Republican Party seems as divided, angry as ever

The Republican Party seems as divided and angry as ever.
Associated Press
Jan 7, 2013

 

Infighting has penetrated the highest levels of the House GOP leadership. Long-standing geographic tensions have increased, pitting endangered Northeastern Republicans against their colleagues from other parts of the country. Enraged tea party leaders are threatening to knock off dozens of Republicans who supported a measure that raised taxes on the nation's highest earners.

"People are mad as hell. I'm right there with them," Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, said late last week, declaring that she has "no confidence" in the party her members typically support. Her remarks came after GOP lawmakers agreed to higher taxes but no broad spending cuts as part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff."

"Anybody that voted 'yes' in the House should be concerned" about primary challenges in 2014, she said.

At the same time, one of the GOP's most popular voices, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, blasted his party's "toxic internal politics" after House Republicans initially declined to approve disaster relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy. He said it was "disgusting to watch" their actions and he faulted the GOP's most powerful elected official, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The GOP's internal struggles to figure out what it wants to be were painfully exposed after Mitt Romney's loss to President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, but they have exploded in recent days. The fallout could extend well beyond the party's ability to win policy battles on Capitol Hill. It could hamper Republicans as they examine how to regroup and attract new voters after a disheartening election season.

To a greater degree than the Democrats, the Republican Party has struggled with internal divisions for the past few years. But these latest clashes have seemed especially public and vicious.

"It's disappointing to see infighting in the party," said Ryan Williams, a Republican operative and former Romney aide. "It doesn't make us look like we're in a position to challenge the president and hold him accountable to the promises he made."

What's largely causing the dissension? A lack of a clear GOP leader with a single vision for the party.

Republicans haven't had a consistent standard-bearer since President George W. Bush left office in 2008 with the nation on the edge of a financial collapse. His departure, along with widespread economic concerns, gave rise to a tea party movement that infused the GOP's conservative base with energy. The tea party is credited with broad Republican gains in the 2010 congressional elections, but it's also blamed for the rising tension between the pragmatic and ideological wings of the party — discord that festers still.

It was much the same for Democrats in the late 1980s before Bill Clinton emerged to win the White House and shift his party to the political center.

2012 presidential nominee Romney never fully captured the hearts of his party's most passionate voters. But his tenure atop the party was short-lived; since Election Day, he's disappeared from the political world.

Those Republican leaders who remain engaged — Christie, Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus — are showing little sign of coming together.

Those on the GOP's deep bench of potential 2016 presidential contenders, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, have begun staking out their own, sometimes conflicting ideas for the party.

Over the short term at least, the party's divisions probably will continue to be exposed.

Obama has outlined a second-term agenda focused on immigration and gun control; those are issues that would test Republican solidarity even in good times. Deep splits already exist between Republican pragmatists and the conservative base, who oppose any restrictions on guns or allowances for illegal immigrants.

It's unclear whether Obama can exploit the GOP fissures or whether the Republican dysfunction will hamper him. With Boehner unable to control his fractured caucus, the White House is left wondering how to deal with the House on any divisive issue.

Fiscal issues aren't going away. The federal government reached its borrowing limit last week, so Congress has about two months or three months to raise the debt ceiling or risk a default on federal debt. Massive defense and domestic spending cuts are set to take effect in late February. By late March, the current spending plan will end, raising the possibility of a government shutdown.

Frustrated conservative activists and GOP insiders hope that the continued focus on fiscal matters will help unite the factions as the party pushes for deep spending cuts. That fight also may highlight Democratic divisions because the party's liberal wing vehemently opposes any changes to Social Security or Medicare

"Whenever you lose the White House, the party's going to have ups and downs," said Republican strategist Ron Kaufman. "My guess is when the spending issues come up again, the Democrats' warts will start to show as well."

The GOP's fissures go beyond positions on issues. They also are geographical.

Once a strong voice in the party, moderate Republicans across the Northeast are nearly extinct. Many of those who remain were frustrated in recent days when Boehner temporarily blocked a vote on a disaster relief bill.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said campaign donors in the Northeast who give the GOP after the slight "should have their head examined."

