Home / abject wankery / Priebus on the 2012 GOPost-mortem: we’ll get to it

Priebus on the 2012 GOPost-mortem: we’ll get to it

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For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, people keep mentioning the RNC’s Growth & Opportunity Project Report. For example, a reporter put it in the lede of a front page Boston Globe article that commenterion efgoldman shared this morning.

The Republican Party commissioned an autopsy on the 2012 presidential election, trying to figure out why Mitt Romney lost. One of the verdicts, already glaringly obvious to many: The party needed to make itself more attractive to women.

The 2016 race isn’t even over, and fed-up conservative women, saying the party failed to heed the lesson, are angrily conducting a vivisection of the campaign of Donald Trump and, pointedly, the party leaders who refused to disown him.

The GrOPR was a report the RNC commissioned after America passed on the GOP’s shiny white businessdroid and stuck with President Obama. It contains a detailed and sometimes not inaccurate analysis of why this happened, and contains such action items as:

Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.” In 2012, the Republican response to this attack was muddled, and too often the attack went undefended altogether. We need to actively combat this, better prepare our surrogates, and not stand idly by while the Democrats pigeonhole us using false attacks. There are plenty of liberal policies that negatively impact women, and it is incumbent upon the party to expose those and relentlessly attack Democrats using that framework.

Reproductive freedom or President Short-fingered Assailant. How ever is a girl to decide?

The report also came up during RNC PR BS’s appearance on Face the Nation today:

As for concerns that Trump is going against the main tenets of the Growth and Opportunity Report, the famous post-2012 autopsy the RNC commissioned, Priebus said it’s a “prescription for the long term, not the short term.”

“The Growth and Opportunity Report is a message to the entire party as a whole and I stand behind it 100 percent,” Priebus said.

The message to the party as a whole being ignore this until the next time. And when the GOP nominates another bigoted jackass in 2020, ignore it then, too.

More on Preibus and the postmortem via Mediaite:

Dickerson said it sure sounds like Donald Trump is doing the complete opposite of what the GOP wanted. Priebus dismissed that and said Trump deserves credit for going into black communities in the past few months.

He also insisted that the Republican party has worked tirelessly to do way more minority outrage this time around.

Thinking that one’s pick for president deserves credit for going to Cleveland and speaking to Americans who aren’t white explains many things, including the rest of the exchange. (Outrage might be a typo, might be the writer can read Priebus’ mind.)

“It’s not because of the effort that had not been put in. First of all, I contend he’s gonna do better in black communities than we have done four and eight years ago.”

He then repeats the magic mantra “We are the party of Lincoln,” so I guess they’ll be running the ad again this year.

I won’t bother asking how Trump is supposed to out perform McMaverick or Rombot, or why he talks about black communities (which don’t vote) instead of black voters.  But I do wonder who the hell he is trying to convince.

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  • muddy

    Himself.

  • Shalimar

    I would hope they prefer GOPR. GrOPR makes it a little too obvious what their current problem with women is.

    • Bill Murray

      wasn’t that Shakes’ point?

    • (((Hogan)))

      Apparently they’d prefer that no such thing ever happened.

  • Lamont Cranston

    After losing due to the biggest gender gap in history they will nominate a woman. They really believe identity politics are why democrats win.

    So get ready for Bachman or Palin or that AG from Florida to headline a ticket that is more revanchist than this one.

    • LosGatosCA

      We don’t deserve that much luck.

    • brad

      Nikki Haley, not any of the minor league also rans. She’s kept herself well away from this mess of an electoral cycle, female, evangelical, even foreign without being so rude as to look like it.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Haley is far too liberal. Remember the kerfluffle over the traitor flag? Automatically disqualifying in the republican primary.

        • brad

          Except I expect the RNC elites to do a lot of pre-primary winnowing this time so whoever waves the Trumpite flag in 2020 will be facing a far more unified opposition. Haley is, as best I can see from this far vantage, uniquely poised to hit damn near every note they need from a GE candidate, aside from being Indian instead of Latina.
          And even more angry old Bubbas will be dead in 4 years, and I would expect her to do very well with younger evangelicals.
          It’s a long ways off but she’ll be damn well positioned coming out of this year’s mess.

          • Lamont Cranston

            All good points. But I wonder if the establishment is capable of that kind of collective action…

            • brad

              It’s also a simple question of how well she can seize the opportunity. One of the stupidest Berniebro criticisms is that it’s somehow a bad thing that Clinton has done such a comprehensive job of unifying the truly key elements of the Democratic Party. Haley has to build a base and stay relevant, basically hold up her end of building a critical mass. Kasich and Cruz and Rubio are leftovers, not frontrunners, Ryan has to focus on simple survival in the short term, and McConnell… looks like a turtle. Not a lot of short term competition, the field is wide open come Nov 9.

            • Norrin Radd

              Precisely. How many times did we hear that during this primary? It’s as people think factions don’t exist within the GOP. Or a rank and file.

            • SNF

              It’s fitting that a party that refuses to believe in collective action problems when it comes to the economy has such a hard time with the concept when it comes to making political decisions.

          • socraticsilence

            Look if they were smart long-term thinkers they let Rubio spearhead immigration reform and Marco is quite possibly measuring the Oval Office drapes at this point- instead they basically ended his career (or at least put a ceiling on it for the foreseeable future) simply because he’s not white and dared to push a centrist policy (even if it was for self interested ends) .

            Hell, Kasich could have been relatively formidable and Kasich is a freaking joke instead they chose the most liberal (on multiple axes) candidate they’ve chosen in decades largely because he was an openly racist asshole.

            • Manny Kant

              Whatever else you may call Trump, he is deeply illiberal. If you want to call him the least conservative candidate they’ve chosen in decades, I think that’s reasonable. He’s not a liberal in any sense of the word.

          • los

            I perceive that gerrymandering has served as a crucible or filter that produces extreme GOP candidates.
            Thus, GOP primaries tend to select extreme candidates for national office.

            The GOP has painted itself into a bloody corner.
            Extreme candidates win in gerrymandered districts, but lose in national elections.

            .
            Except I expect the RNC elites to do a lot of pre-primary winnowing this time so whoever waves the Trumpite flag in 2020 will be facing a far more unified opposition.

            all of GOP’s 2015 clowns campaigned to the right of 2012 Romney. (Or they campaigned outside of the Milky Way).

            To win the general election, an extreme candidate needs more favorable than average election conditions.

            • Derelict

              It’s not gerrymandering that has led the GOP down this road–it’s the fact that only the most motivated base voters turn out for primaries. And those voters are the Teahadists. “Moderate” candidates can’t get past the Tea Party primary voters. Hell, even incumbents who aren’t fire-breathing lunatics can expect to be primaried from the right by the Tea Party types.

              Because of this dynamic, I think it’s pretty much impossible for someone like Haley to get the nomination. Look for someone as vile as Trump next time around. Maybe even Trump himself, running again to regain his dignitude.

              • patrick II

                I would only add that it is dark money that funds those teahadist primary challenges. Don’t cross the Koch brothers and talk about taising taxes.

        • efgoldman

          Haley is far too liberal.

          And far too dark skinned.

          • This, also. See the post by Campos (pretty sure but too lazy to ferret around) on Rubio & Cruz.

            • los

              Cruz is pale.

              Rubio isn’t very dark. He could be a “boyish looking” Italian (ancestry).

              and Hitler wasn’t pure “Aryan”, either.

              • los

                Haley could lay on pale face powder, because women are allowed to look like they’re wearing makeup. Haley would look less ‘ethnic’ in TV debates and news video.

                But Haley’s obstacle is the altcucks. To altcucks, all women are b*****es, c***s, and w***es, and Trump has shown altcucks to be strong primary voting force.
                A “white enough” woman cannot win GOP national primary.

          • brad

            Cain and Carson have been the flavor of the month by now, and I think even the mouth breathers could see the electoral utility of such a candidate, provided she can convince enough of them that she’s one of “Us”. There will be a white nationalist candidate of disturbing political skill, I fear is all too certain, but there will also be a huge establishment effort to avoid another Trumplike train wreck.

          • Norrin Radd

            Darker the berry…

        • Denverite

          Haley would be an interesting experiment. There are widespread rumors about her cheating on her husband. If it was a male candidate he’d very likely get a pass on them, but well…

          • brad

            I have to wonder whether that would even really harm her in the primaries. Easy to see the bubbas taking that to mean that she’s a mean girl deep down.

            • efgoldman

              I have to wonder whether that would even really harm her in the primaries.

              She’s got the wrong plumbing. It’s OK for Newtnik, and Orange McRapeyson, and Grandpa Walnuts….

              • ajay

                Wasn’t there some really hard-core female wingnut who had an affair? And it didn’t harm her career noticeably. Someone help me out with the details here.

                • Halloween Jack

                  The only person I can think of who would qualify is Sarah Palin with Glen Rice, and that would have been well before her political career started.

          • Taylor

            Starbursts!

          • Norrin Radd

            She got a pass in SC why not nationally?

            • efgoldman

              She got a pass in SC why not nationally?

              The same reason Orange McRapey Circus Peanut got a pass in the primaries. The actual candidate gets a whole different level of scrutiny, especially against an incumbent who’s a known quantity.
              Also, the media, like the Army, always prepare for the last war. Having missed on Tangerine Littlescrotum until it was almost too late, they’ll do a lot more vetting of the next one.

          • Dilan Esper

            I have a sort of meta-comment about these sorts of rumors.

            Because of the work I do, I come into a fair amount of contact with rumors about various famous people, and also with the truth or falsity of such rumors.

