This post originally appeared on QuietMike.org and is republished with permission from the author
Since Barack Obama won his second presidency back in November, a war has been brewing between Republicans and their Tea Party offspring. It is by no means a war between differing ideals or ideology, although they have their differences. It is more of a clash between Republicans who wish to see their party in power again and a Tea Party that borders on the line of stupidity and recklessness.
People seem to think the Tea Party was a grassroots uprising born out of the first election of Barack Obama, but in truth, the Tea Party was created a decade earlier by the tobacco industry and the Koch Brothers. Their goal was to instill an anti-tax, anti-science philosophy on politicians and the public with the hopes it would further line their pockets down the road.
The rise of Tea Party Republicans has led to a small exodus of moderate conservatives from the GOP. Those who have stayed have paid the price politically. “Normal” Republicans who don’t conform to Tea Party principles now get “primaried” by their Tea Party rivals and don’t even get on the ballot.
Tea Baggers now represent the extreme wing of their party. Their no science, no taxes (no intelligence) views are winning them primaries in their districts, but when it comes to actual elections the public is seeing them for who they are. Americans rejected many of them back in November, Todd Akin & Richard Mourdock “the rape guys” are just a couple. Even a once moderate Mitt Romney lost the presidency because of tea party influence.
Enter Karl Rove. The longtime Republican strategist is by no means a moderate; his extremist views echo the same Tea Party he once held in high regard, the only difference is Rove likes to win. After his embarrassing loss in November along with his humiliating Fox News election night appearance, Karl is clamoring for a change.
Rove has founded the “Conservative Victory Project” super PAC that aims to fund the opposition to Tea Party crazies before their names appear on the ballot. His goal isn’t to have moderate Republicans take over the party per se; it’s simply to avoid nominating Republican candidates who don’t keep their mouth shut. As we all know, Tea Party candidates have a tough time zipping it up.
So is Rove’s new strategy going to work? Or will is simply split the party in two? So far, some Republicans have said that what he’s doing is counter-productive, that he needs to stay out of it and that his plan will backfire. Rove is also dependent on donations from Tea Party backed groups and corporations; who knows just how much funds he’ll be able to raise.
Whether Rove’s network is able to pick the winners remains to be seen. What we do know is that the Conservative Victory Project is making some Tea Party Republicans very angry as it goes against democratic principles. Voters, after all, should be the ones to decide (hey, the Tea Party got something right!).
A Republican civil war rests squarely in the hands of Karl Rove. If he decides to call off the dogs, no political bloodshed will be necessary. However, if goes through with his plans and they are met with success, we might just see a third party in future elections.
Personally, I don’t believe there is any cure for the Republican Party. They didn’t lose big last November just because of a few idiotic comments or running poor candidates, their loss was brought by sharing a common ideology that Americans rejected.
In effect, they lost pledging to the same philosophy pushed onto them by the Koch Brothers and the tobacco industry, viewpoints they have spent a decade trying to spread. Nearly all Republicans now subscribe to the Anti-environment, anti-abortion, anti-tax and pro-big business mantra, not just tea baggers.
So long as there are entities like the Kochs, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, those who profit from the spread of these beliefs, the GOP will be hindered at every turn, regardless of the actions of Karl Rove. Hopefully one day Tea Party supporters will realize just where their movement comes from and reject it themselves.