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is the title of this eye-opening piece by Michael Grunwald at Time which I strongly urge people to read.

Grunwald talked with a number of key Republican insiders, and what they have to say does not indicate that the Republican party has learned that their current path is doomed because both of demography and changing attitudes of young people.  As Grunwald notes early in the piece, after mentioning discussions about a possible internal civil war in the Republican party,

But for all the punditry about a coming Republican civil war, it’s not clear that the party really wants to change in any serious way — or that it could change if it wanted to. Even GOP elites, while concerned that winnable races are being sacrificed on the altar of extremism, suggest that the party is likely to stay the course that worked in 2010.

Some Republicans are prepared to dismiss Obama's success with people of color on the fact that he himself is a person of color:  

They believe the party is gradually broadening its appeal, citing rising Hispanic stars like Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and newly elected Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina GOP Congressman, argues that his party doesn’t need to change its policies to pander to minorities; it just needs to work harder to sell its policies to them. “Are we more diverse now? Yes. By leaps and bounds? No,” he says. “We’ve got to reach out to a broader array of Americans. But we’ve still got to stay true to who we are and what we believe.”
Here let me interject some of my own observations.  I find it odd that Grunwald wound iup talking with McHenry, who is very far from being a leader even among the real right-wingers in the House.  Of equal importance, if a lily-white person like McHenry thinks he can point at tokens and ignore the reality of demography, it is a clear indication of how out of touch with what is happening many in the Republican party are.

But there is more.

Grunwald points out that some conservatives believed  "that shutting down the federal government and even defaulting on its obligations could be good for the economy" and reminds us that Jon Huntsman, even if he were not already irretrievably damage by serving the nation as the administration's Ambassador to China, destroyed whatever remaining chances he had for the nomination with one tweet:  

“I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Republican voters did, but then polls show most GOP regulars don’t even believe Obama is a Christian, many doubt he is a native-born citizen, and few changed their mind after he released his birth certificate. In April 2011, the birther Donald Trump actually topped the Republican presidential-primary polls.
There are now few  Republican moderates, with Susan Collins being the sole example in the United States Senate (which is why I think Dems should read out to her right now & offer her the chairmanship of Homeland Security if she becomes an independent and causes with them, because she will not survive a Republican primary if she has a sole tea-party challenger - asked Richard Lugar, who was a solid conservative).  Republicans seeking the nomination in 2008 could have a stimulus plan, but by this cycle the idea of a stimulus was considered blasphemy against the Gospel according to Grover Norquist and the cardinals of the Club for Growth.

Are there Republican voices who recognize that the current path is disastrous?  Consider:  

To party elites like lobbyist Ed Rogers, there’s a fine line between principled fiscal conservatism, which he supports, and politically suicidal dogmatism, which leads to candidates like Akin and Mourdock. “We have an angry fist-shaking caucus that says losing with purity is better than winning with nuance, which is crazy,” Rogers says. For four years, Republican politicians have portrayed Obama as a dangerous radical and fought him full time. It’s going to be hard to cut deals with him to solve problems like the looming fiscal cliff without alienating Republican voters who believed what they said. “We’re probably one e-mail away from Benghazi being an impeachable offense for much of our party,” Rogers says. “I think that’s nuts, but that’s where we are right now.”
Already we can see signs of this post-election.  I saw on tv someone from  the Susan B. Anthony List arguing that the reason Republicans did so poorly in the presidential and senatorial contests is that they were not sufficiently socially conservative!  Really.

Here I cannot help but think that the appropriate response is something tweeted by Alec Baldwin:  "You know your party is in trouble when people ask did the rape guy win, and you have to ask which one?"

Of course, these are the same great minds who when unemployment dropped in the October jobs report claimed the Dems must have cooked the books, and who had to "unskew" the polls that were describing political reality.

Reality -  political, scientific, economic -  none of this matters when your lens is ideological and you exclude anything that does not comport with your worldview, even when it is screaming with flashing sirens that you are on a dangerous path.

And one flashing siren has to be demography.

Ignore the exit polls that say Obama got 70% of the Latinos vote and pay attention to what Latino Decisions says, that is was more like 75%.  Remember this statistic: 50,000 Latinos turn 18 each month.

Note the declining share of Latino voters over the past three cycles -  Bush at around 40, McCain in the mid-30s and Romney someplace in the 20s.

Note that in Ohio the African-American share of the vote went from 11% to 15% this cycle, in a state with only 12% of its population black.

Note that cultural issues that used to help Republicans no longer do -  same-sex marriage is now accepted by increasing numbers of Americans, and overwhelmingly by younger voters of almost all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

As to abortion?  This cycle Democrats were able to get specific about it, and even tie it to birth control, and Republicans were stuck with having to respond to the remarks of the likes of of Ron Kloster, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and even VP nominee Paul Ryan.  We found that increasing numbers of Americans accept that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is not something in which they want the government's involvement, but rather it should be left to the persons most affected by it.

