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Why No Amt. of Technology or Attempts to be Hip Will Save the Republican Party?
3 years ago

Why No Amount of New Technology or Attempts to Be 'Hip' Will Save the Republican Party

Like many troubled people grappling with serious life issues, the GOP aren't truly ready for change.

February 21, 2013 |

Savvy Republicans know that something is deeply wrong with the GOP -- frequently mocked these days by Republicans themselves as "the stupid party" -- which has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. Some have noticed as well that their congressional majority is so widely despised -- its main achievement being historically low public approval ratings -- as to be sustainable only by gerrymandering. During the last election cycle, those fearsome Republican super PACs, funded by the overlords of Wall Street and Las Vegas, spent hundreds of millions of dollars -- with no discernible impact on an alienated electorate.

The result is a burgeoning self-improvement movement on the right, generating introspective articles and interviews in which Republicans ask: "What is wrong with us? How can we change? What must we do to avoid partisan extinction?"

But like many troubled people grappling with serious life issues, they aren't truly ready for change. They want to maintain the status quo while giving lip service to reform -- and changing as little as possible beyond the superficial. They would do anything to project a fresher image, more attractive and effective, without confronting their deeper problems.

The deceptions involved in this process are perfectly exposed in Robert Draper's fascinating excursion among the urbane young Republicans whose frustration he skillfully reported in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine. His account is well worth reading, if only to observe these self-consciously "hip" conservatives confronting the reality of last November -- and failing utterly to comprehend its meaning. Early in Draper's article, a GOP technology consultant notes that the youth vote for President Obama grew by 1.25 million in 2012 over 2008 (precisely the opposite of what most pundits and pollsters predicted). But he doesn't seem to realize that the youth gap cannot be remedied by stronger social media or updated voter files.

The young Republicans bitterly mock the Romney campaign's technological ineptitude, and complain more broadly about the party's repellent reputation among young voters, minorities, gays, immigrants, women and everyone sympathetic to them. They largely seem to believe that if the Republican National Committee would hire people like them -- and if Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akin would simply shut the eff up -- then the party could expand beyond its narrow, aging, white, and religiously conservative base.

As they hasten to assure Draper, these dissidents would adopt a friendlier attitude toward those who are different and are even eager to engineer a few minor platform alterations to accommodate immigrants or gays.

But why would they make such concessions to decency? Not out of any sense of justice or shame. They are not interested in social justice and they only feel ashamed of losing. Rather than honestly confronting the harm done by pandering to bigotry and division, they'd prefer to paper it over with a smiley face and move on.

By proclaiming that their defeats are due mainly to technological inferiority or bad messaging, the young Republicans ignore the underlying source of popular disdain for their party. It is true that their technology was feeble, their candidate and consultants were incompetent, and their messaging was often repellent. But the self-styled hipsters of the right are in fact not much different from the Tea Party octogenarians in their hostility to government investment, social insurance, health care, education, and industry - and both are in conflict with the evolving attitudes of young Americans across all demographic lines.

The disgruntled figures who spoke with Draper represent almost nobody in the GOP, compared with the legions commanded by Limbaugh and the religious right. But if their fantasy could be made real, what shape would it take? A tech-savvy, gay-friendly, 21st-century Calvin Coolidge? A composite of Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Rand Paul?

Good luck with that.

This post was modified from its original form on 23 Feb, 6:54
3 years ago

really interesting article and speaking first hand after working on Romney campaign Project Orca which was a huge disaster as it never worked I can say there is much truth to this allegation.

The YOUNGER GOP members have valid points here; the problem with the GOP is that there are too many OLD white extreme right wingers controlling the party. They are meshed with all of the right wing talk pundints like Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, etc. It is the same old, same old all the time.

Nothing absolutley new with these people. Their mantra is destroy Obama and that is not working with the majority of American people today.

Just go on those talk sites on internet like Gretawire and see the same old stalemate complaints being recited daily. It is nonsensical and a waste of time as it is groundhog day over and over again.

We need two parties that are competitive in this country, one party is so dangerous. The democrat party is extremely problematic and there should never be one dominant as American people will suffer.

3 years ago

really interesting article and speaking first hand after working on Romney campaign Project Orca which was a huge disaster as it never worked I can say there is much truth to this allegation.

I hope some people will openly discuss this problem as it is a huge problem facing Americans today.
One party gaining considerable control is tryannical.

I hope a third party emerges. We have said this many times on these sites before.

This post was modified from its original form on 23 Feb, 7:03

The GOP fell for Hagel & Friends of Hamas (Parody from Duffle Bag)
3 years ago

Claims that Chuck Hagel, the U.S. president's candidate for secretary of defense, attended an event held by a group called "Friends of Hamas" appear to be false, a report in the U.S. says.