            Certainly some percentage of rumors are true. But there are a heck of a lot of false ones too. Including some very well known rumors that swirled for a long time. Things lots of people talk about in ordinary conversation, things y’all have heard.

            And remember, actual proof of something is a big story. Reporters went to a significant effort to catch John Edwards and Gary Hart in the act, for instance.

            So just because there may be some rumors about Haley (and I have heard them too) doesn’t really mean there’s anything there.

            • efgoldman

              So just because there may be some rumors about Haley (and I have heard them too) doesn’t really mean there’s anything there.

              Also doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing there.

            • skate

              Did it take all that much effort to nail Gary Hart? An anonymous source pretty much dropped Hart in the Miami Herald’s lap.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        I’m guessing that in a national GOP primary, her evangelical bona fides would be questioned.

        She was raised Sikh and was married in both a Christian and a Sikh ceremony. She has scrubbed ambiguities from her public discussion of religion, but it seems to me that this is quite plausibly a political decision.

        I’m pretty sure that a Trump successor, particularly one that was more sincerely religious (or, at least, more practiced at faking it) would make hay out of that. In addition to that, questions about her religion will enable other Republicans to attack her with plausible* deniability that it’s not about race or gender.

        In other words, I’m doubtful that Nikki Haley can win.

        *Plausible by GOP standards

        • brad

          Please, anyone, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it considered very bad form in that circle to question a self described evangelical’s faith? And she’s no Trump, there’s a history for her to point to and draw from.
          Plus, it could easily provide a chance for her to respond forcefully to… fascistic tendencies.

          I’m not a fan of her and I don’t think she’s an on paper favorite or anything, but I do think that if she can make the right moves behind the scenes she can end up in prime position. No one else I can see on the landscape is in as good a potential position.

          • searcher

            The problem with all GOP precedents is that they have mostly been established for white Christian men. It’s not OK to question the faith or marital fidelity of a white Christian man; is it OK if they are not white or not Christian or not a man? We won’t really know unless the GOP is ever put in the position of dealing seriously with someone who is not a white Christian man.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            . See also Obama, Barack: conversion to Christian faith

            It’s only sacrosanct when they want it to be. She may not be white enough, and she maybe RINO to them.

            • Just_Dropping_By

              Except that Obama never claimed to be an Evangelical Christian, while Haley does. The Evangelical position was that the church Obama publicly identified as a member of probably wasn’t even “really” Christian in the first place.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      Which is why they nominated Rubio like people predicted…

      …oh, wait. Nevermind. I see Whitebread/Mayo 2020 in our near future.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Whitebread/Mayo

        I LOL’ed

        • Norrin Radd

          They’d better make that Miracle Whip if they want to win.

          • efgoldman

            They’d better make that Miracle Whip

            Whichever, you can be sure it will be rancid.

      • JKTH

        I think the Shrieking White-Hot Sphere of Pure Rage may get a shot this time.

    • Certain segments of GOP might want or intend or even make an honest effort to get a woman nominated. But unless the candidates are all women, the voters are going to nominate a man.

      • (((max)))

        Certain segments of GOP might want or intend or even make an honest effort to get a woman nominated.

        Unless they’ve all become Democrats or third party types by then.

        But unless the candidates are all women, the voters are going to nominate a man.

        I think Carly Fiorina could do – she has all the right credentials – great bullshitter, terrible strategic decisions, demon sheep. But she’d need to be acceptable to the NewsMax/WND crowd and I don’t see it. Or rather, I could see her making the calculation, I don’t know if she wants to get sideways with rich people like Trump is at the moment.

        max
        [‘And then there’s the believing… Maybe Louis Gohmert?’]

        • Derelict

          Fiorina has a bad tendency to melt down under pressure. She was the frontrunner for, what, 15 minutes? Then someone asked her a question and she fell apart on camera.

          Unless she gets a personality makeover, she’s going to spend the rest of her time working the grifter circuit and doing laps in a swimming pool filled with gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

          • Halloween Jack

            I started calling her “CarlyBot 2016” after this routine. Trump might have taken this as a hint that trying to hold Clinton accountable for the misdeeds of her husband was a non-starter, but that would require him to look to a woman for information about how to conduct himself; fat chance of that.

    • keta

      Liz Cheney. Who will hire her father to head up the search for her veep…

      • Norrin Radd

        Couldn’t even make it in Wyoming

        • keta

          Gosh, that’s right. The GOP would never be crazy enough to nominate someone who’s never held political office.

          • Halloween Jack

            Hmmm… bit of a difference between someone who’s run and lost and someone who’s never been a loser.

        • catclub

          I think she is set to win this November for a House seat.

    • SNF

      If that were the case they would have nominated a black or hispanic person to try to salvage the non-white vote. They picked Trump/Pence.

      Granted, some “establishment” members of the party think that identity politics are a key to success, but the Republican base will have a hard time going along with that.

      • Norrin Radd

        Since the Founding Identity Politics has always been the key to success. Is there anything more important in an election?

      • so-in-so

        The base is fine with Identity Politics, as long as it’s White Male Identity politics.

    • Peterr

      Condi Rice might be another option. She’s got establishment cred all over the place, especially in the Bush wing of the party.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Hard to see the Stormfront wing of the party going along with that, and they seem to have a lot of pull.

      • (((max)))

        And all 52 remaining members of that wing love her, no doubt, but where does she get the other 14 million votes?

        max
        [‘The obvious solution for the establishment: eliminate democracy.’]

        • The party needs to elect a better class of voters.

          • (((max)))

            The solution is clear.

            max
            [‘How to implement: take over the D party.’]

        • Manny Kant

          The Solution

          After the uprising of the 17th of June
          The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
          Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
          Stating that the people
          Had forfeited the confidence of the government
          And could win it back only
          By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
          In that case for the government
          To dissolve the people
          And elect another?

      • Condi has all but endorsed Hitlery McStalinton.She is dead to them. Also too liberal.

        Have you considered that they haven’t hit bottom yet?

        • Lamont Cranston

          Have you considered that they haven’t hit bottom yet?

          This x1,000. Their conclusion will be that Trump lost because he was too liberal, and they will seek to rectify that (i.e., Bachman or some other reactionary mouth-breather).

          • I wouldn’t count Cruz out despite his recent humiliations.

            Maybe Tom Cotton, he’s Cruz with a better fitting human suit.

            • rea

              If it hadn’t been for Cotton-eyed Tom
              We’d have peace, long time gone,
              Where to send the Army?
              Who you gonna bomb?
              Who’ll you make war on, Cotton-eyed Tom?

            • mds

              Maybe Tom Cotton, he’s Cruz with a better fitting human suit.

              Gad, that would be interesting. No matter that Cruz didn’t seem to demonstrate much of that formidable intellect we heard so much about, I’d still rate him as substantially more intelligent than fucking dumbshit Tom Cotton (whom I thank for the combat military service from which he didn’t learn a single goddamned thing). On the other hand, as you say, he’s less obviously … moist than Cruz. Still, I think Clinton would be perfectly willing to go up against either of them.

              Hm, how about an opposite-of-dark horse? John Thune: Because this time a charisma-free Midwestern dork will work. All of the racism, homophobia, misogyny and imbecility about every policy subject foreign or domestic, but in an agreeably, soothingly bland package. Wait, sorry, then Kasich might as well run again.

              • jim, some guy in iowa

                Joni Ernst: midwestern white woman veteran who castrates pigs and rides Harleys. a more grounded version of Sarah Palin

                • mds

                  Hmm, maybe. I guess it depends on how much the obfuscation of her utterly batshit deranged beliefs was due to her political skill, how much was due to media fluffing of her novelty, and how much was due to Bruce Braley making Martha Coakley look like a savvy campaigner. Because on paper, Michele Bachmann looked like she’d meet the criteria for Iowa caucusgoers, too, but the Vander Plaats crowd seemed to prefer the Pennsylvania Catholic for some reason.

              • JKTH

                Pence already has the charisma-free Midwesterner tag covered.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            I still think their 2020 candidate will be David Duke or a similar person with an actual KKK, Stormfront, or other background.

            • Alex Jones

              • so-in-so

                Yes! Live the conspiracy!

                I suppose the rich part of the GOP wouldn’t like him.

          • Gwen

            “What we really need is a candidate who is unafraid to tell the TRUTH about Hitlery!!!!”

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        As Bush recedes into the past, they feel less need to pretend like he wasn’t a disaster. Condi would be attacked for her record by Trump 2.0 (or Trump himself).

        Not to mention the not-exactly-implausible lesbian rumors.

        And the whole being black and a woman thing. She ain’t winning no GOP primary.

        And even if the establishment would like her in theory, they would also likely recognize that she doesn’t have a great record to run on in the general and the advantages she DOES have would be neutralized against Hillary Clinton in particular. Foreign policy is her thing, and Hillary has her beat on that (and Hillary can afford a major fuckup and end up merely tied with Condi). So it’s not clear what she adds to the ticket. Even they’re not stupid enough to think that Condi would win the black vote.

        • ColBatGuano

          Being National Security Advisor during both 9/11 and Iraq are the credentials Republicans respect.

          • Scott Lemieux

            She kept us safe!

            Despite this, she has zero chance of being the GOP nominee.

    • cpinva

      “They really believe identity politics are why democrats win.”

      and in a sense, they’re correct. democrats tend to identify with normal people and their needs, regardless of gender or (for lack of a better term) race. democrats go out of their way to actually listen to those they are trying to get to vote for them, and construct domestic policies based on that feedback.

      of course, this isn’t at all what the GOP means by “identity politics”, which might go some way to explaining why they can only win gerrymandered districts in congress, and are probably looking at another 8 years out of the oval office. as the demographics of the country inexorably shift to the democrats advantage, even gerrymandering will begin to lose its effectiveness. in short, today’s republican party is working on short time. they know it, are frantic, and haven’t the slightest clue how to fix it, short of mass murder.

