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Ever since their undeniable defeats in the 2012 elections, we have been hearing of a possible civil war within the GOP.

I bet for a lot of us, we didn't want to get our hopes up. I think a lot of us assumed that the more well-connected Republican core would be competent enough to handle the Tea Party monster. They were the Dr. Frankenstein that created it, after all. And if they couldn't control it, they had the power to rally the torch-bearing villagers and kill it off at any time.

After the recent shutdown drama, I think a lot of us have had those delusions evaporate.

And so now the likelihood of civil war seems so much more evident.

What most of the commentary on the civil war has focused on is that this is good for Democrats, and the question was a matter of how good would it be for Democrats.

But the questions I want to ask, if for nothing more than philosophical curiosity but also possible pragmatic long-term strategizing:

What will the Republican Party look like after the civil war plays out? Who will win, the Tea Party ideologues or the moderate establishment, or someone completely off the radar? What will it mean long-term, for politics and governing?

After all, whatever becomes of the Republican Party, it's still going to be a meaningful contender in elections at all levels, no matter how much damage it inflicts upon itself.

If the Tea Party wins, it could mean a more widespread rejection of Republicans at the polls, and more general Democratic Party success. It could also mean more Cruzes and Bachmanns representing the redlands, and we could see political intransigence on an unprecedented scale.

If the Establishment wins, we could have a more conventionally functioning government, a return to the good old days of hot dog politics (you want to enjoy it without knowing what went into it). But it would also be bad because....I can't think of anything specific, but you get the idea. pros and cons, right?

The question is, which pros outweigh which cons.

I want to see more wins for the Democratic Party. I'm tired of hearing and seeing all the ways Republicans have stood in the way of progress and innovation and empowerment. If it takes a civil war within the GOP to achieve this, then I am all for it. And if there's ways we can capitalize on the situation to maximize the outcome for us, all the better.

But, we should never lose sight of the realities of any given situation. A GOP civil war would be good for Democrats, but we should plan for all possible outcomes, to best maximize the outcomes. If a civil war cripples the GOP, we should be there to finish it off.

But if the GOP comes out of it a stronger, scarier Frankenstein monster, we should be ready with torches and pitchforks, too.


Civil War within the Republican Party?

25%22 votes
10%9 votes
5%5 votes
43%37 votes
15%13 votes

| 86 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  We Want it to Last Longer Than Afghanistan nt (7+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:09:02 PM PDT

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:09:33 PM PDT

  •  I'm rooting for the refs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, JeffW

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:09:58 PM PDT

  •  Caribou Barbie (7+ / 0-)

    Either as the Rethuglican Presidential nominee or Chair of the RNC.

    Or both.

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by The Baculum King on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:14:22 PM PDT

  •  Excellent points, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Bronx59, viral, mathGuyNTulsa

    The Rethug establishment is in itself, broken. The old line business types are increasingly at odds with the authoritarian plutocrats (Kochs, et al) who are trying to take over not only the party, but the country, and are willing to burn down (at least the parts they don't own) much of the country to achieve their goals. They, and the greedhead pols they have purchased are daily making war on the very idea of a "common good". The soulless Ayn Rand worshippers (Ryan) and the not so neo confederates are along for the ride, which if they get their way, is to hell.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:17:20 PM PDT

  •  Let's root for America (8+ / 0-)

    And hope that somehow the hatred and insanity can be overcome and the victors start to work to build the country up again, instead of destroying it.

    "I have a sheep doing rufi at my house.... come and drop by, we'll put on Zeppelin and eat cheddar cheese!" - Capt. Jean-Luc Picard

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:18:23 PM PDT

  •  Hi Poppa Loam vs. Lo Poppa Hiam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, jan4insight

    We win if there are no survivors. 2014, Vote or blame yourself.

  •  Diarist, I want Republican politicians to lose. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, a2nite

    I better knock, knock, knock on wood.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:23:10 PM PDT

  •  That's easy! BOTH! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, Nattiq

    Because when both Republican factions win in a civil war it means that Democrats are the real winners.

