Friday, July 26, 2013

Crazy Groundswell

Back in May, we asked what's turned out to be a very critical question. We asked if the worsening Republican Party civil war would ultimately blow up the emerging consensus for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) in Congress. Now, the answer becomes clearer every time Rep. Steve King (R-insani-TEA) opens his mouth in front of a microphone.

And it's not just Steve King. Yesterday, Mother Jones uncovered a new G-O-TEA campaign to attack President Obama... And other Republicans.

There was much more on the agenda for the March 27 meeting than a single talking point. The group routinely addresses an ambitious to-do list for its campaign against the left. At that session, Groundswellers discussed several immigration-related "action items." These included attempting to link the pending reform bill to Obamacare and collecting health care reform horror stories to provide to Cruz, a leading opponent of the Senate immigration reform bill. (Cruz has repeatedly compared the legislation to the health care reform law.)

Groundswell members saw immigration as a life-or-death issue. "If we lose on immigration," the post-meeting memo noted, "we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio. He can gracefully remove himself from the 'gang of 8' and still save face…The messaging on this issue has to be 'we can't trust Obama' to enforce immigration laws after the amnesty." [...]

On one occasion, [Danielle] Cutrona promoted a column from the conservative site Headlined "Who is Going to Put an End to the McCain/Graham Circus?" this RedState.compost excoriated Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham as "Benedict Arnolds" for retreating on their opposition to Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary and for "their treachery on the issue of illegal immigration." Cutrona, [the chief counsel to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)] who occasionally used her official Senate email to communicate with Groundswell members, was encouraging this band of conservatives to spread the word that two party colleagues of her boss were ideological traitors. A spokesman for Sessions says that this blog post did not reflect Cutrona's views and "was simply one of scores of diverse news and opinion pieces she emailed on immigration."

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As we've said before, this is bigger than just Steve King. This is the G-O-TEA id unleashed, and the Republican egos and super-egos have yet to figure out how to fully check the G-O-TEA id. And now, the id is out to consume the entire rest of the party alive.

So this is what's happening to CIR legislation in Congress. We're down to talking about cantaloupes, mules, and Groundswell. And thanks to G-O-TEA insistance upon pandering to its base at all costs, nothing is getting done.

How much more of this can we take? It's more than just one crazy politician. It's about the crazy taking over an entire party. And we're all suffering as a result.

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