      • DocAmazing

        haven’t the slightest clue how to fix it, short of mass murder

        Please don’t give them any ideas…

      • Norrin Radd

        If you think that identity politics it’s strictly a feature of the right wing in this country then you’ve been sleeping these last eight years. Did you miss out on the oppression Olympics in 08? Did you not see Democrats try to pit Whites, Hispanics and Blacks against one another? Wasn’t that one of Debbie Wasserman Schultz flunkies who suggested that “his” people in West Virginia would never go for an atheist Jew like Sanders if only the DNC played up the fact that he was an atheist Jew? Do you think that Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia Primary in ’08 because she had a better platform for coal miners? Identity makes the world go round.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Yes, but those people totally didn’t mean it! So it’s different.

  • keta

    The election of America’s first woman president and the way Republicans react to her gender while she’s in office will go a long way in evaluating how the GOP adjusts its attitude to women overall. I suspect this will resemble the admirable flourishing of empathy and inclusiveness Republicans have shown in regards to race during Obama’s two terms.

    • DocAmazing

      The only thing they like brown is their shirts.

      • Norrin Radd

        You haven’t seen their underwear.

    • SNF

      Expect MRAs to gain a strong position in the Republican party over the next 4-8 years.

      • Jimme Blue

        Oh, gawd…I hadn’t even thought of that eventuality. The levels of toxicity will make my current BAC look tepid. Gamergate + Hugogate + some other gate that I can’t remember right now. Dammit.

      • efgoldman

        Expect MRAs to gain a strong position

        Stronger than they are now? There’s a lot of overlap in them there Venn diagrams.

      • cpinva

        “Expect MRAs to gain a strong position in the Republican party over the next 4-8 years.”

        yes, all 50-100 of them. no doubt they’ll have an outsized effect. oh, wait, the republican party is already the party of MRA’s, so how will anyone be able to tell the difference?

        • Ahuitzotl

          Most of the whiny MRA demands for disempowering women during divorces aren’t actually part of the platform yet, even though we can assume a wide swath of sympathy for them in the GOP

      • Pepe the Frog will be the next RNC Chairman.

        • Gwen

          You can’t spell “priebus replacement” without “RARE PEPE”.

    • (((max)))

      I suspect this will resemble the admirable flourishing of empathy and inclusiveness Republicans have shown in regards to race during Obama’s two terms.

      +5.

      max
      [‘They want to be the Mommy Wants Tax Cuts Party.’]

  • Sly

    As for concerns that Trump is going against the main tenets of the Growth and Opportunity Report, the famous post-2012 autopsy the RNC commissioned, Priebus said it’s a “prescription for the long term, not the short term.”

    In 1988, George H. W. Bush got 60% of the white vote, 11% of the black vote, and 30% of the hispanic vote. He won 426 out of 538 electoral votes. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 59% of the white vote, 6% of the black vote, and 27% of the hispanic vote. He won 206 out of 538 electoral votes.

    The long term is now.

    • Morse Code for J

      I’m comfortable with them letting it sink in slowly over the next two or three presidential cycles.

      • LosGatosCA

        Never. Never works for me.

      • efgoldman

        I’m comfortable with them letting it sink in slowly

        No reality ever sinks in. That’s kind of the whole point of being an RWNJ.
        Science? Nah.
        Math? Nah.
        Demographics? Nah.

        • Norrin Radd

          How does that conversation work? Hey there unemployed white coal worker. See, if you want to get ahead sir you’ve got to vote for a young Latina lesbian.

          Sounds like a helluva pitch huh?

          • Bruce B.

            Sure. How does the personal features of the president or any other high-ranking official bear on my struggle for decent work and conditions of life?

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              I know, but the same principal has worked for over a century with Whites in the South.

        • SNF

          Reality will eventually force a change in the GOP, especially if nonwhite voters start to create a problem for Republicans in downballot races and midterms.

          Our system is designed for two political parties. The Democrats can’t stay in power for eternity. And a party’s primary goal is to gain power. At some point, the Republican party will reshape itself to actually be an alternative to the Democrats for more of the electorate.

          Of course, the question is when that will happen, and what form a future Republican party will take.

          • efgoldman

            At some point, the Republican party will reshape itself to actually be an alternative to the Democrats for more of the electorate.

            And, assuming the senate flips, most or all of the bad shit from Shelby County will work its way out of the system whether the decision is formally reversed or not.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            The system is designed for two parties.

            But if we have 25% of the population that is unwilling to compromise in order to win elections and they form a plurality or majority of the GOP primary electorate, they will repeatedly pick awful candidates.

            The GOP will eventually make a comeback, but it will likely require the Trumpkins to fade to be a smaller voting bloc in GOP primaries rather than them seeing reason and deciding that compromise is worth it for a chance to win, after decades of right-wing media claiming that compromise is the problem.

            The good news for the GOP is that they don’t have to die off: they might become discouraged by their losses and stop turning out for elections at all. The bad news is that this could also shrink the GOP base in general elections, requiring an even larger leftward shift to win.

            I worry that the bad news for everyone else is that these people may become violent rather than quietly fade away.

            • Colin Day

              A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it

              Max Planck

        • cpinva

          “Math? Nah”

          but, but, they have “unskewed polls”! they’re like, mathy and everything.

      • Sly

        On the one hand, I think a competitive conservative party helps prevent the left from becoming complacent and foolish. On the other hand, I can think of no finer punishment for a party that engaged in 40+ years of white racial grievance than suffocating to death in an avalanche of non-white voters.

        The presence of H.A. Goodman is a small price to pay for that kind of cosmic justice.

        • NewishLawyer

          I’m trying to think of what a “sane” conservative party would look like in the United States. Maybe it is just because I am not paying too much attention but European conservative/center-right parties seem much more cosmopolitan and sane compared to the Republicans. Though Europe also has some really far right parties which are very close to fascist if not fascist.

          I think it is the relatively to very high level of religion that makes the U.S. have an off-the-rails socially conservative party especially the kind of Evangelical kind. European mainstream right-wingers generally seem more secular and cosmopolitan and urban/urbane.

          We aren’t going to completely get rid of social conservatism but what would a non-fundamentalist and not-crazy version look like. William Weld’s tenure as Massachusetts governor? Okay with marijuana decriminalization but against legalizing harder drugs? Still anti-abortion but okay with birth control and sex before marriage?

          • SNF

            I think our relatively high levels of diversity are a part of why the US has such a terrible conservative faction.

            Notice that the really awful far right parties in Europe are gaining power based on opposition to recent immigrants.

            There’s a portion of every population that despises ethnic and racial difference. When you have a more homogenous society, that isn’t as obvious, so you get conservatives that seem more acceptable.

            • Norrin Radd

              True. Just see how much more conservative the Nordics are becoming.

            • NewishLawyer

              There is a theory on what makes a society or country high trust and high collaboration vs. low trust and low collaboration. Often the more diverse countries can seem low trust and low collaboration.

              A lot of right-wingers like to troll American liberals about how welfare states tend to develop in homogeneous countries.

              But this is not a completely true thing. Norway is a relatively homogeneous country with a strong welfare state. South Korea and Japan are not that diverse but have paltry welfare states.

              Still in the UK, you do have Tories who are minorities but still seem as toff as David Cameron. But the UK might have more class based politics.

              • Manny Kant

                “as posh as David Cameron.” Toff is a noun.

            • NewishLawyer

              I think you are partially right but it is still the evangelicals. Abstinence only education is not a big thing in much of Europe as far as I can tell. The anti-immigrant parties often try to appeal to voters by saying stuff like “These conservative Muslim immigrants don’t accept our secular values.”

              Yet here, we still have people who want to overturn Griswold and bring Christian prayer back to schools.

          • Norrin Radd

            You might be able to chuck the evangelicals overboard, keep the gun nuts and win.

            The problem is that you don’t just parachute into the presidency. As long as the GOP remains a Southern-dominated party their Presidential candidates will reflect Southern preferences because those issues are popular with Southern constituencies.

            • DocAmazing

              Not sure that 86ing the Jeebusiers will win them much. I have a friend who is a gun nut Libertarian; he refers to his party as “G.O.P. without the G.O.D.” Doesn’t seem to have netted them many more supporters.

          • (((max)))

            I’m trying to think of what a “sane” conservative party would look like in the United States.

            Michael Bloomberg.

            max
            [‘That should be the right, not the supposed center.’]

          • Sly

            I’m trying to think of what a “sane” conservative party would look like in the United States.

            Its politics would be rooted in preferences for hierarchical structures of power, but it would at least be engaged in the politics of the present moment and negotiating the realities they entail. The current conservative movement isn’t conservative as such, but reactionary – too busy fighting the battles of previous generations to even be knowledgeable of, let alone capable of, addressing the political interests of the here and now.

            America is a big place with multiple, intersecting political cultures. So its difficult to say what a such a conservative movement would look like on a national level, much less in regions I’m not familiar with. But in the northeast it would certainly look a lot like Mike Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s mayoralty can certainly be criticized from the left on policy and ideological grounds, but it was still focused on the present political questions of New York City (even if it had a lot of wrong answers to those questions).

            I think it is the relatively to very high level of religion that makes the U.S. have an off-the-rails socially conservative party especially the kind of Evangelical kind. European mainstream right-wingers generally seem more secular and cosmopolitan and urban/urbane.

