The Republican National Committee has released its analysis of what went wrong, and a path forward for the Party. It’s a long document, and I haven’t read it all (yet), a quick scan of it shows some ideas that might be helpful in pulling the party out of its current death spiral, although it does seem to be notably lacking in details and practical policy considerations. Still, it’s a start. But in looking through it, I see a major problem: The people who are currently holding office and running the party.
Here’s an example, voter registration:
Another concern expressed by those interviewed is the dramatic drop-off in registration efforts conducted by the RNC and state parties over the last several election cycles. Registration is an expensive process but one that is increasingly underfunded. We need dynamic and targeted voter registration efforts tied to specific issues, and funds should be invested now to ensure their success and year-round availability.
Except for all those “voter ID” laws that various Republican states have been passing, and the remarkable number of conservatives who still believe that ACORN “stole” the election, this would be a good idea. But note the “tied to specific issues.” In other words, don’t try to attract a broad range, attract the single-issue voter.
Attracting young voters?
Young voters need to be attracted to the Republican Party by both the message and the candidate. Obama was seen as “cool” in 2008, and his popularity spread like wildfire among young voters.Obama and his “Change we can believe in” slogan was a trend in 2008 to which many young Americans were attracted. In 2008 and again in 2012, the Obama campaign used young supporters as precinct captains and boots on the ground. They were enthusiastic voices bringing their friends and neighbors into the campaign.
No, young voters didn’t turn out for Obama because he was “cool.” Once again the Republicans can’t seem to get the point. They turned out for him because a) he asked them to get involved; and b) (this is important) he spoke to their issues. This report makes it seem as if it was simply “a fad” and if they can only become “the cool kids” they’ll attract the youth vote.
7. The Republican Party committees need to understand that women need to be asked to run. Women are less likely to run for office on their own, and we should be encouraging and championing their desire to seek elective offce. Additionally, the Republican Party must recognize the unique challenges that female candidates face when running for office, as well as the unique opportunities female candidates provide in winning elections. The Party should provide training programs for potential female candidates that includes fundraising guidance,digital strategy, etc.
8. Republicans need to make a better effort at listening to female voters, directing their policy proposals at what they learn from women, and communicating that they understand what a woman who is balancing many responsibilities is going through. Too often, female voters feel like no one listens to them. They feel like they are smart, engaged, and strong decision makers but that their opinions are often ignored. Many female voters feel that Washington,D.C., is a city full of politicians that simply don’t listen and don’t understand what their daily lives are like. Female candidates are far better at connecting with these voters because they are more likely to understand them.
Um, well, let me see. First off, let’s start by not being so goddamn patronizing! You might want to look around at what has pissed women voters off so much, and what you’re still doing. Let’s see, North Dakota and Arkansas just passed very restrictive abortion laws. Your party led an attack on the “fair pay law,” where women would receive equal pay for equal work, arguing against providing for contraceptive coverage – while covering Viagra – and oh, let’s see, oh yea, removing failing to support a host of programs that women rather like. That’s what your elected officials have been doing, and it’s why you’re losing the women’s vote.
There’s also a lot in their about “communicating their message to minorities,” except they don’t want gays and basically want no changes, except that they need to “communicate better.”
Republicans: if you could just hate gay people a little less vocally, all will be well. Get on that, please. Pro-tip: spending veritable oodles of money to defend DOMA does not exactly denote toleration, nor is it likely to stop teh gheyz from being mad at you all the time.
Hey Ladies! Don’t think the Republican party has forgot about you! They’d love to listen to you prattle on about your special womanly needs, but that’s sure as hell not going to include things you actually want, like birth control, abortion, or the right not to get the ever-loving shit beat out of you.
Blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans: please just allow the GOP to recruit you to a mind-numbingly large number of committees, OK? Thanks.
After reading the reports from CPAC, listening to this weekend’s news shows, and reading the news, I can say that this report might be useful except for a few small problems. Mostly, it’s not going to be listened to by Republicans. Forget trying to persuade everyone else, the biggest problem the Republican Party has is: Republicans.