Thursday, May 21, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Caucus at the NYT: R.N.C. Votes Down the ‘Democrat Socialist Party’

The opponents said the proposal to impose a new name on the Democrats made the Republican party appear trite and overly partisan, and would prove politically embarrassing.

“Calling people names isn’t useful,” said Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi and a former chairman of the party.

Gee, you think?

It was one of the more childish maneuvers from a national party committee that I can recall. While it did get the RNC press, it wasn’t the good kind. The very idea not only underscored the fact that the Reps appear to be a bit light on actual ideas at the moment, but that the talk-radioization of the party continues where one of the key types of criticism is poking fun by trying to be clever (emphasis on the trying).

Still, socialism isn’t dead:

while stopping short of officially trying to rename the Democratic Party, the resolution said the Republican National Committee members “recognize that the Democratic Party is dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals.” It described the Democrats’ “clear and obvious purpose in proposing, passing and implementing socialist programs through federal legislation.”

One also reckons that they won’t stop saying “Democrat Party”–but we shall see.

Update: Steve Benen rightly comments:

the time invested in this “debate” among committee members only helped magnify the party’s difficulties. Given all of the problems Republicans are facing, who thought it would be a good idea for prolonged debate about urging the majority party to name itself the “Democrat Socialist Party”? Is that really the best use of the RNC’s time right now?

And the obvious answer is no.

If the Reps want to win, they need to define themselves, not try to rebrand the opposition.

Indeed, in terms of this whole branding issue, and it is a point that has been made before (by others, and I think perhaps I have said it as well): given that at the moment that Obama and the Democrats are fairly popular, trying to link them with “socialism: has the potential to do the opposite of the what the Reps want, and make the term “socialism” more popular. If anything, they are working really hard to take a term that has been considered outside of mainstream of US politics and making it a common term. They think that the word is so scary that it will turn Americans off the Dems, but in point of fact they may simply be inadvertently taking the sting out of the word. After all, if one hears something over and over, it tends to lose its uniqueness or whatever drama it might have otherwise had.

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3 Responses to “Not Democrat Socialists After All…”

  • el
  • pt
    1. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Reagan and Taxes Says:

      [...] several tax increased under the Reagan administration that, no doubt, would raise cries of “socialism” in some quarters these [...]

    2. CactusJeff Says:

      Serious question. I realize that it’s “Democratic Party” instead of “Democrat Party”, but why is “Democrat Party” considered insulting (or at least what I infer as insulting) instead of just simply incorrect? Is it along the lines of:

      “You belong to the Democrat Party.”
      “Well, actually, it’s properly referred to as the DemocratIC Party.”
      “Oh yeah? Well I’m going to call you the Democrat Party instead. Nyah nyah nyah.”


    3. Steven L. Taylor Says:

      It is considered a jab because there are Republicans who seriously go out of their way to say “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party” simply because they know that it annoys Democrats.

      It is quite childish, really.

      Your dialog pretty much captures the situation.

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