Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Time for GOP to stop drifting left and be conservative again

The Politico had a good story today about the GOP's rebranding effort. I've been saying for years that we had a problem drifting towards the left with more big government under Mr. Bush's leadership. It caught up with us in 2006, when we lost the vote of the independents - mostly among populist Reagan Democrats with a throw the bums out attitude. It did not help that a large number of conservatives stayed home in protest.

From the Politico

When New Coke became a sales and public relations debacle in April 1985, parent company Coca-Cola yanked it from shelves in 79 days, reintroduced Classic Coke, pumped millions into advertising to repair its brand and roared back as the soda giant two years later.

The Republican Party hopes it can be so lucky.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) recently created a small, ad hoc advisory group of fellow members to help restore the GOP brand as the party of small government, fiscal discipline and tough-minded foreign policy.

Examples from the corporate world, where brand rehabilitation is a lucrative specialty, prove that it is possible to save even the most damaged reputations with the right strategy.

But these lessons also highlight the challenges Republicans face trying to replicate this kind of PR magic in the 14 months before they face voters.

Corporate image experts say the key to saving a bruised brand in the marketplace is a quick response. But the Republican decline can be charted over the course of years, with little effort to correct problems in a decisive or comprehensive fashion.

We have Coke Classic (1994 Republicans) and New Coke ("Big Government Conservatives" - in reality, liberals).

The problem is simple. The GOP went away from its Reaganite and 1994 "Contract with America" roots. It moved to the left. Big government is leftist, and the GOP RAPIDLY expanded the size of government with its leftist expansion and increased spending. That's not in line with the base, and much of the base had enough. Donations are down, as is voter turnout. And through all that the media and democrats are talking about the GOP moving to the extreme right. That's absolute bullshit - Angus sized.

The problem is simple. Ethics. With idiots like Larry Craig, Duke Cunningham, Don Sherwood, and Mark Foley, we made the frontpage in the worst possible way.

The problem is simple. Communication, Plans, and general competence. That costs us more than anything else. Our national party is acting about as competent as Granholm. It doesn't know what it wants.

The GOP can make a comeback. In order to do so, it needs to do the following.

1. Primary ethicaly challenged reps - Send a message that Foleyism and Craigism is not tolerated in this party. Leave the crooks - the Norman Hsus, Gerry Sudds, Mel Reynolds, George Soros, Jack Murtha, Bill Jefferson, and Dan Rostenkowskis to the other party. (And Jack Abramoff was a switch hitter among parties for that matter backing Stabenow)

2. Stop running to the left. A message is worthless when it isn't followed. We can not run on less government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility when it is not being followed. If I wanted more government, I'd vote for a democrat. I don't want to vote democrat lite, and I'm just about through doing so. I held my nose with Bush twice. That's enough for me. I'd like to see some backbone for once.

3. Competence. The 02-06 GOP class sucked. The democrats 06-present class suck even worse. There's an opening for us if we go back to our roots, and present a real plan that is more than the same old talking points.

New Coke and "Big Government Conservatism" hasn't worked. Let's look back at our 1994 roots and adapt that for the future.

4 comments: said...

Great post. That's been something I've noticed too... the press and the left claim again and again that the GOP got whalloped last time out because they moved to the right when it couldn't be further from the truth.

Unlike a certain party where you vote because there's a big D behind a name, Republicans tend to have these pesky little things called principles.

And they vote accordingly.


id said...

I'm a writer from Politico and we want to do a profile of Michigan bloggers--it's awkward that I'd be writing this on a post about an article we wrote--but could you please email me at


liberalshateusa said...

avi zvi What ever you do please don't include our local nut case Communications GURU as he has lost all grasp of reality and is not indicative of normal Michigan citizens. Thank You said...

Nice work, RM! Let us know when you become famous on the Politico!