Sunday, March 30, 2008

Branding the Republicans

Consumers may not realize the amount of effort and thought that goes into Brands. "Kleenex" and "Xerox" lead the fight to keep their brands from becoming generic terms for "tissue" and "photocopy." Because so much money is at stake.

We Progressives are in a unique time and place to re-position our Brand. Let's do it, and stop letting the Republicans do it for us. Establish both our Brand and theirs, and we will turn the Republican's strength into a weakness. We have to.

Because so much is at stake.

How can we get through to the low information electorate quickly and simply? There's so much to cover.

The contaminated pet food and toys that strikes the most vulnerable of those we love?

The senseless war that has killed, damaged, and endangered the least vulnerable element of our society, the military, and left it unable to do its job?

The ridiculous tax cut and deregulation policies which crumble the foundations of our roads and bridges, our education and our skills, our business and our dollars?

It's everywhere. It's huge. How do we sum up ALL the cronyism, corruption, and callousness?


They bought it, they broke it, and now they own it.


They've been whining about it, flooding our airwaves with it, and screaming about it for long enough. Let's hang it around their necks.


For thirty years the Republican party has been defining our brand for us. We are the "tax and spend" party, the "wimpy on National Defense" party, the "elitist, latte drinking, Volvo driving," party. The fearsome, horrible, ineffectual, nanny state people who have been damned with the label "liberals."

Okay. So we're Progressives. It even sounds better. As Democrats, we will differentiate ourselves from the Republicans by advancing Progressive ideals and policy.

Democrats want to fix all the stuff the Republicans broke.

No more of this sidling over to the Republicans. No more of this "me too" campaigning. What distinguishes the different dish soaps, laundry detergents, and other cleaning products that fill the aisle in the supermarket? Not much, frankly. And they know that. So they hammer at Their Brand. They never, never, never say their dish soap is in any way like another dish soap.

Because that's not how you capture the market. The way to capture the market is to say, loudly and clearly and constantly, that their brand is Different! and thus... Better!

So we must do the same.

The Republicans have destroyed their brand. They hope the electorate will not notice. That's why McCain is campaigning as an American's American in America for Americans who are proud of being Americans.

McCain, the Republican, isn't campaigning as a Republican. They know their brand is screwed. They're hoping the voters won't notice. They're hoping we won't notice.

We can't make this just another stunt they get away with.

They bought it, they broke it, they own it.


End this talk of "Bush administration," and "the conservative mindset" and the "Neocons," and the "religious right." These are holes, ingredients they can label as something their brand no longer has. Of course, it's lies. That's why they say it. But unless and until they change the name of their party, they can't take the Republican out of the party. That's what they are. That's what they all are.

All the lies, betrayals, treason, secrecy, mayhem, and bloodshed they have perpetrated is Republican.

It's ALL Republican.

The falling dollar, bleak economic picture, and high prices at the pumps and produce counter?


The malfeasance and bribery and contempt for our press, our government, and our freedoms?


The ruthless destruction of our homes, our children, and our lives?


Make that word the horror it is. Create in the electorate the same revulsion the word has come to mean for us, who understand it, who realize what's going on, who know how important it is that we break the linkage between what people think they are getting, and what they actually get when they vote:


All of them. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld. The Iraq war, the wrecked economy, the dangerous goods they let into our country and the dangerous ideas they have lulled and lured the electorate with.

Sum it all up in who they are running for President, for Senator, for Representatives, for National, for State, for Local.

These are Republicans.

Now we know what happens when we vote for Republicans, don't we?

Every complaint on the street or at the checkout counter, every political discussion, every cry of disillusionment and despair, must be countered with their Brand.

Republican. That's the problem.

We can't let McCain run away from it. He's gone along with everything they did. He's sucking up to their movers and shakers. He's literally embraced Bush.

He's a Republican.

All this maverick stuff is just talk. Maverick started as a designation for unbranded calves, which anyone could pick up. But, of course, calling him a maverick is a lie. He's sooooo branded.


It's not just Bush, or imperialism, or deregulation, or Katrina or Iraq. It's all of it; every looted dollar and dead soldier.

They bought it, they broke it, and they own it.


Let no one forget.


  1. Cathexis11:29 AM

    When my Significant Other used a blatantly "spun" defense in a conversation yesterday, without thinking, I responded "Don't go 'Republican' on me!"

    To her credit, she was immediately shamed and retracted the egregious argument.

  2. Anonymous11:37 AM


    I loved what you wrote and you are correct...

    SO LET'S BEGIN... with an easy fix... Whenever writing or speaking about John The Republican McCain, let's make this small and rather easy modification...

    For example, I was recently reading where The Republican McCain is quoted as saying that "we are succeeding" in Iraq. I think The Republican McCain is wrong.

    A COUPLE EXTRA WORDS... REPEATED UNTIL THEIR TRUTH IS KNOWN AND UNDERSTOOD (damn, i'm starting to sound like The Republican McCain)

  3. Anonymous12:34 PM

    This is way past due.

    I think "WIDE-STANCE" is THE key catch phrase for Republican hypocracy.

  4. Anonymous4:04 PM

    "All of them. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld. The Iraq war, the wrecked economy, the dangerous goods they let into our country and the dangerous ideas they have lulled and lured the electorate with."

    You forgot one, though he's more present-tense than past-tense (but still just as bad):

  5. Well said, WereBear. (Yes, I followed you over from the Driftglass comments section!)

    The only thing that remains--the hardest part, of course--is spreading this meme around EVERYWHERE and I'm talking about everywhere you go, everywhere you comment. Establish the premise in your answer and then link to this post. Get friends to do it, too.

    The concept is easily grasped. I see no reason it can't be distributed from sea to shining sea. (A YouTube video, even a low-tech one with a series of still pictures, would help, too...)

    Good luck...

  6. Anonymous4:01 AM

    Hey WereBear, I followed you here from the commentariat at Pharyngula. Good post.

    "We now know what happens when we vote Republican." You and the rest of the world. I hope you lot get it sorted out this time! ;-)