April 17, 2003
Eating their own
Via Left Leaner comes this story about ads attacking GOP Senators who opposed President Bush's latest mega tax cut. The ads are run by a conservative GOP group, the Club for Growth.
"Not only is this a defeat for the president, it is a defeat for the Republican Party," said Stephen Moore, president of the Club For Growth, a conservative tax cut group.
Moore compared Voinovich, Snowe and Houghton to countries that refused to support military action in Iraq.
"Why are his so-called allies in the House and Senate so eager to impede economic progress? These 'Franco Republicans' are as dependable as France was in taking down Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein," Moore said.
I'm just speechless. If you want to know why "moderate" Republicans are an endangered species, there's a data point for you.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 17, 2003 to Show Business for Ugly People
This is the same Stephen Moore, formerly of the Cato Institute, who was saying that everyone "knows" the H-1B is really a pipeline for permanent immigration last fall.
While I was researching his connections, I ran across the Club for Growth. These guys are, not to put to fine a point on it, right-wing whack jobs whose sole virtue is the hobgoblin of little minds. I'm not surprised to see them weeding the ranks of the Republicans for ideological purity.
I'm a bit surprised too - Grover's usually pretty good at increasing the size of the "big tent," although I guess this time they voted against the one thing he actually cares about.
Perhaps now would be an apt time for many friendly letters of support from self-identified Democrats to moderate Senators such as Snow and Voinivich?
The Republicans don't want their moderates? Hell, I'll take 'em.
It'll be interesting to see if Party Discipline, as practiced by the Republicans in days of yore and Idealogical Loose Cannonry, as practiced by Democrats turns out to be a function of control of congress and the whitehouse...
The one bit of political optimism that I have been allowing myself lately is the hope that the right wing is overplaying its hand. I fondly dream of some Republican strategic blunder or weird risk that fails or crazy fundamentalist scheme gone wrong that snaps America out of its collective trance. It's possible, right?
Yeah, I know. It's a real longshot.
Anyway, this "eating their own" business sounds promising...
I think Michael is on to something. The Republicans have been able to maintain lockstep party discipline during the wilderness years of Clinton, but now that they control Congress and the White House, there's no longer that pressure to maintain unity in the face of some very real differences amongst the different branches of the Republican caucus. Jeffords was the first and as long as Rove, Ashcroft, and Bush continue their assault on civil liberties, fiscal responsibility, the environment and the principle of small government, there is hope that others may follow.
The Dems and democratic voters should be out in front and encouraging this. If their tent isn't big enough for Chaffee, Snowe, or others, then they can try ours.