Rebranding is trendy in the Republican Party.
Rep. Eric Cantor gave a major speech Tuesday to advance the effort. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants the GOP to stop being the “stupid party.”Karl Rove is setting up a political action committee (it’s what he does these days) to defeat right-wing crazies who cost the party Senate seats.
But there’s a big difference between rebranding and pursuing a different approach to governing.
The good news is that some Republicans have decided that the party moved too far to the right and are backing off long-standing positions on tax increases, guns and immigration. Their new flexibility, combined with President Obama’s new post-election aggressiveness, is producing a quiet revolution in Washington. The place is becoming less dysfunctional.
Congress has already passed a substantial tax increase, Republicans avoided a debt ceiling fight, and the ice is breaking on guns and immigration.
The mixed news: A lot of the rebranding efforts are superficial yet nonetheless reflect an awareness that the party has been asking the wrong questions, talking about the wrong issues and limiting the range of voters it’s been addressing.