The Death of Republicanism As We Know It

This post, written by Jonathan Singer, originally appeared on MyDD

It's always good to take articles in The Washington Times with at least a bit of salt. Even the paper's reporting -- well, especially the paper's reporting -- comes with a rather clear agenda that should make any reader at least consider the editors' and particularly the publishers' agenda. With this in mind, an article in the paper out tomorrow on the dire situation at the Republican National Committee is rather interesting. Take a look:
The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.
There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations, another fired staffer said, reporting that many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call "amnesty" for illegal aliens.
"Everyone donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue," said the former employee.
It doesn't take a genius to see that this article is a rather transparent attempt to influence the legislative effort to reform America's immigration policy, specifically by scaring Republicans into believing that their party's viability is threatened by the potential for a compromise on the issue.

But leaving this aside, it's also clear that the RNC is huring right now, and hurting bad. Whoever is leaking to The Times wants folks inside the Beltway to believe that this is a result of the immigration deal, but in reality it goes far beyond that. Go back to polling two months ago. Already then the Republican Party's favorability rating among the American people was about as low as it has been in the last 25 years. Go back even before that to November. Democrats won more seats in the House on November 7 than Republicans have won in any election in more than 50 years.

These numbers are not a consequence of the current immigration deal. They are a result of the failure of conservatism and modern Republicanism. Even the Republican base is beginning to understand this. It is no coincidence that Republican presidential candidates are drawing fewer voters to their rallies and fewer donations to their campaign accounts, that Republican voters are less engaged today than Democratic voters, that Republicans are having significant problems recruiting the candidates necessary to take back one or both chambers of Congress. Americans don't like the Republican Party -- and apparently neither does the Republican base.

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