Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Preemptive Infighting

Following up on the the earlier post about the hard-core Paliniacs, the vengeance is spreading. And while most losing political campaigns wait until the election is over before they tear themselves apart, the Republicans are nothing if not efficient. They have decided to avoid the November 5 rush and start in now.

The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party’s machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain’s influence, even if he wins the presidency.

In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party’s national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.

The growing power of religious conservatives is alarming some moderate Republicans who believe that the party’s main problem is that it has narrowed its appeal and alienated too many voters. They cite the aggressive tone of the McCain campaign in challenging Barack Obama, who has close to universal support from African American voters; as well as the push by many Republican leaders to clamp down on illegal immigration using rhetoric that has driven away Latinos.

Some moderates argue that the party’s top priority must be to broaden its outreach, a caution laid down by retired Gen. Colin L. Powell on national television this month when he broke from the party and endorsed Obama. Surveys show McCain beating Obama among white men but losing with almost every other demographic group.

On the commodity market, I’ll bet the price of popcorn is shooting through the roof.

HT to Political Animal.