Boehner, who just won a second term as speaker, quickly scheduled a vote on a narrower measure for Friday after the new Congress convened, and it rushed out a $9.7 billion measure to help pay flood insurance claims.

Weary Republican strategists are trying to be hopeful about the GOP's path ahead, and liken the current situation to party's struggles after Obama's 2008 election. At the time, some pundits questioned the viability of the Republican Party. But it came roaring back two years later, thanks largely to the tea party.

"If we have learned anything from the fiscal cliff fiasco, conservatives discovered we need to stand firm, and stand together, on our principles from beginning to end," said Republican strategist Alice Stewart. "It's frustrating to see the GOP drop the ball and turn a position of true compromise into total surrender. The Democrats succeeded in their strategy of divide and conquer."

 

Comments

goofus

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.

John Harville

Goofus. Did you defame one of us? That's what happens when you run out of discussion points.

John Harville

Swamp... if we accept your proposition, why is the far left so angry with the Democrats?
"What diversity politically..."? Dunno. The Democrats are concentrating on their Constitutional purpose - to represent the best interest of US citizens.

Contango

"The Santa Claus Principle":

"From day to day it becomes more obvious that large-scale additions to the amount of public expenditure cannot be financed by 'soaking the rich,' but that the burden must be carried by the masses."

"Every penny of additional government spending will have to be collected from precisely those people who hitherto have been intent upon shifting the main burden to other groups."

- Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action" (1948)

http://mises.org/daily/6313/The-...

2cents's picture
2cents

One of my (middle class) employees came to me yesterday and said the calculation showed his pay would be taxed another $100.00 a month as of 1/1/2013. Smoke and mirrors from the White House on that one again!

Contango

So do you think that the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" was "perhaps" misnamed?

I've read that many Obama supporters are complaining that the tax changes "weren't properly explained to them."

John Harville

Wow 2... you pay your employees very well! Congratualtions. So glad you are proud that your employees (middle class) are conscious of their incomes. Probably because the temporary payroll tax relief bill - intended to last only to get through the recession - was not renewed by Conress.

2cents's picture
2cents

(John) I pay my employees based on their value and qualifications. Many times employees make more than the owners, depending on the economy. There are good years and there are bad years, this is something owners have to deal with, most employees’ compensation is steady, yet some people criticize owners as being greedy. It takes a certain mentality to start a company and to keep one in operation for 30 plus years. It is even more difficult in a global economy where the playing field is not even close from one continent to another!

The Big Dog's back

Sounds like you will vote Democratic from now on.

John Harville

@2cents... most employees' compensation is steady? Not including the ones who get laid off or riffed?
The greatest joy of the American Way is the opportunity to own one's own business.

John Harville

now you're quoting ancient Austrian socialists?

bucknut36

David Frum was a speechwriter for Pres. George W. Bush. He said the GOP is now run by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. I say that is pretty obvious.

Swamp Fox

bucknut36, thanks for giving an example to prove my point, Republicans have diverse views from conservative, moderate and yes even the Tea Party, where as the democrappers march in lock step towards the far wacko left lead by the messiah and the Santa Claus mentality.... The left news is from PMSNBC with their low ratings, Fox leads all cable news in ratings, which indicates a wider, better educated diverse audience...

shucks

Swampy,

Naw.
Big numbers = lots of idiots.

The Big Dog's back

Actually swampy that means you righties are huddled around the TV and radio watching and listening to fox and rush to get your marching orders.

John Harville

Swamp... did you say that with a straight face?

John Harville

Swamp... could you at least quote figures later than 08 January 2010 from 'Virgina Yes' news - and extremely RIGHT WING . That's right ... 2010! The article even lists the ONLY leader outside FOX as KEITH OLBERMAN ON MSNBC.
IF you have newer, more reliable figures, please post them. Otherwise we'll know you have just proved OUR point that the TP and the Right Wing are failing.

Swamp Fox

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

John Harville

SWamp... what did you call me?

KURTje

Lots of crying . You lost. The end.