Media outlets across the world, including those in Israel, reported last week that Hagel spoke at an event organized by "Friends of Hamas," and received a fee of $25,000. The reports sparked a furor over Hagel's nomination and 26 Republican senators signed a letter requiring the candidate to disclose the foreign bodies and organizations that had funded him over the past few years.

But according to Dan Friedman, a reporter for the New York Daily News in Washington, the claims regarding Hagel are false. An article published on Wednesday describes a chain of events that he claims led to the rumors about Hagel that spiraled out of proportion and became a seemingly reliable news story.

Friedman relates that he talked to one of his sources, a Republican consultant on Capitol Hill, and tried to find out whether opponents of Hagel's appointment knew about various controversial pressure groups acting in Washington. For this purpose he made up names such as "Friends of Hamas," the "Junior League of Hezbollah in France," and more.

According to Friedman, the source did not respond, but a day later the story that Hagel had addressed pro-Hamas organizations was reported on websites that had a Republican slant. One of the articles, by a journalist named Ben Shapiro, said that the reason Hagel had not publicized the documents showing the fees he received from foreign organizations was because one of the groups was "Friends of Hamas."

Friedman claims that he talked to Shapiro, who said that the White House spokesman hung up on him when he called to query this, so he wrote that the government did not deny the claims. According to Friedman, Shapiro also said that he didn't know if the organization exists, but that he relied on his source.

"I am, it seems, the creator of the Friends of Hamas myth," Friedman wrote. "Doing my job, I erred in counting on confidentiality and the understanding that my example was farcical - and by assuming no one would print an unchecked rumor … If you see a story on Hagel addressing the Junior League of Hezbollah, that’s fake too," he wrote.

3 years ago

Unbelievable that the republican senators can believe this and furthermore, Breitbart and Glenn Beck et al published it as truth.

Dumb and Dumber is all I can say.
Now Duffle Bag, the Military site which is akin to Onion is becoming the source of legitimate news.
The liberal media is having a field day with the republicans and their far right beliefs; this will be one stunt of many more to come. They enjoy making fools of the right from Breitbart, Fox etc and how much they influence Ted Cruz and the rest of the bunch.

3 years ago

Yeah Sheila.  I'm pretty dismayed by the GOP response to Hagel.  Truth is they are pissed off that Hagel told off Bush on the Iraq war and the fake WMD. 

3 years ago

If they don't "fight" amongst themselves (the retarded "parties") then their respective cult followers wont think their "representatives" are representing them.  Their cult followers might start to believe the truth - that nothing gets done in  Washington without the consent of BOTH parties. The proof of this is that neither party, when given the opportunity, UNDOES whatever TERRIBLE thing (and they are "terrible") the "other" party did.

3 years ago

Good seeing you back Katii, you were missed.

I do like Rand Paul, I think Ron Paul had many valid points but his position as an isolationist was problematic. He is right on many counts about US staying out of foreign affairs but there are situations when we cannot.

I think the Younger Paul learned invaluable lessons from his father's career.

I was surprised that Rand believed that nonsense on the friends of Hamas but many others did as well.
I hope Rand Paul does not get suckered into the Glenn Beck idealogy or his far right nonsense which will taint Rand Paul. Glenn Beck is NO libertarian; he is trying to attach himself on that platform but he is not. He is far right extremists who comes out with lunatic statements at times.

Rand Paul does not need any of these people.
he can stand alone or be more akin with his father's principles.

3 years ago

Thanks, SL  


Correct, Rhonda, RON  Paul is far from an isolationist.  There is a vast difference between what Ron Paul REALLY believes and what the statists sold to their followers, the lie that he is an "isolationist" - the very notion that anyone could actually listen to HIS words and come out thinking, "Isolationist!!!!" would be laughable if it hadnt cost America so dearly.

SL, NORTH KOREA is "isolationist" ... how does one compare Ron Paul's political philosophy with THAT?  You can't!  You will not find another politition besides Ron Paul who more "American" than he is.  The ONLY reason he has been demonized by the political elite is because, as you know, their agenda is completely UN-American, and Ron Paul telling the "truth" is a huge threat to them

3 years ago

Thank you, Rhonda, for your informative posts. Just too damn bad everyone was demonizing the ONLY one telling Americans the truth, along with many outside America who "get it" and prayed for his election - they, and hIs American supporters ESPECIALLY supported his "foreign policy!" - the very thing that became the indoctrinated used as their stand-by excuse for not supporting and voting for him.

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