There's been a lot of hand-wringing among conservatives of the Rush/Hannity school in the last few days, a lot of concern about this outreach question, and honestly, the tone of the discussion is beginning to sound like the last days of a failed 1950s marriage. The husband who's gone all day at work comes home and throws his hands up in the air in mock frustration: what do you want from me, another Cadillac? Another fur coat? I just got you new shoes last week!
And the wife, who's loved this man for 20 years despite his abject stupidity, just sighs. All she wants her husband to do is listen to her, or take a day off work sometime and take her for a drive in the country, or make some spontaneous show of affection, maybe popping home for lunch like in the old days – just some evidence that he's even faintly aware of what's going on in her head. But when they try to talk it out, things just get worse, because in his very manner of asking her what's wrong, all hubby does is reveal that he thinks of his wife entirely as a nagging, financial parasite who's always on his ass about something.
Similarly, the fact that so many Republicans this week think that all Hispanics care about is amnesty, all women want is abortions (and lots of them) and all teenagers want is to sit on their couches and smoke tons of weed legally, that tells you everything you need to know about the hopeless, anachronistic cluelessness of the modern Republican Party. A lot of these people, believe it or not, would respond positively, or at least with genuine curiosity, to the traditional conservative message of self-reliance and fiscal responsibility.
But modern Republicans will never be able to spread that message effectively, because they have so much of their own collective identity wrapped up in the belief that they're surrounded by free-loading, job-averse parasites who not only want to smoke weed and have recreational abortions all day long, but want hardworking white Christians like them to pay the tab. Their whole belief system, which is really an endless effort at congratulating themselves for how hard they work compared to everyone else (by the way, the average "illegal," as Rush calls them, does more real work in 24 hours than people like Rush and me do in a year), is inherently insulting to everyone outside the tent – and you can't win votes when you're calling people lazy, stoned moochers.
It's hard to say whether it's good or bad that the Rushes of the world are too clueless to realize that it's their attitude, not their policies, that is screwing them most with minority voters. If they were self-aware at all, Mitt Romney would probably be president right now. So I guess we should be grateful that the light doesn't look like it will ever go on. But wow, is their angst tough to listen to.