            The key word in “White Evangelical Protestant” is neither “Evangelical” nor “Protestant,” but “White.” There are plenty of non-white religionists who adhere to a hypermasculine and patriarchal ideology, but still vote overwhelmingly for the more liberal candidate. Why? Because they don’t want to make common cause with racists. Let the church say “Duh.”

            Europe isn’t more cosmopolitan, its more racially homogeneous. As SNF said, there are growing fault lines in European politics on issues of immigration, with reactionary parties gaining ground by making ideological appeals to Europe’s deep-rooted ethnonationalism.

            • econoclast

              To think that the fact that Europe is less racially homogeneous is the decisive issue is to adopt the racist’s notion of race as your own. Up until recently, Western Europeans hated Eastern Europeans as much as they hated Muslims. The UK voted for Brexit to kick out the Poles. It’s a lot harder in France these days to be Arab-looking than it is to be from Francophone West Africa, even though the racial differences are smaller.

          • efgoldman

            European conservative/center-right parties seem much more cosmopolitan and sane compared to the Republicans.

            Because all but fringe parties in Europe take public goods – medical care, transportation, infrastructure generally, the post office – for granted, and pay the taxes to support the system, while our RWNJ Republiklowns are still fighting tooth, nail and gonads against any kind of public expense.
            Can you imagine an upper-middle class suburb in Germany, France, or Switzerland voting to shut off streetlights rather than paying the taxes to support them?

            • JonH

              Actually, I suspect part of the UK Tory party, those who weren’t particularly interested in leaving the EU, is gung-ho for Brexit because, once Brexit has kneecapped their economy, they’ll use that as an excuse to shutter or privatize the NHS and BBC.

              They already sold off the Post Office in a bungled stock offering that earned the government much less money than it could have, a giveaway to the participating financial institutions.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            I’m trying to think of what a “sane” conservative party would look like in the United States.

            I’ll accept correction from Europeans, but my impression is that it looks similar to our Democratic Party. And the Republicans are similar to European far-right Parties except for the large Christian contingent in the US which is pretty much absent in most of Europe.

            • There certainly are Christians in Europe; most European countries have Christian democratic parties of some sort. To give the most obvious example, Angela Merkel’s party is called the Christian Democratic Union, and the “Christian” part isn’t just a name. They are, however, not comparable with our right-wing Christians, who are far more extreme. They are usually considered centre-right in Europe, which would place them well, well to the left of the Republicans and probably about even with our Democrats (at least when it comes to the economy – they’ve been a bit too gung-ho about austerity programmes in government but, as far as I’m aware, have not made any move to dismantle Germany’s health care system or free post-secondary education). Merkel has also been fairly liberal on issues such as immigration.

              One major difference between Europe and the United States is that, because most European countries do not have first-past-the-post systems, it is more difficult for their extremists to control their political systems. There certainly are right-wing extremists in Europe, but they rarely get enough seats to form a government. The UK is the main exception in having a FPTP system, but their Conservatives have a fairly lengthy tradition of at least pretending to care about the lower classes (e.g., one-nation conservatism in the tradition of Disraeli. A strong case could be made that they don’t actually follow this anymore, but the extremism that we get here would, at least thus far, be considered vulgar in Britain).

              • JonH

                ” A strong case could be made that they don’t actually follow this anymore, but the extremism that we get here would, at least thus far, be considered vulgar in Britain).”

                Perhaps, but this sort of thing has certainly increased lately.

            • Manny Kant

              This is dumb. The national Democratic Party is much more like mainstream European center left parties than it is like center-right parties. The status quo of the welfare state in Europe is obviously different from the US, but the Democrats are very clearly a center-left party.

              The Nixon administration is a much better match for European center-right parties.

              There are elements within the Democratic Party that are perhaps not too far off from European center-right parties, but the national party as a whole really isn’t.

        • cpinva

          “The presence of H.A. Goodman is a small price to pay for that kind of cosmic justice.”

          I can think of a few places, in the far cosmos, that I’d be much happier for HA Goodman to relocate to.

  • Oh, the GOP has a strategy all right. See, they’re trying to use Obama’s playbook.

    Obama-Biden 2008: Hope and Change

    Trump-Pence 2016: Grope and Change

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I’d go with Trump-Pence 2016: Grope and Rage, although it doesn’t rhyme as nicely.

      • DocAmazing

        Grope and Mange?

        • Charlie S

          Grope and Strange?

      • JonH

        Grope and Stains?

  • postmodulator

    He also insisted that the Republican party has worked tirelessly to do way more minority outrage this time around.

    Well, he’s not wrong.

    • DocAmazing

      I think he meant “outage”. It’s clear the power has been shut off.

      • mikeSchilling

        Given who they nominated, I think “loutage”.

  • Jenna

    “Dickerson said it sure sounds like Donald Trump is doing the complete opposite of what the GOP wanted. Priebus dismissed that and said Trump deserves credit for going into black communities in the past few months.

    He also insisted that the Republican party has worked tirelessly to do way more minority outrage this time around.”

    Ah, spellcheck. How we do love you. Outreach or outrage? What’s the diff, right?

    • LosGatosCA

      Donald J Trump has the most respect for black women. In fact, with his racial slant he doesn’t even need to deny that he’s ever groped a black woman.

      • Norrin Radd

        He said yesterday that there’s never been a candidate less racist than him. George Wallace is #2 on that list.

    • cpinva

      all that Freudian slipping going around. give the Trump campaign credit though, they’ve successfully accomplished what no candidate has before, they have managed to piss off nearly every demographic voting group, save one, in the country. if there was a Nobel Prize for creatively fucking up a political campaign, Trump would be a shoe in this year.

      the New Yorker endorsement was very good. this particular line caught my eye (and it hurt, dammit!):

      “She must reach the most alienated and angered members of the American electorate.”

      those people can’t be reached, because they also happen to be clinically insane. they hate everyone (including themselves) and everything, because they woke up one morning, and realized they aren’t “Number 1!”. that they never were to begin with is irrelevant, because they lack the capacity for rational thought and analysis.

      if they were animals, the humane thing to do would be to put them to sleep, so they couldn’t infect any other living creatures. obviously, we can’t do that with them. what we can do is actually enforce the laws on the books, with regards to the overt threats of bodily harm to others, the call for treasonous acts, by violent attacks against the lawfully elected government, and lawfully elected public officials. it’s perfectly fine to express your different opinion. as the man said, I support your right to do that to the death. it isn’t ok to threaten physical harm to those you disagree with, 1A offers you no protection for that.

      we have judicially scrutinized laws on the books, to deal with people who lack the minimal civil standards we expect of all our citizens, it’s about damn time DOJ & the FBI got off their asses and started asserting themselves. the country will be a safer and more civil place for it.

  • DrDick

    The message to the party as a whole being ignore this until the next time.

    Well of course it is. Learn from the past leads to change, which is clearly antithetical to the whole conservative project. Also too, learning from your mistakes implies conservatism is not perfect and everyone knows that is unpossible!

    • D. C. Sessions

      The message to the party as a whole being ignore this until the next time.

      Considering that a large minority if not an outright majority of Republican primary voters are unabashed white supremacists (with other uncompromising bigots making up enough to dominate primaries) I really don’t see how the whole “outreage” thing is supposed to work.

      The Establishment can say what it will, but the voters will still elect Trumpistas wherever they appear — and by that I mean local, State, and Congressional tickets. If they think the Tea Party Caucus was fun, they’re going to love the 2018 races.

      • DrDick

        While I do not know if it is a majority of Republicans, though that would not surprise me, but it is clearly a large majority of “the base” which turns out for primaries. They are highly motivated by their fears and bigotry.

        • efgoldman

          it is clearly a large majority of “the base” which turns out for primaries. They are highly motivated by their fears and bigotry.

          The question for the establishment, or whatever’s left of them, is can they winnow the field before the Iowa and New Hampshire. Rapey Orange Shitgibbon never actually got a majority, but the rest of the field was so crowded, for so long, that nobody else came forward.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Unless they’d winnowed it to essentially one major candidate, Trump still would have won a lot of primaries with 40% even if there were only two opponents.

            I think the problem only gets worse for Republicans in 4 years. The non-racists have become marginalized in their Party and I think it’s unlikely that they suddenly come storming back to take over. And if they did, the loss of the racist block would leave them with too few voters to win many elections.

            And this ignores how far to the right the Republican Party moved from 2012 to 2016. Factor in the same or greater movement to the right and only RWNJs and politicians willing to fake it to grift off the idiots will remain by 2020.

            I think we’re beyond the question of whether their Party can learn from this year’s debacle. The chasm between the racist/misogynist portion of the Party and the other portion is essentially unbridgeable.

            • NonyNony

              Unless they’d winnowed it to essentially one major candidate, Trump still would have won a lot of primaries with 40% even if there were only two opponents.

              Eh – I’m not so sure of that. The fact that Jeb Bush was the establishment backed nominee created an dynamic that might not be reproducible if the establishment choice were less stupid. A number of GOP voters I know were absolutely #neverjeb, were appalled by Trump but weren’t really united in who they were going to back. These are folks who tend to back the “obvious winner” in the GOP primary – Dole in ’96, W in ’00, McCain in ’08, Romney in ’12. With a better establishment candidate they were absolutely ready to fall in line and vote for the next Mitt Romney or John McCain.

              I think a chunk of Trump’s support came from that anti-Jeb message. Especially when he was shit-talking the Bush family – even the folks who thought Trump was a joke appreciated that.

