Why don’t I just copy this sentence and paste it into posts each day:
So much for Republican Party “rebranding.” Rebranding, reshmanding. Talking Points Memo details just SOME of the bumps along the way that suggest that what we may be seeing is a new sign on the Republican Party pup tent because many in the party don’t want it bigger and want to keep a bouncer at the door to keep out undesirables (moderates, liberals, some Latinos, African-Americans who are not conservative and probably left wings from KFC as well):
The GOP’s push for inclusivity suffered some setbacks this week.
Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee released its 2012 election post-mortem, conceding that the GOP must do more to reach out to minority communities. The RNC even pledged $10 million to the effort.
Asked at a press conference how the GOP can bring gays and women into the GOP fold, RNC Chair Reince Priebus said the key is to treat people with respect. “I think it’s about dignity and respect, that nobody deserves to have their dignity diminished, or people don’t deserve to be disrespected,” Priebus said on March 18, the day the RNC released its report.
But less than two weeks since then, it has become clear that not everyone in the party is on board with the GOP’s new message of inclusivity. Here’s a rundown of the speed bumps the GOP has encountered this week on its way toward a more tolerant party.
Here are the specifics they point to (go to the link to read the section in detail):
*Ben Carson Rails Against Gays
*RNC Official Calls Homosexuals ‘Filthy’
*Congressman Reminisces About ‘Wetbacks’
Also I have raised the question (and do again) whether conservatives even want to win. Ed Kilgore disagrees and makes a point worth pondering:
But before deciding the Right would rather be “Right” than to win, it’s important to consider the different meanings of victory. If your only goal as a political movement (which is not the same as a political party, of course) is to win the next election, that suggests a fairly clear focus on what went wrong in the last election and where changes can be made that may produce the requisite gain in votes given the projected demographic, issues and candidate landscapes of the next ballot test.
But if your goal is something a bit more ambitious than winning the next election, other calculations come into play. Suppose you want to impose so total a degree of domination of a major political party that you destroy your intraparty enemies and plow and salt the ground upon which they once trod. You go RINO-hunting, whether or not you think that may contribute to short-term success in general elections. Or suppose you are pursuing a “big-inning” strategy in which is less important to you to “score” in each election than it is to produce big results—e.g., enactment of the Ryan Budget, game-changing judicial appointments—then that, too, might indicate a willingness to undergo some strategic defeats.
And he is correct here. I’ve long argued that Democrats and liberals frittered away their advantage in making Supreme Court appointments and getting like-minded people in the bureaucracy by deciding to teach their party a lesson and stay home when they don’t agree with it or if it looks like they’re going to lose. Similarly, in 2014 I would not be shocked to see GOPers turn out in droves and many Dems stay home, despite the Obama PAC’s efforts to get Dems out in mid terms. There is a “long game,” and conservatives have repeatedly shown they are much more adept at it than liberals.
Now you don’t hear conservatives admit publicly very often that they place a lower premium on any old kind of victory than non-ideological hacks who just want access to power or the money-generating reputation for political savvy. So it’s often hard to tell if they really do believe that every time they move right they are going to win immediately (some undoubtedly do). But it’s neither fair nor accurate to assume that ideologues playing the long game don’t actually care if they ever win, or prefer to lose because then they don’t have the responsibility to govern and can maintain an audience that’s perpetually in a frenzy of hate and paranoia. For some, those are just useful byproducts of waiting for the Big Victory that changes everything.
But, I have to admit here not being fair and we’ll see if it’s accurate: conservatives today seem to have less of a fire in the belly to win and convince those who don’t believe how they do that they are correct than to go after those in the party who disagree with them, oppose in every way ranging from the thoughtful to the Bachmann-esque Democrats and liberals — and a victory will have to be due to some catastrophe where centrists, independents, moderates, younger voters and emerging demographic groups feel anything is better than the Democrats.
Or if Democrats stay home.
Which has happened before.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.