Honest Abe Lincoln must be rolling his eyes in heaven watching Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCorker calls Tillerson 'very impressive' The other face of immigration from Mexico is African McMullin: 'Trump is not a loyal American' MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzSenate passes dozens of bills on way out of town Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown MORE call each other chronic liars, bad Christians and dirty politicians unfit for office in the latest example of aggressive fratricide that defines the modern GOP.
From the Republican Congress to the presidential campaign, the intraparty carnage within the GOP is so extreme it resembles the plot of “I, Claudius,” in which various contestants to be emperor of Rome removed one another through back-stabbing, scheming and an occasional dose of poison.
More recently, Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary MORE, who served as House majority leader, was defeated in his 2014 primary by economist Dave Brat and immediately resigned his seat in the House. John BoehnerJohn BoehnerNetanyahu: 'No question' about Trump's support for Israel The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt MORE was hounded from the Speakership by right-wing House Republicans, whereupon he abruptly resigned. BoehnerJohn BoehnerNetanyahu: 'No question' about Trump's support for Israel The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt MORE’s heir apparent as Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, ended his candidacy unexpectedly after he bragged that the partisan persecution of Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump must not pull a bait-and-switch on American workers Jewish groups divided over Hanukkah party at Trump hotel Colo. AG: Electoral College lawsuit could cause 'chaos' MORE was a major achievement of the GOP House.
Following this cacophony of chaos and fratricide engulfing GOP leaders in Congress, the battle for the Republican presidential nomination features a bully, who gave a sick impersonation of a disabled person and has a history of calling various women fat slobs and bimbos, battling against one of the most despised senators in Republican history, who launches attacks against his own party’s leaders and whose only claim to legislative fame was causing a government shutdown.
Compared to the fratricidal fanaticism the GOP offers the nation, Clinton looks like Mother Theresa and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Trump sits down with Fox Democrats: Where the hell are You? Sanders on Trump pick: This is how a rigged economy works MORE looks like Franklin Roosevelt.
In the never-ending GOP fratricide, liberal Republicans have been chased out of their party. Moderate Republicans have become persona non grata. Even some center-right Republicans are derided as Republicans in name only.
The GOP establishment may soon be force-fed a presidential nominee who in the past made big campaign donations to support Democratic leaders Harry ReidHarry ReidReid: Comey should be investigated in wake of Russia report Spokesman: NY Times ignored Reid's comments in pre-election story on Russia Senate passes dozens of bills on way out of town MORE and Nancy Pelosi and spent 20 of the last 24 years heaping extravagant praise upon Bill and Hillary Clinton because, he claims, as a businessman he had to dish dollars to peddle influence in Washington.
The Trump brand of GOP mega-fratricide involves what he calls his politics as war against both the Republican establishment and the conservative movement, a truth well told in the National Review about a candidate who now offers high praise to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin while blaming the last Republican president for the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
In another example of the fratricide that could destroy Republicans in 2016, my colleague Dick Morris, agreeing with certain other conservatives, wrote yesterday on this page that the GOP cannot nominate Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate clears water bill with Flint aid, drought relief What Trump's Cabinet picks reveal House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief MORE, its most electable candidate!
Republicans are now poised to force what Democrats will call a government shutdown of the Supreme Court. GOP fratricide has become so ugly that Republicans virtually need a food tester when they dine together. Many GOP candidates in close races may soon be forced to decide whether to defend or disown a nominee they privately consider neither a true Republican nor a legitimate conservative but an impulsive, bitterly divisive and dangerous bully who could trigger World War III if given the power.
Democrats should run a Harry Truman-like campaign against a fratricidal Republican Party whose partisans often despise one another as much as they despise Democrats, making it a party of division and dysfunction that cannot unite our people or govern our nation.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at -firstname.lastname@example.org.