Republican National Committee members today will vote on a resolution to rebrand the Democratic Party the “Democrat Socialist Party,” upon the urging of leading conservative members of the committee.
In an email to committee members announcing the resolution, conservative stalwart James Bopp, Jr., said President Obama’s foremost intention is to reengineer the American way of life, and will stop at nothing short of restructuring our society “along socialist ideals.”
Bopp hopes their misguided efforts to rebrand the Democratic Party will serve as a galvanizing point in American politics, not unlike “President Reagan’s identification of the Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire’ galvanized opposition to communism.”
Unlike the “Evil Empire,” Republicans lost to the Democratic Party in a fair and free election – the hallmark of American democracy – to the tune of 9,500,000 votes. And then, of course, is the fact that we’re not, say, at war and with mutually-assured destruction looming overhead.
The Democratic Party may well be, as Bopp contends, on a slow, steady march towards Socialism, but passing such a resolution would be a four-minute mile run towards generational oblivion.
Nothing revives the party of old white men like some good ol’ Cold War rhetoric. Likewise, nothing will marginalize more independent voters who cast their ballot for a “Socialist” in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan. That’ll get ‘em back in the fold, boys.
Resolving to refer to the opposition as Socialists will not win back the favor of the American people. If this asinine ideological rebuke is to accomplish anything, it will be a concession that Republicans are rhetorically ineffectual. Moreover, it will crystallize the notion that Republicans deserve their minority status.
The language of the resolution is not set in stone, however, and will likely be massaged, according to some committee members with knowledge of the process.
When the resolution passes – I’m told it likely will – the forceful rebuke will have been stricken. But the resolved language is not the problem. Indicative of the Republican Party’s present existential crisis, Republicans are earnestly debating the use of Cold War rhetoric as a means to gain favor with voters.
Such a debate signals a changing tide in the Republican Party. We’re no longer advocates for limited government and a strong national defense. We’re no longer a diverse coalition of voters. We’re no longer the party of optimism, and certainly not of hope.
The Republican Party of 2009 is an antagonistic minority party, wholly incapable of championing our causes of yesteryear. And a childish vote in favor of renaming the Democratic Party is a disgraceful reminder.
UPDATE: The committee adopted a diluted version of Bopp’s resolution this afternoon by a voice vote, dropping the absurd measure to label Democrats as Socialists.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, celebrating his first small victory in successfully managing an intra-party crisis, issued the following statement:
“The Republican Party strongly believes that a government which spends without restraint, incurs record amounts of debt, owns banks and makes cars is not the right kind of ‘change’ America needs. Republicans are united in opposition to the destructive policies of the President and Congressional Democrats. I am pleased that the committee adopted a resolution that focuses on the Democrats’ policies and their destructive effects on America’s economic engine, rather than attempting to rename our opponents. The RNC and the entire Republican Party is moving forward with strength and unity.”