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Republican Rebranding Hits Sad New Low

Memo Pad Politics

Republican Rebranding Hits Sad New Low


After GOP candidates across the nation fell flat in the 2012 elections, the Republican National Committee released a report stressing the urgent need for the party to rebrand itself as kinder, gentler, and more inclusive if it hopes to compete in any non-red states in the future.

Unfortunately, that turned out to be hard work. But this was significantly easier:

Photo via ProgressNowNM

Photo via ProgressNowNM

That’s a campaign sign for Dianna Duran, New Mexico’s Republican secretary of state. You wouldn’t know from the sign that Duran is the state’s second-highest-ranking Republican; her campaign staff painted over that crucial detail.

As ProgressNowNM reports, it was no accident. The left-leaning site interviewed campaign volunteers, who explained that Duran’s party affiliation would seem “bad in print,” and “probably in northern New Mexico, it would not be a good thing for them to know.”

Indeed, New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district, which covers the northern part of the state, is hostile territory for the GOP. President Obama won it 57 to 39 percent in 2012, and Democratic congressman Ben Ray Luján did even better, capturing 63 percent of the vote.

Of course, the “new” GOP was supposed to be able to compete in districts like NM-3, which is 36 percent Hispanic. But then again, they were also supposed to moderate Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” immigration plan — not carve out space to the right of it.

Photo: Steve Terrell via Flickr

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Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Dominick Vila August 8, 2014

    The biggest problem for the GOP is not their attempts to project a kinder, more moderate, and more tolerant image; but what the Republican rank and file say and do. The overt hatred, intolerance, arrogance, and greed that is apparent almost every time a Republican opens his mouth makes it almost impossible for the GOP, or any political party, to project a positive image.

    1. CrankyToo August 9, 2014

      I don’t know how you find the time to weight in on seemingly every article that posts on the National Memo, but I’m certainly glad you do. Your posts are, in the main, prescient and well-articulated, and I always enjoy reading your thoughts on a given subject. You’re a beacon of reason in a political world gone amok. And I’m glad you’re on our side. Cheers, Bro.

      1. Lynda Groom August 9, 2014

        Indeed they are.

  2. stcroixcarp August 9, 2014

    In northern states, many older republicans still think that they belong to the party of Lincoln, and just can’t imagine that their beloved party could have morphed into the crazy racist anti -democracy party that it is now. My republican friends are decent people, but are in a complete state of denial.

    1. Allan Richardson August 14, 2014

      In the Southern states also, whenever they are accused of racism, they point out that they are the party of Lincoln and the Democrats are the racists. They are trying to confuse voters who are not aware that the parties switched ideologies about a generation ago. More specifically, since no one would dare vote for a member of the “rebels’ party” in the North from 1864 on, the Democrats rebuilt their non-Dixie voting base with would-be-unionized workers, including many immigrants and their descendants, which automatically set them up as more tolerant of cultural differences (including not demonizing moderate use of alcohol, being Jewish or Catholic) and racial differences (Asians, Latin Americans, Mediterranean people, and black people who fled north) than either the Republicans (who saw their work in human rights “finished” once the slaves were legally emancipated) or the Dixie Democrats, who regained power when the sons of rebellion-disenfranchised Confederate soldiers became old enough to vote. Black Republicans were temporarily the rule in the South, because the black freedmen could vote but anyone who fought for the Confederacy could not, but the Klan and the passage of time “corrected” that and led to the Democratic “Solid South” (the process might have been easier had women’s suffrage passed before the war, since the white electorate would have been spared the loss of half of its voters, so Reconstruction would have been less radical). Basically, the Southern whites, of whom a majority were racist, were Democrats BECAUSE the other party was the party of Lincoln, and the national Democratic party needed BOTH kinds of voters, so they glossed over the differences and did not push equal rights in every state until the 1960s.

      Ironically, as late as the 1920s, the ENTIRE Democratic Party was condemned by Republicans to their base at the time (cultural conservatives outside of Dixie, and wealthy businessmen) as the party of “RUM (opposing Prohibition, then working to repeal it), ROMANISM (accepting Catholics, who were distrusted as a “foreign” group of agents for the Vatican, and theologically condemned as idolaters and heretics by Protestants who made up the Republican base), AND REBELLION (the Civil War itself).” And as long as the South needed federal investment in public works just to get THEIR economy up to the DEPRESSION level of the rest of the country (thinking of REA, TVA, Oak Ridge, and other public works), and the party needed their votes and their Congressmen, they agreed not to talk about racism.

      Then, in the 1960s, when the Democratic party pushed civil rights in Congress (even FDR had “tweaked” the Dixiecrats to some extent, most notably by not segregating the restrooms in the Pentagon, claiming federal ownership of the land trumped the Dixiecrat Virginia state law), the Dixiecrats began to notice, with a little help from Nixon, that culturally they were more like the Northern Republicans than the Northern Democrats, and with the economy growing faster in the South than elsewhere, they no longer needed Democratic connections in Washington. And even though non-Dixie Republicans may not have been racist against BLACK people to the extent that their new Southern companions were, they were bigoted enough about OTHER issues to overlook that one (so it was THEIR turn to become schizophrenic about race).