  •  I'm rooting for injuries. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  There's nothing "moderate" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, IsaacKuo, a2nite

    about the GOP establishment.  Not a damn thing.  Every rollback of the Great Society and the New Deal in the past 40 years has been spearheaded by these "moderates".  The vast upward redistribution of wealth in the same time period, rammed through by the same people.  Capitulation of the Democratic Party has been successfully achieved repeatedly by the "moderate" GOP establishment.  

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:46:35 PM PDT

  •  Belgium. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, JeffW, Bisbonian

    Ask Doug Adams why.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:01:10 PM PDT

  •  whoever will drag it out and cause most damage (4+ / 0-)

    Never take sides in someone else's war in order to settle things.  At best, you want to manage it and keep it simmering as long as possible in order to break both sides down.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:13:56 PM PDT

  •  Both (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, mathGuyNTulsa

    I'm rooting for a split down the middle. Either half the party breaks off to form an official Tea Party separate from the Republicans, or some fraction of the business establishment break off and join up with the Lieberdems and ousted Blue Dogs to form the Centrist Party or Moderate Party.

    Either way they split the GOP vote and give the Dems a few cycles of unified control until the new party gets its act together.

    I think I prefer the version with the Centrist Party because it has the added benefit of helping us get rid of some of the worst elements of the Democratic party too!

    The thing about changing the world... Once you do it, the world's all different. (Joss Whedon, BtVS Season 8 "The long way home")

    by sab39 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:17:33 PM PDT

    •  Ever try to rip cheap cardboard in half? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, mathGuyNTulsa

      (Insert multiple mental images of how cardboard relates to today's GO P party. )

      It never goes in the direction intended. Worse, it gives those trying to increase the tear cardboard cuts.

      Just saying.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:54:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm hoping the country-clubbers engineer defeat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would love to see the pro-money folks "lose" the religious nut-jobs and libertarian purists to the Tea Party.  That would create a political state called "Un-electistan" and a rival federation called the "Golf States".  With the purity-minded crazies forever trolling for opportunities to crash the world economy, they would be near-impossible bedfellows with which to form a coalition (kind of like today, only worse).  That would leave the Democrats as the only viable partner.

    My fear is "what happens to the Democratic Party when swarms of Republican refugees cross over to the Democratic Party?"  I happen to be one of those refugees (I fled long before the 2010 Kristallnacht election).

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:24:17 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If the GOP devolves to the Tea Party, what happens to the 1/3 or so GOPers who loathe them?  They become Democrats.  But then OUR party has divisions.  This is not necessarily a long-term good thing for Democrats.

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

      by mathGuyNTulsa on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 06:01:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Liberal Democrats better engineer a leftward shift (0+ / 0-)

        Move the ol' Overton Window to the left and bring as many current Democrats as possible along for the ideological ride.  That leaves the rightward-leaning in an awkward enough position that it might produce a 4th party consisting of sane Republicans and blue dog Democrats.  Such a party would probably find it easier to bargain with liberal Democrats than with Tea Party crazies, and losing the blue dogs would be a boon to Democrats.

        I find my own exposure to liberal-leaning Democrats tends to pull me toward liberal thinking...with the aid of the strong repelling force of today's crazy-infected Republicans.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 02:13:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm rooting for eveybody, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one side at a time.  Each time one side lands a blow, my allegiance changes.  

    "Go righties!  Go righties!

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:27:43 PM PDT

  •  The Tea Party forming a third party because of the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, LakeSuperior, IsaacKuo, a2nite, CwV

    more moderate republicans challenging them.   If the Tea Party third party received 10-20% of the vote that would normally have gone for the Republican nominee, the odds of Democrats winning increase.  

  •  Neither Side (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, cazcee

    can destroy the other.  The can keep having at each other indefinitely.  One side has the masses of voters, the Tea Party sorts being at least close to a majority.  The other side has lots of money.  I expect that the next step will be the two sides primarying each other, leading eventually to captive third parties whose function it is to cause the other side's people to lose.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:37:18 PM PDT

    •  You've got the........ (0+ / 0-)

      right idea phillies; a rabid, fired-up, “walk through fire” to vote base vs. BIG MONEY.  

