Sunday, May 03, 2009

Republican Rebranding Effort-- Taking Over the Democratic Party?


Everyone agrees that the GOP needs a new image

A gaggle of Republican would-be leaders-- from Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor to Stormy Daniels-- are launching listening tours to figure out what voters want. While Stormy stumped in her native Louisiana to gage the dissatisfaction with obstructionist fanatic David Diapers Vitter, the others ate some pizza. "Fewer than 35 percent of white voters said they will definitely vote to re-elect Vitter; 39 percent said they would consider someone else; and 22 percent said they will definitely vote for someone else." Stormy Daniels will be meeting voters at Roux House in Baton Rouge on May 5th and at Serio's Po' Boys & Deli in New Orleans on May 6th.

Yesterday, in a showy display, Bush, Romney and Cantor met actual flesh and blood voters at the Pie-Tanza Restaurant, a pizzeria in Arlington, Virginia, a few minutes away from the Inside-the-Beltway cocoon that has helped the GOP insulate itself from real people with real problems looking to government for help. RNC chairman Michael Steele, who was pointedly not invited to help with the rebranding effort, reminded Republicans that GOP credibility is shot as far as voters are concerned because the party "left them along the side of the road on our way to drinking that Potomac River water, getting high on power and influence and forgetting how we got where we are."

Steele reached out to mainstream Americans to give the GOP another look, although he warned them that if they expect the party to change its direction away from mindless obstructionism and the failed policies that George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rubber stamp Congress latched onto to drag the country into a ditch, they'll be very disappointed. "All you moderates out there, y'all come," he giggled at the Radisson Hotel in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin. But he warned that they'd better leave their moderate ideas at the hat-check stand. "Understand that when you come into someone's house, you're not looking to change it. You come in because that's the place you want to be." There aren't many people who want to be in the Republican Party house right now-- around one in five Americans.

On CNN this morning Cantor and Romney-- tie-less-- showed what kind of change the Republicans are talkin' about. "We have a web site," bragged Cantor, as a demonstration of how the GOP is learning from the Democrats-- and right after he and Willard agreed with each other that no matter how many states allow same sex marriage, it must be stamped out on a federal level. Let me turn to Mike Lux's book, The Progressive Revolution and its sharp analysis of why the right-wing mind is unable to deal with real change:
We must adhere to tradition because once we tamper with tradition, society goes to hell. It’s a scary world out there, and the people who have always run things can protect us, but only if we stay with our traditions and keep things the way they have always been. People who are different from us create problems, and we don’t want our traditions or the carefully built structure of our society undermined.

And, yes, they are very scared-- of everything. John McCain's yappy daughter Meghan is one that absolutely wants a place at the Republican table. But do they want her? “I just wish that moderates like myself-- more moderate Republicans and more socially liberal Republicans-- weren’t looked at as, ‘Get rid of the dirty moderates. Get rid of them,’” the 24-year-old told CNN affiliate KTAR radio in a joint interview with her father."

Ex-Republican congressman Bob Barr is hardly a moderate, but he thinks the problem with the GOP runs deeper than anything a p.r. stunt at a pizzeria will cure. Yesterday he said it would be impossible to "overestimate the damage" that the GOP has done to itself because there's a "lack of any coherent philosophy, vision or leadership" and that "the Republican Party is in very deep trouble right now."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday that it's time for the Republican Party to give up its "nostalgia" for the heyday of the Reagan era and look forward, even if it means stealing the winning strategy deployed by Democrats in the 2008 election.
"You can't beat something with nothing, and the other side has something. I don't like it, but they have it, and we have to be respectful and mindful of that."

I don't know for sure what the "it" he thinks the Democrats have, that the Republicans don't, is. In reality, though, is what the Democrats have is that they're not Republicans. But even that's changing! With the rise of the Evan Bayh's anti-Obama Bloc and the assertion by reactionary Democrats like Ben Nelson and Max Baucus that they will do the bidding of their corporate masters and join with GOP obstructionists to destroy Obama's change agenda, the Democratic Party is morphing into everything that voters hate about the GOP-- namely that it serves the interests of a few wealthy campaign donors and not average American working families.

And now we have the repulsive absorption of Arlen Specter, an unrepentant Republican obstructionist himself, who just this morning crowed on Meet the Press that he adamantly opposes health care reform and insisted that he will not be a "loyal Democrat." Just what Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters want to hear-- because Democratic primary voters hate loyal Democrats and hate Democratic ideas like health care? Later this evening (5pm, PT) we'll be talking with a real Pennsylvania Democrat, Rep. Joe Sestak over at Firedoglake and maybe someone will get a chance to ask him if he's going to let the GOP take over his party in his state.

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At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dems have moved so far center they have bumped the Repubs right off the left/right scale.

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Biil said...

I think it would be great if we could learn more about Stormy Daniels and see if Blue America could get behind her?

She certainly meets the anti-hypocrisy challenge and seems bright and well qualified to step FAR past David Diapers Vitters wittle baby shoes.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Biil, believe me, we're workin' on it-- and getting closer

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it's going to take the GOP to get wise to the fact that they did just what W wanted and ignored their constituency (just like W did)for eight years. And now we are supposed to believe that these same people have seen the light and are going to make it all better while all they really want is to get back in power and feather their nests all over again.

Like it or not, unless Barack really, really screws up, he is large and in charge, has taken over the Executive and Legislative and soon will have the Judicial branch going his way.

We are going to see huge social changes over the next 10 - 20 years, so we may as well try to make it as good as possible for the most people. Don't like to see it happen, but the GOP betrayed us and are getting their just rewards. Unfortunately, the people that trusted them are being dragged along against their will.

With talk radio, cable news and the web, the days of politicians doing what they want and their voters not knowing or caring are gone. All of the media are so fragmented, right, left and otherwise, that we can be sure to find out anything we want, good or bad.

There's no real difference between the Democrat and Republican parties anyway, so no matter how you vote, we're going to lose. If we don't see the need for term limits now, it will soon be too late for us to retain any control at all of our government.

At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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