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Shutdown Fallout Sparks Internal GOP Money War

The fallout from the government shutdown has hit the Republican Party hard, finally causing establishment Republicans to see exactly what kind of damage ultra-conservative Tea Partiers can cause the GOP brand. After years of being outspent by Tea Party primary challengers with large amounts of funding from uber-rich donors, establishment Republicans are planning a serious primary war to wrest the party away from the well-funded far right.

Former congressman Steve LaTourette has started a new PAC called Defending Main Street with the goal of helping raise money for establishment Republicans to fend off Tea Party challengers in the primaries. His first project will be to save the seat of Idaho congressman Mike Simpson who has been targeted by Tea Partiers because he voted in favor of the Wall Street bailout.

Even former Bush Administration string-puller Karl Rove, who helped usher in the conservative movement around the United States, is now using his Crossroads PAC to support the most viable Republican candidates in the primary to avoid embarrassing defeats like we are seeing in Virginia with Tea Party-backed Ken Cuccinelli being trounced in the polls.

The irony is that the Tea Party movement, in large part, helped the Republicans seal control of the House of Representatives. As it turned out, they quickly hijacked the party away from the establishment, leaving leaders like John Boehner with their hands tied when any vote comes up. For years, the Tea Party has threatened to send strong primary challenges up against any Republican who doesn’t vote down the party line.

Now, after years of stopping any government action, the Tea Party may have gone too far in the eyes of their establishment colleagues. The government shutdown has caused favorability of the Republican Party to drop to an all-time low, perhaps causing irreversible damage to the party heading into the 2014 midterms. Of course, with only a temporary budget in place to fund the government until January, another shutdown standoff seems inevitable and could plunge the GOP into an even bigger hole with voters during an election year. If the establishment cannot win the party back, we may be seeing the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh

  • Tim Creekmore

    Thank God! The Republicans have done all this to themselves with no help from the Dems. Let them all go to hell.

  • Macaroni12

    Any responsible informed person knows that hate is not a weapon….I cannot believe most of my good friends are big time Obama haters….there is no other word for it….But, too bad, they are the most ill-informed citizens since the 1920’s….The right wing news machine of the billionaire triple spokesman groups like Rush, Hannity, Malkin, etc….have done irreparable damage to the politics and adversely the country the last 30 years….They call for Obama impeachment without a single clue or reason why….they call him every name in the book….these are so-called educated people…..Educated does not mean informed in news daily politics…..They are a huge group that is being called LOW INFORMATION VOTERS…..THEY ARE INFORMED BUT NOT BY WHAT THEY CALL THE LAME STREAM MEDIA….the lame stream media is the only ombudsman news in America!….but they don’t like the news that is real….because it does not do the damage they want and need….to feel justified for their ignorance….Harsh words, but too bad it is true….I am not the psychologists promoting this LOW INFORMATION theory big time now….but it is still not accepted by these biased haters…

  • Kevin117

    “Defending Main Street”… That must mean they’re defending Wall Street. #GOPDouble-talk

  • Kevin117

    This seems like the Wall Street/Banking interests “Want their country back” from the wacky racists who would rather wreck it than see a Black President do better than the last White, son of a billionaire-politician presidential flop.