Monday, May 12, 2008



GOP leadership-- Is this what you deserve?

Everyday or so another poll comes out trumpeting how Bush has reached his polling nadir... for that particular poll. In February Bush hit 19% among all Americans (18% among registered voters) according to ARG, as good a polling outfit as any other. ARG has him up at 22% in April. Today ABC News/Washington Post released one that says 82% of Americans say the country is seriously off on the wrong track. There has been a great deal of speculation, analysis and even some hard data that show that McCain's association with Bush is likely to be even more harmful than Jeremiah Wright is to Obama-- even with the non-stop media barrage. Gallup seems to be confirming that today. So McCain has gone to the White House and gotten the parameters of how far he's allow to distance himself from Bush. This isn't easy of course-- at least partially because of McCain's own record as a rubber stamp for most of Bush's most toxic and hated policies.

Today, for example, McCain tried to convince everyone that he and Bush differ on environmental issues. Basically McCain is just mouthing the same platitudes that Bush mouthed before he became president-- which is even sillier because McCain has a voting record.

Bush (Sept. 29, 2000): "With the help of Congress, environmental groups and industry, we will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to rescue emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time."

McCain (May 12, 2008): "We will cap emissions according to specific goals, measuring progress by reference to past carbon emissions. By the year 2012, we will seek a return to 2005 levels of emission, by 2020, a return to 1990 levels, and so on until we have achieved at least a reduction of sixty percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050."

Remember a couple days ago we suggested that you beware of the GOP trying to rebrand itself as the Party of Change? Sure enough...
In a memo released this morning, House Republican Leaders outlined their overarching message for the 2008 elections. The GOP leaders suggest that despite their promises, Democrats failed to bring real change following their 2006 takeover of Congress. Now, they write, it is up to the GOP to bring "American families the change they really deserve."

"House Democrats said they represented change in 2006," the memo says. "They promised a 'new direction for America,' a 'commonsense plan' to 'lower gas prices' and 'tax cuts for the middle class.'"

Don't think this is a prelude to an attack on Miss McConnell's obsessive obstructionism or of the GOP preferring that nothing whatsoever get done. The Republican leadership doesn't realize that this is why they're losing special elections in even the reddest districts in the country. Nope, this is just a prelude to more baseless hot air attacks: "'Promises made, promises broken,' the memo continues, accusing Democrats of 'a betrayal of trust, a failure to learn from the mistakes both parties made in the past.'"

The funniest thing about this absurd memo, though, was discovered by Bluestem Prairie:
We think the slogan will only heighten the public's perception that the House Republican caucus needs help. After all, Americans have heard that slogan time and again.

Unfortunately, it wasn't pimped for political discourse, but to market an anti-depressant.

According to Wikipedia, the prescription drug "Venlafaxine is used primarily for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults."

The brand name version, Effexor, is sold by Wyeth, which marketed it using the slogan, "The Change You Deserve™."

According to a December 2007 Alternet article, Are You One of Big Pharma's Lab Animals?, the drug company's ad agency came up with this marketing slant:

Wyeth's ad agency serenaded the nation with the message in its "The Change You Deserve™" campaign that, if we were not enjoying things the way we used to do, if we were lacking in what agencies used to call get-up-and-go, it was time to go on the antidepressant Effexor.

"The Change You Deserve™" was trademarked by Wyeth, so we're wondering if that will be a problem for the NRCC, regardless of the unfortunate analogy between its political fortunes and the genuine suffering that plagues people experiencing depression. Evidence of trademark and the analogy are found in this promotional text sponsored by Wyeth:

The Change You Deserve
Are these symptoms of depression interfering with your life?
• Not involved with family and friends the way you used to be?
• Low energy, fatigue?
• Not motivated to do the things you once looked forward to doing?
• Not feeling as good as you used to?
If you're experiencing symptoms of depression and you're not where you want to be, talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post also noticed the identical product campaign:
Leave it to the tone deaf GOP to find a way of attaching themselves to this election cycle's "change" mandate that simultaneously reinforces the fact that their failed policies have messed up the world to such an inhuman extent that many Americans now live their daily lives in a state of free-floating panic and paralyzing anxiety.

Remember Andrea Yates? Yep, the one that drowned her five children in the bathtub. She was on Effexor, looking for the change she deserved. And she wasn't the only one. Unless you're John McCain or John Shadegg you may not remember Robert Louis Roberts, the Arizona man who shot his two kids and himself. Yeah... leave it to the Republicans to find a way to rebrand themselves into something even worse than what it took Bush and Cheney almost 8 years to create.

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