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Late Night: Aaron Schock, Marriage Equality and Republican Re-Branding

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“I can neither confirm nor deny my bigotry, as to confirm it would alienate every voter who isn’t a tight-permed churchy scold in a cat sweatshirt, and to deny it would cost me those churchy scolds who I need to win primaries even in the state of Illinois. And have you seen this fucking place? It’s becoming INSANELY GAY up in here, so I am caught between being a Republican and being a decent human being who does not give a damn who you or anyone else screws, and in that calculus decency will lose every time. And yet. I don’t support marriage equality because I haven’t supported it. So there.”

There was a lot of noise last week about Republican “re-branding.” Full disclaimer, I am about as good a marketer as I am a pet therapist (“SHUT THE FUCK UP, FLUFFY!”) but I wonder if it isn’t a bad marketing decision to announce loudly that you are re-branding, as that implies that your previous brand was deficient. And using the term re-branding implies you’re not really going to do anything different. You’re just changing the colors of the brochure.

Now, that might make sense, if the racism and sexism and fear and insularity and general dislike of one’s fellow Americans was somehow an innacurate spectrum with which to portray the modern Republican party. As it is, though, I could re-brand my site as FIRST DRAFT: THE WORLD’S BEST SPORTS BLOG and people still wouldn’t read us for baseball coverage.


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.