New Coke

CNN’s John King reports that the GOP is launching a “rebranding” effort today to shine up the party’s image. The initiative is called the National Council for a New America. Its founders include —

  • John McCain
  • Jeb Bush
  • Haley Barbour
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Mitt Romney

Oh, stop giggling and pay attention. Now, this “council” will report to Republican leaders in Congress, and taking part in the launch party today will be

  • John Boehner
  • Eric Cantor
  • Mike Pence
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Jon Kyl
  • Lamar Alexander

I say they don’t need a new initiative. They need new blood. Maybe even a whole new gene pool. Anyway, these dinosaurs will lumber forth from Washington and hold town hall meetings all over the country so that they can listen to the American people.

Whether they will allow nonbelievers to attend these town hall meetings I cannot say. I am skeptical any of them can hold a sensible conversation with anyone who isn’t fluent in “conspeak.” Conspeak is a kind of language substitute created by randomly stringing together standard right-wing talking points and buzzwords regardless of dictionary meanings.

For example — At the New York Times, Adam Nagourney and David Herzenhorn write that Republicans are debating among themselves whether they should be working to create a bigger party or a purer party. Here’s a bit —

Patrick J. Toomey, a former head of the Club for Growth whose primary challenge to Mr. Specter led the senator to bow out in the face of what he thought was a probable defeat, said Republicans should be open to a “wide range of opinions on a wide range of issues.”

As Tbogg says, “As long as those ideas are lowering taxes on the rich, drill baby drill, keeping handguns cheap and plentiful, getting rid of capital gains taxes, and re-naming America ‘Reaganland’.”

“But I think fundamental common ground that the vast majority of Republicans share is the belief in limited government, freedom and personal responsibility,” Mr. Toomey said.

The question of how the party should respond to Mr. Specter’s departure was the main subject of a Senate Republican lunch on Wednesday. The party can be a “big tent,” said Senator John Ensign of Nevada, “but here are some core principles: fiscal responsibility, more personal responsibility, looking for a smaller, more effective government.”

In light of what Republicans actually do when they get their hands on the steering wheel of government, what are Mr. Toomey and Sen. Ensign actually saying?

“Fiscal responsibility” means lowering taxes on the wealthy and cutting programs that benefit the not-wealthy, but at the same time making sure the special interests that helped one get elected are well cared for.

“Personal responsibility” means government is to become primarily a tool for protecting the power and assets of the ruling plutocracy at the expense of the interests of the nation and its citizens.

“Smaller, more effective government” is a government rendered incapable of doing anything not covered by “fiscal responsibility” and “personal responsibility.”

Oh, and then there’s “freedom,” which is a system by which corporations are the landlords and citizens are the serfs/sharecroppers/tenants.

I’m betting that the Council’s town halls will not include anyone not a shill or a true believer.

17 thoughts on “New Coke

  1. Reagan famously said that the government is the problem. Every Republican in power since has striven to fulfill that dictum.

  2. I really hope all their townhall meetings are reserved only for the pre-screened faithful. Let’em go out and get ideas from the core wingnut base and then try to present them as sound policy to the American public with fully functional brains.

    The first three planks of the new party platform with all be some variation of “Obama is a commie!” and/or Constitutional amendments to require birth certificates to run for public office. Let the public finally see pure, distilled wingnut in its finest form. Then maybe we can finally disregard these people as the complete nutcases they really are.

  3. Lets see, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush. Any other old, irrelevent white guys they can bring out. They’ve got Uncle Bobby to bring around the crackers when they get hongrie. I’m not concerned, but will be watching for the comedic flava.

  4. Since when did Patrick J. Toomey become the head of the club for growth?. What happened to Cy Sperling?

  5. GOP 2.0: All of the musical originality of a a Vanilla Ice CD – with lyricks by Milli/Vanilli.

    Seriously, does anyone wonder how it is that Pat Boone DID’T become President with these people?

  6. Republicans are debating among themselves whether they should be working to create a bigger party or a purer party.

    I can actually totally relate to that. When democrats lost in 2002 and 2004, I remember saying that we should ditch the quislings like Lieberman and Zell Miller (and, yay, mission accomplished!). I was utterly sick of hearing “tut tut, the democrats are all so crazy nowadays” from democrats.

