Brent Budowsky: GOP: The party of fratricide

Brent Budowsky: GOP: The party of fratricide
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Honest Abe Lincoln must be rolling his eyes in heaven watching Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science 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.

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The Speakership of Newt Gingrich ended in 1999 when his Republican colleagues forced him out. His heir apparent, Bob Livingston, withdrew his candidacy for Speaker after a scandal that inhibited his ability to impeach Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Agency function is tied to how people feel about their job — that's bad news for USDA research 5 myths about William Barr MORE, who ultimately finished his highly successful presidency while Livingston vacated his seat in the House. After Livingston, House Republicans turned to Dennis Hastert, whose career in the House then ended when Democrats regained control of the chamber in the 2006 elections and he resigned his seat. His lobbying life ended when he copped a plea to a crime.

More recently, Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorOusted GOP lawmaker David Brat named dean at Liberty University business school Trump, GOP seek to shift blame for shutdown to Pelosi Hoyer: Ryan’s legacy a mix of decency and debt 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 Andrew BoehnerBreaking the impasse on shutdown, border security McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE was hounded from the Speakership by right-wing House Republicans, whereupon he abruptly resigned. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBreaking the impasse on shutdown, border security McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE’s heir apparent as Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, ended his candidacy unexpectedly after he bragged that the partisan persecution of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonConservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Trump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Bill Maher defends Bernie Sanders campaign over sexual harassment allegations Americans need an economy that supports more than the 1 percent 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 Mason ReidSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Harry Reid knocks Ocasio-Cortez's tax proposal: Fast 'radical change' doesn't work Overnight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy 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 Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees 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 -brentbbi@webtv.net.