Support for the Republican Party is down, but the number of people who call themselves conservative is holding steady. They face the same old choice-not-an-echo battle: grassroots conservative Republicans versus the liberal, globalist establishment RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).
The Priebus manifesto was written by party insiders who are very Establishment (i.e., associates of one of the two Bushes and no local party conservatives or tea party types), so we can't expect the authors to take blame for their disastrous election loss in 2012. After all, they predicted their victory right up to and including Election Day.
The autopsy included a lot of chatter about "growth" and "opportunity," plus 30 mentions of the need to be more "inclusive," but that warm and fuzzy invitational language didn't extend to those who want to do something so daring as to nominate conservative candidates who aren't afraid to talk about the right to life and traditional marriage.
The Autopsy pompously declared, "You have to have candidates who don't make tragic mistakes." But the worst mistakes were made by the Establishment's own candidate, Mitt Romney, who failed to use so many issues that connect with the American people. The dozen losses of Establishment-selected candidates for president and Senate show that the people writing the Autopsy have a worse record of picking candidates than the grassroots, who picked winners such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
It's too bad Pat Caddell wasn't on the Autopsy drafting committee. Of course, that wouldn't have been appropriate because he is a Democrat, but he could have given the committee a big dose of reality.
Caddell saved his comments for a brutal speech to those who attended the annual conservative conference called CPAC. He said, "The Republican Party is in the grips of what I call the CLEC -- the Consultant, Lobbyist and Establishment Complex," which he defined as a "self-serving interconnected network of individuals interested in preserving their own power far more than in winning elections."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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