The Republican Party Fights ... with Itself
Knickerbocker, Brad, The Christian Science Monitor
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
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
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
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
"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
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'. …