Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scarborough: Gun Vote Will Kill GOP

Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough had this to say about Senators from his party voting against background checks for gun purchases on MSNBC.

You don't ignore -- you do not ignore 90% of the American people on an issue of public safety. You don't do it. They did it yesterday, and I've got to say, mark it down, this is going to be a turning point in the history of the Republican party as well. And let those out there chattering, let them chatter away all they want to and scream like hyenas. Let them do what they want to do.

This party that killed this background check yesterday, this party is moving toward extinction. A new Republican party is going to replace it and this is going to be a vote people will look back on and say that party, that extremism that was unsustainable.

UPDATE: David Brooks disagrees citing specific factors unique to gun control as an issue in The New York Times.

Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

Brooks goes on to describe a debate within the GOP between first and second wave conservatives.
In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.
The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

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