NOT YOUR DADDY'S GOP-- REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS REFUSE TO ENDORSE FAR RIGHT EXTREMISTS
There aren't many reasons to admire the Republican Party of today. I mean this isn't even your father's GOP, let alone Abe Lincoln's or Teddy Roosevelt's. It has long been in thrall to a coalition of upper level corporate management-- greed and selfishness-obsessed power mongers-- along with the theocratic patsies and a broad array of bigots: your racists, xenophobes, homophobes and frightened Know-Nothings. But there is one thing you gotta have respect for: their absolute determination to hold onto naked power-- hey, it's all about the Benjamins, so it's no game for these guys. And that determination engenders some incredible discipline.
I mean can you imagine how badly it must have sat in Rove's craw to be going to the mat-- and spending over a million bucks to make sure Chafee beat the far right Club for Growth of Fascism loon who was running against Chafee in the primary. Stephen Laffey, the loon, stands for everything Bush and Rove stand for. His whole campaign was basically "Hey vote for me and I'll be a rubber stamp!" But Rove and the national Repugs enforced party discipline with a vengeance, knowing a Laffey primary victory would have meant a certain Democratic take-over on this seat in November (a likelihood in any case, even with Chafee as an incumbent, but at least they have a chance). No doubt Cheney and Rove-- and even Bush, if someone told him-- were choking on their own bile thinking about Chafee's votes against Alito, against Bolton, against their dream-of-dreams (abolishing the estate tax), against Bush's proposals to extend Bush's middle-class destroying tax policies. And then, no doubt they must have remembered how when Chafee was asked if he would consider leaving the GOP if Bush-- who he said he wouldn't vote for-- were re-elected in 2004, he told The Providence Journal "I'm not ruling it out." Oh, the chafing!
Unfortunately for the Republicans, not even their steely discipline looks like it can save 3 Club For Growth of Fascism primary victors. In each case, one in Michigan, one in Arizona and one in Colorado, respected, mainstream conservative incumbents are leaving and refusing to endorse the extreme fanatic the GOP is saddled with. The bloodiest of the three is in Michigan's 7th CD, where vicious, far right nut case, Tim Walberg managed to beat sitting Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz after a brutal and bloody primary. Schwarz has been loud and clear that he will absolutely not endorse the hate-mongering theocrat who beat him.
Less personal, but not a lot less personal, is the campaign in Colorado's 5th CD, where Fighting Dem Jay Fawcett is benefiting from another vicious, bloody Republican primary battle in which the far right extremist, Doug Lamborn, beat the mainstream conservative (endorsed by the retiring long-time incumbent, Joel Hefley). Hefley refuses to endorse the Club For Growth of Fascism loon and is encouraging mainstream Republicans to sit on their hands or even vote for Fawcett, a strong national security Democrat.
And then last night, Beltway Republicans were dismayed when another extremist, Randy Graf, beat the mainstream conservative who had been endorsed by retiring incumbent Jim Kolbe, "virtually ensuring," according to today's Washington Post that Democrats will pick up that seat in November." Kolbe has already announced that he cannot and will not endorse Graf. "I congratulate Mr. Graf on his victory in the Republican primary. However, there are such profound and fundamental differences between his views and mine on several key issues that I would not be true to my own principles were I to endorse him now for the General election in November."
Extremists from the dominant Ann Coulter wing of the Republican Party, like National Review editor Ramesh Ponnuru, are already trying to spin the impending GOP electoral disaster into a victory for the extremist wing of the party. "Conservatives are dreading the November election," Ponnuru writes in today's New York Times. "It would be worse for conservatives if Republicans actually gained seats. The Congressional wing of the party lost its reformist zeal years ago and has been trying to win elections based on pork and incumbency. An election victory would reward that strategy, leaving the congressmen even less interested in restraining spending, reforming government programs and revamping the tax code. Political incompetence and complacency, sporadic corruption and widespread cynicism: having paid a price for none of it, Republicans would indulge in more of the same. Of course, that's just a thought experiment. Almost nobody thinks that Republicans are going to pick up seats."