|Virginia GOP extremist Richard Black|
The struggle for the soul of the Republican Party continues as the so-called GOP establishment tries to block insane Christofascists and Tea Party primary candidates who as Virginia's statewide elections last year should have underscored are unlikely to win in general elections. The GOP's problem is that since it allowed its grass roots to be hijacked by the most insane Christofascists and Tea Party elements, the task is not always easy and internecine warfare here in Virginia demonstrates. Insane candidates are too often the darlings of The Family Foundation yet are viewed as toxic poison by voters in touch with objective reality. A piece in the New York Times looks at the ongoing civil war and kicks off looking at Virginia state senator Richard H. Black who is about as crazy as they come. Here are excerpts:
Richard H. Black is a Republican state senator from the Northern Virginia suburbs who once sent plastic fetuses to his colleagues with a note attached: “Would you kill this child?” He said a statue of Lincoln had no business going up in Richmond because it would be “sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial.”
And he tried to block unmarried, gay and lesbian couples from receiving state home loans, saying that would “subsidize sodomy and adultery.”Mr. Black easily won his latest race, and had party leaders on his side. But when he started exploring a run for Congress last month, he felt a distinct chill. Some Republicans were concerned that he could become their worst fear: the second coming of Todd Akin, the Missouri representative whose comments about “legitimate rape” doomed his Senate candidacy in 2012.The Republican Party establishment, chastened by the realization that a string of unpredictable and unseasoned candidates cost them seats in Congress two elections in a row, is trying to head off potential political hazards wherever it can this year.
In House and Senate races across the country, many of the traditional and influential centers of power within the party are taking sides in primaries, overwhelming challengers on the right with television ads and, in some cases, retaliating against those who are helping the insurgents. In Mr. Black’s case, one by one, powerful Republicans started backing his rival, Barbara J. Comstock, a member of the State House of Delegates.
A few day after he announced his candidacy, Mr. Black dropped out. “It was pretty evident that she had all the machinery,” he said in an interview.One of the biggest challenges for Republican leaders in the 2014 midterm elections will be how to hang on to the Tea Party support that has been so instrumental to the party’s growth, while winning back voters alienated by hard-right candidates.
The chamber [U.S. Chamber of Commerce] has become one of the establishment’s most powerful forces this year by taking the highly aggressive step of working in primaries to defeat Republicans who are seen as unelectable and damaging to the national party.“Let’s not screw around eating our own,” Mr. Reed said. “Let’s win a seat.” Tea Party groups and other conservatives who are challenging the traditional party leadership say the pushback this year is as hostile as it has ever been.
Mr. Reed, of the chamber, said he had it on good authority that his message to the more recalcitrant Republicans was sinking in.“Boehner has told me that in the House caucus meetings there are a lot more guys sitting up straight,” he said. “They aren’t sitting in the back with their feet up on the chairs hurling spitballs.”Mr. Black, the Virginia state senator, said he bore no ill will toward the friends who endorsed his opponent. But he does question what kind of shape his party is in if its leaders go on attacking the movement that is the source of so much grass-roots energy. “So many of the big-money interests are very antagonistic toward the base,” he said, “and I’m not sure where the Republican Party is headed.”
If candidates like Black are allowed to run for federal offices, the GOP is headed for the insane asylum - and permanent minority status.