As a former Republican - and there do seem to be lots of us even among the LGBT blogger set - I continue to watch for any hint that the GOP has grasp the fact that it is suffering from a systemic illness than cannot be cured by "better messaging" or by using ethnic politicians as front men and women to hide the party's growing lily whiteness and white supremacist inclinations. While a few conservatives seem to have understood what is happening, most remain in their bubble world drinking the Kool-Aid ladled out to them by the Christofascist/Tea Party operatives. As a result, the party seems headed towards a slow form of suicide. The bad news is that the GOP's death will not come soon enough to save the nation and states like Virginia from more batshitery and repackaging of failed GOP policies. A piece in Mother Jones looks at the phenomenon. Here are some excerpts:
Some Republicans—and many Democrats—now claim that the writing is on the wall: demography is destiny, which means the GOP is going the way of the Whigs and the Dodo. Across the country, they see an aging white majority shrinking as the US heads for the future as a majority-minority country and the Grand Old Party becomes the Gray Old Party. Others say: not so fast.
In the month since 51% of the electorate chose to keep Barack Obama in the White House, I've spent my time listening to GOP pundits, operators, and voters. While the Party busily analyzes the results, its leaders and factions are already out front, pushing their own long-held opinions and calling for calm in the face of onrushing problems.
Do any of their proposals exhibit a willingness to make the kind of changes the GOP will need to attract members of the growing groups that the GOP has spent years antagonizing like Hispanics, Asian Americans, unmarried women, secular whites, and others? In a word: no.
Instead, from my informal survey, it looks to this observer (and former Republican) as if the party is betting all its money on cosmetic change. Think of it as the Botox Solution. It wants to tweak its talking points slightly and put more minority and female Republicans on stage as spokespeople. Many in the GOP seem to believe that this will do the trick in 2014 and beyond. Are they deluded?
Although most Republicans see hints of future demographic challenges in the exit polls, many prefer to focus on other factors to explain Romney's loss out of a desire not to "blow up the party if there are less radical solutions." (Hence, the delusional quality of so many of their post-mortems and the lack of interest in meaningful change.)
First, they cite the Romney factor: a weak candidate, too moderate—or too conservative—who failed to fight the Obama campaign"s early efforts to paint him as an out-of-touch plutocrat. In other words, his history (Bain Capital and Romneycare) depth-charged him before demographics could even kick in.
Second, they point to the Obama factor. In both 2008 and 2012, he attracted unprecedented levels of minority and young voters, a phenomenon that might not be repeated in 2016. Some Republican operatives are also convinced that his campaign simply had a much better "ground game" and grasp of how to employ technology to turn out voters. (Half of self-identifying Republican voters think, as they did in 2008, that Obama simply stole the election through registration fraud involving African Americans.)
Third, they emphasize the powers of incumbency. . . . . 2016, they swear, will be different. Nor do they seem to fear a reprise of the 2008 and 2012 primary circuses because the A-listers in 2016, they insist, will all have well-established conservative bona fides and won't have to bend over backwards to cultivate the conservative base.
Fourth, there is the perceived success of Republicans other than Romney, particularly in what white Republicans call the "Heartland." . . . . they kept their majority in the House of Representatives, losing only a handful of seats. (That the GOP lost the majority of total votes cast gets less attention.)
Meanwhile, on the Bridge of the Titanic - Avoid it as they may, the long-term picture couldn't look grimmer for the Party. Demographics may well be destiny. Even a cursory look at the numbers exposes the looming threat to the Party's future prospects.
* Whites: About three-quarters of the electorate (and 88% of Romney's voters) this year were white, but their numbers are steadily sinking—by 2% since 2008.
* White Christians: The bulk of Romney's supporters (79%) were white Christians (40% of whom were evangelicals), but this is an aging and shrinking group. Three-quarters of senior voters but only a quarter of millennial voters are white Christians, and the generations in between are much less likely to consider themselves "strong" members of their religion than seniors.
* The Young: The millennial generation (born between 1978 and 2000) has been voting overwhelmingly for Democrats (66% for Obama in 2008, 60% this year). They are projected to be 40% of the eligible voting pool by 2020. Because they are relatively diverse and secular, the GOP cannot assume that enough will emulate previous generations and swing to the right as they age.
The factions in the party that are not socially conservative see these looming threats as an opportunity to get the GOP to drop the social stuff. But movement conservatives aren't going to cede ideological ground, not when they (correctly) think it's a necessity if they are to attract their base voters. "This country doesn't need two liberal or Democratic parties," is the way Bobby Jindal puts it, typically enough.
There is much more to the piece which deserves a full read. The point is that do not expect the GOP to change. At least not until a significant number of Christofascists die off. By the time that happens, the GOP itself may be dead.