Thursday, January 26, 2012

GOP: 'Fraternity is now running the campus'

Handing the election over to Obama

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis,
Bloomberg News

Two days after Newt Gingrich defeated Mitt Romney in the South Carolina presidential primary one of Romney’s big-name backers offered a grim prediction for his fellow Republicans.

“The possibility of Newt Gingrich being our nominee against Barack Obama I think is essentially handing the election over to Obama,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty told reporters on a Jan. 23 conference call. “I think that’s shared by a lot of folks in the Republican Party.”

Pawlenty’s comments echoed those being uttered publicly and behind the scenes by elected Republicans, party activists, fundraisers and pundits, who represent a portion of the party establishment -- a “stop-Newt” caucus -- populated largely by people who have known the former U.S. House speaker for decades.

The question is: Can they?

For two decades, the Republican Party has seen an erosion of its traditional, top-down hierarchy, a decline aided by Gingrich himself in 1990 when he led a House revolt against a budget agreement negotiated by President George H.W. Bush that raised taxes. The rise of the anti-tax Tea Party wing in 2009 splintered the internal levers of power further, making it even harder to impose a choice on the rank-and file.

“There really is no Republican establishment left that can control anything,” said Matthew Dowd, a onetime aide to President George W. Bush and now a Bloomberg Television contributor. “Some try to act like they are in charge, but the fraternity is now running the campus...”

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1 comment:

  1. To say the Koch brothers were "caught" attempting to influence their employees' voting preferences is a ludicrous statement. What they are doing is perfectly legal under the terms of Citizen United v. FEC. As a corporate entity upon which the Supreme Court has bestowed personhood in that landmark holding, Koch Industries has all the First Amendment rights of any other personality. Mssrs. Koch had no reason to conceal their activities, so they made no such attempt. This represents the major paradigm shift which really and truly enabled the Tea Party movement to assume its broad-based corporate support and made it a force with which to be reckoned on both sides of the aisle - agile, resilient, potent. The insurgency is complete. As the pundits predicted and the numbers crunchers proved, it only takes 50 to 100 dedicated organizers willing to work hard in each Congressional District. The results are astounding, to say the least. - The Legendary