The Republicans on the national level have had enough with the bomb throwers, back benchers and malcontents who have gotten just enough attention from the left wing media to rock the boat in their atttmpted mutiny but have yet to gain control of the wheel. So now the GOP is preparing to defeat them once and for all.
The idea of a big open tent defeats the purpose of a tent in the first place, which is of course erected to provide shelter and to keep the people inside safely insulated from the critters on the outside. For years the GOP was able, through the exercise of real power, to control its party. But recent reports of general discontent with government was ignited by the left and fanned by the press. In reaction the GOP began paying attention to the protesters, which had just the opposite effect of what was expected. Instead of quieting the protests they only grew louder, more demanding and more mainstream. This didn't work to the party's advantage so now they are reconsidering their strategy.
John Boehner's recent purge of "chuckleheads" from committee assignments in Congress signaled the first step. His overwhelming re-election numbers as speaker was the next step, and the determination of McConnell to work a compromise in order to preserve the Bush tax cuts and make many of them permanent, despite screeching protests from a small group of former outsiders, made the point very clear: you can either be part of the team and play ball, or sit on the sidelines and whine.
POLITICO's story this morning was the inspiration for the above observations.
The intra-party contests, or threat thereof, have become the original sin that explains many of the party’s woes in the minds of GOP leaders. It’s the primaries that push their presidential nominees far to the right (see “self-deportation” and “47 percent”); produce lackluster Senate candidates (Todd Akin has almost become a one-word shorthand); and, as seen most vividly in the last two weeks, dissuade scores of gerrymandered House members from face-saving compromise while politically emasculating their speaker.
What to do about the primaries has become Topic A in many a post-election Republican soul-searching session, and now the first steps are being taken to address the issue. For Senate Republicans, that means a modified return to their 2010 posture of openly playing in primaries. A retiring House Republican is starting a super PAC to help House members challenged from the right. And an RNC commission is mulling over changes to the party’s presidential primary.
In the Senate, where at least five GOP losses in the past two election cycles could be attributed to primaries, Republican leaders are planning to intervene in selected 2014 races to ensure preferred candidates win the nomination.
High-profile Senate Republicans are going to try to pre-empt bloody primaries with aggressive, early recruitment and support — effectively trying to clear fields.