GOP's 'Grass Roots' Are Anything But

EJ Dionne: Republicans have two establishments now, not just one
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 3:25 PM CDT
GOP's 'Grass Roots' Are Anything But
Ben Sasse, who won the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, speaks in Lincoln.   (AP Photo)

Those who align themselves with the Tea Party fancy the phrase "grass roots" to describe their fight with the GOP "establishment." Sorry, writes EJ Dionne in the Washington Post, but it's hard to think "grass roots" when billionaire donors are involved. No, what the GOP really has are "two establishment factions spending vast sums to gain the upper hand." The result is a party moving further and further to the right, where a "political correctness of an extremely conservative kind now rules." Dionne points to the win of Ben Sasse in the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska as a prime example. Ted Cruz, for one, invoked the phrase "grass roots" to describe why the ultra-conservative Sasse won, despite the $2.4 million in ad spending on his behalf.

Plus, the university president worked in the George W. Bush administration and is hardly an outsider. "So, is this really the grass roots speaking to Washington?" asks Dionne. "Or is it more accurately seen as a cadre of conservative groups, largely working out of Washington, rising up with a ton of cash to persuade voters to listen to them?" GOP voters can expect similar choices in future primaries, thanks to the Supreme Court rulings opening the door to bigger donations. But in the end, they're simply picking "between two establishments that, in the end, differ little on what they would do with power." Click for Dionne's full column. (More GOP stories.)

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