, at least as far as I am concerned!

More to the point: Tweets like this distract from the message and make Republicans look like crazy extremists.  The vast, vast, overwhelming majority of voters are going to be turned off by comparisons of elected officials to the KKK.  Republicans have been attacking Secretary Clinton on many fronts – many of them real, policy disagreements that people can understand and comprehend.  This kind of social media use, from this prominent of a political official, in this important of a swing state, can only serve to turn off moderate voters whose votes the Republican party will need to win the state and the election.

Indeed, this reaction can be seen in the reaction to Harnett’s tweets:

The story has now appeared in multiple news outlets, and clearly, this is not the kind of press that the head of the Republican Party should be looking to generate.  When asked for comment, Mr. Harnett declined, but the party’s Executive Director said, “…as the first black chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, he believes we have to learn from history and move past it.”

Naturally, the state Democrat Party attacked, saying through a spokesman, ”

“Chairman Harnett’s troubling comments pretty much encapsulate the current Republican brand in North Carolina: inflammatory rhetoric, a little unhinged and completely focused on anything and everything other than creating jobs or improving our schools. It’s no wonder that everyday families are ready for a change in Raleigh.”

Not a smart move here.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

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