Really, GOP? Do you like losing?

Readability

Really, GOP? Do you like losing?

I received a Repub­li­can Strat­egy Bal­lot in the mail today. It is allegedly a way to ensure that the “RNC is stay­ing focused on issues you believe are most impor­tant, using the strate­gies you think will help us reach the most voters.”

The day after Obama won the Pres­i­dency, his cam­paign team sent out a detailed, nuanced ques­tion­naire via email. Email and elec­tronic pro­cess­ing tends to be less expen­sive than mailings.

Beyond the waste of money involved in a mail­ing, let’s focus on how absolutely asi­nine this mail­ing is. The bal­lot con­tains five ques­tions and a request for a dona­tion. Two of those ques­tions are lame push-​polling queries:

Ques­tion 3: “Democ­rats think taxes should go up so Barack Obama can ‘spread the wealth around.’ Repub­li­cans sup­port tax relief for fam­i­lies, busi­nesses, and seniors. Whom do you support?”

Ques­tion 4: “Repub­li­cans sup­port respon­si­ble judges who will fol­low the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, and NOT leg­is­late from the bench. Pres­i­dent Obama and the Democ­rats want to con­firm ‘activist judges’ who will use America’s judi­cial sys­tem to pro­mote lib­eral poli­cies and strike down poli­cies they view as ‘too con­ser­v­a­tive.” Whom do you support?”

Both ques­tions had three answers: Repub­li­cans, Democ­rats, Not Sure/​Undecided. Did I men­tion that the RNC is pay­ing money to send these ques­tions to reg­is­tered Republicans?

Ques­tions 1 and 2 ask about the issues that Repub­li­cans should high­light in the 2013 pol­icy debates, and which of the Democ­rats lib­eral poli­cies that [I] oppose the most. Nei­ther ques­tion included Oba­maCare as an answer; Ques­tion 2 said noth­ing of immi­gra­tion or amnesty. Ques­tion 1 had “Immi­gra­tion reform” as an answer. It did not spec­ify if “immi­gra­tion reform” meant amnesty, or con­ser­v­a­tive reforms like secur­ing the bor­ders, requir­ing e-​Verify and crack­ing down on busi­nesses that hire ille­gals, tak­ing a hard look at birthright cit­i­zen­ship, increas­ing immi­gra­tion for highly skilled pro­fes­sion­als, and increas­ing depor­ta­tion. “Immi­gra­tion reform” means damn near any­thing you want it to mean, which does not seem par­tic­u­larly help­ful if the RNC is attempt­ing to under­stand the view­points of the aver­age Republican.

Neither answer had any­thing of health care reform or Oba­maCare in it. Once those costs kick in in 2014, Oba­maCare will be an epic night­mare; we should be lay­ing the ground­work now, telling peo­ple what will hap­pen, and offer­ing con­crete solu­tions to fix the prob­lem. (“Repeal and replace” needs to be our mantra, with as much empha­sis on “replace” as “repeal”.) Why are we giv­ing up this issue?

Guess what else didn’t make the list? The assault on reli­gion, the fight for con­science pro­tec­tions, abor­tion, and gun rights. Appar­ently, if you’re a pro-​life, pro-​gun, Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tive who doesn’t want to be forced to buy health care that pays for abor­tions, you’re going to have to find a dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal party. And I bet Reince is won­der­ing why almost ten mil­lion peo­ple who voted in 2008 chose to stay home on Elec­tion Day 2012 rather than vote ®.

And now, onto Ques­tion 5, the final one, the one that will make my co-​blogger Peter laugh or cry, or maybe laugh while crying:

Ques­tion 5: What do you believe are the most effec­tive ways for Repub­li­cans to counter the Democ­rats’ attacks against our poli­cies, and reach vot­ers with facts about our Repub­li­can Agenda?”

Of the thir­teen responses, none of them included blogs. (There was a generic “inter­net web­sites,” but that’s right up there with “immi­gra­tion reform” in terms of speci­ficity.) The RNC has yet to fig­ure out the value of the blo­gos­phere. The Democ­rats con­trol almost every major media out­let save FoxNews and the WSJ and have an exten­sive net­work of blogs, and they kicked our butts in Novem­ber. Appar­ently, the RNC hasn’t learned a les­son from that.

