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The Republican Party is still hard at work figuring out why people seem to hate them, or at least why they're not voting for them. Unfortunately, they can't agree on what the problem is, which is hampering efforts to find a solution:
There’s a split between those who believe the party’s problem is cosmetic, those who believe it’s data-based and those who think it’s ideological and policy-based. Within those camps, there’s no common ground on what a better approach would look like.  […]

The constant drama, a number of Republicans say, has denied the party writ large a chance to take stock amid calm. Still, the Republican National Committee is moving ahead with what Chairman Reince Priebus has at times called an “autopsy” into 2012.

The RNC efforts are just one of many, and it's not clear the RNC opinion will hold any more weight than any of the others. The problem is that every individual group and consultancy has obvious reasons to declare that their version of what went wrong is the true one, and everyone else should therefore shut up and keep paying them money. Technophiles are convinced that the Romney campaign just needed to post more things to Twitter. Hard-right conservatives think the answer is to be more hard-right. Karl Rove knows that Karl Rove was right and should continue to be paid the big bucks, so he thinks the answer is to stop sending him candidates who so obviously suck. And every message strategist, everywhere, thinks the answer is in tweaking the messaging.

If there are any serious, credible attempts at self-reflection, however, I haven't seen them. Yes, various party contrarians have muttered about the necessity of policy reforms and of the demographic hurdles facing the aging, perpetually cranky party; those individuals, however, are in no position to enact such reforms. Nobody is. (Even immigration reform, the supposed easiest fix for claiming a new, more inclusive base, has been stymied by the hostility of hard-right party ideologues; regardless of the much-ballyhooed breakthrough on the Senate side, Republican efforts on the issue look to be a rigged game.) Republican social policies remain captured by the hard-right base; economic policies are tied inextricably to the needs of the big donors that the party apparatus relies so very heavily on. All of this ties into our previous suspicion that the party has devolved into nothing but an elaborate grift, or at least that the party has no particular concept of the difference between true ideology and intentionally astroturfing, well, themselves. And yes, I mean that seriously.

The attempts to unskew election polls; the Dick Morrising of Fox; the business-fueled, Fox-News-promoted "grassroots" of the unironically presented anti-tax "tea party"; state efforts to pass laws banning the recognition of climate change as even a possibility; a religious (literally) aversion to sex and the wommenfolks. The Republican base has now reached a point where facts and propaganda are not just interchangeable, but you're considered a credit to the party for thinking so. Where's the introspection going to come from? Is there going to be a new coalition that says "golly, perhaps not all of science is out to oppress us" or "we now realize that this Agenda 21 nonsense was entirely made up." Is there going to be a new recognition that the female half of the population is, in fact, perfectly capable of deciding certain things for themselves? Not from a movement that considers even the likes of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell to be traitors.

The GOP remains in a deep ideological retrenchment. While there are certainly many, many efforts to parse out just what went wrong for them in the last elections, so far every one of them has been entirely self-serving. I'm not sure when the party will awake from the current grifts, but there's no evidence to suggest such a thing will be coming anytime soon.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would love to see more Rebups in disarray.. (14+ / 0-)

    if they weren't trashing the country in the meantime. I just take solace that the writing is on the wall that they will eventually run out of angry white men.

    Listen to the chair leg of truth! It does not lie! What does it say?

    by mhanch on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:20:16 PM PST

  •  They couldn't "Take Their Country Back!" (13+ / 0-)

    It is was never theirs in the first place.

    Certitude + xenophobia + anti-science = delusions of grandeur

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:20:22 PM PST

  •  Big Dilemma (7+ / 0-)

    What is a Republican do if he really hates gays and hates Social Security? Wake up one morning and say, "Wow, I better starting liking these things otherwise it's over"? Become a RINO?

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:21:12 PM PST

    •  Hunter - What does "data based" mean? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, basket
      There’s a split between those who believe the party’s problem is cosmetic, those who believe it’s data-based and those who think it’s ideological and policy-based.
      Unless this means demographically-based, I think they've missed a possibility.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:35:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Failure to build an operation like Obama's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basket, DSPS owl

        With data-mining from social media and very sophisticated data base for mobilizing voters to get them to vote and get their friends to vote.

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:19:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's pretty simple, really (5+ / 0-)

      Problem:  They're wrong about everything.

      Solution 1:  They have to change their minds.

      Solution 2:  They go extinct as a party

      Solution 3:  They grow so weak they open themselves up to a hostile takeover by some third force.

