Friday, November 30, 2012

Is the Virginia GOP Headed Toward Civil War?

Numerous posts on this blog have looked at the growing disconnect between the insane Christofascist/Tea Party element of the GOP where ideological extremism and a push for theocracy are now the norm and what's left of the so-called party establishment who don't need commitment in a mental institution like their far right brethren.  The strained relations between these two elements is brewing at the national level but so far the establishment Republicans are refusing to stand up to the extremists in the party.  The going nowhere "fiscal cliff" negotiations are an indication as the GOP controlled House hangs on to a "no new taxes" agenda even though some 70% of Americans want tax increases for the wealthy.  Here in Virginia, it now looks like the first battle of the coming intra-party civil war is may be beginning as Bill Bolling is hinting at an independent run for governor which would almost assure a Democrat victory next year.  Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot:

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's exit from the governor's race could tear a chasm within the Republican Party between conservatives and moderates just weeks after the party suffered disappointing losses at the polls and just ahead of next year's high-profile gubernatorial contest.

Even if Bolling doesn't pursue an independent candidacy — a prospect he has left conspicuously open — he can do plenty of damage just by withholding his endorsement from the likely conservative GOP standard-bearer, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

And already, that possibility has led to some finger-pointing within the party.  Tea party leader Jamie Radtke, a Cuccinelli supporter, says Bolling and "establishment Republicans" such as Gov. Bob McDonnell who are accustomed to having their way in dictating nominations aren't happy that conservatives elbowed Bolling out.

Bolling supporter Brandon Bell, a moderate two-time Republican state senator from Roanoke County who lost a 2007 primary to conservative Ralph Smith, said he fears Bolling's exit illustrates a rift within the GOP where moderates are exiled.   "This is not the time you want to be coming apart at the seams," said Bell, who lost an independent comeback bid for his old Senate seat in 2011.

"We've got to decide: Do we want to be a party that engages in the great ideological debates of the day or do we actually want to be a party that wins elections, earns the right to lead and then leads effectively," he[Bolling] said.

That was a jab at the socially conservative mission Cuccinelli has assumed as an activist attorney general since he was sworn in three years ago. He was the first state attorney general to challenge the "Obamacare" health coverage reforms, sued the federal government over clean-air regulations, launched a two-year inquest into a former University of Virginia climate researcher and backed down the state Board of Health's effort to soften the building standards on abortion clinics.

I hold no love for Bill Bolling who in many ways is a far right extremist himself.  The difference is that unlike Cuccinelli, he's not certifiably insane.  If Cuccinelli turns out to be the GOP nominee, he MUST be defeated.  I shudder to envision the lunatics he'd appoint to positions across Virginia.

No comments: