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Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, discussing his party's new 100-page autopsy of what went wrong in 2012, says the problem isn't what Republicans are fighting for it—it's how they are fighting for it.
I think our policies are sound, but in many ways, the way that we communicate can be a real problem.
For example, Reince says the RNC's problem with women in 2012 wasn't about the fact that the GOP platform supports banning abortion in all cases, including rape...
We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. was about the fact that GOP candidates did a lousy job of explaining their support for the platform:
I think that we had some biologically stupid things that were said in the last election that make it more difficult for us to make that case and I think that we have to do a better job to make sure that people understand the issues, but it's not about altering our principles. It's about the way we communicate.
The political problem with what Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock said wasn't simply about biological stupidity. The problem was that they also reminded people what most Republicans really believe and did so at a time that Mitt Romney was trying to muddy the waters.

There's really no way to defend banning abortion in all circumstances including rape without sounding stupid to the vast majority of voters, so if Republicans don't want to sound like idiots, they really need to change their position. If they don't, there's no way to put lipstick on that pig.

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Comment Preferences

  •  look for their exciting marketing roll out (16+ / 0-)

    later this year. Register republican and win a chance for free health care 'voucher bucks'. Spend them just like cash at 'participating' clinics.

  •  Biologically stupid (16+ / 0-)

    seems to be the general description of Republicans in general.   Who else would support their corporate masters over their own self interest?

  •  Once they start talking about "unborn children" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, Eyesbright, PSzymeczek, betelgeux

    the mind cannot help but wander to the topic of how much the speaker looks like an "undead zombie" . .. .  (or, are all zombies that way?)

  •  It's more that they put lipstick on a pig (14+ / 0-)

    then blame the lipstick for making it ugly.

  •  We have to find a better way to communicate our (11+ / 0-)

    message of Peace and Love.

    teabag ancestry

    Can't the Maples just learn to be happy in the shade of the oaks?

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:22:08 AM PDT

  •  What they need is quite simple ... (8+ / 0-)

    When a republican is about to say something incredibly stupid ... they need a way to shut that thing down.

  •  Priebus is a moron... (11+ / 0-)

    and kudos to the company who must have charged them a buttload of money to gather these stupid conclusions.

    Reince - I can tell you what's wrong with the GOP and why you lost in 2012 (and will again in 2014) in six words:


    Your positions are wrong, your candidates are wrong, and yes, your message is wrong.

    Worse still, everything you have been doing to negate Obama has been WRONG FOR THE NATION.


    Help American return to sanity - vote the GOP OUT OF the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate in 2014 elections. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward!

    by dagnome on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:23:52 AM PDT

  •  Nia Malika Henderson...'Republicans underestimate (7+ / 0-)

    the visceral disgust that black folk have for them in their treatment of Obama.' on it guyz.....or not.

  •  You do have to credit him, though, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rocksout, DSPS owl

    with almost getting it right, since they have been extraordinarily successful in pulling the wool over all of their constituents' eyes for decades. I can imagine them continuing their ruthless ways of deceit for decades more with only a little juggling here and there. Why wouldn't they be able to convince a larger proportion of Latinos than they get now that those white elitist Democrats don't have their best interests at heart? It's not as if we've been doing all that much lately for them other than not being Republicans . . . (Imho, of course.)

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:25:53 AM PDT

  •  If the cereal... (5+ / 0-)

    Inside your box is shitty, throwing in a toy and changing the picture on the box doesn't make it taste less shitty.  It may temporarily increase sales - but in the end it may actually make things worse because consumers will feel duped.  The GOP are not creators - they are rentiers.  They do not know what the Hell goes into cereal.

    'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

    by RichM on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:25:54 AM PDT

    •  what is truly amazing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, METAL TREK, Eyesbright, nellgwen

      is how many people eat the shitty cereal.  I realize that the racism toy has a certain appeal to some elements and the never ending promise to stop abortions keeps the fundies in line but so many others that don't jump on these two wagons continue to vote for repubs.  
      If you have many millions of $$ OK, maybe but the rest???

  •  Confederate party still got 47% (21+ / 0-)

    They had a horriible candidate selling a horrible product who ran a horrible campaign and they still got 47.1% of the vote.

    We must not get complacent after all the damage they continue to inflict on our country as the minority wacko party.

    •  I'd REC this comment ten times if I could (10+ / 0-)

      We really need to double-down on the mid-term elections. The GOP is doing everything it can to wreck the economy to try to get back in power.

