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Scoot: Is the GOP finally divorcing the extreme right?

It has been a strained relationship, but now it appears that it is not going to work out.  They deserve credit because they didn’t give up right away and they tried to make it work.  Many even counseled them in hopes that they would stay together, but it now seems obvious - the Republican Party has begun divorce proceedings with the extreme right.  And this may be a mutual divorce!

An early sign that there was trouble in the relationship came immediately after the presidential election in 2012.  There were Republican candidates who campaigned on strict right-wing ideology and they helped defined the party on the national political landscape as a party that was intolerant and that led to the alienation of many voters.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, was a moderate governor in the Northeast, but was perceived as a conservative Republican during the campaign.  If the election were held today and if Romney was allowed to play from the center – he would be president.

The partial government shut-down over Tea Party-inspired attempts to defund Obamacare further advanced the image that the Republican Party was on a mission to promote its conservative agenda over doing what was in the best interest of the American people.  The stunt by Republicans failed and national polls consistently showed that Americans blamed Republicans over Democrats and the President for the partial shut-down.

Top Republican leaders have been publically, and privately, saying that the party needs a major image change.

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent’s recent rant against President Obama may actually prove to be a blessing for the Republican Party. Some GOP candidates have aligned themselves with Ted Nugent to solidify support from the extreme -right base of the party.  Nugent had been campaigning for Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott and when Nugent called President Obama “subhuman mongrel” and the comment was projected onto the campaign of a republican candidate.

In the aftermath, Abbott refused to answer questions about his political relationship with Ted Nugent, but it seemed obvious that Abbott was embarrassed by Nugent’s comment.

I have a difficult time sympathizing with Abbott because Ted Nugent is known for making brazen, derogatory comments about the President and others – so if you align your campaign with Nugent and what he stands for – why would  you be surprised by something he says that is ugly and ignorant?  It’s like the mothers that take their young daughters to a Miley Cyrus concert and then complain about her sexual antics on stage!  It’s a Miley Cyrus concert – what were you expecting?

During an interview at the NRA conference during the 2012 campaign, Ted Nugent said, “if  Barack Obama becomes the president again in November, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”  One year later, in November of 2013 – Ted Nugent was still alive and free.

Nugent was trying to subtly suggest that if Obama was re-elected he would try to assassinate the President and would either be shot and killed by the Secret Service or in jail for the attempt on the President’s life.  If he is such a tough guy with strong convictions – why didn’t he do it?

But it is Nugent’s most recent rant against President Obama that is proving to be the flashpoint in time when sensible Republicans are finally ready to begin divorce proceedings with the extreme right-wing of the party.

Nugent called the President a “subhuman mongrel” – which is what the Nazis called the Jews to justify genocide.  Criticism of Nugent’s comment has even come from top Republicans.

•    Senator Rand Paul: “Ted Nugent’s derogatory description of president Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.”
•    Senator John McCain: “It’s a free country but that kind of language really doesn’t have any place in our political dialogue. It harms the Republican party.”
•    Senator Ted Cruz: “Look, those sentiments there, of course I don’t agree with them. You’ve never heard me say such a thing, nor would I. I don’t hang out with Ted Nugent.”
•    Texas Governor Rick Perry: Nugent “shouldn’t have said that about the President of the United States.”
•    CNN host and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: “What Ted Nugent said was stupid. I don’t support it.”

Ted Nugent has now apologized for the derogatory comments about President Obama and has even said that he will no longer call people ugly names.  A kinder and gentler Ted Nugent? Or a kinder and gentler GOP?

The legislation passed in Arizona that would allow businesses to refuse service to homosexuals is now attracting widespread criticism – even from Republicans. Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer – arguably a conservative Republican – must now decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto it. 

The denouncement of this legislation is another perfect opportunity for the Republican Party to change its image and to show the American people that they will no longer be defined by the far-right.  I expect Governor Brewer to veto the bill.

With the 2014 midterm elections approaching and with talk already heating up about who will be the presidential candidates in 2016, the Republican Party should use these opportunities to divorce the right-wing extremists.

The problem is that both parties cater to the extreme members of their base in order to secure the nomination and then, in theory, campaign from a more moderate position.  Especially for the Republican Party, any catering to the extreme right tarnishes the image of the party on a national stage.

Republicans have lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes in presidential elections. That is a sign that the Republican Party has a serious image problem.

The mean-spirited comment by Ted Nugent and the passing of legislation that essentially uses religious freedom to protect discrimination give the Republican Party a chance to show that are divorcing the extreme right. 

Once divorced, the Republican Party will be free to court anyone!

Tags :  
Topics : Politics
Social :
Locations : ArizonaTexas
People : Barack ObamaGreg AbbottJan BrewerJohn McCainMitt RomneyNewt GingrichRand PaulRick PerryTed CruzTed Nugent

02/26/2014 4:27PM
Scoot: Is the GOP finally divorcing the extreme right?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
02/26/2014 9:07PM
Should remain socially conservative one man one woman is a marriage. Should also be liberal in spending
02/26/2014 9:29PM
Nugent actually created a polling bump for Abbot. He isn't the only one. Look at the reactions of Tucker Carlson, Todd Starnes, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the GOP establishment to the Arizona discrimination bill, these social issues are what they run elections on. They try to primary other Republicans over not being conservative enough. There is a strong base that this nonsense appeals to, and if they can't be welcome in the GOP, they will simply abandon them. Then you can't win as a third party or as a Republican. The GOP has laid down with fleas, and won't be rid of them any time soon. There's a hundred more Nugents and Todd Akins waiting in the wings and any attempt to quiet them just makes them more angry.
02/27/2014 12:25AM
Here's Bill O'Reilly continuing to improve the GOP relationship with women. Even the GOP strategist in this clip looks baffled that O'Reilly would suggest there is something inherently weak about having a woman as president. http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/02/26/bill-oreilly-theres-got-to-be-some-downside-to/198250
02/27/2014 8:38AM
The far right is going to have to learn that they will never get everything they want simply because they are "extremists," and that the best way for them to get some of what they want is to keep their mouths shut so that moderates who are more aligned with their way of thinking can be elected.
02/27/2014 3:43PM
If the GOP is so convinced their views are mainstream, why are state GOP officials determined to push thru so much legislation closing polling places, stopping early voting and registration, etc. Its almost as though they want to make it more difficult for "certain people" to vote.
02/28/2014 9:45PM
mrs Hathaway
scoot, when I saw your picture I have to tell you look like Ms. Hathaway who was Mr Moonie,s secretary on the Beverl hillbillies. She was gay too.
03/02/2014 7:50PM
If it were not for the conservative members of the GOP, Boehner would not be Speaker. Both houses would be in the hands of the profligate, big government Democrats. Scoot, you have heard the hateful remarks of Harry Reid and the Democrats aimed at conservatives. Do you condemn them? Nugent is to the Republicans what Alec Baldwin and a host of fellow entertainers are to Democrats---people with the right to express their opinions and sometimes stupid enough to do it.
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