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"What? Not again!"
It seems like just last month—oh, wait, it was just last month—that Republicans did a intra-party autopsy and decided that the cause of death wasn't their incredibly unpopular policies, it was the way they talked about them. And so the great rebranding effort of 2013 began. And failed. And failed. And failed. But did they give up? Hell, no! They've moved on to Plan B. (Not to be confused with the "morning after pill," which, in this case, may have been more helpful.)
After several days of debating how to restore their party’s brand, Republican leaders left a party confab in Los Angeles last week in agreement that they can no longer be “the party of no.” But they were less clear on what to say “yes” to.

While GOP officials at the party’s spring meeting in Hollywood had plenty of ideas for changing their public rhetoric, however, positive new policy ideas were in shorter supply.

In other words, it's (still) not their incredibly unpopular policies, it's (still) the way they talk about them. And yes, it does seem like Republican rebranding should be listed under that classic definition of insanity.

To be fair, Republicans aren't completely off base when they say they have a problem with how they talk about issues—like the Republican congressman calling undocumented workers "wetbacks" and party chairs taking to Facebook to sob about "filthy homosexuals"—and they are aware that it's causing them problems:

“The lack of relationships in these communities is getting in the way of us talking about the issues,” said one RNC official here this week.
Yes, that's it. It's not the hateful policies (that give rise to the even more hateful rhetoric) that's standing between them and electoral nirvana. And if Republicans can just figure out how to maintain their racist and bigoted positions without all the name-calling, the relationships are sure to follow.

But, hey, if that doesn't work out, they did have an "upbeat" session on "Winning the Women's vote," which worked out so well for them in 2012 ...

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Folks in "glass houses"...just sayin'... (9+ / 0-)

    ...our Party's horror show is only in its first act (Chained CPI/General social safety net cuts)...the second act will be an even greater mindf*ck...

    TransPacific Partnership Will Undermine Democracy, Empower Transnational Corporations
    By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese,
    Truthout | News Analysis
    Wednesday, 27 March 2013 09:12

    On critical issues, the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration will undermine democracy in the United States and around the world and further empower transnational corporations. It will circumvent protections for health care, wages, labor rights, consumers' rights and the environment, and decrease regulation of big finance and risky investment practices.

    The only way this treaty, which will be very unpopular with the American people once they are aware of it, can be approved is if the Obama administration avoids the democratic process by using an authority known as "Fast Track," which limits the constitutional checks and balances of Congress.

    If the TPP is approved, the sovereignty of the United States and other member nations will be dissipated by trade tribunals that favor corporate power and force national laws to be subservient to corporate interests.

    Circumventing the Checks and Balances of US Democracy
    President Nixon first developed the idea of "Fast Track" in 1973 as a way to secure Congressional approval of trade agreements, and it has been a key to passing many unpopular agreements such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and NAFTA. As people have caught on to the offshoring of jobs and other detrimental consequences of these agreements, civil society now understands how important it is to not allow a president to circumvent the democratic role of Congress. Fast Track expired in 2007, so President Obama must have it re-instated in order to pass the TPP. His administration is moving to have Fast Track approved and hopes it will happen by this summer...

    Dragging Secretive Trade Talks Into the Light: Activists Expose Slow-Motion Corporate Coup
    Lori Wallach
    December 5, 2012

    …Most of the TPP’s proposed provisions instead comprise a  corporate power grab. The TPP would include extreme protections for foreign investors, which would help corporations offshore American jobs to low-wage countries. These terms would require governments to provide foreign investors a guaranteed “minimum standard of treatment” when they relocate, including special privileges and rights that domestic firms and investors do not enjoy. Foreign firms—or foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms—could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation when investors claim that U.S. government actions undermine a corporation’s expected future profits.  Seriously.

    Equal Status for Corporations and Country

    The investor rules would elevate individual foreign firms and investors to the same status as the sovereign nations that would be party to the TPP. Corporations and investors would be empowered to privately enforce the agreement by suing a signatory government before the World Bank and other foreign tribunals. In this “investor-state dispute resolution,” three private-sector lawyers, who rotate between suing governments and acting as “judges,” could order governments to pay large amounts of our tax dollars to investors who do not want to follow the same laws as domestic firms…

    Just this past weekend, Japan agreed to sign-on to the TPP…so much for the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry…in America!
    How will U.S. Automakers React to Obama’s Invitation to Japan?
    By Mont Cessna
    Wall Street Cheat Sheet
    April 14, 2013

    The Obama administration said on Friday that Japan is allowed to join 11-nation free-trade talks called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The partnership’s goal is creating a free-trade zone that would would include 40 percent of the world’s economy. U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union are both strongly opposed to Japan’s entry to the talks, according to Detroit News.

