The Big Tent (Spiked)

Republicans who step out of line at the national level can claim they are “mavericks” and get cred on MSNBC.  Republicans who step out of line at the ALEC-controlled state level get pounded into the ground like tent spikes.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady resigned Tuesday, citing a handful of reasons including an ongoing struggle with several members of the state GOP over his support for same-sex marriage.

“There were several reasons,” why he decided to step down, Brady said in a telephone interview with CNN. “I’ve been going at it hard for six years, I need to focus on my family, and obviously I had lost the support of the state Central Committee because of my position on gay marriage.”

In Illinois, no less.  Imagine that, a blue state Republican supporting same-sex marriage and he gets his political throat cut.  John Kasich, Ohio’s GOP governor, is a candidate on that list too.

Feeling betrayed by the Republican Party and its leaders, tea party groups in Ohio appear to be uniting and moving toward either a split from the GOP or action to punish Republican candidates who fail ideological purity tests.

A series of events, culminating with the April 26 election of Matt Borges as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, spurred a flurry of meetings and conference calls among tea party leaders last week to plot a course of action heading into the 2014 statewide election.

Options being discussed, according to Seth Morgan, policy director for Americans for Prosperity, range from breaking off into “a third party, to an insurrection (within the Republican Party) and everything in between.”

Get your popcorn, folks.

35 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    It would be better if the new Ohio GOP chair were named Matt “Lucrezia” Borgia, but we’ll take what we can get.

  2. 2
    Served says:

    The IL GOP is farcical in its ability to bone any situation favorable to them. The crusade against Brady was led by State Rep. Jim Oberweis, who until 2012 was known for a) a dairy that produces good milk and ice cream b) being a conservative firebrand skilled at losing elections. He got lucky last year and now has somehow ended up in the driver’s seat of the bus. Way to go GOP!

    The Dems have Supermajorities in both houses (though we have our own versions of Blue Dogs in there….) and Republicans have been redistricted into what amount to Safe Zones that would never vote for a Democrat ever. They have no incentive to moderate.

    That said, 3 of our 5 statewide constitutional offices are held by Republicans. Moderate Republicans.

  3. 3
    Jay in Oregon says:

    “I’ve been going at it hard for six years, I need to focus on my family, and obviously I had lost the support of the state Central Committee because of my position on gay marriage.”

    You know who else liked state Central Committees?

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    @Served: Oberweis is such a fucking douche.

    I wouldn’t buy his dairy products if they paid me, unless it was enough that I could buy a war engine and hurl manure at him all day.

    He no doubt has power inside the state GOP because he is rich as hell.

  5. 5
    SatanicPanic says:

    They’ll learn to shut up soon enough, and then in 20 years they’ll be claiming that gay rights was all their idea. Harvey Milk was a Republican!

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Scotty Pippen?

  7. 7
    the Conster says:

    So the Tea Party isn’t just about debt and the deficit? Shocking. It’s almost like they’re the al Qaeda of conservatism.

  8. 8
    Served says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Oh same here. I go past the the Lakeview store frequently and desperately want to see it closed. People don’t know that it’s essentially Chik-Fil-A with milk.

  9. 9
    Boots Day says:

    Back when Kasich was a rising star in the House, he was sometimes mentioned as a potential presidential candidate or VP. The rumor I heard was that it would never happen because he was gay. I have no way of knowing how close to the truth that is, but he was unmarried for nearly the entire time he served in the House, getting married at the age of 54.

  10. 10
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    None of this third party bullshit. The Tea Partiers can totally teach those fat cats cozying up to Obummer a lesson by revolting, just like our Founding Fathers Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee did in 1861!

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: When they all move to their armed compounds in ID and WY, that will really show us.

  12. 12
    Tone In DC says:

    Options being discussed, according to Seth Morgan, policy director for Americans for Prosperity, range from breaking off into “a third party, to an insurrection (within the Republican Party) and everything in between.”

    These guys are worse than fanatics. Do these brain donors realize that they’re in Illinois, not North Dakota?

