Partisan Friendly Fire

Citing Chris HayesNation essay on Democratic-leaning activist groups working to scuttle key progressive programs, Kevin Drum laments “the biggest threat to the Democratic agenda these days isn’t the Republican Party.  It’s the Democratic Party.”

But, of course, the same could be said for the Republican Party.  (Or, for that matter, the Libertarian Party.)

We’ve got the Club for Growth, Red State, and other conservative action organizations working to defeat not-fiscally-conservative-enough Republican incumbents in the primaries, not caring that they’re almost guaranteeing the victory of even-less-conservative Democrats.  We’ve got conservative bloggers, pundits, and show hosts lambasting Republican leaders for making sensible choices and issuing such over-the-top attacks on Obama nominees that even moderately conservative Republicans are embarrassed and have to go on the defensive.

It’s the nature of Big Tent politics that there are as many casualties from shots fired inside the tent as from without.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Wayne says:

    James
    You are making too many basic assumptions that I for one don’t believe is true then drawing strong conclusion from them that treat you basic assumption as absolutely true.

    Claiming that a “moderate’ fiscal conservative that is willing to run up the dept but not as high of a less “moderate” fiscal Democrat has a better chance of winning a general election is one big assumption that I don’t agree with.

    It is ironic how often the “moderate” Republicans lambast the “conservative” Republicans for lambasting them and that conservatives need to shut up. I say if there is a policy difference, let’s discuss it. It often seem like the “moderates” don’t stand for policies but seem to only care about getting their party elected.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    I think the problem for many libertarian leaning members of the Republican party or who might have been willing to align with said party is that not only are they not in the tent, they’ve been told to fuck off.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Like I said the day after the election, the good news is that the Democrats are back in charge, and the bad news is that the Democrats are back in charge.

    This is the reason that we desperately need a viable GOP led by people of substance, my personal favorite being Chuck Hagel. Absent this, the Democrats will find all sorts of ways to screw things up as they enjoy unchecked power in DC. We had good government for a spell when Clinton was in the White House and the GOP congress was focused on reform and not trying to destroy Clinton.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    I consider the dems to be marginally less corrupt than the republicans. Often they make up for that by being slightly more incompetent.

    Stupid party vs Evil party and all that…

  5. An Interested Party says:

    Often they make up for that by being slightly more incompetent.

    Really? Granted they do have morons like Harry Reid…but George W. Bush certainly seems to have set the standard for incompetence…

  6. just me says:

    I consider the dems to be marginally less corrupt than the republicans. Often they make up for that by being slightly more incompetent.

    On what basis do you state this. I can reel off a list of pretty darn corrupt democrats, and most local governments that are corrupt as all get out are almost always run by democrats where the republicans don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning an election.

    If your argument is that the GOP appears more corrupt on the national level-I think there are two things at work-the GOP was the party in power, and power tends to corrupt, and the media generally plays “name that party” when the democrats screw up.

  7. Eric Florack says:

    On what basis do you state this.

    He’s what you call a “Team Player”. He’s hardly unique in this. I’ve noticed about such people, particularly those of the leftist persuasion, and that they tend to claim “independence” one if you actually look at their words (and those in government their deeds ) you will find they are anything but, tending not to argue their positions from principles, particularly, but rather becoming cheerleaders for their team.

    As a matter of fact, if you look even closer you will notice that they tend argue against principles of either side being applied. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the base on the right is the only one under attack. It is certainly true enough that that’s where you’ll see the majority of the news coverage when such disputes occur.

    Thing is we have, just now, a president who promised the world to the democrat base, and so far has been turning his back and every one of those promises, as I predicted repeatedly. Make no mistake; they’re screaming bloody murder about it, but you’re not seeing much about it in the press. You will not, for example see the coverage of that in nearly the proportions that you saw coverage of the leftists screaming every time the GOP reached for the support of its base.

    And let’s not get to consumed, James, with waving the “moderate” flag. I will remind you that we just had sixteen years of a supposed moderate, one from both parties. How’d that work out?

    We now have someone leans to the left of where Clinton does, but of course it’s not enough to satisfy the leftist base. Even the most casual observers will notice that that doesn’t seem to be working out all that well, either. (I will say that the screams of the “progressives” claiming that Obama is “killing the progressive movement,” is an amusing sidebar, but no more.The fact of the matter is, implementation of progressive policy will do a far better job of telling the progressive movement than Obama will ever do. “progressive” policy has never worked to its stated goals. )

    There is one thing, however, that we know will work. The one major success story that this country has had since WWII, both economically and psychologically as a nation, has been when there was someone in the White House who was an actual conservative. I’ll give you three guesses who that is.

    You are correct, James, when you say that this is the result of the big tent. So are the last sixteen years. Forgive me, that does not seem to me overly advantageous.

  8. anjin-san says:

    I will remind you that we just had sixteen years of a supposed moderate, one from both parties. How’d that work out?

    Worked out pretty well when Clinton was President. Then came the Bush train wreck…

    The one major success story that this country has had since WWII, both economically and psychologically as a nation, has been when there was someone in the White House who was an actual conservative.

    Utter nonsense. Reagan was a good President. So was Ike, so was Clinton.

  9. An Interested Party says:

    The one major success story that this country has had since WWII, both economically and psychologically as a nation, has been when there was someone in the White House who was an actual conservative.

    Oh please…outside of the most rabid partisan right-wingers, no one believes such nonsense…by the way, if the argument is that only a true conservative can turn this country around, would anyone care to offer up a list of “real” conservatives that would even have a chance of defeating the president in 2012…

  10. Eric Florack says:

    Worked out pretty well when Clinton was President. Then came the Bush train wreck…

    Like I said; a team player.

