“The Beginning Of The Battle To Take Over The Republican Party”

I just noticed, via C-SPAN, that a bunch of bitter extremist conservative leaders got together after the election last week and told reporters at the National Press Club that what’s wrong with the Republican Party is that there aren’t enough bitter extremist conservatives in it.

The press event was led by Richard Viguerie, an influential conservative who has tried to help right-wing nuts take over the Republican Party for more than 50 years. To people like Viguerie, the GOP is merely “the most convenient vehicle through which to seek elective office.”

To give you an idea of what strange ideas whiz around in the noggin’ of Richard Viguerie, he thought that Rick Santorum was “the most electable conservative seeking the Republican nomination for President.” Yes, he really thought that.

Viguerie said last week:

The battle to take over the Republican Party begins today and the failed Republican leadership should resign. Out of last night’s disaster comes some good news, however. Conservatives are saying, “Never again are we going to nominate a big-government establishment Republican for president.”

As if he were reading from a script written by liberal Democrats who want the GOP to continue on its path toward national irrelevance, Viguerie elaborated:

Republicans never, ever win the presidency unless they nationalize the election around conservative principles and a conservative agenda…In choosing to ignore the conservative agenda, Romney chose not to follow the path that led to Republicans winning the White House seven out of the last eleven elections…

Now don’t get caught up on how delusional Viguerie is to think that Mittens actually ignoredthe conservative agenda,” an agenda he embraced so effectively that it helped bring him down (“self deportation,” anyone?). Viguerie said something more important, in terms of the internecine struggle that has begun over the future of the Republican Party: “The battle to take over the Republican Party begins today.”

The old conservative went on to demand the heads of Reince Priebus, John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and “other Republican leaders behind the epic election failure of 2012.” He then tossed Karl Rove out with the other consultant trash he considered unworthy of advising the Republican Party, saying “no one should give a dime to their ineffective super PACs such as American Crossroads.”

Despite all that, the real problem for Republican leaders, who can see that their party is becoming nationally unattractive, is related to the following Viguerie remarks, in which he reiterated what is at stake for movement conservatives:

The disaster of 2012 signals the beginning of the battle to take over the Republican Party, and the opportunity to establish the GOP as the party of small government, constitutional conservatism.

Viguerie, you see, doesn’t just want to share the Republican Party with other Republicans. He and other like-minded zealots want to take it over and completely remake it in the image of the Tea Party. That’s what “small government, constitutional conservatism” translates to.

In the mean time, some of the more establishment righties, like columnist and Foxer Michael Barone, said the Tea Party “brings some talented people into politics…but it also brings some wackos and weirdos and witches, and we put too many of them on the ticket.

As a Democrat, I am more than happy to stand back and watch Republicans figure out just who are the “talented people” and who are the “wackos and weirdos and witches.” It will be amusing to see Republicans turn on one another, attack one another, injure one another. They deserve the tumult they are going through, given how many of them tried to destroy President Obama by waging a war of slander against him and by slowing down the economic recovery so he couldn’t win a second term.

While those disgraceful actions didn’t stop Obama’s reelection, they did hurt the country, and given the confusion they created around next year’s fiscal policies, Republicans are still hurting the country.

These people have sown division and uncertainty, and, by God, they are, as a political party, reaping what they sowed.



  1. Methinks perhaps the GOP are hoist on their own petards. Their aversion to the political principle of compromise has become their own internal infection. The question is, is it curable? With vectors like Viguere, it may be difficult.

    Good analysis, Duane.


    • I love it when you get all engineery on me, Jim. (Only an engineer would refer to Richard Viguerie as a “vector.”)

      In any case, there are signs that a compromise is possible, but it looks like Democrats will have to do it on Republican terms!  So, I’m not sure one can call that a compromise, but we shall see.



      • Actually, Duane, I intended “vector” in the biological sense: “an organism, such as a biting insect, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal to another”. 😀


        • Ahhh! I had your background in mind when I interpreted that word, as in the GOP would invariably follow Viguerie’s direction or course.

          I wasn’t familiar with the biological meaning, but that is fantastic! And makes much more sense!

          Isn’t it funny how easy it is to misinterpret what someone said based on assumptions?

          We, meaning me, always have to be careful.



          • The English language is a constant challenge for sure, Duane. For example I occasionally I find myself lapsing into an attempt at humor, which I did recently with Anson. I neglected to use an emoticon and while ignoring all the discourse in preceding comments, accused me of reducing the entire discussion to a sound bite and took me seriously. No wonder the political divide.

            I think there’s a critical point of contentiousness past which rational discourse is virtually impossible, and the year 2012 just might mark that situation. Maybe politicians should be required to wear emoticon faces and manipulate them appropriately? 🙄


  2. And so the American Taliban lives on, apparently in total denial of how badly they lost. But, then, they live in a bubble after all. And it’s a thick one. Reality is drowned out by the hate speech of Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, Hannity, et al. Besides, authoritarianism has no room for critical thinking. It produces sheep who must vote for the flakes (read Todd Akin) while ignoring any possible consequences.

