GOP Wonders If Party Is Out Of Touch? Or Are Women, Young People, And Voters Of Color Just All Wrong?

In 2013, after the GOP lost seats in both houses of Congress while failing to defeat Barack Obama, the Republican party embarked on a round of deep soul-searching. Known as the "Republican Autopsy," the resulting report sought to answer the question: why do young voters despise the GOP?

"Public perception of the Party is at record lows," they wrote at the time. "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. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us."

The report's authors, who included Bush's press flack Ari Fleischer and Henry Barbour, a Mississippi RNC committeeman and the nephew of ex-RNC Chair Haley Barbour, delivered some tough love to the GOP: If the party didn't quit being so gross and racist, pass immigration reform, and stop saying horrible shit about women and their bodies, it would never win the popular vote again.

"If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue," Dubya advisor Karen Hughes griped. "The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of 'legitimate rape.'

Four years later, the GOP ran exactly the same gross, racist playbook, and ran the table. But after Democrats took the White House and Congress in 2020 and the GOP barely managed to claw back the wildly gerrymandered House in 2022, Republicans are going back to the well. Time for Autopsy 2.0, which we could just easily call the "It's Definitely Not Trump, Do Not Say The Problem Is Trump Or Those Fucking Lunatics Will Murder Us, And Maybe Not With Votes" Report.

Politico got the deets, and they are goddamn delightful:

The RNC is tapping nearly a dozen people to serve in what it’s calling a “Republican Party Advisory Council” – a group that includes former Donald Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, evangelical leader Tony Perkins and a pair of Senate candidates who ran this year.

Which Senate candidates? Well, one of them is this guy.

Oh, yeah, get that weird fashy dude who ran four points behind every other Republican in Arizona, in a cycle where the GOP got wiped out in the state. He'll know what to do!

“Our party needs to modernize. We’re fighting against Big Tech, the media, and now, the Democrats’ GOTV early voting machine,” said Masters, a candidate who was little more than a sock puppet for big tech billionaire Peter Thiel. “I look forward to working with Ronna[McDaniel] to make sure the party effectively supports our candidates and wins big in 2024.”

Put him in a room with Tony Perkins, the whack job who heads up an anti-gay hate group that opposes birth control. Those two will know just how to repair the party's image with voters under 40!

"Americans of faith are the heartbeat of the Republican vote,” Perkins said. “I have witnessed firsthand how Chairwoman McDaniel understands this, and I am thrilled to continue to work with her to advance these core values.”

Throw in Kellyanne Conway, too. She knows how to talk to women voters:

"The Republican Party stands for freedom, fairness, security, opportunity, prosperity and individual liberty. Ensuring that voters, candidates and Americans of all backgrounds know this and can communicate it in an affable, accessible, actionable manner is the key to growing a party that under Chairwoman McDaniel's leadership has increased support among key stakeholders. This means finishing our sentences, offering specifics and solutions, and converting the double-digit trust the GOP has earned on key issues into wins at the ballot box. Democrats are unified - on how to divide America. Republicans must be unified - on how best to help a broken nation."

Oh, hey, notice how all three of these people made sure to praise RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel? Check out the RNC's press release announcing this exercise. You will be FOR SHOCKED that every single member of this panel praises Our Girl Ronnie to the skies.

Do we think this is a coincidence, coming as it does as she's fending off a plausible leadership challenge from Rep. Lee Zeldin as well as an implausible one from that pillow huffer Mike Lindell?

No, we do not.

Do we think it's a coincidence that she's announcing a plan to do something about the GOP's lackluster midterm performance just a few weeks before the 168 voting members of the RNC meet in January to vote for chair?

No, we do not.

And do we think that selecting Henry Barbour, someone the party is already used to ignoring, to lead this new effort is a sign that this time, they mean business?


In summary and in conclusion, good luck with the election, Ronna. And if you want to lock Blake Masters, Tony Perkins, and every non-white Gipper in a room together for a week, have at it. The kids will still hate you, but at least you'll be the queen of the anti-majoritarian, conspiracy-mongering, know-nothing party for another cycle.

[Politico / RNC]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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