      Solution 3 has already been tried, and failed to revive them.  Solution 1 is inconceivable to them, which brings us back to the problem.  So solution 2 is the likely eventual ending.

      Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:09:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's when I'll take them seriously (10+ / 0-)

    When anyone in that party starts advocating for something that s/he wasn't also saying before the election.  Folks who are just going to use this as an opportunity to say if they had only listened to me ... aren't nearly as interesting as those who may have learned something from that ass-kicking.

  •  They've Got a Reprieve, With Midterms Coming (7+ / 0-)

    and so many safe House seats. Sane voters were a lot less important in 2010 and the GOP appears to be expecting the same for 2014.

    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 Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:23:31 PM PST

  •  Refusing to govern isn't the best campaign slogan. (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:25:54 PM PST

  •  So Priebus Is Acknowledging That The GOP Is Dead? (6+ / 0-)

    "...called an “autopsy"..."

    Good news everyone! The GOP is now offiically the Walking Dead. Brains for everyone!

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

    by Beetwasher on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:26:00 PM PST

  •  I'm willing to step in and offer a route (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, implicate order, basket

    to some bipartisan healing - blame me !

  •  I think voter suppression worked. (8+ / 0-)

    Many thousands, perhaps even more than a million people were removed from voter roles, had their registration revoked, or otherwise were prevented from voting in the last election.  That and ownership of he mainstream media by powerful interests contributed to a big, and I mean big, advantage to Romney and other republicans.

    But Obama won.  The Senate still contains a Democratic majority.  And here is where we progressives get it wrong:  Many of us repeat the mantra:  Voter suppression failed.

    It didn't.

    I have wondered how much greater would have been the Obama victory had so many voters not been suppressed?  I have wondered if we would not have had more victories in the Senate.  Even with gerrymandering, could it have been possible to defeat at least a few of the Congressional Republicans who won by smaller margins?

    I suggest we stop saying that voter suppression efforts failed.  I think doing so lulls us into a sense of security in which the next election can be stolen this way.

  •  Why not blame democrats? (0+ / 0-)

    It would be the first time that righteous indignation was focused correctly.

  •  considering the GOP (6+ / 0-)

    in general, wants to present themselves as the party of business and wants to run the gov't in a business-like manner, they sure do a shitty job running their own organization.  If anyone takes a close look at how the GOP operates, they shouldn't have high expectation for them to be succesful - failed product, bankrupt subsidiaries, lack of leadership, no clear mission....

    On the other hand, the Democratic Party is looking very well managed and running as well as most succesful business would hope to.

    •  Older business owners aren't all that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      familiar with the newest technologies, don't engage in much social networking (twitter, facebook, texting), and certainly not organizing via social networking.  Those are younger people's tools.  If it's true that most Republican true believers are older white men, Republican campaign managers and staff have a different problem  in reaching out and touching their base than Democrats do.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:54:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's clear to me that their problem is two-fold (8+ / 0-)

    they are obviously not conservative enough and they have not found the proper way to package their conservative message.

    America is a conservative nation looking for conservative solutions. So the Republicans need to search for the most conservative candidates from their ranks and make sure to let them freely articulate that conservative message. Once that message gets out there freely and clearly the people will wake up and understand the solution to their problems is less government, lower taxes, fewer regulations and more freedom! People just don't hear that through the filter of the liberal media and the liberal leadership of the RINO's running the Republican Party.  

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:30:17 PM PST

  •  freebie for republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, Dbug

    for the sake of having an opposition that isn't a bunch of losers and hacks (you're making us all look bad):

    - You don't seem to like people. fix that first.
    - people ( a large majority)  want a govt that first works well, and second issue is the size.  focus on first part first.
    - next D prez nom isn't likely to be a black kenyan marxist, so your troubles really start in a few years.

    good luck!

    what lincoln said

    by rasfrome on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:32:33 PM PST

  •  Conservatism is always a con. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, a2nite

    The Klan was a con, the GOP is now a con.  The con is always the same: to tell privileged people the problems in their lives are not the fault of the privileged people in their lives.

    •  actually it is a different con to some (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, Jlukes, DSPS owl


      Telling the less privileged that their problems are not caused by the priviliged, thus turning some of the less priviliged against other less privileged to support the privileged.  Look at all the middle class and lower middle class and working class who vote Repub against their own self interest.  It is an age old scam.

