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I am not an insider within the GOP of course, and perhaps I am only stating the obvious here, but here goes anyway:

Yesterday, Erick Erickson of RedState (he now heads it but he is not the founder), said the following as the conclusion to his diary "House GOP Preparing to Give Up":

But John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn will ensure that Obamacare is fully funded and give the American public no delay like businesses have.

In doing so, they will sow the seeds of a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.

Erick Erickson, October 10, 2013

This is the real battle that John Boehner is fighting.  It isn't about his position as Speaker of the House.  The Teahaddists have put Boehner and the rest of the GOP on notice that the GOP can no longer pay lip service to their demands.  This entire battle right now is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Yes, Obamacare is the litmus test.  If you stand for what the Teabaggers want, you (Mr. GOP Congresscritter) must vote consistently and forever, no matter the consequences, to defund Obamacare.  This is our final position, it is not negotiable.

More below the squiggle.

The Tea Party has evolved.  While originally a movement obsessed with excessive government taxation (hence their name) - and therefore logically a movement of the fiscal conservatives - it is now dominated and almost completely a movement of the religious conservatives.  They are truly on board with anti-tax rhetoric, but their real purposes match those of the religious right.  And Erick Erickson is their propaganda minister and Ted Cruz has taken over the political leadership.

The betrayal of the GOP establishment, as they see it, is a longstanding one.  They have not made any progress on the national level in getting abortion outlawed.  They have lost the anti-gay war, and they can see that the GOP establishment is moving toward accepting that fact.  They have finally had enough and this is it.  Ted Cruz, quite correctly, sensed this desperation and grabbed it.  Ted Cruz is not interested in saving the Republican Party as it now exists - he is attempting to transform it.

His goal, I suspect, is to galvanize the religious right into becoming the dominant faction within the GOP and take over the leadership completely.  He seeks to reverse the positions of the religious right and the financial right within the GOP. Rather than the religious right constantly going along with what the fiscal right wants (e.g. Romney for President), he is insisting that the fiscal conservatives accept religious conservatives demands.  The alliance can still work and he will give the fiscal conservatives what they want, but they have to become subservient to the religious right's positions.

And he believes that the country will respond favorably to a GOP that is dominated by the religious right.  McCain, et al. see this as pure folly.  They know very well that the country will not accept that kind of a GOP.

So it comes to this, and Erick Erickson says it:  If at the end of all this, Obamacare is still in place, it will mean that the GOP did not give in to the demands of the Teahaddists.  At that point, Erick threatens, they will leave and form their own party.  They would start to run their own candidates in each and every election and the establishment Republicans know that this would result in a disaster as this would split the conservative vote and result in Democratic Party dominance on the national level.

Oh, and by the way, Ted Cruz intends to be their candidate for president in 2016.  He will either be the candidate of the GOP or the candidate of the Tea Party.  John Boehner gets to decide.

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