PHILLIPS: The last days of the Republican Party

The Republican Party will die in the next few days. What killed it? Photo: AP images

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2013 — The Republican Party was born in the darkest days of the American Republic.

In the next few days it will die.


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The Republican Party saved the Union and abolished slavery. The Republican Party stood against Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and against Jim Crow laws in the 50’s.

On a hot summer day, the most famous Republican of the Twentieth Century stood before one of the great icons of tyranny, and over the objection of his cowardly, country club Republican advisors, Ronald Reagan demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 1975, Reagan told conservatives to raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.  Today’s Republican banner is the colorless banner of John Boehner’s freshly laundered white flag of surrender.

The Republican Party will die of suicide by cowardice.


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It would be unfair to say that the leaders of today’s Republican Party lack the courage of their convictions; they have no convictions from which to draw courage.

For the leadership of the Republican Party — the Establishment, as conservatives like to call it — the signs should be obvious.  The GOP has lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections.  The base complained loudly about most of the nominees, yet the Establishment insisted that President Dole, President McCain and President Romney would be loved by the people.

They weren’t.

The Establishment has been openly disdainful of the base that puts Republicans in power.  Some of that base, such as Tea Party members, aren’t even members of a country club. Many of them are blue-collar workers, they have convictions, and they want to see the party act on them. Perhaps most shocking of all, many of them are outspoken Christians!


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This must be horrifying to Northeastern, liberal, Establishment Republicans. How can they possibly face their Democrat friends, knowing that most of their base believes in Jesus Christ as something more than a swear word.

The Republican leadership in Washington was pushed into this fight. They did not like it.  House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor had already worked out a plan to surrender with style. The conservatives could even have another meaningless vote against Obamacare they could take back to the home folks.

When Boehner, Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were forced to fight, they screwed it up. McConnell punted and put the onus of the fight on the House Republicans.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor had the stomach for a fight.

The issue was Obamacare. It was a train wreck. It is a train wreck. The base wanted Obamacare delayed for a year and the base did not want the debt ceiling increased. 

Delaying Obamacare should have been the mother of all no brainers, especially after its roll out on October 1. The government spent $643 million for a website that does not work. This alone should have been enough for the GOP to get a message to the American people and rally support.

Boehner and Cantor stumbled around like newly castrated cattle, trying to figure out what they were missing and why.

They never did.

They could never get on message and the Democrats destroyed them.

Now Boehner, Cantor and McConnell are surrendering. Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid know the Republicans will never fight again and they can have anything they want.

Actually, that is not true. The Republicans are willing to fight again.

This fight is against their base.

Establishment Republicans, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have declared war on the Tea Party. Establishment Republicans are now vowing to primary Tea Party Congressmen. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash already has an opponent and Establishment Republicans are looking for a “pro-business” candidate to primary Iowa Congressman Steve King.

In 1858, Republican Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is what is happening today in the Republican Party.

Conservatives are expected to line up and support moderates when they win the nomination, as conservatives did in 2008 with John McCain and 2012 with Mitt Romney. But when a conservative wins, support is optional for the moderates of the party. This is happening today in Virginia, where conservative Ken Cuccinelli won the nomination that was supposed to go to moderate Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Bolling has pointedly refused to endorse Cucinelli, and according to some reports is preparing to endorse his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

After the elections of 2006 and 2008, the Republican Party was on the political endangered species list. The same Establishment geniuses who thought Mitt Romney and John McCain would be good nominees destroyed the Republican brand and lost control of the White House and the House and Senate to the Democrats.

Along came the Tea Party and saved the GOP.

How did the GOP show its gratitude?

The establishment told the Tea Party to go away and let the professionals handle government. These were the same professionals who screwed things up to begin with.

If the Establishment wants a war with the Tea Party, the Tea Party should welcome that war.

All the Tea Party has to do is leave the GOP and the GOP will quickly be relegated to the status of the “Rent is too damn high” Party.


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More from Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth
 
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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips

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