Saturday, December 14, 2013

You want a Republican civil war? Here's your Republican civil war.

By Michael J.W. Stickings

A liberal? Really?
It didn't just start. It was in the making for a long time, and it got underway a while ago, at least in formal terms. Actually, it just sort of started happening, but it was also pretty much inevitable. And now, well, the word "war" has come to the fore:

Tea Party Patriots said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has "declared war on the Tea Party" with his "smug and pretentious rant" against certain right-wing organizations.

The group made the charge in a fundraising email to supporters, seeking to win donations over the public feuding.

In the past two days, Boehner has repeatedly attacked the conservative groups that championed the October effort to defund ObamaCare and are now opposed to the recent budget deal negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

He has criticized the groups for being more interested in raising money than actually solving problems.

The letter quotes Boehner's statement that "outside groups" were "using our members and... the American people for their own goals."

"The last time we checked, we are the American people," the letter said.

The letter goes on to refer to Boehner as a "ruling class politician" who only pretends to be conservative while remaining a "tax-and-spend liberal" at heart.

Of course, that's all complete nonsense. Boehner has been critical of right-wing Republican groups that threaten the party's position in Congress, if not also nationally, but that's about it. If anyone or anything has declared war, it's the Tea Party itself, which is obstinate in its ideological extremism, dismissive of the realities of politics, and confrontational regarding the rest of the GOP, throwing primary challenges even at hardcore conservatives.

What's more, Boehner isn't a liberal, he's an establishment conservative. There's a difference. But of course to the crazies in the Tea Party, anyone to their left might as well be Fidel Castro.

And the Tea Party is "the American people"? Only in the delusional, self-aggrandizing imaginings of teabaggers.

But whatever. This is war. And it's not just some outside group threatening the establishment, it's one part of the Republican Party, the part led by Ted Cruz and his ilk, waging war on another. They aren't the only two parts of the party, but they're the two most prominent (the fundamentalist theocrats are also still there, but many of them side with the Tea Party), and this civil war threatens the Republican coalition like nothing we've seen in a long, long time.

And for Republicans like Boehner and so many others, this is what is called making your bed and having to lie in it. Or playing with fire. Or being hoisted with your own petard. Or getting bitten in the ass.

I hope they enjoy reaping what they have sown.

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  • Some Tea Party know-nothing was asked about Boehner's comment that it was easy to be an extremist because you don't have to govern, and he merely. They don't even see it as criticism, they see it as an honor to be whacked out of their minds and in agreement with maybe the farthest-right 15% of America, at best. They'd be tilting at windmills if they'd ever seen one before.

    By Anonymous toma, at 10:03 PM  

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