Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Civil War Continues: Republi-CON Establishment v. Republi-CON Rage

UPDATE IX:  "In the three years they've been in power, Tea Partiers have gone through the stages of grief—from denial to acceptance of how Washington works."

Read The Atlantic, Why Republicans Are Surrendering on the Debt Ceiling

Read also, The New Republic, Why the Tea Party Is Folding on the Debt Limit, which noted that "[p]ior to the shutdown, it wasn’t clear whether Bachmann et al were irrational (that is, so zealously attached to their ideological goals that they ignored conventional political incentives, like widespread public disapproval), or delusional (meaning they were perfectly capable of responding to political incentives in theory; they just assumed the masses supported them).

The shutdown demonstrated that the Tea Partiers are, for the most part, delusional rather than irrational: They can be forced to reconsider a particular tactic if you persuade them it’s politically catastrophic. It just requires an epic level of public anger to break through their epistemically-stunted consciousness. The Tea Partiers had basically believed that the country backed their monomaniacal fixation on repealing Obamacare, and their jihadi plan for getting it done. The shutdown, or at least the endless shutdown-inspired hand-wringing on Fox News, managed to disabuse even them of this belief."

UPDATE VIII:  Does the Republi-con Party now regret its many Tea Party Frankensteins?

"Stockman, the would-be senator, must have thought he had gamed the system just right when he entered the primary battle against Cornyn on the last possible day. He seems to have calculated that his extreme views would automatically make him a contender, but it hasn’t turned out that way."

Read the Washington Post, Stockman steps forward as Republicans step back.

Read also about how Boehner has "reached his limit. In a meeting with his House colleagues to discuss Wednesday’s budget agreement, the House speaker finally let loose on the conservative groups that have been roiling Republican politics.  Read Slate, Boehner Lowers the Boom
UPDATE VII:  And the Republi-con civil war continues

"Texas Senator John Cornyn's challenge from Steve Stockman, a militia-loving birther congressman, could be the ultimate expression of Tea Party nihilism."

Read The Atlantic, The Republican Primary to End All Republican Primaries or Salon, Texas’ insane Tea Party caper: Nutjob challenges extreme conservative!

Go Ted and the Tea Party, Go!

UPDATE VI:  "With a budget conference forming and a new debt-ceiling hike coming early in 2014, there's more strife to come. Here is who to watch."

Read The Atlantic, Sanity Caucus vs. Kamikaze Caucus: A Cheat Sheet for the GOP Civil War.

UPDATE V:  "Shutdown polling looks apocalyptic for the Republican Party, but at the Values Voters Summit, activists weren't ready to back down."

The Atlantic, Inside the Conservative Bubble, It Looks Like Ted Cruz Is Winning Big

UPDATE IV:  "Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

Call it the Cruzifiction of the GOP.

At least so far, the standoff has been a political bloodbath for Republicans. And maybe that’s exactly what was needed to right the political system: The effort to gut Obamacare had to crash like this so that Republican leaders and lawmakers would find the courage to stand up to tea party toughs, and so that business leaders would decide to stop funding a small band of right-wing activists whose interests are antithetical to their own.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Americans, by 53 percent to 31 percent, blame the Republican Party for the shutdown more than they do President Obama — worse even than Republicans fared during the 1995-96 shutdown that also proved ruinous to their party.

The poll, confirming earlier results, found the Republican Party and the tea party had both reached all-time lows. Americans now favor a Democratic Congress to a Republican Congress by eight percentage points. And the percentage of Americans who think Obamacare is a good idea is up seven points from last month. Seventy percent say Republicans are putting politics ahead of the good of the country.

The small-but-vocal tea party had been seeking just such a confrontation since the 2010 election, and they opposed compromises by Republican leaders that postponed the showdown until now. Conservative groups that advocated for a standoff spoke openly about their motives. At a breakfast with reporters Wednesday, Michael Needham, chief executive of the conservative group Heritage Action, freely admitted that he was 'pretty optimistic' that we will soon see a crackup of the old Republican order.

Read the Washington Post, Cruzifiction of the GOP

UPDATE III:  "In trying to understand the Republican Party’s internal battles, it helps to think of Michael and Sonny.

Corleone, that is.

On one side we have Sonny, the hotheaded, impulsive, shoot-now-take-names-later son of Don Corleone. On Capitol Hill, he personifies the tea party followers who would rather die on principle than live to win a later day.

On the other side, we have Michael, the cooler-headed son and intellectual strategist. On the Hill, Michael represents the so-called establishment legislators who understand the way forward but thus far have been reluctant to pull the trigger."

Read the Washington Post, The GOP divide: A battle of Corleones.

UPDATE II:  "We’re used to brinkmanship in Washington resulting from conflict between Democrats and Republicans. But this shutdown is different. It’s a fight between Republicans and Republicans -- or, more specifically, Republicans and the Tea Party. . .

Back in 2011, the Republican establishment was sufficiently in sync with the tea party to harness their recklessness against the Obama administration. Boehner argued that his new members were just wild enough to crash through the debt ceiling and harm the economy, which gave him crucial leverage in his negotiations with the White House.

But then Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, and the Republican establishment began to alter its approach. The tea party, however, didn’t. Now Boehner and other mainstream Republicans dealing with tea party legislators face the same problem Democrats faced in 2011: It’s hard to negotiate with people who don’t care about, or even really believe in, the consequences of burning the place down. . .

The problem for Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment is that the tea party ethos is now being turned against them. After all, mainstream conservatives will compromise with 'evil' (or, if you prefer, 'Democrats'). For tea partiers, that makes them suspect, too. In fact, one way tea party Republicans can prove they haven’t sold out to Washington’s ways is by opposing any compromise Boehner proposes."

Read the Washington Post, The shutdown is a Republican civil war.

BTW, the previous update was 07/29/2011, during earlier budget negotiations.  And as I said before, this civil war has been brewing since November 2008.

UPDATE: The title says it all.

Read the Washington Post, Debt ceiling debate shows GOP at war with itself.

The Republi-con civil war continues. "The Republican Party is undergoing a big change in how it chooses its leaders."

Read The New York Times, For G.O.P., End of the Preordained Candidate.