John Harville

RAssmussen today says only 8% of eligible voters identify as members of the Tea Party.

John Harville

The last bastion of someone with no point or with no facts to support pointless posts is, yep, namecalling. And we see who has given up arguing with facts - or with support for those facts.
Progressives are out here organizing their communities while the Tea Party is trying to figure out what happened and caucusing to come up with new names to call.

John Harville

RaAsmussen TODAY... in a poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted January 3-4 shows nationwide only EIGHT PERCENT of voters identify themselves as Tea Party (downn from 24% in 2010). 56% of Americans see the Tea Party in decline nationally. OOOPs. Let us remember Rasmussen ALWAYS leans right.

Swamp Fox

You wanted the most recent numbers, read it if you can, its simple enough even for you to understand.

www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cat...

As for your fixation on the Tea Party my quote only included them in a much larger diverse group. Hey you lefties now have a new media outlet its called Al Jazeera thanks to clueless Al Gore and his sell out of his employees, many of them being middle class, enjoy democrappers...

John Harville

Really simple. Check every time. In virtually all of them the others as a diverse group of viewers outdistances Fox. Ya see, we diversify. Some of those Fox numbers are us tuning in for some comic relief or to because we like to watch the manatee and the clown. Al Jazeera has been available here a long time - just now gets a broader audience. Scares the Al bejezus outa Fox because it is possible to get another bias on news in America and around the world. And we have the ability to think for ourselves and use our much broader experience to actually develop opinions on our own without waiting for someone to give them to us. I'm sorry.... that was beyond you, huh?

bucknut36

Pres. Obama did not get re-elected because he was such a great President. He won because the Republican field looked like a clown car. Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, really? The most qualified person was Huntsman. The far right nut jobs did not like him because he held an Obama appointed position. Chris Christie is right. The GOP cares more about party than they do country!!!

John Harville

Huntsman would have won.

Factitious

Um, no.

The incumbancy is such a huge advantage that event that idiot Dubya Bush got re-elected.

There was a broad consensus that Romney had the best chance, but he had to paint himself into a wing nut corner to win the nomination.

The Republican Party leadership deluded themselves into thinking they could win, and needed to believe it to keep the contributions coming. The delusion continues as they explain away their loss with every convoluted reason but the correct one - that despite having their very own Faux News TV propaganda channel, their platform just ain't convincing the moderate "swing" voters, who perceive it as too extreme.

He who holds the center wins. Republican moderates know this and are going crazy trying to figure out how to pry the agenda away from the wing nuts, but the primary system leaves the Tea Party calling the tunes.

Contrary to the wingnuts' contention that the Democrats are a bunch of commies, the prevailing view of The Voters, as evidenced by the last election results, is that the Democrats are more reasonable than the Republicans, or at least the extremist who are pulling their strings.

Swamp Fox

Sadly Obama got re-elected because many Americans have become, the goverment should take care of me menality and I want, I want, and have bought into the Santa Claus mentality of government..... We should return to the JFK statemen,"ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.."

John Harville

What about the Thousand Points of Light?

Nor'easter

At least they paid for the security for their rally. Amy Grubbe and the local Democratic Committee still owe Sandusky City $2,800.00 for the private Obama Ice Cream Social. PAY UP!

John Harville

Cite facts.

thinkagain

AMERICA is divided and angry as ever! A party is not supposed to be one mindless entity that just agrees on everything. Unless you’re a locked step, goose-stepping follower of a certain narcissistic megalomaniac Democrat.

John Harville

"It is our only goal to make sure this is a one-term president." aka "one mindless entity" goose-stepping into oblivion unless they begin to act for United States citizens and not just some base of whom they are almost paralyzed in their unnatural and unnecessry fear.

shucks

thinkagain

Your opinion perfectly describes the Republicans.

goofus

Deary me, the leftists are getting very cranky. Wondering if it has to do with the White House stating that Obozo is working on executive orders with the AG to control guns. Alot of democratic governors have mentioned confiscation!!!!

John Harville

There are NOT 'a lot' of Democratic governors.

Since Newtown, 673 persons have been killed by lunatics using guns...cuz guns don't kill people.

