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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

GOP’s Eve of Destruction

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei have a Politico post up that is so discouraging for the GOP that it has been titled ‘Eve of Destruction.” The entire post is a pretty devastating read for Republican office holders. But we’ll just share a enough to whet the Democratic appetite here:

It is almost impossible to find an establishment Republican in town who’s not downright morose about the 2013 that has been and is about to be. Most dance around it in public, but they see this year as a disaster in the making, even if most elected Republicans don’t know it or admit it.
Several influential Republicans told us the party is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7, the day after the disastrous election.
• The party is hurting itself even more with the very voters they need to start winning back: Hispanics, blacks, gays, women and swing voters of all stripes.
• The few Republicans who stood up and tried to move the party ahead were swatted into submission: Speaker John Boehner on fiscal matters and Sen. Marco Rubio on immigration are the poster boys for this.
• Republicans are all flirting with a fall that could see influential party voices threatening to default on the debt or shut down the government — and therefore ending all hopes of proving they are not insane when it comes to governance..
The blown opportunities and self-inflicted wounds are adding up:
• Hispanics. Nearly every Republican who stumbled away from 2012 promised to quit alienating the fastest-growing demographic in American politics. So what have they done since? Alienated Hispanic voters — again.
It is easy to dismiss as anomaly some of the nasty rhetoric — such as Rep. Don Young calling immigrants “wetbacks” or Rep. Steve King suggesting the children of illegal immigrants are being used as drug mules. But it’s impossible for most Hispanics not to walk away from the immigration debate believing the vast majority of elected Republicans are against a pathway to citizenship.
…• Swing voters. Republicans are in jeopardy of convincing voters they simply cannot govern. Their favorable ratings are terrible and getting worse. But there is broad concern it could go from worse to an unmitigated disaster this fall. Most urgently, according to a slew of key Republicans we interviewed, conservative GOP senators have got to give up their insistence that the party allow the government to shut down after Sept. 30 if they don’t get their way on defunding Obamacare.
The quixotic drive — led by Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) — is part of Rubio’s effort to make up with the conservative base after he was stunned by the backlash over his deal-making on immigration. Pollsters say the funding fight makes Republicans look even more obstructionist, and causes voters to worry about the effect a shutdown would have on their own finances.

Worse, the very few remaining Republican leaders who can accurately be described as open to a modicum of bipartisanship have grim prospects for getting any traction in their party. Indeed, some of them must be wondering if becoming a conservative Democrat might be a good move for their political survival.

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