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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GOPers Might Want to Stop Blaming Voters If They Want Any Shot at Wooing Them Back

Posted by on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I've learned to kinda like former Washington State Republican Party chair Chris Vance. I've chatted with him a number of times on the radio, and found to him to be thoughtful and forthright. And so I was interested to see his initial take on why Republicans underperformed in Washington's recent election:

Clearly, the failure of voters outside Seattle and King County to turn in ballots at the same rate they did four years ago played a major role.

Vance says a lot of other stuff too, but for me, the very phrasing of his conclusion is a window into the cluttered mind of the Republican establishment. It's not our candidates or our platform or even our GOTV effort that's the problem, GOPers keep telling themselves. It's the voters. For example, I've heard a lot of talk from Rs about how they need to woo Latino voters, but very little self-reflection on the economic and immigration policies that have driven Latino voters away.

My take on Rob McKenna's electoral woes (and Vance is really mostly mulling on McKenna's loss), is that a lot of the soft-Dem and independent voters he was counting on just couldn't shake the sense that McKenna would ultimately governor like a Republican. Republicans can whine all they want that this anti-woman/anti-worker characterization of McKenna wasn't fair, but if Republicans can't win statewide races without running away from the Republican platform, well, I think that says more about the failure of the party than it does the voters.

Regardless of whether McKenna really is a different-kinda-Republican, the very fact that he relied on this image to pacify voters is a tacit admission that 21st century Republicanism remains outside the mainstream of Washington politics.


Comments (14) RSS

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the Gops still run the House, so we shouldnt get all hi and mighty. of course we can get hi, thanks 502!
Posted by Cassette tape fan on November 22, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Well said, everybody! The GOP shot themselves in the foot by pushing their Dark Age campaign of fear and hatred to the breaking point and went too far. I'm not the least bit sorry the Republican and Tea Parties are all but extinct! What did these draconian bozos expect?

What I find unsettling is the number of easily swayed voters STILL buying their bullshit.
Posted by auntie grizelda on November 22, 2012 at 2:33 AM · Report this
Bemusedchicken 12
@11 and us along with him.
Posted by Bemusedchicken on November 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM · Report this
seandr 11
@5: Yes.

The thing is, had Romney managed to win the election, I think he would have killed the Republican brand altogether.
Posted by seandr on November 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
long-time reader 10
@7, if you "border on the paranoid", then feces borders on the inedible.
Posted by long-time reader on November 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM · Report this
Extra credit for verbing "governor"!
Posted by RonK, Seattle on November 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 8
That said, Washington is perhaps the most liberal state in the union (top 3, undoubtedly). So, a Republican party that could win in Mississippi will be far, far from acceptable in WA. Running a 2-party city in a country as large as yours seems impossible. A Democratic candidate in GA would need to be more conservative than a Republican in WA.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on November 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
I have this suspicion, and admittedly I can border on the paranoid, that the Washington State GOP is a complete ruse, set up merely to avoid the conclusion that the Democrats are a uni-ocracy of big budget fat cats who use this state to scam billions of federal dollars for ever more ridiculous projects.

So the Republicans go to great lengths even when they have a decently moderate candidate to say or do something way out there and thus solidify their "bogeyman" status, sending everyone screaming into the arms of the Democrats who will gladly soak the middle class with regressive sales taxes and protect the longtimers with their big asset and land holdings.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 21, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Well stated, Mr. Goldy.
Posted by Fairhaven on November 21, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 5
This reminds me of what happened during the 80's to liberals. It became a toxic brand. The difference is that they were able to grow a generation of liberals & progressives, while Team Rape is a dying breed.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 4
Dear Chris Vance,

If voters failed to turn in ballots to your satisfaction, it is entirely the fault of the politicians that ran who failed to persuade voters that they weren't racist, homophobic, misogynist, money-grubbing, selfish assholes.


Posted by Reverse Polarity on November 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Knat 3
It takes a measure of integrity and self-reflection to realize that people don't like you, and an even greater measure of bravery to admit it's a problem you have to work on. By and large, the GOP lacks any capacity for any of these virtues.
Posted by Knat on November 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
Face it, they hate America.

If they could export all our jobs to their Komrades in Red China, the GOP would do so in a heartbeat.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
This is really a logical extension of their campaign strategy. We saw during the campaign that their message - what candidates, primarily the presidential candidate, actually said - didn't need to map with their policies. Voters recognized that and it hurt candidates up and down the ticket, especially those attempting to run moderate like McKenna.

But, Republicans, rather than take away a refutation of their policies that are offensive to groups that they wish to attract, instead move a step further away. This one is a step away from even the message. Rather, it's the voter's fault. It's as if their loss on election night has snipped the feeble tether that they had on reality. That loss, which they totally didn't expect, cut that cord and now they drift in open space bouncing from one fantastical and fanatical opinion as to how they failed.
Posted by dv8or70 on November 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this

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