Most of today's TV shows are about corpses.
There was a time when corpse-based TV was relegated mostly Court TV and anytime the E! network decided to let Joan Rivers in front of the camera. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
Currently the highest-rated TV shows all prominently feature corpses. From the opening scene/grisly murder tableau of every single episode of "NCIS" to the reanimated body of Mariah Carey on "American Idol," TV has a current fascination with dead bodies and/or examining said dead bodies, preferably with witty banter.
So it was particularly confusing when Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus released a report detailing what the GOP has to do to avoid another electoral defeat like they suffered in 2012, he referred to it as an "autopsy."
Autopsy? Grim notions of party irrelevancy aside, Mr. Priebus, don't you watch TV?
An "autopsy" is what is performed on the victim of the show, usually before the opening credits. What you wanted to say was "examination," "forensic analysis," or at least "post mortem," which means the same things as "autopsy" but doesn't sound as grisly.
The report, titled "Growth and Opportunity Project" (in a move that I?am certain has expended the GOP's yearly allotment of whimsy) takes an honest and often painful approach to self criticism and reflection, judging where the party needs to change to reflect the undulating makeup of the United States.
I'm just kidding; it mostly talks about Twitter.
Well, maybe not Twitter specifically; although the great Tweet is mentioned in a list of new media options for the GOP to disseminate their message that includes Facebook, Instagram and Reddit.
Republicans, this is a free one: Stay away from Reddit. The voting populace may be able to stomach the GOP elders attempting to post sepia toned pictures of their food but ... have you guys ever been on Reddit? Ever seen the worst that humanity has to offer, posted side by side with a picture of some guy's cat playing in the snow? No website shifts so quickly between appalling and "awwww!" as Reddit, and you guys do not have the online chops to figure out which side the coin will land on when you're online trying to ask people if they like tax cuts.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of electoral prophecy from the GOP's GOP is the section regarding early voting.
Remember when Florida was stalling their early voting lines in 2012? Or the early voting disasters in Ohio during the 2012 election?
Well, this is verbatim from the Growth and Opportunity Project: "This trend in early, absentee, and online voting is here to stay. Republicans must alter their strategy and acknowledge the trend as future reality, utilizing new tactics to gain victory on Election Day; it is imperative to note that this will be a critical cultural shift within the Party."
So, now early voting is a good thing? And did you guys just say online voting was a good thing?
This seems like good news to me. More people get to vote, more people participate in the process and Polycephalic Pundit Monster gets to busy itself for months saying this is the worst scourge ever to befall our nation/the greatest exaltation of civil rights since the days of Dr. King. What's not to like?
Well, a large number of these reactionary anti-early voting rules sprang up sometime around Mitt Romney's 47 percent video surfaced. But since they did little to no good, why keep them around?
Why? Because this is Iowa. And for all that I love about this state, we often fall a little behind the cultural norms.
OK, more than a little.
Alright, I heard a guy blasting The Goo Goo Dolls out of his car today, irony free.
We're a little behind the times.
And in the latest example of our haggard shuffle toward an ever moving cultural zeitgeist, our illustrious Secretary of State Matt Schultz has just now enacted some controversial new voting restrictions, aimed at routing out the 10 people that voted illegally in the last election.
Why now? The party is over for voting restrictions! The GOP is now utilizing the radical approach of getting more people to vote for them, rather than less people to vote for the other team. Why enact these extraneous and potentially damaging rules now?
Because while a multitude of states rushed to enact voter restriction laws the good people of Iowa, represented here by our court system, issued an injunction against Schultz's new rules, saying that he should have gone through the normal rule making process and, you know, let the public have some input about restricting their most basic right as an American.
So, it looks like we missed the boat of voting restrictions being cool and once again have fallen behind the times. But at least we're up to date on popular TV shows! Speaking of which, it's almost autopsy time on NCIS, and we all know if you don't pay attention to the autopsy you might as well just turn the whole thing off.
Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.