Republicans Are Brand W.
|Brand W isn't selling so well, but it's all the Republicans have got.|
They simply cannot get around it.
Republicans = George W. Bush.
In the face of a fairly strong move to warn Bush and the Republicans, Democrats
today are formally challenging brand W. on national securit. Poor Georgie's
boys are seeking to remind Republicans that they are “brand W” and
can't afford to separate from the daddy ship. Not exactly inspiring campaign
year rhetoric for Republicans. But here's the bottom line: Republicans only
have each other because they lost
independents a long time ago.
Iraq, Katrina, Dubai port deal, immigration stagnation, whopping deficit, incompetence
at every level… oh, and did I mention Iraq? Everywhere you look you see the
weak, ineffectual and incompetent leadership of George W. Bush. Republicans
are being warned that they cannot win without brand W. in 2006, because they're
all they've got. If they lose, Bush loses and so does the Republican Party because,
well, read the memo.
To: Ken Mehlman
From: Jan van Lohuizen
Date: March 3, 2006
Re: Bush — Congressional Republicans
Per our conversation, we took another look at the way
voters, Republicans specifically, link President Bush and Republicans in the
House and the Senate. There are several points worth making:
1. President Bush continues to have the strong loyal
support of Republican voters. Despite slippage in approval ratings among all
voters, the President's job approval among Republicans continues to be very
high. Most members will be elected with between 80% and 100% of their support
coming from Republicans. I don't see that Republicans driving a wedge between
themselves and the President is a good election strategy.
2. My read of the current environment is that our problem
will be turnout. '06 could become an election like '82 or '84. In '82 Republicans
showed up at relatively normal turnout rates, while Democrats, because they
were angry, showed up at abnormally high turnout rates. In '94, Republican
turnout was elevated, while Democratic turnout was depressed. We have every
reason to believe '06 could become the inverse of '82. We don't see signs
of a depressed Republican turnout yet, but we have every reason to believe
Democrats will turn out in high numbers. Anything we do to depress turnout,
by not running as a unified party for instance, could very well lead to serious
consequences in November.
3. The President is seen universally as the face of
the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans. The
following chart shows the extremely close correlation between the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
image and overall ratings of the party.
President Bush drives our image and will do so until
we have real national front-runners for the '08 nomination. Attacking the
President is counter productive for all Republicans, not just the candidates
launching the attacks. If he drops, we all drop.
Like that last line?
Let's face it, if Democrats gain control of the House there will be investigations
until the day Bush walks out of office. We may actually learn a thing or two.
But it's the highlighted line, my emphasis, that needs to be the bottom line
for Democratic Party voters, indepedents, as well as disaffected Republicans
looking for a way out of this mess. If you vote for a Republican in 2006, you
are voting for George W. Bush, because the Republican Party is now brand W.
That Republicans are trying to tie candidates and incumbents to brand W. to
try and make it stronger shows how little they understand what the weakness of Bush's “leadership” has done to this country, as well as the voters of all stripes. The lack of leadership on the immigration bill will
only make that worse. After all, it's mostly a Democratic Party bill out of
the Judiciary Committee, which is led by Republicans.
George Bush's brand of leadership has failed, so they're desperate to remind Republicans all they've got is each other. This memo shows just how desperate the Republicans under brand W. have become.