Home Americanism The Republican Party Has a Problem. Itself

The Republican Party Has a Problem. Itself

ericMarquel, TPVs NYTimes principles section correspondent,  was doing something unimportant when he read that ‘There Is a Divide’ in Republican Party, Cantor Says. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia said Sunday that he saw a troublesome division within the Republican Party, while the Republican National Committee chairman offered a different assessment.

Marquel wondered about this divide. Aren’t there many divides in every party? Well not those parties that are too anti democratic. For instance, Lenin didn’t tolerate too many divides. That’s why he offed Trotsky but Marquel didn’t think Trotsky was a fan of divides either. And when it came down to Stalin, any divide was too much for him. Fidel, who Marquel still loves, wasn’t a big fan of divides either. Che, however, was a divide himself. What humanized him were his own internal divides.

In America we profess to love divides. The Democrats are nothing but divides. The Republicans, at least recently, not so much. But both parties say they are a “big tent,” meaning they welcome divides. So what is Cantor, who recently lost his congressional seat and his leader status to a guy blissfully named Brat talking about?. Marquel knew that some people didn’t like him for making fun of names but he never really does just that. When the name invites comment in one way or another, because of some other circumstances, Marquel jumps right in. And this Brat is nothing but. Perhaps Marquel can explain that.

But first I had to figure out about this divide. Cantor says there is one. A massive one. The Republican National Committee disagrees. I sat down to talk with Cantor.

“Eric,” I said, “before we talk about divides, let’s talk about Jews.”

 Cantor spit his coffee across the table and said eloquently, “What?”

“Here you are,” I said, “as conservative as they come but you’re a Jew. I thought Jews were supposed to be liberal.”

 “Not any more,” he answered.

“Exactly,” I remarked, “your answer grants my premise.” He blinked like a parakeet in a cage. “When you say not any more you recognize that, historically a Jew was liberal. Everybody knew it. As a child I never met a conservative Jew, and if I ever did I would have known he was lying. Either about being a Jew or being conservative.”

Cantor took a moment to think. He had no answer so I interrupted what must pass for a thoughtful moment in the Cantor family, and went in to divides.

I decided to test him. “You say there’s a divide and the National Committee says no. How can you prove them wrong?”

 He sipped some more coffee and said, “Well common sense tells you that there are extremists, opinion polls reveal bitter disputes, and I just lost an election.” There were tears in his eyes but somehow I didn’t give a shit.

“Wrong”, I said.

 “What?” He asked.

“When you say there’s a split, and they say there isn’t, doesn’t that constitute a split? Why didn’t you tell them their denial was a split in itself. It’s pretty stupid of the National Committee to say there’s no split after you say there is. Their very position constitutes a denial of their position.”

He was very quiet. “Did I lose you?” I asked.

 “Not really,” he said, “but I’m not used to that kind of logic. It’s kind of frowned on by Republicans.”

“So you don’t disagree with me?” I wondered.

 “No, not at all. But I couldn’t say it to my fellow Republicans. It makes too much sense.” He asserted.

“Well,” I remarked, “let’s get to this divide. How would you describe it?”

 “Easy”, he answered, “there are those for me and those against me “

“That’s the big divide?” I questioned.

 “Of course,” he insisted, “What did you think?”

“I had imagined,” I said, “that it would be a matter of large principles.”

 “Well I can’t imagine,” he said, “any bigger principles than that.”

“Could we discuss your principles?” I asked.

 “Certainly. Shoot.” He said.

“So what is your driving principle?” I asked.

 He answered simply, “Me “

“Not smaller government, lower taxes, balanced budget?” I asked.

 “Of course not,” he answered.

“So what are they? I thought they were basic Republican principles.” I said.

 “No” he said simply once more, ” those are promises. The principle is me.”

“Let me get this straight,” I said, “You are your principle.”

 “Yes, the same as,” he insisted, and I interrupted.

“The same as Brat is his principle?” I was excited to be catching on.

He shook his head.

“So the divide plaguing the Republican party is you and those who don’t like you, and that is a basic Republican principle?” I wondered.

 “No,” he answered, “it is THE Republican principle.”

“So the fact that Brat was Christian and could more easily lock up the Christian right is not part of this divide?” I questioned.

 “Not at all. How does that become a matter of principle? I could be Christian right if I wanted to.” He asserted.

“But you’re Jewish,” I said. “Isn’t at least that a matter of principle?”

 “Not at all,” he insisted, “again it’s a promise. I can change a promise at any time.”

“You can?” I asked.

 “Of course,” he answered, “it’s one of my basic principles.”

“So if these are promises, not principles, to whom are they made?” I asked.

 He smiled. “Wow you do talk fancy,” he said, pausing. “The promises are made to contributors. I can change them, I have to change them, if I get bigger contributors.”

“And Brat?” I questioned, “does he feel the same way?”

“If he doesn’t,” he said, “he’ll never win another election.”

“And that,” I remarked, “is probably…”

This time he interrupted me, saying, “another principle.”

I thought that was enough so I turned off my tape recorder. As we said good bye I realized I hadn’t asked an important question. “How would you describe yourself?”

“A man of many principles,” he answered, “the most important being me.”

I told him I felt the same way. Usually when I wake up and lasting until I have to wait to use the bathroom. Maybe his house has several bathrooms


BY MARQUEL: The Republican Party Has a Problem. Itself


  1. Stupendous candor! Marquel, who the hell are you? This is great:

    “Eric,” I said, “before we talk about divides, let’s talk about Jews.”

    Cantor spit his coffee across the table and said eloquently, “What?”

    “Here you are,” I said, “as conservative as they come but you’re a Jew. I thought Jews were supposed to be liberal.”

    “Not any more,” he answered.

  2. You have more balls than a big bull! Congratulations! Excellent article. Times? Were are you? Here’s a writer for you!

  3. Correct. A lot of useful information there – I for example, didn’t know there was anyone who didn’t hate him.


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