COMMENTARY | Monday morning quarterbacking has turned to nearly-four-month-later quarterbacking, as Republicans appear still mystified about the re-election of President Barack Obama over challenger Mitt Romney. Some of the ruminating is predictable, like Ann Romney blaming the media for Romney’s loss and the infamous conservative Koch brothers seeking to remedy that potential problem by simply buying the media .
But the Medal in Deflecting through Finger Pointing goes to Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chair. He claims that the keys to Republican wins are “emotional” and “cultural” votes.
Here’s what he said: “What we found in the election is that while we’re winning those arguments on spending and math, we’re losing sort of this emotional, cultural vote out there in presidential elections,” reports MSNBC .
Before we move on, it’s useful to know that “coding” is a term used to describe words in language, often regarding race, gender, ethnicity or the like, used to stand in for other words. It’s supposed to convey clear meaning to the people “inside” while keeping the people outside — and the subject groups — in the dark about what is really being said.
We saw that done, and pretty badly, during the 2012 election, leading to a whole lot of discussion of dog whistles.
In terms of coded language, Priebus’ use of “cultural” and “emotional” are pretty hilarious, not that they obscure anything. Actually, the reason they are so funny is that they are so incredibly transparent, rely on stereotypes to be understood, are, even in their codedness, still insulting, and accompany the claims that Republicans are seeking to appeal to a wider base of voters.
It’s like he’s managed to find the most offensive polite iterations of dog whistles to date.
“Cultural,” of course, would refer to all those people who are not exactly like the current bland state of the GOP. “Cultural voters” sound like people who will vote for anyone who looks like them, regardless of content. A cultural voter supports only what his “culture” tells him he should support.
It might be time for the members and leadership of the GOP to invest in some mirrors, but I digress.
And then we have “emotional” voters. Now, what group had a big influence on the outcome of the election, and might be labeled as “emotional?” I can’t seem to get it, what with my womanly brain so wavery with emotions and the like.
Oh right. Emotional women voters, the ones who got all bent over shape by such trivial things as being told that their bodies had special magic to stop rape babies. That they, too, could aspire to be one among many in a binder full of women. That women vote with their hormones, a claim so widely ridiculed, CNN went so far as to remove the post.
Sheesh. Women. Always thinking we’re people with thoughts and stuff.
And herein lies the eternal problem with the Republicans, the reason they will continue to wither and die off, the last of their species in a unkind new world. Even when attempting to be “inclusive,” they are condescending and a shade off of hostile.
It’s not about ineffectively appearing to respect the people your party has historically treated with disrespect. It’s about actually respecting them and calling for meaningful inclusion.
Until the GOP gets that, it can expect many more losses to come.