Tea Party: ‘Suicide Conservatives’

11 February 2013 |permalink | email article

Charles M. Blow, the New York Times columnist, said there used to be a political truism: Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line.” It’s no longer true. Democrats have learned to fall in love and fall in love. Republicans are just falling apart. A nasty civil war between establishment Republicans and Tea Party supporters was triggered when Karl Rove began backing a new group, The Conservative Victory Project. His goal is counter the Tea Party’s selection of poor congressional candidates who lose general elections.

Sal Russo, a longtime California politico operative and now a Tea Party strategist, told Politico: “We discourage our people from supporting third-party candidates by saying “that it’s a big mistake. We shouldn’t do that.” He added, “But if the position [Rove’s allies] take is rule over ruin—well two guys can play that game. And we get pushed. We’re not going to be able to keep the lid on that.” 

The question arises for Republicans as to how they can sell this message to a public that has rejected it in the last two presidential elections. Several different Republicans, many possible contenders in 2016, have been trying a new and softer approach. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal chastised his party for being “the stupid party,” and Sen. Marco Rubio is working for an immigration proposal that would offer a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in this country.

The Tea Party crowd is not pleased with that plan. Glenn Beck, the self-described “rodeo clown” of the right said: “”You’ve got John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and now Marco Rubio joining them because Rubio just has to win elections. “I’ve done. I’ve done. Learn the Constitution. Somebody has to keep a remnant of the Constitution alive.” The Pew Research Center reported in January that the zealots have a chokehold on that party, and they’re sucking the life –and common sense out of it.

Quotations

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and his predecessor as chief, William Bratton, have gone a long way toward repairing relations between the black and Latino communities in Los Angeles. “But old suspicions die hard.”—Joe Dominic, a professor at USC’s Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism.

“I think it is favor to say we were very lucky.”—Mayor Michael R. Blumberg on the storm’s effect onNew York City.

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