[5440 note: Making sure Republicans lose, originally published at the whitestick papers. Reprinted by permission of the author.]
Almost since its founding in the late 1850’s, the Republican Party has been plagued by internal strife. It’s a party of moral righteousness (and, often, self-righteousness) that takes founding principles very, very seriously. Clashes between firebrand ideologues and more restrained pragmatists have been fought over a myriad of issues, ideas, strategies and tactics.
Such contentiousness was a hallmark of the first Republican Presidential Administration, that of Abraham Lincoln and the tendency shows no signs of slackening. We fight over issues like abortion and gay marriage, over candidates, over leadership, calling them “RINO”, “Establishment” or other pejoratives that dehumanize, minimize and otherwise generalize about people with whom we, for the most part, agree much more than we disagree.
I can’t say for sure that it’s currently the worst it’s ever been as I haven’t been around the entire 150+ years, but I can tell you it’s currently the worst I’ve seen in the 30+ years I have been involved. Bear in mind that includes the “Religious Right” takeover of the party a couple of decades back and a number of internal squabbles since.
Oregon’s Republican Party is, like many other states, in the throes of a struggle for control. A shadow party has been and is currently being developed, comprised largely of sycophants of a personality cult who use deception, ballot-stuffing, lawsuits and intimidation as their primary tactics to undermine those who were elected by their peers to lead the organization.
Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with disagreement within the party; in fact, it’s a sign of a healthy organization. If we wanted uniformity, we’d join a cult; it’s easier, and someone else sets all the rules. But there’s no future in a party which won’t raise funds, which targets its own candidates and leaders for removal. How does it help elect Republicans to file an 80-page frivolous lawsuit? Even though it was thrown out, both the author and the targets wasted time focused on it rather than anything that might be construed as helping defeat the socialist left both parties want to at least forestall, if not defeat.
Meanwhile, I’m on the email lists of both the Obama propaganda/organizing network and the DPO. They’re working hard at getting money, at setting the tone, of launching programs intended to rally support and undermine or distract the Republican base. They realize we’re in a long-term, incremental war for the soul of America. Since it’s only viable opposition is aiming its collective guns inward, it can’t help but win – if not this year, then in 2016.
They’re willing to wait while we squabble ourselves into irrelevance. In fact, some would argue we’re already there.