Monday, May 18, 2009

Republican Civil War Report Du Jour: Tom Price vs Limbaugh, Lindsey Graham vs Ron Paul


Gingrey warns fellow Georgia Repug Tom Price what to expect next

Tom Price's House colleagues find him to be one of the most unpleasant, overly partisan and inflexible members of Congress. Even the most cursory examination of his voting record shows a lockstep obstructionist and over-the-top extremist who is completely owned by the banking interests-- they've "donated" $901,849 to his career-- and always votes to push forward their agenda, regardless of how devastating the impact on his constituents back in the suburbs north of Atlanta.

This morning former GOP-congressman Joe Scarborough had Price as a guest on his Republican Party propaganda TV show at MSNBC and Price, as unlikely a man for the task as one could imagine, drew a line in the sand separating the GOP from Rush Limbaugh:
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, do you disagree with Rush Limbaugh that Colin Powell should leave the Republican Party?

PRICE: Look, it’s not up to Rush Limbaugh to decide who ought to be in the Republican Party. There are all sorts of wonderful folks across this land who hold dear the fundamental principles that we, as Republicans...

SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, do you believe that Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney are better, quote-- I’m just using terms that we hear every day on TV and radio-- that they are somehow better Republicans than Colin Powell?

PRICE: No. Goodness.

You'll recall that the last time a Georgia congressman-- Phil Gingrey-- tried something like this with Limbaugh, he was licking the Pig Man's pilonidal cyst within 24 hours, groveling and publically begging for forgiveness. If Price doesn't back down, that makes 2 congressional Republicans who have denigrated Limbaugh in the last few days, John Shadegg (R-AZ), hardly anyone's idea of a profile in courage, having done so last week.

When Obama named Utah's Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr, a mainstream conservative, ambassador to China, people joked that in accepting the job, Huntsman-- whose approval ratings are the highest of any GOP governor in America (84%)-- was being forced to flee the country to get away from the Limbaugh/Cheney/Coulter wing of the Republican Party which has targeted him as disloyal for cooperating with Obama on issues vital to the citizens of Utah.

Many think Huntsman is positioning himself to pick up the pieces when the hard right's strategy of all obstructionism all the time shatters what's left of the GOP in 2010 and 2012, just like it did when Republicans followed the exact same playbook in 1934 and 1936 after Roosevelt was first elected. Then it left the Republicans with 17 seats in the Senate and 88 in the House. Keep in mind, not a single Republican in the House voted for Social Security and the only one who voted for it in the Senate, George Norris, was driven out of the party, then running as an independent and even stripping Nebraska out of the GOP Senate delegation! Huntsman's strategy could be looking forward to 2016.

This morning right-wing propaganda writer Byron York interviewed John Weaver, a Republican political operative close to both Huntsman and John McCain. Weaver predicts that if the GOP stays on course presenting itself as the Party of No dominated by Cheney, Limbaugh, the teabaggers, far right extremists, and Know Nothings, the effects will be the same as in '34 and '36: a blowout.
The Republican strategist who helped Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman prepare for a possible presidential run says the Republican party is in for a devastating defeat if its guiding lights are Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney.  "If it's 2012 and our party is defined by Palin and Limbaugh and Cheney, then we're headed for a blowout," says strategist John Weaver, who advised Huntsman and was for years a close adviser to Sen. John McCain. "That's just the truth."

..."I firmly believe that Huntsman and people like him are the prescription for what ails us," says Weaver. "But I have the feeling that our party maybe won't order that prescription in 2012."

This morning's Official Republican Party Talking Points Dispatch makes it clear that many GOP office-holders are starting to get cold feet that Cheney, Limbaugh, Palin and the Club For Greed extremists have become the (very ugly) face of the party they have to run for office on. After Specter blamed the Club for Greed for his decision to jump the fence, some of the left behind Republicans started "to turn on the organization, saying it backs those who are so conservative that they then lose to Democrats."
"If their goal is to increase the Democrats' numbers in Congress, they're doing a very good job," said Rep. Steven LaTourette (R., Ohio), a moderate who won his seat in 1994. "Do they want a permanent minority of 140 people as pure as Caesar's wife, or a Republican majority that can get them 70% of the issues that are important to them?... If the Democrats said everyone had to look like a Democrat from Massachusetts, they would not be the majority party."

You may recall how flustered Lindsey Graham was after Specter left the GOP. "I'm not looking to be a member of a club," he lisped. "The difference between being a club and a national party is being able to play outside your traditional areas." That carried over to the South Carolina Republican Party this weekend, where he was booed and harrassed when he defensively tried taking a mainstream conservative approach at a gathering dominated by teabaggers-- who had already tasted Gresham Barrett's blood last month-- and Ron Paul libertarians. They reap what they've sowed:

Chris Bowers at Open Left put together this fascinating chart that shows the favorability ratings of the country's most visable Republican leaders. Odd that people still hate Bush the most, even more than Cheney. Maybe they should switch spokespersons and have Cindy McCain out there more and Limbaugh, Newt, Karl Rove and John Boehner a lot less.

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