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Hey, Ronna! Message This!


Now, while Ronna McDaniel is still in the news, please return with me to last year — almost exactly — when she was still pretending to lead the Republican National Committee. The people of Wisconsin had just elected, by ten percentage points, a sane person to head up their Supreme Court, and Ronna was doing what she does worst: damage control. 

“When you’re losing by 10 points, there is a messaging issue.”

 Ronna McDaniel, Republican Party Chair, reacting to the Wisconsin election

Y'think, Ronna?

You think your message might not be getting across? You think forced birth as a lifestyle isn't generating the numbers you'd hoped? You think an assault rifle in every school isn't making it as a talking point? You think voter suppression just isn't being sold right?

Well, Ronna, here's some free advice from a marketing communications professional. Take your very worst ideas — the ones people most loathe, the ones that cast your whole party in the vilest possible light, the ones that are the clearest failures — and double down on them.

Oh, wait, that's what you've been doing. That's why you took a ten-point stomping last week in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin, Ronna. A state the GOP had controlled for over a decade. A state your clowns had gerrymandered to the very brink of permanent minority rule. A state where, even with control of both houses of the legislature, even with every election-related law tilted in your favor, even with all that dark money raining into an obscenely expensive race, even with all those advantages, you still managed to get creamed.

You made your whole party toxic, even to voters you'd had in your pocket since Reagan. But yeah, it must have been the messaging.

Not that the messaging wasn't precious. Trash the best economy in two decades. Flog the old immigration scam like it's 2017. Rail against the crime problems that don't exist, while ignoring the ones that do. Denounce the safety net as — wait for it — socialism. And make everybody absolutely furious about Hunter Biden's laptop.

But above all, never, ever talk about anything that any voter actually wants.

They're onto you Ronna. All of you. After all this time, you finally pushed them too far. Through sheer stupidity, you and your GOP pulled back the curtains and exposed yourselves for the bloodthirsty fiends you really are. And you distilled all that evil into one simple message anyone could understand:

A fetus has more rights than its mother.

And that, Ronna, is not a messaging problem. That's a humanitarian problem. Your party will never understand the difference.

So you'll have to keep learning the hard way that the Dobbs decision was the worst thing that's happened to the Republican party since the New Deal. And you did it to yourselves.

It's not like it's a surprise. You had plenty of warning. It was clear from the day Dobbs was handed down that people were not going to stand for it.

Remember the 2022 Kansas referendum? An eighteen-point bloodbath in a blood-red state. Did your party listen?

Remember the 2022 midterms, when you underperformed on such an epic scale? When your own voters were driven to disgust? When Pennsylvania and Michigan flipped blue? Did your party listen?

Think about that, Ronna. You spent decades creating single-issue voters, voters who would reliably come through as long as you kept hammering away on abortion and nothing else. Now, through sheer inept brutishness, you've created a whole new army of single-issue voters, but now they're all on the other side, and they're really pissed.

And it's not just your ideas on abortion they hate. It seems they're having a problem with the gun thing, as well. Seems they're not so happy seeing children shredded in their schools.

It never occurred to you that liking guns while hating their obscene proliferation aren't mutually exclusive positions. So now you're even losing the gun people.

You might want to rework your PowerPoint slides, because there's no question what people are screaming for: abortion rights, voting rights, gun control, democracy. And you're not delivering on any of them. Even worse, you're pushing them all in the wrong direction.

I know, it's not fair to single you out, Ronna. Your party is thoroughly infested with termites at least as corrosive as you are. But as head of that party, you do make a convenient symbol for the rot.

So while I'm sure you personally had little to do with the pathetic expulsion of two Black legislators in Tennessee, you still have to clean up the mess. Or try to. Because beyond being cruel and utterly tone deaf, the episode created instant national figures of two young, clearly talented politicians. You'll be dealing with them for years, maybe decades, to come.

You blew it, Ronna. You and your party had the wind at your backs. You were edging closer and closer to the fascist state of your dreams. You could almost taste the minority rule, the subjugation of women, the debasement of Black people, the suppression of the entire LGBTQ community.

But you let your fangs show. You let those red state legislatures push for every warped fantasy they could conjure. They embraced the cruelty.

It never occurred to you that your voters might see through it all. You'd conned them into thinking you had their backs, when all you really had was their money. You saw no reason to actually govern, since you'd trained them to accept messaging instead. And you didn't think they'd notice when the messaging veered off so sharply from reality, that even the mindless started to mind.

Not that this will make an immediate difference in the reddest states. Those states will get to keep doing what they're doing. As a result they'll be losing doctors, teachers, professionals, and businesses to states that are more recognizably human.

And the best messaging in the world won't get them back.


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