Shortly after the Romney/Ryan defeat in November, Republicans & pundits started the public & private autopsy of what went wrong. The insider conclusion? Republicans aren’t liberal enough.
Then Karl Rove started his anti-conservative PAC to make sure conservatives don’t find their way onto the ballot, especially in high-profile races.
To complicate matters, the Supreme Court is debating whether the Defense of Marriage Act is Constitutional.
Adding fuel to that fire is Sen. Mark Kirk stating he supports gay marriage. This is the same Mark Kirk that has been campaigning behind the scenes to help keep Pat Brady’s job as IL Republican Party Chair.
Is the Republican party in the fits of an intraparty civil war? The quick answer is no. The long answer is below.
I don’t believe there is a civil war within the Republican Party…yet. It’s coming though. We are seeing the first signs of a rift within the party & I believe the first sign of this rift is the gay marriage issue.
The national Republican Party I believe wants to go a different direction than the rank & file Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. I believe that Illinois is the petri dish for the test case of a “new” Republican Party. The RNC will then use the results of their test case here in Illinois, learn from the mistakes, adjust & then import the program for liberalizing the Republican Party into the other states. What does mean for deep red states? It means the RNC will get to you eventually.
The evidence is right in front of us. Who sits is a committeeman on the RNC? Illinois Republican Chair Pat Brady – who has opening advocated for gay marriage.
We then filter down further & see the highest Republican elected official in Illinois – Mark Kirk – also support gay marriage. The case for liberalizing the Republican Party in Illinois gets bigger.
The final piece of the petri dish puzzle is our supposed “conservative” Illinois Republican Representatives in the US House – Shimkus, Davis, Schock & Kinzinger – staying absolutely silent on Pat Brady & now Mark Kirk. Where are these supposed champions of conservatism? Nowhere. When will they fight for the party as a whole? Probably never. So it’s up to us.
Conservatives in Illinois had better make their presence known & they had better be loud about it. Conservatives must confront their Republican office holders & press them on why they are not fighting against the liberalization of the Republican Party in Illinois, let alone nationally. Most importantly, conservatives had better make their voices heard by voting – especially in the primaries.
If conservatives don’t stand up and fight, then you will see a serious split in the Republican Party. I believe the state & national leaders of the Republican Party are playing with fire. In their eyes, they think they are appealing to more voters. In reality, they are alienating many within the Republican Party at the expense of political expediency.
What happens when Republican voters feel alienated? They don’t contribute to candidates or the party. They don’t show up to vote. They are more open to third parties.
When it’s all said & done, there is one thing you must keep in mind. Many of the pundits & consultants hail from the pre-Reagan Revolution days or the “compassionate conservatism” George W Bush days. To these insiders, Reagan represented a speed bump in the liberalization of the Republican Party. Why else are we to be reminded more & more these days that “Reagan is dead”? Why else would this Republican intelligentsia want to purge conservatives from policy making? If these same people think the Democratic Party has gone so far to the left & the “new” Republican Party will fill the void by disheartened Democratic Party voters, they are seriously mistaken.
It’s really is sad that we conservatives must waste so much time & energy fighting the liberal agenda within the Republican Party when that same effort could be used to defeat the far-left liberal agenda of the Democratic Party. We lose so many good conservatives because of this fight. They tire of the endless two-front battle. They tire of a seeming deaf leadership. They tire of living in a state that punishes success while rewarding failure. Who can blame them?