Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

October 23, 2013

House of Burgess: A Republican civil war's a-comin'

Liberal action needed to save GOP.

(Continued)

Obviously, the struggle to end human bondage in this country is nothing like a law that mandates Americans buy health coverage. But in politics, as in life, everyone has a breaking point. And tea party Republicans have chosen this one.

“They ought to put a sign on the National Committee doors that says ‘closed for repairs,’ until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” said the former Republican Kansas Sen. Robert Dole on “Fox News Sunday” May 25. “Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might’ve made it, but I doubt it.”

And that’s coming from a man who was the 1996 Republican candidate for president.

This division is costing elections for no reason at all. Last year, long-serving Hoosier Republican Sen. Richard Lugar was “primaried” by tea party challenger Richard Mourdock. Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly now occupies Lugar’s position, a seat his party didn’t even bother running a candidate for in the 2006 election.

Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state for the most recent Republican president, George W. Bush, also has expressed alarm at the GOP’s direction.

“I grew up with … the Republican Party of Dick Lugar,” said Powell on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Jan. 13. “But in recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced, two losing presidential campaigns. I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. … If it’s just going to represent the far right-wing of the political spectrum, I think the Party is in difficulty. I’m a moderate but I’m still a Republican, that’s how I was raised. And until I voted for Mister Obama twice, I had voted for seven straight Republican presidents.”

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