    Perhaps you to would be interested in explaining to me why the economy was already in the midst of a downturn the end of the Clinton administration? Oh, yes; the dot-com bubble. Let’s remember, also, the Clinton administration doing a fairly decent job in setting this up for a housing bubble.

    Points the both of you completely miss.

    Oh please…outside of the most rabid partisan right-wingers, no one believes such nonsense…

    Oh, yes; we’re all just a bunch of rabid right wingers. You just keep chanting that mantra.

    Utter nonsense. Reagan was a good President

    Being clever isn’t your forte, is it?

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Points the both of you completely miss.

    Not really, as I wasn’t defending Clinton, anjin-san was…

    Oh, yes; we’re all just a bunch of rabid right wingers. You just keep chanting that mantra.

    Who is “we”? I dare you to find anyone outside the right wing who really believes that the only “major success story” in this country since WWII occurred solely when Reagan was president…and the glorious period you remember isn’t even reality…there was more to the Reagan years than the conservative fantasy you have deluded yourself with…and you have the nerve to call anyone else a “team player”…

  12. anjin-san says:

    Perhaps you to would be interested in explaining to me why the economy was already in the midst of a downturn the end of the Clinton administration?

    Sure, let me get the crayons out and diagram it for you. The economy has ups and downs. Clinton’s had a lot more up than down. Eisenhower had two recessions and he was a damn good President. At any rate, the mild downturn at the end of the Clinton era hardly compares to the near meltdown at the close of Bush’s Presidency.

    Being clever isn’t your forte, is it?

    Why would I want to waste perfectly good clever on you? Good God man, look at your own “snarks”. About as funny as stale wonder bread. Stick to rants, there you have skills.

    Its interesting, I praise Reagan & Ike, yet you continually accuse me of being some sort of rabid leftist. Well, as I have said before, we can count on you never to go one idea beyond what your ideology allows you.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Like I said; a team player.

    Dude you are a team player too. You play for “Laura Ingram’s Right Wing Hate Club Band”.

    We’re sorry, but its time to go…

  14. Eric Florack says:

    Not really, as I wasn’t defending Clinton, anjin-san was…

    No question.
    I was simply responding to comments as they caught my eye.

    Who is “we”? I dare you to find anyone outside the right wing who really believes that the only “major success story” in this country since WWII occurred solely when Reagan was president…and the glorious period you remember isn’t even reality…there was more to the Reagan years than the conservative fantasy you have deluded yourself with…and you have the nerve to call anyone else a “team player”…

    Yes I keep being told about how bad things were during the Reagan years by those desiring to rewrite history. I put a rather large helping of that in with the coffee grounds this morning when I threw them out.

    Why would I want to waste perfectly good clever on you?

    not that you haven’t tried on occasion. You just never been successful at it.

    At any rate, the mild downturn at the end of the Clinton era hardly compares to the near meltdown at the close of Bush’s Presidency.

    and if the economy has its up’s and down’s, why would that matter? Trying to have it both ways by chance?

    And by the way, I must say crayons really are your medium.

  15. anjin-san says:

    I must say crayons really are your medium.

    I prefer Conté crayon, they can be quite expressive. Georges Seurat used them masterfully.

    I only reach for the crayolas when I am attempting to diagram something at a level that allows you to keep up. I fear it is in vain, as a great “conservative” once asked, “Is our children learning”? Sadly, young bit remains a laggard, and the answer is no.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Yes I keep being told about how bad things were during the Reagan years by those desiring to rewrite history. I put a rather large helping of that in with the coffee grounds this morning when I threw them out.

    Perhaps you need to drink a little more coffee before you read and respond to the comments of others…what I typed and linked to didn’t talk about how bad things were during the Reagan years, but, rather, that Reagan’s presidency wasn’t exactly as conservative as you seem to think it was…by the way, you still have yet to offer any proof other than your own personal opinion that the only “major success story” in this country since WWII occurred solely when Reagan was president…

  17. anjin-san says:

    that Reagan’s presidency wasn’t exactly as conservative as you seem to think it was.

    An astute observation. Reagan was, at his core, pragmatic, like most good politicians. He liked things that worked. Even in pursuing his great goal, the demise of the Soviet Union, he was a pragmatist, working with Gorbachev to tear down the iron curtain almost without firing a shot.

    Pretty smart for a guy a lot of people did not credit with much intelligence. Today’s armchair warriors would do well to learn from him. Reagan paid lip service to the far right, but he never took them seriously, and he did not do much of anything to enact their agenda.

    by the way, you still have yet to offer any proof other than your own personal opinion that the only “major success story” in this country since WWII occurred solely when Reagan was president

    The unprecedented wealth, power and prestige that America enjoyed under Eisenhower seem to have slipped right by him. Would it be a waste of time to mention the brilliance achieved in the arts during Ike’s time? Where to begin? West Side Story (and all of Jerome Robbin’s other amazing work) on Broadway. Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane and so many others producing masterpiece after masterpiece. Elvis. Chess Records. Sinatra at the peak of his powers. Rothko, de Kooning and Diebenkorn. My God, once you start, where do you stop? Executive Order 10730. The’58 Cadillac El Dorado, the ’55 Buick Road master. Disneyland. Kerouac, Brando…

    If that was not a golden age, WFT is? Really bit, I have to thank you for proving conclusively that you are an utter fool.