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.