    Japan is the third-largest economy in the world. According to U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, Michigan, Japanese automakers sold 5.3 million vehicles in the US in 2012–almost 40 percent of total U.S. auto sales . U.S. automakers only sold 13,367 vehicles in Japan during the same year. Only six percent of auto sales in Japan are imports.

    The reaction of the U.S. automotive industry since Japan was invited to join free-trade talks has been swift. The president of the American Automotive Policy Council–a trade  association that represents Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers (NYSE:GM)(NYSE:F)(NYSE:TM)–said, “It is stunning that the U.S. government would endorse a trade policy that puts the industry at a competitive disadvantage and comes at the cost of American auto job.” The United Automotive Workers union said, “There absolutely should be no phase-out of any passenger car, light truck and auto parts tariffs until there is concrete, measurable progress on these critical economic issues.”

    Also from earlier this month (and see the video at the top of this comment)…the TPP will make pharmaceuticals much more expensive for the rest of the world…Big Pharma’s price gouging won’t just be for Americans anymore!
    Nile Bowie—Counterpunch--Neoliberal Overload (TPP)
    April 3rd, 2013

    One of the least discussed and least reported issues is the Obama administration’s effort to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to the forefront, an oppressive plurilateral US-led free trade agreement currently being negotiated with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisors have negotiated and had input into the TPP, and the proposed draft text has not been made available to the public, the press or policymakers. The level of secrecy surrounding the agreements is unparalleled – paramilitary teams scatter outside the premise of each round of discussions while helicopters loom overhead – media outlets impose a near-total blackout of reportage on the subject and US Senator Ron Wyden, the Chair of the Congressional Committee with jurisdiction over TPP, was denied access to the negotiation texts. “The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, PhaRMA, Comcast and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden, in a floor statement to Congress.

    In addition to the United States, the countries participating in the negotiations include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan has expressed its desire to become a negotiating partner, but not yet joined negotiation, partly due to public pressure to steer-clear. The TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies they think will undermine their expected future profits straight from the treasuries of participating nations – it would push the agenda of Big PhaRMA in the developing world to impose longer monopoly controls on drugs, drastically limiting access to affordable generic medications that people depend on. The TPP would undermine food safety by limiting labeling and forcing countries like the United States to import food that fails to meet its national safety standards, in addition to banning Buy America or Buy Local preferences…

    And, we’re just scratching the surface….you really should read the links above to learn more about how the TPP will fast-track the destruction of our planet…and the list of the one percent’s devastation of our world—handed to it by none other than our government—apparently, goes on…

    …this will make the Citizens United SCOTUS decision look like child’s play. And THIS is on "us!" (Unless we distance ourself from this, too.)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:06:10 AM PDT

  •  Every time I try to get out....the nutjobs drag me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, JML9999, Matt Z, rbird


  •  Our side desperately needs a rebranding (10+ / 0-)

    how about
    "We support our base the 99%"
    as opposed to:
    "We make a great second choice for 1%ers - now with even less compassion"
    Just a thought.

    •  agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, raboof

      and with the comment further above.  The Republican "rebranding" would be amusing if it mattered, but it doesn't anymore since they only have to say that the President wants to cut your social security benefits.  Short, effective, and true.  
      Thanks President Obama!  

      •  why would that work? (0+ / 0-)

        The implication being that the Republicans don't want to cut your SS benefits.  It seems to me that anyone who actually believes that was going to vote for the Republicans anyway.

        •  just look at their budget (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          SS cuts aren't even in the Ryan budget anymore.  Typical low information or one issue voter only needs to see that the Democrats are willing to cut it and Repubs aren't.

          •  voucherize medicare (0+ / 0-)

            that's in Ryan's plan that the Republicans actually voted on and passed in the House.  This low information voter is going to be more worried about the reduction and privitization of their medical benefits more than a much smaller cut in their SS benefits?  That is one stupid voter and like I said, probably already going to vote for the Republican no matter what.

  •  Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, shoeless, Eric Nelson

    The chameleons of the political world. Always changing colors to blend in with their background.

  •  The Beatings will continue until moral improves-nt (5+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:49:41 AM PDT

  •  You can only cover over a bad (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, rbird, shoeless, skillet, Eric Nelson

    tattoo so many times before it just looks like a pile of shit....

    "The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it.". Abbie Hoffman

    by Joes Steven on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:22:50 AM PDT

  •  Silk purblicans? (0+ / 0-)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:22:50 AM PDT

  •  Not winning the women's vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, rbird, shoeless

    It's whinning the women's vote. I still have trouble understanding how the nation that pioneered so much of what's important in social democracy has run itself so off the rails.  

