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The GOP Worries About Its Reputation, But Should They?

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Andrew Breitbar, patron saint of assholes.

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Back from SXSW, and ready to get back to blogging business. I’ve been following the media coverage over the Republican crisis of faith and the dawning realization that catering to straight white men who believe they’re superior to everyone else may not work as a long-term strategy for political viability. Let’s just say that I’m amused, because they also realize that they can’t give up that core identity without losing their base supporters. So the hope is that there’s some way to continue the straight-white-guys-uber-alles policies without everyone else noticing.

The latest missive in the identity crisis:

report released by the Republican National Committee’s Growth and Opportunity Project finds that most voters see the party as “out of touch” and “scary,” and concludes that Republicans must focus on outreach to minorities.

The report, which analyzed the GOP’s losses in the 2012 elections, said that many of those surveyed described the party as “narrow minded” and a party of “stuff old men.”

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“Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country,” the report says. “When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.”

The report recommends that the GOP “stop talking to itself” and that “If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them, and show our sincerity.” On social issues, the RNC concludes that Republicans need to be more “inclusive and welcoming.”

The problem is that Republicans do show their sincerity. In fact, the vast majority of scandals involving what some Republican said about this or that or rape is that they really do believe that shit. Prior to 2008, Republicans used to understand—and openly speak about it!—that in order to convince the public that they aren’t that bad, they had to run as far away from “sincerity” as humanly possible. Obviously, being insincere fuckwits is still a favorite strategy—witness the feigned concern over rape that’s part advertisement for guns, part attempt to redefine rape so that only scary men hiding in the bushes count as rapists—but part of what’s happening is that the Tea Party faction, after years of being coached about how the greatest oppression of all is “political correctness”, are done putting up with having to be quiet about their opinions. They don’t care if the forces of “political correctness” are fellow Republicans telling them to withhold their opinions on the goodness of slavery or to keep their belief that most rapes aren’t “legitimate” to themselves. What Republicans probably need is more insincerity, just enough to trick a few naive voters (such as many in the Beltway press) into thinking they aren’t so bad.

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Of course, being insincere can only get you so far, since policies do talk. You can say you want minority participation until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re running around passing policies that are specifically designed to prevent minorities from exercising their right to vote, people are going to see you’re a liar. You can make sad faces and say you’re not trying to wage war on women, but if you’re trying to take away accesss to contraception and abortion while also voting against the Violence Against Women Act, don’t expect people to believe you.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know that it’s as bad for Republicans as they think. Their brand is the Asshole Party. They admit as much in this report. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for winning elections, which is why they control the House. For one thing, assholes are extremely loyal people. If they recognize you as a fellow asshole, they will be on your side. Because they’re assholes, they don’t mind bullying and intimidating the opposition, which has worked out well for Republicans as often as not. And, at the end of the day, most people have a bit of asshole in them. It comes out, say, when prized athletes from your beloved local football team rape a girl at a party. When that happens, suddenly assholes appear to be a solid majority of the community, angrily defending rapists and denouncing rape victims. Republicans used to be good at tapping the inner asshole of a lot of Americans, albeit mostly white Americans. I suspect they’ll find a way to do it again. Which is why it’s important for people on the left to not grow complacent about this.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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