STUCK IN THE PAST…. A friend of mine just passed along the latest fundraising email from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in this case, signed by Utah’s Orrin Hatch. The message almost reads like a parody, but this is the actual text of the appeal:

Dear Fellow Conservative,

You’d think it was the 1970s all over again.

Liberals are resurrecting Jimmy Carter’s failed tax, energy and economic plans.

Iran is saber-rattling against the West.

And Hanoi Jane Fonda is stumping for liberal Senate candidates.

That’s right, last Saturday night, Jane Fonda and all of her far-left Hollywood liberal friends raised $1 million for Democrat Senate candidates with one goal in mind — to break our Senate firewall and seize total control of our government! […]

These Hollywood liberals understand the stakes…. Hollywood may not be on our side, but we have you!

When I talk about the modern Republican Party being intellectually bankrupt, and lacking anything even resembling new ideas, this is a helpful illustration of my point.

Orrin Hatch and the NRSC, in the midst of a Wall Street crisis and with voters demanding change, believes their best pitch to fill their coffers is to talk about Jimmy Carter, “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, and Hollywood liberals. Seriously.

Now, I suspect there are probably a handful of Republican donors who’ll get this email and think, “Jane Fonda? I better get my checkbook!” But I also suspect this group is fairly small.

Just yesterday, Sarah Palin suggested voters are going to choose “new ideas, new energy” this year. Republicans had better hope she’s wrong.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.