Meanwhile, Rubio and Toomey chased moderates like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter clear out of the Republican Party. And now Miller has pretty much done the same with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who in a sad attempt to cling to power announced that she will run as a write-in candidate come November. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, immediately moved to excommunicate Murkowski, stripping her leadership position.
In all three cases the "establishment" has said to the moderates, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out." And how have they responded to the allegedly barbaric, uncouth, tea-fueled hordes storming the Beltway castle? "Lower the drawbridge!"
"A political reporter," Washington Post columnist David S. Broder once correctly observed, "is essentially a fight promoter." Add in the media's dismay over President Obama's fall from heaven, and it's no wonder the journalistic establishment would push the civil war angle.
And, of course, it's no surprise that the left would be eager for news of conservative infighting and disarray. They have convinced themselves that the rest of America dislikes the tea parties as much as they do. The problem is that the facts point the other way. Independents not only dislike the Democrats more than the Republicans, they are becoming increasingly more tea partyish themselves.
The most interesting part of all this is that many pro-tea party types on the right mistook this for a civil war too. They are itching to sweep Washington clean, and they will brook no opposition. Indeed, what's remarkable is that there haven't been more Delaware-style brawls.
Regardless, the tea party gale has now swept through the GOP. The establishment's sails are all pointed in the same direction, and all that stands between the tea parties and victory in November are the Democrats, with no chance for a Republican civil war to save them.
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