Republicans Have an Image Problem Because They Insist on Acting Like Republicans

Categories: Schutze

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The op-ed page of our only local daily newspaper is full of talk today about the national Republican Party's big overnight discovery and wake-up call: in a document called the "Growth and Opportunity Report" published by the Republican National Committee, Republicans are being informed that they are reviled, feared and ridiculed by certain niche demographic groups.

That would be women, non-whites, young people, the middle class, the working class, gay people, educated persons, non-bigots and some other guys.

Side-by-side companion pieces, one by Michael Gerson republished from the Washington Post and the other by Dallas Morning News former Washington bureau chief Carl P. Leubsdorf, discuss the party's problems largely in terms of marketing strategy.

"All conservatives believe in the power of markets, which is explanatory in this case," Gerson writes. "The RNC is attempting to reach the market of gettable voters in Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico and other electorally strategic places. Other conservatives target the markets of talk radio listeners or CPAC attendees."

Ultrasoundwand.jpg
Hey, mister, have someone shove one of these up your hoo-hah and then call it an image problem.
Yes, at least in theory everything from God to peanuts can be reduced to pitches. Both of the writers above, by the way, do give deference to the importance of actual ideas. But the overall tenor of the report itself is that people who think the GOP hates them or sees them as stupid are just being ... well, stupid.

"Public perception of the party is at record lows," the report tells Republicans. "Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country."

Wrongly?

This report, of course, was written and published by people who at the end of the day are fundraisers. If any Republicans out there in the nation are really serious about seeking some kind of real mirror on the wall into which they might gaze and ask narcissistic questions, they should cast their eyes our way, toward the Lone Star state. Here, the most powerful and feared Republican sub-group -- the real leadership in their party -- is the Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee of the Texas Legislature.

In 2011 it was JoAnn Fleming, chair of that group, who reamed out Governor Rick "Oops" Perry, further embarrassing him, if that was even possible, in the middle of his famously embarrassing presidential campaign, by accusing him of allowing the state of Texas, of all places, to become too soft on illegal immigrants. Fleming wanted Governor Oops to abandon the campaign trail, come home and crack down on Texas state cops for not arresting enough people out on the state's highways who looked highly Mexican.

So if people who look highly Mexican interpret that kind of stuff as unfriendly, are they just being oversensitive? In fact, wait: Don't Republicans always think minorities are too sensitive for no good reason? Um, isn't that pretty much part of the problem? OK, let's move on.

Just last year, it was the more moderate of our two GOP U.S. senators, John Cornyn, who said a decision by the Justice Department to block enforcement of the Texas voter-photo law , a decision later upheld by a federal appeals panel, "reeks of politics and appears to be an effort by the Department of Justice to carry water for the president's re-election campaign."

When the appeals court weighed in on the side of the DOJ, it found the Texas law would restrict minority voting and impose "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor." So, strict and unforgiving burdens: Are those just image problems?

What about all these women? Why would they be worried about the GOP? Here in Texas, the GOP marches proudly beneath the virtual banner of Great Electric Dildo, the vagina wand that Republicans insist the state must stick inside any woman who asks for an abortion.

Is any physical object that the government sticks way up inside the body of an actual person, female or male, a perception problem? Isn't a government dildo way up inside your body pretty real? Is there any conceivable way to get a person to stop perceiving it as real? If so, wouldn't that be even more scary?

What is the Republican line on that one, again? "We have a sonogram law in Texas that values and protects life," Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said last year. "Governor Perry is proud of the steps we've taken in Texas to protect the unborn and ensure women have access to all the facts before making a life-ending decision."

Sure. That's all about the information and the decisions and the values and stuff. But what about the thing way up inside your body? Maybe the "Growth and Opportunity Report" could have been more persuasive had it included some graphic photos of the government dildo in use, faces blanked out of course. The caption could have been, "Here's our growth. What's our opportunity?" Then again, we must fear the answer.

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61 comments
baker24
baker24

Part of the Republicans' problem is that the country is still changing, with more of the population moving into urban or suburban areas, where the independence and self-sufficiency favored in the rural areas is replaced by an acceptance of the value of group interdependence and cooperation, a basic shift in world view. Look at the distribution of red and blue elections in 2012, blue cities and metropolitan areas and red everywhere else. We have a major cultural divide and it is getting worse, and worse than that is the fact that neither side knows much about the other and doesn't understand it. Still, in spite of themselves, the Dems are on the side of demographic trends in the US and will thus benefit from those trends unless the Repubs are willing to acknowledge that things are changing and get with their realistic view of that actual situation. Fighting against things that most people now accept will lead to their demise as an effective political party.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

DNC/RNC - The rhetoric is different but the incompetence is the same.

V of Deep Ellum On Air
V of Deep Ellum On Air

If they would just do the opposite of what they've been doing the last decade or so, they might be on to something. But instead, they'll just continue with the same hypocratic b.s. and hopefully...yes, hopefully, they will slowly become extinct. (Extinction never sounded so good.)

