Normally you don't expect to see the words "Republicans" and "introspection" right next to each other. Like supermodel and barbecue. Physicist and polka. Gazelle and ophthalmology. You catch my drift.
But that's exactly what happened last week, when the Republican Party released a 100-page report detailing why their last presidential campaign skidded into the emergency room Dead on Arrival.
The findings were compiled through analysis, interviews and feedback from campaign managers, focus groups and most likely augmented by clandestine hanging out at bars during happy hour in the proximity of graveyards and funeral parlors. Some paint it as a comprehensive post-election review. Others argue it's incomprehensible. The media calls it an autopsy. A self-addressed post-mortem love letter in the spirit of Poe.
Hogwash and flummery could also be thrown into the descriptive mix as the dispatch's theme finds nothing wrong with the party message; the problem is all in the delivery. No need to demonstrate more compassion, the trick is to seem more compassionate. Got to learn how to win Ohio without ticking off Arkansas. In other words, all they need to do is to bleach the leopard's spots.
The study was commissioned by members of the party's hierarchy and given the official title - Growth and Opportunity Project. A GOP for the GOP. Although Grossly Obvious Poppycock fits as well. Claiming party purity trumps electoral victory, there is already heavy pushback from the right. "What good is it to win earthly spoils when you lose your immortal soul and your breath still smells like embalming fluid?"
What this really calls for is an independent perspective. You want an autopsy, we'll give you an autopsy.
"Summary Report of Autopsy concerning the corpse of the 2012 Republican campaign. External Examination. Close inspection of the body, an old white billionaire, reveals a serrated knife approximately 9 inches long with the initials, Grover Norquist, engraved on the handle, protruding from under the right side between the 4th & 5th ribs.
"Gunshot residue found covering the right hand in excess of 1/2-inch depth, which considering the holes in the right temple exhibiting upward trajectories, is consistent with what can only be described as a series of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. DNA tests reveal skin samples found under the broken nails of both hands are indicative of numerous encounters between the victim and an unknown woman or perhaps group of women.
"The nose is missing which corresponds to the victim's recent recurring publicized bout of TeaPartyitis, a disease which causes the sufferer to cut off his nose to spite his face. In the rectum, what appears to be a wooden stick 6 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter, has been lodged for quite some time causing a critical backup of feces.
"Pending toxicology results from the lab, internal examination reveals organs in a state consistent with the victim's age, with two conspicuous anomalies. A steady diet of bunk and bamboozle has dulled the senses creating a milky film that covers the retinas. Most exceptional was the astonishing discovery of the total absence of a heart.
"It is the opinion of this office the cause of death was this myocardial void along with the aforementioned complications from various acute traumas. In other words, the victim was probably dead for a long time, just didn't know it."
- Five-time Emmy nominee Will Durst's new e-book, "Elect to Laugh!," is now available at Redroom.com, Amazon and many other book retailers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.