Politics: Listening to enemies' advice is seldom wise, but that seems to be what's behind a new self-dissection by the Republican Party establishment. Autopsies make for a strange cure.
We're not in the business of providing consultation to political organizations, but to the extent the GOP is the vehicle for ideas that can save this country from expanding government, some observations are in order.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus' new "Growth and Opportunity Project" describes itself as "a top-to-bottom tuneup" for the party.
But it smacks more of juggler Michael Davis' joke about using as a prop George Washington's ax that cut down the cherry tree. "I had to replace the handle," Davis would tell his audience. "And the blade. But it occupies the same space metaphysically."
Renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been getting audiences excited as a possible candidate, but not by planning to transplant the GOP's soul. It's that he is a minority who personifies the party's Reaganite roots.
Raised by a single mother in Detroit, he rose to the top of his profession through discipline and hard work. He quotes scripture as often as he extols the free market, which suggests he can re-electrify the coalition of economic and social/moral conservatives that led Ronald Reagan to electoral victories and policy successes.
A presidential nominee such as Carson would do far more to attract nonwhites than the $10 million the Priebus report proposes spending on black and Hispanic outreach — including the insane idea of kowtowing to the NAACP and similar race-based leftist bastions.
After allegedly consulting more than 52,000 people, this 97-page autopsy recommends that the GOP "actively prepare for interviews with 'The Daily Show,' 'The Colbert Report,' MTV" and other "hip" media venues.
The idea seems to be that if Jon Stewart or David Letterman could just meet a well-briefed Sen. Marco Rubio in the flesh a few times, by 2016 they'll stop making jokes at his expense.
But Republicans will never make friends of the left-leaning media. As Reagan did, they must go over their heads to the people.
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