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DNC Memo: A Cattle Call, ‘New’ Leadership & The Definition of Insanity

From: Mo Elleithee, DNC Communications Director
To: Interested Parties
Date: June 19, 2014
Re: A Cattle Call, ‘New’ Leadership & The Definition of Insanity 

With this afternoon’s House GOP leadership elections, as well as the kick-off of the GOP’s latest 2016 cattle call at the circus known as the Faith and Freedom coalition meeting, it seems like a good a time as any to take stock of today’s Republican Party.

Here’s what we know:
1) People flat out don’t like the Republican Party, and
2) Republican leaders are doing everything they can to keep it that way.

Just take a look at this week’s NBC-WSJ Poll:

  • The GOP is in a far weaker position than it was in either the 2010 or 2012 elections.  The public’s view of the GOP has them underwater – just 29% of voters have a favorable view of the GOP while 45% have an unfavorable view (ouch). By comparison views of the Democratic Party are far better at 38% positive and 40% negative.
  • And the Tea Party Republicans who unseated Eric Cantor last week and are calling the shots in today’s GOP are doing even worse. Only 22% of Americans view the Tea Party favorably.
  • Today, Democrats are leading in the generic ballot and hold a 50% – 38% lead with women.

Those numbers are the result of one thing: Republicans at every level from the State House to Presidential aspirants’ have out-of-touch policies that hurt working Americans…and the voters know it.

In other words, more than a full year after the RNC’s famous “autopsy report,” the Republican Party has become even less popular than it was when it lost the 2012 election.

Seems like a good time for the GOP to change its ways, right?

Well, apparently not to today’s Republican leaders.  As we’re about to see (again) over the next few days, the Republican Party has given up on even trying to change. They’ve given up on any attempt to rebrand or reach out to new voters. And in many cases, they have moved in the opposite direction.

House leadership elections

Eric Cantor was the head of the House obstructionist caucus.  Yet he lost his primary seemingly for not being obstructionist or extremist enough.  So does anybody really think the new House GOP leadership is going to be any better?

Well, we already know the answer to that.  The leading candidates running in today’s leadership election supported the government shutdown, support more hearings on Benghazi, and wasted so much time voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

We have no doubt that these leaders will team up with Speaker Boehner to continue to obstruct bipartisan measures that would actually grow the economy and the middle class like:

While Democrats will continue to reach across the aisle to pass these measures, the new crop of Republican leaders seem intent on continuing to poke the middle class in the eye in order to placate their extreme base.

Faith and Freedom Coalition

Speaking of their extreme base, this weekend it will be on full display right here in DC.  And the parade of 2016 GOP presidential candidates are tripping over themselves trying to kiss up to them.

That’s right.  Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and others will be sharing the stage with everyone from Allen West to Steve King to Herman Cain and Phyllis Schlafly.

And we know what they’re going to say.  They’re going to attack the President with each breath.  (Any bets how long before the first impeachment reference is made?)  We’ll hear conspiracies about Benghazi and the IRS. They’ll rail on about repealing the Affordable Care Act, the need to restrict women’s health decisions, the dangers of gay marriage and the detrimental effects of single mothers on society.

What we won’t hear is a single serious proposal to help grow the middle class.

And that’s the Republican Party’s problem.

The American people know well that embracing a racist TV star won’t raise wages, endorsing conversion therapy for gay Americans won’t move the country forward, blocking immigration reform won’t create a job (actually, it’ll do just the opposite), divisive language about “traditional” populations won’t bridge the partisan divide, launching a politically motivated investigation won’t educate another child, and continuing to deny basic science won’t leave our kids a healthier planet.

The only people who don’t seem to get it are Republican leaders.  Their entire legislative and electoral strategy is to throw red meat to their far right base and hope their extreme agenda based on obstructionism and divisiveness will take them across the finish line.

You know what they say – the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Apparently, that’s also the definition of “Republican leader.”



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