Governor Schwarzenegger's comments about the GOP's need of re-branding will probably touch a few nerves. But in a sense, he is right, albeit, it's not so much "re-branding" the GOP needs, but to instead ditch the "new brand" that largely emerged from 2005 to the present.
From 2005 on, a certain group of conservatives (not all, but a very vocal segment) have decided that at some point, they had a monopoly on principles. Those who did not toe their line on certain issues (most notably immigration, but you can include Terri Schiavo and the nomination of Harriet Miers on that list as well - if you want, you can even include No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D as well) were often derided as RINOs, unprincipled, or worse.
The result... well, I'll let you read some views from SJ Reidhead, The Anchoress, AJ-Strata, and myself.
Take some time to peruse those blogs (outside the posts I linked to), and see if you can describe where SJ Reidhead, The Anchoress, AJ-Strata, and myself tend to stand on issues.
I dare to say that most people would think that the four of us are probably in the mainstream of George W. Bush's political coalition. They'd peg us as Republican and right of center.
Yet all four of us are feeling less and less welcome in the GOP, and that is largely due to the fact that people like Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and Ann Coulter have routinely talked down to us as if we were somehow not good enough to be in their club, and a lot of party leaders have gone along with their commissar act, and have not called them out on it. then of course, when this "new brand" of strict compliance was no savior at the polls, they demanded even stricter compliance, claiming a lack of principle was the problem.
The fact that people may have looked at their "true conservative" brand and decided to reject it does not seem to have crossed their mind at all. So they try a harder and harder sell, ticking off more and more people. By insisting on a coalition of the pure, they are literally shrinking their base of support. As long as the GOP goes along with that, then they will find their base of support shrinking as well.
So, maybe the GOP needs to tell the commissar wing to stuff it.