STEELE VOWS TO GO ‘BEYOND CUTTING-EDGE’…. The more RNC Chairman Michael Steele talks, the better Democrats have to feel about the future.

Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele plans an “off the hook” public relations offensive to attract younger voters, especially blacks and Hispanics, by applying the party’s principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”

The RNC’s first black chairman will “surprise everyone” when updating the party’s image using the Internet and advertisements on radio, on television and in print, he told The Washington Times.

Steele said the party needs “messengers” who can capture a “region” made up of “young, Hispanic, black, a cross section.” He added, “We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings…. [W]e need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.”

Steele went on to explain his public-relations vision, saying, “It will be avant garde, technically. It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone — off the hook.”

Asked if he imagines a cutting-edge approach, Steele replied, “I don’t do ‘cutting-edge.’ That’s what Democrats are doing. We’re going beyond cutting-edge.”

Raise your hand if you think Michael Steele has the foggiest idea what he’s talking about.

Look, Steele seems to believe the Republican Party will do really well with a fresh coat of paint on a rusted, broken-down car that’s already been driven into a ditch. For the RNC chairman, the problem is about branding. If only the party can put together a song about capital gains tax cuts that sounds like Lil Wayne, younger voters will swoon.

Far be it for me to give the Republican National Committee advice, but if Steele believes he can ignore the party’s systemic failures and thrive by “going beyond cutting-edge,” he’s even more foolish than he sounds.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.