Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The coming GOP civil war

Nothing I write in this post should be a surprise to anyone. The Tea Party, despite losing many of its challenges against establishment candidates, still thinks it should run the GOP. They are unbowed by reality, and it's tremendously difficult to talk sense into a person (or group) that isn't in touch with reality.

Stan Collender, a writer for Forbes (and presumably conservative), ably describes the messy, insoluble conflict in the GOP congressional delegation. We have Mitch McConnell, who promises that the GOP will deliver legislation and competence, not shutdowns and drama. The Tea Party contingent isn't on board with that, though. If they don't get the bills they want, at very least they will get the drama.

This problem is demonstrated well by one particular issue--whether the House and Senate can agree on a budget proposal. If they can agree, then later in the year they'll be able to pass legislation in the Senate with only 51 votes using the reconciliation maneuver. That's attractive to Tea Partyers, who imagine all sorts of things they can do. However, reconciliation doesn't actually provide a big advantage to the GOP generally or the Tea Party, since Obama will simply veto anything he finds objectionable. Oh, snap! Well, disappointment is inevitable when you don't bother to think even one step ahead.

Please read Collender's post. I think I agree with every point. There is going to be a lot of hostility -check. The same complaint about cowardice is going to come up again and again - check. Collender foresaw this just after the 2014 elections, probably while the GOP were still crowing. I'm pretty sure I wondered whether the GOP establishment would be able to keep a lid on the Tea Party throughout 2015-6 in order to increase its presidential chances (but I can't find a post where I said so). It would be astounding if the establishment can curb the Tea Party, because the partyers aren't planning to be collared and curbed.

Nice doggie... be good now.

Extras. Heritage Action is short on specifics, but is clear on the threat of "holding risk-adverse conservatives responsible for squandering opportunities for productive interparty conflict." I guess they demand gladiator fights. Tea Partyers here beg the establishment to provide them (the Tea Party) with a strategy. Yeah, right. If you really want something, don't do it for yourself. Beg someone else to do it for you.

1 comment:

Dangerous said...

I think they hold it together through the 2016 election in hopes of winning the White House and controlling the Congress so everybody can get exactly what they want. There is actually very little difference of opinion on the goals for the various factions of GOP, just the priorities and what can and should happen now since the Dems have the filibuster and Obama has a veto. (I suspect the Tea Partiers would happily destroy the Constitution today to get what they want NOW ...)

Mostly, what both sides of the GOP agree on is that having Obama (first) and Democrats (second) in charge of the country is absolutely unacceptable. I know you don't agree, MP, but that view they hold is 90% racial among the Tea Party, and 30% racial among the GOP "elite".

The only true divide in the GOP is the Rand Paul libertarian views on wars/drugs versus the neocon (war is good) and elite (war is good for business) views. In that case, the Paul wing loses, throws a little fit, and goes along to get along.

Today, the primary divide is whether the blame game that worked for them in 2010 and 2014 can extend to making Obama fold when he's not up for re-election. The insiders know it won't work unless it's clearly hurting Hillary's changes in 2016, so trying it is counterproductive. The Tea Party doesn't accept that -- they mistakenly believe they are actually the majority in the country -- and that's why the can't agree now on a strategy.

So the insiders are hoping for a weakening economy in 2016 they can blame on Hillary (not likely), some scandal that takes her down (10% more likely), or for lightening to strike for their nominee (have you seen this group? very unlikely). The insiders read the polls: Hillary is up double digits on everyone.

If Hillary wins and the margin is large, THEN you'll see a civil war within the GOP. It may even start before the election if the lead is wide enough and the Tea Party didn't get the candidate they wanted. Only then will the GOP reform itself into a true governing force instead of a wrecking ball.