THE RNC AND ITS RESOLUTIONS…. Republican National Committee members invested quite a bit of time and energy recently on a resolution that would beg the Democratic Party to change its name. The more the RNC pushed this, the sillier the party appeared.

Yesterday, the party backed off a little, approving a merely foolish resolution, as compared to a blisteringly foolish resolution.

The Republican National Committee backed away Wednesday from a resolution that officially called Democrats the “Democrat Socialist Party,” but instead voted to condemn Democrats for what it called a “march toward socialism.”

The voice-vote came after an unusual special meeting of the party that underlined fractures among Republicans on how to deal with President Obama and the Democratic Party. The original resolution was backed by some of the party’s more conservative members but was opposed by the party chairman, Michael Steele, as well as other Republican leaders. The opponents said the proposal to impose a new name on the Democrats made the Republican party appear trite and overly partisan, and would prove politically embarrassing. […]

[W]hile stopping short of officially trying to rename the Democratic Party, the resolution said the Republican National Committee members “recognize that the Democratic Party is dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals.”

In other words, this isn’t really a win for “moderation” at the RNC.

Indeed, the time invested in this “debate” among committee members only helped magnify the party’s difficulties. Given all of the problems Republicans are facing, who thought it would be a good idea for prolonged debate about urging the majority party to name itself the “Democrat Socialist Party”? Is that really the best use of the RNC’s time right now?

As Josh Marshall noted the other day, “I haven’t seen a nugget that so perfectly typifies the current GOP’s mix of ideological obscurantism and dingbat sloganeering as this.”

In 2005, after Democrats saw Republicans take control of the White House, Senate, and House by wide margins, Howard Dean took control of the DNC and put a 50-state strategy in place. Four years later, Republicans saw Dems take control over the same institutions, and began a lengthy debate over use of the phrase “Democrat Socialist Party.”

Nothing says “comeback” quite like a pointless argument over a name-calling resolution that wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Steve Benen

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.