      The Tehadists have access to money but not on the scale of Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce, International Corporations; all of which just recently awaken to the fact that the TPers are crazy enough to burn down the house.  

      We need to encourage both sides to fight to the death.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 06:50:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't care which side wins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm unconvinced that there will necessarily be an epic conflict within the Republican party, but even if there is, it won't really change things.  This isn't the rivalry between the People's Freedom League of Georgia or the Georgian People's Freedom League: these folks hate us a lot more than they hate each other, and they'll gladly make common cause to beat us.

  •  I'm not sure that we have yet even seen the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, old mark, mathGuyNTulsa

    worst of the conflicts between GOP old money and Tea Party nihilists to arise.  

    What I'm not interested in seeing happening is the emergence of any popular republican movement that is even more offensive and sick than the republican players we have now on the stage.

    The fanatical republicans may increase their fervor while forgetting their goals and this can lead to collateral damage (i.e. gridlock)

  •  Both sides (0+ / 0-)

    Let them fight to exhaustion.

  •  I'm root'n for maximum political collateral damage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I hope the Tea Party wins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, a2nite

    Because both sides have the same policies and goals and disgusting sexism and racism.  The Tea Partiers are just more unashamedly open about it and all around stupider when it comes to tactics.

    If the so called "moderates" really were more moderate on a policy level, then I'd rather see the moderates defeat the Tea Partiers.  We could get more reasonable governing done that way.  But the so called "moderates" have the exact same harmful agenda--they're merely more politically saavy about how to get it done.

    Remember, the "moderates" would have gone for the Grand Bargain Speaker Boehner negotiated with President Obama, remember.  It was the foolhardy Tea Partiers which saved us from that awful thing by not being able to take "yes" for an answer.

    •  Right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hope the teabaggers take over the party and alienate everyone else.  

      That's why I'm not pro-FlushRush...I like that he is the face of the party.  Personally, I think the money republicans and the teabaggers are both evil in their own ways, but the money republicans and good at messaging, branding, and bullshit...the teabaggers are just vile to everyone else.  I want them to be what you think of when you think "republican party".  

      I'm not sure what will become of the republican party when there is no Barack Obama in the White House to really heat up the irrationality, but if I had to guess, I think they'll attempt to fool some younger people by taking a more Ron Paul libertarian type tact...that pro-gun, anti-government, not overtly religious shtick does seem to appeal to a certain segment of 20 and 30 somethings.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Neither, I want mutually assured destruction, (0+ / 0-)

    But not after a really long time, at least ten years.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 03:41:03 AM PDT

  •  I want the tea party to keep control of the GOP... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have been doing a far better job of ruining that party than the Democrats ever have, and their method it to go even more crazy after any defeat, which will continue to cost them more and more votes for as long as they exist.

    I believe the leftovers of this fight will form other parties and none of them will have any real success.

    I also think the Democrats should prepare to vote and get out and help other Democrats vote...the GOP traditionally counts on Democrats not showing up, and we have lived up to that all too often. I want to really disappoint them in the future.

    Anger management class really pissed me off.

    by old mark on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 03:48:16 AM PDT

  •  I want them to split. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fighting between them would be entertaining for a while, but they are in the way. And as long as there are two parties with the TeaBaggers contained within the Republican Party, they are a large enough bloc to own the House and obstruct the Senate.
    But If Cruz splits the TeaBaggers off to form a separate party, both it and the Republicans will be considerably smaller and the Democrats will be the plurality winner.
    The TeaParty should act as a magnet to draw the crazies out of the Republican Party into their own cocoon of fact free denial, leaving a much weakened but saner Republican Party to lick their wounds. It will take them years, maybe even decades to regain their strength, if ever.
    The Republicans can then act as a magnet to draw out the Corporate Democrats, leaving us with a much more progressive Democratic Party that's still numerically superior.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 04:35:41 AM PDT

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