Americano
Americano

I'm sure Republicans will get a fair shake in the Observer!

j.walter.miller
j.walter.miller

Did you get your MoveOn.org email today?  Apoplexy over gun control efforts going belly up.  I giggled.

bmarvel
bmarvel

Oh, and that business about requiring those applying for unemployment to take a drug test. That'll burnish the GOP image to a fine luster.

s.aten
s.aten

I keep laughing every time the media say the Republicans are doing some soul searching.  That is implies they have a soul which I don't think they have.   They sold their soul to the devil a long time ago.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The GOP has won the recently due to their ability to get their voters out to the polls in greater numbers than the Dems. Their platform wasn't preferred by the majority of registered voters, but the majority of actual voters pulled the lever for the GOP.

That changed with the Obama candidacy, with the turn out the vote efficiency the Dems attained, and now the Republicans have a big problem.

Their attempts to reduce the ease of voting by likely Dem voters have failed. the hot issues the Republicans used a decade ago- same sex marriage for instance- have turned and are no longer issues that will energize their core.

The savvy Republican candidates have heard the message and are now adjusting their positions. Rand Paul for illegal immigration citizenship? Portman for same sex marriage? these aren't your father's Republicans, and not your father's Republican positions.

The interesting dynamic is between these Republicans who understand they are on the wrong side of the issues, and those Republicans who disagree and see the republicans not pushing their positions strongly enough, see Perry saying that the reason the Republicans lost the last 2 pres elcetions because the republican candidates haven't been conservative enough.

If the Paul view prevails, the Republicans can reignite themselves and be competitive; if the Perry view prevails, the Republicans will not be a competitive party.

LosTresAmigos
LosTresAmigos

 Sorry, but the GOP's real problem is "donorism."   The plutocrats who run the party and write its checks are perfectly happy with amnesty for illegals, same-sex marriage, etc., since they are socially moderate anyway, don't suffer from the ill-effects of illegal immigration (think Highland Park residents vs. Farmers Branch residents), care above all about low marginal tax rates, and are pretty remote from the anxiety of average Americans.  They have no problem at all with crony capitalism, doing banks' bidding, cozying up to Wall Street, and invading the world.   All of this is good for business!

In contrast, the average American doesn't care that much about tax rates, coddling the banks, but the GOP is adept at pushing the culture-war hot buttons to get their votes while doing the plutocrats' bidding.


http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/the-republican-partys-donorism-problem/

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/gop-smackdown-wonks-vs-pols-88482.html?hp=t2_3

James080
James080 topcommenter

Republicans often act like asses. So do most Democrats. Pass the beer nuts.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

I'm not a fan of either party, but the Democrats figured out that it is all about perception rather than reality.  The Obama administration has deported more illegal aliens than 8 years of the Bush administration.  But the perception is that Obama is for the cousins of the deported.  Of course the GOP is so far out of whack on social issues, they can't point out the Democrats hypocrisy without looking weak on immigration.

But hey the GOP is for small government, government so small it will fit through the keyhole of a bedroom door.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Your view is expressed in an alternative rag.

for a reason.  Normal America reads the other rag.  We call "those people" the majority.  See, most people don't think like you do.  We don't look through the same prism.

You are nothing more than a bomb-thrower in the back of a mob.  And it's like that million man march math made easy crowd.  ABC dare not pan out and take an aerial shot.

I suggest you graduate to a vest filled with those invectives, rush into the nearest Mayberry, and kill as many racists as you can.

You remind me of a political Lanza.


Daniel
Daniel

@s.aten All politicians sell their souls to the devil, it's just that the GOP doesn't appear to have negotiated a very good deal.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bealotcoolerifyoudid Obama counts those caught at the border and returned as deportations.  Bush didn't.

Nearly two-thirds of the 5.4 million legal immigrants from Mexico who are eligible to become citizens of the United States have not yet taken that step. Their rate of naturalization—36%—is only half that of legal immigrants from all other countries combined, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Those illegally in this country won't vote even if you handed out citizenship cards without any ID at all.  They are not going to be a factor.

The only time half this country needs an ID is to get into the myriad of government programs offering free stuff.  Ans this is what is delivering us all to financial ruin.

When everyone under 50 finds out what the Boomers loaded them up with, they are going to become angry.  Real angry.

For it is nothing more than a MASSIVE claim on their future labor.

Daniel
Daniel

@holmantx I don't know, holman. I just read a fascinating article -- apparently, four or five months ago, there was an election. Now, granted, I was reading the lamestream media, hardly an unbiased source, but they claimed the liberal guy won the general election handily. Meaning -- in their lamestream-media analysis -- that the MAJORITY voted for him. 

Not the majority in Holman., Texas, mind you -- and that's where what I like to call "the real Americans" live. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@holmantx 

You remind me a lot of Old 47 Percent.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx Thank you.  This is the kind of crazy talk we want the right to continue indulging in.   Keep up the good work.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown @j.walter.miller

Hmm, care to show where there is a "national database" where people are required to "register your guns"? What, there isn't one? You basically make your stuff up?

One has to register to vote, likewise it is not an imposition to require a background check to own a gun.