      I am amazed to hear myself saying stuff like this, but the past four years have moved me from a point of desiring civil engagement to just wanting to vanquish these enemies of America once and for all.

      We NEED an opposition party in this country. One that is in a reasonable position relative to the needs of the country. The Republican party is like modern-day Know Nothings, except they're taking that latter label literally.

      Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

      by TheCrank on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So if the GOP goes PC, do we open a wormhole? n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  And there are consequences... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      'PC' is a dirty word among a large part of their base.  The Rush Limbaugh mouth breathers hate PC.  How many ditto-heads will they lose if they start chastising the language used?

      'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

      by RichM on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:33:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marco Rubio (6+ / 0-)

    Doesn't have a problem getting his point across. He said all people in every stage of development deserve to be protected.

    Oh really? Except after we go through the tunnel and pop out into the real world. That is when protection ends. You better start competing from day one or you'll get left behind and go through a different tunnel from school to jail to make the private educators and private prison jailers rich.

    And as a consequence, Marco Rubio gets rich too. What a deal. Institutionalized conflict of interest. Who'd a thunk it?

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering.

    by harris stein on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

  •  He's dim, Jed. Really, really dim... n/t (6+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:27:44 AM PDT

  •  hold human life amendment hostage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, PSzymeczek

    to defining only flesh-and-blood humans as "persons" under the law, thus ending corporate personhood and stripping corporations of the right to free speech, among others.

    I'd be curious to see how the RW handled that: the promise of Democratic votes they'd never get otherwise in exchange for something equally abhorrent to them - the stick disguised as the carrot.

    •  Born or naturalized, (0+ / 0-)

      just like it says in Amendment 14.  That should take care of the embryo personhood idiots.

      You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less expect it to thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at its tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the grassroots. - Jim Hightower

      by PSzymeczek on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:01:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "I think our policies are sound" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, RichM, mumtaznepal, betelgeux

    'nuff said.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

  •  On the other hand, also in the report (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl
    We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, must be to embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

    Younger voters are increasingly put off by the GOP. A post-election survey of voters ages 18-29 in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado found that Republicans have an almost 1:2 favorable/unfavorable rating. Democrats have an almost 2:1 favorable rating.

    For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.

  •  Spellcheck "Reince Priebus" = "Reined Priests" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This hardly seems coincidental.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:28:02 AM PDT

  •  And of course when they realize that... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, RichM, chesterm, betelgeux

    ....the next step is outright concealment of the agenda. As Scott Walker did when he ran for governor of Wisconsin. Or when closet evangelists took over some school boards a while ago. I suppose we have the Tea Party to thank for making Republican candidates openly declare their position on quite a few issues. However, the Kochs of the world are still good at muddying those waters.

    The GOP jobs plan is to manufacture outrage.

    by Doug in SF on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:28:36 AM PDT

    •  Taking steps toward that end (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl
      Why Republicans Want to Cut the Number of Primary Debates in Half

      The most actionable item in the RNC's hand-wringing report is one that would give Republicans less time on TV. There's even a chart demonstrating that a surging number of debates has coincided with lost elections.

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Catholic bishops say the same thing! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, PSzymeczek, DSPS owl, betelgeux

    Catholic bishops hired a PR person because it's not their positions that are wrong, but the way they communicate them!

    Both Republicans and bishops will be SO surprised when their "new"  way of communicating makes no difference.

  •  They make BP's attempts at public relations seem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek, betelgeux

    absolutely enlightened.

    Conservatism: a Con-on-Con Con.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:30:11 AM PDT

  •  It's the message, stupid. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's not the messaging, it's the message!

  •  I remember when Priebus had that dust-up with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, betelgeux

    Chris Matthews and dismissed as "garbage" the idea that Obama's ground game was going to roll over him. He sneered at it. Now they're "reevaluating."

    What they've got now amounts to a papier-mache solution to their "image."

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:34:22 AM PDT

  •  the 14th amendment applies to the unborn? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, PSzymeczek, DSPS owl, betelgeux

    the same 14th amendment they want to eviscerate with their voting rights act ruling?
    these people have no shame.

  •  The GOP's dependence of the Tea Party, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal, METAL TREK

    which is more like it's fear of it in terms of its power in having the ability to always just blow themselves up in their parties faces via its role in the primary process, means the GOP can't say anything but "we have a messaging problem".

