Sticks and Stones

The head in The Politico says “GOP, RNC to rebrand Democrats as ‘Socialists,'” which made me wonder if I’d enter some Star Trek time warp-loop anomaly. Wasn’t the “S” word the big gun that was supposed to save the McCain campaign last summer?

But the story is that the RNC is going to vote on a resolution that will rebrand the Dems as the “Democrat Socialist Party,” and force party chairman Michael Steele to use that term whenever referring to the Dems. Steele is on record as believing the “Democrat Socialist” idea is just dumb.

As Ron Beasley says, “You know what a sorry state the Republican Party is in when Michael Steele is the voice of reason.”

I’m wondering what happened to the old standard insult, “liberal.” Twenty years ago, it was the only code word the GOP needed to defeat Michael Dukakis. But now it seems the word “liberal” has not only been drained of meaning; it’s been drained of connotation, color, inference, and association as well. It’s now as bland as cottage cheese. Who’s afraid of the “L” word any more?

I can’t imagine “socialist” is exactly the firebomb it once was, either. It’s been a long time since red-baiting was the sure-fire way to win an election. It was replaced by race-baiting at least 40 years ago. But then race-baiting was replaced by feminist-baiting, atheist-baiting, gay-baiting, and most recently immigrant-baiting, and the voters aren’t biting the way they used to.

But maybe the GOP is on a nostalgia kick. Wake me up when Eric Cantor says Nancy Pelosi is “pink right down to her underwear” (said by Richard Nixon of Helen Gahagan Douglas, California Senate race, 1950).

15 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones

  1. That’s it! This is really going to hurt the Democrats – in 1957! However, in 2009 it just might be the most asinine thing the wingnuts have come up with yet.

  2. OK, then how about we rebrand them The Whig Party! The word “Whig” sounds old and white – how appropriate!!!

    PS: Mahakal, we don’t need to do a thing. They’re doing it on their own.

  3. This is so sub par. It is proof that “no child left behind” didn’t work. It’s proof that the Republicans are clearly not only anti-intellectual, but they are living these ideals. I guess when you got nothing you start calling people names.

  4. And when that doesn’t work, they’re going to pass another resolution rebranding the Democrat Socialist Party as the Evil Evil Democrat Satanist Liberal Evil Gay Homosexual Godless Evil Atheist Not Ronald Reagan Party. That’ll show ’em!

  5. Since when does “socialism” = “communism”?

    On the Right. Of course, on the Right, “fascism” also = “communism.”

  6. Name calling itself seems to be on the way out (sure to make its way back in) but also, didn’t the negative ads in the recent prez election seem to fall on deaf ears for most of the electorate. I saw a graph that showed that almost as many people got their voting info. from the internet as from TV. Newspapers were a distant, distant third. I think it’s more difficult to propagandize with written text than TeeVee, maybe this plays into it.

  7. I think they should go ahead with their brilliant plan, of name calling the Democrats the “Democrat Socialist Party”. These clowns have such low credibility that it would only add to the rehabilitation of/interest in the word “socialist” that is already underway. Bring it on! Please don’t throw me in the briar patch!

  8. As long as the Republicans are re-branded Republican Nazi/Fascist Party, to keep with truth in packaging policy. Here come the briar patch, here come the patch (shades of laugh-in).

  9. If
    D=Democrat Socialist Party
    GOP=National Socialist Party, (or Going Out Praying…)

    Next strategy.

  10. I was about to link to Hilzoy’s quite appropriate response, but Dave S. beat me to it.


    There. I said it. 🙂

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