A new report commissioned by the Republican National Committee reads like an anti-
The authors of the report appear to hail from the
Since the Sarah Palin/Rush Limbaugh wing of the party was clearly not represented on the committee, it may not be surprising that conservative purists sustained the biggest hit in the report. Still, the fact that the five took suggestions from 50,000 rank-and-file party members gives the report some weight. And the authors would have been fools if they had ignored information gathered from focus groups that indicates a great many Americans perceive Republicans as a bunch of narrow-minded, out-of-touch, homophobic, stuffy old white men who are interested only in the welfare of rich people.
"Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country," the report says.
Besides a litany of strategic and organizational changes, the report pushes for philosophical shifts that party conservatives will find hard to stomach. For instance: "We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years."
That sounds an awful lot like the Democratic Party rhetoric that conservatives have disdained as "class warfare."
Even more controversial is the report’s endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform. At last weekend’s
"If amnesty goes through, America becomes California and no Republican will ever win another national election," Coulter said.
CPAC actually provided a vivid example of the fevered, insular mindset that the RNC committee sees as a huge problem for the party. "The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself," the committee's report says. "We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue."
Yet, while the RNC is saying it is time to open the doors to new people and new ideas, the lineup of CPAC speakers was composed almost entirely of insular ideologues, gay-bashers, gun fetishists, religious fundamentalists, birth control foes and devotees of wacky conspiracy theories. CPAC stars such as