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Many of you have heard reports about the coming Republican Civil War, which I will henceforth be referred to as THE WAR TO END ALL REPUBLICANS ("WEAR," for short)

But most of this has been discussed merely as a split between the camps of John Sidney McCain and Sarah Louise Heath Palin, specifically focusing on matters of the approach to the campaign.

But, in reality, there are several factions competing for the "soul" of the Republican Party, or at least the closest thing to a soul the party could dig out of a deep, dark, recess that's best not described in polite company.

So I've written up this handy little guide to help us all better understand who the various factions in the Republican party are, and what sides we can expect them to be taking in the upcoming WEAR.

First, let's start with the obvious broad categories:

BIG BUSINESS

Their likes are deregulation, tax breaks for the wealthy, making a lot of money no matter who or what it hurts, complete lack of accountability and offshore accounts to hide certain kinds of profits from the IRS.

Their dislikes are corporate responsibility, people who write them letters and anyone who attempts to regulate any aspect of their business.

They favor Republicans because Republicans are eager and willing to take large donations and, in turn, just sort of look the other way when they, I dunno, don't bother paying taxes on public property for forty years.

RELIGIOUS/"FAMILY VALUES" NUTCASES

Their likes are smug superiority, people like them, amendments banning same-sex marriage, the death penalty, gays who attack other gays and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Their dislikes are gays, Muslims, people who look like Muslims, people who aren't like them, people who dare to criticize them, elitists, vegetarians, Wiccans, abortion, people who are sane Christians, people who act too Jewish, gay or catholic.

They favor Republicans because they think Republicans will eventually overturn Roe v Wade and because Republicans pretend to like them in exchange for their support.

WARMONGERS/NEOCONS

Their likes are war, violence, and anything which makes them think America is superior.

Their dislikes are France, Europe, France, any country that's not the United States, France, Canada, and peacenicks.

Their likes are anyone who likes war as much as they do, especially if they're dark-skinned enough and crazy-sounding enough to justify us going to war with them.  This means you, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  

They like Republicans because Republicans are consistently thrilled to talk up war and violence, even when it's not in their best interest to do so.

LIBERTARIANS/ANTI-TAX NUTCASES

Libertarians like very small government and freedom.  They hate excessive spending, big government and waste.

It is often unclear as to why they like Republicans.

RACISTS

Their likes are people who look like them and anyone who helps them justify their bigotry.  Their dislikes are everyone else.

They like republicans because Republicans make them think they're not really racist.

USEFUL IDIOTS

Their likes are people who say the right kind of thing, regardless of their actions.  Their dislikes are anyone who tries to correct their understanding of the world.

They like Republicans because they use catchy buzzwords and because they are idiots.

There are, of course, other categories we could discuss, but these will serve as basic categories for the discussion.  There are plenty of people who overlap in this group.  John McCain, for example, would fall into the Warmonger category, but he'd also fit directly in with Big Business.  Many of his supporters fall into those categories as well as the Useful Idiot category because he can talk a good game about veterans issues, but actually does very poorly with them.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, fits in easily with Religious Nutcases, Racists and Useful Idiots.  In fact, assume that everyone I mention here includes that last group in some capacity from this point on.  I'll focus instead on the other two: she's loved by religious nutcases because she is one and she's loved by racists because she gave them so much great rhetoric during the campaign so as to make them think that their racism and xenophobia was, on some level, acceptable.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is all Big Business and Family Values.  My suspicion about Romney is that he is less someone with convictions then someone who was so sure that he needed to say certain things to get elected that he's actually convinced himself that he believes them.  But he's got a strong base of support, just not strong enough that he didn't need to fund his own campaign with a whole lot of his own money.

But how about Mike Huckabee?  He's clearly loved by the Religious Nutcases but seems to be anti-racism, at least in his rhetoric.  He's hated by big business but somewhat in the libertarian category, except he believes in universal education.  In other words, one of the popular Republican candidates has some campaign issues more in favor with Democrats than Republicans.

Which brings us to Ron Paul, who represents an entirely different aspect of the Republican party, with the vast majority of his support coming from Libertarians and Racists, and definitely not the religious nutcases nor the warmongers.

With the exception of John McCain, there is a good possibility that all these individuals will be running for President in 2012 and this is where the WEAR comes in.  

There are lots of rumors spreading about what happened behind the scenes in the McCain/Palin campaign, which helps set the stage for the upcoming battle.  I.e., Romney camp spreading Palin stories?, Palin aide fires back at McCain camp, etc.  Most of you have seen much of this, so I won't bother reiterating.

But this is the basic dynamic: people from the Romney, McCain and Palin factions seem to really have it in for one another.  Romney's appeal to the Family Values nutcases is damaged by the fact that he's a Mormon and most Family Values nutcases don't like anyone who's not a Christian (or, at the very least, an acceptably conservative Jew) and most assuredly do not think of Mormonism as "Christian."  McCain's people pretty much hate Romney and now they seem to really hate Palin.  They blame her for having hurt McCain's chances and being an all around crappy candidate and for "going rogue" from time to time.  And then there's the whole Palin/underwear thing (which has nothing to do with Romney).

But the real gold here is that this scatters those categories I listed above.  Libertarians are already finding problems with the Republican party, which has largely increased spending during their tenure and made government a lot bigger (and a lot more anti-freedom).  Big Business will support anyone who helps them out, and turning the economy into a great big sinkhole really doesn't help big business all that much.

The religious nutcases are now split, with some going to Obama and most still preferring Republicans but willing to sit the election out if someone who's not sufficiently evangelical gets nominated.  Granted, there are still plenty of racists, and they probably (if possible) like the Republicans a little more than they used to, but probably think of them as weak little sissies if they cooperate on Obama with anything.  

So most of what's left for Republicans are useful idiots.  And the great thing about useful idiots is that they're stupid enough to start chasing each other around with baseball bats rather than us.  So when big business starts blaming religious nutcases and religious nutcases start blaming warmongers and warmongers start blaming libertarians who, in turn, blame everybody, well, hijinx ensue.

To me, this is going to be sort of like "Glengarry Glen Ross" crossed with a Keystone Cops movie.

Grab your popcorn, folks.  This is going to be fun.

Crossposted to Green Mountain Daily and Reason and Brimstone

UPDATE: Rec list?  You people are surreal awesome!

Originally posted to juliewolf on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 05:56 AM PST.

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