Imagine if cancer had a “brand”. You don’t have to — it’s the same as the GOP’s. Republicans suck at governing mostly because it’s their mission to prove that government doesn’t work. So, whenever they get into power, they turn government into a branch of their own corrupt enterprise.
Donald Trump IS the Republican Brand. So’s Mitch McConnell and Bill Barr and Mikes Flynn, Pompeo & Pence. Greed is the Republican Brand. And Corruption and conspiracy and — here’s the big one: TREASON. Yes, treason is absolutely part of what one should think of when one thinks “Republicans”.
Republicans MADE treason their brand when they took all that Russian money into their campaign coffers in 2016.
Republicans made treason their brand when they embraced Donald Trump — KNOWING that he was taking money from Russia.
Republicans made treason their brand when they did everything possible to obstruct every investigation into Russia’s involvement with Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Republicans made treason their brand when they refused to convict Trump for trying to pull the same treasonous bullshit with Ukraine in 2020 that they pulled with Russia in 2016.
Republicans make treason their brand each time they look away when Trump & Putin communicate sans notes, note-takers or anyone overseeing what exactly Trump is giving away.
It’s the treason that drives the rest of Republican corruption now. It has to. Once the GOP committed themselves to Trump, once they hitched their wagon to him — albeit reluctantly at first — the game was over. There couldn’t be any coming back — ever.
While the news media continues to scratch its head, unable to fathom why Republicans still only reluctantly disagree with Trump, the business world has already begun to separate themselves from Trump and the GOP because they care about their brands. The exodus didn’t just start however. Twenty-First Century Fox — the corporation that oversees Fox News — made a decision back in 2017 that reflected the reality that’s thudding hard into the Republican Party right now — they fired Bill O’Reilly.
O’Reilly, remember, was Fox’s cash cow before Tucker Carlson. The sexual misconduct accusations that ended O’Reilly’s tenure weren’t the first. And, in another time, the accusations might have been ignored as they always had been. But Twenty-First Century Fox’s board of directors saw red flag warnings ahead and chose to change course. The warnings came via their advertisers — who said they would no longer support O’Reilly with their ad dollars. And the advertisers were reacting to the most important fact in their universe: the majority of buying decisions in most American households were being made by women.
The advertisers needed women to like their brands so that they’d buy them. They knew however that women don’t care for men who sexually harass or abuse women. They won’t buy products from men like that — or companies that stand with abusers. Women, the advertisers understood, were the key. And, if women weren’t going to support Bill O’Reilly, neither would they.
That spelled the end of Bill O’Reilly at Fox. The toxicity of his brand did him in.
Branding can take years — decades even — to create yet moments to destroy. Guys like Kevin Spacey are terrific actors with remarkable bodies of work. But, in the public’s mind Kevin Spacey’s brand isn’t acting anymore. It’s sexual deviance. Yeah, Kevin beat the rap on one charge but that charge against Kevin didn’t happen in a vacuum.
No one wants to work with Kevin anymore. If Kevin signs on to a movie or TV project now, everyone else will bail on it. Welcome to Pariahhood, Kevin.
Give the GOP a few months — the day after election day — and they’ll know exactly how Kevin feels.
Even if the Republican Party cheats on an even more massive scale than they did in 2016 and comes away with a “win”? It won’t play like a win — not this time. This time, the cheating will have to be so staggeringly obvious that even our press will have to check their “both sides do it” heads at the door.
“Live with it” is how Republicans want to brand their coronavirus response. “Die because of it” will be the way the American public “brands” it however.
But then, what kind of branding did we expect from a death cult?