The GOP’s burgeoning civil war

The GOP’s burgeoning civil war
By: James Kirchick
March 23, 2009

Watching the various spats among conservatives, it’s difficult to tell whether one is witnessing a series of lively political disagreements or an episode of “Monday Night Raw.”

In one corner, there’s former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum versus talk radio king Rush Limbaugh. In another ring, Limbaugh is taking on former House speaker-turned-conservative guru Newt Gingrich. And in the Royal Rumble, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is battling, well, pretty much everybody in the GOP.

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The Death of a Red State

A close race in one Republican stronghold suggests that the politics of bigotry may finally be over


Posted Oct 30, 2008 1:00 PM

Driving down a rainy Colorado highway in October, I can see the misty white outline of the Rockies out one window and the arid brown flatlands of the Great Plains out the other. Overlaying it all is the faint but unmistakable stench of cattle.

I follow the smell.

I have come to the 4th Congressional District in Colorado — a massive territory encompassing virtually all of the state north and east of Denver — to cover the re-election campaign of Rep. Marilyn Musgrave. Musgrave was Sarah Palin before Sarah Palin, a turbocharged born-again supermom who went into politics because she couldn’t stand all the naughtiness. Her first political gig was on the school board in Fort Morgan, where she devoted her energies to blacking out — literally blacking out — passages in sex-education textbooks. Later, as a state legislator, she pushed a concealed-weapon law that would have allowed guns on school grounds. She was a preposterous caricature of an evangelical politician, an Anita Bryant with a beer gut, but like Palin she was already on her way to a Major Elected Office by the time anyone thought to stop laughing. Her first act upon making it to Congress in 2003 was to introduce an amendment to ban gay marriage. She declared unequivocally — after 9/11 and the launching of two wars — that the union of same-sex couples is “the most important issue we face today.” Continue reading

Republican fears of historic Obama landslide unleash civil war for the future of the party

Mr McCain is now facing calls for him to sacrifice his own dwindling White House hopes and focus on saving vulnerable Republican Senate seats Photo: EPA

Senior Republicans believe that John McCain is doomed to a landslide defeat which will hand Barack Obama more political power than any president in a generation.

John McCain - Republican fears of historic Obama landslide unleash civil war for the future of the party

Aides to George W.Bush, former Reagan White House staff and friends of John McCain have all told The Sunday Telegraph that they not only expect to lose on November 4, but also believe that Mr Obama is poised to win a crushing mandate.

They believe he will be powerful enough to remake the American political landscape with even more ease than Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

The prospect of an electoral rout has unleashed a bitter bout of recriminations both within the McCain campaign and the wider conservative movement, over who is to blame and what should be done to salvage the party’s future. Continue reading