U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik was one of the few Northeast Republicans—and Republican women—left standing in the House of Representatives after November’s midterm bloodbath. Now, she wants an “autopsy” looking at why the Republicans did so poorly, as if the problem isn’t obvious to anyone with a working set of eyes.
The Hill reports that on Monday, Stefanik and three other House Republicans—two of whom, Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas and Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, lost their re-election bids—circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter calling on the Republican leadership to figure out why the party tanked in the suburbs and with women.
“We fell short across multiple demographics, including women, who represent a growing segment of America’s voting population,” the letter reportedly said. “Minimizing or ignoring the root causes behind these historic losses will lead us to repeat them...We urge your support for the National Republican Congressional Committee to officially assess the reasons behind our party’s historic losses and to develop recommendations for implementation moving forward.”
After the election, the number of Republican women in Congress plummeted from 23 to 13. And in New York specifically, Democrats picked up three seats, leaving Republicans with just six seats out of 27 in the state.
“Addressing the root causes of our party’s historic congressional losses is our duty, and ours alone. We can and must do better,” the letter reportedly went on to say. “Addressing this crisis right now is the first step toward ensuring Republican candidates better reflect America, and to winning more elections.”
What this letter didn’t appear to mention (from the excerpts the Hill posted) is the elephant in the room: Donald Trump, the Republican president, and the guy who’s been accused of sexual harassment or assault by 19 women. It also didn’t appear to mention the GOP’s antagonism toward reproductive rights; the language used by Republican senators during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing; the party’s longtime placation of racists and fascists which has all but eradicated the few black Republicans left and hardened Latinx support for Democrats in the Southwest; or the party’s blatant attempt to take health insurance coverage away from millions of people, which Stefanik herself voted for.
The NRCC’s new chairman, Rep. Tom Emmer, has been in a public spat with Stefanik this month over her call for the party to help more women in the primaries. According to the Hill, however, he’s taking this letter very seriously. “He is on board 100 percent with what the letter is asking,” someone described as a “GOP source close to Emmer” told the website. “We are on the same team, we want to find out what went wrong, correct it, and win the majority in 2020.”
Because the House Republican caucus is full of cowards who remain terrified of angering our soaking wet boy in the White House, whatever “autopsy” comes out of this whole thing will likely be neutered and read by no one. The last major GOP autopsy following President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 called for the party to moderate itself, saying that if it didn’t do so, “It will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win a presidential election in the near future.”
To give you an idea of how seriously they took that: The person who commissioned that study was Reince Priebus, Trump’s first chief of staff.