Joe Conason on why young Republicans can’t change their party:
The young Republicans bitterly mock the Romney campaign’s technological ineptitude, and complain more broadly about the party’s repellent reputation among young voters, minorities, gays, immigrants, women and everyone sympathetic to them. They largely seem to believe that if the Republican National Committee would hire people like them—and if Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akin would simply shut the eff up—then the party could expand beyond its narrow, aging, white, and religiously conservative base.
As they hasten to assure Draper, these dissidents would adopt a friendlier attitude toward those who are different and are even eager to engineer a few minor platform alterations to accommodate immigrants or gays.
But why would they make such concessions to decency? Not out of any sense of justice or shame. They are not interested in social justice and they only feel ashamed of losing. Rather than honestly confronting the harm done by pandering to bigotry and division, they’d prefer to paper it over with a smiley face and move on.
By proclaiming that their defeats are due mainly to technological inferiority or bad messaging, the young Republicans ignore the underlying source of popular disdain for their party. It is true that their technology was feeble, their candidate and consultants were incompetent, and their messaging was often repellent. But the self-styled hipsters of the right are in fact not much different from the Tea Party octogenarians in their hostility to government investment, social insurance, health care, education, and industry – and both are in conflict with the evolving attitudes of young Americans across all demographic lines.