Sunday, October 20, 2013

Meet the Press: Is Labrador a General in a Republican Party 'Civil War'?

Posted By on Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador didn't appear on a nationally televised Sunday morning news talk show today, but his ears must have been burning.

Labrador, who has racked up nearly a dozen appearances between NBC's Meet The Press and ABC's This Week, was mentioned on the NBC program this morning during a roundtable discussion about political brinksmanship in the wake of the recent partial federal government shutdown and the showdown between the far right wing of the Republican party and the White House.

"There are a lot of Conservatives, and I'm not talking about the leadership here; I'm talking about the Rep. Raul Labradors, the (Sen.) Ted Cruzes, the (Sen.) Mike Lees, who say, 'Look, the goal that the president has is to destroy the Republican Party, to fracture the Republican Party. We've got to dig in and not deal with this guy at all,'" said Meet the Press host David Gregory.

David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, who has sat on more than a few roundtables with Labrador, didn't pull any punches.

"(President) Dwight Eisenhower had a phrase about a senator: 'He proves that there's no ultimate answer to how dumb a person can be,'" said Brooks. "When I look at how some Republicans conducted themselves, including the people you just mentioned, incredibly self-destructive. The question now is: Will the Republican Party have a civil war over the nature of the party? And I think we're beginning to see rumblings of that. The problem is, in order to have a civil war, you have to have two sides. The Tea Party has a side; they have a political movement, a think tank and a donor base. The other side [of the GOP] ... they don't have a side. They have [political action committee] American Crossroads. They have a cocktail party. What they need to do is build some institutions, some think tanks .. some grass-roots organizations to match the Tea Party. Otherwise the Tea Party will take over the party."

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