There are many ways to measure how screwed Republicans are after the last election. You can look at the avalanche of swing states that broke big for Barack. You can look at the demographic shifts that left McCain-Palin with decisive wins only among voters over age 60 and towns with populations under 50,000. Or you can look at my emergency telegram from John McCain.Over 60 & under 50,000. Nice. Even nicer is the realization that we may see an actual evolutionary change in the politics of This Great Nation of Ours; it's not every day a major party disappears from the landscape, & the two current parties have been at this crap for 148 yrs.
But nostalgia is apparently alive and well at the RNC. They’ve been sending these same fundraising letters since at least the 1970s, when a portion of the population could still equate “telegram” with “urgent.” How quickly the Republicans recognize their need to modernize will depend on how much they like losing. It’s not an impossible task to catch the Democrats, but it will require a cultural revolution inside the GOP. Because, like generals fighting the last war (or campaigns re-running culture war scripts that riff on late-1960s divides), the right-wing direct mail “gurus” who profit from every GOP campaign didn’t feel it necessary to update their templates for the third presidential campaign of the 21st century. Or, arguably worse, they were actually aiming for the very, very old among us.
Either way, it illustrates a comment made to me by a top GOP strategist during the campaign: “Our voters don’t use the Internet.” No doubt this was a well-researched fact. But accepting it is also the kiss of death, because it becomes justification for inaction. It’s an acceptance that the GOP has become that party that pridefully plays to the low tech, an inevitably declining slice of the demographic pie. They have become the “Party of Memory” that Emerson wrote about in the early days of our democracy, versus “the Party of Hope” as re-branded by Obama.No further doubt possible: they're actually, actively proud of their bestial ignorance. We'll miss them when they're gone.