      So that is how the “great swap of parties” came about.

  3. bobnstuff August 9, 2014

    I remember when the GOP was the big tent party, they wanted as many members as possible. I’ve been a republican for over forty years as was my father and grand father. Now I’m told that it’s not my party, that it now belongs to the tea party and that I should shut up and go away. How did this happen? Big money, small minds and a media that feeds hate and lies. If you pay attention to what they say you will hear a total lack of belief in the democratic system. They wrap themselves in the flag and clam the want a return to the constitution even though they hate most Americans. It’s their way or the highway. If you work with the democrats to try to fix things you are a RIMO. Did it ever cross their minds that they are the RINOs.

  4. ps0rjl August 9, 2014

    I have a gay friend and I once asked him about the Log Cabin Republicans. That is a group of gays who support the Republican Party. He said at meetings they always ask the Log Cabin Republicans how they could vote Republican and the answer is always that it is economics. As long as the Republican Party made them money they would always be happy to socially be second class citizens. I guess that is why some people vote Republican. As for the people on the lower economic rungs who vote Republican like Ron White says, “You just can’t fix stupid!”.

    1. CrankyToo August 9, 2014

      Here’s a more succinct name for Log Cabin Republican – “whore”.

    2. ralphkr August 9, 2014

      Amazing! I see that your friends vote Republican for the same reason I vote Democrat, i.e., economic reasons. I was a wage slave until about 30 years ago when I was retired against my will but I had saved money.I had an excellent job that paid up to $35K (that used to be good money) and now I have a modest pension (somewhat more than I would get if I had SS) plus my investment earnings. During the Clinton era I was getting over $100K, during the ensuing glorious Bush years my income dropped to just over $50K and in 2013 my income finally returned to over $100K. Yes, my pension went up a little in the past 30 years but the big variable was investment returns which reflected the historical record since before I was born… Good economy when a Democrat is Prez…Recession or Great Depression with Republican Prez. So my question for your Log Cabin Republicans is, “Why do you vote for the party that brings on the bad economic times???”

    3. Independent1 August 11, 2014

      Well, the only way that your friends could feel that they make money under GOP administrations is when the Republicans are able to get some form of tax cut passed or the taxes not raised. Because with respect to earning money via the stock market, anyone with money in the market is absolutely crazy to vote for a Republican.

      Even Fox news has run a segment owning up to the fact that the stock market performs much better when Democrats are in office.
      A Fox analyst did a study of the market from 1900 to I believe 2012 and concluded that the average stock market performance while a Republican was in the presidency during those years was about 5.6%; whereas when a Democrat was in office the average return was about 12.1%.

      Interestingly, the NY times had done a study of the stock market’s performance under Dem and Repub presidencies from right after the market crash in 1929 through 2005. The NY Times came up with an even bigger difference in the performance. The Times found that during the 35 years that a Republican was in office, the average market earning was about .4%; whereas during the years and Democrat was in office, the market earned just under 10%.

      To estimate just what this difference would mean to an investor, the Times projected the return for $10,000 invested in early 1930 after the crash, through 2005. Their projections came out as follows: The $10,000 investment would have accumulated to $11,733 during the 35 years of Republican presidencies; and to $300,677 under the 40 years of Democrat presidencies.

      And what’s interesting to think about, is if those returns been projected forward through today, when under Bush the market crashed in 2008 and under Obama the market has more than doubled since he took office. It’s quite likely that the $11,733 for Republican presidencies would actually be showing a considerable loss (much less than $10,000), while the $300,677 would likely be considerably higher.

      As I mentioned in the beginning, and Republican who has money in the stock market and votes for a Republican president – is obviously making an enormous investment MISTAKE!!!

  5. aspromised August 9, 2014

    They really shouldn’t wait until just before an election to try this. Sorry RWNJ,you own the mmonster you’ve created.

  6. johninPCFL August 9, 2014

    Seems like an “operation chaos” opportunity. Maybe the democrats should buy her some campaign billboard placements proudly asserting her party affiliation.

  7. elw August 9, 2014

    What the GOP does not seem to get is that most everything they say and do is recorded and once those recording hits the Internets there is no running away from them. You cannot hide who you are anymore. Nor can you stand behind the days when the GOP was a more gentle and did actually contribute to the “good of all,” it is just too easy to make a video of clips that show what todays GOP today has turned into. I do not know if they could ever turn the downward slide they have been on around, somehow, to me, it seems unlikely. Personally, I am looking forward to see what Party emerges to take their place in our two-party system; I just hope the people who join it are good enough, honest enough, and smart enough to realize that fighting for the 99% will get them much further in the long run then selling out to the 1%.

    1. Daniel Jones August 9, 2014

      Why do you think they hate Net Neutrality? They want to be seen as the assholes they are only by foreigners, if even by them.

  8. Joe WallStreet August 9, 2014

    LOVING that Republican rebranding. Keep up the good work, lol.


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