McCain and the Republican Party Brand

by Ryan on May 21, 2008

in Culture,Election 2008,Politics

I just read this Politico piece by John Feehery on the Republican Party’s relationship with McCain.  His take is that Bush stalwarts like Hastert, Lott, and Delay are no longer on the scene and McCain, ever the frustrating maverick, is now the presumptive GOP nominee. Hence, the maverick becomes the savior in lieu of the Republican’s crushing Congressional defeats of late.

My take is simple: whenever the Republican Party gets wimpy and vague, it is going to lose.  After seventy years of playing identity/socialist politics, the Dems have the (undeserved) reputation of being the “nice” ones.  Republicans don’t have that reputation because ever since FDR, Americans have elected Republicans to do the dirty work of cleaning up Democrat messes (Ike was elected to fix the Korean War, Nixon was elected to fix Vietnam, Reagan was elected to fix everything Carter did, Dubya was elected to fix our image after BJ).  So if we’re going to run a campaign with pale pastels against the Dems, the folks go with the trusty nice people: the Dems. Ugh.  Running to the middle has been our problem because the American people see no differences or alternatives: hence an animus towards the Party in the White House… us! 

It’s not that conservatism has failed, it’s that the potential practitioners wussed out before doing enough great or significant things, falling victim to the Washington big-government=power/popularity culture.  The pale pastel approach will lead to serious electoral disaster this Fall, as it has in those three districts, especially with a potentially jazzed Obama base with a tested 50-state organization, ready to pound McCain and the Republican brand name into serious minority status.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

The Dude May 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I think the weak Republicans in Congress will get destroyed this fall, but McCain is going to win the Presidency. The Dems are nominating the one guy in their party who cannot win.


Ben K May 21, 2008 at 9:26 pm

#1 could be right. I could see a disaster in the House, a 3-4 seat senate loss and a close McCain win. It is definetly possible.


Chris May 22, 2008 at 4:12 am

Republicans in the House need to come up with a clear plan of what they want to do for America, very much the same way that Newt and the 1994 Republicans came up with the Contract for America. This overidden Farm Bill is an example of how out of touch the Republicans are…the veto was given as a message to cut spending and 100 House Republicans joined in on the veto. It could very well be a bloodbath, as it very well could be in the Senate and if the Dems get a majority over 60, the GOP will have big problems.


Mike May 22, 2008 at 7:17 am

They won’t hit 60. It could be a bloodbath, but they’re not going to gain 9 Senate seats.


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