Who knew? With the Republican Party facing its bottom dropping out as only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans - as Republican senators bail on the party - as the GOP has lost the last two elections - as their party chairman insists the GOP will bring new hip-hop ideas - as the Republicans desperately throw tea parties and pizza parties to "re-brand" themselves...who knew that the Republican Party idea of "re-branding" itself meant: proposing to re-brand Democrats!
What a snazzy hip-hop idea!
At the very last minute, they didn't do it. Sanity reigned. Or there wasn't enough insanity to overcome bylaws. But it came with an inch, as they had to be talked down from the ledge. And actually, it's even worse than first reported.
Initially, you see, the story was that the Republican National Committee was holding a special session and would "re-name" the Democratic Party. This is the equivalent of George Bush telling Karl Rove, "From now on, I'm calling you Turd Blossom."
That was bad enough - but at least trying to "Re-name" the Democratic Party would have been audacious, and would show the Party of No actually willing to do something, other than block progress. Sure, it would be something pathetic and childish, but it would be something. In the end, they did something worse.
What reached the RNC special session table was whether to propose was the following proclamation -
"RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party."
For this the Republican Party needed a special session?? The best it could do was ask Democrats if they wouldn't mind changing their name.
(Here's a guess: the Democratic Party answered, "No thanks.")
There's so much hilarious in all this, of course. For starters, it's hilarious that the party of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and George Bush that lied the nation into war, tortured prisoners to get false evidence, and spied on its citizens without warrants would call on anyone to be truthful and honest. (Never mind that that's redundant.) The last thing Republicans want is for anyone to be truthful and/or honest. Just look at how maniacally they're fighting to block a Truth Commission.
What's also hilarious is that the RNC is suggesting that they suddenly believe Democrats want to nationalize America. The GOP has been trying to sell this hokum for 75 years. When Franklin D. Roosevelt created the New Deal to help America get out of the last depression started by a Republican president, Republicans tried blasting him for being a "socialist" and "nationalizing" the country. What happened? Americans elected FDR president four times - and the country recovered from the Great Depression. This is not an "evolving" Republican posture; it's the GOP Playbook. Don't they even read their own press releases? I guess this is what happens when you don't believe in history - you forget it.
Hilarious, too, is that this all comes across like an infantile game of name-calling out of the third grade. Somewhat in the "You're a stinky pants" variety. I'm rubber, you're glue. Even when you were eight years old, you knew it was infantile.
What's most hilarious, though, is the response from the actual Socialists, whose actual name already is "Democratic Socialists of America." Actually. (Republicans are lucky the real DSA didn't sue them for trademark infringement.)
"It's objectionable," said Frank Llewellyn, national director of the "true" Democratic Socialists, "because they're giving socialism a bad name by associating it with the Democrats, who are the second-most capitalist party in the world."
Llewellyn is pissed off - in part, however, because he understands far more about reality than the RNC. "The authors demonstrate how little they know about what 21st century American socialism is all about," he told the Washington Independent. "These people make the same mistake that their ancestors did during the New Deal. They mistake a president trying to save capitalism from itself for a president trying to transform capitalism into something different."
When your political party gets dissed big time on capitalism and history by the Democratic Socialists of America, you're heading towards rock bottom and in serious trouble.
But then, it's clear you've already hit rock bottom when your idea to "re-brand" yourself consists of asking your opponent if it would perhaps "re-brand" itself instead.
Then again, you're buried in gravel when your political party needs to be "re-branded" in the first place.
Of course, the worst is when you think your problems can be resolved by "re-branding." The Republican Party isn't a bar of soap that might work better as a deodorant. Political parties live or fail because they stand for ideas, can convince others that those values are important, and are able to bring those changes to fruition. When you think your political party can be saved by slapping a "Now with 25% more!" sticker on it, you've already lost the battle.
In the end, the RNC realized that this idea was even too stupid for them, and they only made a policy statement. But that it got this far, that it was on the table, shows the emptiness of Republican ideas. After all, if this is just a fun, side-game that Republicans want to play, asking if they could suggest a name change...I'm happy to play along. Because I've got a whole lot of names to suggest for Republicans.
All in cause of being truthful and honest, of course.