WASHINGTON, February 21, 2014 – Hang around Republican circles long enough and you will hear, “We have got to stop these circular firing squads.” The logic is simple; Republicans are killing themselves with internecine wars instead of going out and defeating liberals.
It is a great theory. Perhaps the best word for it is theory. As conservatives are discovering, though, what Republicans who complain about the circular firing squad really want is a semi-circular firing squad. These voices in the Republican Party want conservatives to stop shooting at them, while they try to take out insurgent conservatives.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is probably the poster child for the semi-circular firing squad right now. Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the left do not have to lift a finger to go after him. The Republicans are doing it for them.
Steve LaTourette is allegedly a Republican. He is a former representative from Ohio and his primary claim to fame is serving for eighteen years in Congress without any major accomplishments. He founded the badly misnamed “Defending Main Street” PAC after he retired from Congress to become a lobbyist. Defending Main Street PAC is allegedly a Republican PAC, but it’s mission is not to defeat Democrats; it is to stop the influence of the Tea Party. LaTourette’s PAC is mostly funded by big Wall Street firms and left wing unions.
And LaTourette has made it his mission to go after Ted Cruz. He was recently on MSNBC in full semi-circular firing squad mode. He claimed it was “reprehensible” that Ted Cruz forced Republicans to live up to what they claim to believe and said that Ted Cruz should be forced out of the GOP.
Famed Conservative William F. Buckley founded the National Review. Today that once conservative standard-bearer is little more than a mouthpiece for the “Republican Establishment.” Mona Charen, a National Review writer, this week went on the attack against Cruz: “Cruz Aims at His Own Side — Again. He may be doing more damage to the GOP than are the Democrats.”
In a week that featured not only the usual Obama assaults on freedom and liberty but an Obama plan that would destroy freedom of the press in America, what does Charen think it is important to write about?
She attacks Ted Cruz for standing up for Republican values!
Conservatives should not put down their guns. Conservatives should not stop the so-called “circular firing squad.” Conservatives should fire faster!
The real problem the Republican establishment has is denial. For decades, conservatives dutifully sucked it up and worked for moderate candidates after conservatives were fairly and often unfairly defeated in inter-party contests.
Conservatives finally grew tired of a Republican Party that looked and acted very much like the Democratic Party. The rise of the Tea Party in 2009 was the first shot in the modern Republican Civil War.
But this time, unlike the past, conservatives are not going to go quietly back to support establishment candidates in the name of party unity. Conservatives are not simply going to walk away, because conservatives know they are a majority in the Republican Party.
The Republican establishment plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in 2014, not to defeat the Democrats but to defeat Tea Party Republicans. Karl Rove spent $325 million in 2012 for moderate Republicans; what does he have to show for it?
Conservatives are not afraid of the circular firing squad, and this time, it is not the conservatives who will surrender in the last chapter of the Republican civil war.