Sunday, March 05, 2023


In his CPAC speech last night, Donald Trump was cheered for saying this:
“We had a Republican party that was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots and fools but we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.”
Meanwhile, Politico got an advance look at Nikki Haley's speech to a Club for Growth donor retreat in Florida:
“Here’s the truth. Lots of Republican politicians love spending and wasting taxpayer money almost as much as Democrats. The last two Republican presidents added more than $10 trillion to the national debt. Think about that. A third of our debt happened under just two Republicans.”

... “Republicans got the ball rolling on the trillion-dollar pandemic blowouts, with all the bailouts and fraud and abuse that followed,” she will say, faulting her party for embracing the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in 2020. “Don’t let the media tell you Republicans and Democrats can’t work together. They always seem to work just fine when they’re spending your money.”

Haley will specifically single out the 158 House Republicans who voted after the midterms to keep appropriations earmarks, what she will call a “gateway drug of wasteful spending.” And she’ll suggest to the crowd that perhaps these lawmakers should pay a price, asking, “Isn’t the Club for Growth known for supporting primary challenges to squishy Republicans?”
At the Mahablog, Barbara O'Brien notes the signs of GOP disunity at CPAC -- half-empty halls, Republican presidential aspirants staying away, Steve Bannon attacking Fox News -- and writes:
There was a time it seemed everyone on the Right spoke with one voice, as if they all received the same talking points of the day and stuck to it. In 2001 they were all saying the outgoing Bill Clinton staff vandalized the White House, for example. Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks. Democrats politicized Paul Wellstone’s funeral. John Kerry lied about his war experiences. It doesn’t matter that none of those things were true; the righties got the memo, and they all sang the same tune for days on end. But they can’t pull off that kind of unity any more. And I don’t see them pulling together anytime soon.
Is that true? They all seem to be on the same page when it comes to brutal attacks on trans rights. They all denounce (and support legislation restricting) drag and critical race theory and "wokeness." They all agree that the federal government has been "weaponized" against Republicans. They all talk as if Pete Buttigieg personally made that train derail. They all say the same things about Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris, and AOC and Nancy Pelosi and Ilhan Omar.

I'm not seeing any good evidence that supporters of one Republican will stay home in fall 2024 if another Republican is the nominee. Polling generally shows that the general election will be a tossup whether the nominee is Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley's numbers aren't very different.

We know that Republicans generally come home when it counts. They say they hate Lindsey Graham, but he's always reelected by double digits. They say they regard Mitch McConnell as the lowest of swamp creatures, yet his last two general elections wins were by 15 and 20 points.

The counterargument is that they couldn't get Herschel Walker, Kari Lake, Blake Masters, or Dr. Oz elected last year. But all those races were close. Right-wing voters turned out. It was centrist voters who rejected the hard-right candidates.

I've wondered whether the Republican base was on the verge of breaking up with Fox News, but here are two posts at Gateway Pundit:

Post #1: Fox sucks! Post #2: The libs are attacking our precious Fox again!

What's that proverb that starts with "Me against my brother" and ends with "all of us against the stranger"? Right-wingers are fighting each other now, but when they think we're the enemy, they tend to close ranks.

So if Democrats win in 2024, it will probably be because Republicans run candidates who are seen as too extreme by voters in the middle. It won't be because the right is divided.

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