    Yesterday, the Daily Kos commented on the Republican bubble, saying, in part, “. . . they mainly believe in superstition, and infantile notions of good and evil, heaven and hell, etc., they have no real moral compass, by and large. They lack the type of morality that’s within. One that has been reached by applying one’s intellect to try to understand the world around us, and comes up with rational conclusions about what a decent society should be like.” Ouch!

    And there is another prescient prospective; this one from the perceptive keyboard over at Stonekettle Station, which was posted the day after the election. Here’s an brief excerpt:

    “Once upon a time, the Republican Party stood for freedom, the end of slavery, the extension of rights to all Americans, the reasonable regulation of business and monopolies and the protection of the little man from the same. The first president to call for pluralism, i.e. multiculturalism, was a Republican, William McKinley. The republican who followed, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen, Teddy Roosevelt, believed in science, in reason, in the conservation of nature and the husbanding of our natural resources, the protection of our lands, in equality for all, and in peace. Republicans once upon a time believed In freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

    “Today the GOP would make businesses into citizens and make citizens into property. They squint suspiciously at any non-Christian and seem hell bent on denying others their just and due rights as Americans based on those self-same religious beliefs. Science, natural resources, and the environment seem to share equal contempt among conservatives nowadays. They are the party of drill, Baby, drill and legitimate rape. They’ve got abortion on the brain and are obsessively concerned with what other people might be doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms. The GOP has become the very military-industrial complex another great Republican once warned us about. The GOP has given up science and become the party of Birthers and creationists and conspiracy nuts – and rather than distance themselves from such crazies, the modern Republican Party embraced them. One has only to look at the 2012 GOP Platform to see just how far they’ve drifted from the once great party of Lincoln.” (http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/11/hemlock-with-small-side-of-schadenfreude.html)

    Too bad those in the extreme right wing of the GOP think that denial is a river in African and that reality exists only inside the bubble.


    • Herb, the Stonekettle Station analysis is right on in my opinion. I would only make one addition to your excerpt, i.e., a mention of what I call the Medical Industrial Complex, that for-profit gold-plated financial free-for-all that is costing America more than double what it ought. So long as the principal aim of Big Medicine is to make money rather than achieve a fair and equitable standard of healthcare for all citizens, there will be a financial drain on the economy that will stymie any robust recession recovery.


    • Herb,

      Thanks for that excerpt. The phrase, “They’ve got abortion on the brain,” is a problem for Republicans. As this election showed, and contrary to what a lot of anti-choice folks have been arguing, the American electorate is fairly solidly pro-choice.  This will be a major problem for the GOP, as it cannot appear to be as extreme on the issue as its base demands it be.



  3. N.Michael Barrows

     /  November 13, 2012

    I recently came across an article that stated that citizens in twenty states have filed a petition to secede; with Texas having the most signatures. (And yes, Missouri was on that list and surprisingly enough, Kansas was not). The following is a quote from that article:

    “Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote a post-election newsletter in which he urges the Lone Star State to leave the Union.

    ‘We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity… Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.’ ”

    Is this the ultimate equivalent to the kid who doesnt get his way so he’s taking his ball and going home?

    Please, help me understand how people can think that these types of actions/reactions are going to HELP America?


    • I heard about the secession petitions on a nighttime radio show last night, Michael. (Overnight America, with Jon Grayson) Grayson is among the most stable of the talking heads in my opinion. He said this is an every-year phenomenon, and he was having some fun with it. One caller suggested splitting the country into two parts, a Conservative East and a Liberal West. I’m guessing that even if they did they’d have a hard time governing. It’s human nature to be contentious.

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. – Winston Churchill


    • Can out-of-state residents sign the secession petitions? I’d happily sign one to get rid of Texas.


      • “Can out-of-state residents sign the secession petitions? I’d happily sign one to get rid of Texas.”

        Me too, Herb. 😆


    • Michael,

      I wish I would have had that quote from that Hardin County nut when I wrote my blog this morning.

      Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government,” he asked. Yeah, and why should Ft. Worth and Austin live under the same government? And why should one neighborhood in Ft. Worth live under the same rules as another?

      I can’t explain why folks think that way, except to say that they are conditioned to believe that America is only America if it looks and thinks like they do. I don’t much like living in an area that reeks of reactionary conservatism, but I also understand that folks who believe that stuff represent America too. I just wish that the reactionaries would realize that America belongs to all of us, no matter what we think of each other.




  4. N.Michael Barrows

     /  November 13, 2012

    Love the Churchill quote


%d bloggers like this: