The Week: Most Recent Republican Party:Future of the GOP recent posts.en-usTue, 19 Feb 2013 10:40:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Republican Party:Future of the GOP from THE WEEKTue, 19 Feb 2013 10:40:00 -0500Will Mark Sanford's sex scandal kill his campaign -- or save it?<img src="" /></P><p>Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford isn't running away from the sex scandal that destroyed his marriage and, at least temporarily, his political career, as he makes a comeback bid with a run for Congress. Sanford was a rising GOP star until he mysteriously disappeared in June 2009. He told his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he really went on a secret trip to visit his "soulmate" in Argentina. Now, in a new campaign ad, Sanford tells voters that the tabloid nightmare he went through taught him valuable lessons that would serve him well in office. "I've experienced how none...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:40:00 -0500Rand Paul's extraordinarily difficult path to the presidency<img src="" /></P><p>When Chris Wallace asked&nbsp;Sen. Rand Paul on <em>Fox News Sunday</em>&nbsp;how serious he was about making a real run for the presidency, Paul replied:&nbsp;"I would absolutely not run unless it were to win."</p><p>"We won't make a decision until 2014," Paul said, adding that he believes America is ready for a "libertarian Republican narrative."</p><p>The path forward seems obvious. Paul must&nbsp;solidify his father's libertarian-leaning support, sprinkle in some mainstream conservative backers (folks his dad could never reach), and &mdash; voila! &mdash; he will&nbsp;have assembled a "libertarian-Republican...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 06:27:00 -0500Why the Hagel filibuster is a serious mistake for Republicans<img src="" /></P><p>The filibuster is a tool of great power. And with great power comes great responsibility.</p><p>On Thursday, in deploying what amounts to a filibuster of Chuck Hagel, GOP senators abused that power. In doing so, they've made a serious political mistake.</p><p>As a conservative, I'm fearful about the negative political consequences that will follow this action. Don't get me wrong, I'm opposed to Chuck Hagel's appointment as secretary of defense. I believe his judgments on Afghanistan and Iraq have been seriously problematic. I have real concerns over his commitment to preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/tom-rogan" ><span class="byline">Tom Rogan</span></a>Mon, 18 Feb 2013 08:17:00 -0500Report: Tea Party group made a bestiality video featuring Hillary Clinton and a panda<img src="" /></P><p><em>Mother Jones</em> reports that FreedomWorks, one of the country's most powerful Tea Party groups, made a video that featured a Hillary Clinton impersonator having oral sex with a panda. The video was meant to be screened at FreePac, a gathering of hundreds of conservatives in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2012. However, the idea was scrapped after several FreedomWorks staffers raised objections. According to David Corn at <em>Mother Jones</em>:</p><p >In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, [executive vice president Adam] Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:40:00 -0500Besides that water break, how was Marco Rubio's speech?<img src="" /></P><p>Before Marco Rubio lurched for a pint-sized bottle of Poland Spring on national television, and before bored journalists on Twitter erupted with hallelujahs and gleeful gifs,&nbsp;the senator from Florida was in the midst of delivering a response to President Obama's State of the Union address that was meant to showcase not only Rubio himself, but the Republican Party's agenda as its seeks to bounce back from a demoralizing defeat in November. Rubio handled his Watergate with about as much aplomb as any politician could muster &mdash; he&nbsp;told ABC News this morning that "God has a funny way...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:35:00 -0500How Marco Rubio rescued his awkward water break moment<img src="" /></P><p>Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the 41-year-old Cuban-American being billed as the potential savior of the Republican Party, gave a measured, conservative response to President Obama's State of the Union address. His official GOP rebuttal was a Reagan-infused paean to faith, free markets, and small government. But while some conservatives were very impressed with Rubio's performance, the consensus largely validates Jeb Golinkin's warning to Rubio: "Call whomever it is you call about these things, say you have the flu, and stay home."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>True statement. RT @stupolitics: Never, I mean never, do the SOTU...</p></blockquote> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 07:30:00 -0500The doctor who slammed Obama to his face: Ben Carson for president?<img src="" /></P><p>A video of prominent neurosurgeon Ben Carson blasting President Obama at last week's National Prayer Breakfast has gone viral. With Obama sitting a few feet away, Carson criticized the notion that the wealthy should pay more taxes and proposed a flat tax, saying that God had spelled out such a system as fair with descriptions of tithing in the Bible. Without mentioning </span>ObamaCare<span>, he also said that the best health-care reform would be to give every American a health-care spending account at birth, so everyone would take charge of his or her care to keep spending low. </p><p>Since the breakfast, conservatives...</p></span> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:07:00 -0500Why the GOP should retire its 'big government' attacks on Obama<img src="" /></P><p>Sen. Marco Rubio's response to President Obama's State of the Union address will not only be his tryout for the prized role as the GOP's de facto leader &mdash; it is also supposed to reflect a new and improved Republican Party, which is still in the midst of a rehabilitation project following Obama's near-landslide re-election victory. Rubio is the face of that makeover, a Cuban-American who will deliver his response in both Spanish and English in a bid to make the party more appealing to Latinos, as well as more inclusive in general. At age 41, he is also a full 10 years younger than Obama, and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 12:40:00 -0500Memo to Marco Rubio: Don't do it!