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Allow me to recount to you my shock of learning this morning that veteran Republican operative Roger Stone has left the GOP.

(Yes... that's actually a tattoo of Nixon on his back)

Stone's explanation on the The Curtis Sliwa Show today included a take down of the current Republican Presidential field:

Mitt Romney is a chameleon that believes in nothing, Newt Gingrich is a lunatic and egomaniac that was run out of Washington by his own troops, and Rick Santorum is a prick trying to run your life.
Mr. Stone isn't just stealing elections anymore - he's stealing Democratic talking points! Though to be fair, those statements are clearly correct. Romney really believes in absolutely nothing, Moon Emperor Gingrich is beyond psychotic, and Rick Santorum is just a frothy mix of authoritarianism and stupidity.
(Roger Stone and Ronald Reagan)

But is this so new in the Republican Party? Stone himself offers an explanation, from The Stone Zone:

I registered to vote as a Republican the same day I turned 18. I registered so I could vote for Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972. I was excited to join the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan. For one year before leaving for college I served on the Westchester (NY) Republican County Committee...

Sadly, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan wouldn't recognize today's Republican Party. The GOP went from being a Main Street party under Ronald Reagan to being the Wall Street Party again under both Bush's. Bush 41 broke his "no new taxes" pledge and President George W. Bush's new entitlement programs and reckless spending made us the party of big spending and big government...

To put it bluntly the Republican Party is hopelessly f*cked up.

Hard to argue with that but even the ruthless are leaving? Stone is joining the Libertarian Party which means he may be kneecapping Republicans instead of Democrats for a change.
I voted for Ron Paul in the Florida Republican Primary in my last official act as a Republican. I leave the GOP with a heavy heart. Theodore Roosevelt left the party in 1912 and he came back. Ron Paul left the party in 1988 and he came back. I don't think I will have the opportunity to come back. As the Republicans were to the Whigs in 1852, the Libertarians are to the Republicans.

Goodbye Grand Old Party.

Given Stone's past involvement in the Florida recount, bringing down Spitzer, not to mention anyone who worked for Lee Atwater is suspect - you might wonder if this is legitimate. But Stone also said he is working for Libertarian Presidential Candidate Governor Gary Johnson someone who is going to take a lot of votes away from whatever puddle of piss Republican oozes their way into the nomination. Which is to say, Stone will not be forgiven if a Republican loss can be blamed on the percentage of votes Johnson takes from likely Republican voters. It's one thing to leave the Party, it's another to climb a bell tower and start shooting out people's eyes.

Which raises an important nay existential question for a political party that does not just sadistically enjoy, but thrives on dirty tricks.

Without people like Stone slitting throats for the GOP, a minority party in terms of values and natural constituencies, can the Party survive?

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