Just yesterday I was writing that the GOP’s right-wing base was planning on launching an all-out culture war in an effort to rebuild their party in the wake of an Obama victory.
And today the LA Times reports that social conservatives are already maneuvering to take control of various elements of the party, especially the Republican National Committee:
The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party’s machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain’s influence, even if he wins the presidency.
In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party’s national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.
Apparently, it is going to come down to a decision about whether the RNC will be chaired by a more moderate figure aligned with Florida Governor Charlie Crist, someone like Michael Steele, or someone like South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson who believes that “moderating our party is what caused us to lose power” in the 2006 elections.
According to the Times, the Right has already won a number of seats on the national committee and is intent on putting someone in power that will make their culture war agenda into the foundation of the party’s future:
It was frustration with the Bush-led Republican National Committee that prompted a number of conservatives this year to try to upend the system. Conservatives won seats representing California, Iowa, Alaska, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Michigan. One new member is a popular black preacher from Detroit, Keith Butler, who presides over a mega-church.
“There is a new blood in the party that is interested in communicating the message of the party — the conservative message,” said Kim Lehman, executive director of the antiabortion group Iowa Right to Life, who in July defeated a state legislator for one of the state’s seats on the national committee.