Green Room

The Latest Conservative Idiocy: Republicans Would Rather Fight Each Other than Obama

posted at 5:11 pm on September 17, 2010 by

It’s fascinating to see the civil war that broke out recently among Republicans. The Tea Party movement took on moderate Republican candidates (for Congress and the Senate) they declared ‘RINO’s’ (because they were moderate in their social, and often also in their fiscal views), while the Grand Old Party’s establishment fought back by labeling Tea Party activists naive radicals who don’t understand that you sometimes have to settle for a moderate candidate if you want to win in the general elections.

Even politicos, Republican strategists and influential pundits are involved in this fight. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin represents the Tea Partiers, who prefer losing an election with a ‘real conservative’ candidate, than winning one with a moderate. The other side is led by people such as the Architect (of George W. Bush’s electoral victories) Karl Rove and (until recently perhaps the most influential and respected conservative columnist) Charles Krauthammer.

Whomever is right is of little concern to me – in this post at least. To me, it’s far more important to point out that it seems a bit counterproductive for conservatives to have a go at each other, while their country is being burned down by the progressives, led by Obama, who took over Washington back in 2008. They apparently would rather waste their energies destroying each other than the ones who are doing their best to “radically transform” America into something you and I won’t recognize. It might just be me, but this seems a tad bit counterproductive and even downright silly. If it were me, I’d probably want to focus on beating the real enemy – ‘liberals.’ Not on taking down my political friends.

A slightly different version of this post appeared at NewsReal Blog.

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Problem:

The contestants on both sides don’t acknowledge their opponent as “friends.”

There are a lot of people who call themselves “Republicans” who have no use for conservatives.

After 2008, they set their sights on discrediting / ostracizing / running off social conservatives (David Frum, Rick Moran, et al.). Now we discover they have the same attitude toward Tea Party people.

It seems they’re more interested in being Senator / Representative than in actually accomplishing anything.

BD57 on September 17, 2010 at 5:46 PM

BD: certainly, but that also goes for the other side. I mean, all this talk about “RINO’s” and “purity” and “fake Republicans” isn’t very helpful either. Why not just say “there are different kinds of Republicans, we can have strong, passionate debates with each other during the primaries, but we always understand that, when push comes to shove, we’re on the same team, and we’re always gracious and respectful towards each other… éspecially when the primaries are behind us and we’ve got ourselves a nominee”?

Michael van der Galien on September 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM

when push comes to shove, we’re on the same team, and we’re always gracious and respectful towards each other… éspecially when the primaries are behind us and we’ve got ourselves a nominee”?

Michael van der Galien on September 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Dede Scozzafava
Arlen Specter
Lincoln Chafee
Jim Jeffords
Lisa Murkowski
Charlie Crist

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Sharrukin: yes, yes, yes. And I’m not defending their decision to betray their party. However, some of them were already ferociously attacked before they left the GOP and, what’s even worse, the same goes – and still goes – for some commentators, columnists and bloggers who just so happen to believe that it’s sometimes necessary to support moderates – if you want to win elections, at least.

The behavior of both sides simply doesn’t make sense strategy-wise.

Michael van der Galien on September 17, 2010 at 6:49 PM

The behavior of both sides simply doesn’t make sense strategy-wise.

Michael van der Galien on September 17, 2010 at 6:49 PM

Well it makes sense if they have different goals.

There are those like the Tea Party/Sarah Palin crowd who want fiscal responsibility and to a lesser extent tend to be socially conservative.

Then there are the compassionate conservatives to whom liberal social positions triumph fiscal responsibility, though they do support fiscal restraint to a lesser extent.

I have serious questions if they can come to any agreement on cutting spending, or rolling back government because that would mean liberal political structures would be undermined.

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

They need to count tea party noses, once you reach critical mass it’s suicide to attack. The tea party this week showed their bite.

tarpon on September 17, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Tea Partiers, who prefer losing an election

The behavior of both sides simply doesn’t make sense strategy-wise.

Just as I wrote in the other thread – the Tea Party movement is infiltrated by Democrat operatives who push the movement over the cliff by whipping up support for the least electable, most reactionary candidate.

Once you see it that way, things start to make sense.

Try it.

Niko on September 17, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Oh, please. We’re being attacked nonstop by the republican establishment and we’re just suppose to shut up and take it? No, effin way!

Also enough with the M word. Not being conservative doesn’t make you a moderate. Wishy washy sellout spending wh*res is much more descriptive and accurate.

Blake on September 17, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Once you see it that way, things start to make sense.

Try it.

Niko on September 17, 2010 at 8:42 PM

I have a hat and I need the tinfoil for cooking.

