Republicans just spent $10 million to find out they couldn't win a national election if they ran unopposed. The National Republican Committee report says unless the party changes its messages it will continue to shrink on the federal level. The party is described, in its own report, as ideologically rigid...still clinging to the days of Ronald Reagan...unable to speak to a wider electorate and indifferent to the struggles of average people. Focus groups said the Republicans are "scary, narrow-minded, out of touch and the party of old men." Duh.
In response, the party chief announced outreach programs designed to make the party more appealing to young people and minorities. Of course if you are a young or minority woman, the Republicans want you to know they want you in their tent but you wont be allowed access to contraceptives or control your body or fertility. They want to tell your doctor what she can or cannot tell you including whether you will have a healthy baby or not. They would love you to go to college, but they are cutting Pell grants and you will have to take on a mountain of debt to pay for your degree. They will continue to sponsor laws making it more difficult to vote and will oppose two same sex partners from getting married. That they are trying to reach you, of this there is no doubt...that they see no reason to temper their message is equally certain.
The report recommends Republicans address the perception they don't care about people. At the same time the report was released, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee, released his budget plan for the next few years. His plan would end Medicare as we know it, privatize Social Security giving Wall Street billions of your dollars to gamble with, turn Medicaid into a block grant program not indexed for inflation meaning the states would have to make up any federal shortfall and millions of poor people would lose access to health care. Oh yes, he also wants to totally repeal Obamacare meaning insurance companies can refuse insurance for pre-existing conditions, your children will be kicked off your insurance and millions more Americans won't have access to health insurance. If that isn't the definition of caring, what is?
At one point the report advises Republicans to "be inclusive and welcoming" in stances on social issues to attract young people and women. "Hi, welcome to the Republican tent. You'all 'r welcome in as long as you are straight, wealthy, virgins who have concealed weapons and are ok if we start with a prayer." (sample)
Republicans need to embrace comprehensive immigration reform, according to the report, if they wish to attract more Hispanics to the party. This goes hand in hand with Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush's immigration proposals to let illegal immigrants work in this country without any chance of ever becoming citizens. Could you see the torrent of new Hispanics rushing to get inside that tent?
The recommendations likely to have the most traction are the ones having to do with organization. Republicans have too many presidential debates. It seems numerous debates allow less well-funded, well known, and bat-shit crazy candidates to garner a following. (attention Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman or Newt Gingrich) In a democracy, allot of debates is a bad thing, according to the report, so in the future there will be one debate and that's it.
The report also says the national convention is too late in the summer. It will now be held in March directly after the one debate. Republicans don't have enough field offices and were high-teched into oblivion by Obama. The unlimited money PACs are now allowed to give to Karl Rove and the boys, should now be spent on staff and field offices and buying computers. A former head of Bain capital has been recommended to develop a voter database and to reach out to the crazy regressives in Silicon Valley for help.
One group of voters was totally ignored by the report. Angry white voters get no love from this post-mortem. These voters who find homosexuality abhorrent, want a fence around the country and 12 million Hispanics deported...the same voters who oppose gun control, the Environmental Protection Agency and are in favor of drilling for oil anywhere and everywhere...the voters who support a woman who has been "legitimately" raped, accepts less equal pay with men and is ok with no representation in Congress...these voters are ignored and left on their own. They are now supposed to go to the back of the tent.
I have learned, exclusively, the original title of this ten million dollar effort was, "Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic", but it was changed when Republican National Committee members thought it was too honest for public consumption.