The young-folk organization that nurtured such GOP talents as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove has weighed in on the Whither the Republican Party? debate, and their solution is (surprise!) “more sophisticated messaging” about how down is up and night is day. Reports Alex Pareene, at Salon, “The branch of the conservative movement that bred the party’s scummiest strategists urges a softer sell”:
[Monday], the College Republican National Committee is releasing a report, based on a poll and focus groups, examining how and why the Republican Party lost the under-30 vote and what they could do to win it back. Spoiler: They will have to become an entirely different party with entirely different positions. Though that is sort of my interpretation of their findings. The College Republicans are still pretty sure it’s primarily a problem of “messaging.”…
A major problem for the party, of course, is that young voters are drifting leftward on economic issues, which is really the conservative movement’s nightmare scenario. The College Republicans sort of acknowledge this, but they also insist that young people simply have got the wrong idea about the GOP’s economic message. For some crazy reason everyone has decided that all right-wing tax and economic policy is geared toward making already rich people richer!
“Policies that lower taxes and regulations on small businesses are quite popular. Yet our focus on taxation and business issues has left many young voters thinking they will only reap the benefits of Republican policies if they become wealthy or rise to the top of a big business,” the report says. “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”…
So young voters are apparently rejecting core right-wing economic beliefs. How should the party respond? The authors say “the party must explain how its policies translate into chances for economic advancement and should seek to do so in a more ‘caring’ tone.” A “caring” tone sounds like a good first step, but one slight issue is that young people have figured out that Republican policies don’t translate into chances for economic advancement…
It is a bit interesting that these calls for change in how the party presents itself are coming from the College Republicans, traditionally one of the party’s most proudly assholish wings… The culture that so desperately needs to be changed in the GOP begins with its college boosters, a lily-white crowd of entitled bow-tied pricks who go out of their way to be detested by “nerds and fags” on every campus on which they have a chapter…
Paul Constant, at the Stranger, adds:
… When I went to the political conventions, this report’s points were clearly illustrated. The number of young white preps I saw at the RNC could barely fill out a rowing team. They were trotted out for the cameras, along with the few minorities in attendance, but they didn’t seem to have any real power in the proceedings. Young people were everywhere at the DNC. They were given real responsibilities, and they had a voice in and around the convention. Unless there’s a sea change—probably inspired by a messianic young presidential candidate—this Republican youth problem isn’t going to get better anytime soon.
Perhaps Donald Trump– who, according to long-ago-youthful-GOP-vanity-messaging-project National Review, is still a sought-after GOP solon — can pitch his next reality show: Who Wants to Be the Next GOP Celebrity Messiah Apprentice?
It is possibly not coincidental that NYMag chose today to publish an illustrated post on the current sociopolitical rise and origins of the term “derp“ (minor spoiler: South Park, by way of 4chan). Cometh the hour, cometh the vocabulary.
My friend’s daughter started dating a college republican. When my friend told me, I made a pained face and said “while I know nothing about this particular kid, it’s just about impossible to be a college republican and not be a twerpy jagoff.”
That made my friend very pissed at me. I was being a buzzkill about the new relationship.
Anyway, I enjoyed the nice apology a few weeks later, and the accompanying litany of complaints about the little Romneyite who, of course, turns out to be a putrid piece of deluded, entitled shit.
new and improved! with 30% more obfuscation and ringamarole!
One of the “benefits” of living in a college town is going places and listening to College Republicans complain about bias in everything BUT Fox News. A bunch of brainwashed little shits.
The main reason the “educational reform” movement is popular on the right (where otherwise education is just an abstraction like “art”) is that they can see the youngs are getting smart enough to call them on their bullshit that worked when there was such limited access to information.
I think the correct term is lily-white, entitled, bow-tied pricks (see above). But yes, and I bet the apology was delicious.
The republican makeover is not going to happen any time soon. They are becoming ever more radical, and ever less able to even hold a decent conversation, much less govern. They’re already splintering. The gerrymandered states will hold the party together for a while, but not for long.
