Today’s Big Read for those who are bored with the regular news (or lack thereof) is Robert Draper’s very long piece in the New York Times Magazine about the difficulty the Republican Party is experiencing in keeping up with the Obamas.
Draper wanders through a lot of territory in an article that is mostly drawn from interviews with Republicans—particularly younger Republicans—themselves. But his basic premise is that GOPers are becoming “obsolescent,” either because they are technologically inept, or don’t “get” young people or minorities (or unmarried women), or can’t get over stances on social issues that violently repel people who might otherwise vote for them, or let people like Rush Limbaugh define them, or are in denial about some or all of the above problems.
Because Draper quotes some reasonably well-known people (e.g., S.E. Cupp and Patrick Ruffini) sharing in elements of this indictment, it could cause a few days of rain on the parade of GOPers congratulating themselves for the “reinvention” they’ve already achieved by talking about immigration reform and cheering up-and-comers like Jindal and Rubio or even Rand Paul. The whole issue of the technology gap Democrats have opened up—which takes up a big chunk of Draper’s article—may be paradoxically reassuring to the conservative ideological mandarins of the GOP, since that’s something they probably figure they can just go out and buy.
But if you had to choose one theme that underlies the arguments Draper’s hearing from the cool kids of the GOP, it’s that the Christian Right has gotta go. It will be interesting to see if the leaders of that very important Republican faction—who have generated more Republican votes and dollars than all the hip libertarians ever born—realize they are once again being shown the door.
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