- Politics and Social Issues
Republican Witch Hunts - GOP Eats Its Own
Extreme right targets GOP moderates
From where I live in New Hampshire (no sales tax, no income tax, super cheap cigarettes, wear a gun to school, live free or DIE etc), its just a couple hours drive to the famous town of Salem, MA home of the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
Especially around Halloween its a great place to visit, soak in a bit of fun and a bit of early American history. In an old church on the town square you can relive the story of the kids who pulled a prank on their nanny and the townsfolk saying they were possessed by the devil. Fear, revenge and bigotry enslaved the community and end up in the death of many townspeople. Salem actually got off lightly compared to Europe where thousands of "witches" would die in fire, drowning, jailed or being crushed by stone.
See the problem with witch hunts is that they take on a mind of their own, they are very hard to contain and often those who play with fire themselves get burned.
I've been watching the local state primaries with interest as a similar witch hunt plays out among the GOP as moderate republican incombents are facing unprecedented attacks from outside groups . And its not just local, its happening all over the country. Moderate republicans who ever dare to vote for a compromise are being targeted and replaced by Stetford-candidates who will do the bidding of the hard right wingers.
It doesn't matter if you have been serving your state for years and have strong conservative record. Vote once for gay civil rights, women's issues or a prudent tax increase and that's enough for you to be targeted for elimination.
Gun loving, anti-abortion, deep budget cutter David Walsh was in his 28th year in the NH House but he stepped out of line and voted for right-to-work legislation and voted against trying to repeal NH's existing gay marriage law. That is all it took to paint a bulls eye on his back and to be targeted by the "Republican Liberty Caucus of NH" and the "Americans for Prosperity" attack letters. Similarly 19 other Republicans lost their seats in the primary from these attacks.
Now the problem with these witch hunts against moderates is that many of the candidates that replaced the long serving incumbents are just not electable. They are either stark mad crazy extremist types or simply so little known that they will never be elected. Plus the voters are starting to realize that may they don't want to put witch hunters in power. Who knows who they will target next with their hunts. Today its women and gays. Tomorrow it might be you.
So the GOP in NH is now in danger of losing control of the state congress because of the right wing which hunt. And this is happening all over the country. Reasonable politicians with the brain capacity to approach issues with an open mind are being replaced by robots programmed to nothing but stall, hinder and dismantle government and put restrictions on the rights of the citizens.
Julie Brown who is serving her 12th term in office was the subject of seven flier mailings from the witch hunt groups. She sums up the attack in this way.
"I have been a Republican for 56 years. I have never been a Democrat or an Independent. I have not abandoned my party. My party has been taken over and it has abandoned me"
She then visited city hall to re-register as undeclared. No doubt many will follow as they find their Grand Old Party being taken over by extremists.