by Alec Kohut
We all knew it was not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ the battle for the Republican party would commence. And while it has been brewing for some time, it appears the battle lines are now drawn, and the gauntlet has been thrown down. When Karl Rove started a new “Super PAC” to oppose looney tune, crackpot Tea Party candidates, the response was swift.
Mike Huckabee called it “repulsive,” and it wasn’t long before outcry on the right was loud enough for Rove to crawl back to Fox News with his tail between his legs and grovel to Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity that he is indeed a big supporter of the Tea Party. The first battle in the GOP war was little more than a skirmish, ending in a crushing defeat for the “establishment.”
I wrote back in September that a great GOP war at hand, and that the Tea Party would prevail. The reasoning then was the same today: it’s easier to energize anger and resentment, than it is to mobilize logic and reason.
Despite Republicans having watched their party dragged down by not one, but two Tea Party candidates making insane rape comments, not a single one came to defense of Rove. Quite the opposite, the Tea Party decided that not even Marco Rubio was qualified to speak for them, and announced the Sen. Rand “Secret Arms Shipments to Turkey” Paul would be delivering their State of the Union response.
The Tea Party also has a valuable ally in this fight against the establishment: the memory of Mitt Romney. Wherever cries are heard that the party needs to be more moderate, or more centrist, the Tea Party will ask, “You mean like Romney.” Yes the Massachusetts moderate’s attempt to paint himself as a conservative failed, miserably. And that alone will doom the GOP to nominating real conservatives for the foreseeable future, regardless of how crazy, or how white.
As the party looks to change its image, the Tea Party is ensuring the effort will not be successful. As the “establishment” works to put a happy face on the party with Marco Rubio, the crazies have won the day again. This time it was Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas inviting mentally unstable gun nut Ted Nugent to the State of the Union. The attention quickly moved back to just how batshit crazy the GOP has become.