            • cpinva

              “The non-racists have become marginalized in their Party and I think it’s unlikely that they suddenly come storming back to take over.”

              you read my mind, you fiend! interestingly, today’s GOP has St. Ronald of Rayguns to thank for the position they find themselves in now. it was he who invited the southern, racist, lunatic fringe Christian evangelicals (Jerry Falwell) into the republican fold. Nixon begat it (the Southern Strategy), and his only begotten political son, St. Ronnie, took it to the next logical level.

              at the time, it kind of made sense. how many filthy rich white people, who just want to pay no taxes, pay pennies a day for the live-in (probably illegal) help, and have all local/state/national infrastructure built/maintained, with not a dime of their own funds going to pay for it? not all that many.

              the GOP, to survive, had to come up with a new schtick, to attract a new, less moneyed crowd. they needed to be more concerned with cultural issues, yet still stupid enough to willingly vote against their own economic interests. Jerry Falwell (and his ilk) handed the GOP the keys to his (their) flock(s). these are cultural throwbacks to the 1950’s, and it was assumed by the republican powers that be, that they would be easily controlled. hmmmmm, where have we seen this story before?

              the lunatics have now taken over the GOP asylum, and will happily let it crash and burn, if they don’t get what they want. here’s hoping.

  • Murc

    The problem, such as it is, with the various 2012 post-mortems is that they’re nakedly cynical pieces of political calculation based on the premise “how can we win?”

    Quite a lot of Republicans don’t give a shit about that. We joke about them being the party of nihilism, but they do have genuine beliefs, passionately held, that they want to see implemented in the form of policy. Those beliefs are, of course, terrifying. But they are real. Telling them “you should jettison these things you think are good, true, and right because they’re not winners at the ballot box” isn’t going to produce agreement in many of those people; it’s going to, at best, produce a reaction of “I am involved in politics to push these beliefs forward, not to abandon them, and will continue to do so at every turn. If you have a different plan for the Republican Party, outvote me within it.”

    And that’s at best. It goes down from there.

    It’s hard to even argue they’re wrong to do this as a matter of procedure. Speaking for myself, if there were strong evidence that a commitment to racial equality (to big an issue at random) were hurting Democrats at the ballot box and we’d do better to abandon it to win elections… well, I wouldn’t give a fuck, I truly wouldn’t. My response would be a shrug and “So? It’s the right thing to do, and I’m not active in party politics to sell my soul.”

    • Bill Murray

      commitment to racial equality (to big an issue at random) were hurting Democrats at the ballot box and we’d do better to abandon it to win elections… well, I wouldn’t give a fuck, I truly wouldn’t. My response would be a shrug and “So? It’s the right thing to do, and I’m not active in party politics to sell my soul.”

      “We have lost the South for a generation” President Lyndon Johnson

      • D. C. Sessions

        “We have lost the South for a generation” President Lyndon Johnson

        Always do the right thing. This will gratify some and astonish the rest. — Samuel Clemens.

    • efgoldman

      they do have genuine beliefs, passionately held, that they want to see implemented in the form of policy.

      I don’t think any of us doubt that. But one of those beliefs is that there’s really a substantial majority of people who want and believe the same things.
      Of course, being both hypocrites and masters of cognitive dissonance, they also try to rig the system in any way possible, just in case they’re wrong.

      • DocAmazing

        one of those beliefs is that there’s really a substantial majority of people whose opinion white men are bound to respect who want and believe the same things.

        Clarified.

    • XTPD

      if there were strong evidence that a commitment to racial equality (to big an issue at random) were hurting Democrats at the ballot box and we’d do better to abandon it to win elections… well, I wouldn’t give a fuck, I truly wouldn’t. My response would be a shrug and “So? It’s the right thing to do, and I’m not active in party politics to sell my soul.”

      Jettisoning principles to win elections certainly worked for George Wallace.

    • (((Hogan)))

      “I am involved in politics to push these beliefs forward, not to abandon them, and will continue to do so at every turn. If you have a different plan for the Republican Party, outvote me within it.”

      At which point I will argue that I’m being stabbed in the back by the party elites and yell about Second Amendment solutions.

      The basic problem is they don’t want to live in a democracy. They’re right, and everyone else should sit down and shut up.

      • tsam

        Yes-and republican politicians have no qualms about inciting pure terror in their voters, using the idea of someone coming to take away their guns. They’re playing with fire, and they’re trying to ignite a huge one.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          IMO there’s an analogy to the rise of al-Qaeda/ISIS, whose antecedents were in part created by the US to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

          Unfortunately, they evolved further and turned on the US, much the same way that the Trump supporters are now turning on Fox and establishment Republicans who nurtured them for years because they were effective against Democrats.

          • tsam

            Pretty good analogy.

    • Telling them “you should jettison these things you think are good, true, and right because they’re not winners at the ballot box” isn’t going to produce agreement in many of those people;

      And these are things the GOP continues to insist are good, true and right, so it would be a lot of fun to watch them try.

      • Murc

        Right?

        I mean… it doesn’t hurt to have someone in the room giving you the nakedly cynical political take. That’s important to keep an eye on.

        But the problem the GOP is in caught in is one the Democrats have been in before and will again. Indeed, it is a perennial problem all political parties encounter eventually: you end up in a situation where your political coalition is ennervated and doesn’t have the support in the general populace to reliably win vital elections, but making the changes to counteract that involves selling out on what enormous swathes of said coalition consider to be fundamentally important values.

        There’s no good or quick way out of that bind. Better them than us in this instance, tho.

        • efgoldman

          you end up in a situation where your political coalition is ennervated and doesn’t have the support in the general populace

          Absent another total train wreck like 1968, I think that’s a lot less likely than it used to be, because Obama and HRC have established coalitions(*) that recognize the demographic changes in the country, and that they’ll continue in the same direction for the foreseeable future. Doesn’t mean we won’t lose elections, but the trends are in our favor.

          (*)Which is why HRC could get out in front so quickly in the primaries, and Sanders couldn’t ever catch up.

          • Murc

            “Forseeable future” is doing a lot of work here. In politics that can be as little as fifteen years. The Democratic Party is nearly two centuries old, the Republican Party a century and a half.

            Our time to be politically exhausted and with a struggling, riven coalition has come before. It’ll happen again. Maybe even within the lifetimes of some here.

            • Just a Rube

              What Murc said. I doubt that LBJ’s Democrats, coming off their 1964 victory and with war-hero Eisenhower as the only Republican president in more than three decades, expected to be shut out of the presidency for all but 1 of the next 6 presidential elections.

              Conversely, I doubt the Republicans in 1988, having seen the Reagan coalition coast to its latest convincing victory, expected to lose the popular vote in all but 1 of the next 6 (hopefully to soon be 7) presidential elections.

              And in a two party system, every ruling party is just one major recession away from losing power. If we had a major meltdown like the 2008 financial crisis this year, even Trump would likely be winning.

              • To be fair, though, 2008 was the worst crash since the Great Depression. Not saying it’s impossible for us to have another one like it, but crashes like that aren’t that common, and if we can succeed in passing better regulations on the economy, it’s unlikely we’ll have another one for a long time.

                • Just a Rube

                  Sure, but we could always default on the debt and shutdown the government for a few months, and see what happens.

                  But more seriously, even smaller economic problems can give the opposition party a good chance; look at the difference between the 1988 and 1992 maps.

                  And of course, midterms will still be a disaster for the Democrats (the Democrats need a net gain of 4 to take the Senate this year, if we “only” lose 4 Senate seats in 2018 to go back to where we are now, that would represent a significant Democratic success, and forget about getting anywhere with the House).

                • Well, yeah, midterms are bound to suck no matter what. I’m also not sure what can be done to stop the bleeding at the state level. However, one important difference between 1992 and now is that both candidates were more or less within the mainstream of American politics. That was not the case this year. I’m not convinced that if we had a 1992-level recession, Clinton would be likely to lose; Trump’s problems as a candidate would still be obvious. I’m also not convinced that the Republicans will learn from their lessons and nominate a more electable candidate for at least the next two or three cycles.

                  That said, Congress and states are a serious problem, and I’m not sure what can be done to fix them, apart from reforming the entire electoral system.

                • Manny Kant

                  If Trump collapse continues, Dems could easily gain eight this year (hold NV, pick up WI, IL, IN, NH, PA, NC, MO, FL), which would make expected losses in 2018 a bit less disastrous.

    • Dilan Esper

      It’s not all or nothing.

      For instance, you mention civil rights, but there certainly were civil rights issues that Democrats trimmed sails on (like gay rights), and many people here defended said politicians for doing it.

      • DocAmazing

        Lots of Dem trimming on the civil rights of those accused of crimes in the not-too-distant past, as well.

        • efgoldman

          Yes, but….
          Democrats have evolved, just as they evolved on racial civil rights in the 1960s.
          RWNJ Republiklowns have devolved on every rights issue other than gun rights and white rights.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            I’d add abortion, birth control, and the “right” of conservative Christians to discriminate to your gun rights and white rights.

    • NonyNony

      These conversations are always phrased wrong because they end up coming off as you say as naked political calculation that the voting base would reject.

      The real conversation that is going on is “what voters in our coalition are screwing us, and can we afford to dump them?” Because, as Lemieux is fond of pointing out, in the American system you build your coalition before the election. The GOP right now should be looking at their voting base and trying to figure out which groups they can do without and still win local and statewide elections but who are hurting them in reaching out to the population that they need to win presidential elections. And who they can get rid of to reach out to the larger pool of voters.

      It isn’t “which ideas can we jettison because they aren’t winners at the ballot box”, it’s “which voters can we tell to go pound sand because they’re hurting our long-term plans”.

