How the shutdown could help Tea Party, hurt GOP moderates

There is a tendency to assume that any negative public backlash against the government shutdown, to the extent that it hurts Republicans politically, would serve as a comeuppance for the hard-line Tea Party wing that has driven the effort to repeal Obama’s health care legislation at any cost.

Yet Kyle Kondick at the University of Virginia explains how it could have the exact opposite effect: leading to a loss of more moderate Republicans from the House of Representatives and making the future Republican caucus even more ideologically homogeneous.

He argues that if Republicans are punished for the shutdown in the 2014 mid-term elections (a big if) then history suggests the members most likely to lose their seats are Republicans in districts that are not strongholds for the party. In other words, the very moderates who have been opposing the shutdown will have the hardest time holding their seats in the event of an anti-GOP backlash.

The ironic result could be that the tactics of the right-wing faction of the party could make it harder for moderate Republicans to hold on to the their seats — thereby enhancing the hard-line faction’s influence within the caucus.

 ”…if Republicans do open the door to the Democrats in the House, it’s not going to be the “Ted Cruz Republicans” who will pay the price. Rather, it’s the House Republicans in marginal districts who could see their ranks decimated, just like the House Democratic moderates whose anti-Obamacare votes couldn’t save them in 2010.”

The full analysis is here: If Republicans get the blame, moderates will pay the price




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How the shutdown could help Tea Party, hurt GOP moderates

  1. There you’ve figured out the real agenda, just bollocks up government and it won’t be able to interfere with the gangster capitalists.

  2. Speaker Boehner.. who is SOOO deep into your pockets, you won’t even bring a clean CR to the floor for your OWN party to vote on?

    What is so important you are holding this vote up from your OWN party, in lieu of pandering to less than 40 extremists from ‘loud’ districts?

    Inquiring minds want to know..

    Stop the Green Eggs and Ham games, and bring a CR to the floor champ. The American people DON’T deserve this. Your party has put them through enough already. For the sake of your soul, stop the damn games

  3. I can see how this potentially helps the Tea Party vis-a-vis the Republican Party by forcing the Party to move toward them, and making the party more right-wing, and more ideologically homogeneous. That makes some sense to me.

    However, doesn’t that HURT the Tea Party vis-a-vis a general election? To my mind, this is only good for the Tea Party in the long term if you think that the Tea Party candidates who defeat moderates in primaries will consistently win general elections. I know that there’s a significant portion of the Party that feels that McCain and Romney were failures because they were too “moderate”, but I don’t think that that view reflects objective reality.

    From my vantage point, I can see why the Tea Party might be happy to gain more control over the Republican Party, but I think the people who’d end up being even HAPPIER in that scenario are the Democrats.

    • Of course it does. But part of the reason people are in the Tea Party in the first place is that they don’t bother thinking or looking beyond the immediately obvious.

      What will be interesting to see is how America’s two party democracy manages when one side of that balance implodes itself. I mean, I tend to think it’s long odds that it’d eventually turn to civil war again.. but kind of scary that I think there are any odds there at all.

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