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The Brody File

The GOP Fight Ahead: Chuckleheads vs. Knuckleheads

There is a significant fight taking place right now within the GOP. The question is which side and strategy is going to win out? Constitutional conservatives or the moderates? The Tea Party or the establishment types?

It is becoming a titanic struggle between the “Chuckleheads” and the “Knuckleheads?” Let me explain.

As we’ve seen, Tea Party lawmakers are not just going along with the party brass and some more moderate Republicans have resorted to name-calling. In a recent interview, Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette referred to Tea Party members as, “chuckleheads.”

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Well, LaTourette might think Tea Party lawmakers are “chuckleheads” but they probably think many of those moderate members are “knuckleheads.”

Speaker John Boehner knows all about this animosity between the chuckleheads and the knuckleheads. He’s trying to keep the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party happy while at the same time trying to placate the more establishment and moderate wings. Speaker Boehner has his work cut out for him. This is not going to be easy.

Let's start with this: The establishment wing has a point when they say that being pragmatic is important and that Tea Party legislators can’t get everything they want in a deal. It’s true that they have to figure out how to stay true to their principles while being able to actually get things done and legislate effectively. The so-called “chuckleheads” need to take a hard look at how they get this done.

But the larger problem seems to be an establishment wing of the GOP who is more interested in winning elections and keeping their congressional political seat. (Hence the name “knuckleheads”). There's nothing wrong with winning elections. That's how you build a majority party but to what end? To be Democrat-lite? To be an unrecognizable Republican Party that stands for nothing?

That seems to be the larger, more problematic issue. So what's the solution? It's real simple. You win with numbers. Right now this is a race to see which wing is going to fill up the GOP caucus first. Will it be the chuckleheads or the knuckleheads?