Republican Party Strategists Confer On Name Change

07/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Avery Corman Author of "My Old Neighborhood Remembered. A Memoir."

Is the Republican Party changing its name? A high level secret meeting of inner circle party strategists was held in a motel outside Washington, it was reported by one of the participants.

"We know we're in deep trouble with most Americans in every measurable way and some of these people believe a change of name could go a long way toward upgrading the brand," the strategist said. "They'll excommunicate me if they know I leaked this, but some of the ideas passed around made no sense to me. Like one idea is to rename it 'The Reagan Party.' What was said in the room is that he was so popular even Democrats like to invoke his name, and we could coopt that gambit and redefine the party's image, replacing the elephant with Reagan's face.

"Well, I pointed out Iran-Contra, and the Reagan economic philosophies have been exposed by the recent crisis, and he was probably not all there mentally while in office. But they think people won't remember that, and said Cheney and W. got away with talking about 9/11 like it didn't happen during their regime, and the public will only remember the Morning in America Reagan.

"We're the party of no, that's all we've got, and who do we have, Sarah Palin? Look at her career and you know what she's destined for is not higher political office, but her own TV talk show. She must be dying that Joy Behar is getting her own show. Even a reasonable conservative columnist like David Brooks is lost in the wilderness, writing think pieces in The New York Times that could be essays for a college application because he can't take a stand with the Republican Party as is. So the reasoning is, change the name and you'll get a bigger tent.

"One suggestion was 'The Grand New Party,' sort of like the way advertisers used to insert the words, 'new' and 'improved' when they marketed products, but how can you say we're new when Newt and Cheney are our point men on the airwaves?

"Another idea for a name was 'The New Conservative Party,' but frankly, they don't want new conservatives even if they could define them, they want old conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and his clones. Somebody in the room even suggested 'The Limbaugh Party,' saying, 'that's really what we are, aren't we?

"I'd leave the name as is. I'm sick over the whole direction of the party anyway. Hell, I voted for Nelson Rockefeller. To some of these people that's like I once hid out Abbie Hoffman. What they should do is sell the naming rights like they do for ballparks-- whoever gives the most money gets to have the party named after him. But don't quote me."