So much hope was alive mere days and weeks ago. So much possibility. A low thrum of murmuring was audible up and down the corridors and streetcorners of Washington, DC, the quiet voices of people hinting, proposing, suggesting, that the GOP…no, no, not yet. It might be scared away. Shadowed figures whispered in dark corners, “Could it be?” “Yes, it could.” “Maybe, just maybe.” The echoing clap of shoes moving in an empty parking garage; trenchcoat-ed forms, and tinted windows moving briskly through the street. Anything too loud and the possibility might be scared away – it was hard enough to believe it could be real these days. Secret meetings and backchannel reconnaissance. Penthouse suites and smoke-filled back rooms. Could the GOP have really learned something from the drubbing they took in 2012? Could they be preparing to make – gulp! – changes? Maybe, it seemed, just maybe. Yeah, we all enjoyed our trip to Crazytown, but now it’s time to re-pack the station wagon, load up the kids, and drive back to Reality, USA. It could be happening! There was so much hope! I was so (cautiously) optimistic!
And then this happened…
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Republican Party honchos who huddled here for their first big gathering since the election devoted lots of time talking about the need to welcome Latinos and women, close the technology gap with Democrats and stop the self-destructive talk about rape.
But the party’s main problem, dozens of Republican National Committee members argued in interviews over three days this week, is who delivers its message and how, not the message itself. Overwhelmingly they insisted that substantive policy changes aren’t the answer to last year’s losses.
No, of course not. Just the message. It’s just an image problem, that’s all. Nothing wrong at all with any of our backwards-ass, regressive, and puritanical policies, or any of the voter-alienating Attila-the-hun candidates we’ve been running. Just give ’em a good spit-shine and we’re good to go!
Moderation, at least at this stage, is no virtue at the RNC.
Hell, virtues aren’t a virtue at the RNC.
“It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday after being easily reelected to a second, two-year term. “In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it. It is a couple dumb things that people have said.”
In all seriousness, if this is what he actually thinks, this is scary. This is kool-aid-drinking self-delusion at its finest and most complete. I’m assuming, however, that it’s actually an attempt to downplay the problem, a ploy to make them look not as out-of-control. But the thing is, if you’re on a plane that’s going down, and that plane just lost its first engine and second wing, and there’s a big gaping whole in the side that people are being sucked out of to certain death, and you’re clinging for dear life to a seat-back as your legs are pulled towards the opening, and your hair is on fire, and if at that moment you calmly say, “well this is not a good day,” with no hint of irony, you begin to look unavoidably psychotic, and people will start backing away from you slowly.