    Now the republicans have lost in 2006 and 2008, and a few republicans have started saying “tut tut, the other republicans are all so crazy nowadays”, and I completely sympathize with their desire to purge ’em. I’m actually a little sorry the democratic party is so willing to take in the republican quisling Specter; it makes sense under the circumstances, but I do regret adding another fair-weather friend/wanker to the democratic caucus.

    The difference, of course, between my position in 2003 and the “pure party” republicans now is that the republican party is pretty darned “pure” already. Whereas the democrats then were being totally squishy, rolling over right and left, trying to rebrand themselves as “the other conservative party” and “just like the republicans, but less forceful and passionate”, republicans today have near-unity. I would have been delighted, for example, if in 2002 there were only three democrats in the senate voting with Bush on the iraq war resolution, and none at all in the house. In fact there were 22 in the senate and 127 in the house. (And then we ran one of the 22 as our presidential nominee, for crying out loud!)

    But still, I can relate. The republicans are just beginning their time in the wilderness. They’re probably screwed for the next couple of elections no matter what. Maybe it makes sense, from their perspective, to be as uncompromisingly conservative as they can possibly be during this time, to shut down every dissenter in their ranks cold, so that they don’t end up squishified like the 2002 democrats. Then, when the pendulum swings back (as alas, it surely will someday) and the voters are ready for a conservative party again, there’ll still be one.

    Or, maybe they’re just nutbags.

  7. “ReBranding” to me, means coming up with ever more clever ways to pull the wool over people’s eyes. There comes a point in any long-running con game where the mark gets suspicious/sick of the grifter, and at that point the con is pretty much over. It’ll be fun watching these old white men try to push their date delusions on today’s crowd.

    Now this Republican, McCain’s daughter, is someone who gets what’s wrong with her party, and is someone I’d be afraid of. “GOP: The Next Generation”. I see Sarah Palin as leading the Romulan faction in the GOP Federation.

    But instead of “rebranding”, or GOP: TNG, what this country really needs is the kind of honesty voiced by Andrew Bacevich. Because they’re so steeped in fiction and delusions of superiority , I can’t imagine the chest puffing GOP ever admitting the kinds of things Bacevich is talking about. I can barely imagine the Democrats having the guts to say these things, but these are things that so desperately need to be said. This country so badly needs a spiritual house cleaning. Rebranding is just putting a pretty bow on a sick and rotting corpse.

  8. Oh, stop giggling and pay attention.

    Actually, I snorted so loudly in my cubicle, it led to rumors of a swine flu outbreak in the dept.

  9. moonbat – “pull the wool over people’s eyes” reminds me of Orwell’s, “…the common man, to be controlled must remain ‘an ignorant fanatic, whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph.'”

    Repubs have ‘worked’ this for about 30 years and I doubt will give it up. The meaningless robot tones coming recently from the hapless Boehner etal are really cover stories for keep ’em ignorant and keep’em angry.

    However, I sense a tiny glimmer of ‘ho-hum’ among the plebes these days so perhaps a corner is about to be turned. Let’s hope.

  10. Wow! ! Why isn’t Senator Jim Bunning on that ‘steering’ group. He is certainly more in line with the incompetent’s than Eric “Do nothing” Cantor.

  11. “purer party” just smacks of the nazis. They should be more careful in such phraseology.

  12. Why do they need town hall meetings? Sounds like wasteful expenditure to me. Can’t they just hang out at tea parties, read the signs and chat to Real Americans?

  13. Marketing is the only power Republicans have.

    It started under Republican SALESMAN and draft dodging Hollywood entertainer Ronald Reagan. Part of the Republican “marketing” has been to make Reagan a cult leader, a fictional hero in fictional stories.

    The Republican marketing campaign: find three “ideas” that serve corporate interests and poll well, use Frank Luntz inspired linguistic manipulations that use highly charged emotional trigger words to hone the message to as few words as possible, find a right wing billionaire(s) to fund the marketing campaign, get right wing extremist Grover Norquist to coordinate the marketing with his cabal of corporate overlords, send the talking points to Limbaugh, Fox [Propaganda, not] news, Politico, and Drudge, and then pound your three poll tested emotionally manipulative “idea” phrases until the corporate media starts regurgitating those talking points in print, on the radio, and on television, and voila, an “instant” “grass roots” “movement” is born.

    Regurgitate, rinse, repeat.

    Republicans are nothing but con artist salesman and if Republican voters ever figure out how badly the Republican leadership has betrayed America the Republican Debtor-Corporatist Party would be over. Period.

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