Ronald Reagan once coined a well-known commandment for fellow Republicans to obey.
“Thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans,” according to the former president’s 11th commandment.
Wherever he is, the late president would be mighty steamed at what is transpiring within his beloved Republican Party. Present-day GOP members have turned on each other. They are attacking each other with teeth bared, knives drawn, with bloody brass knuckles.
Who, do you suppose, is the lead attack dog? I believe I would hang that label on the president of the United States, Donald John Trump.
The president has thrived in this contentious intraparty environment. His so-called “base” sticks with him through thick and thin, even as he trashes the party leadership. This Republican vs. Republican mentality has seeped down through the political ranks.
The recent Alabama special GOP primary election provides a clear example of GOP cannibalism. Roy Moore, the winner of the primary runoff, took dead aim at congressional establishment Republicans; he aligned himself with Trump. So did the man he defeated, U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who Trump backed in the primary; Strange held up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as an example of what is wrong with the party.
All across the land, we’re seeing Republicans attacking Republicans. Right here in the Texas Panhandle, for instance, the Randall County GOP wants to oust Republican Texas House Speaker Joe Straus because Straus isn’t “conservative enough” to suit the zealots who comprise the Randall County party leadership.
Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is savaging the president for lacking the “competence” to lead the nation; Arizona U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake has excoriated the GOP president for his lack of core conservative principles; former Trump political strategist Stephen K. Bannon vows to go to war with any Republican who challenges his former boss’s agenda.
What do you suppose President Reagan — who today’s conservatives hold up as their paragon of political purity — would think about all of this? My guess is that he would have none of it.
OK, I’ll answer a question that might be on the minds of some readers of this blog: Do I really want the Republican Party to make peace within itself?
To be totally candid, umm … no.
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