Those who enjoy the good fight in politics dismayed at GOP Chair Reince Priebus' recovery-by-committee announcement this week. Rather than taking the route of personal responsibility, he and what passes for party leaders kept up their delusions.
Forget the many tea-party types who claim that Mitt Romney would have won if only he had been more brutally right wing, a.k.a. more like what actually cost them the election, including Senate and House seats. The alleged brains of the GOP are the back end of the elephant.
Priebus inexplicably to those who live in the real world looks to retain his job after his abject failures. Now he claims that all the party has to do under his pathfinding leadership is copy what the Dems did right this time. All will be well.
I snort in his direction.
His newly acronym-ed GOP (Growth and Opportunity Project) applies RNC members plus Jeb Bush and Ari Fleischer. Let's call them the usual suspects, á la Casablanca. Their eight mission-impossibles are campaign finance issues, demographic changes, fund-raising, geting out the vote, messaging, outside groups, and presidential primaries — buzz words each and all.
Together this abrogation of duty must also cause considerable amusement among Dems. The task before the GOP's alleged leadership is not to pretend they can emulate and maybe improve on lefty tactics and strategies. In fact, instead of thinking that adding more high-tech aids and PR ploys will reverse their fortunes, they should look beyond messaging and into message.
(Click below to hear Dem campaign god Howard Dean on MSNBC giving real advice to the dumb.)
For the GOP to get its act together, it has to admit its essential platform and policy blew the election. They simultaneously managed to offend and turn off large portions of the middle class, women, Latinos, African Americans and far more.
Priebus hinted at that to the WaPo, while making it plain he would not push for policy revisions. He told Jennifer Rubin, "I can’t tell you what policy recommendations, if any, will be made, but when you are doing a deep dive like this it is hard not to look at the message. Policy bleeds into a lot of things." Yet reading all of his recent statements, I figure it's plain he will get this little traveling circus to study everything and then try to nudge it to recommend (never demand) comprehensive immigration reform and similar planks that will bring in the millions disgusted with the GOP now.
In other words, as I and many could tell him right now, Dems won in a terrible economy because their message was superior, rational, compassionate, and little d democratic, a.k.a. American. Republicans don't need new tricks and toys. They need new hearts and minds.
Here in MA, we can recall when the Dems lost the U.S. Senate seat in the special election following Ted Kennedy's death...to a do-nothing state senator, Scott Brown. The extremely capable state party chair, John Walsh, did not play Let's Form a Committee. He first admitted the obvious failings of both their candidate and the campaign. He considered it a personal failure, the worst of his life. He dug right into the issues, after first setting them out for all in and beyond the party to see.
That's what having personal responsibility, courage and insight can do.