Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Reasonable Republican = Extremist

By Frank Moraes

Ed Kilgore provides a good rundown of one race we haven't heard much about: the Republican primary election in Alabama's first congressional district—the Mobile area, In Alabama GOP, It's Hard to Be Too Radical. It is an election between Tea Party nutcase Dean Young and the Republican establishment candidate Bradley Byrne. What's important here is that from a policy standpoint, there is pretty much no light between these two men. So the question is, how exactly is Byrne the "reasonable" Republican?

The answer is that he isn't. Over the weekend, I discussed this very issue as it applied to Virginia, Business Will Not Give Up on GOP. The business community is not for moderate or reasonable candidates. They want candidates who will do exactly as the big corporations want. The only concern they have about the supposed extremists is that they won't win. Otherwise, they are fine with them.

The same thing is true of the Republican establishment. In fact, we might as well say that corporate America and the Republican establishment are the same thing. They want the same policies and their only real concern is winning elections. If there is a difference, it would simply be that the Republican establishment are slightly more willing to compromise in the pursuit of their goals.

Kilgore sums up the situation in Alabama, but the same thing could be said about any Republican primary anywhere. You may remember Roy Moore, the Alabama judge who put a two-and-a-half ton Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Judicial Building. He's supporting Young. Here's how Kilgore puts it:
If Young wins, you can be sure Roy Moore will be by his side tonight, and his presence in the campaign, along with Byrne's serial descent into Christian Right rhetoric of his own, is a reminder that for all the efforts of national observers to distinguish the "Tea Party" from the "Christian Right," they're pretty much the same thing, especially in the Deep South.

We'll see if Byrne's money can offset Young's fervor today. But if Byrne wins, let's please don't call it any sort of victory for "moderation" or a rebuke to conservatism. Jacobs is right; these birds disagree on some small elements of tactics and rhetoric, but in Congress, you can bet that Byrne will continue his career-long effort to protect his right flank with every vote.

Exactly! And I'm glad to read more and more people saying this. Now if we can just get the mainstream press to stop saying that Chris Christie is "reasonable" we'll be onto something!

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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