A GOP STRATEGY THAT PAYS DIVIDENDS…. A couple of weeks ago, members of the Senate Republican leadership traveled to New York for a private, behind-closed-doors chat with hedge fund managers, bankers, and Wall Street elites. By all appearances, the message wasn’t especially subtle: the GOP would fight against new safeguards, and Wall Street should reward Republicans with campaign contributions.

I guess it’s working.

Republicans may lose the fight over Wall Street regulations, but the fight has helped their campaign accounts.

For the first time since 2004, the biggest Wall Street firms are now giving most of their campaign donations to Republicans.

Last year, J.P. Morgan’s PAC gave most of its donations to Dems. This year, most of its donations are going to Republicans.

Last year, Morgan Stanley gave most of its donations to Dems. This year, 80% of its donations are going to Republicans.

Goldman Sachs has been a reliable Democratic supporter, until this year, with most of its PAC money going to the GOP.

Yesterday, after Republicans blocked a debate on Wall Street reform, the RNC issued a press release that said Democrats “stand with” Wall Street, adding that Senate Dems failed “in their attempt to move forward with bailout for their Wall Street fat cat friends.”

Given reality, it’s hard to overstate how blisteringly stupid this is. The RNC must seriously believe we’re all idiots.

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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.