  13. 13
    eric says:

    @Served: I look at the same store and wonder where is that damn cow when you need her.

  14. 14

    In Obama’s first term there was much discussion here of whether the Tea Party would meekly fall in line with whatever their rich overlords proposed, or whether the clowns would demand to drive the car. The answer seems to have been that they really will crawl over broken glass to vote against the Kenyan Usurper (we won anyway), but that same zeal will drive them to cause havoc in primaries and within the party bureaucracies.

  15. 15
    shortstop says:

    @Served: I grew up down the road from that asshole. Imagine my chagrin when his product started showing up here in Chicago.

    I am growing weary of phoning the constituents of white blue dogs and religiously conservative African American reps, trying to get this marriage equality bill passed. We have, I think, 17 days left in the legislative session. Let Pat Brady not have lost his job in vain, although there’s absolutely nothing else I can stand about him.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    @Served:

    The Dems have Supermajorities in both houses (though we have our own versions of Blue Dogs in there….) and Republicans have been redistricted into what amount to Safe Zones that would never vote for a Democrat ever. They have no incentive to moderate.

    Sounds like California, except that our state level offices are a Republican-free zone. It’s so damn nice for the Republicans to be officially irrelevant for a change.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    Feeling betrayed by the Republican Party and its leaders, tea party groups in Ohio appear to be uniting and moving toward either a split from the GOP or action to punish Republican candidates who fail ideological purity tests.

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Attempts at putting an actual Tea Party on the ballot have been squelched, rather nastily, when they are attempted.

    There will be a lot of swearing and fist pounding and the like. But the GOP will come back home, just like they always do.

  18. 18
    Bruce S says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Harvey Milk WAS a Republican! Worked for Goldwater. And of course Martin Luther King WAS also a Republican. I was a Republican when I was 12 years old. My parents were Republicans when Eisenhower was President.

    You know who hates the Republicans more than damned near anybody else? Folks who actually remember when it was a party of moderates and traditional conservatives who weren’t fucking insane and were forced to watch it metastasize into a cancer. Certainly the old GOP had it’s fair share of douchebags like Nixon and McCarthy – as did the Dems with their Dixiecrats and Daleys. But it was a relatively broad coalition that wasn’t pure evil. Now the Republican party has been completely taken over by the crazies who flocked around Wingnut Godmother Phyllis Shlafly during the Goldwater scare and – with a rather remarkable persistence over 50 years (and yes, the bitch is still alive) – have managed to turn the Republican Party into a sociopathic white populist zoo, with a bunch of Ayn Randian Daddy Warbucks paying the pied pipers.

    They would have little to no chance of electoral influence beyond minority status if our economic elite wasn’t so disconnected from society that they’d rather have tax cuts with a large helping of crazy than rational social policy that balances their interests with those of the broad middle and working classes. A lot of money flows into GOP coffers from folks like financial services execs who would be embarrassed to openly espouse the social views and wild resentments that they have made devil’s pact with in order to keep their taxes low and regulations soft.

    And there’s another sub-set of the self-styled “idea” elite who clearly know that the GOP is increasingly unleashing a wild spectrum of pathologies, but are so wedded to their imperative of an imperial America (or the primacy of the interests of the Likud party – or both) that they are willing to join hands with total cranks among the “little people” stripe who they must hold in total contempt. This is largely the Weekly Standard and Commentary magazine crowd – which spawned the ridiculous David Brooks who despite his upscale pretensions “can’t quit them.”

    I hate the elites who have given the GOP base permission to say or do anything, no matter how nuts, more than I do the theocratic fundamentalists, white populists and unstable paranoiacs. This is actually a bigger scandal than what Glenn Beck tells his audience of white theocratic paranoiacs in order to sell books. The real villains are those among our elites who literally worship Mammon and/or Moloch while pretending to be part of civil society. Some of them might see that they’ve got a numbers problem moving forward, but they have made this bed and I hope to god they die in it as the country proves larger – demographically, culturally and socially – than they could ever be.

