Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Yet another fascinating headline in the Washington Post today, from Karen Tumulty. GOP
sees chance to regain control from tea party:
The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of
soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to
save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party
That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that
engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea
And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment
to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.
“You roll them,” advised former Senate majority leader Trent
Lott (R-Miss.). “I do think we need stronger leadership, and there’s got
to be some pushback on these guys who think they came here with all the
Only then, he said, can the party begin to push an agenda and “get things done,” rather than obstruct.
Wow. So the old guard GOP establishment wants to declare war on the Tea Party radicals. Is this a private fight, or can anyone join?
The shutdown strategy — to use must-pass bills to fund the government
and lift the federal debt ceiling as leverage to gut the new
health-care law — never had a chance of succeeding.
And it has left the Republicans with their lowest approval ratings in the history of polling on that topic.
Yet there is no guarantee that the Republicans won’t be back in a
similar position as soon as January, when another funding bill will be
“We’ll be looking for any opportunity,” said Rep. Tim
Huelskamp (R-Kan.), one of the sponsors of the failed strategy. “We took
a shot at it and we fell short, and I think we are waiting around for
another battle over Obamacare.”
To avoid a replay of the past few
weeks, Republicans must figure out how to deal with several dozen of
their most bellicose junior members in the House, and unapologetic
figures such as Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) who have built a national following
and fundraising base on the strength of their obstructionism.
* * *
[T]ea-party-fueled primary challenges have backfired in recent election
cycles by knocking out Republican candidates who might have won a
general election in favor of fringe figures who had no chance.
time, the establishment has vowed not to let that happen. Crossroads
GPS, an independent group co-founded by Gillespie and GOP strategist
Karl Rove, has quietly focused more of its resources on what one
official described as “thorough candidate vetting.”
* * *
Some Republicans lament that it has been difficult to get business
leaders and other influential establishment figures to weigh in during
“The problem is, these guys want someone else to do
it,” said lobbyist Vin Weber, a former congressman from Minnesota.
“They don’t want to get involved in primaries.”
As I have said several times, "It is time for a Grand Alliance between Democrats, establishment Republicans, and centrist moderates in a united front" against the far-right radical extremist elements of the Tea Party. As Greg Sargent notes today, How the GOP can save itself from the Tea Party:
One starting point might be to accept this as a given: There is probably nothing that Tea Party conservatives in the House will ever accept that could also prove acceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats, and therefore has a chance at becoming law. Therefore, if Republicans do want to enter into the normal give and take of governing — a big “if,” to be sure – it will require a willingness to rely on an alliance of non-Tea Party Republicans and Democrats to get things done.