Posted by | September 27, 2010 10:49 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Republicans are trying to keep a lid on an explosive intra-party battle.  I’ve previously speculated that a failure by the GOP to take over Congress in November will blow the lid away and lead to a battle royale for control of the party.  In the wake of the recent back-and- forth between Lisa Murkowski and Jim DeMint, I wonder whether even a victory will stave off the battle?  First, Murkowski:

Murkowski…suggested that [South Carolina Senator Jim] DeMint – who has repeatedly supported Tea Party-backed candidates over establishment picks this election cycle – may be waging a civil war within the GOP.

“I think he has made people uncomfortable. I think that he has kind of rattled the cages, whether it advances to a full-on civil war, I don’t know.

DeMint is not one known to break down from a fight:

DeMint is blasting Republicans who, in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, voted to allow Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to retain her leadership position on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“It was bad enough to watch my colleagues work to support [Murkowski] in the primary after she had built a record of betraying conservatives principles,” DeMint wrote Saturday in an e-mail to supporters of his PAC, Senate Conservatives Fund. “But watching them back her after she left the party and launched a campaign against the Republican nominee was more than I could bear.”

Assuming they can keep a lid on it until November, a loss will almost certainly blow the dam wide open.  A victory could be just as combustible, however, leading to leadership struggles for House Minority Leader John Boehner and between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and DeMint.  An even better scenario has the fighting costing the Republicans Congress in November.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.