The extent of the party’s 2012 failure has finally sunk in:
The Republican National Committee is reviewing the party’s deficiencies, particularly in technology and grass-roots organizing, that contributed to Mitt Romney’s sound defeat last year. The excuses and grievances that several top Republicans offered up after the election have been supplanted by pledges to strengthen the party.
“We need to get people organized and learn from what Obama did,” said Mike Duncan, a former national party chairman who now represents Kentucky on the committee. “We’ve got to reverse engineer what they did and leapfrog to the next cycle.”
… Republican leaders acknowledged the urgent need to make the party more welcoming to a broader cross-section of Americans, particularly women, Hispanics and blacks.
The consensus is that this was a failure at the top of the Republican Party:
Republican officials from across the country said a new tone is needed, and they called on the party to take cues from its 30 governors rather than become consumed by Republicans’ differences in Washington.
But, as Joan Walsh points out in a new analysis at Salon, using LA Gov. Bobby Jindal as an example, this stategy reveals a new Achilles’ heel or two for the Party of Reagan:
The man hailed by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza for his readiness to “speak truth to GOP power” in a tedious speech to the Republican National Committee Thursday night is anything but a rebel or renegade. One night before his big 2016 star turn, Jindal was forced by national outrage to reverse himself on what is one of the ugliest GOP policy decisions in an ugly decade: cutting Medicaid funding for hospice care. His health secretary actually announced the decision Wednesday night as hospice backers gathered for a mournful candlelight vigil.
Good timing; continued attention to Jindal’s hospice cruelty might have made it tough for him to be the new public face of what he hopes will be the diversity-friendly GOP.
Yet Jindal’s other cruel cuts are set to stand – cuts to battered women’s shelter programs, to higher education, preschool programs, anti-truancy efforts and a range of other efforts to make life better for low-income people. Meanwhile Jindal wants to replace the state’s income tax with more regressive sales taxes.
Meet the new GOP, just the same as the old GOP…