    Even if the GOP leadership wasn't fully on board with where the GOP is right now, and they are, with the exception of that place being a long-term loser and a dead-end, they are out of kabuki options.  

    They want to gorge themselves on cheesecake, not excercise at all, but talk about the need to lose weight and become more atheletic as a result of the talk.

    I can "message" about push-ups. I can do it all day. And not gain any muscle in abs, get fatter, and see my problems get worse as I keep pounding down the cheesecake and saying I see the issue and am addressing it.

    Worse, the GOP has a coward's incoherence problem, to go along with their policy problem.

    I just watched an interview on CNN where a South Florida conservative activist, I think either CNN chose her because she is a person of color, or the GOP put her forward for that, or both. She said all the right things, if all that was to blame was PR. Then. She was put in the position of damning Donald Trump, over and over and over again, but then saying in the next breath that it would be obscene and wrong and against the idea of the Big Tent to deny him, and Birthers like him, a place by their sides.

    I reject Todd Akin, but I have no right to deny him the right to speak for my party when he wants to.

    That's a bad place to be.

    The GOP's problems are not my problem. I refuse to get caught up in the exercise of lamenting their own disaster as if it's my problem. They did this to themselves.

    If I see one more Democrat go on tv and handwring about how tragic it is that the GOP went bugfucknuts, and how they wish it would get its shit together, I'm going to puke.

    After "Vince Foster was murdered"? The impeachment of Bill Clinton? After Florida 2000? The Swift Boat Liars for Bush? After using Iraq to pass tax cuts for the rich and depress the middle class in the name of freedom?

    Holy shit, do I have zero investment in buying the bullshit notion that I should give a rats fuck about them and their self-engineered headaches.

    I say, rather than lament their misfortunes, fucking bury them. Deep. If the GOP is a goner, that shit is on them.

    They did this to themselves.

    It's their fault. Not yours. You have no role, as a non-Movement Conservative, in fixing their problems because they are not a good faith political movement.

    When the GOP stops trying to ratfuck African-Americans out of the vote for the sin of not voting for Republicans, when the GOP stops race-baiting and dog whistling to keep the racist white pricks they depend on happy, when the GOP stops being the party of homophobia and oppressing women and the sick, young, and the poor... I'll start hand-wringing about how the nation needs a vital GOP to be healthy.

    Fuck 'em.

    They did it to themselves.

    Rather than lament it, I hope it destroys them and starts a period of non-Movement Conservative political dominance that lasts a generation or more.

    Fuck them and their problems.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:36:07 AM PDT

  •  Notice how the guns over people party (0+ / 0-)

    talk about everything but the real reason they keep losing? They are looking backwards NOT forward all the time. Preebus is an imbicile.

  •  At least they have a testable hypothesis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They should definitely poll on this language:

    "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."

    and see what happens. I mean poll a cross-section of voters -- not just Republicans. I have a sneaking suspicion the result won't be what Priebus thinks will happen.

    •  this phrase 'make clear,' (0+ / 0-)

      does not mean what they think it means.  It's not as though this is a proposition in dispute.  What the courts have said in upholding various limitations on the exercise of abortion rights is that the STATE's interest in regulating as it sees fit can, in some circumstances, outweigh the interests of the pregnant woman.  What's more, the Court has made it clear that section 5 of the 14th amendment does not give the Congress the right to change the meaning of the 14th amendment's other provisions, Boerne v. Flores.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:31:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was SO GRATEFUL to Akins et al (5+ / 0-)

    They made it so much harder for even Republican women to ignore what their party was saying, Every time they opened their mouths a few more women walked away from the GOP.

    I do not worry that the repubs will get smarter about what they say. If they were smart they wouldn't be right wing.

  •  Every time they open their mouths (6+ / 0-)

    they illustrate just how stupid they believe women to be.  As if we can't tell the difference between substance and style (or the lack thereof).

    " never quite know where you are with him. He's the sort of chap who follows you into a revolving door and comes out in front." ~Yes, Minister

    by Nicci August on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:50:29 AM PDT

  •  Been reading the autopsy too and my favorite is (0+ / 0-)

    "At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago — meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President."

    -Rebuking Reagan?  

    #ConstructNotObstruct My personal (political) blog is at

    by RVKU on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:50:36 AM PDT

  •  Yes, it is the WAY that you are saying it!f (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bewareofme, DSPS owl

    Please try again to explain!

