Friday, May 16, 2014

PUMA alive and the GOP

In 2008, as it became clear that Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee for president, a group of disgruntled Clinton supporters took on the moniker of PUMA - Party Unity, My Ass. But in the end, they weren't able to divide the Democratic Party and Obama won...twice.

Nobody is giving that same moniker to a group of conservatives who are disenchanted with the Republican Party these days. But perhaps we should. If you remember, they are the group that organized the government shutdown over Obamacare - against Speaker Boehner's wishes. You might have thought they'd fade into the woodwork after that debacle. But they haven't. The very same people - Ed Meese, Ted Cruz, the Heritage Foundation, etc - met yesterday and developed a 10-page manifesto for the 2014 elections.
The group, alarmed by a resurgence of the GOP establishment in recent primaries and what activists view as a softened message, drafted demands to be shared with senior lawmakers calling on the party to “recommit” to bedrock principles.

Some of those principles laid out in the new document — strict opposition to illegal immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion — represent the hot-button positions that many Republican congressional candidates are trying to avoid as the party attempts to broaden its appeal...

In the 10-page pamphlet finalized Thursday, they called on party leaders to champion lower taxes, a well-funded military, and the idea that “married moms and dads are best at raising kids.” The document warns Republicans against signing on to an immigration overhaul unless the U.S. border is “fully secure,” and it argues that support for school prayer, a balanced-budget amendment and antiabortion legislation should remain priorities.
Robert Costa, who provided that report, added this via twitter:

In subsequent tweets he mentioned that these folks don't like Jeb Bush at all, didn't even mention Gov. Chris Christie (he's "off the radar"), and that the sleeper choice of this group for 2016 might be Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The most interesting part of the story is not what WAS discussed, but what didn't seem to be on the agenda at all...Obamacare. When even the lunatic wing of the Republican Party has accepted the inevitable, mark that as a HUGE development!

In the end, what this group wants is for the Republican Party to be vocal about their anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-gay agenda during the 2014 election. When it comes to what the establishment Republicans are trying to do (Reince's outreach plan?), they're still pretty much saying: Party Unity, My Ass. But these are the same guys who thought it would be a great idea to shut down the government to kill Obamacare. We know how well that worked out for them. So they're not the brightest bulbs in the room.

I have to say, the one person who saw this coming was Charles Krauthammer. In talking about President Obama he said:
He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill–-and ruthless skill and success–to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition… His objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.


  1. Very nice post, Nancy. Why yes, yes he has succeeded. He's a master of playing the field that actually exists, not one he wished existed.

  2. I rather think that while President Obama has been steady and skillful on policy, the rank and rancid divisions in the GOP are entirely of their own doing. I'd love to give him credit for that, but they are entirely responsible for the Keystone Cops disarray we see and they suffer.

    1. For quite a while now I've been saying that PBO's "open hand" from the beginning to work with reasonable republicans left the obstructionists no choice but to embrace and fuel the extremists. They did that and now the establishment R's are trying to walk back from that abyss.

      The decision to obstruct is all on Republicans. But his response to that strategy was brilliant and contributed to the split.

  3. Hi SP
    I bet CK has been reading your genius posts!! You called it exactly! They want to fight this President without knowing the war, the battle or the enemy. WOW!