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Thursday, April 30, 2009

So Far, So Ugly in the Republican Political Civil War

The Politico graphically illustrates just how ugly the political civil war is getting in the aftermath of Arlen Specter leaving the party.

Faced with a high-profile defection and the prospect of political irrelevance in the Senate, Republicans took off the gloves Wednesday for a ferocious game of finger-pointing.

Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and George Voinovich blamed the Club for Growth for imposing a right-wing litmus test that chased Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party. The Club for Growth blamed Specter — first for helping to ruin the GOP and then for leaving it. A leading Republican strategist blamed the party for turning its back on moderates. Sen. Lindsey Graham sniped at Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. Specter’s pollster blamed the stimulus bill. Karl Rove blamed Specter himself.

And the National Republican Senatorial Committee set about trying to taint Specter among Pennsylvania Democrats by reminding them that he was once aligned with Republican President George W. Bush
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Here is the NRSC ad.



Yesterday, I spoke about how the Club for Growth has become a sort of boogeyman of those that are considered moderates in the Republican party. It appears that demonization has been given more credence with both Voinovich and Hatch now taking up the same cause.

This looks like nothing short of a circular firing squad. We have fingerpointing from one side of the party to the other side almost no one is left to spare. It's counter productive on a level not seen. The CFG, for instance, has millions of supporters nationwide. What do you think anyone sympathetic to their cause feels when someone in the party blames that group for its demise?

Meanwhile, you have the purist base almost daring moderates like Olympia Snowe to follow Specter out of the party. The party leadership is busy trying to make sure they themselves aren't to blame. That's why we both have fingers pointed at Michael Steele and by Michael Steele.

The effect of this is obvious. The party will splinter into several pieces with each blaming the other for all their problems. If the first two days are any indication, things will get rather ugly. The CFG is just the first so called sacrificial lamb of those with an agenda. Look for other groups to be demonized. Look for leaders to blame each other. That's also all very natural because this civil war is also a struggle for power. Weakening others in a position of power stregthens your own position. Ultimately of course, it is the party itself that is the loser. There is nothing worse than party leaders all pointing fingers at each other. That's what's happening so far, and it doesn't appear to be subsiding.

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