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A Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Bard Schmookler     Permalink
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Here’s an interesting new item, followed by a riff of a commentary by me.

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More Republicans Revolt Against Obama-Blagojevich Attacks

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by Rachel Weiner on Huffington Post

On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich sent a letter to RNC Chair Mike Duncan chastising the party for going after Barack Obama's ties to Rod Blagojevich and calling the attack campaign a "destructive distraction."

 

I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

The recent web advertisement, "Questions Remain," is a destructive distraction. Clearly, we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public. However, that should be a matter of public policy, not an excuse for political attack.

 

The Washington Post reports that more Republicans are joining Gingrich:

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In a post on post on The Next Right (a new-ish online gathering place for conservatives), Ruffini wrote:

"It's fair to say that any residual connections Obama may have with Gov. Blagojevich as a result of being an Illinois Senator are not the strongest part of our argument. I can understand the desire to go at Obama. But with Obama at 76% approval for the transition, our hits against him have to be clean hits, or they will blow up in our face."

The sentiments expressed publicly by Gingrich and Ruffini are echoed privately by a number of Republican strategists who view the attempts to link Blagojevich and Obama as nothing more than a fool's errand given the lack of evidence that the public sees any real connection between the two men.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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