The bottom line is that the GOP has a playbook for "winning" at American politics. I consider it dirty politics, anti-democratic, and in some cases downright unconstitutional. Their base considers it smart, tough and justified.
Putting all the civil rights issues aside for a moment, what the GOP has done in the past 2 years with the Supreme Court is a completely unprecedented party-first power play. There is nothing remotely similar to:
1) Refusing to vote on a nomination for 10 months.. and the appointee was a left-CENTRIST (leave it to liberals to compromise upfront and get screwed).
2) Make rule changes specifically so they could force through subsequent appointees without a filibuster and unbalance the court as much as possible as quickly as possible.
The GOP is not playing at democracy, they are running a slow moving coup to install a conservative America, and fueling it on the backs of culture war.
1) Stoke your base in red states with cultural issues. Abortion, Supreme Court, immigration. You can win elections and lose the popular vote by taking advantage of the electoral college. Cast all democrats as elitists and wannabe socialists.
2) Pour money into winning state seats, so that you can gerrymander districts. Now The House has more GOP seats than expected - electoral strategy all over again.
3) Take ownership of patriotism - military, MAGA etc when you have no particular moral authority or stronger record here. Example: funding for the VA.
4) Exploit every loophole in a partisan manner. Anything Obama touches is automatically rejected. Refuse to confirm Garland. If you can vote to change a rule in your favor, do it that way.
5) Unity. No matter if it's a child molester, a philanderer, a liar, an ex-Democrat, always act as a blockade and keep your own people in office.
1. Convince minorities and women they are perpetual victims and that the Dems are the only thing between them and total ruin. If a group of minorities, like say Asians, succeed without help and don't vote for you, try to discriminate against them on campuses (wink wink Harvard) and if a minority succeeds and identifies as conservative do what you can to paint them as an Uncle Tom.
2. Give taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, so that Planned Parenthood will give it back to them.
3. Cave on unsustainable promises to corrupt unions, who then support their campaigns and deliver the vote.
4. Give money to academia, which jacks up the price of college anyway. Create a generation of people in debt beholden to the party that promises free higher education. Make sure conservatives are person non grata on campus and create "safe spaces" where kids can be free of hearing the opposite point of view in the unlikely scenario where they can actually find it.
5. Import voters from other countries and pander to them. If anyone points this out call them bigots.
6. Create class warfare knowing that most people aren't in the 1%, or even the 20%. Continue to live in the biggest houses you can.
7. Attempt to take the scientific high ground by declaring some things settled, whereas other things depend on your feelings. Declare anyone that disagrees uncultured rubes.
8. Make buddies with Hollywood. Collect money from the Weinsteins of the world and praise the Polanskis. Act shocked and jump on the witch hunt train when stuff comes out that everyone knew about for 20 years. Sell yourselves as the only group that values women. Hollywood and your buddies in the media won't point out the lunacy on this one.
All this seems like a recipe for winning. It's actually a recipe for bringing us Trump.