We talked recently about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) rebranding initiative, which is his fourth such effort in the last four years. Apparently, he's going to have some company.
When Cantor launched his first rebranding effort in 2009, it was through an entity called the National Council for a New America. What's been largely forgotten is that it wasn't alone -- after Republicans' electoral failures in 2008, all kinds of rebranding groups popped up to also help improve the party's image.
Remember organizational powerhouses like Rebuild The Party, the Center for Republican Renewal, Renewing American Leadership, and Resurgent Republic? No? Well, that's because they all came and went fairly quickly, just as the National Council for a New America did.
As it happens, it appears history is repeating itself. In the wake of another national cycle in which the GOP struggled, Cantor has a new rebranding initiative, and once again, he's not the only one.
NewRepublican.org is the brainchild of GOP consultant and CNN pundit Alex Castellanos, whose clients have included Mitt Romney and former President George W. Bush. Castellanos is joining a growing cottage industry of Republicans who are trying to rebrand and rebuild the party as President Obama begins his second term. [...]The group is not advocating that the GOP abandon its conservative principles; rather that the party figure out how to present them in a more modern and effective way.
How original. Cantor's office, the Heritage Foundation, and now NewRepublican.org are all pursuing the same goal at the same time, and may yet find more related groups doing the same thing.
All of these efforts have one thing in common: they're predicated on the assumption that the Republican agenda is effective and popular, and the party will thrive once they find the most persuasive words to convince Americans how great the GOP really is.
It is, after all, the whole point of rebranding: a fresh coat of paint on an unchanged product. Republicans aren't losing because they're part of a radicalized party with a failed governing vision and a narrow electoral base; they're losing because they just aren't spinning their awesomeness effectively enough.
Or so the argument goes.
To reiterate a point from a month ago, this really is misguided. Republicans have found themselves on the wrong side of the American mainstream, not because of inadequate talking points, but because most of the country likes Medicare, doesn't hate gay people, thinks the rich can afford to pay a little more in taxes, wants fewer wars, supports taking steps to prevent gun violence, and believes the government should stay out of our bedrooms and doctors' offices, among other things.
The road to electoral success is for Republicans to consider changing their policies, not their sloganeering.