Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GOP 2012 Election Report Reax

Dana Milbank responds to the GOP's report on things it needs to do better in The Washington Post.

The Republican National Committee released a report Monday charting the party’s road to revival — only for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to give its most important recommendations the Grand Old Punt.

Republicans “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” it concludes. “If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” 

Further, the report concludes, Republicans “need to make sure young people do not see the party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be.”

But in his 27-minute speech at the National Press Club announcing the report, the words “immigration” and “gay” didn’t cross Priebus’s lips. Questioned by the moderator about whether there is “a need to shift some basic positions on some of the issues,” he asserted that there is not. “No,” he said, “I think our policies are sound.”

Milbank's takeaway:

Many of the ideas are good, such as the calls for fewer debates and primaries rather than caucuses. But Priebus, in the Q&A, took pains to avoid offending the conservative orthodoxy that is antagonizing segments of the electorate that Republicans need if they are to win.

Exactly.  The GOP is in a pickle in that its core policies favor shrinking demographic groups (the wealthy, the old, rural voters) while alienating growing demographic groups (women, minorities, young voters).  As these trends continue to work against the party as it is currently composed, 2012, viewed as a catastrophic loss, will be about as good as it will get.

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