Josh Foxworth, a co-director at our Bay Area satellite, recently penned a pretty good explanation for why we push back so hard against the GOP. Turns out the Grand Ol’ Party doesn’t really qualify as a party at all. Read on to see what we mean…
There’s a huge misconception that the Republican party is a “political party”. This is not true. By definition, a political party is an entity with the express purpose of wielding political power to enact policy. As the GOP has not done that in decades and is currently making zero pledges to enact policy in the future, this definition does not apply.
More aptly, the GOP is a brand – like Nike, Ford, Apple etc. It is a brand in the unique position that potential customers must choose between it and a single other entity. As such the primary goal of the GOP brand has become avoiding negative publicity and getting good/neutral coverage where possible. There are two reasons for this.First, the GOP believes that most voters are very much opposed to what the Dems are doing, and they believe that they can obtain power by simply being the other choice. Offering any policy at all can only serve as a means to turn off voters looking for something else.The larger issue however is that the entities which provide media coverage provide only negative or no media coverage to those that push GOP policies, and neutral or even positive coverage to GOP reps that do nothing. GOP reps are allowed to bluster somewhat on social media and they are allowed to file bills that nibble on the edges but will never be voted on. However, any rep/candidate that pushes policies will find themselves on the receiving end of bad press, and every other GOP rep will denounce them to avoid similar treatment.This is why the primary activities of GOP reps are attending fundraisers, giving non-issue based speeches at small events, handing out “awards” to every person/business possible, and hosting non-issue events at the Capitol in Austin and DC. Make no mistake, this is campaigning; it is getting their name and face out as much as possible and getting neutral press coverage that lets them establish their individual brands within the party and their districts. They effectively use their office as a non-stop campaign. The media awards them for doing nothing by covering these events and presenting the representative as “active” and “working” for their community. The media portrays GOP baby-kissing as if it is pushing right wing policies because the last thing the media wants is a GOP rep pushing policy. Their best outcome for deep red districts are GOP reps that believe that the “smart” move is to “play” the media.To push policy is to signal that you are potentially bad for the brand and will result in no committee positions and no legislation being brought forward.This is one reason why it’s effectively impossible to primary a GOP rep. The media will never give press coverage to a legitimate conservative when they challenge an incumbent, unless it’s to label them something. The media then provides platforms for those incumbents to assert complete and total myths about their records and their actions in an effort to make them appear “conservative” to their deep red districts. The goal is to convince people that while there is something deeply wrong with the GOP, their representative is one of the good ones. They do this using the same branding and marketing tactics that they use to sell any other item – media.GOP elites at the state and federal level have effectively colluded with the media to make the grassroots incapable of getting issues addressed or remove “Rinos”. They don’t need the people, the have the media to convince the average voter that campaigning is actually their job.
If you discount any of those things, I would invite you to look at the media coverage of the GOP Gubernatorial campaign in Texas and to scroll through the feeds of any Texas representative at the state and federal level. You’ll see one-eyed logos and similar branding techniques as well as non stop campaigning, but you won’t see a single blurb about immigration, spending, health care, meaningful change to education, addressing the university system, etc