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Oh, alright, so Democrats registering as Republicans to mess with primaries for, uhm, the last three decades is news to you as well?

Niko on September 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Sorry Michael, but this post is FAIL.

Advancing the cause of a Republican majority =/= advancing the cause of freedom. You’re g/d skippy we need the right Republicans in. Otherwise we’ll do just like we did in 1994, and in another 16 years from now, we’ll be right back in the s**thouse wondering where we went wrong.

Karl Rove bet on the wrong horse, so-to-speak, because his job isn’t advancing the cause of freedom. His job is to get Republicans elected. He does an admirable job of that. Whether Obama would have been possible without George W. Bush is an issue that I will save for another day.

All this talk of “purity” isn’t being bandied about by the tea party; that’s how the media talks about the tea party. As a tea partier, I can tell you I just want to live free. It’s just that simple.

gryphon202 on September 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Michael:

While the term “RINO” may be thrown around way too indiscriminately, that doesn’t mean it’s always undeserved.

To me, a RINO pretty consistently exhibits a couple of traits:

1) Republicans cannot count on their vote on close, contentious issues; and

2) When they defect, they use the Democrat talking points to defend their vote (John McCain and Lindsey Graham are especially guilty of this).

Olympia Snowe’s comments after Castle lost exemplify the disdain the “moderates” have for conservatives. Conservatism is the majority ideology in the Republican party. On a number of issues, Snowe is out of sync with the party as a whole (even if she’s in step with the voters of Maine). In Castle’s case, he lost because the voters said “no thanks” – where does Snowe get off criticizing them for nominating someone else?

Which brings me to the real issue: “RINO” types spend a lot of time criticizing voters. They seem to be channeling Ted Baxter (poor paraphrase to follow):

“The voters have spoken, and if that’s what they want, then to hell with them.”

BD57 on September 17, 2010 at 10:59 PM

You cannot get past the fact that the Establishment GOP in this election cycle have decided to be Establishment over GOP.

If nothing else, we should excoriate these people for betraying the Republican party. Not ‘conservative principles’ (though they certainly also did that), but because they decided to leave the party.

If the leadership cannot punish them for this, then the leadership must share their fate. Until people who betray the party are held to account for their betrayal, the party cannot function.

This is before we have the ‘War of Principle’. We cannot even discuss principle if so-called members of the GOP are not going to be held to those principles.

Those who are antiestablishment will not longer sit for the now-clear double standard held by the establishment: loyalty to me, but not to thee.

Scott H on September 18, 2010 at 7:21 AM

Michael, the “elephant” in the room is this: we will either govern by fiscal conservative principles, or the country will crash. It is a binary solution set at this point. Since that’s the case, it is better for that crash to come without any “bipartisan cover” from RINOs. Let the Copperhead brand be all over the crash that cannot be avoided with their policies. We’ll stay true to our principles, pick up the pieces, and take out the trash when it’s done.

SDN on September 18, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Why not just say “there are different kinds of Republicans, we can have strong, passionate debates with each other during the primaries, but we always understand that, when push comes to shove, we’re on the same team, and we’re always gracious and respectful towards each other… éspecially when the primaries are behind us and we’ve got ourselves a nominee”?

Michael van der Galien on September 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM

I agree completely. But since the primary in DE is over, who exactly is it that keeps slamming the primary winner and insulting her supporters? A knock-down drag out fight before a primary isn’t really a bad thing, but at this point there really is only one side not rallying behind the primary winner.

DrAllecon on September 18, 2010 at 7:36 PM

To paraphrase Joseph Conrad via T.S. Eliot:

Mistah Kurtz, he dead.

Mistah Coons, he laughin’

profitsbeard on September 19, 2010 at 11:20 PM

That curly 80’s hair.
That virginal seductive stare
that strips my conscience bare
it’s witchcraft.

Castle had Cooms has no defense for it.
The tea is too intense for it.
What good would commonsense for it do?

‘Cause it’s witchcraft!
Tea Party witchcraft.
And although I know it’s strictly taboo

when you arouse the need in me
my heart says “yes indeed” in me
Proceed with what you’re lead in ‘me to!

It’s such an ancient pitch
but one I wouldn’t switch
‘Cause there’s no nicer witch than you!

To his credit, Patterico is now directing fire down range. We should encourage him and thank him for that. Cooms is into burgermeister-meisterburger corruption against dissent in Delaware (this sounds like Jersey politics if you ask me). And now apparently Cooms said to Kossacks that they have to defend “Biden’s Seat.” Hmmm, defending seats, where have I heard that before?

Mr. Joe on September 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM