Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Young Republicans Are Concerned About Leadership, Not How Their Leaders Tweet

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 25 2013

Top Romney for America strategist Stuart Stevens raised a straw man Sunday in a Washington Post op-ed that attacks "young, technology-focused Republican operatives who feel that the Republican Party should be doing more (which we should) and that, horrors of horrors, I chose not to tweet during the campaign. (For the record, I’ve had a Twitter account since shortly after the service launched and follow it perhaps a bit too obsessively.)"

His unrepentant reply does little to bridge a growing generational rift in the GOP.

Stevens' Twitter account was never what worried the younger operatives quoted in Robert Draper's New York Magazine piece from last week. I spoke to some of the same people in the course of reporting a piece that focused more precisely on the Republican Party's technology issues.

They told me — and I reported — that the subpar state of the party's approach to social media, or any aspect of technology, was just a symptom of a disease endemic in Republican politics. Draper found this too, although I am obliged to point out that he did so about a week and a half after I reported much the same thing. The key paragraph from his piece is not the one that takes a swipe at Stevens for not playing the 140-character game. Instead, it's this one that sets the tone for the rest of the piece:

The unnerving truth, which the Red Edge team and other younger conservatives worry that their leaders have yet to appreciate, is that the Republican Party’s technological deficiencies barely begin to explain why the G.O.P. has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. The party brand — which is to say, its message and its messengers — has become practically abhorrent to emerging demographic groups like Latinos and African-Americans, not to mention an entire generation of young voters. As one of the party’s most highly respected strategists told me: “It ought to concern people that the most Republican part of the electorate under Ronald Reagan were 18-to-29-year-olds. And today, people I know who are under 40 are embarrassed to say they’re Republicans. They’re embarrassed! They get harassed for it, the same way we used to give liberals a hard time.”

There is a subtext here that analysts and operatives have been dancing around for months, and it is that fresh faces, and fresh ideas, are not given the same weight in the GOP that they have received in Democratic politics at least since the Howard Dean campaign.

This piece first appeared in today's First POST.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

GO

More