The Final Faildown

Does anyone remember the GOP’s hilariously-inept shot at ‘rebranding’?

Well, it looks like they did as good of a job following through on that as they do on writing full-length legislation or winning elections–in other words, they failed completely:

GOP rebranding effort flames out

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) generated the kind of buzz other politicians covet when he launched his bid to help rebrand the Republican Party last spring.

Television crews and reporters wedged themselves among the crowd of party faithful to cover the National Council for a New America’s first event at a packed pizza parlor in an Arlington, Va., strip mall. The resulting coverage dominated cable news chatter for the next week. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney were also on board.

But the council has since flamed out – at least publicly.

Since its launch, the National Council hasn’t held a single public event, despite more than 5,000 invitations to take their show out on the road. Congressional ethics rules limit what Cantor can do with the group because he launched it from his leadership office, making it harder to organize events and recruit partners. Despite that caution, the group is still taking heat from outside watchdog groups that argue he is violating the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of those rules.

Furthermore, the Council has come under criticism from conservatives, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made fun of the group for creating a “listening tour” inside the Beltway “bubble.”

The low profile is quite a contrast to the May launch party.


The group has since become something of an albatross for Cantor as lawmakers and aides speculate about its future.

[Emphasis mine]

It seems like the only thing the GOP is good for these days is ginning up angry, violent mobs.

Rep. Cantor’s group represents exactly what’s wrong with the Republican Party–they still think their problems are superficial, not structural. They think they can slap a new name on the same old garbage and start winning them elections again.

Republicans don’t realize that gimmicks won’t save them. For that matter, neither will astroturfing–they need to actually build popular support by resolving issues people care about. Being the Party of No may feel good, but it’s a poor way to build a winning coalition.

Looking at the right’s unhinged town hall protests, though, it looks  like the GOP is planning on being the Party of No for a long, long time.  I’m just hoping that Democrats don’t let themselves get trampled by the obstructionists and just focus on doing what’s best for the country, like passing health care reform.