Originally Posted by Piobaire
The asshats are letting the Tea Party tail wag the dog of mainstream Republicans and it's not what the voting public wants. Remember the 2012 election cycle? Anyone but Mitt. A devoutly religious man, great career in business, family guy with zero skeletons (and he got such an asshole check you know any would have come out), etc. Still, anyone but Mitt from the power structure even though Mitt kept gaining more and more support from the Repub rank and file. The rank and file is not nearly as right wing and obstructionist as the TP, Ted Cruz's, etc. He was too moderate for what is now the power structure of the Repubs.
Look at the same thing for why we suddenly have no Speaker.
There's a problem in the Repub party. That's not so say there are not problems with the Dems, with MSM coverage of things, etc., but let's not let all that deflect from the fact the elites of the Repub part are fucked in the head.
There's a schism in the Republican party, and I don't think it is unwarranted. George Bush, like Reagan, did a good job of bringing together a large group of people with conflicting priorities and interests: warhawks, social conservatives, and big business types. Since then, especially with electoral defeat, the groups are breaking apart and in-fighting. This is similar to what happened to D's in the early 2000s (now they all agree lets give everyone free stuff but disagree on how much).
Turk and Lighthouse have a point that over the last decade or two, Republicans have conflated free-market/capitalism with big business. People like Boehner did a terrible job of laying out some kind of guiding principal. He needed to stand up, in the media, on the House floor, and everywhere he could, and say, "this is what it means to be a Republican. Here are our principals." Instead, he was very wishy-washy. Not everyone would have agreed with him on everything, but it would have been better than the resulting turmoil.
I'm not shy about my libertarianism, and I would like to see the Republican party move more in that direction; however, I think Rand Paul is just as guilty as Boehner (at least during the election) of not standing up and proudly talking about his guiding values and principals. Instead, he has pandered to various groups. While perhaps Romney was too moderate for the powers that be, he also tended to flip-flop a bit. It is funny because many rank-and-file type Republicans argued he wasn't conservative enough and that he was just another elite Republican from NE that was a moderate.
I think this Trump debacle is a symptom of the chaos. Republicans are sick of their leadership and are saying they would vote for a guy who isn't a Republican or a conservative because he's not one of them (even though he really is an insider, crony capitalist). I think he proves that Republicans, just like Democrats can be swayed by populist messages very easily.
In general, I hate the labels we use to define the various parties and groups. Terms like "conservative" and "liberal" mean vastly different things to different people. I also hate the need to boil down politics to a single dimension. Who's more conservative Huckabee or Carson or Cruz? Even if you can answer it, the answer is meaningless.