Thursday, February 20, 2014

Are We Watching the GOP on the Verge of Collapse?

From Alternet:

The party might be over.

By CJ Werleman February 12, 2014

 Mark Twain wrote that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” For the Republican Party, 2014 may end up sounding a whole lot like 150 years ago, and we might be seeing the end of the conservative party, as we know it. 
In 1864, prior to the end of the Civil War, a faction of radical Republicans believed President Lincoln was incompetent, and therefore unelectable. These anti-abolition extremists broke away from the establishment under the name Radical Democracy Party, while Lincoln and establishment Republicans created the National Union Party with the intent of attracting War Democrats and Border State Unionists who would not have ordinarily voted for the Republican Party. 

The party nominated incumbent President Lincoln alongside a Democrat - Andrew Johnson. The rebranded establishment ticket went on to win the 1864 election in a landslide, and the radicals were brought back to the fold under the Republican Party brand shortly thereafter. 

This week, the Tea Party aligned Senate Conservatives Fund called on House Republicans to force out Speaker John Boehner in an email that read, “Unless we install a new leader who will actually go on offense, Democrats will never fear us and we will never have any leverage.” 

We may be witnessing the genesis of another temporary or permanent fracture of the Republican Party, for what was once a happy coalition of secular and social conservatives, united to defeating Obama and liberalism, has turned into an openly hostile civil war for control of party, and by all measures the Christian Right/Tea Party faction are winning in their objective of purging what they believe are Republicans In Name Only. 

The highest ranking Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is under siege from the far right with lobbying groups Freedom Works, Madison Project, and the Senate Conservatives Fund spending up big in an effort to tear down the senior Senator from Kentucky. Fox News contributor and Red State blogger Erik Erickson writes, “Defeating McConnell is essential to asserting the Tea Party’s dominance over the Republican Party.” In latest polls, McConnell’s opponent leads by 4 points. 

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