An executive order brings a period of calm and reason.. 74% of the NRA want reasonable controls on waiting periods and strict controls on gun shows where no background checks are required.

In a lot of places you need a background check to adopt a dog at a pound.

goofus

cite facts

John Harville

Swamp; Fox did it below.... only 19 dem governors... not 'alot', huh? What other facts?

John Harville

Again... mine is the last word.

Swamp Fox

We must be correct in our views, we are the right..

Licorice Schtick

Paranoid, name-calling, babbling rant.

Licorice Schtick

Why can't people just make reasoned arguments here?

John Harville

Yeah... there are not a 'lot of Democrat governors'. My point. Yours?

John Harville

It;s amazing how one confused right-winger can be so wrong about so many things in so little space.
Actually, the Democrats are the only ones who pay attention to and understand the Constitution as it exists today. The Right wants to return to the 'original' as it existed in 1787...but it was so perfect it needed 10 amendments to get ratified...

goofus

You have to know by now that no one was inducted into the baseball hall of fame. Writers had a difficult time weeding out the steroid users, we all know that the left is going to blame this on the Tea Party!! No one in hall, it's the tea parties fault right leftists!!!

John Harville

Goofy... you'll just try to pick a fight anywhere, huh?

thinkagain

Are Democrats serious about addressing deficit spending? Yes! They plan a solution where 99% of us can live off of what they steal from the 1% who still work. It’s just that Math is a difficult concept for a Dumbocrat. Clearly one must take an IQ test and score below 70 to be admitted into the DNC.

The Big Dog's back

Another angry repub.

OMG.LOL.WT_

opinion
Contrary to what many people who add 'definitions' here think, Opinion is not the same as Definition. Opinion is the usually biased twisting of facts based on someone's viewpoint. Definition is impartial fact.
Definition: "The USA is a powerful English-speaking country in North America. It's population is approximately 295 million."

Opinion: "The USA is a country full of ignorant, fat rich b8st8ards who exploit poorer countries so that they can munch more burgers and get even fatter"

John Harville

omg. good effort... but a definition - by definition - must be precise. "The United States of America is a country on the Continent of North America comprised of 50 states with an elected bicamaral legislature, an elected president, and a supreme court appointed by the other two branches; its government operates under a Constitution ratified in 1789 and amended 27 times." However, the 'opinion' fits your definition.

KURTje

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

shucks

GOP = Grumpy Old People

Swamp Fox

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

meowmix

So very, very tired of your portrayal of Democrats being welfare recipients. Seems to me by below it only proves that the largest sponges are righties.

With the exception of swing state Florida, the top 10 states with the highest percentage of the population not paying income taxes are the reddest states in the country. And when you look at who doesn’t pay in Flordia (retirees and lower-income workers in the panhandle), most of them are Republicans too.

So, Swampy, feel free to stand in line without shame and get your free cheese. It's the republican way.

Contango

@ meowmix:

Perhaps it's time to do away with the taxpayer "loophole" of federally deducting state and local income taxes, so the "blue" states could see how much their govt. is actually costing them?

Why should the rest of the non-state and local income tax paying states help to support profligate "blue" state spending?

meowmix

Wow, I haven't been able to take advantage of that "loophole" for quite some time Contango. I don't have any other itemized deductions to claim--my palatial estate is paid for. But why would you want to take that "loophole" away from common middle class workers anyway?

Contango

@ meowmix:

Individuals in states without state and local income taxes are at a disadvantage.

John Harville

And those states would be?

John Harville

Only seven states have no STATE income tax. Every state has local income taxes. Only five have no state sales tax. So how does this impact your point?

John Harville

Do you not understand the 'free' government cheese came from farm subsidies? Have you ever wondered why food stamps are pare of the Farm Bill?

Contango

John Harville writes:

"The Right wants to return to the 'original' as it existed in 1787...but it was so perfect it needed 10 amendments to get ratified..."

Which means what?

