Meet The New Media Narrative: It’s A GOP Civil War!
After the latest round of primaries resulted in some shocking upsets in Florida and Alaska, the liberal media settled on a narrative for these victories for the conservative grassroots: It’s a civil war!
WASHINGTON – A Republican civil war is raging, with righter-than-thou conservatives dominating ever more primaries in a fight for the party’s soul. And the Democrats hope to benefit.
The latest examples of conservative insurgents’ clout came Tuesday at opposite ends of the country. In Florida, political newcomer Rick Scott beat longtime congressman and state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. And in Alaska, tea party activists and Sarah Palin pushed Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the brink of defeat, depending on absentee ballot counts in her race against outsider Joe Miller.
The GOP is likely to survive its bitter intraparty battles in such states as Alaska and Utah, even if voters oust veteran senators in both. But tea party-backed candidates might be a godsend to desperate Democrats elsewhere — in Nevada, Florida and perhaps Kentucky, where the Democrats portray GOP nominees as too extreme for their states.
If Murkowski joins Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, as a victim of party activists who demand ideological purity, other Republicans are still likely to win in November, though Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would have to deal with more maverick members who are loathe to compromise. And the conservative insurgency is hardly all-powerful, as Sen. John McCain proved by easily winning renomination in Arizona despite a challenge from the right by J.D. Hayworth.
A veritable buffet of oblique pejoratives. “Righter-than-thou conservatives” demanding “idealogical purity.”
What’s funny is that I don’t remember this sort of sneering going on back when liberal insurgent candidates were challenging moderate Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 primaries. Remember Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman? Was Lamont sneered at like this?
Of course, in that instance Lieberman ultimately won, so it’s not a hopeful comparison for candidates like Rand Paul, Sharon Angle, etc. But then, the political environment is very different now and I don’t think that candidates like Angle and Paul are nearly so weak as some (see: liberals and establishment Republicans) would have us believe.
What’s going on in the GOP is a healthy thing. This sort of dissent within political parties is what the political process is all about. If candidates like Paul and Angle and Joe Miller in Alaska aren’t what the voters ultimately want, they’ll make that clear at the ballot box. But I think it is what the people want. According to Karl Rove, there hasn’t been Republican turnout like this since 1926.
Until then, scorn heaped on this candidates just tells me who it is the scorners are really afraid of.Tags: election 2010, joe miller, primaries, rand paul, sharron angle