The Republican National Committee (RNC) has released its long-awaited study on the 2012 elections, with detailed recommendations about how the party can improve its future.

The report, entitled the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” was compiled by a special committee consisting of former Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, veteran GOP adviser Sally Bradshaw, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico committeewoman Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina committeeman Glenn McCall.

For several months, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has referred to the committee’s report on the state of the party as an “autopsy.” It is an apt description, because the 100-page report has as much chance of reviving the GOP as an autopsy has of reviving a corpse. The report effectively suggests Republicans try to compete with Democrats by imitating them–not just in tactics and appearance, but in policy and ideas as well.

Thus far, media coverage of the report has anticipated its recommendations for a shorter primary process, fewer debates, an earlier national convention, and closer engagement with minority communities. Whatever the merits of these suggestions, they mask the fundamental flaw of the report: a failure to acknowledge, much less learn from, the successes of the recent past–all of which were built on conservative revival.

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