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:50:46 AM PDT

  •  "Biologically stupid" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek, betelgeux

    I concur.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:52:16 AM PDT

  •  I agree 100% with Priebus (3+ / 0-)

    And if enough people keep telling the GOP just that, they'll never wake up and change.  

    The GOP is giving us a gift.  Say "thank you" and use it.  

  •  GOP always trying to con people on "names"... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bewareofme, Eyesbright, PSzymeczek was taught to them by Frank Luntz through his "It's not what you say, it's what they hear" strategy.

    And Republicans say they hate Political Correctness? Heck, that's their bread and butter...a lot more than their so called "straight talk"!!!

  •  More lipstick, please... (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe people won't notice the words coming out of the GOP-pig's mouth if there's enough pretty lipstick on the moving lips.

  •  It is biologically Impossible (4+ / 0-)

    To provide "exceptions" for rape and incest.

    By the time one "proves" rape to the -government, courts, and media - and by the time you fly to a "blue state" to find a provider. ... may find oneself fighting a parental rights suit from the rapist in prison.

    There are no "explanations" for the GOP platform - progressives need to be yelling this from the rooftops.

    In a capitalist democracy - every dollar is a "vote" ... spend wisely ...

    by RUNDOWN on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:00:21 AM PDT

    •  i can see this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, RUNDOWN

      it depends, really, on what the end-game is.  Does there have to be permission up-front from some court or another, or is the notion of a rape and incest exception a safe harbor from after-the-fact criminal prosecution.   I agree that if the doctors are facing liability unless they can rule out rape when the woman comes to them, they won't do it in nearly all circumstances.  If it's a safe harbor for the woman but not the doctor from prosecution, it could be workable, but only in theory.  

      It's especially important to link their cramped view of what is rape to the notion of a rape exception.  They still believe proof of force and resistance is required, and marital rape doesn't exist.  So, if a woman shows up who was in fact sexual assaulted but doesn't have a fractured face, the doctors might not have a high enough degree of confidence in what the law would allow them to do.  

      Republicans never want to get into the notion of criminal penalties, though. The best thing the anti-choicers can do from their perspective is leave Roe in place, for fundraising purposes, but put in so many exceptions as to be a dead letter.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's sad and pathetic (0+ / 0-)

    The Conservatives are in complete denial.  Listening to them this weekend continue to talk as if there is still debate over the two competing visions for this country, even after losing the 2012 elections, is frustrating, sad, and pathetic.

  •  I knew lots of guys like that in high school (5+ / 0-)

    ME: Would you give it up on Janet?  She can't stand you.

    GUY:  I think it's my jeans. They're too tight.

    ME: I think it's she can't stand you.

    GUY:  You're a bringdown.

  •  The Chairman of the GOP is saying: Do NOT tell ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... the public what we stand for.

    Stand for it steadfastly, he's saying, but don't tell 'em in so many words.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

  •  President Romney (0+ / 0-)

    I personally believe that had it not been for the Akin and other stupid republican's, the republican platform against women would not have gotten the level of media attention it needed. As a result we might just be listening to President Romney!

    How will the republican party platform be highlighted in future elections?

  •  Let's hope for the best (0+ / 0-)

    In the best of all possible outcomes, the lunatic fringe who constitute the mainstream of the Republican party will wholeheartedly endorse Prince Rebus's bold new approach. And fail miserably in the next series of elections.

    Of course, the teawankers are going to tell Prince to take his autopsy and shove it. This will be good for popcorn sales, but they still control the House and the dissension within their ranks is just making their obstruction worse.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:31:16 AM PDT

  •  Their problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rinse is an idiot who talks stupidly.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:54:05 AM PDT

  •  Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, PSzymeczek

    ReiNCe PRieBuS wants the First Rule of the Platform to be, "Don't talk about the Platform."

    "What's next?" - President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing

    by shaf on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:26:33 AM PDT

  •  it could be effective, in a way (0+ / 0-)

    If they take the Romney/Palin approach (which clearly didn't work either, but its a better plan) of not doing interviews, not answering questions they dont like, not being clear on their positions, maybe they can fool enough people. maybe. They certainly can no longer stand up for what they believe in. They'll still be bat shit crazy, they'll just be quiet about it.  

  •  leopard can't change their spots (0+ / 0-)

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:00:28 PM PDT

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