It didn't get a lot of attention the other day when Mike Huckabee sent out an e-mail to his list of fervent right-wing evangelicals, but if you read carefully, the specific wording and claims he made are clear evidence of the mounting anger among that group with the "traditional" Republican party.
Huckabee was writing about behind-the-scenes efforts by GOP stalwarts to get Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdraw from the race after making a claim that women subjected to "legitimate rape" would probably not get pregnant because their bodies would "shut down that kind of thing" as a defense mechanism.
Traditionalists were outraged, primarily because Akin's statement forced the spotlight on abortion and potential party restrictions on abortion at a time when their candidates wanted to talk about anything else BUT that.
Particularly upsetting was the fact that their VP candidate, Paul Ryan, holds views on abortion which are in lock-step with Akin's -- no abortions allowed for ANY reason. End of statement. But, they didn't want to talk about that.
Huckabee launched into a defense of Akin and his candidacy, and in so doing, laid out some specifics which, if true, shed an spotlight on the ruthlessness of the GOP establishment. They definitely have no compunctions about pulling out "the long knives," but they failed....clearly illustrating that the GOP no longer has any core leadership which can control the dialogue and messaging as it once could.
In his message (as posted by Politico), Huckabee writes:
The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren't rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding (snip) ... it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican.And then the Huckster gets pretty specific with details about the GOP's behind the scenes efforts to make Akin disappear.
Who ordered this "Code Red" on Akin?He then concludes with:
There were talking point memos sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggesting language to urge Akin to drop out.It is disgraceful. From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not.
Political consultants were ordered to stay away from Akin or lose future business with GOP committees.
Operatives were recruited to set up a network of pastors to call Akin to urge him to get out.
Money has changed hands to push him off the plank.
The party has decided it won't help. In fact, it has decided that it will try to cut off the supply lines to Akin to pressure him to exit and let the party bosses overturn the voters of Missouri and pick their own candidate. If this can happen to Todd Akin, who is next?What you see here are clear signs of the mounting schism between the "traditional" GOP and the Tea Party wing with its birthers, evangelicals, climate deniers, conspiracy theorists, science-free thinking and 1870s economic theories. Note the references to "party talking points memos," the RNC and the NRSC, and particularly to "the party bosses."
I’ve heard the talk of new deadlines and the nonsense about the Republican Party running a 3rd party candidate, but I am no longer listening to that noise. The idea that our Party would continue to play games behind the scenes and feed the Democrats make-believe narrative of the GOP’s fictional war on women is equally ridiculous.
Now is the time to focus on electing a conservative Senate Majority. And if the NRSC and RNC and the money-rich PACS won't help Todd Akin get us to the majority, then we'll do it without them.
And his seat will not have been sold to the highest bidder, but obtained by the highest principles.
Huckabee's assertions point the finger of blame directly at the party's leadership and infrastructure and with specifics as to who was involved and what they did. (Does anyone else think this whole "dump Akin scenario" ought to be dusted for Karl Rove's fingerprints?)
Traditional party members at first welcomed the Tea Party into their midst and fed on their anger, their money and their organization. But now that they have let them inside the GOP tent, it is clear that many are seriously questioning what has happened as a result.
The far right meanwhile, as clearly evidenced by Huckabee's comments, have about as much trust of the GOP establishment as they have of Democrats and the United Nations.
They have long accused traditional GOP Congressmen and Senators as being "part of the problem"....of going to Washington and quickly becoming part of the "get along by going along" process of political compromise.
The far right is absolutely convinced that the only way to victory, as Huckabee stresses, is to stand on principle.....accept NO compromise. In reality, they would be as happy ridding the party of the traditional wing as many traditionalists would be to get rid of them. And Huckabee's comments make clear the growing resentment by the far right over a party apparatus which they feel is not an ally, but an enemy.
Wait until the 2012 election is over. No matter what the result, the chances for Nicene warfare within the party are mounting steadily:
If Romney wins and gains Congressional control, there will be a massive battle between the factions over how far to go with legislation on Medicare "reform", Social Security "reform", prayer in schools, abortion, social safety net spending, defense spending and education funding.
If Romney loses, expect a similar battle as the two factions start pointing fingers at each other over who is to blame for the loss. You can easily read the text from THAT Huckabee memo.
You abandoned us. You compromised. Our principles would have won the election, but you undercut our message and our candidates. Next time, the choice is OURS.
It seems clear to me that the real battle....the battle for control of what is nominally called the GOP, is just getting started, the outcome is not at all clear, but the end results are going to be very nasty and very messy.