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10 Reasons the GOP Is Really Messed Up -- According to Republicans

It's too right-wing. Or not conservative enough. It could be the contempt for voters, or being the Party of Stupid. One thing's for sure: Everybody hates Karl Rove.

Just as the Republican Party might have contemplated an end to its wound-licking (the better to gin up its scandal-making machine for President Barack Obama’s second term), vanquished Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney proved to be -- for liberals, at least -- the gift that keeps on giving.

The president, Romney told a group of campaign donors on a November 14 conference call, won re-election by promising free stuff to his homeboys and women’s libbers and brown people who inconveniently declined to self-deport -- or words to that effect.

“What the president -- president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government,” Romney told his fat cats, apparently unaware that reporters were listening in. Soon that particular cat leapt out of the proverbial bag, and it was the 47 percent all over again -- offering a vision of the majority of the electorate that voted for Obama as a bunch of moochers. The one difference, of course, was that no longer the party’s presidential contender, Romney learned that Republicans were free to kick him to the curb, which they did with steel-toed boots.

In the Los Angeles Times, Morgan Little wrote that within two short weeks, Romney went from being the party’s standard-bearer to being “a punching bag for fellow Republicans...”

The effect of Romney’s remarks was to extend for a second week the rounds of public ruminations by Republicans, via the Sunday talk shows, on what went wrong in the presidential election that Republicans were so certain they were poised to win. The Grand Old Party not only lost, but lost big among key demographics, including Latinos, 71 percent of whom voted for Obama, and unmarried women, 68 percent of whom voted for the president.

Here’s a sampling of 10 reasons given by some of the Republican Party’s leading lights -- including Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Meghan McCain -- and why the party failed so miserably, and what it needs to do in order to make a comeback.

1. Bobby Jindal: G.O.P. = “the stupid party”

The Republican governor of Louisiana made a grand show of great offense at Romney’s remarks, stating such offense in multiple media outlets over the course of several days, and with a flourish on Fox News Sunday, where Jindal’s consternation seemed as much focused on the bad politics of the Romney comments as it was on the contempt shown by the nominee for everyday Americans. On Fox, Jindal’s segment (which also featured Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker) was set up with a snippet of video featuring Jindal saying: “We've got to stop being the stupid party. You know what I mean by that. Certainly, we need to stop making stupid comments.”

Interviewed by host Chris Wallace, Jindal elaborated:

If we want people to like us, we have to like them first. And, you don't start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought. We are an aspirational party.

Let the Democratic Party be the party that says demography is destiny, that says we are going to divide people by race, by gender, by class. We as a Republican Party, believe our conservative principles are good for every single voter. It's not just a marketing campaign. It's not just having better PR folks. We're going to go and convince and fight for every single vote, showing them we are the party for the middle class, upward mobility. We don't start winning majorities and winning elections by insulting our voters.

2. Lindsey Graham: “We’re in a big hole,” and Romney keeps digging.

When he’s not busy trying to turn the Benghazi tragedy into a scandal, the U.S. senator from South Carolina apparently spends his down time trying to figure out how to fix his own party. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Graham offered a laundry list of things the Republicans had gotten wrong -- including anti-immigration rhetoric and the scapegoating of the poor. From the MTP transcript: