Skip to comments.What the GOP Can Learn From a Pizza Chain
Posted on 01/08/2010 4:34:30 AM PST by Kaslin
This is one of those rare moments when the conventional wisdom in Washington is right. The Democrats are poised to have a bad year; the only argument is over how bad it will be. And that question rests on whether or not the Republican Party crafts an agenda voters will support
So far the GOP has shrewdly been the "party of no." Since I disagree with so much of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, I happen to think that "no" is the correct position on the merits. But that's not the point. Saying "no" has worked because that's what most Americans say, too.
The trick for the GOP is to figure out what it will say yes to. Republicans are a bit like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Americans were sick of Bush and the Republicans back then, so they threw their support behind the Democrats by default. The Democrats over-read this support as a sweeping mandate for their agenda.
This has given the GOP an opportunity many Republicans feared just a year ago might not come for a generation.
Now comes the hard part: seizing the opportunity. Fortunately, I'm not a political consultant. But if I were giving my two cents -- and whaddya know? I am! -- I'd tell the GOP to look not to Reagan in 1980 or Gingrich in 1994, as so many pundits suggest.
I'd look to Domino's in 2010.
You may have seen the commercials or the four-minute YouTube video touting the iconic pizza-delivery chain's reinvention. But if you haven't, Domino's new campaign can be summed up easily enough: "We blew it."
Focus groups and consumer surveys revealed something pretty much everyone outside of Domino's has known for years: Their pizza stinks. It tastes as if aliens tried to copy real pizza but just couldn't capture its essence.
In their four-minute video (search YouTube for "the Pizza Turnaround") executives, employees and chefs at the company confront their harshest reviews head-on. They talk about how much it hurts to hear that their product "tastes like cardboard" and is worse than microwave pizza. But they admit the truth and commit themselves to starting over with more flavor, better crusts, and cheese that doesn't taste like discount weather caulking. Domino's says that the American palate has improved, and they want to update their recipe to take account of that fact.
The appeal of the campaign should be obvious: honesty. Domino's admits they lost their way, and they want a second chance. They're confronting the criticism head-on rather than denying it.
Obviously, the analogy to the GOP isn't perfect. For example, last I checked, Domino's didn't get bogged down in an unpopular war.
But the GOP's troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn't stop liking what the Republican Party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.
As a conservative who cares more about policies than partisan success, I would hate to see the GOP abandon conservative policies in order to be more popular. That would be like Domino's listening to critics and then deciding to get into the Chinese food business. Indeed, by my lights, that's what George W. Bush tried to do with his "compassionate conservatism." He surrendered to liberal arguments about the role, size and scope of government on too many fronts. In effect, he said you can have your pizza and Kung Pao chicken all in the same dish. That's not a good meal, it's a bad mess.
Moreover, abandoning conservatism would be silly. According to Gallup, Americans identify themselves as conservative over liberal by a margin of 2-1, the same proportion as just after 9/11.
So what would a GOP-turnaround recipe look like? That's a subject for any number of other columns. But for starters, I'd look to young political chefs like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). He's been the leader in attacking "crony capitalism" -- the corrupt merger of big business and big government, a hallmark of the Obama administration. For too long Republicans confused supporting big business with supporting free markets, when big business is often the biggest impediment to fair competition. Other fresh new ingredients would almost surely include pro-family tax policies and the de-linking of legal and illegal immigration as interchangeable terms.
But first, the GOP needs to admit it screwed up. That's what Democrats did with Bill Clinton, and it gave the "New Democratic Party" a new lease on life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't have been more wrong when he said there are "no second acts in American lives." More than any nation on earth, America is about second acts. We love contrition and redemption. We love it in pizza companies and politicians alike.
One of my inlaws ran a Dominos...he said that the ingredients for a typical pizza were about 25 cents cost. This is one of the reasons that I don't eat at McDonalds anymore....their meat does not taste like meat..their french fries seem like it's just compacted processed 'buds' of some sort approximating a potato.....about the only thing they haven't 'improved' is the coke...
We don’t want the ‘Party of No’ — we want the ‘Party of HELL NO!!’...
(I don’t know who came up with that first, or I’d attribute the quote — but it captures the mood out here pretty darned accurately...)
Coming from NY I had never had a taste of a Domino’s pizza until I was 18. A friend and recent transplant from Denver ordered one. I took one bite and could not even believe how BAD it tasted.
That said I think it's a stupid idea. Fool me once and all that. This would work for Dummercrats and Rhino's but not Conservatives.
I grew up I NJ and didn’t have Domino’s until I was at Ft Campbell. Funny that the first American food I had when I got back from Korea in 84 was Domino’s. We didn’t have a ride to McDonalds.
The airlines tried this in the 90’s. ‘Nuff said.
Good article. However, the Dems may have confessed their screwup with Clinton; but they went back and did the same thing with Obama which is worse. They don’t pick winners. They pick frauds because they are frauds.
The GOP should get with the program. They have an opportunity to join the people. Let’s see if they do.
Dominos Pizza does stink.
What the Republican party desperately needs is leadership and a tough no nonsense fiscal policy. That will mean giving up those earmarks and pork for the good of the country
I tried a new Domino’s pizza earlier this week. It’s a big change from the prior product but nothing to write home about.
As with virtually all things, I'm reminded of a scene from "The Simpsons". The Springfield crowd is rallied to support a neighborhood watch. Ned seems to be the man for the job after everyone was chanting his name, and he humbly begins to say that he doesn't have much experience, so Moe impatiently interjects "Someone Else!"... and the crowd begins chanting, "Someone Else! Someone Else!" (Homer then realizes aloud, "Hey, I'm Someone Else!")
That basically sums up the wisdom used by the majority of swing voters... and often, the GOP candidates
Doesn't this show you that they don't learn from their mistakes? The problem though is, they expect everyone else to make the same mistakes
There's your money quote right there. Hammer, meet nail!
I tried one of Dominos pizzas after I saw the new commercial.
It still sucks.
Avoid the Noid!
Avoid the RINOs!
Even if the GOP were to do as Jonah suggests, they would only be pretending to be conservative. The same people would be in charge and the same big donors would still be pulling their strings.
The GOP, like a stern, but caring parent, has to be “The Party of No” (or “HELL NO”, if one prefers) because the Democratic Party, like spoled, self-indulgent children, is “The Party of Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee”.
The Jackass party has “boundary issues”.
That would be “spoiled”. Sorry.......
No matter how complicated you try to make it, it really is that simple.
I agree with much of this (see bold)it is sad and ironic that while the R party may look anti-legal-immigration over illegal immigration/amnesty, there was a massive historical wave of new legal immigrants to this country under Bush's eight years. It fed the housing boom on the east coast eating up every plot of open space in many areas . So what do we have now? Unemployment and immigrants voting Democrat (at least the past 6 years.) Did we really need them?