A month ago, congressional Republicans quietly announced that they were crafting a comeback plan, which would get the party back on track. It would include new attacks on Dems, a new GOP policy agenda, and a series of new bills. The whole package was going to be awesome.
And now, the comeback plan is off to a troubled start, because the party doesn’t know where it wants to go.
Boehner’s idea had been that the GOP could lift itself off the mat by borrowing from private-sector marketing concepts. Among those who have consulted in the effort were corporate brand experts such as Richard Costello, the man behind GE’s famous “We Bring Good Things to Life” campaign.
But modern business techniques have stalled amid old-fashioned political disputes. Lawmakers who think the party needs to embrace a more moderate image on issues like health care and the environment are at odd with conservatives, who believe the way back to victory is to reclaim the GOP’s traditional reputation for taking a hard line on spending.
Corporate advertising and “rebranding” experts aren’t going to help the Republican Party right now. The problem isn’t that the party has great ideas that it’s having trouble selling; the problem is the party has no ideas, has consistently backed a disastrous war, and is led by the least popular president of the modern political era.
Private-sector marketing concepts are usually built around accentuating positives. What’s the GOP good at? Smearing people? Feigning outrage? Using bumper-sticker slogans?