Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Former G. W. Bush flak and Washington Post pundit Michael Gerson describes the lay of the battlefield accurately in A House divided cannot govern:
* * *
Will the tea party be chastened by recent defeat? Not likely, or not
for long. Because tea party leaders inhabit an alternative political
reality — sheltered in safe districts or states, applauded by
conservative media, incited (or threatened) by advocacy groups, carried
along by a deep current of anger and frustration among activists — they
have no incentive to view defeat as defeat. In fact, turning against
tactical radicalism would involve serious political risk. So every
setback is interpreted as a need for greater purity and commitment.
conflict is certain to bleed over into the 2016 Republican presidential
primaries. The influence of a highly committed minority is exaggerated
in small electorates. All the conditions for volatility will be present:
voters embittered by recent defeats, a growing infrastructure of tea
party institutions, a campaign finance system easily influenced by
ideologically eccentric billionaires.
So what is the old guard GOP establishment to do? Jia Lynn Yang of the Washington Post writes, Business groups want to take back the GOP. That won’t be easy.
The country’s biggest business groups are making noises
about taking on tea party candidates in primary races. But reclaiming a
more reliably pro-business Republican Party — one that stops railing
against “corporate welfare” and threatening to default on the nation's
debt obligations –isn’t going to be easy.
For one, the trade groups are talking about only a handful of races
so far: four primaries, only two of which would involve taking on
Republican incumbents. The group of House Republicans who led the charge
to shut down the government numbered in the dozens. And on Wednesday
night, 18 Republican senators and 144 GOP House members opposed the bill
to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
* * *
Views like [Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action for America] threaten to unravel the decades-long alliance between
business and the GOP and have clearly alarmed groups like the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce. Trade organizations are only in the early planning
stages of wresting back control, so they may decide to get involved in
more races eventually. But this is also extremely new territory for
them; they’re used to participating in general elections, not primaries.
There are also limits to how far these groups can go if they want
Republicans to keep control of the House. They can try to weed out a few
ultra-conservative lawmakers who have been causing trouble for House
Speaker John Boehner and send a message to activist groups like Heritage
Action and Club for Growth. But they can’t go so far in targeting
certain Republicans that they risk losing seats to Democrats.
There's the flaw in your analysis, Jia Lynn Yang. Business interests are not synomymous with Republican Party interests. I know the GOP likes to perpetuate this myth, but it is simply not suported by the evidence. Democrats have always been better for the economy and business. Want a Better Economy? History Says Vote Democrat! – Forbes, and History Shows Stocks, GDP Outperform Under Democrats | Fox Business, and Democratic Presidents Are Better for the Economy – Bloomberg. Business groups have got to get past this disabling myth that the GOP is better for their interests, and stop supporting and funding candidates that are actually doing harm to their interests.
Jia Lynn Yang continues her analysis:
Why don’t these business trade groups abandon the Republican Party altogether, as some have asked?
Besides shared policy goals like lower taxes, there’s a long personal
history between Boehner and the leaders of the biggest trade groups.
News flash: It is widely believed that this is the TanMan's last hurrah as Weeper of the House. He will not be speaker in January 2015, even if the GOP retains control of the House. He barely won election in January 2013. It would be foolhardy for business organizations to support the GOP based upon their personal relationships with a man who will no longer be in a postion of power. "It's just business, you understand John."
The Washington Post's David ignatius offers his opinion today.
Neutralizing the tea party:
Many Republicans have been muttering over the past few weeks of
political craziness that the tea party’s hold on the GOP must be broken
to protect their party’s health — not to mention the country’s. So I’ve
been asking people what a movement to break the extremists’ power would
actually look like.
I put the question to a half-dozen prominent Republican strategists and analysts and to one particularly influential Democrat, David Plouffe.
The answers convince me that a grass-roots movement to rebuild the GOP
as a governing party is possible, but only if it’s a disciplined,
well-financed effort that mobilizes voters in the Republican-leaning
districts where the tea party is strong.
The key factor, several analysts told me, is whether major business
groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are on board. “The business
community has been AWOL,” argues Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar with
the American Enterprise Institute. He says that traditional business
groups such as the chamber have ceded the ground to more right-wing
groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action.
The numbers show why pro-business Republicans should be worried. The New York Times summarized a recent study by Macroeconomic Advisers
that estimated the cost of this month’s shutdown at $12 billion in lost
output; other estimates are double that. Over the past year, says
Macroeconomic Advisers, uncertainty caused by budget showdowns has cost
the nation $150 billion in gross domestic product and 900,000 jobs.
A backlash is clearly building within the GOP and beyond. Conservative commentator Rod Dreher wrote in the American Conservative about “the tragedy of tea party Republicans destroying their credibility with reckless brinksmanship.” David Frum,
a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, urged the GOP to
expel tea party members and argued, “Right now, tea party extremism
contaminates the whole Republican brand.”
GOP strategists told me that the basic ingredients for revival include:
good candidates in key districts; a national nest egg of perhaps
$200 million to $300 million; and a “galvanizing” national political
leader, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former Florida
governor Jeb Bush.
Oy! You lost me there, Ignatius. Neither one of these guys is a “galvanizing” national political
leader, and seriously, a revivial of that Bush Dynasty crap? Forget about the presidency for now, you need to focus on the Congress and the truly radicalized Red State legislatures.
Several strategists offered a similar breakdown of the House’s 232
GOP members: They say the key to change is challenging the 40 hard-core
extremists and perhaps 40 more who sympathize with them, while
protecting the roughly 100 conservative House Republicans who are wary
of the tea party but don’t want to take on the Club for Growth and
Strategists caution that primary challenges won’t
work without good local candidates who are well funded. Otherwise, “the
GOP is going over Niagara Falls,” says one prominent adviser to several
* * *
What are the political mechanics of rolling back tea party power? For
that, I turned to Plouffe, the Democratic master strategist who
engineered President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 victories and is, by many
accounts, the most skillful practitioner of techno-politics in the
Plouffe argues that tea party incumbents are much
more vulnerable than is commonly recognized — but only to challengers
who are able to expand the size of the turnout in GOP primaries. Higher
turnout is a result, he explains, of good candidates who can energize
volunteers and “good data” that can identify who has voted over the past
few elections and who hasn’t — and then drive turnout for the
In states with open primaries where independents can
vote, expanding the turnout in GOP primaries would be relatively easy,
Plouffe says. But even in states with closed primaries, good data and
voter-mobilization tools would put many districts within reach of a
strong, well-financed challenger.
The country has lived through a
nightmare over the past few weeks, but the tea party is already gearing
up for the next round. “See, we’re going to start this all over again,”
promised Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana.
Republicans who want to stop this destructive politics from further
undermining their party and the nation need to get started now.
Arizona can do its part by ridding ourselves of four unrepentant "Default Denier" Tea-Publicans who stand ready to put the country through this nightmare again. Linda Valdez at The Arizona Republic(an) makes the case along the same outlines as David ignatius above in AZ GOP House delegation: a bad business investment.
I keep telling you, "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. Time to step up.