So which path does the Republican Party take as we head into 2010? As of right now, it looks like the NY-23 one (even though McDonnell is about to do something that Jerry Kilgore, George Allen, Jim Gilmore, and John McCain didn’t do this century: win in the battleground state of Virginia). On Saturday, Marco Rubio, who’s taking on the more moderate Charlie Crist in next year’s Florida Senate primary, delivered this message to conservatives on National Review Online: The “developments in New York's 23rd Congressional District should send an encouraging message to conservatives everywhere. It is not only right and necessary to stand up for our principles; it is also an appealing strategy to Americans yearning for less government and more fiscal restraint in Washington.” The conservative-vs.-moderate battle also will play out next year in Texas (where Kay Bailey Hutchison is taking on Rick Perry) and in Utah (where Sen. Bob Bennett is receiving a challenge from the right). And don’t forget that this divide already forced Sen. Arlen Specter switch parties earlier this year.
If the GOP is not able to bring all its factions under the same tent, the civil war could easily spread beyond New York and into Florida, Texas, California and beyond.
In Florida, GOP Gov. Charlie Crist has picked up a challenger in conservative former House Speaker Marco Rubio. Texas will feature a battle between incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Perry and GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson. (Perry is seen as the "real" conservative in the race, but don't tell that to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who recently signaled that he will stump for Hutchinson.) And in California, businessman Al Ramirez is thinking about challenging Republican-backed candidate Carly Fiorina in her bid to unseat Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) who is leaving the senate in order to run for governor of Texas recently attached her name to $1.6 billion in earmark/pork barrel projects for her state!When are these dopey Republicans going to learn??
Watch out, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Locked in a Republican primary battle for governor of Texas, and unwilling to say women should go to jail for their abortions, she is the next duck in the barefoot and pregnant shooting gallery. All the coverage has been about the conservative attack on the Republican establishment. But Scozzafava’s defeat and the mounting campaign against Hutchison reveals a fascinating and underreported problem for the Republicans: They will only run women who will say that women should not control their reproductive fates. Although there are many male Republican candidates who easily embrace this position, politically accomplished women who believe in criminal abortion are rare, even in the Republican Party. And the ones who surface are likely to be, well, rogue.
The scene was set the day Hutchison announced her candidacy for the governorship of Texas last January. Just down the street, the incumbent governor, Rick Perry, who has shown no signs of stepping aside, was addressing the Texas Rally for Life. Perry had already started attacking Hutchison for not being anti-abortion enough. A few days later, Sarah Palin stepped in and announced her support for the anti-abortion Perry.
Hutchison’s faint liberalism on this one issue sure took her out of the running for V.P. in 2008. The Republicans could have chosen Senator Hutchison—a sophisticated and well-educated woman who would doubtless have played well on the national stage—but wound up with Sarah Palin. She may be a media darling and a political terror now, but all the polling around the actual election of 2008 reflected that her manifest ignorance and amateurishness played a substantial role in the Republican defeat.