Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The New Edsel

Some automotive history:

In February of 1959, Ford Motor Company executives sent a letter to the remaining Edsel dealerships expressing their confidence in the Edsel line, and that the all new 1960 model would be introduced in October. Even though research had indicated that Edsel could not make it through another year with the negative publicity that surrounded the name, Ford decided to give the car one last chance.

In spite of millions of dollars in research, market testing, and confidence that the consumer would buy just about whatever the manufacturer would put out there, the Edsel became synonymous with disaster, and in spite of redesigns in the following two model years that rendered it basically indistinguishable from other Fords, the plug was pulled in November 1959.

1960 Edsel

1960 Edsel

I was reminded of that last-minute grasp at straws when I read about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s pep talk to his fellow Republicans.

Over the next two years, the House Majority will pursue an agenda based on a shared vision of creating the conditions for health, happiness and prosperity for more Americans and their families. And to restrain Washington from interfering in those pursuits.

[...]

We will advance proposals aimed at producing results in areas like education, health care, innovation and job growth. Our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of self reliance, faith in the individual, trust in the family and accountability in government. Our goal – to ensure every American has a fair shot at earning their success and achieving their dreams.

And roses and rainbows, lollipops and ponies!

It’s very clear that the Republicans know they have a problem.  But they don’t seem to know exactly what that problem is.  (Hint: good people don’t like you.)

At least the folks at Ford knew they had made a mistake.