G-O-P Spells “Tea”

With the recent win by Christine O’Donnell, it seems that all the chatter in recent days has been about the Tea Party.  Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck both do a fairly good job of keeping the concept in the public mind, and in the modern age of “media overload”, that is exactly what you have to do when trying to create recognition for a new brand name.

But who makes up the Tea Party?  Well…the base of the party are regular folks like you or I.  But as you get further up the “chain”, you find that it is basically a bunch of Republicans.  The same folks that were in office over the previous 10 years.  Of course, Sarah Palin is a hint.  And her “maverick” image seems to be conditioned perfectly for the image of this new brand name.

And if you watch the news, the whole developing “Tea party” thing is starting to get more and more press.  There are stories of “rifts“:

The few remaining Republican centrists in the Senate were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Michael N. Castle of Delaware, a longtime and reliable moderate voice who could provide some counterbalance to the wave of conservatives poised to enter Congress and the steadily rightward shift of party leaders.

But Mr. Castle was defeated in his party primary on Tuesday by Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party insurgent. And while the conservative wing rejoiced, the surprise outcome raised serious questions about the future place in the party of lawmakers like Senators Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and other Republicans in the Senate and House who are not lock-step conservatives.

As a quick aside, the next paragraph in the linked story above highlights exactly what the first thing that needs to be ‘fixed’ in our system is:

Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who has seen his stature rise through his support of conservative candidates, made it clear in the aftermath of the Delaware upset that he would prefer losing a seat to Democrats than having Republican colleagues who stray from the conservative line and erode party unity and image by voting for policies supported by the Obama administration.

This is what having political parties does to you.  It forces you to put your party ahead of your nation, in order to receive funding so that you can campaign.  Or risk being labelled something silly like “RINO” (Castle’s problem against O’Donnell is that he was seen as a “republican in name only”).

But to return to my topic, the story for the stage seems to be set.  The People are expected to believe that there is a new conservative movement afoot.  But if you look at it a little closer, you see that there is nothing new about this movement.  It is made up of the same players at the top, many who are hedging their bets by “dual wielding” the GOP/TEA titles.

How many of you remember Ross Perot’s failed bid for the presidency?  In national level races, getting on the ballot can require an act of God (another reason party politics should be banished).  The “Tea Party” candidates are merely competing for the GOP seats.  O’Donnell defeated Castle in the REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.  The Tea Party is not a new party…it is just the old wolf in sheeps clothing.

We have seen this before, countless times, in business.  Once you get a black eye, you change your name and go back to work.  A recent example:

We here at the Pony blog are always on the lookout for ponies and we found one — literally — in the new commercials for Ally bank, the GM finance arm formerly known as GMAC.

A little girl is sitting at a small table in what looks like an observation room.

“Would you like a pony?” a man in a suit asks her.

“Yeah,” she replies.

He hands her a toy pony and she smiles big.

He turns to a second little girl, asks if she wants a pony, and she says yes.

He clicks his tongue and a real pony comes out.

The first little girl gives a look that could kill and says, “You didn’t say you could have a real one.”

“You didn’t ask,” he replies smugly.

This is one of three spots created by the Bartle Bogle Hegarty agency aimed at rebranding Ally and distancing it from the struggling automaker, General Motors. The other two are similar bait-and-switch themes using kids — one involving a boy and a truck, the other, a girl and a bike. The message: Other banks dupe you with the fine print — Ally bank wouldn’t do that.

It’s a brilliant strategy when you’re trying to rebrand a bank in the middle of a recession blamed on banks: Bring on the cute kids—and the pony!


Ally Bank, formerly GMAC, has rebranded itself.   And why not?  They have received a black eye, consumer confidence is shaky, and the future of their organization depends on distancing themselves from the negative public perception by building on a new foundation.

Post Bush/Cheney (especially Cheney) the GOP found itself in the unsavory position of being so unpopular, following a housecleaning on Capital Hill 2 years earlier, that the prospects of regaining any meaningful political power was seemingly slim.

With O’Donnell’s win, we are seeing that the GOP is even providing financial backing to Tea Party winners.  There is literally no difference between one or the other.  The Tea Party is the GOP’s attempt at “Hope and Change”, and it is no more truthful that Obama’s version.

I would predict that we will see another housecleaning in DC.  I would also suspect that the results will be the same as if the Tea Party had never even been heard of.  It is just GOP, with a twist.


3 Responses to “G-O-P Spells “Tea””

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