Hey, Kids, it's Poochie the Republican Insult Dog!
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Fans of the Simpsons may remember Poochie, the dog created by the creators of the "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoons as a way of better connecting with their youthful core audience when they feared they were losing touch with that demographic. The rebranding was a disaster after just one episode when it was discovered that the skateboarding Poochie was actually killing the concept that made Itchy and Scratchy a success in the first place. Despite viewer outrage and calls for his immediate removal, Homer (who was hired by the studio to do Poochie's voice) and the actress who did Itchy and Scratchy's voices eventually grew to like the cartoon dog with the attitude.
Undeterred, the studio executives got rid of Poochie the very next episode with a slapdash episode that said in bloody, red letters that Poochie went back to his home planet and was killed on the journey back.
So why am I writing about a cartoon dog that barely occupied a cartoon universe on the Fox network?
Because (while I'll try to avoid making an underdog pun that's guaranteed to send me straight to Hell on an express elevator) what the College Republicans and the GOP establishment is doing runs along similar lines, as evidenced by this document that was released this week by the College Republican National Committee. It features, in a risible attempt to convey some hipness, a cover of an iPhone with earbuds attached to it and on the screen, natch, is a diminished red, white and blue elephant.
In forming this 95 page report, the College Republicans asked moderates and grown-up Republicans (Yes, there are some adult Republicans, believe it or not) for their input and the amount of moderate input must have set them all on their pointy little heads. Among the recommendations:
Rather than seeing this handwriting on the wall for what it is, the College Republicans ignored this substantial deviation from current Republican policy that's solely predicated on denying the nigger in the Oval Office whatever he wants even if it was their idea to begin with and trying to spin the Republican Party's massive unpopularity especially among the young as a mere rebranding issue.
As if a shit sandwich will taste better on expensive Artesian bread instead of plain old white or rye.
As if little kids will come running to the ice cream truck driven by the Stephen King clown It if it plays Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer."
As if switching brands of anal lube will relieve one of that dull, burning sensation one feels whenever Obama lets the Republicans have whatever they want by first compromising with himself.
You get the idea. The College Republicans, as usual, these fine, young Alex Keatons of the nation are stupid and naive enough to think that the GOP's unpopularity among young voters is simply a perception problem, a rebranding issue, not that the GOP's policies that are popular only among pasty, bloated, old white men are at fault.
It's our fault that we're just perceiving these heroic statesmen the wrong way and that we'll gladly eat the same shit sandwich as long as it has a little cheese and bits of fiber baked into it.
Meet the New Party Boss, Same as the Old Party Boss
This is highly insulting to young voters, obviously, as well as to anyone of intelligence. What the College Republicans are essentially saying in their misguided report, that seems to blow off the recommendations given to them by their experts (ones that would be misconstrued as archly liberal in Beltway circles that may still look to "The Note" for their legislative cues) is it’s really about the presentation, not the content.And their stubborn emphasis on rebranding instead of paradigm shifts in their policy views shows how bottomlessly superficial the younger acolytes of the conservative movement remain.
In effect, the College Republicans seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the establishment GOP's insistence on and plans for rebranding in time for the 2016 election. Seeing that Obama got re-elected by a majority (albeit a vastly diminished majority) of voters 18-30, the Republicans realized that aiming for the white, middle-aged to elderly vote (essentially, Rush's and Fox "News'" withering demographic) isn't going to cut it, anymore. And, despite being hamstrung by the occasional Republican who still makes an anti-Hispanic or homophobic or misogynistic remark, this is an entrenched strategy that, while as obviously doomed as a launching Hindenburg already in flames, will go on.
The results, rest assured, will be as pathetic as Michael Steele's laughable attempts three and a half years ago to make the Republican Party hip to younger voters when he was still the RNC Chairman.
Remember, kiddies, it wasn't George Allen's policies that got him voted out (although I'm sure they didn't help): It was his "Macaca" comments at a rally made to an Indian American in attendance. It wasn't Allen West's or Joe Walsh's branding that got their asses booted out of Congress last November: It was the fact that they were both spittle-flecked, boorish morons who were too consumed with hatred of the President and not enough with supplanting Mr. Obama's policies and objectives with substantial ones of their own. And it's not Michele Bachmann's misperception on the part of Minnesota's 6th District that will chase her out of Congress, it was the ongoing investigations into misconduct during her so-called presidential campaign.
Instead of passing the buck onto their peers, they should have pushed back in this report against entrenched Republican policies that plainly are no longer relevant (as if they ever were) in a modern, even evolving world. In fact, evolution is the top enemy of basic conservative thought, especially in its infinitely noxious reactionary latter-day incarnation.
And writing a passing-the-buck report while using on its cover little pictures of smartphones (which aren't iconic of youth as much as they are of everyday technology accessible to and used by virtually everyone of all age groups) is not going to bring the Republican Party back to its apex during the Eisenhower years (vast improvements and expansion of the infrastructure, a 91% tax rate, a strong national defense without reckless and expensive military adventurism).
It's not branding that's sinking the GOP's chances in 2016 over three years in advance of the next general elections. It's their selfish policies that's hostile to women, immigrants, gays and, yes, even the young. The perception problem isn't owned by young voters of conscience who see the Republican Party with bright, clear eyes. That perception problem's on the young Republicans of this country who cannot come to grips with the fact that the GOP is completely out of touch with the needs of a 21st century America demanding justice, compassion and respect among all its factions.
And to prove it, they're even ignoring the advice of their elders who are suggesting hardly radical but commonsensical solutions out of the ditch into which the GOP had driven them.