      •  I agree completely (0+ / 0-)

        It's the con game that says, "your life is unhappy because of immigrants, people on welfare, retired people, single mothers -- they're taking your tax money. The problem isn't rich people and their tax breaks." The problem isn't rich people, it's people worse off than you. Sometimes the Republicans blame the rich (in Hollywood or in the media), but usually it's the poor.

        "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

        by Dbug on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:43:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Today Republicans Are Wasting Their Time & Ours... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, skod, Sue B

    trying to defund ACORN again.  ACORN hasn't existed or received any federal money since March of 2010.  They're also wasting  time trying to defund the transfer of Guantanimo detainees.  No one has been transferred from Gitmo since 2009.  They introduced both defunding in their Budget Bill which they just announced.

    They've tried to repeal Obamacare 36 times.....they're holding another investigation today on the tax aspects of Obamacare.  They still think they can defeat Obamacare after 2 elections & 36 previous repeal attempts.  

    If we can't beat these idiots, we deserve what we get.  

  •  The solution is obvious: lie more. (0+ / 0-)

    What they really need to do is to fool themselves into thinking they don't need to do anything. I strongly advocate that they continue to live inside a fantasy world, and get on with the business of making that world an awesome fantasy for themselves.  They should just go whole hog and convince themselves that they did in fact win, and that everyone loves them.

    They can have their awesome fantasy world, and we'll just have to settle for this boring old real world.

  •  Voters are just not into your BS ideology! (0+ / 0-)
  •  I say we don't tell them (0+ / 0-)

    Why explain where they are blowing it? In fact, why not feed them disinformation 24/7 til they're so confused they set upon eachother in a frenzy? Split one faction off from another and get them fighting, just as the Right has done to us for several decades.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:47:01 PM PST

  •  Retrenchment? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The GOP remains in a deep ideological retrenchment.
    Great, let them keep digging till they can't get out.
  •  The self reflection will begin... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As soon as the farce is no longer profitable.  Billionaires are so rich that they can afford to continue to throw money at the problem if it has reached rapid diminishing returns.  As long as they are wiling to fuel the farce - no self reflection can begin.

    'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

    by RichM on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:50:31 PM PST

  •  a very interesting situation the repubs are in... (0+ / 0-)

    however, the sequester debacle reminds me that they are like a man with a terminal illness and a machine gun...he'll die sooner or later, but not before harming as many people as possible on his way out

    Howard Fineman needs to have a chat with Chris Cilizza about Grecian Formula and its effects on punditry

    by memofromturner on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:50:35 PM PST

  •  All of this celebrating is fine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, dankester

    and even now enjoyable.

    One thing the Democratic Party has not learned yet is the ability to get that winning coalition out in Mid Terms with the exception of 2006.

    Republicans went full on fascist against Muslims, I actually did worry about how mucg Godwin they would go, they pushed the crazy on "stop the spending" then to anyone else left they promised to not stop the spending. Then to the very last remaining news bloc they promised that the priority, at a time of unemployment should be jobs not health. That hungry bloc believed them.

    Those lies got their base out in 2010 and as a result it will hurt the Democratic Party until 2020 at the earliest.

    National elections are fine to win with a President on the top of the ticket. Taking the mid terms delivers the agenda that the Democratic Party promised the voters that went out and waited for hours to elect.

    Forget blue dog/progressive division. Deliver what you promise and ask the voters to defend it.

  •  Introspection requires a healthy amount of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    critical thinking.

    So there's that.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:01:19 PM PST

  •  How appropriate! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The current GOP parable is the blind men and the elephant.

  •  Collective narcissistic personality disorder n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Barack Obama for President

    by looty on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:23:35 PM PST

  •  I wonder . . . (0+ / 0-)

    How much of the Republican fretting over "divisions" is due to actual, sizable segments of their party? Yeah, immigration reform seems like a pretty easy get, but Republicans are petrified of alienating their xenophobic, racist segment. But how many, really, xenophobic racists are there? And how many of them are such single issue ideologues that ignoring their stupid demands would actually hurt the Republicans?

    That is, how many of the problems Republicans whine about are there because they're such scared little rabbits? As it is, practically any nincompoop with an ax to grind can stop the GOP dead in its tracks. As was remarked elsewhere, it would be humorous if the real consequences for so many people weren't quite so disastrous.

  •  The only "retrenchment" I see is on messaging. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And not much of thst so far!

    They'll just try to be quieter on the deprive-women-of-choice state-level bills, and pass something on immigration-if-we-must, and muzzle the stridency of those Republicans who actually say what they feel.

    But positions? Why would any observer, political animal or not, think the GOP primaries in 2014 and 2016 will be one iota different than they were in 2012?

