“Civil War.” The power of a party crumbling, in its death throes.
We’ve been talking for a while about how the Republican Party was destined to self-destruct, to fall apart like so many leaves of shale in a mine. The first cracks began showing the moment Obama was re-elected, and the GOP Autopsy report that followed might as well have been written on the mine wall with a disembodied hand: “weighed, measured, and found wanting.” Steadily, like Egyptians pouring vinegar onto hot stone of hate and blackmail, we’ve been sending fissures down through the bedrock of the Grand Old Tea Party. And now, in the shadow of said looming blackmail, with a thunderous “CRACK!” at least one massive piece has fallen loose.
In Maddow’s clip, she reads this quote from an anonymous senior Republican leadership aide:
“It is disappointing to see that Wendy Davis has more balls than Ted Cruz.”
Yeah. That just happened.
Now, Ted Cruz himself isn’t taking the comment too seriously. At least, not publicly. When asked about the comment during a press conference, Cruz jokingly replied
“Well, I’m always impressed with the courage of anonymous congressional aides.”
Give the man his due…a clever enough quip. Then again, Rome burning didn’t seem to hurt Nero’s harp playing any.
The central point here, though, isn’t about one anonymous aide’s comment; it’s the fact that it reflects a much larger opinion of Ted Cruz (and the Tea Party that he largely personifies) that seems to be spreading throughout the Grand Old Tea Party.
Without naming names, Congressman Tim Griffin said in a Tweet “So far, Senate republicans are good at getting Facebook likes and Townhalls, but not much else. Do something…”
Republican Sean Duffy was a little less cryptic: “House agrees to send bill to Senate that defunds Obamacare. Senator Ted Cruz and Mike Lee refuse to fight. Wave white flag and surrender.”
Here’s John McCain speaking of Ted Cruz and his shut-down psychosis:
“Most of the people (meaning Cruz in particular) are new and don’t have the experience that we had when the American people, who don’t like government but don’t want it to be shut down, reacted in a very negative fashion toward Congress doing so. To somehow think we are going to defund it is simply not going to happen at this time. And it will, in my opinion, as it did before, harm the American peoples’ view of the Republican party.”
Yes, it will, John. Just like a leeeetle bit of rape might harm your view of the guy who just burned down your house and shot your grandmother. McCain continues, “I can tell you that in the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.”
So, the bloom is officially off of Tailgunner Ted’s Canadian Rose. But the fun doesn’t end there, because on Wednesday night, CBS anchor Nancy Cordes (on the Evening News and This Morning) barely contained her enthusiasm while she talked about the latest schism in the Grand Old Tea Party.
According to Cordes, an unnamed Republican Senator called the House’s latest blackmail scheme as a “suicide note,” among other things. We’ll have the video up as soon as CBS decides to put it on the Interwebs. But, in the meantime, we’ll let Cordes speak for herself:
“Many Republicans think this is a risky, if not foolhardy strategy. But House Speaker John Boehner was under pressure from about 40 or so Tea Party Republicans to do this, and he needed their votes…Boehner tried to put the best face possible on the controversial approach he had hoped to avoid.
On Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce, a traditional Republican ally, urged House Republicans not to play games with funding, saying, ‘It is not in the best interest of the U.S. business community or the American people to risk even a brief government shutdown.’ But conservative House members were ecstatic about the plan, which they feel is their last chance to try to stop the President’s health care law before public insurance exchanges go into effect on October 1. Senate Republicans are almost unanimously opposed to this plan. One called it a ‘suicide note’. Another said it would harm the American people. They don’t like the President’s health care law either, Norah and Charlie. They just don’t think that funding should be held hostage because of it.”
John Dickerson (chief political correspondent of Slate magazine and CBS News’ political director) said on the same show:
“I’ve been in conversations with a lot of Republican senators. And what’s new about this here, is we’ve had a lot of discussion about the battle within the Republican Party, and it’s often framed as a, kind of, establishment versus the grassroots. But what you have here is you have conservative Republicans – people with real credentials.” Ron Johnson, the senator from Wisconsin, is one I talked to. He doesn’t like this. He ran – came into office against ObamaCare. He has all the bona fides in the world, in terms of hating ObamaCare. But he said this is, tactically, a bad idea, because this is going to die in the Senate. And what will happen, is Republicans will be blamed for a government shutdown. And so, they’ll get all the political blame, and nothing will be done to de-fund or hurt ObamaCare. So, on tactical grounds, he says it’s a bad idea.”
Granted, it’s probably not time to throw up the old Mission Accomplished banner yet…
…we’ve learned our lesson from history on THAT, anyway. And the Grand Old Tea Party has show with the sequester that (safe in their perceived towers) they are absolutely prepared to burn down Rome to build a pleasure palace for themselves. We know this about them, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe they won’t do it again. We also know that as a party, they’re too scared of getting primaried by their mouth-breathing-and-teabag-frothing constituents to do anything but take their chances in the blaze.
But the fact that they’re willing to, combined with what we’ve seen so far, should make one thing absolutely clear at this point:
The Tea Party’s Days are decidedly numbered.
Their core goal of repealing ACA has failed. Their conspiracies are debunked. Their media is a laughingstock. The politicians who represent them most are losing pull in the GOP, and the GOP itself has been forever, embarrassingly tarnished by association with the Tea Party. Gun control is gaining ground, private prisons and schools are exposed for the frauds they are, and the war on drugs has been declared a failure. The Koch Brothers’ dark money is coming to light, and there aren’t many social smokescreens left to hide their hate and evangelical corporatism behind.
This isn’t the time to rest, though. The time to sit on our laurels hasn’t come yet, though it will if we survive the coming fight. A badly wounded animal fights the hardest in its last moments, when it’s backed into a corner of a mineshaft that it can’t escape. We can expect them to do the same. But NOW is the time to suck it up, step into the darkness, get in bloody close with the biggest knife we have, and end these sons of bitches once and for all.
Yeah. The Neverending Story reference. What’s up?