Wait, how did the guys at BJ miss this from Dec? Hey guys, time for a new pick-up line for you guys this time supported by “science”…lol
Squeezing breasts could prevent cancer, best study ever says
Looks like I’m going to short the bowtie and quiet room futures.
Been challenging conservative friends on FB to own their beliefs today. Been called every sort of uncivil. Good way to pass time in an all day meeting.
Ooh, open thread , eh?
Cole’s often asking for movie picks. Saw “The Big Year” last night on HBO. What a good, sweet movie. Definitely underrated. A ‘big year’ is an informal competition among birders. To see how many North American bird species you can see in one calendar year. The movie concerns three different guys, for different personal reasons, who embark on it.
There’s just something endearing about real enthusiasts.
@lamh35: This could be the super-hero idea Cole has been looking for. Now he just needs a costume.
@quannlace: Funny movie. I loved the woman who came along on her honeymoon.
GOP 2.0 – don’t change the strategy, just get a Cuban in there to regurgitate the same old message.
How many college Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
@pokeyblow: Sometimes, it works the other way. My nephew, who I once thought very highly of, turned into a Republican about 10 years ago and, since then, our relationship has deteriorated into constant arguments (albeit friendly). Anyway, around Christmas, he and his old girlfriend broke up and now he’s dating this (apparently) very liberal girl and his political opinions have taken a sea change. Then, he was a big Rick Perry fan; now, he’s complaining about how the Republicans are always anti-choice and anti-immigrant and “always for the wealthy” and anti-gay and pro-war and he thinks Perry is a “moron.” Now, he resembles just another young person with fairly typical attitudes. Now, I’m not saying that his political views tend to shift depending on who’s sucking his … , er (who he’s dating), but it sure seems that way to me.
In other words, they pay attention.
Indeed, a College Republican is a distinct thing from a Republican who happens to be attending college. While the latter might not necessarily be a loudmouth shitbag, the former is by definition.
“Funny movie. I loved the woman who came along on her honeymoon.”
Yes,that poor bride. “A honeymoon on Attu island. That will be memorable!”
And then she gets the ‘Hitchcock’ treatment from the gulls.
A “College Republican” is a male who at age 20, chooses to dress, speak, and think like George Will.
Well, it’s easier to spell.
Yeah, that’s my thought too. If you’re dedicated enough to Republican ideology to have become an activist on its behalf, you’re an asshole. By definition. I can see people being Republican out of habit because they were raised that way and/or never really followed enough politics to pay attention to whats’ going on, or whatever, but if you’re owning the GOP’s beliefs to the extent that CRs are, you’ve got no excuse.
Looks like Krugman got in on some ‘derpitude‘ was well.
The problem is, the wrong message gets out, and then you have to deal with it. Like that guy the GOP nominated in 2012– what was his name… Nitt Momnee, or something… wealthy, entitled SOB, who ‘cared’ in some hard-to-specify sense. That’s bad on the messaging front.
The best have no conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Your nephew may turn out OK after all.
I just found out today that my next-door neighbors who leave their three dogs out in the yard to bark like the hound of the Baskervilles have moved out! The parents of the guy who’s bought the house were working in the yard today, and they were really nice. Combined with PERFECT spring weather, that has really lifted my mood. I do worry about the dogs, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
@gogol’s wife: I’m glad there are no college Republicans in that anecdote.
@Bubblegum Tate: yep. I went to school with several folks who were Republican, but so very few who would, say, try to turn every discussion of a reading by a woman or minority into a discussion of thought police, affirmative action and the black crime rate. Oh and standards too. Not really a discussion.
You know, there should be a whole “lost generation” of college republicans who went off to fight in Iraq, and in some cases didn’t come back…
…in an alternate universe, where republicans gave two shits about principles, decency, or their country.
Well, the new neighbor may turn out to be a Republican (not the college variety), like the rest of my neighbors, but I have learned to coexist with them. It involves never straying near politics at the barbecues. I had a disaster when I tried to engage in light conversation with a guest at my neighbors on the other side, the recently deposed Republican mayor of our corrupt little town. He almost had an aneurysm discussing Obama’s BALLOONING OF THE DEFICIT with me last summer. (It’s an open thread, right? I don’t have to discuss college Republicans, do I?)
