One of the things I’ve done over the past month has been to point out the problems that the Republican Party has going forward. One of the major problems they have is Republicans. That is, the people who are running the Party apparatus and serving as elected officials at the federal, state and local level. While there are serious issues with their “message,” or more correctly the platform of policies they espouse, their ability to change anything to seem more “inclusive” is undercut by what their own party is doing.
For example, I talked about how they “don’t understand women.” There was an 18 point gender gap in the 2012 election. They devoted quite a bit of space in their “Growth and Opportunity Project” to how to reverse that, but here’s the actual reality: In the past three months states have proposed a lot of regulations relating to women:
In the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.
A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion:
Yes, just the very thing that would make women feel that the Republican Party is “friendly” towards them. There are Republican legislatures passing laws which state that “life begins at conception.” Which is a nice religious belief, but not one that is in anyway scientifically provable or can be medically determined. That’s right, unless you’re doing the fertilization in a test tube (or petri dish), there is no way to determine when that happens in the human body. It also rather blithely ignores that an estimated third of all fertilized eggs don’t implant, or implant incorrectly and are passed out of the body.
Well, what about attracting youth? After all, all they think they need to be is … “cool,” right? That’s what some younger Republicans think. The problem?
By proclaiming that their defeats are due mainly to technological inferiority or bad messaging, the young Republicans ignore the underlying source of popular disdain for their party. It is true that their technology was feeble, their candidate and consultants were incompetent, and their messaging was often repellent. But the self-styled hipsters of the right are in fact not much different from the Tea Party octogenarians in their hostility to government investment, social insurance, health care, education, and industry – and both are in conflict with the evolving attitudes of young Americans across all demographic lines.
In other words, the party’s platform is against everything that most young Americans are for. Let’s not leave out their bigotry. It takes some remarkably … paranoid … unwillingness to address the issue, to make a statement like this:
By email, his spokesman, Brian Robinson, said Deal would have no response to a liberal group’s call for state officials, including the governor to speak out.
He wrote, “This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party and we’re not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt.”
Right, because segregated proms are just fine! But he has competition. There’s a legislator in Montana who is in the running for “idiot of the year:”
First Hagstrom wrote a fairly hilarious letter to all his tenants explaining that they were just going to have to die young for the good of the nation — before it was revealed that when it comes to federal moneys and his rentier lifestyle, a river runs through it. And then Montana Cowgirl gifted us with this video, above, where Hagstrom explains how gay penises should retract like ball point pens, because of how they are not “normative.”
Uh huh. Are these the “exceptions?” Not really. It seems like you can’t look at the news without seeing a litany of things springing out of one state or another. Comparing background checks to genocide. Getting excited about banning non-existent federal funding of abortion. Comparing gay marriage to polygamy. Trotting out tired lies against immigration reform. Making it a unanimous (although one did claim later on that he voted against it) decision to put the Party against marriage rights. One could sit around and make a very, very long list of actions that Republicans are making in every legislature they control which are directly antagonistic to the very groups they claim they want to reach out to.
I said back at the end of last year that Republicans have a real problem: They’re unwilling to admit they’re wrong:
They’re explaining it as not being “pure enough,” not communicating their message adequately, voter fraud, and any number of other reasons. The data doesn’t back them up, so they deny the data.
Which is why they’re in an extinction spiral:
While some in the party are seriously trying to change the party to attract a more diverse membership, the problem is that they continue to follow the “entertainment conservatives,” who pander to the worst parts of human nature, and in the end, the Republican Party becomes more and more a party of “angry white males” who are a decreasing part of the population.
It’s not just that, but that they can’t see that many (if not all) of their current “principles” aren’t working when actually put into practice, and are deeply unpopular. Rather than starting to come up with new ones that might actually work, and are based on objective reality, they’re still trying to come up with better cosmetics. While I don’t think the Republican Party is “finished” or will be replaced by another party, I do think that they’re in for a series of elections where they will keep losing, even in areas where they once held sway. It’s going to take that to finally get them to see what they need to do, because it’s going to be a painful process. In the meantime, they keep making it easy to predict what they’ll do: Just pick the most asinine thing you can think of, against all common sense or reality, and that’s what they’ll do.