Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Damaged GOP Brand

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire looks at the 'damaged GOP brand:'

GOP pollster Glen Bolger explains: "We’re still good on taxes and values, but have big problems on 'less spending' and 'less government,' and there are cracks in the wall of our strong national security fortress. The other tarnish is that for a long time, Democrats were the party of the professional politicians, while Republicans came to Washington to fix the mess and go home. The scandals and the way Republicans ran the House mean that we have been more interested in power than in doing what is right -- which means we are no different than that which we replaced in 1994."

One reason that it took the Democrats 12 years to reclaim the image of the party most prepared to 'fix the mess' in Washington is that Republicans were perceived after 1994 as having actually changed things in Washington. Will the public decide in a year that Democrats have really changed how Washington works? So far, I think the answer looks like 'no.'

A big question will be what they do with the ethics process. Will they finally reject the system that leaves Members in charge of protecting - rather than policing - their own, or will they create an independent body? I think that will go a long way to determining if they are seen as continuing business as usual.

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