There is a civil war going on in the Republican Party. It is not a violent bloody civil war, but it is a civil war none the less. As such, a lot of hurtful and false information is being thrown around. This civil war is between the Republican Base and the Republican leadership. The Republican Base is overwhelmingly Conservative, 70 percent of the Republican Base are Conservative, only 24 percent of Republicans are moderates.
Yet this is not the make-up of the Republican Party Leadership though. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have declared war on the Conservative Republicans in the house and the Senate, stripping them of positions and influence. Even in some cases going so far as to deny them Republican Party funds to defend their congressional or senate seats.
Neither Boehner nor McConnell can honestly be called Conservatives, they are at best moderate Republicans. Their dealings in the House and Senate have a difficult time even being called moderate. Moreover, both men have heavily stacked the Republican Parties leadership with like minded congressmen and senators, not conservatives, but moderate to liberal Republicans. More importantly though, is that despite the vast majority of the Republican Base being Conservatives, the vast majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate are first and foremost, REPUBLICANS, loyal to the Party, and the Party Leadership rather than to the Base which elected them.
When John Boehner steps down at the end of October as Speaker of the House, it is widely believed that his hand picked successor will be Kevin McCarthy, who like Boehner and McConnell can clearly be seen to be among the most liberal Republicans in the House. The Party Leadership unlike the Party Base are not by majority Conservative.
The degree that this is true can be seen in Donald Trump’s popularity. It is not that Conservatives believe that Donald Trump is a Conservative, they know that he is not. Trump is a Moderate with Conservative leanings and sympathies. No, Trumps popularity is a reflection of the Conservative Base of the Republican Party’s anger at the GOP Establishment Leadership, which is totally out of sync with the party base.
The GOP seized control of the House in 2010 and four years later took the Senate. Yet even with those majorities, Republican lawmakers have failed to achieve such conservative priorities as rolling back Obamacare, their derisive name for the national healthcare law, or cracking down harder on illegal immigration.
The controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is no closer to being built – indeed, it may soon be dead – tough antiabortion legislation has languished in the Senate, and a fiercely disputed nuclear deal with Iran seems virtually certain to take effect, despite near-unanimous opposition from Republicans in Congress.
In short, as many see it, the promise of the 2010 tea party movement and its 2014 echo have been dashed on the marble steps of the Capitol.
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“People feel betrayed,” said Greg Mueller, a longtime conservative activist and campaign strategist. “They feel like they keep working and fighting to elect Republicans to get us back to a limited government approach to life, and all they get is more spending, more taxes and people who are afraid to fight liberal Democrats.”
A big beneficiary of that frustration has been Donald Trump.
One of the curiosities of the 2016 presidential campaign has been the way the blunt-spoken billionaire surged to the top of Republican polls despite his relatively short party residence and history of statements —favoring higher taxes on the well-to-do, endorsing government-run healthcare, backing certain gun controls — at odds with so much of the party’s prevailing orthodoxy.
Trump has trimmed some of his positions and reversed others — he now opposes legal abortion, for instance — as he seeks the GOP nomination, a process he likens to Ronald Reagan’s evolution from New Deal Democrat to conservative icon (a comparison that glosses over the length and depth of Reagan’s conversion).
But Trump’s appeal is not so much about issues as attitude.
The reason for his success is simple, observers say: Trump is giving unsparing voice to the contempt many conservatives feel toward the political leadership in Washington, Democrat and Republican alike. The scorn runs so deep, it overrides whatever differences voters may have with Trump over his garish lifestyle, his patchwork philosophy or past stances on particular issues.
“They don’t see any difference between Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, or Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell,” said Sal Russo, a longtime GOP strategist, referring to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate.
“People are just sick and tired of politics as usual, where nothing ever changes,” said Russo, who helped engineer the rise of the tea party protest movement. “Anybody who helps them vent their frustration at the system is an appealing candidate.”
There are a lot of News Talking-heads and Pundits who are watching the Republican Civil War with a profound degree of disbelief and confusion. The Talking-heads and Pundits can see that the Base is angry as hell with the leadership, but what they cannot understand is the manner in which the party leadership is responding to the bases anger. Rather than addressing the core issues that are angering the base, the party leadership is doubling down on those issues and threatening and insulting the party base.
What the Talking-heads and Pundits don’t seem to understand, or perhaps they have a vested interest in not understanding, is that the GOP Establishment Leadership isn’t as clueless as the Talking-heads and Pundits think they are. The GOP Establishment Leadership actually do understand that they are in a very real and serious fight for control of the Republican Party. John Boehner’s decision to step down as the Speaker of the House came after 3 attempts by Conservatives in the House to oust him.
Outgoing Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
says he’s not being pushed out of the job he’s held for five years.
John Boehner acknowledges, however, that he wants to avoid the continuation of the “churning” that’s taken place within the Republican House caucus. Over the past several months, conservative members—who have become increasingly unhappy with his inability to provide meaningful opposition to President Obama’s far-left agenda—have mounted a steady rebellion.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
has been the most visible member of that opposition, but unrest has spread to other members of the Republican House caucus whose support, until recently, Boehner has been able to count on.
Opposition to John Boehner has come from both inside the Republican caucus and outside the House. And 2016 presidential primary politics are playing a big role in why outside pressure has had an increasingly significant influence on the behavior of members of Congress.
Leading the conservative grassroots opposition from outside the House have been several groups, including an informal coalition known as Groundswell, which has met regularly on Capitol Hill once a month for the past five years. The goal is to chart a limited government path of activism to counteract the unholy alliance between the far-left and the Republican establishment that has had a death grip on Washington since the beginning of the Obama administration.
“Boehner’s fall is connected to why Cruz and Trump and Carson and Carly are rising because if you hear the frustration [of the conservative grassroots], you know citizens want the Congress to stop Obama’s [fundamental] transformation [of the country],” Ginni Thomas of Liberty Consulting, an activist and Groundswell member tells Breitbart News
40 percent of Americans are Conservative, 70 percent of Republicans are Conservative, yet the GOP Establishment Leadership is not Conservative. John Boehner did not so much step down, as he was thrown out. The Republican Party Base are pissed off because they are not being represented faithfully by the Party Leadership. The GOP Establishment Leadership however has no intention of going gently into that good night. House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy is believed to be John Boehner’s hand picked successor, and if confirmed as the next Speaker of the House, he will be the GOP Establishment Leadership’s paladin, their champion seeking to ensure that they retain control of the Party.
Kevin McCarthy is already making it clear that it is his intention to use even more ruthless and strong-arm tactics than John Boehner did in order to force House Republicans to surrender their allegiance to their constitutes and instead march in lockstep with whatever agenda the GOP Establishment Leadership dictates. Tragically, regardless of the percentage of the Party Base that is Conservative the majority of House Republicans have to date followed the GOP Establishment doctrine that loyalty to the GOP Establishment Agenda is more important than loyalty to the voters who put those House Republicans in office in the first place.
The probability that the Republican Party will lose control of either the House or the Senate, or quiet possibly both on November 8th 2016 as the Republican Bases anger continues to grow keeps increasing with every move that the GOP Establishment Leadership makes to keep control of the Party. There are likely to be more challenges to incumbent Congressmen and Senators. Since the GOP Establishment Leadership has chosen to defy and fight the Party Base all that is left for the Base, is to fight it out with the the party leadership.
The Party Leadership has billions of dollars to fight with, the problem that they face, is its the Base who actually do the voting. The Base is not getting less angry, they are getting more angry. The only question is, will enough of the Base join the insurgency.