The Republican party needs to do more than just “de-kookify and disassociate with the nuts.”
Here is First Read's take. They appear to have a flair for stating the obvious:
Lacking that compassion thing: There’s one other point we want to make about the GOP: The party really seems to be struggling with that compassion thing. Take passing the farm bill WITHOUT the food stamp program. Or the scant attention to the plight of the undocumented immigrants -- and their families -- who are currently living in the shadows of this country. Compassion is a powerful thing in politics; remember, George W. Bush won a presidential election (in 2000) on that theme. Republicans are going to need to figure out how to add a compassionate element to their austerity push. Of course, conservatives would argue the one place they show the most compassion (on the issue of abortion) doesn't get the attention it deserves. Then again, on abortion, there is another side that believes there is a lack of compassion for women on this issue. Point is, the GOP has a perception problem on this front -- something the Republican National Committee noted, and they've done little to fix it.
Where to start, where to start? Well, first, there's this: GOP on the Verge of Committing Political Suicide. But I digress...
1. I've been writing about "that compassion thing" for ages. You can find all my posts on the Republicans' so-called "outreach" efforts (scroll) here. This isn't about any compassion they want to convince themselves that they have, it's about the perception of compassion, which I will address later. It's a sham. It's a facade. It's a game of Charades. It's a movie set without good actors or a decent script. It's a whole bunch of phony baloney wind-up mechanical stuntmen who lack souls.
2. Not providing needy Americans (a good number of them are employed and white, by the way) with food stamps, AKA a way to stay alive by, you know, eating, shows no compassion. None.
3. Not caring one tiny bit for anyone who doesn't look, sound, think, or believe the way white male Christian conservatives do is not anyone's idea of compassion, empathy, or outreach. Correction: It's white male Christian conservatives' idea of compassion, empathy, and outreach. My bad.
4. How can there be a compassion element in an ill-timed, unnecessary, harmful austerity push? Oxymoron.
5. Supporting forced-birth is compassionate? Making doctors read scripts filled with lies to scare their female patients is compassionate? Shoving trans-vaginal probes up women against their will when there is no medical need for them is compassionate? Male legislators determining what women should do with their lives and bodies is compassionate? Forbidding women to make very painful, very personal, possibly life-saving decisions about their own health is compassionate? Withholding health services, including cancer screenings, is compassionate? Shaming women publicly and politically is compassionate? This isn't "lacking that compassion thing," this is lacking that heart thing.
6. If all you're striving for is the "perception" of compassion, then you're a fake. Your goal is to fool people into believing that your slogans mean more than your intentions and legislative outcomes. You're playing the role of the fast-talking salesman who will say anything to make the sale, to get you to buy a defective product, or a product that could result in injury or even fatalities. Anyone who's watched a TV commercial knows that sales pitches can look attractive and sound enticing, but if the merchandise is inferior, if it doesn't work, if it's unsafe or ineffective, then it's as flimsy and substandard as the advertiser's credibility.
No, the GOP doesn't have a perception problem. They have a policy problem. They have a trust problem. They have a people problem. They have a humanity problem. And that means they have a voter problem.