Jake Turcotte

Republican criticizes Republican for criticizing Republican (then criticizes another Republican)

Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment? It's been thrown out the window. Stomped on. Set on fire. And now it's floating among the icebergs like a Viking funeral.

But after a severe pummeling like the one the Republicans took on Election Day, it's hard not to point fingers. Everybody's doing it. Even those who criticize those for blaming Republicans are blaming Republicans. It's a circular firing squad.

Don't criticize

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby criticized fellow Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina for criticizing Republicans. In criticizing the South Carolina Republican, the Alabama Republican criticized a certain Texas Republican whom everyone seems to be criticizing.

What's wrong with McCain?  Everything, according to DeMint, who was speaking at a conference in Myrtle Beach discussing the future of the Republican party.

"McCain, who is [a] proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver's seat," he said. "His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn't fit the label, but he was our package."

Watch your piehole

Shelby, speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer yesterday, said DeMint needs to shut his yapper.

"I think my friend Sen. Jim DeMint should keep this stuff in the caucus and not be out beating up on fellow Republicans," he said – before beating up on a fellow Republican.

"John McCain has not been the President of the United States," he said.

"President Bush is somebody I have supported on a lot of occasions but I'm disappointed in the Administration on a lot of things," he added.

We ain't dead yet

As for the future of the GOP, Shelby isn't ready to throw a wake for the party.

The Republicans ... will regroup," he said.  "This reminds of 16 years ago when you had the big victory by President Clinton and they said the GOP was finished.  We were back in a few years.  We'll be back again."

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