I do not know about you, but reading this Republican National Committee "autopsy" of the 2012 election read way to much like a nuanced report put together by. . .campaign consultants!
First, why the hell is the RNC calling this an "autopsy"? That is what is done after someone dies! The Republican party did not die on November 6, 2012. It sure got a good, ol' fashioned ass-whooping. But one must remember that politics and what people think and believe is cyclical. And the fact is that the Republicans did keep control of the House of Representatives. There are now 30 state governors that are Republicans. Twenty-four state legislatures under Republican control.
That is the good news.
The bad news is this report.
There is way too much about demographics. I mean, yes the United States is changing in many ways. But we can't be overwrought over it. We do not need a report. I can tell you living in one of the demographically changing parts of the nation, California, it is really simple. Outreach only goes so far. Republicans need to be engaged all the time and everywhere. We can't just send in people under the guise of outreach close to an election and wow the name-the-group crowd. No, we need to be working to find leaders in these communities and have them not just engage but run for that school board seat. That city council seat. We need to be willing to sit down as individual Republicans and talk about what we believe and why with our lefty friends and neighbors. Sorry, but we do not need a whole section and wasting $10,000,000 on perpetual "outreach".
Whenever I read about broadening the party, I fear that means jettisoning some basic positions.
Illegal immigration is one. Same-sex marriage is another. Maybe being open to new taxes. Basically becoming Democrat Lite.
In reading this report, it kinds of does that on the edges. No, it does not come out to gut basic Republican positions. But it does seem to suggest soft-selling them.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Michael Walsh, a go to guy over at National Review Online, is spot on with the simple title of his post.
You must read the whole thing because trust me, most of it is better than this report from the RNC.
I want to highlight this in particular:
Put them on defense for a change and see how they like it. Create your own version of Media Matters — tax exempt! — and cut their bylined operatives and apparatchiks off at the knees. Revamp Fox News’s prime-time lineup — I said this on the most recent NR Cruise, so I might as well own it — by redeploying Sean Hannity (who’s already got plenty of exposure on the radio) and Bill O’Reilly (whose Factor has devolved into a parade of tired hacks and buy-my-stuff hucksterism) and replacing them with some fresh new faces before their ratings start to slide. Hey, MSNBC’s doing it.
YES! Now I don't necessarily agree about how to redeploy certain people on Fox News Channel, the thrust of putting the other side on defense is important because the Democrats have been doing that to Republicans for many a moon now.
This is what is so frustrating. That the Democrats seem to always catching the Republicans off and are able to define them rather than the Republicans defining the Democrats.
Say what you will about one George W. Bush, but he did show how it is possible to lead. To stay on message. To stay on offense. And of course, Ronald Reagan was the master of what it meant to lead on the message and to always be on offense. Not that there are not some roadblocks.
A massive report that focuses on failure only leads to more failure. It makes the grand poo bahs even more panicked. And that means the grassroots must unite behind a person that is on offense and will to fight for and not lead from behind.