And yet, Republicans seemingly still have not learned.  

You can read in Grunwald's piece comments by the likes of former Congressman Chris Chocola (who lost that House seat in 2006 to now Senator-Elect Joe Donnelly), who is not President of the Club for Growth.  For many Conservatives, they look at their wins in 2010 after overwhelming losses in 2006 and 2008 and assume they can ignore anything except the 2010 cycle.  It is like their cherry-picking of polls (like Rasmussen) and isolated factoids on scientific and economic issues so that they can shut their eyes and close their ears to anything contrary to their ideology.

Which is why I think Grunwald's final short paragraph is absolutely correct:

While there will surely be some intraparty sniping during the next few months, for now, Republicans seem likely to stick with their playbook and cater to their base. Even as that base gets older, angrier and less representative of America.
We are already hearing and seeing evidence of that -  think for example of McConnell's post-election statement.

That Republicans continue in such a direction may help Democrats politically, but in the near term it means a likely continuation of obstructionism, not only in the still Republican-controlled House of Representatives, but insofar as they can by Republican Senators like Jim Demint.

Read the Grunwald piece.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Got popcorn?...this will be fun!!...Gooper job (7+ / 0-)

    number one is to shore up it's parliamentary bloc.....We watch with interest who swallows more Kool-Aid.

  •  Republicans won't learn until thely lose the House (27+ / 0-)

    And lose it 2 or 3 times in a row, at that, along with the Presidency and Senate.  They need to be thoroughly repudiated, and they haven't been yet because they still control one arm of government.  The 1930s were a huge reset period for Republicans because they lost practically everything and had to rework their entire party to remain viable.  Now, with such a close election, and control of the House, Republicans will be able to maintain the fiction that they weren't "sufficiently conservative" or "tur to their principles" or whatnot.  They don't have the motivation to really, fundamentally change their whole governing philosophy.

    We need to take the House from them in 2014.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:17:24 AM PST

    •  with respect to this - (19+ / 0-)

      as of RIGHT NOW the mechanisms of OFA need to be refocused to winning back the House in 2 years, to winning state legislative and gubernatorial races -  remember, both NJ and VA elect governors next year.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:21:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that really could be one of Obama's (10+ / 0-)

        more lasting legacies.  To turn his machine/his databases over to the Democrats to use from the grassroots on up and to have it continue to function well.   It has the potential for great abuse, as well,  so much information to hand over to a corporatist/third way power structure, it could also produce the new 'republican' party as easily as something more progressive.

      •  In our state the Democratic candidates decided for (5+ / 0-)

        themselves whether or not they would distance themselves and their campaign from OFA and the President.  Personally I thought those that decided to "deny" any association with the President didn't benefit from that in any case but they turned us off (as individual volunteers) in the process.

        In our rural county our Dem candidate lost by 200 votes.  In 2010 OFA coordinated with the Dem incumbent who was targeted by one of the big GOP money machines and we made calls with all our might to help him.  He won against all that outside (ALEC) money by 400 votes and I felt we helped.

        This time the candidate who ran to take the previously Dem held seat (this seemed very doable when the candidate we helped re-elect decided to retire) told us his strategy was to distance himself from the President.  I remember the story he shared of canvassing a Dem (Dixiecrat) voter himself, in which the voter called the President the N word.  As the rep candidate told it, his response to the voter was that he was not associated with the President.  It was an entirely different campaign.

        As a supporter (from the heart) for the President it really repulsed me that he responded that way, frankly.

        •  Win on policy. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          probably jay, aliasalias

          Any political campaign has an education component.  Voters don't know everything.

          We need to identify specific, actionable policies with majority support and lead with them.  Renewable energy standards?  Other?

          Emphasizing personality is part of the problem.  Parties don't exist to feed your ego.  Parties exist to get policy into place.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:22:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. In our community getting any kind of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, luckylizard

            volunteer help is difficult but turning out a ground game can overcome the outside money that will continue to flood local and state elections from ALEC even if a small group of volunteers is committed.  Another county OFA helped turn out and train volunteers for a candidate for state house and she won by 40 votes.  Those Obama volunteers were thrilled and took all their skills and fervor into helping where they could.  Turning off volunteers has had a big effect on the outcomes.

      •  I think this was the president's biggest (0+ / 0-)

        failures in his first term.  I hope he learned from it and will put OFA/DNC to work in 2014.

    •  With leadership like Boner and Can' can (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, lonespark

      they lose?.....;-)........(McTurtle already being a footnote)

    •  Lessons from the House (4+ / 0-)

      The Ryans and Bachmans are winning districts but generating a backlash that loses them whole states.