  •  You know what you call someone who (9+ / 0-)

    brands over the brand?

    A cattle rustler. Just one step above a horse thief.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:29:00 AM PDT

  •  Why were they in Hollywood anyways? (5+ / 0-)

    I thought that Hollywood was the bastion of Liberalism and evil.  

    Why don't they hold their conferences somewhere like Oklahoma, Mississippi or Arizona?  Oh right, no one wants to go there.


  •  Just brand a pic of Palin on the left cheek (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Cheney on the right cheek

    Cruz is already there in the middle

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:43:53 AM PDT

  •  I don't get these (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, peptabysmal, ctsteve, shoeless

    diaries that ridicule the repubs about their rebranding efforts and their lack of popularity.

    Despite the fact that their policies are unpopular, they are still very successful in keeping them in place and blocking any changes, not to mention having BO on their side for some issues such as soc sec, etc.

    And they do seem to have an almost insurmountable lock due to redistricting.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:44:07 AM PDT

    •  Especially when we have Democrats like Rendell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shoeless, dfarrah

      Literally selling this tune for the New Democratic Party over and over on MSNBC:

      You can't always get what you want

      Whoa, I can just see them standing in line to vote for that in 2014.

      •  the same parties as we've always had (0+ / 0-)

        in 2014, the Republicans will accidentally say what they actually think.  And the Democrats will fail to defend the role of the government in society.

        The loser will be the party least able to compensate for its personality flaws.  Of course, that's unsatisfying.  So we will go back and fabricate a self-serving narrative that just confirms our per-existing biases.

    •  don't get it either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the snarky ridicule is especially pointless when the leader of the Democratic party, President Obama, is rebranding the party and undermining the chances of Dem candidates everywhere by offering to cut SS benefits.

  •  Republicans. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Eyesbright

    Same shit in a newer and more improved and upbeat and hip and compassionate newer bag.
    Caution: contents contain accelerated rotting components also known as "teabaggers".
    WARNING!!!! Contents are hazardous! Use proper saftey equipment. Read and follow directions. Never ever vote for under any circumstances.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:44:43 AM PDT

  •  If only the queerz would stop taking offense just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Eyesbright

    because we refer to them as "faggots" and "evil hoooomosexualz". They're almost as tetchy as the spics about being called 'wetbacks'. Why dont these people care about the important stuff, like our regressive tax policies?

  •  Isn't rebranding a rebrand rustling? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js, shoeless, Eyesbright

    And they aren't even stealing other people's ideas, just stealing their own over and over again...okay...this metaphor just screwed itself into the ground.

    Just like the Republican rebranding...of a rebrand...of their original brand.

    I'm done now.

    Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:48:13 AM PDT

  •  They should just take everything they are (0+ / 0-)

    opposed to and just reverse it.

    Example: We support letting the free market determine who has access to health care.

    Example: We support continuation of carbon-based fuels until the Bible tells us otherwise.

    Etc., etc.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

  •  I don't think I want the kind of *relationships* (0+ / 0-)

    the GOP is offering as I'm pretty sure it constitutes abuse.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:56:36 AM PDT

  •  they don't need to rebrand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they won, in spite of themselves.

  •  I find this period of our US history (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    incredibly refreshing. I grew up watching the Republicans lie and lie and lie, watching Democrats fail to fight back, and it was maddening. Over and over again. For so long this was succesfull for Republicans I had given up hoping the citizenry would ever get a decent look into their hateful dark hearts and constant lies. Thank you, Pres. Obama for smoking the bastards out once and for all. Your election, plus the information age, are the one-two punch I feel will - eventually - put the GOP in the ashcan of history where it is so very overdue. They  can't go back to "safe and stodgy, stuffy old guys who want to run the country for the betterment of the country", and similar bologna filled lies, ever again. Not that they won't constantly try. It's just WE WON'T LET THEM. PERIOD.

  •  Cattle can be re-branded but the republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are much closer to just changing the shade of lipstick on their favorite pig. bobswern is toatally right about TPP. It will be an albatross around the Democratic party neck so much worse than any of Bill Clinton's DLC style trade agreements. And Hillary Clinton does not (apparently) object to TPP either.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 11:00:15 AM PDT

  •  This rebranding talk is starting to piss me off (0+ / 0-)

    As though it's a thing anymore. Democrats are proposing cuts to Social Security, and Republicans are the party opposing those cuts. Period, end of story. There is no further need for "rebranding."

    •  I should add that Obama, expert politician he is, (0+ / 0-)

      has effectively snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Democrats had a bright future, and now that future is muddled in a brand identity crisis of its own.

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