Four months after struggling through another election cycle, suffering some painful and consequential defeats, the Republican National Committee unveiled a “rebranding” blueprint intended to get the party back on track. The elements of the plan were predictable, but nevertheless sensible: expand the party’s voter base while reconnecting with the American mainstream.
And four months after its unveiling, the RNC’s “rebranding” campaign hasn’t just died a natural death; it has suffered a Rasputin-like fate, having been stabbed, poisoned, beaten, shot, and drowned.
Consider some of the headlines from the last few weeks: Republicans intend to kill immigration reform; intensify their war against reproductive rights, and vote for the 38th time to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).
Prominent party officials are dealing with controversies related to racism and rape rhetoric, while the party becomes increasingly invested in the idea that it can thrive by focusing almost exclusively on white voters.
Sweeping efforts intended to block Americans’ voting rights are unfolding at a breakneck pace.
Meet the new Republican Party; it looks an awful lot like the old Republican Party. Rebranding isn’t a failure; it’s a punch-line to an unfortunate joke.