More Autotune. The kids love that shit.
College Republicans are some of the worst forms of life on Earth. Like, worse than NAZI’s x Watergate x ticks.
And hope that young people stop thinking that women should control their own bodies, that minorities/the poor/students should be able to vote, that gays should have the same rights as everyone else, that immigrants are people too, that perpetual warfare is not good foreign policy, and that MOAR GUNZ is not the solution to every problem in America.
I suspect the RWA culture that dominates every aspect of the Republican Party precludes young Republicans from being given any responsibilities or serving any purpose. They’re not supposed to bring anything to the party. They’re supposed to be good little empty vessels, following their betters around and internalizing every aspect of How Things Are Supposed To Be, until their betters are satisfied that they’ve been molded into clones that can be trusted not to deviate from the party line. Only then are they allowed to move up and given any responsibility.
As they stand, the Republican party’s positions are plainly hostile to the needs of young voters, and to the needs of their friends and families. The party doesn’t just look like it’s headed the wrong way, it actually is. I ask the obvious question: rather than try to dress those positions up to look more lefty, which hasn’t worked on young voters, why don’t the College Republicans advocate moving them that way for real?
Governor FatsoNJ’s Governor Christie has “solved” the problem of the state’s vacant Senate seat by scheduling a special primary and special general election August 13 and October 16 respectively. This (like a lot of stuff that Big Chris does) has generated the usual outpouring of criticism: One reason being the extra cost of TWO additional statewide elections (millions); especially as the regularly-scheduled election is only three weeks later (Nov. 5). The other gripe seems to be that Gov. XXL is playing ballot-box games to keep himself off a ballot with Cory Booker, though why that should be an issue beat me. Any Garden Staters here to enlighten me?*
*especially as the CW seems to be that Booker is some sort of unbeatable Democratic juggernaut capable of just waltzing right into the Senate – is that real reality, or just blogosphere reality>
@Amir Khalid: Beee-cause… then they wouldn’t be Republicans. Yeah, they’ll suffer some cognitive dissonance, but they’ll stay loyal to the group, and that’s what matters.
The cost for the special election is supposed to be $24 million, a not inconsiderable sum. Supposedly the hidden reason for the special election ahead of the regular election is because Cory Booker is running for the Senate seat, which will generate much higher black voter turnout, which Christie would not like to see on November 5, when he is on the ballot running for reëlection as governor.
As I understand, the theory is that a strong black voter turnout will hurt Big Boy’s re-election chances, him being Republican.
@Chris: 25 years ago that was not the case. The state republicans seemed to take more interest in their young republicans than the democrats did in their young democrats. Sclerotic is a good term for the MYDFL when I was a member in college. I think the Young Reps were organized to counter hippies attended workshops on talking points and strategies. And if you were good at leading your campus, you were groomed a bit. The state DFL was a bit of a joke in comparison. It was treated like a cute mini version of the adult party where we learned how to spend our time listening to the executive committee argue about rules of order. Yay! Six hours spent arguing the rules of the convention while we were at the convention. What could be more powerful than that?
They’ve been saying this for several elections.
In 2008, the answer was “RON PAUL RELOVEOLUTION”.
In 2012, they went with an actual white horse messiah.
They are not very good at that.
@BGinCHI: “How many college Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
College Republicans don’t screw in light bulbs. They practice abstinence. Besides, it’s kinda small inside a light bulb.
@maya: I was going to say something about Bristol Palin, but her generation of Palins doesn’t do college.
Yeah, College Republicans are so good with the mental discipline, they’ll surely be able to keep all the nasty stuff under wraps and only project the newer, more appealing, less douchebaggy version. Of course.
Well… while I wasn’t around back then, 25 years ago movement conservatives were still in the process of taking over all the Republican Party organs – their control wouldn’t be fully cemented until 1994. So the Young Turks in the conservative movement would’ve had a lot less incentive to listen to an “establishment” that was still fairly East Coasty, and the establishment in turn probably wouldn’t have been nearly as RWA as the current one. That might explain some of the differences.
