The GOP base would rather take out Republican incumbents than beat Democrats

Not surprisingly, a senior Republican close to the House Leadership saw the conflict in a different manner. He told me: “You can vote with these guys 99% of the time and the one vote you are seen as being against them, they try to take you out in a primary. I’m glad [House Speaker] Boehner finally told them off.” Despite the Speaker’s decision to effectively shelve immigration reform efforts until after the 2014 midterm elections, tempers remain close to the boiling point on both sides…

I’ll leave it to lawyers better steeped in campaign finance reform to debate the legality of issue advocacy groups seeking to replace Republican office holders in 2014. What I do know is that a breach of trust has occurred between grassroots activists across the country with the Republican Leadership in the House and Senate. What was once a happy collaboration united to defeating Democrats and Obama’s agenda has turned into a nascent civil war for control of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

As Macguire aptly noted, “This could be the cycle pitting those who believe that winning is important coming head to head against those who believe holding firm to principle is important.” It would be a sad day for our democracy if winning elective office and holding firm on principle weren’t one and the same. Those in the GOP leadership would be wise to bridge the gap of trust between their base before conservatives form a circular firing squad that kills their chances at victory in November.