    They're steadfastly continuing to commit Unforced Errors, and some seem actually proud of them. There is some hand wringing, to be sure, but the quotable quotes for the campaign ads of 2014, they keep on a'comin.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:59:43 PM PST

  •  i can tell the gop (0+ / 0-)

    exactly whom to blame for their election failures, its their voter suppression efforts although i'm sure they will do a better job in the cycles in the future.

  •  Polish the turd.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...put it on a pedastel and; behold! they will come!

  •  They Can't Do It (0+ / 0-)

    There is one way for the Republicans to at least begin the renewal of their party, but they cannot -- or will not -- do it.  That is to come together, leave their agendas at the door, blind themselves to everything else except the future of their party, and then roll up their sleeves and get to work.  But that will never happen because in essence the Republicans don't want it to happen.  They want Karl Rove to call the tune they dance to because of his pipeline to big money.  they want Rush Limbaugh to have a say because of his radio audience.  They want Fox "News" to chime in because of their cable presence.  They want military contractors to have a voice because of the Republican idolatry towards the Pentagon.  And they want the political strategists to speak up because of their perceived need to change the rules of elections in the middle of the stream.

    And because of this cacophony of voices, the Republican party won't even get out of the batter's box in terms of making itself more palatable to those of us on the outside.

  •  I blame (or is that thank) right wing media (0+ / 0-)

    for making them all believe the lies, and by all I mean even the politicians.  Just look at Rand and his belief in friends of Hamas.  Incredible, and in the most ignorant way.

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:34:16 PM PST

  •  The Republicans can't (or won't) stop drinking (0+ / 0-)

    the tea- or throwing it overboard.  They know that there is a rabid, organized mob (aka Republican primary electorate) waiting to skin them alive the moment they stop obstructing and start working with Democrats or President Obama and, instead of giving them the "one in the middle" and continuing to do their constitutionally designated jobs like they're supposed to, they cower and capitulate to the demands of the tea mob to be as reactionary and obstructionist as they can be just so that they (might) get renominated and hold their office come election time.  Of course, it's easier when a lot of Democratic voters don't get to the polls in between Presidential elections but, still, does it make them feel good to know that they are playing to a ravenous mob that doesn't have this country's best interests at heart and, more importantly, do they not care?

  •  Cadaver Self-Autopsy. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  blah blah blah... we won in November. BFD. (0+ / 0-)

    All that got us was Sequestration. Anyone feeling like a winner? And, anyone that truly thinks the T-GOP is toast, tits up, lost in the abyss... is smoking something. Becuz the reality in this reality-based world we're s'posed to be living in suggests that not only are the TeaPubs still alive, but they're alive enough to kick our ass in 2014 and '16. Hell, they're kicking our ass in 2013! What evidence is there to suggest they won't in 2014? 2016?
    The reality is we need to work as hard in 2013-'14 and 2015-'16 as we did in 2011-'12. Vacation is over. It's back to work.

  •  Their attempts at autopsy amuse me (0+ / 0-)

    In 2012, Republicans thought Obama’s election in 2008 was a fluke. And the tea party year of 2010 midterms was a harbinger of things to come. A bellwether year. And the economy sucked (because of Republican obstreperousness). They thought there was NO WAY Obama could be reelected. They thought they had it in the bag.

    But Obama was reelected.

    And now they’re doing the autopsy (either on the election or on the whole frigging party). Something over there is dead and they want to know why. So the Republican version of self-criticism includes the following:

    Republican ideas:

    Maybe it was the candidate. Romney was the most inept Presidential candidate since Michael Dukakis. Every fucking week Romney made a stupid comment showing how clueless he was. We just need a guy who's smart.

    Maybe it was the computer thing. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google, AOL. We need to figure out how the internet works. Hey, my cousin took an HTML programming class. I think he could design a website or something! And we can pay him minimum wage. That will solve that problem.

    It’s those darn demographics. We lost women, young people, African-Americans, and Hispanics. And at the convention we pissed off the Ron Paul Libertarians. Why don’t people like us? Maybe we should stop being assholes to the majority of voters.

    It’s all about gifts. Obama promised to help out ordinary people. We promised to help out corporations, who are people, my friend. Except corporations can’t vote and ordinary people, who can vote, don't seem to like us much.

    We need to be more right-wing.  Because if we become more extreme, maybe we’ll get more votes.

    The Republicans are totally clueless. Which is good.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:42:51 PM PST

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