The Republican National Committee released a report today describing the Republican party as "ideologically ossified, unable to speak to a wider electorate and increasingly seen as representing the rich and the old." Essentially, the GOP just stamped its brand on a long list of liberal talking points. Awesome.
Not surprisingly, the liberal response to this new effort has been quite positive.
Buzzfeed hailed today's report as the return of Bush-era "compassionate conservatism":
And at its core, the report is a glimpse of the party Karl Rove and George W. Bush, assisted by figures like Fleischer and Gerson, sought to create starting in the late 1990s. This was the party in which George W. Bush was elected, but one whose message shifted dramatically on Sept. 11, 2001. From there, Bush ran almost exclusively as a national security president, and by the time he began pitching elements of Social Security privatization in his second term, the move was a non-sequitur and came with none of the halo of compassion of the earlier Bush years. The Tea Party represented a wing of the party — which included some, but certainly not all, of Bush's own aides — who saw the ostentatious push for "compassion" as a veneer over policies that ought to, they thought, triumph on the merits; and who believed that the contrast with President Barack Obama meant that the veneer was no longer needed. Romney's private suggestion of a class war between 53% of makers and 47% of takers in the American economy represented a particularly pure version of that.
This is one of the biggest problems with the GOP party establishment -- they are very reactive to the rhetoric of the left and build the party platform defending against it. The emergence of the Tea Party scared the establishment and the Left because a.) it was a movement based on putting the case for conservative values on offense; b.) didn't take marching orders from Washington; and c.) cared more about advancing principles than winning elections.
No longer was the Right side of the aisle merely represented by the strategic opposite opinion of the Left and, for the first time in a long time, it was Democrats who had to play defense. The measure of the Tea Party's success was not only measured in the successful election of conservative candidates like Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. You could also gage the influence of the Tea Party by how far the left was willing to go to slander it.
The Huffington Post obviously had a ball with the RNC report with a bombastic headline, but kept their report surprisingly cordial:
Over on MSNBC, host Alex Wagner poked fun at the GOP's "autopsy" report:
“We’ve seen a messy Republican Party over the course of the last seven moths, but the coming – the sort of head-to-head at CPAC I thought was the strongest and starkest example of the challenges the party faces that we’ve seen in a very long time,” opined Wagner.
“Whenever you describe how the campaign went wrong as your ‘autopsy,’ that’s probably not the best way to begin,” said former White House Press Secretary-turned-MSNBC contributor Roberts Gibbs. “Note to the scheduling department at the RNC; try not to schedule the autopsy’s verdict for the day after the bar scene from Star Wars that is CPAC.”
Don't tell him this, but I personally agree with TheBlaze magazine editor Chris Field who characterized today's report in this way:
So, the GOP is worried about being too old, too white and too insular. Hmm.
I'm mostly concerned about their being too stupid.