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At The Nation, John Nichols writes a piece titled Priebus Is What Happens When a Party Loses Its Self-Respect:
Priebus wants to make it possible for losers to “win.” To that end, he’s urging Republican governors and legislators to change the rules for distribution of Electoral College votes so that a Republican presidential candidate might lose a state and still gain most of its electoral votes. Responsible Republicans in key states have objected to the chairman’s scheming to have those states end the practice of awarding electoral votes to the winner and instead allot them based on the results from gerrymandered congressional districts.

Unfortunately for the Republicans who would like their party to stand for something more noble than gaming the system, Priebus is what happens when the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower loses its way—and its self respect.

The Priebus plan to simply keep changing the rules until Republicans win again is not, shall we say, the stuff of Bold Thinking. Then again, anyone who follows the startlingly 12-year-oldish Priebus on Twitter (sigh) can tell you that Reince seems never to engaged in Bold Thinking in his life; under his leadership, most of the RNC's election efforts ranked as little more than petty trolling. So why did they keep him?

Nichols hypothesizes that the Priebus plans for electoral college Calvinball were good enough to keep Priebus in the slot for now; myself, I suspect the answer also lies in how few takers for the job there might be. If Priebus is the best they can do, that implies that everyone else was worse, and that is a scary thing to contemplate. More to the point, the party itself is in chaos. There is certainly nothing like a Republican intellectual streak, these days (and no, children, Paul Ryan does not count). The strategists themselves, a group that had become synonymous with the likes of Karl Rove, has quickly degenerated into, well, the likes of Karl Rove. Critically, party efforts to perhaps not quite piss so many groups off (women; Latinos; gay Americans; anyone who is not a 50-something lily-white evangelical with a loud, judgmental streak) depends on the nearly impossible task of getting the party base to agree to not demonize those groups, which is a tall order and then some.

In his television appearances, Priebus comes off as juvenile, and whining—something less than a hack. Ditto for the press releases, and double it for the speeches. There is no there, there, other than smarmy pronouncements about how Obama is probably a radical something-or-other and other, similar lower-tier carping that is omnipresent among the base but which seem embarrassingly dim stuff for basing a national party message around. Forget big ideas, forget whether the problem is Republican message or Republican messengers, and all the rest of it; this is the best the party can come up with?

So yes, I very much like that title. Priebus Is What Happens When a Party Loses Its Self-Respect. Yes, that, in a nutshell.



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011Who still loves "secret holds"? Senate Tea Party Caucus, that's who.:

Among the very minor reforms that made it through the Senate yesterday, the one with the widest support was the standing order dealing with "secret holds."

Now, it's no secret that I was always more concerned with the "hold" part than with the "secret" part, but that certainly doesn't diminish the inherently offensive nature of secrecy in the Senate.

And just how offensive is it? Well, offensive enough that our notoriously cautious about change Senators voted to adopt the new standing order overwhelmingly, by a vote of 92-4.



Tweet of the Day:

Enacting a chained CPI would cut #SocialSecurity benefits by $112 billion over 10 years. #budget
@SenSanders via HootSuite



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin joined us for discussion of his Sunday Kos piece on moving from reference to "Sandy Hook" or "Newtown" toward "12/14" instead, plus Republican attempts at joining the immigration reform debate, and the world of non-stupid parties. Then, more of the week's supply of #GunFAIL, and an invitation still more in the new FL state law forbidding local restrictions on gunfire on private property. Also, the DC Circuit court's decision that's poised to invalidate decades of practice in recess appointments.



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