    •  Gonna Be Very Tough After Their Gerrymandering. (7+ / 0-)

      Dems must consider pre-census redistricting anywhere they can.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:34:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A no-confidence vote on the Dem g'mander (7+ / 0-)

        in Maryland did not pass.

        A gerrymander is a gerrymander, and the only way to end 'em is to outlaw them and move redistricting to a combination of federal minimum standards and local, nonpartisan, commissioners.

        Drawing compact districts is a computation problem, nothing more.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:41:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Compact districts are not the issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Compact districts can be useful in gerrymandering, as can drawing scraggling districts. The point is to concentrate the opponent's vote in a few seats that are safe for them, but that don't bring those numbers to bear across a larger number of districts. You might have a nice 85/15 Democratic district, which is nice for an incumbent who doesn't have to raise much money; but much of the Democratic majority is wasted--bottled up, you might say.

  •  Some people double their bet every time they lose (10+ / 0-)

    Of course, some people are really fucking stupid.

    But you already knew that.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:20:46 AM PST

  •  Grover Norquist said he wanted (9+ / 0-)

    government to be small enough to drown in a bathtub. The GOP is on a path to ensure that its party achieves that, if only for itself and not the government entire.  Be careful what you wish for Grover.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:21:57 AM PST

  •  The Cons are creatures of habit and creatures of (9+ / 0-)

    habit do the same things over and over again.  They are driven by their instincts and emotions, but for some reason have no awareness of being so driven. Their only choice when confronted by a prompt to action is go or no go.  If the prompt comes from a source that is feared, the response is a simple no.
    Such people are ripe for being manipulated and abused, especially by people whose sole objective in life is power. Power, to be felt, has to hurt. So, in the presence of bullies who routinely impose hurt, those who escape consider themselves lucky and special and even support the bullies lusting for power, as long as they don't hurt them.
    The abused cannot stand up for themselves, because that would subject them to the risk of being hurt. That's why abuse, much more than the risk of death, has to be countered by an outside force. We set up governmental authorities to deal with abuse. if authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicit, inflicting a fate worse than death (which we all experience eventually). Authorities which are complicit with abuse and torture deprive humanity of all hope.
    Barack Obama was all about hope. I think it took him a while to realize that he needed to stand up to abuse. The cons are an abusive cohort. They may not be able to help it, as a gnat can't help sucking warm blood. But, they have to be stopped.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:22:24 AM PST

  •  As a lifelong Democrat ... (0+ / 0-)

    I can only pray for a Allen West run ...

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:30:40 AM PST

  •  could tell yesterday just surfing RS and FR & read (8+ / 0-)

    reading the comments

    a very small minority showed glimmers of wisdom and insight like

    1- we need to start paying atention to nate

    2- we need to stop the anti abortion stop

    3- we need to appeal to minorities

    BUT the vast majority were "harder right" crowd so yeah, they are not changing any time soon

  •  i am calling it stupid cubed (6+ / 0-)

    they don't think they lost that big.

    in fact they think their biggest mistake was wasting so much money on ads that didn't work rather than a good GOTV operation.

    they are going to play chicken with a freight train.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:37:31 AM PST

  •  Not much to add to that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Tracker, flycaster

    My prediction:

    same old bald, rich, white men and their billionaire backers, but they'll paste a couple Latino faces on it.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:39:03 AM PST

    •  You've nailed it exactly (0+ / 0-)

      They will find a couple of token Latinos to scream "Latinos should start a small business!" at the top of their lungs, and nothing else.   That will be the end of the so-called outreach.   They'll completely ignore women, they'll completely ignore the youth vote, etc, etc.

      They haven't learned a damn thing.   .

  •  Lord I hope they take at least two more election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    cycles to figure it out.

    Because Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy and Roberts are sure as hell not going to retire while Obama is in office if they can possibly avoid it.  So assuming that the old men of the group, namely Scalia and Kennedy (both 76 now) hang on for four more years, the chance to really change the shape of the Supreme Court will fall to whoever the Democrats run in 2016.  The odds of both of those men being able to serve on the supreme court till they are 84 will be pretty slim.

    Other than keeping us out of war, and getting rid of Bush's insane tax cuts, the most critical thing the Democratic Party can do is build a large and lasting liberal majority on the Supreme Court.  Unfortunately, it may be 2017 or even 2021 before we get the chance.

    Getting the chance to replace Ginsburg and Breyer in the next 4 years is just holding our own.

  •  Pale, stale, male and full of tales (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I stole that from a comment in one of the diaries.

    Captures the essence of the GOP

  •  Obstruction doesn't require majorities. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rendering govt dysfunctional by obstruction to show govt is dysfunctional doesn't require majorities.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:43:54 AM PST

  •  nice,ken.great header.GOP still bindered/+gagged (0+ / 0-)

    consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

    by renzo capetti on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:49:03 AM PST

  •  Dismiss at your own peril; Demographics are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Destiny and the GOP will become irrelevant if they continue to downplay Obama's historic victory as the product of minority voters. It's petty and besides the point. Numbers wise it is going to get worse and if they can't accept that reality, fuck em.

