Name-Changing Resolutions Won't Change the Game for the GOP

Political eyes will be on the National Harbor in Prince George's County, Md., as the Republican National Committee meets to consider what we're going to call Democrats.

With the GOP on the receiving end of back-to-back electoral smackdowns in 2006 and 2008 and the party's polls numbers still hovering somewhere below those of trial lawyers (though above John Edwards's numbers!), spending time and money on what is essentially a name-calling resolution — to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat-Socialist Party" — is at best a waste of time.

More damaging, it sends a signal that many Republicans just don't get it and have no clue what is important to voters. They care about the economy and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They care about their healthcare and their kids’ education. What don't they care about? Labels.

Such a move won't help a single Republican candidate get elected (and if it's a good idea, candidates could do it on their own), nor does it offer any policy-based solutions, such as Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is seeking with the National Council for a New America.

Over at the NRCC and NRSC, they are concerned with recruiting candidates and raising money. They want to beat Democrats, whatever they're called.

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza laid it bare: "The number of self-identifying Republicans stood at 21 percent last month — the lowest it has been since the fall of 1983."

So it should be explained — how will calling Democrats another name help the party rebuild that number? How will it help gain support from Hispanics and other groups where the numbers continue to fall?

If the GOP is serious about taking back the White House and Congress, the focus has to be on winning — and engaging as many voters as possible. The party can't afford to take its collective eye off the ball and send the wrong signals to the voters. We did enough of that the last two election cycles.

In the meantime, here's a suggestion: Let's just call them Democrats.