Brand W

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National Journal's Hotline has a memo from a Republican pollster, circulated by RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, warning GOP candidates that "We are now brand W. Republicans," and that attempts to distance themselves from the president will only backfire by hurting the brand. That seems weirdly question-begging: The point of distancing yourself from Bush is precisely not to be seen as a "brand W. Republican." The pollster warns that "if he drops, we all drop." But if you take it for granted that the antecedent is going to be true ("he drops"), then the only way to dodge the consequent ("we all drop") is by loosening that if-then link as much as possible. In other words, panicked Republicans presumably just think that the entailment is less locked in stone than the premise.

NEXT: Distributing Due Diligence

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  1. I get it!
    It’s not just democRATS that desert a sinking ship, right?

  2. It’s probably true. Do you think the general public is going to let a candidate pick nits with W’s execution mechanics?

    “I agree with most of W’s strategy except how he executed?” or, “I disagree with his strategy even though I voted for it?”

    Or a new fresh-faced Republican, “I’m really different…this time!!”

    “I got an idea, what if I put before you a 10 point term-sheet…it’ll be like a symbolic contract! We won’t be irresponsible spendthrifts like that other party. Wait wait don’t go….well who are you going to vote for? A Democrat?”

  3. This is about as stupid as that whole “11th Commandment” bullshit Reagan rambled about.

    Thank goodness, I’m no longer a Republican.

  4. OK, if Bush drops, they all drop. If they support Bush, then they won’t drop.

    But suppose I’m a GOPer who thinks that Bush is going to drop sooner or later anyway (perhaps because he’s an incopetent prick). I might assume the sooner we drop him, the sooner we rebound. Therefore, the sooner they drop his sorry ass, the sooner they can move on, and start re-building the party.

  5. To everyone:

    Name a president in our livetime who wasn’t an incompetant prick. Show your work.

    We’ll wait.

  6. I’d guess that the ratio of improper to proper use of the term “begging the question” in the mainstream media is probably close to 100 to 1. There was an edition of the Miami Hearld in January that misused it no less than 3 times (and one of them was in a headline!).

  7. FDS, you are swimming upstream. Let it go, man, let it go.

  8. The memo makes it out like the GOP is a mafia crime family. Any unwavering loyality to W and everyone goes down. You’ve been branded!

  9. Jeff P.
    Actually I think W is the only truly incompetent president. Sure LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter seem easy pickings (and while I also despised Reagan, Bush the elder, and Clinton, none can in any meaningful sense be considered incompetent), they all had successes and accomplishments to counter their general failure. Only Bush Jr. possesses the ‘dumb as a post’ quality along with a despicable legacy that makes the charge stick.

  10. “Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.”

  11. “Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.”

    [Grabs Fredo by the shoulders and gives him a kiss.]

    “I know it was you, Fredo. I know you voted Kerry in the last election.”

  12. From the libertarian perspective, the last president who wasn’t an incompetent prick was Calvin Coolidge, though I guess if you count effectiveness at imposing the Federal Behemoth on all of us as “competence,” then Nixon was the last truly competent president of my lifetime, only slightly below the master himself, LBJ.

  13. Name a president in our livetime who wasn’t an incompetant prick. Show your work.

    Eisenhower!

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