There is a long (10 pages) story that The New York Times Magazine published on its website today (”Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?” by Robert Draper) that performs a highly informative—and often highly amusing—autopsy on just how badly the GOP fucked up the 2012 election.
There are LOL gems throughout the piece, but there’s one section that stood out for me when the author attends some focus groups in Columbus, Ohio with media-saavy G.O.P. pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson:
About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”
“Young people,” one woman called out.
“Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”
When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”
That was what an all-female focus group told her. The young males in Anderson’s focus groups used terms of endearment like “racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” to describe the Grand Old (and getting older by the day) Party.
Later that evening at a hotel bar, Anderson pored over her notes. She seemed morbidly entranced, like a homicide detective gazing into a pool of freshly spilled blood. In the previous few days, the pollster interviewed Latino voters in San Diego and young entrepreneurs in Orlando. The findings were virtually unanimous. No one could understand the G.O.P.’s hot-blooded opposition to gay marriage or its perceived affinity for invading foreign countries. Every group believed that the first place to cut spending was the defense budget. During the whiteboard drill, every focus group described Democrats as “open-minded” and Republicans as “rigid.”
“There is a brand,” the 28-year-old pollster concluded of her party with clinical finality. “And it’s that we’re not in the 21st century.”
Now contrast Kristen Soltis Anderson’s angle on the GOP’s problems with that of conservative Republican chucklehead House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. Smith is the guy who was pushing the “Keep Our Communities Safe Act” in 2011, something that if signed into law would have authorized the government to lock up certain illegal aliens indefinitely.
Now Smith, a longtime DREAM act opponent who is about as dumb as a bag of wet hair, is warning Republicans that “immigration is exactly the wrong subject to use to attract Hispanic support” in an editorial he penned for Politico yesterday (”5 reasons GOP should avoid immigration trap”) urging the GOP to oppose immigration reform because it would give Democrats “millions of votes”:
Does anyone really think Republicans are going to outbid Democrats on giving benefits to illegal immigrants?
And fifth, you have to be a little suspicious when liberal Democrats tell Republicans they have to support amnesty to win elections. Do Republicans really think they have the best interests of the GOP at heart?
Immigration is the field Democrats want to lure Republicans to play on. Why? Because Democrats know they’ll win.
Democrats have done the math and realize that legalization inevitably would give them millions of votes, meaning more victories in congressional and presidential elections.
No shit, dumbass. Why didn’t the GOP figure this out a long time ago? Were the results of the US census too “liberal” for their liking?
The Stupid Party strikes again. But immigration isn’t the only pile of, uh, “trap” that the Republicans have stepped in: I can’t wait to see the Republicans tie themselves tightly up in knots trying to defeat a measly increase in the minimum wage! (That was one of the sneakiest things Obama pulled on the GOP during the State of the Union address—there were several—and they fell for it hook, line and sinker).