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The Republican Party pulled of a remarkable feat yesterday. In a 24-hour time span they managed to alienate 4 different groups of voters–gays, women, moderates, and African-Americans. So much for that re-branding effort.

First, Senator John Thune of South Dakota:

Conservative leaders have warned the nomination of a gay or lesbian justice could complicate Obama’s effort to confirm a replacement for Souter, and another Republican senator on Wednesday warned a gay nominee would be too polarizing.

“I know the administration is being pushed, but I think it would be a bridge too far right now,” said GOP Chief Deputy Whip John Thune. “It seems to me this first pick is going to be a kind of important one, and my hope is that he’ll play it a little more down the middle. A lot of people would react very negatively.”

Personally Sen. Thune, I don’t think 21% of Americans counts as “a lot of people.”

Then former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie went on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and said that Samuel Alito was chosen to replace Sandra Day O’Connor because “there wasn’t a woman who was of a comparable experience and skill and temperament and intellect.”

Strike two.

Last but not least was the war of words between Colin Powell and de facto GOP leader, Rush Limbaugh.

The Republican Party is in big trouble and needs to find a way to move back to the middle of the country, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday.

Powell said the GOP is “getting smaller and smaller” and “that’s not good for the nation.” He also said he hopes that emerging GOP leaders, such as House Minority Whip Cantor, will not keep repeating mantras of the far right.

“The Republican Party is in deep trouble,” Powell told corporate security executives at a conference in Washington sponsored by Fortify Software Inc. The party must realize that the country has changed, he said.

He blasted radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, saying he does not believe that Limbaugh or conservative icon Ann Coulter serve the party well. He said the party lacks a “positive” spokesperson. “I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without.”

Rush responded by saying Powell is “just another liberal” and that “what Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat.” He then topped it off by saying “the only reason” Powell endorsed Obama “was race.”

Strikes three and four. Moderate Republicans are now “liberals” and should leave the Republican Party, and African-Americans vote strictly along racial lines.

The Republicans have gone from a tent to an umbrella to….I don’t know, what’s smaller than an umbrella?