Daily Kos: What's the Matter With Oklahoma? Right-Wing Fanatics
The average NewsBusters reader looks at the Republican party's shift to the right in recent years and thinks, "Good." Daily Kos featured writer Hunter, whose beat is the conservative movement, has a different reaction, namely, to liken righty GOPers to suicide bombers.
This past week, Hunter dealt with the supposed burgeoning extremism of the party in two blog posts. On Tuesday, regarding the candidacy of Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, Hunter noted that the Senate Conservatives Fund and Oklahoma Tea Party groups object to Lankford on such grounds as his support for a debt-ceiling increase:
...Don't think that merely being virulently anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-gun rights and anti-EPA and the standard litany of other once-extreme, now-required positions is good enough for the current party. Oh, [Lankford] can be an absolute nutcase on a whole host of social issues, but even he does not have the full-throated support of conservatives. No, conservatives find him lacking because, to his great discredit, there apparently have been at least several occasions in which he did not fully follow through with the required True Republican plan-of-the-moment to strap on a suicide vest and blow the government up for Freedom...
On Wednesday, in a post about longtime gay Republican activist Jimmy LaSalvia leaving the party because it's, in LaSalvia's words, "brain dead" and has a "cultural problem...that’s beyond fixing," Hunter blamed the rank and file for the GOP's woes: "The party leaders are subservient to the base, and it's the base that demands bigotry. The business wing of the party doesn't give a damn whether the party is bigoted or not, so long as the tax breaks keep coming."