Friday, October 20, 2006

Infighting Begins

The infighting has started and Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) is going for the jugular and naming names. The New York Times reports that this is part of a bigger dogfight taking place in conservative ranks as everyone is trying to position themselves to best survive the fallout from the expected election losses. The fact that this is happening before the elections is very significant and also very telling. I’m kind of enjoying watching the wheels come off Rove’s little red wagon but I am not so na├»ve as to expect that he won’t go down without some nasty tricks. There is still a couple or weeks left for his “October Surprise”.

In recent weeks, Mr. Armey has stepped up a public campaign against the influence of Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and an influential voice among evangelical protestants. In an interview published last month in “The Elephant in the Room,” a book by Ryan Sager about splits among conservatives, Mr. Armey accused Congressional Republicans of “blatant pandering to James Dobson” and “his gang of thugs,” whom Mr. Armey called “real nasty bullies” — arguments he reprised on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and in an open letter on the Web site organization FreedomWorks.

In an interview this week, Mr. Armey said catering to Dr. Dobson and his allies had led the party to abandon budget-cutting. And he said Christian conservatives could cost Republicans seats around the country, especially in Ohio.

“The Republicans are talking about things like gay marriage and so forth, and the Democrats are talking about the things people care about, like how do I pay my bills?” he said.

Mr. Armey also pinned some of the blame on Tom DeLay, the former Republican House majority leader, who “was always more comfortable with the social conservatives, the evangelical wing of the party, than he was with the business wing.”

Mr. Armey, who identifies himself as an evangelical, said he was tired of Christian conservative leaders threatening that their supporters would stay away from the ballot box unless they got what they wanted.

“Economic conservatives,” he argued, were emerging as the swing voters in need of attention, in part because they had become more likely to vote Democratic in the years since President Bill Clinton was in office. “A lot of people believe he brought us from deficits to surpluses, and there is a certain empirical evidence there,” Mr. Armey acknowledged.

I wonder how many of the true Rethuglicans noticed that Armey is basically saying that Bill Clinton took America from deficits to surplus while implying that that George Bush did just the opposite. Can you see the coffee spewing across the room? I am trying not to get excited about the potential for the coming mid-terms but it getting more difficult everyday. The GOP is self destructing before our eyes.

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