Just as my mom always told me, I am special, for I have been chosen — by no less than Reince Priebus.
The man with the World of Warcraft name, in a letter he almost definitely wrote with his own hand just to me, dropped this bombshell in paragraph 2, with plenty of boldfacing and underlining: "After compiling and modeling information for thousands of activists in our database, YOU were selected to represent voters in the OFFICIAL Republican Platform Survey."
Me! To represent voters! Look, Ma!
And lest you think "mass mailing," let me dissuade you of that notion right away. "We need your response immediately — and no matter what — DO NOT DISCARD THIS SURVEY DOCUMENT!" Still not convinced? How 'bout this, Mr. Doubter, from the survey itself: "This DOCUMENT IS REGISTERED to the individual named below [that's me!] and must be accounted for during tabulation."
Wow. What a weight. Me, shaping the Republican National Committee's official platform! Lil' Ol' No. 1017.10163365. After 40 years in Washington, 25 years of covering politics, 12 years at the White House, 87 countries, all 50 states, a million-plus miles in the air, six conventions, five national campaigns — the fumbling and foundering Republican Party has turned to me for help.
All that hard work has finally paid off.
And in just 33 questions, I can remake the party of Lincoln! With fear and trembling, I study the correct way to answer each — filling in the little box completely, no X's or check marks, but no need for a No. 2 pencil — and dive in.
Q1: "Do you believe Barack Obama ..." Wait, Barack Obama? What's he got to do with the Republican Party? And isn't he a lame duck anyway? (Some might argue the lamest ever.) Why is he ... ? Oh, whatever. I'm setting the platform!
"Do you believe Barack Obama has used the presidency and the powers of his office to look out for the concerns and interests of Americans like you?"
Hmmm. Two answers, "yes," and "no." Well, let's see: The economy hasn't gotten better. This month, America broke a 55-year-old record, with the unemployment rate at or above 7.5 percent for 54 consecutive months. Employers are slashing full-time jobs in fear of Obamacare. The food stamp and disability rolls are at all-time highs, too. Overseas, the U.S. seems far more hated than ever before, despite the president's pledge that we would be loved. And, oof, so many scandals. So, "no."
But let's get to the Republicans. Even though this former community organizer looks ready to go down as one of the worst presidents in history, the GOP failed — twice — to defeat him. Surely the problem lies with the Republican platform and the party's inability to communicate its ideals and goals to the American people.
Q2: "In your opinion, was President Obama ..." What, again? "re-elected because people supported his agenda, or did he win because he and his allies spent hundreds of millions of dollars attacking Republicans and lying about our agenda?"
Hmmm. Two options to answer: "People voted for Obama's liberal agenda" or "Obama won based on the most negative campaign in history." I wonder which way the party wants me to answer? I do want them to love me: What would they want?
The survey mentions Mr. Obama 14 times. Obsess much? Oh, and questions 32 and 33, the last two? They cut to the core of the party's problems — and they're afterthoughts: "Should the Republican Party make a specific effort to encourage and recruit supporters and candidates from the Black, Hispanic, Asian and other minorities." Uh, duh.
And final question, one for the ladies (woo!): "Do you believe our Party makes an effort to address issues of concern to women?" "Makes an effort"? How about "addresses the concerns of women?"
Sorry, Reince, but No. 1017.10163365 tossed your survey in the trash. Where it belonged.
Days later, though, I got another letter — chosen again! "SPECIAL NOTICE: You have been selected to represent voters in Virginia's 5th Congressional District." Sweet. "In your estimation, have the job-creation policies funded by the Obama administration in the past four years been successful or have they been excessively costly and wasteful boondoggles?"
Headed to the trash can again, I see one last question — and realize, this is the only question that should be on the survey, followed by an enormous blank space in which to expound. It's 23 words: "Do you think that as a political party, Republicans need to assess their strategies and tactics to help turn out every voter possible?"
But I'd add 10 more words: "Please explain — Seriously, please! We haven't a clue! Tell us!!!"
⦁ Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.