A million years ago, maybe a little longer, Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett (then in his earlier  term) and Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff  insisted to me that their party would expand its base to include you-know-whos. It would be a magisterial commitment by two GOP draft horses to make the party whole for generations to come.

Didn’t happen quite that way.  Not even close.  So after its  Comeback Team Romney/Ryan debacle in November –  a presidential election that even Karl Rove and Peggy Noonan decided was in their party’s victory column for the asking –  the Republican brass are at it again.  They will spend $10 million, it says here, to send an army of circuit riders into the boonies to preach the party’s brand.  Suddenly minorities have become the party’s search for the Holy Grail.

If there is a true opposite to Knute Rockne’s famous half-time dressing room oration to his wilting team before sending it back onto the field, Reince Priebus,  the less-than-inspiring  national Republican Party chairman will have to do. He says the voter roundup  will  include “hundreds of people – paid – across the country, from coast to coast, in Hispanic, African-American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand,  talking about what we believe in—”

Hold it right there, fella!  Ohioans already know what the party believes in. Let me remind you:

Begin with the belabored effort to limit the voter turnout last November. None other than John Boehner, the funereal Speaker,  told a luncheon group  hosted by the Christian Science Monitor last August: “This election is about economics…These groups [minority and poor voters] have been hit the hardest.  They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to  you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

Now the Ohio Republican pols want to cut back the time to gather signatures  for  referendums, a bill that Kasich signed a few days ago. It impedes any effort to challenge a law.

From Planned Parenthood, to abortion, to same-sex marriage (Sen. Portman gets an ad hoc  pass on this one), to gun control,  the governor and the Republican controlled legislature keep doing awful things that are running in the opposite direction of the public mood.

And I haven’t even mentioned Republicans’ failed attack on unions in SB5, which was mauled at the polls.

Come to think of it, when Priebus talks of a $10 million outlay to  woo new voters with the Republican brand, he does sound like  a cheapskate. It won’t be that easy. Tea Partyers are talking about starting their own party in Ohio.  Nobody except the governor and his A-Team seems happy about his proposed tax plan.

Politically, the Buckeye State for national Republicans has become Brand X. The only question now:  What has taken them so long to figure that out – if indeed they have?

  • So this is the Republican version of community organizing?

  • Odd they are spending $10 million for outreach when the Koch Bros will pay them that much to rig the elections

  • These guys are sounding more and more irrelevant as each day passes — except of course that they can screw up the state for years by marching forward to the past.

  • nowaRINO

    I need to write a book titled, ‘It’s the platform, stupid!’

  • Thanks for telling us that the governor already signed SB 47, the bill that will cut down the time to collect signatures for any referendum. That story was in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but the Columbus Dispatch has chosen not to print this news for their readers.

  • dmoore2222

    Great comment.

  • dmoore2222

    When you villify and maginalize everyone else then think you’re going to somehow wow them into supporting you in an election, especially after you tried to suppress their vote in the last one, you have a huge reality problem. And if you think money will solve it, then ask Karl Rove how it worked for him.

  • nowaRINO

    And they are working night and day because they see the writing on the wall.

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