These days many major companies are in the process of rebranding their image. They have concluded that a new face will be good for the bottom line and maybe they will attract new customers for their product. Even the Toblerone chocolate manufacturers have decided they need a new logo and the famous Matterhorn Mountain is being removed from the labeling. If ever an entity needed a new image, it is the national Republican Party and there is no chance that such a change will take place in the near future.
At this point in time, the party is beginning to plan for the 2024 presidential election, but it is stuck with the worst possible public image. Ask the average man or woman on the street to name the best-known Republican in Washington and they will more than likely pick George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Green. On top of the fact that there is no Ronald Reagan to lead the army into the next presidential battle, the party is stuck with former President Donald Trump as their most popular figure.
A recent poll commissioned by Senate Republicans confirmed that Trump has a strong lead over Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis. There is much talk that one of two grand juries in either New York or Georgia are about to indict Mr. Trump, but he has stated that even if he is under indictment, he will seek the nomination. So like it or not the party is stuck with some very unpopular people. Is there any chance that the party can shake itself of its bad baggage? Not for at least one or two more four-year election cycles.
Most major political parties, recognizing that they have a poor face to the public, would put all of the factions in a room and try to hammer out a coordinated message. But sadly, it would be easier to get the Republican factions into a boxing ring than into an oversized conference room. There are a lot of individuals to point to when you talk about Republican Party madness besides Mr. Trump.
The person close to the top of the list is House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Anybody who serves in an elected body hopes that one day they will rise to the top of the leadership. McCarthy wanted his new job so desperately that in his zest for the title and the gigantic fancy office, he gave away the store to a handful of zealots who are undermining the party’s image on a daily basis. The George Santos headache was not of the party’s making, but they are stuck with him and McCarthy has no intention of pushing him out the door.
McCarthy did agree that the House Ethics Committee should investigate Santos, but that probe could take a year or more and in the end, there is no chance that Santos will be expelled from office. The investigation announcement was nothing more than a promise to some of the rank-and-file that something had to be done.
It is hard to imagine that a group of 20-plus House members will be responsible for the fate of the party in 2024, but that is obviously the case. No one knows what promises McCarthy made to gain the speakership, but slowly those commitments are coming into plain sight. The release of 40,000 hours of the Jan 6 riot tapes to a Fox News commentator, was one of those promises and a brief four minutes of the tape were used to claim that the insurrection was a “peaceful tourist event.”
Congresswoman Greene, who gets daily coverage of her outlandish conduct, wants a congressional delegation to visit Jan. 6 prisoners in the D.C. jail claiming that they are “political hostages.” These types of stunts make McCarthy look like a spineless leader who tolerates any and all craziness from his members. There is no doubt that if former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in charge, such wacko ideas would have been stopped with one phone call.
I know that the Republican Party exists as one of two major parties in America, but if its leaders think they can have big victories in 2024 without a massive house cleaning, they are in a state of delusion. America needs united and strong parties, but the current version of the GOP is the best thing that has ever happened to the Democrats at this crucial time.