The Party of Winston Smith
If Arlen Specter's defection from the GOP is a strong signal that the Republican Party needs to retool its strategy for the future, then beginning by attacking Specter as a leftist then just 24 hours later using a five year-old campaign ad featuring George W. Bush's endorsement in order to paint him as one of the bad Republicans (or am I being tautological?) is not a good way to go about it.
The Republican Party has been the Party of Personal Reprisals for so many years now hardly anyone alive remembers when they were anything else. It's become a matter of accepted policy: When it suits them, even a sainted cardboard cutout cowboy like George W. Bush will be used less as a sacred cow and more like Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
It's cowardly and craven, to say the least, that they would (sniff) use our dearly departed Dear Decidin' Leader for nefarious purposes in order to smear one of their own. The poor man is now in no position to defend himself aside from Karl Rove's funhouse mirror reflection of recent history from the pages of the Wall St. Journal. Using Bush in this way would've been unthinkable before the 2006 midterms but this was when the backlash started against a man to whom the Congress gave everything he ever wanted and more in some cases even in the 11th hour of his Diebold-manufactured administration.
It's obvious that the Republican Party will never change. Some Republicans retire, die, get voted out, switch parties. But they and the voters keep refilling their rank ranks with more of their own. They can trot out Ken Mehlman and Michael Steele to get jiggy wid it but the ineluctable fact remains: The GOP will never change. It is not the party of Steele but the Party of Rush. The Party of David Duke. The Party of Karl Rove. The Party of Dick Cheney. The not-so-secret Party of Joe Lieberman. The Party of Reagan. The Party of Israel. The Party of Corporations. The Revisionist Party of the Reformed Winston Smith who, in the end, learned to love Big Brother again and didn't turn on him for political expediency.