Since the Republican losses in the 2006 mid-term elections and the general unpopularity of the neoconservative policies of the Bush Administration, the GOP has been searching for a new identity. With the rise of the Tea Party after the 2008 elections, many party strategists and those tied to the money thought they had struck electoral gold, something seemingly confirmed by the sheer number of Tea Party candidates that overwhelmingly won primaries against their “establishment” GOP opponents in the 2010 mid-term elections.
However, in light of the recent government shutdown and a general disregard for both compromise and simple governance, some of the GOP establishment-heavies who held high hopes for the Tea Party, are ready to admit it’s a failed experiment in political domination, because the elected officials are impossible to curtail. Karl Rove—the “architect” of the second Bush Presidency and a loyal GOP operative since the days of Nixon—famously made “anger points” part of the political conversation, is starting a political action committee meant to directly challenge the more rabid Tea Party candidates.
While this battle plays out over the next few months, the time is right for moderate and practical Republicans to tap into the buck-the-system vote by introducing more nationally palatable platforms. Ohio Governor John Kasich, according to The New York Times, lambasted Republicans in Washington for a seeming “war on the poor.” While openly criticizing the Affordable Care Act, Kasich said it didn’t make sense to not accept the $2.5 billion in federal aid to expand Medicaid in his state.
Other Republicans such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker, and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, have all seemingly rejected the idea that compromise with Democrats is akin to political suicide and have seen their popularity rise not just among the Republican base, but voters as a whole.