GOP report says it’s time for a change
March 24, 2013 12:00 AM | 2396 views | 7 7 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Republican Party may have a lot of problems, but one of them isn’t complacency among its top mainstream leadership.

GOP National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus commissioned a 100-page postmortem of the 2012 election — the party resists the term “autopsy” — in which both the White House and the Senate seemed eminently winnable. Instead, President Barack Obama handily won re-election, the Democrats tightened their control of the Senate and picked up a number of House seats.

The “Growth & Opportunity Project,” drafted by five veteran GOP operatives, gets points for brutal honesty:

“Asked to describe Republicans, focus groups said that the party is ‘scary,’ ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘out of touch’ and that we were a party of ‘stuffy old men.’ This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys.”

The report recommended halving the number of primary debates — 20 in the 2012 cycle and 21 in 2008 — a grueling marathon that is perhaps one reason why so many of the GOP’s first string declined to run. It would give the party control of the debates and move the national convention to earlier in the summer.

Those recommendations are good. Last year’s late-summer convention meant Romney continued to get pummeled by the media and his rivals, even though they had no chance by that point of winning. And it gave Obama what amounted to a free ride all summer as well in which to sit back and fill his war chest.

The report also urged the party to embrace immigration reform, be less doctrinaire on social issues and invest in technology and field staff as the Democrats have done. There’s no question the Republicans need to catch up to the Democrats in terms of technology, field staff and their ability to run “micro-campaigns” that energize micro-constituencies to get them to the polls. And while if Republicans continue to demand what amounts to a “loyalty test” on various social issues that they will find their message a tougher and tougher sell, there’s little evidence to indicate that reversing course on immigration reform and paving a “path to citizenship” would net them many new friends.

But a great part of the Republicans’ problems in 2012 boiled down to messaging, or the lack thereof. The party nominated a presidential candidate who spoke conservatism sincerely, but as a second language, and who failed to connect with many moderates. And he did himself and his party no favors by letting his opponents define him as a callous rich man. His failure to effectively rebut that cruel caricature doomed him and his party.

He and too many other Republicans have let their opponents and the media distort what they stand for.

The report contrasted the GOP’s success at the statehouse level, where its governors are “appealing and inclusive,” to its often ideologically rigid politics at the federal level. Without significant changes, the report said, “it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future.”

America seems to be moving leftward, a change driven by both demographics and a president who often seems a socialist at heart.

You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard for Republicans to portray themselves as an appealing alternative to that, wouldn’t you?

Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 27, 2013
It IS time for a change or quite obviously it will be a long, long time if ever a Republican gets voted into the highest position of the land ever again. This country is changing and the leader of it has to adapt to this change. A candidate can speak all they want about they believe, but unless it is what the majority of the land (voters) believe, they will not win and will further push voters away from the party. If there are six people in the room and four believe one way and two believe the other, guess who will win?
Pat H
March 26, 2013
So "embracing" immigration reform will improve our party?

It will be the end of our republic and constitution as millions of uneducated and over populating illegals demand services while voting Democrat.
March 27, 2013
Welcome to 2013 and beyond, baby. Glad to have you with us.
GOP Purge
March 25, 2013
Drop the social issues. It's a losing battle. And with that drop the religious zealots on the far right. They are solely the reason you get "‘scary,’ ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘out of touch’ and that we were a party of ‘stuffy old men.’"

Drop the crazy radio personalities, Trump, Palin, Coulter, etc.

Accept that people here illegally are going to stay, and figure out a way to get them on your side. It may be too late for that anyways.

Get rid of everyone at GOP HQ in Washington.

Then try again.
Agree GOP
March 27, 2013
It is too late, and it is a losing battle. The GOP MUST recognize the face of America has changed and continues to change daily. The old die-hards simply won't accept that, so new young fresh faces have to be brought into the GOP. It is okay if people want to cling to the old ways; I cling also to some of them. However, that will not win elections. And the way things are going right now, the next Democratic candidate is a shoo-in for the next 4 years coming up. I think only after the GOP sees their margins get smaller and smaller and smaller will they realize that yes, Lucy and Desi, maybe we do need to get a breath of fresh air.
March 25, 2013
Shorter editorial: "We need fewer debates so voters can't know what the GOP *really* stands for. Oh, and we hate Obama."
"Out of Touch"
March 24, 2013
This editorial suggests the GOP do the same things it has been doing for years and the laugh at the end that Obama is a Socialist completes the non reality that the MDJ is in.
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