      And to tell the truth – I don’t think that anyone in the so-called “leadership” of the GOP has the clout to actually tell anyone to go pound sand. They’re in the middle of a long-running faction war, and the leadership at the top is leadership in name only. Nobody cares what Reince Preibus thinks about anything – he’s a glorified fundraiser who isn’t even good at raising funds. Nobody cares what Paul Ryan thinks about anything – he’s only barely holding onto his leadership position because the Freedom Caucus leadership thinks its better politics for them to be inside the tent pissing on him than to actually be in charge of the tent and have to take responsibility for what happens. Nobody cares what Mitch McConnell thinks about anything either.

      One of two things needs to happen – either one of the factions needs to win this internecine war and take control of the party, or a unity figure needs to show up to unite the factions together and convince them they’re all on the same page. But this faction war has been going on since the far right decided that they needed to take over the GOP in the 1960s, and what we’re seeing right now is the result. And that’s why nobody can do anything with these “post-mortems” and nobody will be able to do anything with the next one either.

  • Dilan Esper

    I’m glad the OP refers to abortion politics.

    One of the greatest kept secrets in American politics is how much opposition to Roe hurts Republicans. I assure you that their national pollsters are quite aware of the actual numbers– it’s why their presidential candidates almost never talk about abortion unless they have to.

    And it’s a complete own goal. There’s little constituency for El Salvador style abortion bans in the US, but there’s plenty of squishes on the issue who go for various restrictions but would be very upset if Roe were overturned.

    If the GOP were really interested in legitimate post-mortem, that’s what I would tell them. Reverse their stance on Roe. They can get away with favoring some amount of additional restrictions compared to Democrats, and that will keep most of the hard-line pro-lifers in the coalition. But promising to overturn Roe costs them a ton of suburban women every 4 years.

    • If the Koch wing of the party wins out that’s a possibility but it risks losing a huge chunk of evangelicals who have been brought up on the idea that the sole important issue is abortion.

      Since Goldwater the Republican Party has been intent on building a base that focuses anger and grievance while trying to serve the needs and wants of the very wealthy business class. Their problem is that any rational course of action, e.g. recognizing the ultimate societal acceptance of same sex marriage alienates blocks of voters they need to win elections.

      For years various talking heads and self important media types like Jon Meacham have argued that we are a center-right country. I think the reality is that the country is probably more center left, especially if one breaks out individual issues. Vox recently did a piece on what it called the new silent majority which argued basically that.

      The problem for the Republican Party is that eventually society accepts basic positions on LGBTQ rights, gun regulation, and abortion that are antithetical to groups the Republican elites have been trying to use and incite.
      Long term those elites will have to come to the realization that relitigating the New Deal is not a prescription for winning and no amount of pandering to an angry fringe will make it so.

      • Manny Kant

        Evangelical opposition to abortion was created out of whole cloth in the 1970s, so perhaps it can be gotten rid of just as easily.

    • SNF

      That would destroy them with evangelicals, especially if they also surrender on LGBT rights. If you remove abortion and LGBT rights from the national debate, Democrats might actually start to win with white evangelicals. There would at least be an opening.

      And even if the anti-abortion position is unpopular among a lot of swing voters and weak Republicans, hardcore pro-life activists actually do literally believe that Roe v. Wade is morally equivalent to the Holocaust. They will not accept “well, how about a couple restrictions here or there, but nothing too controversial?” If Republicans try to make that switch, they will be fought tooth and nail in primaries.

      • Dilan Esper

        Evangelicals actually care more about symbolic culture war shit like the War on Christmas. Lots of them supported Trump, who is totally untrustworthy on abortion.

        There are very few “hardcore pro-life activists” who actually want an El Salvador-style abortion ban. Most “pro-lifers” are very soft about exceptions but just don’t like the type of women they perceive as getting abortions– the rape, incest, or me crowd, as Amanda Marcotte calls them.

        The number of suburban women who could be reached by a Republican Party that does not seek to overturn Roe is a heck of a lot larger than the number of votes they will lose from the absolute hard-liners in the pro-life camp.

        Finally, the Holocaust rhetoric is actually a sign that they know that their position is phony. You don’t use Holocaust rhetoric when you are right. Lefties don’t use it on global warming, or the death penalty, or warfare. You use Holocaust rhetoric when you want to shut down debate. They call it a Holocaust precisely because they know it isn’t really murder.

        • efgoldman

          Evangelicals actually care more about symbolic culture war shit like the War on Christmas.

          And actual Republiklown politicians, who have to win real elections, whisper when they think nobody’s listening that SCOTUS overturning Roe would be the political equivalent of LBJ passing the civil rights act, but in reverse. Any hope of retrieving women’s votes would be gone.

        • Evangelicals actually care more about symbolic culture war shit like the War on Christmas. Lots of them supported Trump, who is totally untrustworthy on abortion.

          Not so sure about that. I live in Bible Belt territory in NC and my ex in-laws are megachurch evangelicals in FL. Abortion is really a big deal to these folks. From what I’ve seen they can’t stand Trump but they understand the dynamics of SCOTUS.
          For some at least the Holocaust rhetoric is less a ploy than part of a worldview that sees Revelations as foretelling great doom. It’s an analogy and vocabulary they easily grasp.
          I’m not so sure it’s so easy to generalize about evangelicals or even anti-abortion folk. Most of the folks in my area are Baptist or Methodist but my former next door neighbors are very conservative and observant Catholics. The world views between the two groups are vastly different and even between the Baptists and Methodists there are significant differences.
          Then there are the very hardcore Protestant evangelicals from sects like Church of God. These folks are basically anti-modernity which includes anti-science.
          There is no doubt that many so called pro-lifers are using the stance as a cynical tool but there are a significant number of really hardcore believers and any abandonment of abortion or anti-LGBTQ stances by the party would likely result in them withdrawing from politics. Given the demographic trends the current Republican Party could not remotely stand to lose these folks and remain electorally viable, even in many House districts.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            I think they’re crossing their fingers that Trump would work against abortion if elected, since they’re correct that Clinton certainly won’t. Basically, it’s desperation.

            The sad thing (and I’m genuinely sad for them as fellow Christians) is that they’ve made abortion into the issue that makes all other issues unimportant, with the possible exception of the LGBT issue, and that only among older conservative Christians. Any rational person of faith would be troubled by how Trump’s personal behavior is completely opposite to their beliefs and that he has no discernible religious beliefs. They’ve reduced Jesus’ entire message to opposition to abortion and LGBTs, reminiscent of the people in Exodus worshiping a golden calf, ie, a god other than Yahweh.

            Anyone who doubts how conservative Christians now focus almost entirely on opposing abortion need only drive through rural areas in most parts of the US, where the only non-highway signs you’ll see are numerous ones against abortion.

            • Solar System Wolf

              It is sad. I remember a few elections ago having a conversation with a staunch Catholic who was touting an election guide her local church had put out. She knew the Catholic Church’s positions on abortion and gays, but was complete ignorance when I asked if she knew the Church’s positions on the war in Iraq, climate change, or the death penalty. Religion = anti-abortion and anti-gay for many people now. No need for the actual Jesus.

              • so-in-so

                I’d guess the Church was run by one those Catholic leaders who suddenly decided that the Pope should start MYOB after Francis began returning to pre-John Paul/pre-Benedict messaging?

                • Solar System Wolf

                  This was 2012, so pre-Francis. Even then, though, the Church was officially opposed to the Iraq War and the death penalty. I’m not sure if there was a position on climate change at that point. Whatever the position, the pamphlet she showed me talked about nothing except abortion and homosexuality.

                  Also, according to the pamphlet, Obamacare was bad because it covered abortion and birth control. I asked her if the lives that were saved by people now having health care counterbalanced in any way the lives lost to abortion and birth control, and what the Church had to say about health care access. Once again, nothing.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Finally, the Holocaust rhetoric is actually a sign that they know that their position is phony. You don’t use Holocaust rhetoric when you are right. Lefties don’t use it on global warming, or the death penalty, or warfare.

          Yes, that never hap… Oh, wait.

          “The Next Genocide”: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/opinion/sunday/the-next-genocide.html?_r=0

          “Race and Genocide: How Trayvon Martin’s Murder Became Deracialized”:
          https://overthecolorline.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/race-and-genocide-how-trayvon-martins-murder-became-deracialized/

    • NonyNony

      Their Roe stance is there to split Catholics off of the Democrats. Democrats get roughly 50% of the Catholic vote every cycle, without the hardline abortion stance Republicans would lose more. The entire point of the abortion issue was to wedge Catholics away from the Democrats and into a coalition with the Evangelicals. Evangelicals didn’t give a rat’s ass about abortion prior to the 1970s when their leadership – who were pissed off about desegregation and interracial marriage – figured out that if they worked the abortion and birth control angle, they could get some Catholics on board and make their coalition stronger. Catholics weren’t into racist politics as a whole, but mix in abortion and suddenly you have a coalition.

      Drop the hard line on abortion and go to “safe, legal and rare” and those percentages probably shift to 60/40 instead of 50/50 (well-off Catholics love their tax breaks too, of course) and Republicans don’t win another presidential election. And that’s just right now – the trends are growing Latino populations which means a larger percentage of Catholics are Latino and Latino Catholics have been more 70/30 than 50/50 for the past decade. That 30% of Latino Catholics are basically where most of Romney’s entire 27% of Latino voters come from in 2012 – lose abortion and it’s likely to drop to half that (because well-off Latino Catholics love their tax breaks too…)

      • Evangelicals didn’t give a rat’s ass about abortion prior to the 1970s when their leadership – who were pissed off about desegregation and interracial marriage –

        Yep, the Southern Baptist Association was initially pro Roe.