<img src="" /></P><p>Dear Senator Rubio,<br />&nbsp;<br />I am told that you are planning on giving the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address tonight. I am writing to urge you to call whomever it is you call about these things, say you have the flu, and stay home. Giving this speech is a thankless task that, at best, will moderately enhance your national standing. At worst, you will become Kenneth the... I mean, Bobby Jindal.&nbsp;</p><p>You see, Senator, you have a certain star power, which is why <em>TIME</em> put you on its cover and declared you the savior of the Republican Party. That cover story, and the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jeb-golinkin" ><span class="byline">Jeb Golinkin</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 08:55:00 -0500State of the Union: Will Rand Paul upstage Marco Rubio's response to Obama?<img src="" /></P><p>Does the country really need two Republican responses to President Obama's State of the Union address? That's what voters may be wondering on Tuesday night, when Obama's speech is followed by an official GOP response from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida <em>and</em> a Tea Party rebuttal from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. You can practically hear the sound of establishment Republicans tearing their hair out, with Paul's unwelcome contribution only underscoring the party's deep divisions on a night when the GOP needs to present a unified, coherent alternative to Obama.</p><p>Paul, for his part, insists that his response...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:41:00 -0500Chris Christie's waistline, Marco Rubio's hairline, and our raging obsession with superficiality<img src="" /></P><p>It's time to talk about the way our politicians look.</p><p>Maybe such superficialities <em>shouldn't</em> matter. But fact is, they do. In the modern era, it's pretty clear that when it comes to the White House, we don't elect bald men, short men, men with beards, men with glasses, or (since Taft) fat men.</p><p>This is unfair, but it's also reality. And it's something to consider when we examine potential 2016 contenders.</p><p>Let's start with Chris Christie, who has been in the news this week for his weight.</p><p>It all started when a doctor&nbsp;publicly expressed&nbsp;fears that Christie, whom the doctor hadn't even...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/matt-k-lewis" ><span class="byline">Matt K. Lewis</span></a>Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:55:00 -0500Marco Rubio will respond to President Obama's State of the Union<img src="" /></P><p>Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will deliver the Republican Party's official response to President Obama's State of the Union address on February 12. The choice is just the latest evidence of how deeply invested the party is in Rubio, a Cuban-American who is leading a bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. And to underscore the GOP's play for Latino votes, Rubio will deliver the address in both Spanish and English. (Beat that, Obama!)</p><p>However, Rubio may have been wise to think twice about accepting the honor. Responding to the State of the Union is best known for crippling...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 16:34:00 -0500Why far-right conservatives hate Karl Rove<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Last night, Karl Rove found himself in the unusual position of defending himself against fellow Republicans on Fox News. The issue? Whether or not his new initiative, the Conservative Victory Project, is taking direct aim at Tea Party candidates in favor of nominating more electable establishment moderates.</p><p class="p1">The uproar started over the weekend when <em>The</em> <em>New York Times</em> painted the Conservative Victory Project as an attempt "to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles." <em>The Times</em> called it "the most robust attempt yet...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/keith-wagstaff" ><span class="byline">Keith Wagstaff</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 14:58:00 -0500Ron Paul's puzzling critique of murdered SEAL Chris Kyle<img src="" /></P><p>When news started spreading that Chris Kyle, a former SEAL and author of the best-selling autobiography <em>American Sniper</em>, was shot dead with a friend over the weekend &mdash; allegedly at the hands of a PTSD-suffering former Marine he was trying to help by taking him shooting at a hunting range &mdash; conservatives were incensed over the callous tweets of "some on the anti-gun Left." And then this happened:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword." Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn't make sense</p>&mdash; Ron Paul (@RonPaul) February 4, 2013</blockquote>... <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Tue, 05 Feb 2013 07:20:00 -0500Should Tagg Romney run for Senate in Massachusetts?<img src="" /></P><p>Last week, former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts (R) announced that he would not run in a special election on June 25 to fill the Senate seat recently vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry. That has left the Republican Party in Massachusetts in a bit of a pickle, and the state GOP is reportedly scrambling to find a candidate with name recognition who can challenge the Democrats. One possibility? Tagg Romney, the eldest son of Mitt Romney. Tagg is considering a run, says Hillary Chabot at the <em>Boston Herald</em>:</p><p >The eldest son of former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney already has...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:10:00 -0500The Conservative Victory Project: Can the GOP tame its Tea Party wing?<img src="" /></P><p>The biggest donors in the GOP are using their considerable financial ammunition to take aim at members of their own party. According to Jeff Zeleny at <em>The New York Times,</em> a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, has been created to help organize opposition to far-right conservative candidates who may derail Republican efforts to win back the Senate.&nbsp;Says&nbsp;Zeleny:</p><p >The Conservative Victory Project, which is backed by Karl Rove and his allies who built American Crossroads into the largest Republican super PAC of the 2012 election cycle, will start by intensely vetting prospective contenders...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 10:20:00 -0500