The impending federal government shutdown, which could happen at the end of this week or be delayed two weeks, demonstrates the fissures inside a very shaky Republican-tea party coalition.
This is an alliance that will not last long.
While Speaker John Boehner has so far bowed to his tea party freshmen, his instincts are not with them. He’d prefer to cut a spending deal with Harry Reid and President Barack Obama; the tea party people do not want to hear of “deals.” They are not of a mind to compromise with “career politicians.”
So, what we have here is an inevitable (predicted here for the last seven months) train wreck that threatens the GOP majority and opens a door for Obama to get re-elected.
All the inside-the-Beltway self-congratulation over Boehner’s move to take $4 billion of cuts from Obama’s budget next year and moving that into this year and believing that will satisfy the tea party people is way off base.
All indication from tea party people around the country is that they are even angrier about spending habits than they were a year ago, when they defeated establishment Republicans.
With the 2012 GOP presidential race beginning with Newt Gingrich’s imminent announcement, we will soon see the tea party voters force the GOP even more to the right. We will see these GOP presidential candidates racing to get ahead of each other in criticizing not just Obama, but the GOP establishment in Congress. If Boehner and Mitch McConnell try to do a deal with Obama and Harry Reid, it will be scorned and attacked by these presidential candidates.
Thus we will see the Republican Party attacking itself!
The future 2012 presidential nominee will probably have been the man who was most critical of his party’s congressional leadership — the very people he would have to work with if he won the White House in November of 2012.
This is what we are headed for.
The past spending practices of the Republicans, especially from 2001-2007 under G.W. Bush, are what has given rise inside the GOP of the tea party anger at the Richard Lugars and Orrin Hatches and Olympia Snowes, all of whom will face severe tea party primaries in 2012.
Believe this: The national Republican Party as we have come to know it is about to be blasted into oblivion by tea party grass-roots rage against the establishment’s way of doing things in D.C.
What will be left of the Republican Party is yet to be determined. But one year from today, in the midst of the presidential primaries, the GOP will look substantially different than it does today.
Also, do not be surprised if the GOP presidential candidate comes from out of the blue and is filled with the same anti-establishment rage that has fueled the rise of the tea party movement. He will not be some D.C. establishment guy masquerading as a true tea partyer.
No, the next Republican president will have to be a true tea party revolutionary.
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