        Catholics weren’t into racist politics as a whole, but mix in abortion and suddenly you have a coalition.

        Busing in Boston, Polish and Irish resistance to integration in Chicago – large segments of working class Catholics were definitely moved by race issues.

        Latinos including Latino Catholics are hardly monolithic. Depending on place of origin many Latino Catholics embrace liberation theology which focuses much more on social Gospel issues than abortion. Latino evangelicals, e.g. Ted Cruz’s father, are rabidly anti-abortion.
        There is a subset of wealthy business class folks within every racial group who vote primarily on tax issues although they may give other reasons for their Republican attachment.

      • Dilan Esper

        Most Catholics are pro-choice. Just like most of them use birth control and have premarital and nonprocreative sex, and masturbate.

        The official position of the Church is routinely disregarded.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I do wonder who the hell he is trying to convince.

    Obviously, he’s pitching this to The Powers That Be — specifically, those who decide whether he follows Steele, who got tossed out on his ear after managing the Republican disaster of 2010.

    • efgoldman

      specifically, those who decide whether he follows Steele, who got tossed out on his ear after managing the Republican disaster of 2010.

      He’s toast regardless.
      Not that it matters. There isn’t a Republiklown National Committee in any real sense. They have no power, they don’t do GOTV, clearly they don’t control the presidential nomination process, they don’t do party-building or find raising. It’s every fascist for himself.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Or it’s every rich donor who’s decided to bypass the RNC and work directly with a PAC that will do whatever their donor(s) pay them to do.

  • bernard

    I wish someone would ask Priebus about the actions of Republican-controlled state legislatures.

    Tell us, Mr. Priebus, how do you expect to persuade African-Americans to vote for your party when your party is doing its best to keep them from voting at all?

    How do you expect to get women to vote for your party when your party, at the state and federal level, is attacking women’s health organizations?

    What color is the sky where you live, Mr. Priebus?

    • D. C. Sessions

      What color is the sky where you live, Mr. Priebus?

      Like the song says, the sky in Texas is red. Solid red, horizon to horizon. At least as long as the Mexicans don’t vote, anyway.

    • SNF

      Tell us, Mr. Priebus, how do you expect to persuade African-Americans to vote for your party when your party is doing its best to keep them from voting at all?

      “The only people who need to worry about voter ID are people who want to commit voter fraud.”

      How do you expect to get women to vote for your party when your party, at the state and federal level, is attacking women’s health organizations?

      “You mean abortion mills that Democrat politicians use to victimize women?”

      What color is the sky where you live, Mr. Priebus?

      “Red, obviously.” (Alternative answer: “Red, white, and blue. Like America.”)

      • bernard

        Those are normal TV show answers.

        What I’m wondering is how Priebus answers the questions when posed in private by someone seriously questioning GOP tactics.

        Who would that be? I don’t know. A big contributor, maybe, or someone hired to give honest advice.

  • cpinva

    problem #1:

    “The 2016 race isn’t even over, and fed-up conservative women, saying the party failed to heed the lesson, are angrily conducting a vivisection of the campaign of Donald Trump and, pointedly, the party leaders who refused to disown him.”

    there is no such thing as a “conservative woman”, unless she has been legally declared brain dead, and is only being technically kept “alive” on artificial life-support. anyone else claiming that mantra is simply an old, white, “Christian” male, who is cross-dressing. harsh truth I know, but truth nonetheless.

    problem #2:

    “Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.”

    the only way to accomplish this goal, would be to stop the republican war on women. since no republican office holder appears willing to do this, and in fact the republicans codified it in their national platform, it isn’t going to happen. you have a better chance of winning the lottery, getting hit by both a meteorite and a tractor trailer, all at the same time, then the GOP has of stopping its official war on women.

    problem #3:

    that there are adult women in this country, who subscribe to the republican party platform, tells me there are a lot of women who desperately need professional mental health services, because they are masochists.

    • NewishLawyer

      There are lots of people who are also Democrats because of a lack of better options and not because of any strong connection to social welfare or liberalism.

      I think that a true center-right party could probably dominate elections in the US. This party would be not dominated by Evangelicals, further to the right than the Democrats on economic/business issues but not as zealously anti-tax and anti-welfare state as the current GOP or the Libertarians.

      On social issues, they would probably be pro-LBGT rights, somewhere between the Democrats and Republicans on abortion, tough(ish) on crime, etc.

      I’ve said this before but there are lots of people who vote Democratic because they know the GOP hates them (for being gay, for being not-white) but they are not that liberal and generally have a business person’s intuitions on economic and business policy.

      • DocAmazing

        We already had a DLC, thank you.

      • (((max)))

        There are lots of people who are also Democrats because of a lack of better options and not because of any strong connection to social welfare or liberalism.

        Yep.

        I think that a true center-right party could probably dominate elections in the US. This party would be not dominated by Evangelicals, further to the right than the Democrats on economic/business issues but not as zealously anti-tax and anti-welfare state as the current GOP or the Libertarians.

        It’s been tried. You may have heard of Unity ’08 et al. You may have also have heard of Bob Dole. GHW Bush. Gerald Ford. You could argue that some or all of those are not ‘true center right’ but then you have a problem. What constitutes a true center right?

        The ‘true center right’ that we have doesn’t win elections. It’s been able to drive the agenda of the R party but only at a high cost. A party that can host the middle (‘middle’) favored by the upper class is a party that can’t command either wing of the polity. A party that commands the one of the wings (either one) annoys the upper classes with their welfare and their social security and their banning abortions and their going into debt and their getting annoyed at increased immigration. (Etc.) Neither wing is that hot on a actually fighting wars.

        So. A problem, and as near as I can tell, an unsolvable one. Rather than have the middle commanded by some party centered near some platonic ideal of a middle/center-right, you get a center commanded by one of the wings plus the middle.

        max
        [‘We could go for a parliamentary system but that has problems, too, for the imaginary ‘middle’.’]

        • This comment wound up being way longer than I intended. I think I may have rambled a bit. Sorry about that, but I promise there is a point in here.

          The “true centre-right” doesn’t win elections because the “true centre-right” doesn’t win primaries. I think it’s clear at this point that Clinton is a much better candidate than the CW has generally given her credit for being, but if the Republicans hadn’t nominated a virulently racist, sexist, abusive, right-wing-extremist piece of shit, they might have had a somewhat better shot at the presidency regardless.

          The centre-right didn’t win a primary this year because none of the candidates that even came close to being centre-right came anywhere near getting a plurality of votes. If Trump hadn’t been in the race, the winner probably would’ve been Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich. None of these people qualify as remotely centre-right, either, although Kasich does a good job playing a moderate on TV. Kasich’s skill at pretending to be moderate might’ve been enough to win him a general election, but for that same reason he wouldn’t have been able to win a Republican primary. Republican primary voters are too extreme to choose anyone who doesn’t further Cleek’s Law as a presidential candidate.

          As a result, you get an increasingly polarised political system. The Democrats haven’t moved as far to the left as the Republicans have to the right, but it’s clear that the Democratic platform this year is well to the left of where it was in 2008 or 2012. In turn, Obama ran well to the left of Kerry (and probably governed to the left of where Kerry would have governed), and Kerry ran arguably to the left of Gore and certainly to the left of Bill Clinton. We haven’t actually had an “extremist” candidate win one of our primaries, so it’s not strictly comparable, but one would have to be daft not to notice that our system is more polarised than it used to be.

          This does, of course, mean that it’s quite possible indeed that there are many voters who are not completely on board with either party’s agenda. I personally know quite a few of them myself. (Of course, there are also people like me who are well to the left of the Democrats but still support them due to the lack of other viable options, and terrifyingly, there are probably people to the right of the Republicans.)

          This represents where one of the flaws of a first-past-the-post system comes in. This year it’s more obvious than it is in most elections, because there are a large number of conservatives who can’t get on board with Trump’s agenda for one reason or another. These people certainly aren’t going to become liberals anytime soon, and some of them have responded by reluctantly supporting Trump, some have responded by reluctantly supporting Clinton, some have responded by supporting third-party candidates, and some have responded by leaving some or all of their ballot blank (or not voting at all). Whatever vote they have, though, will almost certainly be reluctant.

          The election results will be read as support for Clinton’s agenda (or, on the terrifying but remote chance he wins, Trump’s). However, all the election results will have meant is that people preferred not-Trump to Trump. It’s likely that if the election results actually represented the political preferences of the electorate, the results would end up somewhere between the Democratic platform and the Republican platform. It would probably be closer to the Democratic platform. However, at some point it is possible that the Democrats will go further than the electorate is comfortable with. It almost certainly won’t be this cycle, unless we miraculously take the House, in which case it might (but still probably won’t). At that point, the Democratic Party may start losing presidential elections again.

          A major problem with a FPTP system is that it does not model the electorate’s political preferences well. Trump was the Republican nominee this year. However, for most of the cycle, he had low approval ratings even among Republicans. Some of them may have found his personality objectionable, but others probably disagreed with his policies. After it became clear he would be the nominee, most Republican voters grudgingly lined up behind him; however, in at least some cases this seems to be a case of party loyalty rather than genuine approval for his political stances. Others simply abandoned him.

          The same goes for other elected Republicans. The tendency of elected Republicans has been for them to become more right-wing, despite the fact that the electorate itself has not gotten particularly more right-wing than it used to be. Similarly, despite somewhat less pronounced but still increased left-wing tendencies among elected Democrats, it’s not particularly clear that the electorate’s preferences have shifted to the left, either.

