Republican Strategy For 2016: Change Nothing, Piss Everyone Off

Republicans are hard at work not learning a damn thing

Republicans are hard at work not learning a damn thing

The Republican Party just does not get it. More and more evidence is piling up and proving that they learned absolutely nothing from their stunning (stunning for them, not so surprising for the more informed) 2012 election defeat. If I wasn’t so thrilled about House Republicans acting like spoiled children, I’d almost feel bad for them.

However, despite recommendations by the Republican National Committee that the party needs to either embrace immigration reform to pull more Hispanic voters to their side, House Republicans are not budging. It’s almost puzzling that they do not feel that it’s necessary to step away from their hard line immigration views given Romney’s historic loss of Latino votes in the election. When the votes were all counted, Romney walked away with a mere 27% of the Hispanic vote, compared to Obama’s 71%.

Another big problem the GOP had in 2012 was their war on women. Republicans, though, are hell bent on ignoring the fact that continuing to attack women’s reproductive rights is not going to sway us to head out to the polls in droves and vote for them. Even Romney and his binders full of women couldn’t get more than 44% of the female vote.

If we add these numbers to Romney’s 6%, 26%, and 38% voter turnout among African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and other minority groups respectively, it paints a broader picture of a very large problem in the Republican Party.

Despite all of the evidence pointing to a much need strategic change in policy, House Republicans and many activists for the party claim that they just need a better way of conveying their ‘conservative values.’ In a statement to reporter Charles Babington of the Associated Press, Mike McKenna, a Republican pollster and consultant agrees that the problem is less about policy and more about the way their message is conveyed to voters.

“A huge chunk of our problem was tone and temperament. A much, much smaller part of the problem was policy,” McKenna said. “It’s not like we’re the Whig party on the verge of extinction.” [SOURCE]

Others in the party seem to agree with this but that does not change the fact that in order to win an election the party must attract the voters with more moderate views in addition to the other groups; Romney only received 41% of the moderate vote. Attracting moderates is an act that seems almost impossible right now when the Tea Party has a stranglehold over the party and any form of compromise is considered traitorous. Towing the standard policy line is a fine strategy for mid-term elections where Republican turn-out is much higher than Democratic turn-out but that will not win presidential elections.

A successful presidential candidate “must differentiate himself from the very toxic GOP congressional brand,” said Steve Schmidt, a top aide to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Schmidt said the most promising GOP contender will probably be a governor or “an iconoclast senator” who is seen as standing apart from Washington’s partisan gridlock that so angers voters.

Meanwhile, Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla) dismissed the warnings from the RNC that his party needs to embrace immigration reform if they plan to broaden their appeal:

“If the goal of it is to try to fix presidential politics, I think it’s the wrong thing to do.” [SOURCE]

Senator Lindsey Graham staunchly disagrees with Lankford and many other House Republican’s view that the best way to attract Hispanic voters is with their less government, low taxes, personal freedom pitch.

If Hispanics “think you really are going to deport their grandmother and you’ve got a hard heart about this kind of stuff,” Graham said, “your economic ideas don’t resonate.”

“It’s impossible winning the presidency getting 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, 30 percent of the Asian vote and 7 percent of the African-American vote,” Graham said. “America is changing.” [SOURCE]

Graham is right, and the poll numbers prove it. So when House Republicans like Rand Paul, say they aren’t going to support immigration reform, they are furthering the divide between themselves and millions of voters; a pool of voters that is growing at incredibly fast rates. When Republicans try to pass draconian cuts to the food stamps program that helps feed millions of poor Americans they continue to feed the belief that the right doesn’t care about helping the poor people of this country. When the conservative lawmakers continue their unyielding attack on women by passing the most restrictive abortion bill to date, they are not increasing their chances of winning women voters.

Republicans will once again lose the popular vote in the 2016 election, just as they have the last five of six presidential elections unless they put their listening caps on and and pay attention to what they are being taught. It does not matter how they convey their message if their message is: We hate poor people, we hate minorities, we hate women. Hate is no way to win an election and there isn’t a nice enough way in the world to sugarcoat it. They better hope that Democratic voters do not take the President’s advice and head out to the polls for the 2014 midterm elections as they do for presidential elections or they are going to be totally screwed.