Welcome to Kansas.
The Kansas Republican party has been divided since the early 90's and it is finally collapsing under it's own weight. And not a moment to soon. I've had a front-row seat for a good part of it and even struck a couple of blows against them myself.
The revolt of the moderates has been well documented in the Kansas press. The civil war, as the local press refers to it, is between the moderate Tim Shallengerger wing of the Kansas Republican Party and the Mark Gietzen batshit-insane wing.
And now, the New York Times reports that the same phenomenon is occurring at the national party level as well. (Which, by the way, I commented on two days after the election.)
Even as Republican voters continued to support President Bush and the war in Iraq, including the recent increase in the number of American troops deployed there, they said a presidential candidate who backs Mr. Bush’s war policies would be at a decided disadvantage in 2008. And they suggested they were open to backing a candidate who broke with the president on a key aspect of his Iraq strategy. Asked what was more important to them in a presidential nominee, a commitment to stay in Iraq until the United States succeeds or flexibility about when to withdraw, 58 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters said flexibility about when to withdraw, versus 39 percent who said a commitment to stay until the United States succeeds.
The Kansas Republican Party is about six years ahead of the national party as far as their civil war is concerned. In Kansas it has progressed to the point where a moderate, common sense Republican can not get on the ballot in the general election. It has gotten to the point where the venerable Johnson County Sun endorsed a whole slate of Democrats this year, and it is a Republican Newspaper. For editor Steve Rose, the son of the papers founder, it was a bitter moment. The entire metro area went into shock at that editorial. Those of us who actually know Steve Rose are still picking our jaws up from the floor; and that column was printed a month before the midterm election.
My hope is that the Republican Party will rise from the ashes to once again represent the interests of the nation as a whole. The Republican Party that ascended from McCarthy and culminated in the spectacular train-wreck of the DeLay/Abramoff scandal is due to die the fiery death of a vampire in direct sunlight.
Let the flat-earthers go off and be marginal cranks on the loony fringe and good riddance to 'em. Only rid of them will the libertarian/business wing of the party have a prayer of restoring the lustre of the Republican party of my grandfather.