Editor's note: This article was first published in the Guardian.
Evidently, it takes four months and 100 pages for the RNC to figure out why the party lost the 2012 presidential election and how to fix it. Most of conservatives could tell you in three paragraphs. That 100-page Growth & Opportunity Project to me was billed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as a “bold, raw, real” autopsy of the state of the GOP. Bold in what? It’s length? Raw in its stupidity? Real in its predictability?
How bold or honest can a report be when the five co-chairs of the Growth and Opportunity Project, who signed their names to the report, are establishment, country club Republicans and 2/3rds are white?
They are: Ari Fleisher, former spokesperson for President George W. Bush; Sally Bradshaw, campaign consultant to Mitt Romney and chief advisor to Governor Jeb Bush for over a decade; Henry Barbour, nephew of Governor and former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour; RNC Committeeman Glenn McCall and Committeewoman Zori Fonalledas.
“We encourage every Republican to read the report and review our findings,” wrote the co-chairs. By the time anyone gets through reading how the Republican Party can win elections again, it will be 2016 and nothing will have changed. Maybe that’s the whole point of this exercise. The RNC really doesn’t want anybody reading it so Priebus won’t be held accountable to the nonsense that it is.
The report boasts the RNC “spoke with more than 2,600 people, both outside Washington and inside the Beltway,” held 800 plus conference calls, 50 plus focus groups with voters in Iowa and Ohio, listening sessions with 3,000 people, 500 phone calls, and 250 meetings. More than 36,000 women participated in the online survey. I’m exhausted just writing this. Imagine how people will feel if they even bother reading the 98 other pages?
Interestingly, the report only conducted surveys of women, Hispanics, consultants, volunteers, field staff, and pollsters. Blacks, Asians and young voters weren’t deemed important enough for surveys by the RNC but only good enough for listening sessions with Priebus. Still overly focused on Hispanics, it appears the RNC has no real intention of building relationships other minority groups until the Hispanic vote approaches the 90% range for Democrats that the black vote currently does, which it will if Republicans continue to talk rather than do.
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