The late Texas state Sen. Teel Bivins, in an entirely different context, once told me how Republicans occasionally were prone to “eat their young.”
So this form of political cannibalism appears to be occurring in the current election cycle. We’re seeing Republican officeholders making GOP primary endorsements, picking fellow Republicans over other fellow Republicans.
Donald John Trump endorsed U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in his primary contest against Roy Moore in Alabama. Moore ended up winning that primary and … um … it hasn’t worked out too well for the GOP. Moore has been accused of making improper sexual advances on underage girls. It’s getting ugly down yonder, man.
Closer to home, we have Texas Gov. Greg Abbott endorsing a Republican challenger to a GOP state representative. State Rep. Sarah Davis’s primary foe, Susanna Dokupil, has earned the governor’s endorsement.
As Ross Ramsey writes in the Texas Tribune, it is rare for Texas governors to endorse against incumbents; it’s even more rare for them to get involved in primaries of their own political party. Abbott has scored a two-fer with his endorsement in that particular legislative contest.
And so it goes with the Republican Party’s war with itself.
U.S. senators are lining up against the president, who’s firing back at them. GOP Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker are retiring from the Senate in 2019. They both have been highly critical of the president of their own party. Donald Trump has returned the fire with angry statements and a bit of petulant name-calling to boot.
Republicans in both congressional chambers have fought among themselves over how to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. They’re now arguing over “tax reform” proposals that look good to one legislative chamber, but not nearly so good in the other one.
And, let’s not forget that the D.C. Republican establishment is gnashing its teeth over what to do if Roy Moore wins that U.S. Senate election in Alabama.
It’s no fun to be a Republican these days.
Especially if they’re about to be eaten.