The RNC should be using the blo­gos­phere to explain con­ser­v­a­tive poli­cies, expose Demo­c­rat scan­dals (e.g. Beng­hazi, the Gos­nell trial), drum up sup­port and excite­ment in spe­cial elec­tions, hone the skills of nor­mal peo­ple in their pj’s, and do some voter out­reach. I’m no tech expert, but I’m pretty sure that the RNC could fig­ure out a way to mon­i­tor the top 100 con­ser­v­a­tive blogs, fig­ure out what res­onates with peo­ple, track the sto­ries that make it to the main­stream, and see what gets independents/​low infor­ma­tion voters/​moderates on our side. They can also use those blogs and com­ment sec­tions to fig­ure out what ordi­nary con­ser­v­a­tives think of every­thing from Rand Paul’s fil­i­buster to “immi­gra­tion reform” and act accordingly.

But nooo. We have to do a lame paper-​pencil bal­lot that asks us if we want to increase taxes on senior cit­i­zens. Con­grats, Reince and friends! You wasted a lot of money on a totally use­less survey!

I received a Republican Strategy Ballot in the mail today.  It is allegedly a way to ensure that the “RNC is staying focused on issues you believe are most important, using the strategies you think will help us reach the most voters.”

The day after Obama won the Presidency, his campaign team sent out a detailed, nuanced questionnaire via email. Email and electronic processing tends to be less expensive than mailings.

Beyond the waste of money involved in a mailing, let’s focus on how absolutely asinine this mailing is.  The ballot contains five questions and a request for a donation.  Two of those questions are lame push-polling queries:

Question 3: “Democrats think taxes should go up so Barack Obama can ‘spread the wealth around.’ Republicans support tax relief for families, businesses, and seniors.  Whom do you support?”

Question 4: “Republicans support responsible judges who will follow the U.S. Constitution, and NOT legislate from the bench.  President Obama and the Democrats want to confirm ‘activist judges’ who will use America’s judicial system to promote liberal policies and strike down policies they view as ‘too conservative.” Whom do you support?”

Both questions had three answers: Republicans, Democrats, Not Sure/Undecided.  Did I mention that the RNC is paying money to send these questions to registered Republicans?

Questions 1 and 2 ask about the issues that Republicans should highlight in the 2013 policy debates, and which of the Democrats liberal policies that [I] oppose the most.  Neither question included ObamaCare as an answer; Question 2 said nothing of immigration or amnesty.  Question 1 had “Immigration reform” as an answer.  It did not specify if “immigration reform” meant amnesty, or conservative reforms like securing the borders, requiring e-Verify and cracking down on businesses that hire illegals, taking a hard look at birthright citizenship, increasing immigration for highly skilled professionals, and increasing deportation.  “Immigration reform” means damn near anything you want it to mean, which does not seem particularly helpful if the RNC is attempting to understand the viewpoints of the average Republican.

Neither answer had anything of health care reform or ObamaCare in it.  Once those costs kick in in 2014, ObamaCare will be an epic nightmare; we should be laying the groundwork now, telling people what will happen, and offering concrete solutions to fix the problem.  (“Repeal and replace” needs to be our mantra, with as much emphasis on “replace” as “repeal”.)  Why are we giving up this issue?

Guess what else didn’t make the list?  The assault on religion, the fight for conscience protections, abortion, and gun rights. Apparently, if you’re a pro-life, pro-gun, Christian conservative who doesn’t want to be forced to buy health care that pays for abortions, you’re going to have to find a different political party.  And I bet Reince is wondering why almost ten million people who voted in 2008 chose to stay home on Election Day 2012 rather than vote (R).

And now, onto Question 5, the final one, the one that will make my co-blogger Peter laugh or cry, or maybe laugh while crying:

“Question 5: What do you believe are the most effective ways for Republicans to counter the Democrats’ attacks against our policies, and reach voters with facts about our Republican Agenda?”

Of the thirteen responses, none of them included blogs.  (There was a generic “internet websites,” but that’s right up there with “immigration reform” in terms of specificity.)  The RNC has yet to figure out the value of the blogosphere.  The Democrats control almost every major media outlet save FoxNews and the WSJ and have an extensive network of blogs, and they kicked our butts in November.  Apparently, the RNC hasn’t learned a lesson from that.

The RNC should be using the blogosphere to explain conservative policies, expose Democrat scandals (e.g. Benghazi, the Gosnell trial), drum up support and excitement in special elections, hone the skills of normal people in their pj’s, and do some voter outreach.  I’m no tech expert, but I’m pretty sure that the RNC could figure out a way to monitor the top 100 conservative blogs, figure out what resonates with people, track the stories that make it to the mainstream, and see what gets independents/low information voters/moderates on our side.  They can also use those blogs and comment sections to figure out what ordinary conservatives think of everything from Rand Paul’s filibuster to “immigration reform” and act accordingly.

But nooo.  We have to do a lame paper-pencil ballot that asks us if we want to increase taxes on senior citizens.  Congrats, Reince and friends!  You wasted a lot of money on a totally useless survey!