  19. 19
    Served says:

    @shortstop:

    Once Madigan gets his Pension bill through, we’ll get the rest of our commie liberal utopia legislation. Medical Marijuana and the Ghey.

    I’ll be happy about marriage equality, but it’s going to be super annoying to watch a lot of Nays flip to Yeas as soon as they cross the 61-vote threshold.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @Bruce S:

    I hate the elites who have given the GOP base permission to say or do anything, no matter how nuts, more than I do the theocratic fundamentalists, white populists and unstable paranoiacs

    It’s really six of one and a half dozen of the other, to me. I acknowledge that there are differences within the party but I can’t really find one more vile than the other. They’re all bottom feeders to me.

  21. 21
    TooManyJens says:

    I need to focus on my family

    Is he trying to send us a signal? “Focus on the Family is after me!”

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    @Bruce S:

    You know who hates the Republicans more than damned near anybody else? Folks who actually remember when it was a party of moderates and traditional conservatives who weren’t fucking insane and were forced to watch it metastasize into a cancer.

    Truer words were never spoken. I don’t care what anyone here says — the Republican Party used to be very, VERY different. The crazies didn’t gain control of the party until that fucking asshole Ronald Reagan opened the door for them. I wonder if this nation will ever realize the extent of the damage he inflicted upon it by doing that.

  23. 23
    Bruce S says:

    @Chris:

    My point is that the elites know WTF they are doing – and should know better. I don’t expect much of someone who would listen to Glenn Beck and assume they are getting some inside dope. (Well – the “dope” part, of course.) The greedheads and “American Greatness” crowd have been giving the crazies permission for decades.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    @Ash Can:

    I don’t care what anyone here says — the Republican Party used to be very, VERY different

    Dwight Eisenhower expanded Social Security, supported the integration of public schools, green lighted the largest public works project in US history (interstate hwy system), and warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex.

    He would have no home in the post-Reagan GOP.

  25. 25
    Bruce S says:

    @Cacti:

    Can anyone here imagine what hell would break loose if Obama sent federal troops into Dixieland to enforce laws like Ike did? The mind reels…

  26. 26
    Patricia Kayden says:

    The one thing I’ll give the T’Baggers — at least they fight hard for their principles (wrongheaded though they be) and exact blood when their goals are thwarted.

    Hope T’Baggers go the 3rd party route in Ohio.

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    @Bruce S:

    I’m not sure they do know WTF they are doing, though. People like Mitt Romney who are raised their entire life without risking, needing or wanting for anything, and who’re cocooned by society into believing from an early age that they’re special because they’re rich and the only way to help the poor is to only care about yourself because then the money “trickles down,” are just as unaware and out of it as the stereotypical Glenn Beck watching hillbilly.

    @Cacti:

    The political scene used to be different, is what it is. Until recently, both parties were loosely organized coalitions of local party organizations that often had more in common with counterparts in the other party than with each other. There were always a huge number of prize assholes, but they were spread out across the two parties, as were the good guys.

  28. 28
    Interrobang says:

    @Jay in Oregon: I was gonna say…they have a “State Central Committee” and they like to call liberals Communists? Sheesh. Then again, given how the GOP runs its organisation, it really isn’t too far off the truth to call their “messaging” arm the Politburo, is it?

  29. 29
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    Get your popcorn, folks.

    hahaha man I hate that expression. Makes you sound like a fool when you use it.

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    The chickenshit US Senate couldn’t vote for reasonable background checks on gun purchases, but easily just passed a bill so that anybody buying an item online will be subjected to paying state sales tax. Will the teabaggers be up in arms over this proposed massive tax hike?

  31. 31
    cmorenc says:

    @Bruce S:

    You know who hates the Republicans more than damned near anybody else? Folks who actually remember when it was a party of moderates and traditional conservatives who weren’t fucking insane and were forced to watch it metastasize into a cancer. Certainly the old GOP had it’s fair share of douchebags like Nixon and McCarthy – as did the Dems with their Dixiecrats and Daleys. But it was a relatively broad coalition that wasn’t pure evil. Now the Republican party has been completely taken over by the crazies who flocked around Wingnut Godmother Phyllis Shlafly during the Goldwater scare and – with a rather remarkable persistence over 50 years (and yes, the bitch is still alive) – have managed to turn the Republican Party into a sociopathic white populist zoo, with a bunch of Ayn Randian Daddy Warbucks paying the pied pipers.