  •  2016 is a trap for them BECAUSE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Calamity Jean, luckylizard

    there'll be a Dem contest that will attract most of the moderate (read: sane) voters - they'll be down even more to a pool of hard right cuckoos for a primary (and caucus) electorate. They won't be able to let go of social issues either.  
    McConnell, Graham, and perhaps Cornyn, are primary challenges waiting to happen.

  •  I wrote this in the local paper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, drmah, luckylizard

    Using my real name.

    I said, the GOP would nominate someone like Santorum. Probably not Rick, but someone who shares his regressive Akin/ Mourdock views.

  •  One major correction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, TomP, Odysseus, luckylizard

    It's not 50,000 Latinos turning 18 every day. . . . that'd be 18M Latinos reaching voting age every year.

    It's about 50,000 every month.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:53:02 AM PST

  •  I was optimistic as I canvassed in Ohio that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, luckylizard

    people seemed so well informed.  Voters for the President were aware of the issues and aware of the disinformation.  They were also very empowered to vote.

  •  Some more positive thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    Most of the big money contributors to the GOP don't want a financial collapse. They might send word to Boehner and McConnell to know it off after they've pushed as far as they need.

    They just spent hundreds of millions and got little other than the House. They want more.

    The stock market adjustment - with more ahead - could rattle reality into some Repubs.

    The media might wake up and assign blame where needed.

    Obama has already reached out to Romney - maybe he does to McCain as well. Both might welcome some involvement in the solution and reach for statesman status (McCain of course has stuff he wants in any final settlement).

    Boehner might release members to vote their conscience when it comes to a resolution (the problem though is he has to sign off on any bill that comes up, since it has to be approved by the majority leadership).

  •  The thing is they don't have to do anythinig (0+ / 0-)

    it will pass them by... an issue will come up and some moderate or independent will take it on and the people will support the new guy leaving the old guard in the past.

  •  I once read... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, probably jay

    In a Sales book no less, that habits which are rewarded SOME of time are much harder to break than habits that are rewarded ALL of the time.  Think of gambling.  The GOP believe that they were successful in 2010 because they were MORE conservative.  So that habit is going to take a long time to break.  Probably after they reach bottom.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton/Julian Castro - 2016

    by RichM on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:35:15 AM PST

  •  Of course they won't change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, carrps

    I don't really know why anyone expects differently. I heard Mona Charen on "On Point" yesterday and she was in total denial. Whenever she was asked about Republican outreach to latinos and blacks all she could do was repeat Romney's talking points about how much better off those groups would have been if Romney had won, and say that they had no chance of getting the black vote against a black president and that Bush had tried to reach out to the black community with NCLB which was "designed to help inner city schools" and that didn't get him many black votes.
    All other demographic questions got the same response, youth, women, whoever, would be better off with Republicans in charge and they just needed to realize that.
    I have not heard any major Republican voice make any kind of concession that the election was in any way a repudiation of their policies. They lost because of Sandy, or because of Christie or because the ravening hordes of "takers" has overrun the country, or because Obama was so mean to Romney, or ....
    They also look back just one election cycle and see that when they dismissed any calls for compromise after Obama's first stunning election, they were rewarded with control of the House in 2010. That leaves many of them to feel they should pursue the same strategy, and in reality, that's a tough argument to counter.
    Unless and until we can continue to organize and take back the House, and expand our lead in the Senate in 2014, we'll see more of the same from them.
    I've never bought all the happy talk going around about how this election is going to force the Republicans to "soul search" and reconsider their policies. They need to be beaten badly, several elections in a row, before they'll do that.

  •  Yeah, this is no surprise. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The party is now dominated by people who genuinely don't understand why they keep losing.  

    It's like the whole "Sandy is Obama's Katrina" argument- as if the criticism Bush received was just because a storm hit during his watch.  The right literally does not understand what the problem was.  They even made the same argument after the BP oil spill!

    Frankly, I don't care if the party ever learns its lesson.  The longer it takes, the less relevant they will be in the long run.  My only immediate hope is that dems will undertake serious filibuster reform and then be able to get the remaining votes required to get some bills passed in the House.

  •  Now that the election's over, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's time to put Republicans where they belong, in jail.  That ghoul from Kentucky McConnell's insulting diminution of the president's victory was beyond the pale.  

    50,000 Latinos turn 18 each day.
    I heard an interview yesterday where the figure was stated to be 50,000 a month.  I'm not sure which it is, but monthly sounds more in sync with the country's population growth.
    •  thought it was fixed to per month (0+ / 0-)

      if not, I will fix again

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:52:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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