John Harville

@Contango... Which means that the Right espouses the Constitution and what the 'Founders' intended, meant, what motivated their actions and MANY claim we should return to the original 'sacred' document. But the document created in Philadelphia in the Spring and Summer of 1787 was framework for future growth and change, flexible enough to adjust to the future - which is why the Constitution provides a process for amendment. The ten amendments were items states did not find in the document.

Contango

@ John Harville:

And over the yrs., 3/4 of the states have "ratified" 27 Amends. And your point is what?

Reads like your argument is a matter of interpretation which is why the Supremes exist.

John Harville

Copntango: My point - which you just made for me - is that Constitution 'purists' who want what the writers 'intended' - in the form of the original document - actually have gotten what the founders 'intended' in a "People's" document that could be changed without being broken. Most obvious of this point is that the original preserved slavery with an 'understanding' it would end by 1808 - but it took the 13th amendment in 1863 to make it a reality. it's interesting that many of the Tea Party - icnluding its founder - are women who were completely left out of the Declaration AND the Constitution yet their party wants a return to the 'original'.

Contango

@ John Harville:

Actually, it took a bloody conflict to make the 13th Amend. a "reality."

The TEA party is not so much a "party" as it is a political movement much like many others in America's past and present.

Your argument regarding this so-called "original" issue appears circular and I've already addressed it.

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

Swamp Fox
Swamp Fox

I don't think she is an angry Republican or tea party supporter...

http://youtu.be/KRgB2eeHZEw

KURTje

Nothing like that free speech thing. Deleted because of that? Weak..so verry weak. Glad to anger vain people. All because of simple truth.

John Harville

@Kurt. Didn't see the deleted post before it was deleted. As I tire of saying relentlessly here... "freedom of speech" is not a 'say anything' proposition. There have been more than 100 Supreme Court decisions on obscenity alone. That doesn't even touch slander, libel, defamation, and so on.
Just wish all you 'free speech' folks would realize with every freedom comes responsibility.

KURTje

Please John, as a Marine I do know some things. Things like denying this paper an interview regarding war. It is all about attitude. That's why I am allowed to talk the way I do. Again this IS why America is so weak. Alas always repeating......

John Harville

Experience of seven decades gives some perspective others can't imagine.

John Harville

HOw long to get that removed and me banned?.. or some big bulky Marine to come beat some sense into me?

I've lost family in six wars and had two grandfathers disabled before the VA did much for them.

goofus

45 plus posts and only one source, the original Phineas T. Bluster and I don't mean you Kurt but mr obvious.

John Harville

@goofus. Namecalling!!! I LOVE it! Sorry you have no points remaining. And no meaningful replies.

KURTje

Cry for me, like you got exclusive right to hardship or strife. Hey , its just life. Got no problem ever being honest . So many don't like the terse realities though . (wonder how long this 1will stay....)

John Harville

My knowledge comes from decades of study because I love this country and ALL its people. I've worked with the homeless, the wounded, the terminally ill, children wanting to learn, the elderly and the poor. I ate 'free' cheese at my crippled veteran grandfather's house. I watched him with his badly deformed arm still attempt to provide for my grandmother. So all you 'holier than...' can get on here and talk about the 'nanny' government and dumbocrats who don't want to work, and all that bull. I work with people who want to work but daily face bureaucrats who don't want to create the jobs they could.
Maybe those are some 'terse realities' you don't like.

bucknut36

Another dumb "rape comment" from another dumb Republican, Phil Gingrey. It is sad that this once proud party of Lincoln and Reagan is now self destructing. The GOP needs to distance itself from the rightwing nuts spewing their hate. People like Limbaugh,Beck,Coulter,Hannity, etc. do the GOP more harm than good.

KURTje

Nway...olb yawa.

meowmix

John Harville-- with your 70 year life experience I'm glad to know that men like you exist. Thank you.

I find it ironic that the conservatives here always want to point out THEIR interpretation of the constitution yet somehow always feel that the 14th amendment which did give women a right to choose is something that must be repealed. Why do you want to take away my right as a woman to do as I wish with my body? Conservatives are pro-birth, not pro-life--because after the child is born you gripe about your tax dollar having to take care of it. Sickening.

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