    Me too…once upon a time in my youth, in a land that seems so long ago and far away now, I actually started out as a strongly Republican-leaning independent. In large part, I didn’t leave the Republican party, it left me. Also, around age 21 I began to evolve out of what amounted to Rand Paul-like glibertarianism and spent my 20s progressively transitioning to well, a more progressive outlook. Although the transformation was largely complete by the time Reagan became president, the steady exodus of the most regressive, repulsive elements of the Democratic Party over to the GOP helped seal the irreversability of the change.

    For a time during the Nixon and Ford presidency, it was still possible to see strains of Teddy Roosevelt progressivism alive and well (it was during and with the full support of the Nixon Administration that many of the foundational environmental laws and agencies were established, and Nixon was surprisingly friendly to the notion of a living wage), but the Nixon Administration also facilitated the rise to eventual dominance of the GOP’s dark, regressive side with its racist “southern strategy”.

    How unfortunate it is that the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower has forfeited any right to claim their legacy.

  32. 32
    artem1s says:

    Options being discussed, according to Seth Morgan, policy director for Americans for Prosperity, range from breaking off into “a third party, to an insurrection (within the Republican Party) and everything in between.”

    I will spend every waking hour sacrificing rich tomatoey sauces to the noodley appendages of the FSM if that will make this so.

    please, please, please!

  33. 33
    RaflW says:

    Its things like this that get 100% of Minnesota’s House GOP caucus to vote against a school bullying law because it protects LGBT kids (and kids perceived to be LGBT, among others).

    Now, I don’t think that this is an ALEC issue, per se, but it certainly is a litmus by the looks of it. Seriously, protecting kids from the wolves of bullying (to the point of suicide more than a few times), “meh, I’ll vote against that.”

    What the hell goes through their minds? A chunk of it is their religious persecution/victim fantasy.* But also party unity! and fear of reprisal from the right.

    Some sicko dudes running the conservative game these days (maybe all the past days, too, but more in the open now…)

    *When the Catholic Church talks about reeducation camps, its creepy-land.

  34. 34
    Bruce S says:

    @Chris:

    That may be true of some, but given what I know about Mitt’s daddy George as well as his mother, I think he’s deliberately and cynically devolved from the ranks of the old-school socially responsible upper-crust that typefied a lot of GOP pols and supporters back in the day into a pure and essentially sociopathic opportunist – his transformation from moderate Mass Gov to the horse an Ann Coulter was happy to ride is my main evidence. I don’t think most of these elite types are just plain stupid. It’s something worse. Not that it really matters when the chips fall. But I DO think there has been a shift among the upper economic elite from positions where there was some connection to society – even if it wasn’t always manifested in ways one might admire – to a class of plutocrats who might as well live on Pluto. They have no allegiance to country, no social ties – unless they’re random, like Romney’s Mormonism – and the world is their oyster.

  35. 35
    Bruce S says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Yeah – that’s true. They managed to shift the “center” of national discourse in 2010 while too many of us Obama folks were mostly patting ourselves on the back for electing a decent man President. We allowed ourselves to become “ahistorical” and put too much primacy on the Presidency, even with a Dem majority in Congress. Didn’t see all of the obstacles and stones being thrown in the path nearly soon enough. I think it was a blown opportunity to continue to reach out and organize around issues in the wake of a crucial election. It’s one reason I can’t get too exercised over “our” zealots, “Firebaggers”, etc. – my experience is that you need folks pushing the envelope on the margins in order for the rest of us to be able to construct a rational “center.” If most of the crazies making noise are on one side the dull weight of Conventional Wisdom “centrism” effectively legitimatizes the far right.

Comments are closed.