The Republican Party Fights ... with Itself

Article excerpt

Intra-party squabbling among conservatives - especially with Tea Partiers thrown into the mix - is not good news for the GOP. They're beginning to act like Democrats.

On Capitol Hill these days, the Republican Party seems to be solidly

(if stolidly) united.

Responses to Democratic or Obama administration proposals range from

"No," to "no way," "uh-uh," and "you've got to be

kidding us." Unless it's about sending thousands more American

troops to war.

But outside the Washington beltway, things are not so copacetic for

the GOP - particularly among the conservative base.

A Rasmussen Poll this past week shows Republicans leading Democrats

in a generic congressional ballot (43-39 percent). But throw in a

"Tea Party" candidate, and things take a definite turn away from

the party of Lincoln. In a generic three-way congressional race, the

results are: 36 percent for the Democrat, 23 percent for the Tea

Partier, and just 18 percent for the Republican (with 22 percent

undecided).

Writing at Politico.com, Andy Barr notes that Tea Party groups are

springing up like mushrooms around the country.

Even though there's no national organization and some groups are

competing for support, Barr writes, "The tea party brand is strong

enough that a number of conservative candidates, including Republican

California Senate hopeful Chuck DeVore, have tried to adopt the

movement's message."

Some Republican National Committee conservatives have been pushing

for a ten-point purity test that candidates must meet in order to

represent the party at the polls.

"We're becoming a church that would rather chase away heretics

than welcome converts and that's no way to become a majority

party," former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who served as

National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, told Politico.

"This makes no sense for those of us who are interested in winning

elections."

Meanwhile, the voice of political conservatism - that would be

broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, not RNC chair Michael Steele - has been

nagging Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Ky. for not

fighting hard enough to block Democrats' healthcare reform

proposals.

"The Senate Republican leadership strategy here was flawed because

it allowed the Democrats to take the offensive, buy time to work out

a deal," Limbaugh said the other day. "I know a disaster when I

see it. And I know that it's gotta be stopped, and whatever

parliamentary steps are available to people ... should have been

taken."

Writing in The Hill newspaper, Alexander Bolton points out that

"the Gun Owners of America went even further, blasting McConnell in

an e-mail sent to members in Kentucky, noting previous times

McConnell failed to stop legislation and accusing the GOP leader of

helping Democrats advance the 'ObamaCare legislation'. …