It's been about one year since Jeb Bush teamed with Rep. Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney to throw a pizza party with the hope of bringing the Republican Party back from its extremist brink. How'd that go for you, Jeb?
Not good, according to this article in Congressional Quarterly, which reports that the trio's National Council for a New America is defunct, a casualty in the GOP's tea-party-driven campaign to purge moderates.
Back in May 2009, it was courageous for Republicans to stand up to those forces of conservatism. In May 2010, it's political suicide.
Just ask Marco Rubio, who had the nerve to express "concern" about the potential for racial profiling in the anti-immigration bill recently signed into law in Arizona. Last week, Rubio took flak from fellow South Florida Republican Allen West on a radio soundbite you can hear after the jump.
Around the 1-minute mark, West mentions Rubio and Bush.
It worked. Thanks to West and other critics, Rubio was bullied into a flip-flop, announcing this past week that he supports the Arizona policy against immigrants.
West and the other conservative purists are mistaking the deafening voices of tea party "patriots" for a majority voting bloc. Even during these desperate economic times, there are legions of silent moderates who may feel vaguely threatened by such an angry group of people with such an incoherent message.
It's all playing right into the hands of this group's favorite villains, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. By mentioning Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Obama gave those wingnuts more power; predictably, Limbaugh and Beck used that power to more forcefully push moderate candidates and moderate policies out of the Republican Party, along with moderate voters.
What Latino voter would cast a ballot tomorrow for a candidate who supports that egregious law in Arizona?
But a Republican Party in disarray is bad for the nation; it tends to make
Democrats complacent. They start taking money and mistresses. Does the Republican Party really want to wait around, fighting itself, and wait till the day it can win back majorities in Congress only because the candidates aren't Democrat?