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Friday, August 27, 2021

GOP Civil War: State Edition


The most fascinating political fight in the land isn’t between Republicans and Democrats, but within the Republican Party. And it’s full-on war.

The RINOs are being exposed for what they are: big government, corporate welfare hypocrites who don’t support the party platform and who will compromise any moral code to accomplish their aims.

Thus fumed the GOP’s 2010 (and possible 2014) US Senate candidate Joe Miller on his blog recently. You can skip the following section if you’re from Alaska.


Forthwith, the Lower 48 Cliff’s Notes on Joe Miller’s view of the Republican Party.

His wing of the party are the teabaggers “constitutional conservatives” who are principled defenders of Liberty, with a capital L. Modern day Thomas Paines, except with better firearms and without those pesky atheistic tendencies.

Those who actually win elections are in the other wing are, of course, “establishment RINOs,” “crony capitalists” and other pejoratives. Sarah Palin called them the “Good Ol’ Boys Network” and “the machine.”

Unlike many of his followers, Miller isn’t dumb. A graduate of West Point and Yale Law, he’s basically the Rand Paul of the Tundra. I may find some of his views cartoonishly self-aggrandizing, hypocritical and even self-serving, but at least he can articulate them. Miller defeated Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the (quite nasty) 2010 Senate primary. Murkowski proceeded to defeat him in the general election with a history making write-in campaign supported by establishment Republicans, Independents, and moderate Democrats. Miller didn’t feel he got the love he was due from the state party, and a ginormous rift was born.

You’ve got the picture—let’s go rejoin the others.


In a state where Republicans enjoy a solid registration advantage over Democrats, the former’s intramural warfare is one of two things incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich has going for him heading into his 2014 reelection battle. (The other is a massive committee assist from Harry Reid.)

In 2012, at a Republican convention that will live in the annals of Alaska history, Ron Paul’s posse galloped into the hotel ballroom and took over the Republican Party. Senator Murkowski was booed from the floor, and the Tea Party/Libertarian types metaphorically threw chairs, and had enough votes to create some real change. As the old ethically-challenged party chair Randy Ruedrich stepped into retirement, the vacuum was filled by a very different creature. Ruedrich may have a questionable ethical compass, but the man knew how to run a ruthlessly efficient organization, raise money, recruit candidates, and win elections.

Incoming chair Russ Millette, on the other hand, stands accused of no such talents and hasn’t raised money for the party in months. In fact, the old guard of the Party (like its other members who stockpile ammo, toilet paper, and canned food) stashed away a good chunk of money with the Juneau Republicans in preparation for the incoming disaster from the Tea Party wing.

Fast forward to now.

The wily Ruedrich has not gone gently into that good night, but is diligently using technicalities and insider-y processes to eject Millette, which prompted Miller’s indignant blog post about the attempted coup … of the other coup. In case you think he can make it through the entire post without going full “Hitler”—fat chance. In today’s Tea Party, even the most esoteric process wrangling within a state party in Alaska warrants a Third Reich “analogy.” Because a Rules Chair submitting a letter alleging the incoming Party Chair to have violated a rule is basically like Auschwitz. Except totally not.

Anyway, back to Miller’s fire breathing:

The 2012 election cycle has convinced establishment RINOs that, more than ever before, they have a “primary problem.”

 Apparently, the post-election topic for these RINOs is how to influence primaries to get rid of those pesky constitutional conservatives who are mysteriously winning primaries but losing general elections.

Joe Miller's nemesis

Joe Miller’s nemesis

“The RINO leaders” are correct. Of course they have a primary problem. You cannot field statewide candidates like I Am Not A Witch™ and Legitimate Rape™ and expect to win elections. And even an incumbent President with a tough economy will prevail after a recoiling nation watches Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, the Pizza Guy, the Angry One, the goofy Libertarian, and Mr. 47% tumble out of your clown car for the better part of a year. (There’s only one thing—one thing—Republicans had to do to win the general election in 2012, but they couldn’t bring themselves to nominate Jon Huntsman.)

I feel confident that Chris Christie, currently polling at 72% in a blue state, will meet the same fate once his primary opponents carpet bomb the airwaves with images of the governor hugging President Obama and getting all covered with socialist donkey cooties.

This, of course, provides progressives with a nice helping of tasty, delicious Schadenfreude. With a very competitive, high-profile US Senate race approaching, I’m obviously hopeful the party continues to dump on candidates who could actually win a general election while appealing to those running around with their hair on fire, hyperventilating about Sharia Law and Presidential birth certificates.

May I get you a popcorn, Senator Begich?



7 Responses to “GOP Civil War: State Edition”
  1. Valley_Independent says:

    It’s ironic that Joe Miller, of all people, would complain about “hypocrites” who would “compromise any moral code to accomplish their aims.”

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Think somebody should tell him that the Alaskan people remember what he did?

    When (I don’t think it’s “if”) he goes to run for office again, we better make darn sure everyone else knows, too.

  2. The Lawman says:

    I don’t think the GOP realizes yet – it’s roadkill – gone rancid…now it’s ripening to explode…take cover peoples…

  3. wallflower says:

    This is really picky, but I like that while everyone else writes a blog or posts a blog, Mr Miller “publishes” a blog. Grandiosity is a lonely burden.

  4. Zyxomma says:

    For progressives and democrats of all stripes (and it’s true, we have a large tent covering a diverse group), by my lights we have a huge challenge ahead: registering new Democrats, and getting out the vote. Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign stepped up, improving and expanding upon Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy of boots on the ground, offices everywhere, tireless and relentless fundraising, and GOTV. Now, the template drawn by Axelrod, Plouffe, and the army of internet-savvy techies, phone bankers, and many types of volunteers must be emulated all over the country.

    Everyone who knows me knows my disdain for people for whom voting is an every-four-years event. I vote in every election, primary and general, and feel that it’s my civic duty to do so. I once even showed up at my polling place when there wasn’t a single race in my district. What’s ironic to me is that my politics are far more suited to the Green Party. However, I can’t bring myself to quit the Democrats, at least not yet. If, for example, Christine Quinn were to become the Democratic candidate for Mayor of NYC, I would, at the very least, know that I had not voted for her in the primary (she spent years as Bloomberg’s lickspittle/lapdog, and misused her position as City Council Speaker to overturn the will of the voters and give Nanny B. an illegal third term).

    We need more progressives!!

  5. Alaska Pi says:

    Crimenently. I went over THERE and read the whole dumb thing and derailed and read the link to the SEAK cronies dealie too.
    Mr Miller continues to talk in nothing but hyperbolic TP code.
    Now- I’m like totally crawling with TPed elephant oogies.
    Here’s hoping my socialist donkey cooties do their job and get the oogies. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

  6. CorningNY says:

    I myself admit to being infected with “socialist donkey cooties,” which I have passed along to my sons. And I never even hugged President Obama! : (

    • AKblue says:

      AKM, you have a knack for making a point with humor!
      I get a guilty pleasure watching the GOP implode, given their corruption and extremism.
      Hug a Republican and keep passing around those “socialist donkey cooties”. It confuses them!

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