The internet is filled with political bloggers. Some lean left, some lean right. Right now many of these political bloggers are talking about the new GOP “Autopsy” or as the GOP calls it, the “Growth & Opportunity Plan.” This new report is giving a very in-depth look at what the GOP needs to do if they want to take back the White House.
The national political commentators and comedians have all had their fun with this already, but now the plan is starting to reach the rest of us. Recently on “the Exchange” with Laura Knoy, they talked about this 100-page plan with Steve Duprey (former NH GOP Chair, and current RNC Executive Committee member), Jennifer Horn (current NH GOP Chair) and Dean Spiliotis (Civic Scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern New Hampshire University and author of the popular website www.NHPoliticalCapital.com).
The meat of this 100-page report was boiled down to a few main pieces by Dean Spiliotis.
- Tone vs Substance
- Taking control over the primary process
NH GOP Chair Horn was the first to say it, “this report confirmed what we already knew.”
Actually, it is what everyone outside of the GOP leadership has been saying since last summer, including me. The GOP does not care about minorities, women and middle class workers. When you cut those groups out of the demographics, you are left with exactly what everyone has been saying: the GOP is the party of stuffy out-of-touch white men. Shockingly, this is exactly what the focus groups and polling showed.
Horn believes that it is because the Republican “message was not well articulated” and the message did not get through. But how could it be possible that your message did not get through? The GOP and sympathetic PACs spent $844 million dollars on the Romney campaign.
Horn believes the problem was the message delivery; I believe it was the message content. You cannot tell undocumented workers to ‘self deport’ and expect them to vote for you. You cannot tell women that there is such a thing as ‘legitimate rape’ and expect to win their hearts over.
The GOP’s leadership is very confused about who they are talking to. Steve Duprey seemed bewildered by the fact that Hispanic voters did not support Mitt Romney in 2012. He said:
“They should be natural allies. They tend to be Catholic. They tend to be faithful. They tend to have strong family units. They are entrepreneurial and hard working.”
But Latinos care about other issues, too – including healthcare and gay marriage. “More than half of all Hispanics think that gay people should be allowed to marry.” Opposing those two issues are two of the key planks in the GOP party platform. It is no wonder the GOP did not gain much Latino support.
The GOP realized that the Obama campaign was making real connections with voters of all ethnicities on the streets. The Obama campaign had thousands of people hitting the street every day to talk one-on-one with people. Even Jennifer Horn admitted that making these personal connections was the real way to gain support and turn out voters.
This is also where Steve Duprey got in his jabs about the New Hampshire unions and their role in the election. The fact is that many of the unions in New Hampshire are regionally organized. For example, Ironworkers Local 7 is based in Boston, but they cover all of NH, MA, and ME. This is also true of the Carpenters Union, IBEW, and many more. Because of the size of New Hampshire and New England, members can live and work in different states.
In all honesty, after listening to these three go on for an hour, I felt nauseous. They kept saying it was the way their message was being delivered that was the problem. Jennifer Horn even said “I don’t think the problem is the message.” Wrong! Republicans are not the same party they used to be in the days of Reagan or Eisenhower. What happened to Republican support for unions? Did that go away after Reaganomics took over?
One last thing, the issue of Gay Marriage. For many this was just another example of why the GOP was viewed as a elitist group of bigots. They call for freedoms, except when gay people are asking for the same thing. The RNC has adopted the Tea Party’s line that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This alienated many people who support the LGBT community. The majority of Americans believe gays they should be able to marry like anyone else.
The most ironic part of the GOP’s marriage position is that William Weld – a Republican from Massachusetts – was the first Governor to move the country forward on gay rights.
“William Weld, governor of Massachusetts signs an executive order granting lesbian and gay state workers the same bereavement and family leave rights as heterosexual workers.”
Not all Republicans are bad, and not all Democrats are good. We need balance. At the same time, neither party will win elections if they spew hate at me, then want me to vote for them.