I think the main problem is that to someone coming into the scene fresh, the Republicans look, speak, and act like assholes.
That is difficult to overcome in one lifetime. So good luck with that!
West of the Rockies
@patroclus: Well, you know what they say: Behind every good man is a good liberal woman! (Er, or maybe a good liberal man.)
For that, your Internets get the overnight shipping treatment.
West of the Rockies
Open thread offering: Stormdancer (by Jay Kristoff) is a pretty good read! Japanese steampunk fantasy/science fiction with a strong female lead. Not much sex, if that’s an issue (or the lack thereof!), but pretty compelling stuff.
Villago Delenda Est
In 2004, I encountered some College Rethug types on the University of Oregon campus, where John Edwards (at that time John Kerry’s running mate) was about to speak. I asked one of these guys (they were carrying support our troops and Commander in Chief signs) why, if he supported the war in Iraq so much, he wasn’t there on the ground. His answer was pathetic to say the least…that he wasn’t needed, that he had other things to do here…you know, the usual “other priorities” answer that chickenhawks always give.
Perfect description and very funny. I plan to repeat that.
I’m surprised that the collegiate Repos haven’t thought of offering free beer, pizza (Godfather) and strippers at their college recruitment functions. Since they’re all legacy appointees anyway can’t their paters afford a few extra benjamins to insure that their offspring will have friends?
Testing now so I don’t get moderated later.
At least not for a new nym.
@Cacti: “A “College Republican” is a male who at age 20, chooses to dress, speak, and think like George Will.”
Or who thinks a twenty year old Karl Rove is a great role model.
Karen in GA (who really needs a better name)
@Chris: I think the reason College Republicans aren’t given any say is because the Republican Party is the Strict Daddy Party. Children should be seen and not heard.
The problem with the republican party is that they are filled with neo confederates and crazy evangelical bigots. If they want to become more successful with key demographics then they need to go back to the republican party of the 50’s and 60’s. That party was a heck of a lot more moderate back in the day and there was more consensus between the two parties.
Also they need to stop pretending that their tax cut policies help the middle class and small business because they don’t. The majority of people know they only care about tax cuts for the wealthy.
Fixed For Accuracy, College Republicans.
@Karen in GA (who really needs a better name): It’s the asshole party and it operates largely by intimidation and authoritarian group loyalty. You don’t move up until you’ve out-assholed the existing leadership, such as currently being done by Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. It shares characteristics with criminal gangs.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Karen in GA (who really needs a better name): Oh, they’ve been given their say. And the last guy saying it was James O’ Keefe, who turned out to be such a vile piece of subhuman shit (rapeboat, anyone?) that the party has declared him non grata and is making sure he stays put under the rock where he was spawned.
Essentially the Hitler Youth go to the conventions and rape any available woman. The party knows this. This is one of the reasons they’re not allowed any positions of power or authority.
Another Halocene Human
@Suffern ACE: That’s because all the cool kids were in SDS.
Another Halocene Human
@Hoodie: Or the Klingon military.
Although, to be fair, they have better hair and better taste in music.
The chicks are hotter, too.
Jesus. I still remember the Rice Republicans from 31 years ago ratf*cking RicePIRG, the Naderite public interest group by getting its college funding yanked over a questionable $100 expenditure. To my discredit I signed the petition. A few of that gang went on to commit electoral fraud by faking signatures to get Senator Jack Kemp on the Texas in 1988. They got off, of course.
Paul in KY
@lamh35: I wish that tidbit had been known back in my college years. Could have added that to my limited verbal arsenal.
Paul in KY
@quannlace: Just saw ‘Cloud Atlas’. Good movie, highly recommend it. Does jump around a bit, just like book.
Paul in KY
@patroclus: Just help him & current flame stay toghether thru November 2016.
Part of the reason that they weren’t finding young preps inside the RNC, is that they seem to have all been outside at the Ron Paul shindig …
Saw Cloud Atlas a few months ago. Definitely enjoyed it. A disservice to the movie if you don’t see it on the big screen.
Paul in KY
@balconesfault: Missed seeing it at theater. Bet the Neo Seoul scenes are pretty cool when seen on big screen.