HOT BLAST: Shutdown alienates Republicans from business lobbyists
Oct 11, 2013 | 1649 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trey Hudson of Alexandria holds a sign under a "Don't Tread on Me" flag at a tea party protest in Anniston. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
Trey Hudson of Alexandria holds a sign under a "Don't Tread on Me" flag at a tea party protest in Anniston. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
John Judis has been speaking with some of the Republican Party's strongest allies - lobbyists for big business and conservative strategists. What's he found related to the current shutdown sounds like bad news for Republicans. (One note, look past the the headline - The Last Days of the GOPWe could be witnessing the death throes of the Republican Party- is over the top and not worthy of the solid reporting within the story.) He writes:


Under pressure from grassroots radicals and the new outsider groups, the old Republican coalition is beginning to shatter. ... The newspapers are now filled with stories about business opposition to the shutdown strategy, and there are even hints of business groups backing challenges to Tea Party candidates. “The business community has got to stand up and say we are not going to back the most self-described conservative candidate. We are going to back the candidates that are the most rational,” says John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and Hastert who is now president of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm.

What Washington business lobbyists say on-the-record about the House Republicans and about Tea Party activists pales before what they are willing to say if their names aren't used.

What follows is a profanity-laced quote from someone Judis describes as a "former Republican staffer." The target of this ire - "House Republicans and Tea Party activists."  

Judis concludes:

What is happening in the Republican Party today is reminiscent of what happened to the Democrats in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At that time, the Democrats in Washington were faced by a grassroots revolt from the new left over the war in Vietnam and from the white South over the party’s support for civil rights. It took the Democrats over two decades to do undo the damage—to create a party coalition that united the leadership in Washington with the base and that was capable of winning national elections. The Republicans could be facing a similar split between their base and their Washington leadership, and it could cripple them not just in the 2014 and 2016 elections, but for decades to come.
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