An article entitled “Eve of Destruction was posted Friday in POLITICO by Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei. They say that it is “almost impossible to find an establishment Republican in town who’s not downright morose...” They say Republicans see this year as a disaster in the making, and the GOP is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7, the day after the disastrous election.
Republicans believe the party is hurting itself with the very voters they need to start winning back: Hispanics, blacks, gays, women and swing voters. Also the few Republicans who stood up and tried to move the party ahead were swatted into submission.
More importantly, they believe Republicans are all flirting with disaster when many are threatening to default on the debt or shut down the government. The Republicans who spoke to POLITICO feel this talk, if followed up by action, would “end all hopes of proving they are not insane when it comes to governance.”
There may be something to their concerns. Republicans did a post mortem after the November elections and found the cause of “death” in November is the total disconnect between Republicans and key voter groups namely Hispanics, African Americans, Gays, and Women. Party Chairman Reince Priebus said that the party would not change its policies, but it would quit using messaging that alienated these groups.
What has the Party done since? It has used messaging (and extreme policies) that alienated these groups even more. They doubled down on hate talk.
For example, not only are Republicans in the House dragging their feet on immigration reform but they will not support a pathway to citizenship. In fact they have revved up their hateful invectives toward Hispanic immigrants. Congressmen have called them “wetbacks”, accused the Dreamers of being drug mules with calves the size of cantelopes, and other slanders.
Some touted a “study” by the Heritage Foundation that claimed immigration reform would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion because Hispanic immigrants would be “dependent on white taxpayers” because it will take several generations for Hispanic immigrants to reach the “same IQ level as whites.”
Republicans continue to hurt themselves with African Americans. Many Congressmen can not stop claiming Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim and not eligible to be president. Party leaders and politicians are silent when rank and file Republicans use racial slurs to demean the president ranging from picketing his appearances with posters saying “Go back to Africa” and “Obama is 47% Negro” and singing “Bah Bah Black Sheep” to mock the first African-American president.
The GOP may not be able to control these people, but Republican Party leaders like Herr Priebus as well as Senators, Governors, and Congressmen could come out and condemn them but none ever do. Perhaps they secretly wish they could be saying it as well.
“You can perform an autopsy until you’re blue in the face,” Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman told POLITICO. “But if the people you’re trying to reach have no faith or trust in the words you are saying, it doesn’t matter.”
It is not just their words that continue to alienate African Americans and Hispanics; it is the party’s unified and nation-wide quest to enact voter suppression laws not seen since the days of Jim Crow. Paid Republican outreach workers can not overcome that.
When it comes to the LGBT community, Republicans are out of touch and on the wrong side of history. They continue to oppose marriage equality often using disparaging language. Priebus has been successful getting some hateful terminology toned down, but it is the Republican position on issues that is costing them support in this demographic group.
Republicans can’t help themselves with women. Congressmen continue to talk about rape. There is a “surge” in the GOP war on women. In every state where Republicans are in control they have passed laws seen by women as intrusive. Republicans have killed bills on pay equity for women in Congress and in the states.
These extreme views are popular with the GOP base, but the numbers of Americans in that base are at record low levels. Recent polls show that only 23% of Americans are still willing to call themselves Republican. By losing everyone but their dwindling base, Republicans could in fact be on a self-inflicted Eve of Destruction.