The civil war in the Republican Party is beginning to take shape. It is no surprise that it is more about image than substance. However, what is interesting is the massive naivete that seems to permeate the party. It exists not only within the ranks of the relative newcomers in the Tea Party, but among the long established and experienced politicos within the Republican establishment.
Two events have occurred within the past week or so that are illustrative of this naivete within the Republican establishment ranks. First, Karl Rove announced that his PAC, that had been dedicated to the election of Romney and other Republicans, was going to actively work to prevent inappropriate candidates, such as Todd Akin, from running for House and Senate seats. He will prevent a repeat of the kinds of experiences that he feels created a loss where a win was all but assured with the right candidate. He wants these candidates to avoid self inflicted wounds with comments about rape, abortion and birth control. He really thinks that his PAC can achieve this for the 2014 cycle. The second event to occur has been dubbed Eric Cantor 4.0. Majority Leader Cantor presented what was to be the new Republican agenda for the new Congress. While it was presented in softer, less aggressive and less confrontational tones, it was the old agenda, including such oldies but goodies as no new taxes and no protection against violence for women, in what they hoped would be more palatable packaging. In both cases there seems to be a lack of understanding that it is the philosophy and values of the Republican Party that are being questioned, not their approach. They sell the American people short.
On the other side of this civil war, defeated Congressmen Walsh and West of Tea Party fame have established PAC’s of their own, and will be working to achieve the same thing as Rove, only from a far right perspective. They are true believers and will work with their cohorts in Congress to keep the agenda on the straight and narrow path of right wing extremism. They truly believe that they are correct and the wayward American people will come around to their way of thinking. They will make sure to place a primary candidate in any contest they believe is occupied by an existing candidate that is moving too far towards the center. They do not believe in compromise. They see everything in simple terms of right and wrong, black and white. They too have a narrow view and understanding of the American people and what they are seeking from their leaders.
It is astounding to me that politicians that have reached this level in their careers are so misinformed and naive. Their path is self destructive and frankly, is harmful to all of us. For as the civil war grows in intensity and fervor the actions and reactions will be self serving and will ignore, as over the last four years, what is good and right for America. By virtue of the safe Republican districts created by recent Gerrymandering the Republicans will control the House for the foreseeable future. However, it appears that they will continue to do so with the narrowest, self serving agenda possible. Are we the people willing to stand on the sidelines and watch as they continue to behave in a manner that is both destructive to themselves and America? Time will tell.