The Republican Party’s Brand Appeal, or Lack Thereof

“Just think if those Frosted Flakes brand gurus felt that the problem with selling their cereal to diabetics was one of semantics, not sugar, or that customers’ inability to afford boxes of the stuff was simply the free market in action. What if the company did things to limit who could hope to buy its products, or found ways to punish customers who didn’t. How about if it envisioned a radically new idea of what breakfast meant entirely, including where, when and by whom it would be eaten (and claimed it was the only way breakfast could survive as an institution), only there were other solutions to changing breakfast, and everybody knew about them.” – Jonathan Salem Baskin, AdAge
As the paragraph in the AdAge article which precedes the above excerpt points out, “selling products instead of meeting consumer needs” is a predictable path to failure. It’s true for cereal and for politicians.
Republicans in this cycle clearly chose a losing branding and marketing strategy. They branded themselves and their solutions to appeal only to those who were already sold on their ideas. To compound their problems, they then made no attempts to do anything but alienate anyone who wasn’t already sold. How in the world is that supposed to attract new “customers” to their party?
It now seems pretty clear that, along with a deficient “product” in terms of policy positions, the other really big failure came from the decision about whom they chose as their core target market – the ultra-conservative, neo-libertarian, and mostly low-information white male voter. I’m not trying to be unkind with the “low-information” description. I’m simply basing that on the amount of shock and surprise that seems to have overwhelmed all the GOP-supporting media outlets like Fox, AM talk radio, and even the so-called strategists like Mr. Rove. As for the “white male” component, those numbers are easily confirmed at sources like CNN.
Assuming that their core target market is the non-Hispanic white (and more male than female) voter, their core target market is also too narrowly defined, too small in shear numbers, and insufficiently interested in and motivated by their product to have won big in this election. By all accounts with which I’m familiar, and if the trends hold true into the future, the non-Hispanic white market is also going to be a shrinking market. This gives the current GOP strategy even greater appearance as being on the path toward even greater losses in the future.
       “The non-Hispanic white population will increase more slowly than other racial and ethnic groups; whites will become a minority (47%) by 2050.” (Pew Research Center, U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050, February 11, 2008
It will be interesting to watch what evidence there will be about precisely what the GOP leadership has learned from this election. I’m pretty skeptical about what that will be. McConnell already sounds as intransigent as ever, and I have almost no expectation that Boehner actually has the courage to distance himself and the rest of the House from the tea party caucus.
To be sure, the post-election landscape is only beginning to take shape. Still, I wonder who the more rational heads are within the GOP?
Yes, Huntsman gets some well-deserved attention as a likely candidate to help lead the GOP back toward a more reasonably-defined center, but he’s currently unemployed, as it were. He also doesn’t seem to me to fit the current mold of a party that inexplicably is willing to give their stage over to the likes of Cain, Bachmann, and Perry as presidential candidates. (Side note: Kudos to the GOP for having the good sense to ostracize Palin and recognize George W. Bush as a marketing liability.)
Without some dramatic and immediate changes, I suspect that the GOP – with the help of Fox, talk radio, and the Sheldon Adelsons of the world – will continue to pursue a strategy based more on spin and deception than on facts and reality. All that said and as much rancor and entrenchment as there seems to be these days, I’m cautiously optimistic.
I’m optimistic that concerned citizens like those involved with the Coffee Party ( will keep taking the time to separate fact from fiction. I’m optimistic that they’ll take the time to try to influence the public discussion about the real problems and challenges facing our society and the world at large, as well as what the options are for addressing them in everyone’s best interest.
I’m even more optimistic about the generation of 20-somethings coming up behind us. Speaking from first-hand experience as the proud father of two 20-somethings, they aren’t nearly so gullible and easily duped as our generation (or at least a significant portion of us) seems to be. I only hope we don’t end up leaving messes so big even they can’t clean them up.
It’s important for all of us to take the time to inform ourselves, to ask those to whom we listen or elect to back up their statements and positions with facts, and to be willing to compromise but only to the degree that such a compromise will serve the greatest good.
As for the Republican party, my advice is the same that Hal Ziegler offered just before his passing: real leaders within the GOP better start rising up to loudly and proudly call their colleagues out when they are being ideologues, especially when that ideology isn’t rational, truthful, or anything except obstructionist. And, they better hurry. Their party, to borrow a word from Mr. Rove’s fundraising efforts, really seems to be at a crossroads.

The Complete Palinisms

Did Sarah Palin really say that?
By Jacob Weisberg,
Updated Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, at 12:18 PM ET

“What I think she could add to that even is to explain what the real witchcraft and voodoo politics and economics is, and that’s what’s going on in D.C. And that’s why she’s determined to get to D.C., to write some laws and get some truth in Washington D.C. so that our economy can get roaring back to life.”—On what was missing from Christine O’Donnell’s “I’m You” campaign ad, to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Sept. 6, 2010.

See the complete list here.

Wake up GOP and Conservatives and Quit Being Idiot Tea-Baggers!

Don’t let the title fool you.

Only 28% of U.S. adults admit to being tea-baggers. 26% oppose. 38% neither support nor oppose. 8% don’t give a f***.

49% of tea-baggers identify themselves as GOP compared to…..
…… a whopping 28% of all U.S. adults who are willing to admit that they are Republicans.

72% of all U.S. adults are either Independent (40%) or Dems (32%).

Here’s a shocker….
70% of tea-baggers say they are Conservative but only 40% of U.S. adults say so. 59% of U.S. adults are either Moderate (38%) or Liberal (21%).

And look, another huge surprise….
19% of tea-baggers earn less than $30K a year
…… 55% make more than $50K

More surprises….
62% of Republicans and 63% of Conservatives have a favorable opinion of tea-baggers, but……
More National Adults overall(40% v 37%), Independents (41% v 37%), and Moderates (51% v 24%) have an UNFAVORABLE opinion compared to a favorable one.

Wake up you Republicans and Conservatives before you disappear completely into the cultural oblivion and societal garbage heap which is most certainly the final destination of Queen Tea Bag and her moronic movement.

Fox News Looses Last Bit of Credibility with Palin Hire

As if the last scintilla of any real news journalism credibility hadn’t already been sacrificed in honor of Beckwits everywhere, they’ve finally gone and pulled the trigger on someone who is undoubtedly the dumbest person ever to get into national politics; someone even dumber than W. It’ll sadly and probably be good for ratings, though. Got to give them that. They know how to feed crap to and make billions from people who seem all too willing to eat it up without question and with a giant spoon.

Hiring Palin to somehow be a respectable and reputable commentator on something she knows nothing about? Are they kidding? Oh wait, she was governor, but that didn’t seem to suit her, either. But then, there is all of that hard work she puts into reading books, magazines and newspapers in order to keep up with what’s happening in the world, you betcha’.

IMHO, the only people Fox News should still have any credibility with are the couple in the Twinkies/HoHos wedding cake photo that circulated in email a few years back. I honestly can’t see how any other segment of the population doesn’t see through their charade.

So, good f****** luck with that. We all might as well subscribe to the The Globe for additional in-depth and investigative news, shut down all the other news companies, and stop all funding of public news organizations. Fox has Sarah and that’s all we need to know.