          With FPTP, you seem to get the choices of either having two parties with decreasing political differences between them, or two parties with increasing political differences between them. Neither of these necessarily models the electorate’s preferences well. It is quite likely that there are plenty of voters who would vote for a candidate who, by American standards, qualifies as centre-left, centrist, or centre-right. However, there are decreasing numbers of these who are capable of winning elections.

          This would not in itself be such a major problem if our system weren’t so dependent upon politicians following established norms. These have, however, broken down to the point where one political party considers it acceptable to leave a Supreme Court vacancy for extended periods of time for entirely political reasons. And it’s not difficult to explain why this is pragmatic: elected Republicans know that if they are seen to cooperate with Democrats, they will be challenged in a primary election from the right. This leaves little chance for compromise.

          One advantage of multiparty systems is that the extremists don’t get as much control over the political process. If the extreme right wing pisses off centre-right voters, their party can tell the far-right to go pound sand and refuse to form coalitions with them. This can’t happen here because of our primary system. I’m honestly afraid that this country will remain fundamentally broken for as long as we have FPTP voting.

          • bender

            In parliamentary systems, it often seems the case that no large party can form a government without the support of one or more minor parties, and bidding wars ensue. The small parties can’t dictate the coalition’s positions on everything, but they can for their own pet issues.

            A comparable situation in the American system was the way American policy toward Cuba was constrained for many years by the demands of Cuban Americans in one state.

      • There are lots of people who are also Democrats because of a lack of better options and not because of any strong connection to social welfare or liberalism.

        This could be true. That said, I think many people who aren’t decidedly on the left kind of vaguely feel that OF COURSE common sense == center right. And even a lot of people who are on the left feel the same way, more or less, but with common sense replaced by what most people (whom they disagree with) THINK is common sense. So it seems like theoretically that’s how parties in a rational system probably are supposed to be set up. Oddly, though, they aren’t in the real world.

        I think that a true center-right party could probably dominate elections in the US. This party would be not dominated by Evangelicals, further to the right than the Democrats on economic/business issues but not as zealously anti-tax and anti-welfare state as the current GOP or the Libertarians.

        I don’t know why it would exclude evangelicals. They are the Establishment in many parts of the country. Evangelical universities, along with Catholic universities, have been working for decades to build a responsible ruling class that’s responsive to religious values as they see them. Someone like Condoleeza Rice, who Peter R. mentioned as a possible R candidate, might even be someone they could get behind.

        • mds

          Someone like Condoleeza Rice, who Peter R. mentioned as a possible R candidate, might even be someone they could get behind.

          When did Condooleeza Rice accept Jesus as her personal savior? I ask because I’ve genuinely never heard her talk the talk. Her Presbyterianism looks to me like a default setting from her father being a Presbyterian minister. Granted, Trump kinda sorta managed to finesse this with Franklin “Shitstick” Graham’s support, but there are segments of the fundamentalist coalition (including the Southern Baptist Convention leadership) who have pretty much washed their hands of Mr. Two Corinthians. Conservative evangelicals might be the local establishment, but they’re not going to get behind a national establishment candidate if they’re a squish on Jeebus talk. Which is to say, Haley or someone else with a convincing-enough “I found the Lord” narrative gets extra points if all else is equal.

          • I don’t know what denomination she is, I only know what I’ve read of how well she fit into the evangelical-dominated atmosphere of the GWB administration.

            • mds

              How much she “fit in,” or decided to stomach in exchange for power and prestige, is irrelevant to the question of how GOP primary voters would respond to an unmarried black woman who doesn’t have a track record of authentic frontier fundigelical gibberish.

    • Dilan Esper

      there is no such thing as a “conservative woman”, unless she has been legally declared brain dead, and is only being technically kept “alive” on artificial life-support. anyone else claiming that mantra is simply an old, white, “Christian” male, who is cross-dressing. harsh truth I know, but truth nonetheless.

      I know plenty of conservative women.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Agreed. They’re even more numerous than Log Cabin Republicans, but just as hard for me to understand.

        Of course I also don’t understand women who buy into the whole ‘be subservient to your husband’ stuff. I suspect they overlap with Republican women pretty well on the Venn diagram.

    • UserGoogol

      I mean there are in fact quite a few conservative women. This is pretty straightforwardly shown by poll data. (Really, the idea that thinking that way ipso facto makes them not a woman sort of touches on the edge of transphobia.)

      I have no particular problem calling conservatives irrational, but it’s a rather common form of irrationality which need not mean either rejecting their womanhood or basic cognitive functions. Most people are marginalized in some way that conservatism attacks. “The 99%” and so forth. But they’re also privileged in other ways that conservatism is happy to defend. And more than that, there’s more to politics than just self-interest. People are invested in a broader social structure beyond its personal benefit to them. If you think that a patriarchical/hierarchical/etc society is simply the way things should be even if you don’t personally benefit from it, then it’s entirely sensible to act to keep it around. And people have believed in conservative social structures for a long time, that’s what makes it conservative.

      And really, I think progressivism has to rely on at least some degree of altruism; making politics about who will put more meat on the table will probably benefit us in a short term partisan way, (because I do think we are in fact better at that) but there’s a lot of important issues where people may have to be willing to sacrifice. The problem with conservatism is that they put their sacrificing and selfishness in the wrong places.

      • (Really, the idea that thinking that way ipso facto makes them not a woman sort of touches on the edge of transphobia.)

        anyone else claiming that mantra is simply an old, white, “Christian” male, who is cross-dressing

        “Touches on” is a way to put it.

    • efgoldman

      there is no such thing as a “conservative woman”, unless she has been legally declared brain dead

      So Phyllis Schlafly, Coulter, Caribou Barbie, etc aren’t exemplars of anything?
      I agree that conservative women vote against their own interest. The Republiklowns have this magical property of getting some parts of the electorate (hello, Kansas) to do that. But still….

      • Voting for Republicans is against the self interest of most human beings. But consider conservatives who aren’t white hetero men but who do have enough money to buy their way around any inconvenient laws, and enjoy all of the benefits of tax breaks, union busting and loosening of restrictions on corporations. FYIGM, IOKIYAR.

    • veleda_k

      there is no such thing as a “conservative woman”, unless she has been legally declared brain dead, and is only being technically kept “alive” on artificial life-support. anyone else claiming that mantra is simply an old, white, “Christian” male, who is cross-dressing. harsh truth I know, but truth nonetheless.

      No. Women who believe gross things are still women.

  • NewishLawyer

    The GOP has proved themselves incapable of learning these lessons.

    I don’t expect this to change anytime soon. At the very least a lot of silent generation and early boomer right-wingers need to exit the scene. Probably a good number of Reagan utes as well.

    • Johnny sycophant

      The old white Faux News watching base can cause a lot of damage on the way to demographic oblivion- witness what the UK’s analogue did with respect to Brexit.

  • CrunchyFrog

    There is no answer. The question is: how do we continue to get a near-majority to vote for a party that will pass policies favoring the wealthy without doing anything that costs money for everyone else? There is no answer.

    They thought they had an answer, and in the wake of the Powell memo created a massive information/propaganda infrastructure to support that. But that’s failed. There is no solution that meets the original requirement.

    • efgoldman

      There is no solution that meets the original requirement.

      And they’ve found out that buying elections doesn’t work above a governorship. Doesn’t mean they’ll stop throwing good money after bad.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        And they’ve got a lot of billionaires and near-billionaires to toss that money around.

        There are enough ultra-wealthy people that they could literally buy up all of the media if they chose to. That they haven’t IMO reflects that they think the media’s influence is too small to be worth doing that.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    this is basically their version of how Dems put too much emphasis on having the Presidency. get back to me when they start losing state legislatures, governorships and congresscritters. til then what they do is serving their purpose- and so does having a Dem president as the perpetual arch villian

  • socraticsilence

    I’ll find the “Party of Lincoln” line a bit more palatable when the states that constitute the base of the modern GOP echo the state parties elsewhere in the country and hold annual “Lincoln-Reagan” Dinners, it’s not much more than window dressing but if the GOP in Dixie isn’t even willing to go that far, why the fuck should the rest of us take them seriously?

    • BiloSagdiyev

      If they did do it in the South, they’d mutter to themselves about how they mean early Lincoln, before he sold out to Big Emancipation.

      • so-in-so

        That was really some intermediate Lincoln, after the threat of Secession but before the war started in earnest.

        Early Lincoln was too much “A house divided …”.

  • vic rattlehead

    Growth &Opportunity Project Report?

    That’s right up there with “committee to re-elect the president.” Are republicans acronym-blind or something?

    • mds

      What's wrong with the CTRTP?

    • Just_Dropping_By

      The actual acronym would be “GOPR” or it could be rendered in the press-release friendly “GOP Report”. I’m pretty sure I could make various Democratic Party-associated acronyms spell rude, funny, or unpleasant things by selectively picking letters in their names other than the first letter of each principal word to use as part of the acronym.

      • vic rattlehead

        So this time you’re going for intentionally obtuse.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    BTW, “growth and opportunity”? What a fucking scam. They don’t even care if the economy grows – we’ve seen this since 2008, and not just in this country. They care about retaining their position at the top of the heap relative to others, and if their assets can never be affected by inflation, hey, what’s a stagnant economy?

    This whole, “HEY! ECONOMY! BIDNISS! WE’RE ALL GONNA GET RICH!” horseshit is just a scam. Of course, that’s why they put “opportunity” in there. If you don’t wind up at the top of the heap collecting rents? Well, you had the opportunity, you lazy degenerates. Fuck you, work harder. For less. And more hours. And did we mention working harder?

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