A sort of bizarre article at Politico details how “rank and file” Republicans have been splitting with party leadership on a number of issues in a strategy to avoid getting their asses kicked in the November elections. This seems really perplexing, because it’s essentially tantamount to a tacit admission that GOP political success is at odds with what Americans actually want. Behold.
It’s unusual for rank-and-file members to get a green light to blow off their party leaders. But these are unusual times for Republicans. They are genuinely worried they could get their clocks cleaned in November. The prevailing attitude: It is better to lose some big votes now than big races in November.
Wait, so does this mean they can pander now to help in the election, and then change their tune once elected? Oh, here’s some clarification.
By letting politically vulnerable GOP senators such as Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon join Democrats on key issues, Republicans are neutralizing the issues.
Now these senators can head home and brag that they stood up to Republican leaders in Washington and voted to save Medicare from cuts, to expand GI benefits and to help out in the housing crisis.
If your political party — ostensibly a group aimed to help American citizens — has to break with leadership in order to make Americans happy, it’s probably a sign your party is totally fucked.