James080
James080 topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @James080  

Poor choice of words on my part. Have to remember to keep it simple, simple, simple. Substitute "behave" instead of "act." Are we happy now?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx Those persons under 50 have boomer parents, and should be very happy Social Security and Medicare are paying boomer bills that would otherwise have to be footed by Gen Xers.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@holmantx @bealotcoolerifyoudid Yeah, but you can blame both Dems and Repubs for the massive debt. 

The thing is the Dems have figured out marketing in this day and age as well as groundlevel campaigning.  The GOP is behind the times in these areas. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Daniel @holmantx Yes, elections have consequences and nineteen state legislatures flipped from blue to red, and 33 states have rejected the exchange mandate.  Deal with it.

Iraq was the Republicans' downfall, Obamacare will be the Left's demise as it kicks in.

And nothing matters if Congress cannot deal with the debt and entitlements.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@mavdog @cantkeepthetruthdown No I didn't. Moron. What I asserted is that liberals want people to register their firearms in a national database but think requiring ID to vote is wacissssss. You seem ignorant. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown

clearly you don't know squat about the voter registration process/rules, as your statement is completely, totally wrong. go figure.

"All voters who registered to vote in Texas must provide a Texas driver's license number or personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the last four digits of your social security number."

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/largepamp.shtml

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown

to quote from above:

"Register your guns in a national database but don't you dare require ID to vote!"

so yes, you did assert there is a national database to register your guns....

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@mavdog @cantkeepthetruthdown There is no background check to register to vote. There is no ID required to vote. I assume you have never purchased a firearm and therefore have no idea what is required to do so either.

%s

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown

one cannot register to vote without verification of who they are. there is a process to validate the right of that citizen to register and vote.

the same process should be done in order to purchase a gun.

you seem to align the 2, therefore you would be a hypocrite if you supported different rules.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown 

so the answer is no, there is NOT a "national database" that is requiring people to "register your guns'. you just pulled that out of your arse.

complete, total failure on your part, thanks for playing.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@mavdog I need to present ID and go through a background check to exercise my right to bear arms. Why not voting? 

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@mavdog Have you not been paying attention? There are bills being written and presented to require firearm registration. Cheerleaders like Pierce Morgan have been yelling for it since Sandy Hook. 


It's already a requirement in some states like California.. Dems would love to roll it out nationwide. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX @cantkeepthetruthdown @j.walter.miller Jim, all of our enumerated, constitutionally guaranteed rights are, or should be, sacred cows, beyond tampering by politicians.  Yes, the right to vote and the right to own firearms are equally important to both freedom and democracy.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@JimSX @cantkeepthetruthdown @j.walter.miller Voting for the individual citizen in an act of statistical insignificance.  IOW, the likelihood that any one man's vote will matter is excruciatingly small.

OTOH, the likelihood that an individual citizen may at some point in their life need a firearm to protect them & theirs is much more likely.

baker24
baker24

@bealotcoolerifyoudid @holmantx @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz But John Mauldin is most likely right - debt that high cannot be paid, so basically it won't be paid. No one has that kind of money at any government level, in any country. Don't know who will be screwed the worst..... Social Security is not really that much of the problem - by raising the salary cap and lowering some payments, it will be able to pay seniors well into the future, including the Gen X and Y people. It's the medical payments that will kill us.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bealotcoolerifyoudid @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx 

It's not the SS and Medicaid that will eat you alive.

It will be the $20 Trillion in debt we recognize and the $114 Trillion we don't (unfunded entitlements).  

Our politicians looted the trust funds for entitlements and put in IOUs.  We're already down to the point where we are now spending a Trillion more than we are collecting every year, and the Boomers haven't fully landed on your pocketbook yet.

Not only do you have to carry the Boomers, you must also labor for a period of hours every day, to produce the income, for it to be levied to pay off this debt so large the finite mind cannot comprehend.

But hey!

thanks.

This is not going to have a happy ending.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx Your statement doesn't make sense.  Gen Xers are the ones in the workforce paying payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.  So Gen Xers are footing the bill.  The issue is that Gen Xers will not receive much SS.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@JimSX@holmantx@bealotcoolerifyoudid "Meanwhile this country just keeps getting better, stronger, smarter and less like you."

Of your claims, only the last is provably true.  The first is unquantifiable and the middle two: stronger & smarter, are false.  Sadly, we have been hollowing out military capability the last few years and our youths' test scores have not been rising, despite a 3x increase in inflation adjusted dollars over the last 40 years.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@holmantx @bealotcoolerifyoudid 

You guys sure need Armageddon to make your dreams come true, don't you? Meanwhile this country just keeps getting better, stronger, smarter and less like you.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bealotcoolerifyoudid @holmantx I totally agree.

It was a team effort.

Half this country wanted a social net and the other half refused to pay for it.

So our vaunted statesmen have been borrowing it, year-over-year, since 1960.  

Now, that debt wall rolling toward us all is so high it darkens the skies.

Birds are flying inland.  Dogs are mewling.

And we remain on the beach, pina coladas in hand, yammering on about every friggin thing under the Sun . . . except that which is coming with great certainty.  This tsunami will to make all that Mr. Schutze laments . . . moot.

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