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Elephant logo for the Republican Party.

You remember the "Autopsy Report" (actual name: Growth and Opportunity Project), issued by the Republican National Committee back in 2013, right?

After a second loss to Barack Obama, the GOP was wise to take a moment for some much-needed introspection. It had become obvious that — in the words of the report — "America looks different," and unless it took a different approach engaging the nation's shifting composition, the party would eventually go the way of the dodo bird.

The RNC surveyed thousands of Americans, and after compiling responses they issued their findings. They highlighted how and why the party was losing influence while laying out suggestions for regaining popular footing.

If it's remembered for anything, the Growth and Opportunity Project lobbied hard for a more inclusive Republican Party. It made cases for immigration reform, substantive and sustained minority outreach, a reconsideration of its LBGT stances, and urged for a dismantling of the right-wing echo chamber.

Regarding that last point, the authors wrote: "The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue. Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a Party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us."

AMEN (yes, all caps).

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Columnist David Martin

All told, it was a bold list of recommendations. And as irony would have it, the autopsy report is dead.

Heading into next week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, the RNC looks like it's doubling down on the positions that spurred the Autopsy Report in the first place. Three years since its publication, the GOP looks even more insular than before.

Some of this is due to Donald Trump. To earn the reputation as "a fighter" during the primaries, Trump threw haymakers at just about everyone, including immigrants and any friend of immigration reform. Unsurprisingly, a recent Gallup poll shows 77 percent of U.S. Hispanics having an unfavorable opinion of the presumptive GOP nominee. Worse, an NBC poll put Trump's unfavorability at 86 percent among black voters.

And then there's the developing official 2016 party platform. On immigration, The Daily Signal's congressional correspondent, Philip Wegmann, says the platform committee composed "the party's most aggressive immigration plank in recent memory." It has specific language targeting amnesty, sanctuary cities, and guest worker programs, while calling for the construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexican border, and the passage of a law setting a five-year prison sentence for any previously deported illegal immigrant caught returning to the states.

The platform also takes a hard line on gay and gender issues, standing firm on the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman, barring servicewomen from combat rolls and opposing the Obama administration's transgender bathroom directive.

Starting next week, the GOP will have to sell America on its vision for America. Expect a slight Trump bump in the convention afterglow (two polls released this week have him gaining momentum already), but the Democrats have the luxury of watching and listening to the Republican pitch first, and fashioning a rebuttal for their convention the following week.

I've been right with very few predictions during this presidential election season, so I'm not even going to pretend to know what's going to happen in November. That said, if this GOP retrenchment doesn't yield electoral success, the 2013 report needs to be exhumed.

An autopsy 2.0.

Contact David Allen Martin at davidallenmartin423@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DMart423.

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