Look Who's Feuding Now: A Map of Conservative Fingerpointing
Republicans have been going through a civil war since they fared much worse than they expected in the 2012 elections. Actually, it's a lot of civil wars. So many that it's hard to keep them all straight. We've created a chart of GOP infighting to help you sort them out.
Feud Key —
CPAC vs. Pamela Geller: Geller, famed anti-Islam blogger, has spoken at CPAC for the last four years in a row, but she's not invited to the 2013 gathering. Breitbart News thinks it's because Geller just won a high-profile court case to put anti-Islam ads in the New York City subway.
Geller vs. Grover Norquist: Geller thinks she was disinvited from CPAC because she criticized the anti-tax advocate. As The Right Scoop explains, Geller accused Norquist of shilling for Muslim radicals. "He and his Palestinian wife, Samah Alrayyes, who was director of communications for his Islamic Free Market Institute until they married in 2005, are very active in 'Muslim outreach,'" Geller said in 2010.
Michelle Malkin vs. Norquist and CPAC: "I'll #standwithpamelageller over Grover Norquist in a heartbeat. How about you?" Malkin tweeted.
CPAC vs. Chris Christie: New Jersey Gov. Christie wasn't invited to CPAC this year. Christie has a "limited future" in the Republican Party, a CPAC "insider" told The National Review. Christie has indicated support for gun control measures and said very nice things about President Obama's handling of Hurricane Sandy.
CPAC vs. GOProud: CPAC did not invite the gay Republican group GOProud, a decision organizers said was not about gay rights, but decorum. "From time to time, there are organizations or individuals who we think go over the top when they are our guests at CPAC and for years we’ve decided not to invite them again for the following year given that particular group of circumstances," CPAC chair Al Cardenas said.
The National Review vs. CPAC: The conservative magazine's editors say CPAC was wrong to keep out GOProud, especially given that young Republicans are more accepting of gay rights. As for Christie's heresies, the magazine says, "Our approach has been to praise those of Christie’s policies that we think judicious and wise, and to criticize those that we think provocative and unwise. We do not think the latter requires reading him out of the conservatism movement or the Republican party."
New York Rep. Peter King vs CPAC: Asked about Christie's snub at CPAC, King took on most conservatives south of the Mason-Dixon line. "[Republicans] are more and more taking on this anti-Northeast attitude... We say fine, if you want to be anti-Northeast, then the Northeast is going to be anti-them."
King vs. Rubio: "Rubio and these other Republican candidates are coming to New York to raise money... I don’t think any senator or congressman who voted against aid for Sandy should get one nickel from New York."
King vs. John Boehner: After the House's initial vote against a Sandy relief package, he said, "Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds... Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans."
John Boehner vs. the Conservative Yahoos: The Speaker of the House has had trouble controlling the most conservative members of his party. Last fall, he disciplined four by stripping them of their committee memberships. The yahoos in turn organized a coup against Boehner, almost costing him his speakership.
Defense Hawks vs. Boehner: Boehner has said he will not replace the sequester for a deal that includes new tax revenue. But members of Congress who favor a very well-funded Pentagon would prefer him to negotiate with Obama. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he'd back a bill with $600 billion in new revenue. Virginia Republican Rep. Scott Rigell traveled with Obama for an anti-sequester press event.
Bill Kristol vs. Boehner and the Conservative Yahoos: This is the first time in months conservatives have been happy with Boehner for standing firm against Obama on the sequester. But while the Weekly Standard editor is no fan of Obama, he thinks letting the "foolish and dangerous" sequester happen is stupid. "And now, with respect to the sequester, the Republican party has, at first reluctantly, then enthusiastically, joined the president on the road to irresponsibility," Kristol says.
Eric Cantor vs. John Boehner: Cantor can't seem to decide what image he wants to project, repeatedly standing with Boehner in budgetary negotiations and then undercutting him at the last minute. Most recently, Cantor did this by declaring he couldn't support a Senate deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $400,000 a year. Boehner "couldn't believe it," according to The New Yorker.
Breitbart News vs. Boehner: The conservative site was not happy when Boehner said on Sunday that the GOP wouldn't force a government shutdown at the end of March. The strategy is "let President Barack Obama fail," Breitbart's Joel Pollack writes. "The hope is that a managed retreat will prevent major political losses that could swing the House in 2014. The result, however, is that Democrats are in complete control of the policy agenda, despite controlling only one of the two houses of Congress.
Erick Erickson vs. the Outrage Machine: The RedState editor and Fox News pundit says he's tired of conservative sites getting outraged over the news of the day without knowing all the facts. "We do our cause more harm than good if we get outrageously outraged over every slight and grievance," Erickson wrote. Right-leaning media "honestly acknowledge that conservatives have also screamed “Wolf” a these past few years more often than there was one." Erickson named one story -- the Obamaphone -- but we can't help but wonder if he was thinking of a few other examples of crying "Wolf," like when Breitbart News reported Chuck Hagel might have ties to the fake group Friends of Hamas.
Young GOP Pollsters vs. Stuart Stevens: Young Internet-savvy Republicans were extremely frustrated with Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Romney campaign manager Stuart Stevens, for example, didn't tweet. And Stevens defended Romney's loss by saying Romney "carried the majority of middle-class voters" therefore "must be doing something right." The New York Times' Robert Draper spoke to several young conservatives who thought Stevens did a lot more wrong. Kristen Soltis Anderson said of Stevens' self-defense, "But you didn’t win the election... I’m really glad you scored that touchdown in the third quarter, I am — but you lost the game!" Stevens later responded, "We don’t have 140-character problem in the Republican Party."
Karl Rove vs. Everyone on the Right: Rove's American Crossroads announced earlier this year it would create a group. Conservative Victory Project, to make sure the best conservative candidate wins Republican Senate primaries. In other words, no more Akins. Conservatives took this as a war on the grassroots. The Tea Party Patriots sent out an email with Rove dressed as a Nazi. Breitbart News ran Iowa evangelical Steve Deace's column under the headline "Why Rove Can't Win"; it said Donald Trump was right that Rove gave us Obama. Club for Growth president Chris Chocola said Rove doesn't care about Republican "core beliefs." The war with Media Research Center's Brent Bozell was especially intense. Bozell said Rove's crowd were "never conservatives." An American Crossroads flack said Bozell was "a hater." The flack apologized. But Bozell said Rove "is not going to tell conservatives what to think and not going to pick our candidates."
Rove vs. Steve King: The Republican congressman from Iowa is the kind of candidate Rove's group was created to stop. But the announcement of the group only emboldened King to run for Senate. Rove can't "bully me," King said.
Rove vs. the Koch Brothers: Rove has been competing with Charles and David Koch for big conservative donors for some time now. Rove reportedly talked smack about the Kochs' political savvy during the 2012 presidential campaign, telling donors that other super PACs were blowing their money. Both Rove and the Kochs went through a post-election audit to figure out how they lost a winnable campaign.