Since Mitt Romney’s loss, the GOP has hired experts to help move the public opinion needle and re-cast itself as more mainstream and in-touch. Perceptions held by many as a white, male-dominated, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-science, anti-et cetera organization has repeatedly hurt the party’s chances to win presidential races (it has done so twice in the last six elections).
So one has to wonder how more moderate Republicans feel about the latest slap in the face to a very large demographic: women. It came to light recently that a former member of the Bush Administration is quietly heading a nonprofit group called The Hillary Project, dedicated to stopping a Hillary Clinton presidency. On its website is a game which invites the user to hear sound bites of Mrs. Clinton, and then use an animated hand to slap her as she speaks. Created by the “SlapHillary Team,” the Hillary Project site features other amateurish animated games including “Dancing Hillary” and “Street Fight: Obama vs. Hillary.”
While this juvenile stuff may appeal to certain members of the GOP fringe, it has the opposition really angry. Charles Clymer wrote in the online site Politics, “It was only in February that 22 senators and 138 representatives (all Republicans) voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that it protects gays, Native Americans living in reservations, and undocumented immigrants.” He went on to note, “No Republican leader has denounced the game, which leads one to believe they’re testing the waters to see how it pans out with the public.” A group called Left Action wrote on its site, “This ridiculous behavior is why no amount of ‘re-branding’ is going to help Republicans win over women voters — they just don’t get it. Violence against women isn’t a ‘game.’ Slapping a woman for speaking isn’t actually a joke. It’s just gross.”
I surely agree. The GOP’s re-branding efforts have to start with a denunciation of such things, or a White House victory will surely elude it again. Your thoughts?