QUOTE OF THE DAY…. The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder notes some polling data today suggesting the Republican Party is now less popular among Americans than countries like Venezuela and China. He concluded:

My Republican friends keep asking me when I’ll take the GOP seriously again and why I’ve stopped writing about ticky-tak political gamesmanship and GOP consultant tricks. When they’re a serious party with serious ideas, then we can talk.


On this, of course, Ambinder is obviously right. The political world has been waiting for a while to see the GOP become “a serious party with serious ideas,” but Republicans have not only failed to get their act together, there’s no evidence they’ll be able to turn things around anytime soon.

Indeed, they’re stuck with Cheney, Rove, and Gingrich as their leading voices. How’s that working out?

Strategists privately stress the GOP needs to move past old faces, and one veteran Republican said the attacks could be effective.

“The conservatism of the 21st century should be divorced from personality politics and simply be about ideas,” said Craig Shirley, a biographer of former President Ronald Reagan. “But since the GOP appears to be bankrupt of ideas, this line of attack will be effective from the standpoint of putting them on the defensive again.”

“Bankrupt of ideas”? But what about the proposed five-year spending freeze? And more enormous tax breaks for the wealthy?

You see the problem.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.