After Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee released a post-2012 election season “autopsy” of the Republican Party, some conservatives strongly criticized the report’s conclusions. The GOP still fails to realize that the issues facing the party are very much failures not of messaging, but their actual message. After losing the White House as well as a number of seats in Congress, some conservatives are in complete denial and don’t think the GOP has any faults at all.
Here are five conservatives who are completely divorced from reality on the subject of their party’s shortcomings.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Rush was one of the first to speak out against the RNC report on his Monday morning radio show. He said, “The Republican Party lost because it’s not conservative. It didn’t get its base out in the 2012 election,” he continued, “…the establishment in Washington, the ruling class, both parties, is not conservative, and in fact they fear it. They’re very much worried about it because it’s considered an outsider movement. So they kicked the Tea Party out, they try to deemphasize the Tea Party, don’t use it, let’s put it that way. They did not use the asset that the Tea Party provided them.”
So Rush’s response to the autopsy is that the GOP ought to stop alienating the Tea Party—alienating women and minorities, he sincerely believes, is what a majority of American voters want to see more of. The GOP, according to Rush, needs to be more conservative, and embrace this extremist ideology.
Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks and Tea Party supporter, shares Rush Limbaugh’s feelings about the GOP autopsy. In the Growth and Opportunity Project report, the RNC suggests moving away from caucuses and conventions in choosing a candidate—instead relying on primaries, which they believe can be a more effective way of increasing membership in the Republican Party.
Kibbe said to a conservative audience on Monday night, “They are trying to close the process so we can’t participate in the caucus system, so that we can’t participate in primaries, so that upstart candidates, the ones that they tell us can never win, can’t even compete. It’s a little bit like putting the genie back in the bottle — it just can’t happen.”
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin praised congressional Tea Party members like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) for staying true to their ultra-conservative beliefs. So there was no doubt Martin would take issue with the GOP autopsy. She stated, “Americans and those in the Tea Party movement don’t need an autopsy report from the RNC to know [the Republicans] failed to promote our principles and lost because of it.” This is a failure of the RNC, according to Martin, because they just aren’t conservative enough.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
John Brabender, Rick Santorum’s chief advisor, presented his objection to the proposed primary-based solution much more diplomatically. Brabender’s criticism suggested that the party, with the financial assistance of Karl Rove, would be focusing on more mainstream candidates instead of Tea Party candidates — who may, in Brabender’s view, be more qualified.
Brabender said, “While I commend Chairman Priebus for taking important steps to remedy Republicans’ recent election failures, I am troubled by the possibility of a condensed presidential primary process which undoubtedly gives an advantage to establishment-backed candidates and the wealthiest candidates.”
Photo via CNN.com video
The National Review
The National Review released an editorial Tuesday morning announcing its opposition to the GOP report. The conservative magazine/website actually agrees with the report in that the Republican Party faced a major electoral defeat and is completely out of touch with the majority of American voters. What its editors take issue with is how the report claims it will repair these weaknesses.
Said the editorial, “To implement this aspect of the document, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has promised to establish dialogues with groups such as LULAC, La Raza, and the NAACP, which strikes us as unhelpful and willfully blind to the fact that such groups are ideologically opposed to Republican principles. A truly conservative minority-outreach strategy would severely weaken these groups by challenging their claims to represent their respective ethnicities.”
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