The battle within the Texas GOP

One advantage of having studied politics for decades is that I’ve seen the “death” of both parties. Of course, the most recent casualty among the two parties has been the GOP. However, I remember that the Republican party was dead and adrift after Goldwater in ’64, Nixon’s resignation/Ford’s defeat in ’76, and George H.W. Bush’s defeat at the hands of Clinton in ’92.

Of course, there are still serious battles going on inside the Texas GOP. The Dallas Morning New’s Wayne Slater has one story on how the pending Perry-Hutchison campaign will stir up the tension while the DMN’s also ran a story on Perry deriding Hutchison as Democratic Lite. As the Republican incumbent governor who won a whopping 39% of the vote, Perry is an expert on coalition building.

The battle for the heart and sole of the GOP has been going on across the country for year as social conservatives battle more business-oriented or liberatarian conservatives for control over the priorities of the party. Anyone who has read the Texas Republican party platform knows who controls the party machinery in Texas.

In the political equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and humming loudly, many Texas Republicans sat out a meeting to take stock of the party’s health. They feel that the national GOP has made a mess of things and that they have nothing to learn from Republicans inside DC (it’s worth noting that there’s no report that any of these brave, outspoken Republicans acknowledged the role of George W. Bush in the GOP’s problems). However, the Texas GOP seems to be doing exactly what the national GOP did two years ago by ignoring the warning signs in the narrow 2004 victory and drawing closer to their base.


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